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Re: A Discussion on the "Open" Iconostasis [Re: Fr Serge Keleher] #322797 05/23/09 04:30 PM
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ebed melech Offline OP
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Father Serge,

I like that idea very much. I could easily install that next week until we can create the new deacon doors.

It would be our Phase 2.5 renovation!

Thanks again,

Fr. Deacon Daniel

Re: A Discussion on the "Open" Iconostasis [Re: ebed melech] #322813 05/23/09 07:33 PM
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aramis Offline
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One should also remember that the Hagia Sophia Altar had people standing to both north and south, and not just west, as it thrust out from the east wall, about 1/3 of the width of the nave. If the space is wide enough to make a thrust-out altar workable, then it makes sense to use the templon format.

As for openness of the Iconostas, I love it. It is educational to see what is done during the Liturgy. It isn't the norm, but it's not entirely without merit. (His Grace Nicholas + Elko's order to remove iconostasi was taking it WAY too far.)



Re: A Discussion on the "Open" Iconostasis [Re: aramis] #322822 05/23/09 09:35 PM
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"One should also remember that the Hagia Sophia Altar had people standing to both north and south, and not just west, as it thrust out from the east wall, about 1/3 of the width of the nave. If the space is wide enough to make a thrust-out altar workable, then it makes sense to use the templon format."

Well, if you're going to go back to the sixth century, are you also going to restore the bema? There's a problem with this kind of amateur resourssement--the organic development of the liturgy defies selective roll-back. The liturgy as it exists today evolved over centuries between the consecration of the new Hagia Sophia by Justinian the Great and the completion of the Sabbaite synthesis in the fourteenth century. Developments continued between then and today, all of which have exerted force on the design of the church and on the form of the liturgy. To say you want to go back to the Hagia Sophia altar would require you to identify all the changes to the design of the altar and the influence it had on the text and rubrics of the liturgy, then change the text and the rubrics to match.

Of course, since it is an organic structure, changes in one place will affect the text and rubrics in other places. Gradually, you would have to begin rolling back the whole liturgy to the sixth century--but we simply don't know enough about the liturgy in the sixth century to do so with any confidence. And even if we did, who says this is a wise and prudent thing to do.

Father Taft frequently says that liturgy is analogous to language. Languages change and evolve organically over time. This is natural. Languages that don't change are dead. Languages in which change is mandated are artificial. Natural languages change naturally--and once they do, there is no going back. The desire to go back to some previous iteration of the liturgy is akin to trying to roll back the English language to Chaucer's time.

Re: A Discussion on the "Open" Iconostasis [Re: StuartK] #322862 05/24/09 08:03 AM
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In this case, the current liturgies are said in a variety of styles of altar; some have the deacon doors in diagonal walls from an outhrust, some have flat Iconostasis... Some are very open, as with many of the Ruthenian ones; others are literally walls (as with the OCA's Russian Orthodox Museum Chapel) or even appear load bearing (as in the OCA parish in Kenai, AK).

I've even seen one Iconostas that was zig-zag; the Royal doors and Patocrator and Theotokion were about 4' forward of the deacon doors, but parallel to them...

And the Liturgy is the same liturgy no matter the configuration. It is still "out the north, and around to the Royal Doors"...

While the configuration that was dominant was influenced by the liturgy, and likewise influences the liturgy, antiquarianism in the altar/iconostas configuration is unlikely to cause liturgical antiquarianism. It might, however, lead to different choices down the road, pulling back towards the older forms, if indeed those forms died out as part of the change of architecture.

But in any case, the final say is the hierarchy of the church to which the parish or mission belongs, and the same church is moderator of her own liturgies. It is rare for a Byzantine Rite parish (of any particular church) to be authorized liturgical "accommodations" due to layout...


Re: A Discussion on the "Open" Iconostasis [Re: aramis] #322906 05/24/09 10:43 PM
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ebed melech Offline OP
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UPDATE:

I received a gracious call from a priest friend of mine who mentioned that he had seen several templons (iconostases - sp?) like ours that were constructed in 6th century Athens and were still functioning today in Orthodox parishes.

He mentioned that what was missing in our construction - in keeping with part of the feedback here - was a backdrop, namely a curtain. According to my priest friend, these curtains are then opened at the Great Entrance. So my wife and I purchased several wine colored curtains. We then installed them after liturgy today in every section of the iconostasis.

The change is simply amazing. It is extremely beautiful and makes the icons on the front even more prominent. This seems to balance the concern for veiling the Mystery and yet opening it at the appropriate times. More to come, but it really was a very helpful suggestion.

