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< h1 class="" id="cc-m-header-11131143057">The symbolic meaning of the liturgical vestments

“…The episcopal service begins with the
Clothing of the bishop. The bishop enters the church in his normal, black monk’s robes, but already with a special feature – the purple mantion, which is worn by
Hypodeacons is carried. The clothing itself is full of symbolic meaning. The accompanying prayers speak of the bishop being clothed as a bridegroom and
like a bride before marriage: “like a bridegroom you put the crown on me, and like a bride you clothed me in splendor”. The white, embroidered cassock and the
other liturgical clothing consisting of many layers. But the attire reminded me of something else, and that was a warrior’s preparation for battle. And not
of a simple warrior, but of a warrior-king, because on other elements of clothing there are epigonation and the nabedrennik (occurring only in the Russian tradition), symbols
for sword and shield, and at the end of the robe the bishop is crowned with a miter, he gets the bishop’s crook – which is already a symbol for his pastoral ministry – in the
Hands…”

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The symbolic meaning of the liturgical vestments

In the church it is customary to refer to clothing as a robe (Oblačenie). Strictly speaking, however, these garments are liturgical garments. Except them there
but there is still clothing that is used outside of the service. It is the robe (podryasnik) and the rhason. They replace the clerics
everyday clothes.

The robe (podryasnik) is the undergarment of the orthodox clergy, the hypodeacons and the lectors. It is a long robe reaching to the heels
with a closed collar and tight sleeves. Monks’ robes must be black, other clerics may also wear dark blue, brown, gray or, in summer, white robes.

The rhason is the outer garment of the Orthodox clergy. The rhason is wider than the robe, has wide sleeves and is mostly black.

All divine services – apart from the Divine Liturgy – are celebrated by the priest in a robe and rhason, over which other robes – the liturgical robes –
be created. When the priest prepares for the liturgy, he takes off the rhason and puts on the undergarment (podriznik) over the robe, and the other liturgical ones over it
robes.

The deacon celebrates in the robe over which he puts on the stoicharion.

All church vestments have their history and deep symbolism. The robe and rhason are reminiscent of the Redeemer’s robe. The word Rhason means in
Greek “used, worn garment”. Our Lord wore such a robe, and the monks in the old church also had to wear such a robe. From the monasteries it became clothing
of all orthodox clergy. The robe and rhason signify the renunciation of all earthly vanity and the striving for spiritual peace. As an image of the robe of Christ, these admonish
Robes clergymen and monks to imitate the life of the Lord. The clergyman’s long robe is also a sign of God’s grace, which completely envelops the cleric and all
covered human weaknesses. The monk’s robe and leather belt are also reminiscent of the camel’s hair robe and belt of John the Baptist and those who emulated him
desert fathers.

The black color is caused by the lack of light and is outside the color spectrum. The robes of the clergy are black because they
Penance and the utter rest that should reign in their souls mean the absence of the turmoil of passion, the renunciation of all earthly vanity, and concentration on the inner
Life. These garments signify the state to which we are to strive.

Holy robes already existed in the Old Testament. They were made exactly according to the instructions of the Holy Prophet Moses and worn by the priests,
as often as they performed their duties, for thus said God to Moses: Holy robes shall be made for Aaron thy brother and for his sons, that they may be priests to me
to serve. Gold, purple wool, purple, crimson cloth, and fine linen shall be used.” (Exodus 28:4 f.)

These garments are not only used for the great solemnity of the services, but they also contain a spiritual and symbolic message. key to
The dressing prayers provide an understanding of the symbolic content of each individual garment. While the priest performs it, the consecrated robe becomes his own sermon, which is close to him
to live a life worthy of the dignity of his office.

