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 should the Deacon cense the Priest when the latter is hearing confessions?
Handbook Category: Diaconal Services and Rubrics (index)

Where a Priest is outside the Altar for any reason when an appointed censing takes place, he is censed immediately after the censing of the iconostasis (and festal icon) followed by the censing of the choir and people.

This is the case, for example, when the Deacon is conducting a censing during Ode 8 of the canon at Matins (or at the start of the Sixth Hour before the Divine Liturgy) and the Priest happens to be outside the Altar, hearing confessions. When the Deacon notes that the Priest is hearing confessions in the nave or on the solea, he begins the censing within the Altar in the normal way, then departs from the Altar and censes the iconostasis (and festal icon, if appropriate); then, from the centre of the amvon, he censes the Priest and then the people, etc.

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Altar Servers

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