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40-day churching, Altar entrance


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#21 Anthony Cornett

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Posted 14 July 2015 - 12:17 AM

So the front step of the Holy Vema can be both part of the Vema and the Amvon?



#22 Olga

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Posted 14 July 2015 - 03:38 AM

Let's get some terminology clear: The vema is the area behind the iconostasis, which contains the altar table, and where only clergy and those with a blessing to enter it are permitted. The solea is the raised area in front of the iconostasis, at the same floor level as the vema. The central extended section of the solea is the amvon.



#23 Anthony Cornett

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Posted 14 July 2015 - 04:50 AM

Where we are, the Holy Vema has a front step. The Solea is below this level by one step, as evidenced by the front step of the Holy Vema, and extends about 10 feet with a few more steps down to the general Nave. I understand the Slav churches, nor the Greek monasteries are built in this manner but it is quite common for the Greek churches in the US. Even in the monasteries, however, the Holy Vema is raised with a front step, and the Solea is the same ground level as the rest of the nave, but simply set apart by arrangement of stasidia. In some Greek churches, there is a sort of railing and gate, but still the same level as the nave.

Edited by Anthony Cornett, 14 July 2015 - 04:54 AM.


#24 Anthony Cornett

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Posted 14 July 2015 - 05:07 AM

vema.jpg
An example from a nearby monastery showing the Holy Vema with front step & Solea area, which extends the same level throughout the entire Church. 

 

This is where the deacon makes petitions, entrances process,reception of Holy Communion and readings occur. To each side of the solea is a choir area for A & B choirs.


Edited by Anthony Cornett, 14 July 2015 - 05:12 AM.


#25 Olga

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Posted 14 July 2015 - 05:34 AM

The semicircular front step, whether a single step, or, more usually, the topmost of three, is the amvon. The solea is the raised "walkway" directly in front of the iconostasis, from which the amvon extends.



#26 Anthony Cornett

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Posted 14 July 2015 - 06:00 AM

So then what is the area called where the Epistle reading takes place, the Deacon makes petitions, Holy Communion is received, etc? I have never heard of this area being defined as anything but the solea...to 'process onto the solea', etc. I think, perhaps, it is simply a matter of Slavic vs Greek term differences. 



#27 Olga

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Posted 14 July 2015 - 06:19 AM

The amvon (a Greek word, btw) is the semicircular portion which juts out from the solea. Was this not made clear in my earlier post?

 

Moreover, the epistle reading is not made from the amvon. In Greek custom, it is read from the kliros to the right, in Russian custom from the centre of the nave, with the reader facing the altar.



#28 Anthony Cornett

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Posted 14 July 2015 - 06:29 AM

The amvon (a Greek word, btw) is the semicircular portion which juts out from the solea. Was this not made clear in my earlier post?

 

Moreover, the epistle reading is not made from the amvon. In Greek custom, it is read from the kliros to the right, in Russian custom from the centre of the nave, with the reader facing the altar.

 

In previous posts we established that an Amvon was originally the dual-stepped platform in the center of the Nave, and in other areas, a booth upon a pillar. Nowadays, in many Greek churches it is simply a smaller model of either of the two, and placed on the north side of the Solea. It seems that perhaps due to a lack of any of these proper amvona, the front step of the Holy Vema is used to proclaim the Gospel. I am unsure as to how this justifies calling it the Amvon, at least in Greek usage. 

 

I never claimed the epistle reading was made from the amvon, but rather the solea. In the Greek custom I have been made privy to, it is always read in the center of the solea, either facing the Holy Vema or people, usually depending on whether it is a monastery or parish. I have never witnessed it being read from the kliros. The Gospel, however, is typically read by the Deacon from the Bishop's stasidi on the solea, if he serves, or upon the amvon (elevated pulpit) if there is one.



#29 Olga

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Posted 14 July 2015 - 06:52 AM

It seems that perhaps due to a lack of any of these proper amvona, the front step of the Holy Vema is used to proclaim the Gospel. I am unsure as to how this justifies calling it the Amvon, at least in Greek usage.

 

In every Orthodox church I have attended in my fifty years in the Church, including many Greek churches with pulpits, the Gospel is always read from the solea or the amvon (the semicircular projection of the solea), never from the pulpit. The pulpit was only used for the giving of the homily.

 

I never claimed the epistle reading was made from the amvon, but rather the solea.

 

This is what you said:
 

 

So then what is the area called where the Epistle reading takes place, the Deacon makes petitions, Holy Communion is received, etc?

 

You are clearly referring to the raised semicircular projection, which is called the amvon.
 