In order to understand the meaning of the liturgical vestments, it is important to know that the liturgy, as understood by the Orthodox Church, has two spheres of being
includes, for it takes place in heaven and on earth at the same time. “We who represent the cherubim in mystery…” we sing at the Great Entry, when the offerings are made to celebrate the
Holy Eucharist to be transferred to the altar. This hymn (Χερουβικός Ὕμνος/ Херуви́мская
песнь) means that we, the people of God gathered for the celebration of the Holy Eucharist, like an icon the Holy Angels, the Cherubim and Seraphim, during the sacramental
Depicting the offering, just as the bishop (or priest on his behalf) depicts Christ as an icon. That is why the deacon says to the priest at the beginning of the liturgy: “It
is time for the Lord to act” (Psalm 118 (119): 126) From this we recognize that the celebration of the Divine Liturgy does not only consist of words, but is a sacramental act – and
not so much our action, but that of the LORD Himself. The true celebrant of every Eucharist in the Divine Liturgy is always CHRIST, our invisible High Priest (cf.:
Hebrew 7). All of us, clergy and people, are no more than His concelebrants. This truth is strongly emphasized by the prayer that the celebrant says during the
Cherubim hymn speaks: “…You are the bringer and the offered…”. In every celebration of the Divine Liturgy, our Lord JESUS ​​CHRIST HIMSELF is always at the altar. He is it
Himself who, through the hands of the celebrant, blesses the bread and wine in the celebration of the Divine Liturgy.

The true celebrant of every Eucharist in the Divine Liturgy is Christ.The true celebrant of every Eucharist in the Divine Liturgy is Christ.

Finally, it is HE HIMSELF who, in turn, through the celebrant, stretches out His hands to offer us the Sacred Gifts of His Precious Body and Blood in Communion.
That is why the most obvious description of the Divine Liturgy is that of heaven becoming manifest
on earth.
St. Germanus, Patriarch of Constantinople, put it this way in his Commentary on the Divine Liturgy: “The
Church is an earthly heaven in which the heavenly God dwells and moves.”
Likewise, the envoys of the Holy Grand Duke Vladimir described their impression of the service they received in the Hagia Sophia in Constantinople as follows:
“We
didn’t know if we were in heaven or on earth.”…

The function of the liturgical vestments is to symbolically express participation in the heavenly liturgy.The liturgical vestments have the function of symbolically expressing participation in the heavenly liturgy.

The actual Liturgist of the Divine Liturgy taking place in heaven and earth and of all Orthodox services is the Eternal High Priest - Christ Himself. The real liturgist of those in heaven and on earth Divine Liturgy taking place and all Orthodox services is the Eternal High Priest – Christ Himself.

To remind ourselves that with our liturgical celebration we are entering into the celebration of heavenly praise and in order to clearly – for us humans as soul-physical beings, this always means something that can also be experienced through the senses (i.e. visible in this case) – “to bring before our eyes “, that
we with our earthly celebration of the Eucharist, the heavenly worship, the Christ, surrounded by the angels and saints
the celebrant, the liturgists and the ministers wear liturgical vestments
with symbolic meaning, so that in the celebration of the Holy Eucharist we “… lay aside all earthly aspirations… So that we may receive the King of the Universe, who is invisibly guided by
the orders of the angels” as we sing in the Cherubicon.

We who depict the cherubim in the Mystery, and who sing the hymn of the Holy Thrice to the life-creating Trinity, leave us now all worry
cast off this world – so that we may receive the king of the universe, who is guided invisibly by the orders of the angels. alleluia.

Icon: "Who represent the cherubim" Russia 16th century.Icon: “We represent the cherubim” Russia 16th century.

Icon: "Who represent the cherubim" Russia 16th century.Icon: “We represent the cherubim” Russia 16th century.

Discos, the foot of which are designed as angel reliefs. A sign that the heavenly and earthly church come together in celebration of the divine liturgy.Diskos, whose feet are designed as angel reliefs. A sign that the heavenly and earthly Church come together in celebration of the Divine Liturgy.

Historically, these liturgical garments, along with their spiritual and liturgical interpretation, only developed in the course of the early Christian period. After orthodox
Imagine there has been no advancement of beliefs, no new revelations, since the ascension of the Lord. The fullness of faith is once and for all, so final and clear
set forth. However, there is very much a development in the ecclesiastical understanding of these beliefs and their worship liturgical expression. Early Christianity still knew this
no special liturgical clothing for the Sunday liturgy celebration, but the congregation expected all participants to participate in festive attire as far as possible. The bishops and
Since the legitimacy of the Christian religion in the 4th century, priests have dressed in the style of Roman officials, without initially distinguishing between everyday and liturgical clothing
was distinguished. With the end of the period of persecution, the liturgy also became increasingly representative. This also included the increased costliness of the robes. Until the Migration Period
However, there is no sharp distinction between liturgical vestments and Roman or Greek-Hellenistic everyday clothing. Later became oriental and non-Roman
or non-Hellenistic fashions in clothing style among the population in the east and west of the empire. However, the Roman-
Greek clothing tradition. This became around the time of St. Basil the Great and – a little later – St. John Chrysostom to the worship clothing of the
celebrants. According to the biblical model (cf.: Ephesians 6:11-17), the individual parts of the robe were now increasingly interpreted as spiritual and symbolic, which we can see today in the prayers when putting them on
find items of clothing.

