Russian Orthodox Liturgical Resources

Liturgical Handbook
of the Practices of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad
Return to Handbook IndexРусская версия
Handbook of Liturgical Practice of the Russian Church Abroad
Liturgical Question:
If a vestment or other liturgical item falls to the floor, what is to be done?
Handbook Category: Icons, Church Adornment and other Practical Matters (index)

Each item of a cleric’s vestments, like each vessel and sacred object used in the Altar, are blessed with a special rite, and with holy water, prior to their first use. They are thus ‘consecrated objects’, used only for divine service: they must be treated with the same reverence that we treat icons and other sacred objects — kept in pristine condition, handled delicately, and kept pure.

Attention should be maintained at all times, never to let any consecrated object touch the floor. If it does (i.e. if a vestment is dropped on the floor, or some other sacred item), we do not simply pick it up and carry on as if nothing has happened. The object that touched the floor must be taken to the Priest immediately, and he will bless it once more with holy water and a short prayer (though not the full rite of blessing as at its first use) before it is again used. He may also assign to us some penance (epitimia) in response to our inattentiveness, which we should receive with humility and love.

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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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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