Pray of Reconcilliation.

Two weeks ago our lead inside deacon would not give me the kiss of greeting, and last week he explained to me, that those inside do not do it because they are already at peace.
I guess we are already reconciled before entering the alter. I've been doing the greeting for ten years now.
So is it true? No more greeting those inside.


  • That's not really correct. The only "rank" that would not reconcile at that time is priests (presbyters, hegumens, bishops) and that is only so because they should of done so before the prayer when they say, "I have sinned forgive me." This is very apparent when you pray in a monastery with monks: the priests reconcile with each other and go around the whole church reconciling with the people.

    Another thing to know is that at the response of "Greet one another" the reconciliation kiss should be done only within the ranks....meaning that the people greet with each other, not really with deacons, and deacons do it among themselves and not with the people. Not, that a deacon should not greet a congregation member if he's put into that position, but this to just clarify the separation here--it's between ranks and not those are "inside and outside" the sanctuary.
  • Thanks Mina!
  • edited February 2018
    You should see how Armenians do the Kiss of Peace.  It's true they stay within their ranks, but there is a crossover of one rank to the other, who will then spread that reconciliation to those within the ranks.  It's a very systematic and organized heirarchical approach and not a manner of randomly looking around for someone to reconcile.  You wait for the highest lay representative who received the reconciliation from a priest or deacon to reconcile you first, then you reconcile the one next to you, and he (or she) will then in turn pass that reconciliation to the one next to him.  This way, "everyone" is reconciled to each other and to Christ.
  • edited February 2018
    The practice of old, which I believe is actually correct, is that altar deacons do not greet one another. The reason I think is that they represent angelic hosts who have already made peace and overcome the corporeal problems (yes they were spirits who had to be tested). However the newer practice is as you both say. I don't know any more than this..
    By the way, it is a very wrong practice to skip altar deacons' responses based on the flawed premise that they repeat the language used by abouna and therefore it is unnecessary. For the reason stated earlier, they represent angels and the priest Christ and the majority of the liturgy if not even wholly re-enacts the Book of Revelations, so basically the angels' role is to instruct the people alongside Christ's commands. PS all altar deacons responses in their entirety sung slowly and in their particular tunes would take between 90 - 240 seconds..
    Oujai khan ebshois
  • It seems to me most deacon responses are done in Greek and the Presbyter/Bishop prays in Coptic.  Furthermore, deacons tend to represent different things depending on who you ask.  St. Ignatius believed they represented Christ Himself.  I think the laity are supposed to represent the angelic hosts.  They chant "Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord of Sabaoth".  The Liturgy means we are already in the Kingdom, in the right hand of God with Christ, already in eternity after the Last Judgment.  We are directly communing to Christ in the Holy of holies.  There's no middle wall of partition in the liturgy unless you are not part of the Church.
  • Thank you very much @minasoliman. Perhaps the teaching then goes that the altar deacons represent the angels with the trumpets??? 
    I agree that the liturgy means we are already in the Kingdom, but I do not think this means we are counted as "saved" as yet!
    Oujai qen P[c
  • First we have to ask, who is allowed in the altar?  I think anything lower than a full deacon was not allowed, with subdeacons entering as an exception.

    I'm glad to see we are ordaining more deacons lately so that we can fully understand and appreciate the ancient order of the diaconate.

    Also we used to have a rite to kick out those in penance, catechumens, and non-believers after the Creed.  "The doors! The doors!" was a call to lock the doors to keep only those of the Kingdom inside.  So in that context, we need to understand the role of the altar servants.  At this point, more research needs to be done to understand that role.
  • Very well said @minasoliman.. I can't agree more
    Oujai khan ebshois
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