Fr Dimitri discusses when we should sit, stand or kneel during The Divine Liturgy. This article is the first of a series of etiquette posts which will respectfully offer a guide to those who wish to learn more about the Greek Orthodox Church.
Stand and Sit during the Following Times:
- Stand at the beginning of the Liturgy at ‘Blessed is the Kingdom of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, now and ever …’ until the end of the Great Litany at ‘For to You belong all glory, power and worship, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit …’
- Sit after the Priest has finished this last phrase.
- Stand when the procession with the Gospel begins (this is called the Small Entrance and symbolises the coming of Christ into the world).
- Stay standing until the beginning of the Epistle reading, at the beginning of which we may sit.
- Stand when the Gospel is to be read, stand when you hear the Priest say ‘ Wisdom. Attend. Let us hear the Holy Gospel. Peace be with you all’.
- Stay standing after the Gospel and through the Procession with the Gifts for Holy Communion (this is called the Great Entrance and symbolises Christ coming to His Passion).
- Sit after the Priest has placed the Gifts upon the Altar, when we hear him say ‘Let us complete our prayer to the Lord’.
- Stand when we hear the Priest say ‘Commemorating our All-Holy, most pure, blessed, and glorious Lady, Theotokos and ever virgin Mary’ and ‘Through the mercies of Your only begotten Son with Whom You are blessed’.
- Kneel when you hear the Priest saying ‘Your Own from Your Own we offer You in every way and for every Thing’ (On Sundays and between Pascha and Pentecost it is a custom to Bow instead of kneel at this time because these are periods of celebrating the Resurrection)’
- Keep standing through the Creed and until the Priest says ‘Having commemorated all the Saints, again and again in peace let us pray to the Lord …’
- Stand for the Lord’s Prayer when you hear the Priest say ‘And make us worthy Master …’ then the ‘Our Father’. Keep standing until you hear the Priest say ‘Let us attend. The Holy Things are for the Holy.’
- Stand when the Priest comes out with Holy Communion.
- While Holy Communion is being distributed some people like to keep standing out of respect for Christ’s physical presence in the Eucharist while others sit. You make a choice here.
- Stand when Holy Communion is finished and keep standing until the end of the Service.
- Sit when the Priest is preaching.
Do you have any questions about appropriate Church Ettiquite?
Please share them the comments below.
The content of this post was originally published by Fr. Dimitri Tsakas on the Orthodox Research Institute.
The Reverend Father Dimitri Tsakas is the Archepiscopal Vicar for Queensland, Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia and the Dean of the Greek Orthodox Church of St George, Brisbane in Australia. You can connect with Fr. Dimitri on Facebook, Twitter and Linked In.