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We now want to get to know these liturgical vestments in detail and their meaning. Basically, throughout Orthodoxy, the Byzantine
liturgical vestments used. However, there are regional differences, both in the cut and in the regulation of when and where they are worn, especially between the Russian one
and Greek tradition.

The Sticharion (Стихарь).The Sticharion (Стихарь).

The sticharion is a long, tight robe with long sleeves. mostly
the sticharion is not sewn on the sides, but is only closed with buttons. Usually a cross is embroidered on the back in the middle between the shoulders or as a
Application attached.

If the sticharion is worn as an outer garment,
it is often made of brocade fabric and richly decorated. This is the case with deacons, hypodeacons, lectors, and ministers. On the other hand, if priests or bishops wear it as an undergarment, like this
it is mostly made of lighter fabrics and kept in white.

According to the norms of the Holy Liturgy
the minister and the altar servants say the following prayer as they don their clothes:

“My soul rejoices in the Lord. For he has clothed me with the robe of salvation, and clothed me with the robe of joy; like one
He crowned me as a bridegroom, and surrounded me with adornments like a bride.”

The Unter-Sackkos (Подризник) that the bishop and the priest wear.The Unter-Sackkos (Подризник) that the bishop and the priest carry.

While the deacon, the hypodeacon, the lector and the acolyte wear the sticharion as a liturgical robe, the bishop and the priest wear a linen or silk robe
worked sticharion (подсаккосник) as
undergarment. It is mostly white in color.

Orarion (Орарь).Orarion (Орарь).

The orarion is a narrow stole, about ten centimeters wide and three meters long
is. It is usually made of velvet or brocade fabric. Seven crosses are embroidered over the entire length or attached as an appliqué. Sometimes the word is repeated three times
“Holy” embroidered in large letters. It is worn over the sticharion.

The deacon wears the orarion over the left shoulder, with the front part draped over the left forearm. He takes this part in his right hand when he
leads a litany, or wants to call attention to a specific liturgical action. This simple Orarion is the oldest form.

The protodeacons can also be decorated with a double orarion, which is twice as long. This award is given by the bishop for long service or
special achievements awarded. The double orarion is also worn over the left shoulder, but similar to a sash once over the right hip over the upper body back to the left
shoulder tied. According to Greek tradition, all deacons wear the double orarion.

Before the Communion of the Priests, during the celebration of the Divine Liturgy, the deacon ties the Orarion around his waist, placing the two parts over his shoulders so that on the
A cross is formed on the back and the ends, also crossed, are tucked under the hips so as not to be hindered in receiving the Holy Gifts. At the same time, it is symbolized that the cherubim
Covering their face with their wings in reverence in the presence of the All Holy. The Orarion symbolizes both prayer and the wings of angels.

The hypodeacon also wears an orarion, but always tied around the body in the above form. According to the texts of the Holy Liturgy, the Orarion
laid out silently without prayer.

Sticharion and Orarion the Deacon.Sticharion and Orarion the Deacon.

Sticharion and Orarion Russian protodeacon.Sticharion and Orarion Russian protodeacon.

The deacon singing the Ekenija.The deacon singing the Ekeniya.

Epimanicia.Epimanikia.

Epimanicia are cuffs worn on the wrists of bishops, priests and deacons. They are usually made of thick fabric, especially from
brocade fabric, crafted. In the middle a cross is embroidered or applied by appliqué. Bishops and priests fasten the epimanikia on the sleeves of the sticharion. There
Deacons wear a more elaborate sticharion as the outermost robe, the wide sleeves of which are not bound with epimanicia. The deacon wears the epimanikia attached below the sticharion
on the sleeves of the podrasnik (soutane).

When putting on the right epimanikion, the bishop, priest or deacon says: “It glorified
Your rights, O Lord, are in force. Thy right hand, Lord, strike down the enemies. With the fullness of your glory you crushed the adversaries.” (right Epimanikion)
and “Your hands created and formed me. Teach me that I may learn Your commandments.” (Left
epimanikion).

