“Bag” where we keep vessels after communion

I’m really sorry if I put this in the wrong category.
As you know, after liturgy and after we clean the vessels, we store the vessels and the lefafas in a cloth piece that we tie it’s corners. My question is how do we tie the corners and how many times do we tie each corner?
Thank you all.


  • You the corners from intersecting sides.
    The first tie is two knots, the second is three. It almost looks like when in the old cartoons a stork would be delivering a baby.
  • The reason you do the 2 knots on the inside, and 3 on the outside is because that how the priest undoes the "bag" in preparation for the liturgy. Abouna says, "In the name of the Father"...undoes a knot, "the Son"...undoes another know, "and the Holy Spirit", undoes the 3rd knot, "one God. Amen", undoes the 2 left knots. 
  • Sorry if this is not very relevant, but it feels like an interesting thought.
    The groups of two and three knots also resemble the groups of fingers on your right hand when you make the sign of the cross. This, in turn, represents the orthodox doctrines of theology and Christology. The Theology of the Trinity being one God (one knot). The Christology of Jesus' divinity and humanity combined.
    For the Christology, I think this symbol works equally well for the Eastern Orthodox idea that His divinity and humanity are inseparably combined in one hypostasis and the Oriental Orthodox idea that His divinity and humanity are inseparably combined in one nature.
  • edited June 2019
    No, George. It's very relevant. I wish our Divine Liturgy at the Monastery had more than just the basics in English so the youth could understand all of the symbolism during the Divine Liturgy!
  • edited June 2019
    @George27. So here is my problem with whatever you just said. It's only considered a "contemplation" on something that happens in the liturgy for practical reasons. The vessels were/are not always put into a "bag". In fact, its not called a bag, but something called "bou'ga" in arabic which is basically a square sheet that is used to collect clothes and wrapped from the 4 corners to keep it safe. This was only done in monasteries, and since now only monks teach new priests, this practice spread.

    Also, I am not going to talk about Christology but, think about this:
    - The one 'knot' you're mentioning that show "the Trinity being one God" actually show the opposite--the priest does one knot for EVERY hypostasis...not for the "one" God. Otherwise it would mean that we worship 5 gods. 
    - We were all taught to do the cross in 3 different ways:
    1 - 3 fingers for the Trinity
    2 - 5 fingers for the wounds of Christ on the Cross
    3 - The thumb crossing the pointing finger to make a cross

  • The priest through the liturgy uses this blessing. The 5 blessings are:

    1st blessing (while making the sign of the cross):
    Blessed be God the Father the Pantocrator.

    2nd Blessing (while making the sign of the cross):
    Blessed be His Only Begotten Son Jesus Christ Our Lord

    3rd Blessing (while making the sign of the cross):
    Blessed be the Holy Spirit the Paraclete:

    4th Blessing
    Glory and honour

    5th Blessing
    Honour and glory to the all Holy Trinity, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. One God. Amen

    These 5 blessings are used across the liturgy. Blessings of the Tonia, blessings of the bread and wine during the offering of lamb, then following the offering during liturgy, when offering incense, etc...
  • Forgive me if I misunderstood but we take the first pair of intersecting sides, tie 2 knots; and then we take the second pair and tie 3 knots?
    Thank you all.
  • Thank you all for your help.
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