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A matter of orarions


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#1 Mike Fulton

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Posted 28 July 2010 - 09:37 PM

Hello all,

When I was elevated to subdeacon at theophany of this year, I went ahead and got a set of deacon's vestments per the instructions of my spiritual father. This way, he told me, I could put away the epimaniki and take them out to use as vestments at my ordination to the diaconate.

I ordered my vestments through a local tailor who has connections with Russia. I asked him for a sticharion, cuffs, and orarion in the Greek-style. He said that this would be no problem at all.

I received my vestments and was pleased with how they turned out. But one thing struck me very odd. When I looked at the orarion, it wasn't a straight strip. Instead, it was kind of a chevron looking shape. If one were to wear this as a deacon, the chevron is at your right hip. The gentleman who ordered the vestments for me said "I hope you don't mind it shaped like this." I told him that it was very different, but I'd ask to see if it would do.

To wear this vestment as a subdeacon is a bit awkward, as I have to often re-arrange the chevron in the middle. Now that I am to be elevated to the diaconate this fall, I am a bit wary of wearing it. I realize that for all practical and pious purposes, appearances aren't everything. However, I'm wondering if it would be proper to wear an orarion like this? Is this a Slavic tradition?

Any suggestions on what I should do?

#2 Cyprian (Humphrey)

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Posted 28 July 2010 - 10:23 PM

I've seen many Deacons with orarions like this. I'm not sure if it's a slavic thing or not, but it's not too unusual. The awkward part is wearing as a Sub-Deacon as it really isn't designed to be wrapped around you, like the Sub-Diaconal orarion is supposed to be.

IIRC, what Deacon's do with this kind of orarion when it comes to Communion is, instead of wrapping it like the Sub-Deacons, is just folding the two ends together on the right hip.Attached File  orarion folded at hip.jpg   40.04K   120 downloads

I'm not sure if this picture shows it too well, or not, but it's kinda like that. Instead of wrapping it around you and over the shoulders for Communion like a Sub-Deacon wears it all the time, the ends are just secured around each other on your right hip, almost like the first step in tying your shoes. Sorry, I don't have any diagrams, nor can I find any better pics for it.

So, my answer is, absolutely, yes! It is very appropriate to wear as a Deacon. Hope that helps.

As to whether it's appropriate as a Sub-Deacon, well, I don't think it's actually designed for wear wrapped around you like a Sub-Deacon wears it, but I don't think it's really a big deal. Obviously, you bishop has seen it (since I presume it was he that ordained you) and if he didn't mention anything, don't worry about it. It's only temporary. Soldier on, and act like you know what you're doing and people tend to leave you alone. You might want to consider the discrete use of a safety pin to keep the orarion in place though. Just remember to take the pin out before trying to take it off! ...'Cuz, of course, I've never done anything like that...No...Not me!... :)

Edited by Cyprian (Humphrey), 28 July 2010 - 10:33 PM.
Adding the last paragraph...


#3 Mike Fulton

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Posted 28 July 2010 - 10:46 PM

I've seen many Deacons with orarions like this. I'm not sure if it's a slavic thing or not, but it's not too unusual. The awkward part is wearing as a Sub-Deacon as it really isn't designed to be wrapped around you, like the Sub-Diaconal orarion is supposed to be.

IIRC, what Deacon's do with this kind of orarion when it comes to Communion is, instead of wrapping it like the Sub-Deacons, is just folding the two ends together on the right hip.[ATTACH=CONFIG]1689[/ATTACH]

I'm not sure if this picture shows it too well, or not, but it's kinda like that. Instead of wrapping it around you and over the shoulders for Communion like a Sub-Deacon wears it all the time, the ends are just secured around each other on your right hip, almost like the first step in tying your shoes. Sorry, I don't have any diagrams, nor can I find any better pics for it.

So, my answer is, absolutely, yes! It is very appropriate to wear as a Deacon. Hope that helps.

As to whether it's appropriate as a Sub-Deacon, well, I don't think it's actually designed for wear wrapped around you like a Sub-Deacon wears it, but I don't think it's really a big deal. Obviously, you bishop has seen it (since I presume it was he that ordained you) and if he didn't mention anything, don't worry about it. It's only temporary. Soldier on, and act like you know what you're doing and people tend to leave you alone. You might want to consider the discrete use of a safety pin to keep the orarion in place though. Just remember to take the pin out before trying to take it off! ...'Cuz, of course, I've never done anything like that...No...Not me!... :)



Oh good, Father Cyprian. Thank you for your reassurance. I was scared, thinking that this specific orarion is for a specific degree of deacon. I just didn't want to offend anyone or scandalize them.

