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:
At the Little Entrance of an Hierarchical Liturgy, where do the zhezl-bearer and candle-bearer stand?
Handbook Category: Hierarchical Services (index)

Just prior to the Little Entrance (during the singing of the Beatitudes) the zhezl-bearer, who has been standing with the zhezl before the icon of Christ on the south side of the Royal Doors, descends the amvon, walks out to and around (i.e. behind) the cathedra on which the Bishop is seated, and back to the amvon on the north side, where he ascends the steps and stands next to the candle-bearer who is in his usual place before the icon of the Theotokos. At the entrance, the candle-bearer is the first in the procession, and the zhezl-bearer second, before all the other servers. At the conclusion of the procession they end in the eastern-most positions of the two ranks of clergy (i.e. closest to the amvon).

When the Bishop ascends the amvon at the entrance, these two servers form a pair at the bottom of the steps and stay there until the Bishop has censed during the long singing (the ‘trio’) of eis polla eti despota. If the Bishop descends the amvon at this time to cense other icons in the body of the Temple, the pair (zhelz- and candle- bearer) both turn inwards, walk back a few steps and then face the Altar again until the Bishop returns to the top of the steps. After he has reentered the Altar they return to their customary places either side of the Royal Doors.

The zhezl- and candle-bearer standing at the foot of the amvon, facing the Altar, at the conclusion of the Little Entrance, whilst the Bishop is censing.

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