The priest’s liturgical vestments

The Epitrachelion (Greek ἐπιτραχήλιον, “around the neck”) is a liturgical garment of the
Priests and Bishops in the Orthodox Church. It is the symbol of the priestly position and symbolizes the authority as a gift of the Holy Spirit
perform mysteries (sacraments).

The epitrachelion itself is a broad band worn around the neck. The two ends thus hang over both shoulders on the
Straight down the front and almost reaching the ankles. The two adjacent sides are sewn or buttoned together to form a single wide band. That
Epitrachelion is already tailored that way, and not buttoned and unbuttoned every time. Sometimes, especially in Greek churches, the hanging front part is only one
single piece of fabric and does not consist of two ribbons sewn together.

Usually, the epitrachelion is tailored from the same fabric as the corresponding phelonion. Traditionally, seven crosses are used
Embellishments sewn on, one at the nape of the neck and three on each hanging side. Instead of the crosses, icons of the twelve apostles can also be attached.

When donning, the bishop or priest says the following prayer:

“Blessed be our God, who pours out grace on his priests like anointing oil on the
Head that flows down into the beard, Aaron’s beard, that still drips onto the hem of his garment. Like the dew from Hermon that descends on Mount Sion. All there the Lord promises the blessing and
Live forever.”

Epitrachelion embroidered with icons of the apostles.Epitrachelion embroidered with icons of the apostles.

The epitrachelion itself is a broad band worn around the neck.The epitrachelion itself is a wide band worn around the neck.

Pojas (Пояс).Pojas (Пояс).

Phelon (Фелонь).Phelon (Фелонь).

The belt (pojas) is a strip of fabric with different colored ones
Decorative bands at the edges and a cross in the middle. The belt symbolizes power, strength, power and a willingness to serve. When the gentleman girded himself with a long cloth and
Washing the feet of His disciples was an example of His ministry to the people. While putting on the girdle, the priest says the following prayer: “Blessed be God, who girded me with strength and made my way blameless; who made my feet like those of a deer and set me on high places
Has.” The ribbons and the cross on the belt mean that the priest is not strong by his own strength, but by the
power of God.

The Phelonion (Greek φeλόνιον = cloak) is a liturgical one
Garment of the orthodox priests. The phelonion, like its western counterpart, the chasuble, was originally a kind of travel matel. Basically it’s a big piece of fabric with a
round hole for the head. Worn as the top garment, it hangs down to the lower legs at the back, but only to the hips at the front to allow the
priest can move more easily.

Today there are two different types of phelonia. The Byzantine-Greek Phelonion is tailored to be slung over the shoulders only
while the Russian Phelonion has a high stiffened collar at the rear that covers the back of the head. There is also a shortened phelonion, which is used by lectors
is worn during the lector consecration.

Sometimes the Bishop wishes to celebrate the Divine Liturgy “priestly” (i.e. without the special rites and prayers of the
potifical liturgy). This is then clothed with a phelonion instead of the episcopal jacket. However, as a sign of his higher consecration, he wears a small omophorion around the
Neck and the epigonation on the side.

The archbishops and metropolitans of the Orthodox Church can also use the “polystavrion”, a richly decorated phelonion with elaborate
embroidered, layered crosses.

When putting it on, the priest says the prayer:

“Let your priests clothe themselves in righteousness, that your saints may rejoice, now and
forever, and to the eternities of eternities. Amen.”

Nabedrennik (Набедренник).Nabedrennik (Набедренник).

The Nabedrennik (Набедренник) is a
oblong, solid, rectangular cloth on a long ribbon, which in Russian tradition is the first award given to a priest for his zealous service. The square shape
of the Nabedrennik symbolize the four gospels, but also the sword of the spirit – the word of God. The symbolic meaning of the epigonion is also that of the nabedrennnik
same.

Palitza (Палица).Palitza (Палица).

The Epigonation (Greek ἐπιγονάτιον, “above the knee”) or Palitza
(Russian: палица, “club”)
is a liturgical garment worn by Orthodox priests.

The epigonation is a stiff, diamond-shaped cloth worn on the right side of the body below the hip. Mostly it is embroidered with icons. It
is attached to a ribbon from the left shoulder down.