#4 Father David Moser

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Posted 28 July 2010 - 10:46 PM

I received my vestments and was pleased with how they turned out. But one thing struck me very odd. When I looked at the orarion, it wasn't a straight strip. Instead, it was kind of a chevron looking shape. If one were to wear this as a deacon, the chevron is at your right hip....
To wear this vestment as a subdeacon is a bit awkward,


This is the orarion for a protodeacon. As a subdeacon, you should not wear it. As a deacon you should not wear it until it is awarded to you by the bishop (usually after about 10 or 15 years as a deacon).

Fr David Moser

#5 Mike Fulton

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Posted 28 July 2010 - 11:10 PM

This is the orarion for a protodeacon. As a subdeacon, you should not wear it. As a deacon you should not wear it until it is awarded to you by the bishop (usually after about 10 or 15 years as a deacon).

Fr David Moser


I see. I'm Antiochian and I've never seen this type of orarion.

Thank you.

#6 Cyprian (Humphrey)

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Posted 28 July 2010 - 11:29 PM

There you go. I was slightly wrong, as usual. My apologies for leading you astray...

#7 Mike Fulton

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Posted 28 July 2010 - 11:45 PM

There you go. I was slightly wrong, as usual. My apologies for leading you astray...


I'm wrong in more ways than you, Father. Thanks anyway.

Well, fool me once....

#8 John Konstantin

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Posted 29 July 2010 - 12:39 AM

It is normal within Orthodoxy to refer to oneself as being 'elevated' to the sub-diaconate? If so, forgive my ignorance, but it rather stands at odds with the an appropriate attitude of service. It could be just traditional semantics for describing the process of making a sub-deacon of which I am unaware.

#9 Father David Moser

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Posted 29 July 2010 - 02:06 AM

"Elevated" would be a good term as one is raised from the rank of reader to the higher rank of sub-deacon.

Fr David Moser

#10 John Konstantin

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Posted 29 July 2010 - 11:06 AM

Thank You Fr David :)

#11 Michael Astley

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Posted 31 July 2010 - 12:47 PM

I see. I'm Antiochian and I've never seen this type of orarion.

Thank you.


I don't mean to second-guess Father David because I think that, in a sense, he is right.

As it was explained to me, the ancient custom was for deacons to wear the simple orar, which is retained in the Slavic tradition. The double-orar was a later development and was granted to arch/protodeacons or as an award to deacons for some particular service to the church. Later, this was granted to all deacons upon ordination in the Greek tradition (and adopted by the Antiochian church) but the more ancient practice has been retained in the Slavic tradition.

The point

The double-orar was originally just that: two orars pinned together, with the ends overlapping in the chevron-style that you describe. When, in time, the double orar came to be a single piece, in some places (usually the Slavic tradition) chevron shape was retained while in others (notably the Greek tradition but possibly Antiochian as well), it took on a straight shape that sort of loops at the hip. In any case, both are the same vestment: the double-orar. Therefore, it seems to me that if the Antiochian tradition grants the double-orar to all deacons from the time of their ordination, it shouldn't matter too much whether this is Greek or Russian style. It is the Slavic tradition that retains the distinction to which Father David rightly calls our attention. If in doubt, check with your bishop and follow his direction.

However, this could be really quite awkward for a subdeacon, who really shouldn't be wearing a double diaconal orar at all. My suggestion would be to raid your parish's vestment cupoard or make enquiries to see whether you could borrow from another parish a subdeacon's orar in a colour that goes with most colour of vestments, (white/gold/silver). After all, the orar does not have to match the vestments, as long as it is complementary. Then you can just wear that until your diaconal ordination in a few months' time.

In Christ,
M

#12 Archimandrite Irenei

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Posted 31 July 2010 - 07:56 PM

Dear all,

To clarify: there is actually a distinction between a double-orarion and protodeacon's orarion. Here is some basic information on the main forms of the diaconal orarion:

The single orarion is, in the Russian and Slavic Orthodox traditions, the form of the vestment worn by most deacons, and certainly by all deacons at their ordination and for the first years of service. It is a single length of straight fabric, roughly twice the length that the deacon is tall, worn over the left shoulder.

Posted Image
The diaconal (single) orarion,
as worn in the Russian/Slavic traditions.