Re: A Discussion on the "Open" Iconostasis [Re: ebed melech] #322910 05/24/09 11:19 PM
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On one hand I see it as the camel's nose under the tent flap for liturgical revision à la historic Greek Catholic self-latinisation (the renovators like Archbishop Elko didn't like big icon screens either), Novus Ordo... and the RDL? That said I don't hate the examples pictured.

Re: A Discussion on the "Open" Iconostasis [Re: The young fogey] #322937 05/25/09 03:30 AM
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Here is a link to a small iconostas that I will be using as a guide for my chapel.

Iconostas

Small iconostasi do not have to be uninteresting. One function of the iconostas that is often overlooked is it's role in directing the laity to the Altar, all by careful placement and alignment of the icons, which always direct towards the Royal Doors.

Alexandr

Last edited by Slavipodvizhnik; 05/25/09 03:31 AM.
Re: A Discussion on the "Open" Iconostasis [Re: Slavipodvizhnik] #322940 05/25/09 03:59 AM
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ebed melech Offline OP
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Alexandr,

Beautiful. Where do you plan to build your chapel?

Also, what is the reason for the railing around the front?

Re: A Discussion on the "Open" Iconostasis [Re: Slavipodvizhnik] #322946 05/25/09 05:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Slavipodvizhnik
Here is a link to a small iconostas that I will be using as a guide for my chapel.

Iconostas


I hope folks noticed the small arrows to the right and left of the image to which Alexsandr linked. Those take one to another 10 or so additional iconostases, all of which are extraordinary.

Many years,

Neil


"One day all our ethnic traits ... will have disappeared. Time itself is seeing to this. And so we can not think of our communities as ethnic parishes, ... unless we wish to assure the death of our community."
Re: A Discussion on the "Open" Iconostasis [Re: Irish Melkite] #322988 05/25/09 03:57 PM
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One thing that has not been considered is the role of the apse in conjunction with the iconostasis. In general, Byzantine churches are apsidal--the eastern end of the church terminates in a half dome appended to the nave, with the altar installed therein. The iconostasis covers the opening between the nave and the apse, and does not extend into the nave. In most churches, the raised platform of the solea extends beyond the iconostasis, providing the priest or deacon with an elevated area from which to pray and preach. The deacon's doors were labled north and south not because they opened to the north and south, but because they were to the north and south of the Royal Doors, which were presumed to be oriented (since that is no longer always the case, the sanctuary of the church is designated as "east" regardless of its actual direction). In most Byzantine churches, it would not be possible to have the deacon doors open to the north and south because additional half-domes were built on either side of the sanctuary apse in order to house the sacristy (skeuophylakion) and the proskomedia, though often the latter is placed inside the sanctuary itself. I have seen a great many ancient Orthodox churches, and I have never seen one where the iconostasis projects into the nave, or where the deacon doors open into what ought to be the kliros. Most churches are just too small to make that practical in any case. In one church I visited in Bucharest, the nave was barely 20 x 20 feet. And this was a regular parish church, not a private chapel.

Re: A Discussion on the "Open" Iconostasis [Re: StuartK] #322998 05/25/09 04:57 PM
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ebed melech Offline OP
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With the addition of the curtains...

[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]

Re: A Discussion on the "Open" Iconostasis [Re: ebed melech] #323000 05/25/09 05:09 PM
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Also, while it is difficult to see, our iconostasis does not extend into the nave. Since we are simply a renovated Karate studio, there is no apse. The L-shaped wall to the East and South and the building wall to the North created a natural barrier into which the iconostasis was constructed. The East side blocks a series of closets while the South side wall visually blocks the access to the bathroom and to the fellowship area.

Re: A Discussion on the "Open" Iconostasis [Re: ebed melech] #323001 05/25/09 05:37 PM
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It looks very fine! I think you have done wonders by turning a former karate studio into a lovely chapel.

Re: A Discussion on the "Open" Iconostasis [Re: ebed melech] #323002 05/25/09 05:39 PM
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Fr. Deacon,

what wonderful work you are doing to spread the gospel!

I like your Iconostas and pray for the fruitfulness of your ministry!

blessings,

Lance

Re: A Discussion on the "Open" Iconostasis [Re: lanceg] #323014 05/25/09 07:08 PM
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Much better effect. Over time, you should get some larger icons that will fill up most of the spaces between the pillars. Also, from a canonical point of view, aren't the deacon doors supposed to be adorned with icons of St. Stephen and one of the other Protodeacons--or at least, St. Stephen on the north door?

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