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          Eastern Orthodox

Dictionary of Churchianity I - Z .


    "for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived." Rev 18:23

This dictionary might alternatively have been entitled 

Dictionary of Eastern Orthodox religious witchcraft paraphernalia .

definition: churchianity - emphasis on rites, rituals and formulaic traditions in the church buildings, and solidarity with a perceived church not God or Christianity. This religious disease is often referred to as the High Church error.

                    WORDS AND PHRASES:

                                    I - Z

Most of the words and phrases in this vocabulary are about churchianity in Eastern Orthodoxy, that is about man-made customs, rites, traditions, ceremonies, uniforms, religious trappings, architecture and such like, with which the Whore of Babylon (Rome) and her daughters (the various Orthodox churches) have deceived all nations with the spirit of an idol ridden and anti gospel false religion.


Incense. Aromatic gums that produced a pleasant odor when burned. Incense is frequently offered during Orthodox worship to symbolize the ascent of the prayers of the faithful to God.

Icon.  A picture of Christ or a Saint. Orthodox Christians venerate Icons as a means to affirm their belief that in Christ God became man, and taking on a physical body that can be portrayed in an icon. Orthodox Christians believe that the veneration given to the icon passes to the subject of the icon.

note: the icon con is that they do not become idols.


Iconostasis. (Gr. "an icon-stand"). The icon covered screen between the Altar (q.v) and the Nave (q.v.) in a Byzantine Rite Church (q.v). The Iconostasis has three doors, the central or Holy Doors and two side doors. . In the Orthodox Church, the term signifies:

  1. The stand on which the main icon of the Patron Saint of the church is placed for veneration.

  2. The screen separating the sanctuary or altar from the church proper and adorned with various icons. There may be two or three tiers of icons in an iconostasis, but the main tier must follow a certain iconographic form, as follows (from north, or left, side to south): the icon of the Patron Saint of the church, of the Virgin Mary, of Christ, and of St. John the Baptist.

Iliton. (or Eiliton, Gr.). The silk cloth used to wrap the corporal (or antiminsion).

Irmos. The first troparion (q.v.) of an ode in a canon (q.v.)



Jesus Prayer. A short prayer that the Orthodox constantly repeat to practice devotion to God; the tradition of repeating this distinctive prayer was developed in Orthodox monasteries. The text of the Jesus Prayer is:

"Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me." A 13 prayer frequently repeated using a prayer rope. Some followers of Hesychasm (q.v.) employ a pattern of breathing while saying the Jesus Prayer.


Kalymauki or kamilafki. (Sl. kamilavka). The black cylindrical hat worn by Orthodox clergy. The black monastic veil (epanokalynafkon) worn by the celibate clergy at various services or ceremonies is attached to the kalymauki (see Epanokalymafkon).


Kairon, Prayers said by the clergy before the Iconostasis (q.v.) before entering the Altar (q.v..) to prepare for the celebration of the Divine Liturgy (q.v.).


Kalima. A red cloth held under the chin of the communicant.

Kamilavka.  The black cylindrical hat worn by Orthodox clergy. Bishops (q.v.), archimandrites (q.v.) and monks wear a veil over their Kamilavka to symbolize their celibacy.


  1. Short hymns consisting of nine odes, sung at the service of Matins.

  2. The special service known as the Great Kanon sung on the evening of the Wednesday of the fifth week of the Great Lent.


Katavasia. The concluding troparion (q.v.) in an ode of a canon (q.v..). Sometimes the katavasia is the irmos (q.v.) of the ode which is repeated at the end of each ode. On Sundays, and some Feasts (q.v.) there are special katavasia according to the season.

Kathisma. Liturgical hymn.

  1. The twenty stanzas into which the Orthodox Psalter is divided.

  2. The second kanon of the Matins.


Kathismata. Troparion (q.v.) sung at the end of the reading each kathisma (q.v.) of the Psalter in Matins (q.v.).

Keri. (see candles).

Kerygma. (Gr. "message; preaching"). Proclaiming or preaching the word of God in the manner of the Apostles. It is a method of church instruction centered mainly on Christ and the concept of salvation.

