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 and how is the Bishop’s zapivka prepared?
Handbook Category: Hierarchical Services (index)

The correct time for preparing the Bishop’s zapivka during an Hierarchical Liturgy is during the litany before ‘Our Father’, so that it is complete and in place prior to the clergy’s communion, ready for the Bishop once he has communed himself and his fellow clergy. If this is left too late, it then ends up being done while the clergy are receiving communion (which is inappropriate, as there should be no motion around the Holy Table at this time except by the clergy who are receiving Holy Communion there), or afterwards, which is too late.

The Bishop’s zapivka is prepared thusly: On a tray are placed three metal cups, one of which is half filled with pure (undiluted) wine, one is fully filled with hot water, and the third is fully filled with cold water. A small plate is also placed on the tray, upon which the second prosphora of the Proskomedia (from which the large triangular portion for the Theotokos was removed), which is always reserved for the Bishop when he is present, is set, and atop it is placed one of the ‘side’ portions from the prosphora that was used to make the Lamb. Together with these items is provided a red cloth napkin. The tray, thus arrayed, is taken by a Subdeacon to the Table of Oblation during the Litany before ‘Our Father’ and placed upon it. Later, once the Bishop has finished using it, his chinovnik (service book) is also laid upon the Oblation Table by the Subdeacon, next to or above the tray, opened to the first page of the post-Communion prayers (which the Bishop will either himself read while he partakes of his zapivka, or will have read to him by a server). An orletz is placed before the oblation table in readiness.

If it has already been wrapped in paper ready for the Bishop to take it away after the Liturgy, the prosphora from his personal commemorations, thus wrapped, may be placed on the tray (or near it) at this time — but it is important to remember that he does not consume this during his zapivka, but takes it back to his kellia.

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