 

In the Greek custom I have been made privy to, it is always read in the center of the solea, either facing the Holy Vema or people, usually depending on whether it is a monastery or parish. I have never witnessed it being read from the kliros.

 

This seems highly unusual, as in every Greek church I have attended over the decades, both in the city where I live (where there are at least a dozen of them), and elsewhere, including overseas, the Epistle has always been read from the right-hand kliros.



#30 Anthony Cornett

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Posted 14 July 2015 - 08:52 AM

I looked at writings of HE Augoustinos of Florina, and being a well-versed preacher of the Gospel, he is clear as to the clarity of the Amvon's definition. I also looked at the Typikon, which has a description of the action taken firstly by the Deacon, or the Priest if there is no Deacon to proclaim the Holy Gospel. The order is that the Deacon proclaims from the Amvon, or if no Deacon, then the Priest from the Beautiful Gate. This is clearly differentiating the two, otherwise I imagine the position's descriptor would be the same. Note 150 in the attached file below.

I am not sure if this link will work for everyone, so please let me know if the image does not show up:
https://www.dropbox....pikon.jpeg?dl=0

Edited by Anthony Cornett, 14 July 2015 - 08:54 AM.


#31 Olga

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Posted 14 July 2015 - 09:37 AM

Now you are speaking of the Gospel reading, not the Epistle reading. What is your point, Anthony? :huh:



#32 Anthony Cornett

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Posted 14 July 2015 - 03:45 PM

Now you are speaking of the Gospel reading, not the Epistle reading. What is your point, Anthony? :huh:

Olga, forgive me but we were talking Church architecture...Amvon. Beautiful Gate...

#33 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 14 July 2015 - 03:58 PM

Attached File  amvo.png   1.37MB   15 downloads

 

I hope this helps. In the picture, the deacon is standing in his customary place on the amvo which is the semi-circular area in front of the Royal Doors. To the deacon's left and right is the solea in front of the iconostasis. The priest or deacon walk along the solea to cense the icons. The floor of the sanctuary and the amvo and the solea are all on the same level. From the amvo and solea we see two steps down to the floor of the nave. The deacon chants the litanies and other deacon's parts from the amvo; sometimes he stands to one side on the solea. During the Divine Liturgy, the Gospel is read from the amvo.


Edited by Reader Andreas, 14 July 2015 - 04:05 PM.


#34 Peter Simko

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Posted 14 July 2015 - 04:09 PM

Thank you for that description and photo, Andreas.  I found the article for the Amvon on OrthodoxWiki useful for this discussion:

http://orthodoxwiki.org/Ambon



#35 Anthony Cornett

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Posted 14 July 2015 - 05:12 PM

Good example of a Slav Church, Andreas. Greek churches are constructed a bit differently, which likely leads to the variance in names. It seems as though the names stuck with the function rather than the actual architectural element.

#36 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 14 July 2015 - 06:24 PM

Attached File  Greek amvo.jpg   40.88K   4 downloads

 

In my experience, there is not necessarily much difference between Greek and Russian churches in this respect. This photo is of a Greek church and it is the same layout as the previous photo.


Edited by Reader Andreas, 14 July 2015 - 06:24 PM.


#37 Anthony Cornett

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Posted 14 July 2015 - 06:33 PM

Very interesting, as the previous photo I posted is of our neighbor monastery which does not have what you label as an Amvon step where the Deacon proclaims anything.

#38 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 14 July 2015 - 08:18 PM

Not actually my label: it is what it is called, both in Greek and Russian i.e. same word in both languages - Άμβων and Амвон.


Edited by Reader Andreas, 14 July 2015 - 08:30 PM.


#39 Anthony Cornett

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Posted 14 July 2015 - 09:07 PM

https://youtu.be/B7W...ZYR4?t=1h44m27s

 

If the video doesn't start at the appointed time, it should be about 1hr 44m 30s. The Deacon can be seen ascending the Amvon with the Holy Gospel. The Bishop stands at the step of the Beautiful Gate. 



#40 Olga

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Posted 14 July 2015 - 10:46 PM

Good example of a Slav Church, Andreas. Greek churches are constructed a bit differently, which likely leads to the variance in names. It seems as though the names stuck with the function rather than the actual architectural element.

 
There is no difference between Greek or Russian churches in the configuration of the solea and amvon. Every one of the many purpose-built Orthodox churches I have attended over the years has a raised solea running along the width of the nave in front of the iconostasis, with a central semicircular projection called the amvon. It would be safe to say that the layout of Greek church you are describing is a departure from the standard.
 
Here is the photo which Andreas previously posted in a larger format, which clearly shows what I have been describing:
 
5394256899_dca6a77998.jpg






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