Koinonikon, A Communion Hymn chanted during the Communion of the clergy.


Kollyva. Wheat boiled with sugar, honey blessed during memorial services for the departed. The Kollyvia symbolizes the sweetness of the Kingdom of God. It also symbolizes the resurrection because grain is 14 dead, but grows when planted.


Kolymbethra. A large, often movable, circular basin on a stand, containing the water for immersion in Baptism. It symbolizes the Jordan River or the pool of Siloam.

Kontakion. A troparion, A liturgical hymn that gives an abbreviated form of the meaning or history of the feast of a given day. The kontakion is sung after the sixth ode of the Canon in the liturgy and the Service of the Hours. St. Romanos the Melodist is considered to be the most important hymnographer of the Kontakion. Originally a kontakion consisted of several verses. Today only the major troparion of a kontakion is still sung, with the sole exception of the Akathist Hymn (q.v.), which is still sung in its entirety. The author of most kontakia was St. Romanos the Melodos, d. 518.




Lamb. The piece of bread that is consecrated during the Anaphora (q.v.). See also Prosphora and Proskomedia. That portion of the prosphora (offering) bread which is removed for consecration during the Liturgy of Preparation, and which is Consecrated during the Liturgy, so called becoming the Body of Christ.

Lamentations service. (Gr. Epitaphios threnos). Special hymns referring to the sacrifice of Christ on the cross and His burial (see Epitaphios).

Lance or spear. (Gr. Lonche). A small, lance-shaped, double-edged knife used by the priest for the cutting of the altar bread in the service of the Preparation of the Holy Gifts (see Proskomide).

Lex Orandi/ Lex Credendi.   (Latin, the law of prayer is the law of belief). The Orthodox Church expresses and teaches its dogma and beliefs through the worship of the Church and its liturgical texts.


Litany.  A form of responsive prayer led by a Priest or Deacon during which the congregation responds with the words, "Lord, have mercy" or "Grant this, 0 Lord." With few exceptions all Orthodox. services consist of a series of Litanies chanted between various troparia (q.v.), Psalms or other Scriptural readings and liturgical acts.

Little entrance, see "Entrance".


Little Doxology. A shortened form of the Great Doxology (q.v.) read during weekday and Lenten services.

Liturgical objects:

Liturgy:  meaning “The work of the people.” The principle worship service of the Orthodox Church, celebrating the Incarnation, Resurrection, Ascension, Enthronement and Second Coming of Jesus Christ. It is the standard Resurrection service of the Orthodox Church around the world.

The Divine Liturgy is divided into 3 distinct parts:


1) Liturgy of Preparation (proskomedia) – This is the first one-third of the liturgy, where the bread and wine offered by the people are prepared for the Eucharistic service by the celebrant, and his deacon. It represents in a small way the Old Testament, in that is a preparation of the world for the coming of Christ.

2) Liturgy of the Word –  Containing the Great Litany, Antiphons, and the Epistle and Gospel lesson, this ends with the Bishop proclaiming and expounding upon the teachings of Christ, prayers for the departed, and catechumens. It presents the era of the New Testament, and the hearing of the Gospel of our Lord.

3) Liturgy of the Faithful – This is the Eucharistic liturgy, containing the Anaphora, the Words of Institution and Epiklesis, the Lord’s Prayer, Communion, Thanksgiving and the Dismissal. This offers us a foretaste of the Second Coming of Christ, and the eternal union of Christ with His people.


Liturgy of the Catechumens. The second part of the Divine 15 Liturgy which consists of hymns, readings from the Epistle and the Gospel and the sermon. In ancient times Catechumens were dismissed at the conclusion of the Liturgy of the Catechumens.


Liturgy of the Faithful. The third part of the Divine _ Liturgy (q.v.) during which the gifts (q.v.) are brought to the Holy Table (q.v.), consecrated and given to the faithful during Holy Communion. LITY - A a procession and intercession during Great Vespers (q.v.) on the eve of Great Feasts (q.v.).


