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Facing altar during reading


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#1 Algernon

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Posted 09 October 2014 - 01:20 PM

Why does the reader face the altar while reading the Epistle? Couldn't he face the people so they can better hear what's being read? (Same goes with deacon reading Gospel)

 

Thanks,

A



#2 Father David Moser

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Posted 09 October 2014 - 01:56 PM

The reader is facing the altar - but reading in the center of the Church where he is surrounded by the people.  There is also a practice that when the deacon reads the Gospel it is read from the bishop's cathedra in the center of the Church - again surrounded by the people.  There is no problem with hearing.

 

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#3 Kosta

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Posted 09 October 2014 - 07:37 PM

Everyone always faces the altar, You really shouldn't turn your back on it. We all face east

#4 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 09 October 2014 - 08:05 PM

The priest, though, reads the Holy Gospel facing west, does he not?



#5 Algernon

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Posted 09 October 2014 - 08:21 PM

Why do the priest and bishop face the people when they read?

#6 Anthony Cornett

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Posted 09 October 2014 - 10:42 PM

In the Greek Church, outside of the Monastic tradition which also includes the recitation of the Beautitudes, the reader faces the people. As it has been posted above, in general, we all face the altar to offer our prayers. Other than calling the people to act, the deacon faces the altar when petitioning for our prayers, as well. This is regardless of tradition (Jerusalem or Contantinople Typikon). 



#7 Michał

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Posted 10 October 2014 - 12:30 AM

 TThere is also a practice that when the deacon reads the Gospel it is read from the bishop's cathedra in the center of the Church

 

Yes, when bishop is present. When the bishop is not present, deacon reads from soleas.



#8 Anthony Cornett

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Posted 10 October 2014 - 01:31 AM

When the bishop is not present, he reads from the Soleas or the Vema? In most Greek churches, the throne is off to the right for the bishop. In some churches, it faces the center of the nave, while in other monasteries it would face the altar.



#9 Dimitris

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Posted 10 October 2014 - 04:06 AM

Why so complicated? Most simple: The readings are not to or for God, but for the people. Turning your back to the people while addressing them seems odd, as does turning you back to the mystical place of God when addressing Him.



#10 Michał

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Posted 10 October 2014 - 09:11 AM

When the bishop is not present, he reads from the Soleas or the Vema? In most Greek churches, the throne is off to the right for the bishop. In some churches, it faces the center of the nave, while in other monasteries it would face the altar.

 

Talking about Russian practice. 



#11 Algernon

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Posted 10 October 2014 - 02:15 PM

Speaking of Russian practice, why does the reader start at a low pitch and then and move to a higher and higher pitch every couple verses or so? It seems showy to me and a bit distracting.



#12 Anthony Cornett

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Posted 10 October 2014 - 03:09 PM

Talking about Russian practice. 

 

Michał,

 

So the Deacon or Priest, when a Bishop is not present, reads the Gospel from the soleas rather than the front step of the vema? From where on the solea do they read? I don't recall seeing this in SF, but my memory is quite deceiving. 



#13 Michał

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Posted 10 October 2014 - 03:16 PM

Michał,

 

So the Deacon or Priest, when a Bishop is not present, reads the Gospel from the soleas rather than the front step of the vema? From where on the solea do they read? I don't recall seeing this in SF, but my memory is quite deceiving. 

 

From the very same place priests do. The difference is deacon faces the altar.



#14 Anthony Cornett

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Posted 10 October 2014 - 03:18 PM

From the very same place priests do. The difference is deacon faces the altar.

 

Does anyone feel so kind as to show me a photo or draw a quick diagram? I'm not picturing it. Sorry ;)



#15 Michał

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Posted 10 October 2014 - 03:38 PM

Does anyone feel so kind as to show me a photo or draw a quick diagram? I'm not picturing it. Sorry ;)

 

2013_12_12_Ewangelia.jpg

 

ewangelia_nedilia_proszczennia.jpg

 


Edited by Michał, 10 October 2014 - 03:46 PM.


#16 Anthony Cornett

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Posted 10 October 2014 - 03:43 PM

Perfect, thank you. I forget that the vema isn't elevated from the soleas in many Russian churches. 



#17 Michał

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Posted 10 October 2014 - 03:47 PM

What is "vema"?



#18 Anthony Cornett

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Posted 10 October 2014 - 03:57 PM

It's the name of the space behind the iconostasis where one would find the altar table, typically elevated from the soleas, and typically with a rounded step just outside the Beautiful Gates where the Gospel is often read in a Greek church. 


Edited by Anthony Cornett, 10 October 2014 - 03:57 PM.


#19 Rdr Daniel (R.)

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Posted 10 October 2014 - 07:46 PM

In the Greek Church, outside of the Monastic tradition which also includes the recitation of the Beautitudes, the reader faces the people. As it has been posted above, in general, we all face the altar to offer our prayers. Other than calling the people to act, the deacon faces the altar when petitioning for our prayers, as well. This is regardless of tradition (Jerusalem or Contantinople Typikon). 

How strange, in our Archdioceses (Thyateira and Great Britain) I have never seen the reader face the people but we always face the altar, I'm not sure why we would do that and in the Greek Church face the people when we are both under Constantinople rather than Moscow ect.... 


Edited by Daniel R., 10 October 2014 - 07:49 PM.


#20 Anthony Cornett

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Posted 10 October 2014 - 07:51 PM

It very well could be an American phenomenon. My memory of Greek services outside of Mt Athos is hazy.






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