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:
How is the standing candle positioned during the Entrance Prayers at an Hierarchical Liturgy?
Handbook Category: Hierarchical Services (index)

The standing candle is lit just prior to the Bishop’s arrival in the Temple, and remains lit until he departs.

Its normal place is in front of the icon of the Theotokos on the north side of the Royal Doors, and where ample Altar servers are available it is held their throughout the entirety of the Liturgy (up until the doors are closed for the communion of the clergy).

Photograph showing the customary placement of the zhezl-bearer and the standing candle-bearer (partially obscured in this photograph by the Deacon).

This standing candle is brought to the entrance of the Temple for the greeting of the Bishop. A server carries it and stands with it during the greeting (with the Deacons, holding the trikiri and dikiri, facing the Bishop); then, when the Clergy and the Hierarch process to the amvon for the Entrance Prayers, the candle-bearer takes the candle ahead of them, replaces it before the icon of the Theotokos (i.e. in its usual place) and himself re-enters the Altar, retiring from any further activity until the beginning of the Hours (or, where ample servers are available, it remains being held there throughout, while the zhezl is held on the opposite side of the Royal Doors).

Photograph of a candle-bearer standing with the candle in the customary place.

Liturgical Resources

Full resoures on the liturgical heritage of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad

Altar Servers

'To Serve in My Father's House': a primer on the spiritual nature of service in the Altar