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 which services is it permissible to wear an epitrahil but not the cuffs?
Handbook Category: Clergy Vesting and Entrance Prayers (index)

In some places it is observed that at certin Divine Services, or portions of services, Priests appear wearing an epitrahil (stole) without also wearing the cuffs around their wrists. This has been observed, for example, as Priests come out of the Altar during the litya of the All-Night Vigil; and has also been observed at times during the service of molebens, or even when hearing confessions.

We do not consider this appropriate, and it is explicitly expected that a Priest will take part in no service whatever without wearing his epitrahil and cuffs over his ryassa. The epitrahil is the paramount symbol of the Priestly office, while the cuffs are the paramount symbol of the Priest’s obedience to the Law of God in His Church — thus the Priest will always wear these when leading any prayers, hearing confessions, or serving in any way whatever.

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This Liturgical Handbook is provided as a resource on the liturgical customs and practices of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.

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