A double orarion, which in the Russian and Slavic Orthodox customs is an award to deacons after many years of service (usually 5 or 10), but which in the Byzantine traditions is the default orarion worn by all deacons, is simply a double-length orarion -- i.e., one long, continuous, straight length of fabric. It is worn over the left shoulder, but then wraps diagonally around the body at an angle from the left shoulder down to the right hip, and up the back in the same manner, before again hanging down the left shoulder.

Posted Image
A deacon's double orarion, as worn by default
in the Byzantine/Greek traditions, and as an award
in the Russian/Slavic traditions.


(Note how the continuous length of fabric means that where the orarion 'loops' at an angle at the deacon's waist, it rather flares out to the side.)

A protodeacon's orarion is a special embellishment of the double orarion. Firstly, it is generally much wider - around twice as wide - as the deacon's orarion, and traditionally has the words 'Holy, holy, holy' embroidered on it. Partially due to its extra width, the manner in which a thinner double orarion is looped at the waist would prove impractical; so rather than a long, continuous piece of fabric, the protodeacon's double orarion is in fact two single lengths sewn together in a chevron as they join, so the garment sits flat against the protodeacon's right hip.

Posted Image
A protodeacon's double orarion, of
Russian/Slavic style.


Finally, all that being said, a subdeacon's orarion is closest in shape and length to a deacon's single orarion, and in fact in many places the garments are identical. However, technically speaking, a subdeacon's orarion does not have the crosses embroidered on it that a deacon's does.

INXC, Hieromonk Irenei

#13 Michael Astley

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Posted 01 August 2010 - 06:17 AM

Thank you, Father Irinei. My apologies for adding to the confusion.

M

#14 Richard A. Downing

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Posted 01 August 2010 - 08:05 AM

It looks to me like getting ordained is a very expensive business! (unless you can get some 'hand-me-downs')
I looked at the prices on the web, even cassocks are not cheap - and they are intended to represent non-fashionable clothing.
Do most parishes have a vestments fund in their accounts, or do individuals always own their own?

INXC,
Richard.

#15 Mike Fulton

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Posted 02 August 2010 - 01:52 AM

It looks to me like getting ordained is a very expensive business! (unless you can get some 'hand-me-downs')
I looked at the prices on the web, even cassocks are not cheap - and they are intended to represent non-fashionable clothing.
Do most parishes have a vestments fund in their accounts, or do individuals always own their own?

INXC,
Richard.


Vestments can get pretty expensive.

The problem with me is that I got these vestments for a relatively inexpensive price and I don't plan on being a permanent deacon. Alas, there was also some communication problems with the vendor as to what I wanted (Greek-style).

As far as vestments, priests and deacons in the Antiochian archdiocese typically purchase their own vestments. Now Greek seminarians here at Holy Cross have a system in many metropolitanates where they will circulate vestments among brother seminarians (i.e. Fr. Dcn John Doe is getting ordained to the presbytery, so he gives his deacon's vestment to Seminarian Harry Doe, who is getting made a deacon around the same time or in the not too distant future).

#16 Priest Raphael Barberg

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Posted 19 August 2010 - 05:13 PM

Dear SD Michael,

I ran into the same problem when I was a new deacon. I simply had a seamstress friend cut the "chevron" and sew it into the one continuous stole that we are used to in our tradition.

Also I could loan you a stole if you like. I will not be at the House of Studies (Baby #5 is due any day now) but could send it along with the other SVS seminarians.

In Christ,
Priest Raphael Barberg

(The artist formerly known as Deacon Raphael)

#17 Daniel Williamson

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Posted 19 August 2010 - 08:28 PM

There are many liturgical suppliers out there but I have enjoyed the products from Istok and their prices beat many others:

http://www.istok.net...-vestment-sets/
http://www.glowfoto....0/img5/glowfoto

Example
http://www.glowfoto....0/img5/glowfoto

Posted Image

Edited by Daniel Williamson, 19 August 2010 - 08:44 PM.


#18 Daniel Williamson

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Posted 19 August 2010 - 08:46 PM

Another Example of the double orarion:
Attached File  19-1315025423L.jpg   125.34K   81 downloads

#19 Ilya Zhitomirskiy

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 07:02 PM

I see. I'm Antiochian and I've never seen this type of orarion.

Thank you.

NO, the antiochians and greeks usually wear the double orarion. It is not an award, but the default orarion, similar to a pectoral cross for a Russian priest




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