In the Orthodox Church, the epigonation is borne by all bishops. Additionally, it can be given to a priest as a special distinction. In
According to the Greek tradition, it is a sign that the priest has a high academic degree and is authorized by a special blessing to hear confessions. If one
Russian priests are awarded both the nabedrennik and the palitza, he wears the former on the left side.

While applying the epigonation, the priest or bishop says the prayer:

“Girdle your sword around your hips, mighty one, increase in your strength and beauty, prosper and rule because of the truth,
Gentleness and righteousness, and wonderfully your right hand shall lead you, now and forever, and to eternity of eternity. Amen.”

The pectoral cross as a sign of the priestly status for each priest is a special tradition of the
Russian Church. In other local Orthodox Churches, the pectoral cross is awarded as a special distinction, in the Romanian Church even to deacons.

According to the Russian tradition, there are three different versions:

– the simple eighth silver priest’s cross

– the gilded four-pointed priest’s cross

– the pectoral cross with precious stone decorations.

The gilded four-pointed priest’s cross bears the depiction of Christ’s crucifixion on the front; on the back it says: “To the priest who by word
and life sets an example for the believers.”

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The gilded four-pointed pectoral cross was awarded in 1797 under Tsar Paul I as a distinction for priests and priest-monks for a longstanding immaculate
service introduced. Until then, only the bishops had worn it.

Since 1896, priests and priest-monks have been awarded an eighth silver pectoral cross at priestly ordination. This bears the representation of
crucified Redeemer on the obverse and an inscription in the upper part: “Lord, King of Glory.” At the ends of the wide crossbar are the letters “IC” and
“XC” (“Jesus Christ”); under the lower oblique crossbar: “NI KA” (Greek ‘is winner’). On the back is the inscription: “Be an example to the believers in
Word, Life, Love, Spirit, Faith and Purity.” These crosses thus became the outward mark of the priests. Henceforth all priests contribute to the distinction of deacons and monks
a pectoral cross.

The priests wear the pectoral cross over the liturgical vestments during services and over the ryazon in everyday life.

The pectoral cross hangs from a long chain with a cross link attached to the upper part, causing the end of the chain to hang down the back.

The priest’s cross testifies that the priest is to be a servant of Jesus Christ and to follow Him. The chain that hangs down the back
symbolizes the stray sheep from the parable in the Gospel, which the priest should carry on his shoulders when he has found it in his pastoral ministry. In other words, the
Priests should care about the salvation of their faithful and therefore carry the cross as an expression of the dedication of their lives to Christ.

Compiled by Thomas Zmija v. Goyan

The colors
of the liturgical vestments and their symbolism

The main colors of the liturgical vestments are: white, red, orange, yellow, green, light blue,
Dark blue, violet and black. Each of these colors expresses the spiritual meaning of the event being celebrated.

On the feast days in honor of the Lord Jesus Christ, but also on the memorial days of
For prophets, apostles and saints the liturgical color is gold or yellow in all shades (royal color) because Christ is the King of glory and the celebrants are the
symbolize the presence of the king in the church.

On the feast days of the Blessed Mother and the disembodied heavenly powers, but also on the
On commemorations of holy virgins and unmarried men, the color of the regalia is blue or white, signifying their special purity and immaculateness.

On the feast and memorial days of the Lord’s Cross the color of the regalia is violet or
Dark red, which is supposed to express the supreme importance of the Lord’s act of redemption on the cross. On the feast and memorial days of the martyrs, the color of the regalia is red as a sign of their for the
Faith in Christ shed blood.

On the feast days and memorials of monks, nuns, ascetics and fools for Christ’s sake
the liturgical color green. Green liturgical vestments of all shades are also used to celebrate Pentecost, the Day of the Holy Spirit and Palm Sunday, as this is the color of the
eternal life or the bestowal of life.

During Lent the color of the paraments is dark: dark blue, violet, dark green,
Dark Red, Black. People usually celebrate in black robes during Great Lent.

White paraments are usually worn at funerals, since for the Christian death is only
is a transition to another world. Eternal rest is prayed for in communion with the saints, who are dressed, as it were, in white robes.

White liturgical vestments are also worn at Christmas, Epiphany, the Annunciation, Christ
Transfiguration and Ascension used because the white color symbolizes the uncreated divine light illuminating and transforming God’s creation.

