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#313641 02/25/09 03:28 PM
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Does anyone have any advise with regard to going forward to venerate the icons prior to liturgy, if 99% of the parish don't? I can't help feeling a little strange doing it since it is not the common practice of the parish.
I must confess also to feeling like the odd one out if I stand during the four petitions before the "Our Father," ("now that we have commemorated all the saints...") and the hymn after communion, "may our mouths be filled..." since it is the common practice of the parish to sit even though there is no current direction given to do so. I heard of an Orthodox priest who said it was wrong to sit prior to communion because the King is on the Throne, so to speak. So it maybe 'wrong,' to sit. At the same time I don't want to stick out like a sore thumb, or somehow give the impression that I'm 'right.'

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Why don't you venerate the icons whenever and as often as the Spirit leads? Why don't you find a place to stand the entire liturgy?

CDL

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Originally Posted by ByzBob
Does anyone have any advise with regard to going forward to venerate the icons prior to liturgy, if 99% of the parish don't? ...At the same time I don't want to stick out like a sore thumb, or somehow give the impression that I'm 'right.'

Dear ByzBob,

By all means, continue to venerate the icons with the 1% who are probably glad that you join them in doing what should be done. If you want to stay low key, then arrive early and venerate, but there is no reason to be low key with that. I would think that people in your parish have seen veneration of icons elsewhere and know what they should be doing. ? Maybe the next generation (while children) will insist upon it. "Out of the mouths of babes..."

As far as sitting during the litany, you can, as was suggested, find a place to stand the the entire Liturgy. However, I also know that some Orthodox parishes have a custom of sitting during that particular litany. I am not saying that it is right, just that there are parishes in which that is the custom and I generally try to follow those customs when I am a visitor. On the other hand, as an Orthodox nun, I generally stick out, so it is easier for me to get away with something like that. wink

prayers for this podvig
nun Alexandra

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Thanks for the suggestions. Not being a "cradle," Byzantine I probably feel a bit hestitant to do anything outside of local parameters/customs. I do usually go forward to venerate the icons, having read the theology of icons, and the reasons why we should venerate them. There have been inserts in the bulletin regarding the veneration of icons, but maybe if something was said from the pulpit(s) - especially considering this week (for us) is the Triumph of Orthodoxy. Though I would not presume to tell a priest what they should or shouldn't preach on.
As for as standing a place to stand during the litany I wouldn't be opposed to doing that, though the rest of my family would probably be. The problem is with me I suppose. If I sit down during it I feel like I'm being a 'respecter of persons,' in the negative sense, and if I stand I feel like I should be doing what the rest of the community is doing. I probably make too big of deal out of it either way.

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if anyone feels self conscious about venerating Ikons, why not go earlier than usual? you won't stick out like a sore thumb then.anyways, what business is it to anyone what you do? it's a matter between you and GOD and your relationship with Him and His saints. no one else's.
Much Love,
Jonn

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Does anyone have any advise with regard to going forward to venerate the icons prior to liturgy, if 99% of the parish don't?


Dear Bob,
Maybe you would feel more at home in an OCA parish. In my parish probably 99% of the faithful venerate the icons and we stand for the entire liturgy, except for the homily. Also, a napkin doesn't hang limply beside the chalice during Holy Communion.

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If you arrvie before Liturgy venerate the icons, if not wait till after Liturgy or venerate the one on the tetrapod on the way to Communion. Venerating them after Liturgy has started makes one look like he is trying to call attention to themselves and can be seen as a form of prelest. See the article: 5 Good Reasons Not to Visit a Monastery
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/1403441/posts

While we should venerate icons, a fallacy presented on this and other forums is that it is "very Eastern" to practice what ever pious devotional exercise one wants (as long as it isn't the Rosary) at any time during the Liturgy like kissing icons, lighting candles, whatever. When in fact the Old Rite shows us the opposite is true:
"Likewise, even motion is discouraged during certain parts of the services. Entrance or exit or even fixing of candles is not expected during the reading of the beginning prayers (Heavenly King through Come, let us Worship) or during the reading of the Six Psalms in Matins, or during the reading or recitation of the Creed, or during the reading of the Gospel. Even apart from these more solemn parts of the services, Old Rite Orthodox do not wander around the church in order to venerate icons or to light candles. While the warden or "altar boys" may fill the oil lamps or replace candles, the other faithful who enter the church after the beginning of services do not wander through the church, but find a place to stand and enter with as little disruption as possible. If one entering the late would like a candle lit, they may ask the warden to place to place a candle at an icon in front of the church. Once one has found a place to stand, it is general practice to stay at that place unless one must leave the church because of sickness or some other need. Otherwise it is not common to walk in and out of the church."
http://www.churchofthenativity.net/...nt&task=view&id=35&Itemid=48

Fr. Deacon Lance


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I guess it depends on the church. In the GOA, the icons are placed in the back of the church where you enter, so there is no problem venerating them at any time you happen to come in to church. No one but those in charge of candles sees you.

In churches in Greece there are, in addition to the icons upon entering, large icons are often placed in different side places in the back and middle of the sanctuary, and people feel comfortable venerating them at any time.

In the ROCOR churches I have been to, it seemed to me that the icons were venerated at any and all times.

I guess, just as Mother Alexandra said, it depends on where you are and what everyone else is doing...I suppose one just has to 'go with the flow', as it were, or arrive before services start.

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Though I would not presume to tell a priest what they should or shouldn't preach on.


ByzBob:

Then why don't you turn the idea around? Ask your priest if he would be kind enough--or if he thought it might be beneficial to the parish--to speak about the veneration of icons because you would find it edifying and maybe someone else would, too. Tell him you're not a "cradle" Byzantine and you're still on your learning curve. smile

In Christ,

BOB

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I've been iconized since '02 ... smile

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Thank you for both of these links.

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If you feel that you want to venerate an icon, you should do so, nevermind what everyone does :)

Of course you should avoid being a disturbance, but venerating the icon before, or even during the liturgy ( when you are approaching for communion ) is not only appropriate by imho helpful for your prayer life.

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*what Borislav said*



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