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:
On weekday celebrations of the Divine Liturgy, at what points in the service do we make a prostration?
Handbook Category: Prostrations, Bows and Kneeling (index)

In our customary parish practice, at a weekday Liturgy we make a single ‘great prostration’ (i.e. sign of the Cross with a full prostration to the ground) at the following moments:

  1. After ‘We give thanks unto the Lord’ at the beginning of Eucharistic Canon (милость мира); that is, at the conclusion of the third exchange at the beginning of the Canon.
  2. At the threefold ‘Amen’ at the conclusion of the epiclesis.
  3. At the end of the hymn to the Theotokos, ‘It is truly meet…’ (or its replacement).
  4. At the beginning of singing ‘Our Father’.
  5. When the chalice is brought out before the Communion of the faithfu and the Deacon intones ‘With the fear of God…’.
  6. When the chalice is presented after Holy Communion, by the Priest, with the words ‘Always, now and ever…’.

In each of the above cases, a single full prostration is made, and as soon as it is made we immediately rise from it. This applies to all those in the Holy Altar (including the celebrating clergy), as well as the faithful in the Nave.

(Note: In some monasteries there is a practice to prostrate and remain prostrate for longer periods — e.g. during the whole of the Our Father, or during the Canon — but this is not to be done as normal practice in parishes).

This is an entry from our Liturgical Handbook of the practices of the Church Abroad. Please see the full handbook for more than 100 entries on other topics.

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