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Rubrics concerning the Sion of the deacon

deaconate liturgy zion sion rubrics

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#1 Sbdn. Peter Simko

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Posted 29 May 2013 - 01:48 PM

Krishti u ngjall!

I presume many of us have seen either photos or video of deacons (usually two in number) carrying "little churches" on their shoulder (sometimes with handles) or holding them up in their left hand while censing, recalling the icons of deacons like Romanos, Stephen, Laurence, &c.  If you have not, here are some examples:

Russia: http://youtu.be/dok7SQPzBX0?t=10s

Russia: http://www.pravoslav...s/31/8152.d.jpg

Sinai: http://www.sinaimona..._t056_f02_b.jpg

Does anybody happen to know, either from text, or perhaps just experience, what the general direction is for using these--and I believe they are called "Sions"--during worship.  I know that in Moscow they are kept on the altar table, approximately where some might place the Dikiri and Trikiri.  Since they are currently being used in various places, it seems that rubrics must exist somewhere regarding their use.  They are certainly very interesting.  Thanks.

 

 

>>>Pete



#2 Jean-Serge

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Posted 29 May 2013 - 03:15 PM

Very interesting! It is the first time I see this! I would be happy to know more about this. Is it reserved to specifics services, to deacons with a specific rank? Who knows about this.



#3 Lakis Papas

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Posted 29 May 2013 - 10:20 PM

Coincidentally,  today I heard a homily by late preacher Dimitrios Panagopoulos where he stated  that deacons are carrying "little churches" on their shoulders as a sign that their diaconal derives from the Church.



#4 Panayiotis Steele

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 02:12 AM

Vertete u ngjall!

 

The only time I have seen these little churches in use was during the feast of St. Anthony at the eponymous monastery in Arizona, USA. When I asked one of the deacons (there were, in fact, two with Sions censing at the same time), he said that the purpose of the Sion was originally to hold censing supplies for deacons that would cense enormous churches, like the Hagia Sophia in Constantinople. The church was so big, with so many staircases and places to cense, that subdeacons would follow the deacon around, lighting charcoals and putting incense on the lit charcoals. When the deacon's current incense would run out, the subdeacons would provide more incense, and when the deacon's current charcoal ran out, the subdeacons would provide another charcoal.

 

Over time, the Sions fell out of use, probably due to churches being smaller. Evidently, the monks at Athonite-style monasteries only bring them out on major feasts.

 

Hopefully that made sense. Also note that this post is just hearsay; treat accordingly.


Edited by Panayiotis Steele, 30 May 2013 - 02:13 AM.


#5 Sbdn. Peter Simko

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 12:22 PM

Thanks, everyone!  This seems to be yet another way that a practicallity has been made beautiful and points back to our missions in Christ.



#6 Ilya Zhitomirskiy

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Posted 29 August 2013 - 04:35 PM

In Russia, the Sions are used in big cathedrals, but I am not sure if the ROCOR cathedral in SF uses Sions. I would seem to think so because of its large size, but then I have not seen a vigil service there. I would guess that that would be some sort of an incense receptacle, but I would not be sure how the deacon would use it one-handed.







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