The celebration of the Feast of Feasts – Easter – begins in white robes as a sign of the
divine light that shone from the tomb of the risen Redeemer. In some churches it is customary to change robes at each of the odes of the canon hymn of Easter Matins, so
that they are a different color each time. This has the following meaning: the play of the colors of the rainbow corresponds to the fullness of joy about the festival of festivals. The main color of Easter is red
with gold.

This color scheme is in keeping with Russian tradition. The Greek tradition knows this
Definition, at least in the variety of details, not.

Compiled by Thomas Zmija v.
Goyan

The ecclesiastical vestments

Have you ever thought about why the robes of the clergy of the Orthodox Church are so different from our everyday robes? That is
so because the church is not of this world. Although it is in this world, it came to us from heaven and is therefore essentially different from anything earthly. That’s why even they differ
Garments of the clergy from our clothing, which is subject to changes in fashion, weather and mood.

Non-liturgical vestments

In the Church it is customary to refer to clothing as a robe (oblačenie from the verb oblačat’). Strictly speaking, however, the vestments (oblačenija) are liturgical
robes. In addition to them, there is another type of clothing that is used outside of the service. This is the robe (podryasnik) and the rhason (rjasa). They replace at the clerics
the everyday clothes. In addition, there is the cap (skufija or skufejka) as headgear for everyday use.

The robe (podryasnik) is the undergarment of the Orthodox clergy, altar servers and subdeacons. It is a long robe reaching to the heels
a closed collar and narrow sleeves. Monks’ robes must be black, other clerics may also wear dark blue, brown, gray or, in summer, white robes.

The rhason (rjasa) is the outer garment of the Orthodox clergy. Persons who are not consecrated do not wear it. The rhason is
wider than the robe, has wide sleeves and is mostly black.

All divine services – except for the liturgy – are celebrated by the priest in a robe and rhason, over which other garments – the liturgical garments (rizy) –
be created. When the priest prepares for the liturgy, he takes off the rhason and puts on the undergarment (podriznik, alb) over the robe and the other liturgical ones over it
robes. The deacon celebrates in a robe over which he puts on the stoicharion (stichar’). The bishop celebrates all services in a robe, over which he puts on special episcopal robes.
Incidentally, the bishop can perform certain prayer services, the lite and prayers in the monk’s cell in the rhason or in the rhason with the bishop’s robe (mantija), above that he wears that
Epitrachelion (epitrachil’, stole).

All ecclesiastical vestments have their history and deep symbolism, therefore they are essentially unchangeable. The robe and rhason commemorate that
Robe of the Redeemer. The word rhason means “used, worn garment” in Greek. Our Lord wore such a robe, and the monks in the old church also had to wear such a robe
wear. Starting from the monasteries, it became the attire of all Orthodox clergy.

The robe and rhason signify the renunciation of all earthly vanity and the striving for spiritual peace. As an image of the robe of Christ, these admonish
Robes clergymen and monks to imitate the life of the Lord.

The clergyman’s long robe is also a sign of God’s grace, which completely envelops the cleric and covers all human weaknesses. The gown and the
The monk’s leather belts are also reminiscent of the camel’s hair robe and belt of John the Baptist and the desert fathers who emulated him.

The black color is caused by the lack of light and is outside the color spectrum. The robes of the clergy are black because they represent penance
and signify the utter tranquility that shall reign in their souls, the absence of the turmoil of passion, the renunciation of all earthly vanity, and concentration on the inner life.
These garments signify the state to which we are to strive.

Liturgical vestments

The distinguishing marks of deacons, priests and bishops: the priest wears a pectoral cross, the bishop a Panagija (breast medallion). The liturgical garment
of the deacon is the stoicharion, that of the priests – the phelonion, that of the bishops of the sakkos with the omophorion (dalmatic with the pallium).

The robe of the deacons

The deacons dress in the sticharion (stichar’) and orarion (orar’), on their hands they wear the epimanikia (poruči, manipel). The deacon can
Wearing a head covering – the Kamilavkion (kamilavka).

The robe of the priests

The full garment of the priest consists of the undergarment, the epitrachelion (epitrachil’, stole), the epimanikia, the nabedrennik, the epigonation, the
belt (pojas) and the phelonion (felon’).