Lord I have cried. Psalms 140, 141, and 129 sung during the offering of incense (q.v.) at Vespers (q.v.). Stichera (q.v.) for the feast (q.v.) or Tone (q.v.) are sung between the verses of Psalms 141 and 129.


Liturgical Languages

which languages may be used for liturgy? All?


Leavened Bread. (Gr. artos). Bread made with yeast (enzyma) and used for altar bread for the Orthodox Eucharist (as opposed to the unleavened bread used by the Latin Church). Leavened bread is also acceptable for the purpose in the more liberal Protestant churches.


Leiturgia: the name given to certain public services, consisting partly of money and partly of personal labour, performed by wealthy individuals


Lent.  (Gr. Sarakosti). The fifty day fast preceding Easter for the spiritual preparation of the faithful to observe the feast of the Resurrection. Besides Lent, the Orthodox Church has assigned a number of other fasting periods (see abstinence). 

There are five Lenten periods in the Orthodox Church,

1) Easter - Great Lent beginning on Monday Seven weeks before Pascha and ending on the Saturday before Palm Sunday,

2) Holy Week  the week before Pascha,

3) The Lent of the Theotokos, two weeks before

4) the Feast of the Dormition of the Theotokos, August 15,

5) Christmas Lent or Advent, November 15 - December 24.


Liturgy. (Gr. "a public duty or work"). The main form of worship for the celebration of the Holy Eucharist. The Orthodox Church celebrates four different versions of the liturgy:

  1. The Liturgy of St. James,

  2. The Liturgy of St. Basil,

  3. The Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, which is the most common, and

  4. The Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts performed only during the period of Great Lent.



Magnificat. (Lat. "My soul doth magnify the Lord"; Gr. Megalynalion). A hymn of praise in honor of the Mother of God (Theotokos). Its verses follow Mary's own words beginning with the phrase "My soul doth magnify the Lord" (cf. Luke 1: 46-55). It is sung after the eighth Ode of the Canon at Matins.

Major Orders. Bishop (q.v.), priest (q.v.) or deacon (q.v.). Candidates for major orders are ordained by a bishop (q.v.) in the Altar (q.v.) during the Divine Liturgy (q.v.).

Mantle. (Gr. Mandias). A distinctive and elaborate garment, purple or blue in color, worn by the bishop in various church ceremonies and services, such as Vespers, but not during the liturgy.


Martyrika. (Gr. "a sign of witnessing"). Small decorative icons or crosses passed out to the guests who witness an Orthodox Baptism.


Martyrology. A catalogue of martyrs and other saints arranged according to the calendar.


Matins. (Gr. Orthros). The Morning Service of the Orthodox Church. In the Russian Orthodox Church, which is combined with the liturgy. It begins with the reading of six psalms (Exapsalmos), the reading of the Gospel, the chanting of the Canon, and the Great Doxology.  Great Vespers to form the Great Vigil. In other Orthodox Churches, Matins is celebrated in the morning separately, or before the Divine Liturgy

Matins Gospel. see Eothinon.


Megalynarion.  The irmos (q.v.) of the ninth ode of a canon (q.v.) which is chanted during the Anaphora (q.v.).


Mandyas.  A cape like vestment, usually violet, worn by occasionally worn by a Bishop when not celebrating the Divine Liturgy. (q.v.).

Memorial. (Gr. Mnymosyno). A special service held in the Orthodox Church for the repose of the souls of the dead. Memorial services are held on the third, ninth, and fortieth day; after six months; and one or three years after death. Boiled wheat is used as a symbol of the resurrection of everyone at the Second Coming of Christ.

Menaia. A set of twelve volumns, one for each month, which contains the services for unmovable Feasts (q.v.) in honor or Christ or one of the Saints. 16


Meneon. A liturgical book containing the lives of the saints and the special hymns (stichera) for the feast-days of the Orthodox Saints. It is divided into twelve volumes, one for each month.

