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#134683 04/19/02 04:35 PM
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Dear Reverend Father Protodeacon,

With respect to deacon's blessings, I have no footnotes or literary sources, just something I picked up as a personal practice that sometimes is accepted by some deacons, and not by others.

Deacon Ed, who is Biritual I believe, once indicated to me that some parishioners do approach him for a blessing and he gives it, with three fingers, as a layman's blessing.

I know that St Herman of Alaska offered people his neck Cross to kiss and blessed them with it, as he was not a priest.

Apart from this, it's just something I do.

If I do wrongly, I will accept any and all forms of correction and penance!

Alex

#134684 04/19/02 05:00 PM
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Dear Alex,

Thanks for such a quick reply. To the best of my knowledge, deacons in the Byzantine tradition do not bestow blessings. (Of course the exception would be parental blessings that a deacon would give to his children.)

The deacon's function is one of servant to the bishop/presbyter. The bishop or presbyter blesses always in a presidential role as Christ the High Priest, for all blessings from the Father through Christ, in the Holy Spirit.

While the bishop/presbyter is the image of Christ as Priest, the deacon is the image of Christ as servant. And this was generally the case in the Latin rite prior to the restoration of a permanent diaconate following Vatican Council II.

But if anyone can show me literary sources that state otherwise, I would be most pleased. However, I am reluctant to admit subjective and ad hoc practices as being part of the authentic tradition.

David Kennedy, Protodeacon

#134685 04/19/02 05:18 PM
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Bless me a sinner, Reverend Father Protodeacon!

Well, I never said my private practice reflected the tradition smile .

But Deacon Ed, for example, has always accepted my request for a blessing here on this Forum.

When Anastasius the Academician called attention to the incorrectness of this, Deacon Ed said that this was accepted practice in his parish.

I think the Deacon is entitled to give a layman's blessing.

I bless my food, my bed, my house, my work and my wife, family and friends when they are in sorrow or need.

My father blessed me in this way before I left home to get married.

I bless a new loaf of bread in this way as well.

I also bless my computer, especially when I get on the Byzantine Forum smile .

The problem is that my friend who is a priest now insists on kissing my hand after I've "done" his.

I told him that is totally ridiculous.

But to accommodate him, I now wear a ring with a cross on my right hand smile .

Have a great day, Reverend Father Protodeacon!

Alex

#134686 04/19/02 08:33 PM
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Dear Alex:

I have done many things in my life but...

Or have you joined some sort of South-European fraternal society?


Don Alexio, I presume?


Sincerely
defreitas

#134687 04/19/02 09:05 PM
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A few years ago, I met up with an acquaintance (who was a former Byzantine Catholic layman) who had recently been ordained a Deacon by his now Greek Orthodox bishop. I proceeded to kiss his hand, after which he informed me that one does not kiss the hand of a deacon, only a priest.

(He's now a priest anyway, but that's beside the point.)

#134688 04/20/02 03:45 AM
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Alex,

Thanks for the lesson on letter writing, didn;t realize that, although I see you do it all the time.

In the procession when the shourd is taken form the tomb, at least in our Melkite Church, as the shourd is turned over(don;t know the name of this) during the procession, everyone passes under it. The shroud has rose petals on it which falls to the floor as it is turned. As someone goes under they touch the floor than the shoud, showing that they have died and been ressurected with Christ. It was my(again I say my figuring out)that it is the same when touching the floor to make the sign of the cross. Although I know this is not part of our Ruthenian tradition, I feel it has a powerful statement. However, when in a Ruthenian Church we do as the Ruthenians do.

rose

#134689 04/22/02 02:28 PM
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Dear Protodeacon Kennedy and DeFreitas,

O.K., O.K., but can I give you both a hug when I see you? smile

Is that allowed by the Canons, Regulations and other traditional Rules of the Church?

Alex

#134690 04/22/02 02:31 PM
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Dear Rose,

Yes, that is a beautiful tradition!

You are right, when in Ruthenia . . .

But in our Ukie Cath'lic Church, we have parishes and priests that tend towards their own orientations.

Some are pro-Greek and reflect this in their parish worship "praxis." Others, pro-Russian, others pro-Latin etc.

Adopting practices for one's self from other Churches is the best way of experiencing the truly ecumenical spirit.

Alex

#134691 04/22/02 07:09 PM
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Dear Alex:

Where I come from the "abraso" [hug] is the national greeting.

St. Elias awaits the pleasure of your company.


Sincerely
defreitas

#134692 04/22/02 07:29 PM
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Dear Defreitas,

I look forward to visiting your famed Church.

It is difficult during holidays when that pesky family of mine insists on attending together and that makes it difficult for me to get away.

But I'm going to make it one of these days . . .

Alex

#134693 04/23/02 12:06 AM
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Greetings ProtoDeacon and Alex from beautiful sunny Anchorage: In the Russian tradition (OCA) a deacon would not give a blessing (including a laymans blessing) because of the appearance of impropriety it could convey to someone who saw it and didn't understand that it was a "laymans blessing" (which would ordinarily be fine were the person not a deacon). I note that in the Byzantine Church the practice seems absent, is that widespread or just my own limited exposure? Moshe Zorea Deacon OCA


Moshe Zorea
#134694 04/23/02 12:55 AM
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Dear Father Deacon,

It is not absent, merely rare. I am not sure who initiated its demise, the clergy or the people?

And (with reference to your interesting post on another thread) why do I suspect now is not the opportune moment for a revival of this tradtion?

Elias

#134695 04/23/02 02:14 PM
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Dear Moshe,

Shalom Aleichem!

I agree and that is why I've come to the compromise of exchanging hugs and the three-fold kiss with a Deacon.

But as long as that is allowed by the canons and regulations of the Church.

Until further notice, that is the way it's going to be . . .

Alex

#134696 04/24/02 02:25 AM
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Dear Alex,
Aleichem Shalom!

"I agree and that is why I've come to the compromise of exchanging hugs and the three-fold kiss with a Deacon." Good. It would be a great loss if "Eastern" warmth is lost between the faithful and their clergy. FatherDeacon Moshe


Moshe Zorea
#134697 04/24/02 11:26 AM
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Dear Father Deacon,

Thanks so very much for your clarification in regards to deacons and blessings. Do have a blessed Great and Holy Week.

David, Protodeacon

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