These are the priestly liturgical vestments (rizy). Even in the Old Testament, according to God’s command, the priests wore similar robes.

These robes are for worship only, to show the glory and splendor of the divine world. After the service, these robes
discarded and remain in the church.

The liturgical vestments are symbols of justice and purity. Every service is an encounter with Christ, a spiritual feast to which one
must not come without a wedding garment (see the parable in the Gospel of Matthew 22:11-14). The robes are consecrated according to a special rite and receive a mystical symbol
gracious power.

The robe of bishops, archbishops, metropolitans and the patriarch

The Bishops of the Orthodox Church wear special episcopal vestments during the service.

The full episcopal vestment corresponds to the seven sacraments administered by the bishop. It consists of
seven parts: the undergarment, the epitrachelion, the epimanikia, the girdle, the palica, the jacket and the omophorion (omofor).

The colors of the liturgical vestments and their symbolism

The main colors of the liturgical vestments are: white, red, orange, yellow, green, light blue, dark blue, violet and black. Each of these colors expresses the spiritual
meaning of the event to be celebrated.

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On the feast days in honor of the Lord Jesus Christ, but also on the memorial days of the prophets, apostles and saints, the liturgical color is golden or yellow
in all shades (royal color) because Christ is the King of glory and the celebrants symbolize the presence of the King in the church.

On the feast days of the Blessed Mother and the disembodied heavenly powers, but also on the commemoration days of holy virgins
and unmarried men, the color of the regalia is blue or white, signifying their particular purity and immaculateness.

On the feast and memorial days of the Lord’s cross the color of the regalia is violet or crimson, showing the supreme importance of the Lord’s redeeming act on
to express the cross. On the feast and memorial days of the martyrs, the color of the regalia is red as a sign of their blood shed for faith in Christ.

On the feast days and memorials of monks, nuns, ascetics and fools for Christ’s sake, the liturgical color is green. In green liturgical vestments of all
Shades are also celebrated Pentecost, Holy Spirit Day and Palm Sunday as this is the color of eternal life or bestowal of life.

During Lent the color of the paraments is dark: dark blue, violet, dark green, dark red, black. People usually celebrate in black robes in the
Great Lent.

White paraments are usually worn at funerals, since for the Christian death is only a transition to another world. It is about the eternal rest in
Communion with the saints who are dressed as it were in white robes.

White liturgical vestments are also used at Christmas, Epiphany, Annunciation, Transfiguration and Ascension because the white color
uncreated divine light illuminating and transforming God’s creation.

The celebration of the Feast of Feasts – Easter – begins in white robes as a sign of the divine light pouring from the tomb of the Risen Redeemer
shone. In some churches it is customary to change the robes at each of the odes of the canon hymn of Easter Matins, so that each time they are a different color. This has the following meaning:
the play of the colors of the rainbow corresponds to the fullness of joy at the festival of festivals. The main Easter color is red with gold.

Source: Dudko/ Lorgus: Orthodox Faith Book.

The bishop’s liturgical vestments

The bishop’s liturgical vestments

The bishop wears a monk’s robe, called a mantija, when he comes to worship.

Unlike the typical black monk’s habit, it is coloured: purple for bishops and Greek metropolitans, blue for archbishops and non-Greeks
Metropolitans, green for Patriarchs, on which the Tablets of the Law are sewn, square trimmings at the neck and feet symbolizing the Old and New Testaments.
Strips of cloth called “springs” or “streams” are sewn horizontally around the mantija and represent the stream of teachings flowing from the bishop’s mouth.

According to Russian-Slavic tradition, the bishop is dressed in the liturgical robe in the middle of the church. In the Greek tradition, bishops are often
clothed at the altar table. In the tradition of Antioch, the bishop usually dresses in the sanctuary.

At the liturgy, a bishop wears a priestly robe, but without phelonion and epigonation. The phelonion was first part of bishop’s garb, but became
later replaced by a robe of humility resembling the deacon’s sticharion, called a sakkos. Since Christ’s dress had no hem, the bishop wears the jacket as his image
either sewn or buttoned at the sides.

Over the jacket the bishop wears a wide shoulder wrap called omophorion. This hangs down in front and behind and symbolizes the stray sheep
Carrying Christ on his shoulders as the good shepherd. It used to be made of sheepskin. There is also a shorter omophorion, called “small omophorion”, both ends of which hang down in front. The bishop
wears a richly embroidered crown called a miter, which represents his power as church superior. .

