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:
In what way are the Holy Gifts on the Table of Oblation uncovered for the Bishop prior to the Great Entrance?
Handbook Category: Hierarchical Services (index)

Prior to the Great Entrance (normally, during the series of Litanies the precede the Cherubic Hymn), the Priest who had served the Proskomedia goes to the Table of Oblation and partially uncovers the prepared gifts in the following way: the aer, the veil over the star, and the star itsef, are all removed and laid to the sides of the table — the aer is set apart from the other items and left easily accessible, as the Bishop will place it upon the Deacon’s shoulder prior to requiring the others (and so it must not be lain beneath them). The veil over the Chalice is not removed, but left in place.

Photograph showing how the vessels and Gifts are partially uncovered just before the Great Entrance, enabling the Hierarch to make commemorations. Note that the chalice remains covered. In this photograph, the aer has already been placed on the Deacon’s shoulder as he completes the censing.

Before the diskos is placed a small plate and spear for the Bishop’s commemorations. Next to these are placed the prosfora for the living and that for the dead, which were used in the Proskomedia and from which the Bishop will draw further particles, as well as an additional, new prosfora from which he will make additional commemorations. (Should more than one Bishop concelebrate, a new prosfora is provided for each.)

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