Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

Orans posture


  • Please log in to reply
7 replies to this topic

#1 Michael Albert

Michael Albert

    Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 241 posts

Posted 27 September 2010 - 01:40 PM

When I was a member of the Roman Catholic Church, I often recalled seeing people pray with their hands held out and palms facing up (usually during the Lord's prayer). This was called "the orans posture" and I recall learning that it was not proper for the laity to pray this way (according to GIRM). It was a posture for the priest--but many people would copy the priest.

Now, as a member of the Holy Orthodox Church, I see many people praying in this way (again-usually during the Lord's prayer). I am wondering if the Orthodox Church has any teaching about this? I was thinking to myself that perhaps it is a carry over from people that converted from the Roman Catholic Church?

#2 Alice

Alice

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 673 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 27 September 2010 - 02:06 PM

I have never seen this...but it is interesting that you encountered it in Orthodoxy! I also await responses from our knowledgeable posters.

#3 Cyprian (Humphrey)

Cyprian (Humphrey)

    Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 314 posts

Posted 27 September 2010 - 02:30 PM

Actually, it's just as likely a carry-over from Pentecostalism/the Charismatic movement.

Liturgically, the laity are not supposed to take this posture in public prayer. It belongs to the priests and bishops. However, what people do in the privacy of their own homes, and in the case of monastics, in their cells, is an entirely different matter.

Feel free to peruse what has been discussed before:

http://www.monachos....t=orans posture

http://www.monachos....t=orans posture

#4 Michael Albert

Michael Albert

    Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 241 posts

Posted 27 September 2010 - 03:48 PM

Thank you for the links!

#5 Cyprian (Humphrey)

Cyprian (Humphrey)

    Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 314 posts

Posted 27 September 2010 - 03:50 PM

Pas un problème.

#6 Rdr Andreas

Rdr Andreas

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,032 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 15 October 2017 - 12:00 PM

I came across this old thread after wondering about the orans posture which I saw in the catacombs when I was in Rome last week. The guide in the Catacomb of Marcellinus and Peter was a scholar and told us that the orans posture of some figures painted on the walls of some catacomb chapels represents the soul of the departed person. I note that the Roman Catholic confession instructs its faithful that they may not use this gesture as it is the preserve of the officiating priest who prays thus for the people. I have seen one Orthodox layman, a former Anglican, use this gesture during the Lord's Prayer. From what I have gleaned, it seems Orthodox laymen ought not to use the orans posture.



#7 Olga

Olga

    Moderator

  • Moderators
  • 2,825 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 15 October 2017 - 10:18 PM

The orans posture is well entrenched among the laity in Orthodox churches of Middle Eastern/Arabic traditions. I suspect it is an ancient custom, not a recent development.



#8 Rdr Andreas

Rdr Andreas

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,032 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 17 October 2017 - 10:29 PM

There seems to be a diversity of practice, and may well be common in the East, but I have not seen it done in Russia, Greece, or Cyprus. There are also two forms: one with the arms held down and the hands merely turned with palms upwards, and the 'full' gesture with arms lifted and hands outstretched. The latter seems to me to be a posture which only the priest should adopt at the appropriate places in services; the former is seen but since most people do not do it does seem to me to be a expression of individualism which is an unwelcome distraction.






0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users