The bishop wears a small round icon of the Redeemer or Mother of God, called Panagia (“Most Holy”) or
Engolopion. This is to remind him to always have our Lord and His Holy Mother in his heart and that his heart must be pure.

The bishop as shepherd of the Christian flock also carries a crosier, called a shepherd’s or bishop’s staff. On its peak above the double curvature sits a
Cross. The two crooks are sometimes executed as serpent heads, as a reminder of the serpent that Moses picked up in the wilderness. (Now Christ is lifted up on the cross).

In services according to the Russian-Slavic tradition, the bishop stands on a small round or oval carpet, called the eagle carpet, on which an eagle is depicted, the
hovering over a city. This symbolizes his dominion over the city, and the eagle is meant to remind the bishop to rise above his flock by teaching and living
and must give an example of the hope for Himmelreich.

In the Greek tradition, the bishop sits or stands at the bishop’s throne on the south side of the church, the so-called Solea. On the back of the throne is an icon of Christ the King, and before the bishop is on
ascending the throne, he pays homage to the icon.

During the service, the bishop blesses the faithful with two candlesticks, one for two candles called Dikirion and one for three called Trikirion, representing the two natures
Christ and the three persons of the All Saints symbolize Trinity.

Jackets (Саккос).Sportcoats (Саккос).

The jacket (Greek σάκκος) is a special liturgical garment of the Orthodox bishops and is used
worn in place of the priestly phelon. It is made as a tunic with wide sleeves and distinctive decorative patterns and reaches below the knees:  It is worn at the side
Loops and buttons closed. A large cross is embroidered on the back. Furthermore, loops are usually sewn on at the top of the back part, on which during
the episcopal omophorion can be attached to the celebration of the divine liturgy. A total of 33 buttons are attached to the bishop’s jacket, which indicate the number of years of Christ’s life
symbolize. In addition, bells are often attached to the hem, which go back to the biblical instructions for the clothing of the high priest (cf.: Exodus 28: 33-34; 39:
25-26).

The blazer originally became an imperial garment reserved for the Byzantine-Rhomian emperors. During this period the bishops wore none
jackets, but a phelonion decorated with an intricately embroidered, multi-layered criss-cross pattern. That is why this episcopal phelon was called “Polystavrion” (“many crosses”). In front
the fall of Constantinople  in the 14th and 15th centuries only the patriarchs and archbishops used the jacket as a liturgical robe in the liturgical celebrations on the high feast days. the
other bishops continued to wear a phelonion. After the fall of Constantinople (1453), however, all bishops were given the right to wear jackets.

Icon of Saint Gregory the Illuminator. Here he wears the episcopal phelon with the polystavrion pattern.Icon of Saint Gregory the Illuminator. Here he wears the episcopal phelon with the polystavrion pattern.

Sakkos (Саккос) of the Holy Patriarch Tikhon of Moscow.Sakkos (Саккос) of the Holy Patriarch Tikhon of Moscow.

Bishop's jacket with small and large pomophorion.Episcopal jacket with small and large pomophorion.

The Great Omophorion.The Great Omophorion.

Big Omophorion, Small Omophorion and Epitrachilion for the use of H.H. Patriarch Alexei II of Moscow.Large Omophorion, Small Omophorion and Epitrachilion from the use of H.H. Patriarch Alexei II of Moscow.

Sakkos (Саккос) with large and small opmophorion.Sakkos (Саккос) with large and small opmophorion.

The omophorion (Greek ὠμοφόριον to ὦμος “shoulder” and φέρειν “carry” = “that which is to be carried around the shoulder”)
is a special liturgical garment for orthodox bishops. It symbolizes the lost and found Lamb on the shoulders of the Good Shepherd Christ (cf.: John 10:11)
and clarifies the special pastoral task of the bishop in his diocese. The omophorion is commonly worn over the episcopal sakkos
and also attached to it. When the liturgical order calls for the frequent removal and replacement of the omophorion, the “Great Omophorion” normally worn is replaced by a
Replaced “Small Omophorion” which is worn looped around the neck similar to the Epitrachelions. While the omophorion is now made of brocade fabric, it was originally made as a sign
of the episcopal pastoral office made of white wool with embroidered black crosses.

Article still in progress…


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