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#42651 04/16/02 09:22 PM
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It seems that many if not most of the older Byzantine Catholic priests wear (maybe better to say wore) the 'pojas' (the cincture or zone) under the epitrakhil. I have heard that the new rules in Pittsburgh require that it be worn -over- the epitrakhil, following the order of the prayers of vesting.

Can anyone tell me if this wearing of the pojas under the epitrakhil is a pre-nikonianism, or what is it? I can't imagine how it is a latinization but I am not knowledgeable enough to really say. Any elnightement will be appreciated.

Bob

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Wearing it under the epitrakhil? Never heard of it. I won't give any theories, but it doesn't sound practical. Like the narukavnyky or cuffs, they pojas has not only symbolism, but purpose as well. Wearing it under the epitrakhil allows the epitrakhil to flop around at the top and could cause problems when moving around. Also, loose cuffs can be dangerous when dealing with communion, as particles can slide down the sleve of the stykhar (I have seen this!).

Daniil

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Dear Friend,

Yes, Daniil has the "rites" of it!

The Old Believers always wear a very long poyas over the epitrachelion as well, it is longer and more prominent that anything the post-Nikonians use and drops to one side all the way down to the sacerdotal feet.

Sometimes an error like what you mention sets off a chain of practice that soon becomes a "tradition."

This is how the Roman Catholics developed the habit of crossing themselves to the left shoulder first - they watched their priests give the blessing in Church and followed his movement closely. As he was going to the left first, as he faced the people, so too did they and voila!

Alex

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Sorry to get off topic, but where did you hear that explanation, Alex?

I heard a different one -- that the Latins cross themselves "backwards" or "the other way" because in Latin the formula is "Pater, Filius, et Spiritu Sanctu."(pardon the wrong declensions) Therefore, the Spirit comes before the Holy. In Greek it is "Pater, Uios, kai Agia Pnevmatos" (pardon the wrong declensions), the Holy is before the Spirit. In ancient traditions, the right side is the good one, and the left is bad. Therefore when you crossed yourself, you could not say Holy and touch your left shoulder -- that would be just wrong. So each side adapted the crossing to their own language. That is why in English, the right way should be the Eastern way.

Now, this could all be wrong, but I heard it from a realiable source. They could have been joking, but I doubt it. Anyway....sorry to get off topic.

Daniil

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Dear Daniil,

There was a talk given on this at the Western Rite Orthodox Antiochian conference in Toronto that I attended.

They make the Sign of the Cross once, but in the Byzantine way, to the right.

In fact, we know from the sermon by Pope Innocent III in the thirteenth century I believe he lived in that all Latins until about then made the Sign of the Cross to the right, using three fingers, and saying it, of course, in Latin.

This sermon was often reprinted by Byzantine Catholic prayerbooks in Ukraine as a way to "justify" the continued use of the Orthodox Sign of the Cross, rather than the later Latin Catholic one.

Met. Ilarion Ohienko also discusses this at length in his book, "Khresne Znamennya" that St Vladimir's library has.

God bless,

Alex

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Okay.

Daniil

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Wearing the pojas under the epitrachil is from the Council of Zamos^c^ (18th century?), if I remember correctly. Actually, it probably pre-dated the council, but was approved at the council.

I think this was done to make it easier to place the epitrachil on the heads of those going to Confession. I also think it was only common among Ruthenians and not Ukrainians.

Some people call this a "Latinization", but I really don't see how it can be. In the Roman Rite, the stole was always worn under the cincture, until the Second Vatican Council. Unless the Greek Catholics were all clairvoyant Latinjaks who foresaw this change, I don't think it can be classified as a Latinization. It's not a pre-Nikonion practice either... just, in the view of some, a practical response.

I know one Byzantine Catholic priest who said (in jest) that he would make a compromise: put half the pojas under the epitrachil, and half through the "slit" so it's over the epitrachil. wink

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Though my experience is neither extensive nor comprehensive, I have never seen the zone (cincture) worn in this way under the epitrachil.

What other wonders did the Council of Zamos suggest, I wonder?

Elias

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Quote
Originally posted by Bob King:
It seems that many if not most of the older Byzantine Catholic priests wear (maybe better to say wore) the 'pojas' (the cincture or zone) under the epitrakhil. I have heard that the new rules in Pittsburgh require that it be worn -over- the epitrakhil, following the order of the prayers of vesting.


Hmmmm. Doubtful, considering that the Chancellor of the Archeparchy of Pittsburgh has always worn it under the epitrachil. That's also how you can tell the difference between the clergy of the Presov Eparchy & the Mukachevo Eparchy. Though I can't recall which wears it which way...
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Forgive this question from a (Hopefully) soon to be Byzantine Catholic but do Greek Catholics cross themselves the same way the Orthodox do and have they always done so?

The reason that I ask is because I remeber reading an Orthodox publication on the life of Fr. Alexis Toth which stted that "uniates" crossed themselves in a different manner then Pravoslavs did. Personally, when I attended a Byzantine parish before becoming Orthodox, we always crossed ouselves in the traditional Orthodox manner. I am thinking that mabye Greek Catholics once did cross themselves like Latins perhaps but this could have been reformed as a recent Easternization?

Are the Orthodox just pulling my leg on this?

Robert K.

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Dear Robert K.

They are just pulling your leg smile .

(Perhaps they don't want you to leave - I don't blame them!)

During the time of Alexis Toth, nasty things were said between Orthodox and Eastern Catholics smile .

Even St Alexis Toth was not above referring to Basilian missionaries as "jerks" in his diaries.

He also referred to Greek Catholic Churches as "Kostel" or the Polish word for "Church" to indicate they were no longer "Tserkva" of the Orthodox tradition.

The Greek Catholics were ALWAYS very scrupulous about the proper, Orthodox way of making the Sign of the Cross.

I have a prayerbook from 1893 (Greek Catholic) where there is printed a statement from Pope Innocent III (the pope who saw St Francis) where this pope defends the three-fingered Sign of the Cross, going to the right first, as the ancient Catholic Sign of the Cross. Our ancestors printed this to ward off RC criticism of what many Latins considered a 'schismatic' form of the Sign of the Cross (along with the three bar Cross etc.).

Ideally, there should not be even the slightest ritual and liturgical difference between Orthodox and Eastern Catholics, save for the commemoration of the Pope - and this was formerly done only once.

God bless you, servant of the Catholic Church!

Alex

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Bless me a sinner, Hieromonk Elias!

That Synod we are talking about basically halted further Latinizations, but also approved of the current Latinizations in the Eastern Catholic Church of the time.

It forbade the use of Orthodox liturgical books in Greek Catholic services, forbade the use of the liturgical sponge and some other practices that Fr. Ireneaus Nazarko OSBM said were specifically designed to maintain a separate liturgical identity for the Greek Catholics, apart from the Orthodox.

The pojas business could have been one example.

A modern example is the establishment of the Feast of all Saints of Kyivan-Rus' Ukraine on the Fourth Sunday after Pentecost, when the Orthodox celebrate it on the Second Sunday.

Alex


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