Russian Orthodox Liturgical Resources

Liturgical Handbook
of the Practices of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad
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Handbook of Liturgical Practice of the Russian Church Abroad
Liturgical Question:
When an antimins is being transported from one place to another, how is this done?
Handbook Category: Icons, Church Adornment and other Practical Matters (index)

When, from time to time the antimins may require to be taken off of the Holy Table in order to be transported to another place in order for a Divine Liturgy to be celebrated, with the Bishop’s blessing, in a place that does not have an antimins, it is always transported fully folded within its customary protective red cloth (as on the Holy Table), and this is placed in a pouch or clean bag that is worn around the Priest’s neck. The antimins is never packed into a suitcase or box, or transported in some other way.

Ideally, the Priest should wear his epitrahil when transporting the antimins from one place to another (e.g. from the central Holy Table in a church to another of its Holy Tables that does not have its own antimins), since we ought not touch the antimins without wearing vestments; but as this is not realistic when an antimins must be transported by car to distant missions, etc., the Priest may be blessed to transport the antimins without it.

It is worth stating explicitly that an antimins is consecrated for use on one specific Holy Table within one specific parish temple, and inscribed by the Bishop with that parish’s name and location, signed by him as an indication of his blessing that the Divine Services be celebrated in the Altar of that church. An antimins is not normally removed from the Holy Table for which it is consecrated; and a Priest does not have the right to take the antimins from its Holy Table for use in celebrating a Liturgy anywhere else, even if the other location be within his own parish, without the explicit permission of the Bishop in advance.

When new missions are established, or Divine Liturgies blessed to be celebrated in missionary or pilgrimage locations, the Bishop may bless a Priest to take his antimins from the Holy Table to that location for the given service. This is never taken as a ‘blanket blessing’ to move an antimins about freely; such blessings are given for specific missionary contexts or liturgical events only.

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