Metousiosis: this differs from transubstantiation, as the later definition is:


"the conversion of the substance of the Eucharistic elements into the body and blood of Christ at consecration, only the appearances of bread and wine still remaining." The Eastern Orthodox refuse to say how the change occurs, just that it does occur, thus they refuse to confirm (or deny) the word "substance", and use instead the word "essence" being changed. 

note: both being his physical actual body both break the prophecy in both the old and new covenants "thou shalt not suffer thy holy one to see corruption." Psalm 16:10. Acts 2:27. Acts 13:35.

Minor Orders. Reader and Sub-Deacon. Candidates for minor orders are blessed, not ordained, by a bishop (q.v.) during Matins (q.v.) or some other service in the Solea (q.v.).

Mitre. / Mitra. (Gr. Mitra). The official headdress or "crown" of a bishop. In Slavic churches, some archimandrites and some archpriests are allowed to wear the mitre as a recognition of their service to the church (mitrateor mitrophoros). The mitre derives from the crown of the Byzantine emperor.

Mystery. A Sacrament or means of grace. The Orthodox Church considers the entire life of the Church sacramental and has never - officially defined the exact number of mysteries. However, the Orthodox Church considers:

1) Holy Communioni,

2) Baptism, Chrismation,

3) Confession,

4) The Anointing of the Sick,

5) Ordination  

6) Marriage

Mysteries or Sacraments. The Orthodox Church makes no division - between "Word," and "Sacrament," but considers both complementary expressions of the same mystery of salvation.



Name-day. (Gr. Onomastiria or Onomastiki eorti). The tradition of the Orthodox people is to celebrate one's name-day instead of a birthday. Since the Orthodox people are usually named after a saint's name, all those having the same name celebrate together. Celebration of the name-day is considered to be spiritually important, and the celebrating individual develops special spiritual ties with his Patron Saint and consequently, with God.


Narthex. The vestibule area of the church, leading to the church proper or the nave. In the early Church, this area was assigned for penitents and those who were not yet baptized (catechumens).


Nave. The center, the church proper of an Orthodox Church, where the faithful remain to observe the liturgy and other services.


Oblation. (see Proskomide).


Offertory. (see Proskomide).

1) the offering of the bread and wine at the Eucharist. 

• an anthem accompanying the offertory.

2) an offering or collection of money made at a religious service.

note: if money collection is done at the same kind of time as "the mass" it looks like a way of manipulating people into giving by the timing implying "he gave for you, now you give...." 


Oktoechos. (Gr. "eight modes" or Paraklitiki). Service book containing the canons and hymns of the eight tones or modes of Byzantine music. The Book of Eight Tones which contains the services for Sundays. There is a complete set of services in each of the eight tones (q.v.). Except on feasts (q.v.), during Great Lent (q.v.) Holy Week (q.v), and the Paschal season, the Sunday service is sung from the Oktoechos according to the tone (q.v.) of the week in a cycle beginning on the First Sunday After Pentecost. According to tradition St. John of Damascus (ca. 675 - ca. 749) wrote most of the Oktoechos. See also Paraklitiki.  They are used in all services, arranged every eight weeks, one for each tone, and are attributed to St. John of Damascus (eighth century), one of the greatest Orthodox hymnographers and theologians.


Omophor. (see Pall).

Omophorion, The scarf worn over the saccos (q.v.) by a bishop (q.v.). It symbolizes his spiritual authority as shepherd of the Faithful.


Orarion. (Lat.) One of the deacon's vestments, made of a long band of brocade and worn over the left shoulder and under the right arm. It signifies the wings of the angels.

Orders of priesthood: they starts as a deacon, then priest, then some bishops. Why a deacon is seen as a priest is a matter of contention as in Orthodoxy they do not go through the blasphemous pretence of their version of the mass.


Orthodox Sunday. The first Sunday of Lent, commemorating the restoration of icons in the church (see Iconoclasm).

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Pall. (Gr. Omophorion). One of the bishop's vestments, made of a band of brocade, worn about the neck and around the shoulders. It signifies the Good Shepherd and the spiritual authority of a bishop.


Panagia. (Gr. "All Holy"). One of the Orthodox names used to address the Mother of God. In Orthodox art, the term Panagia denotes an icon depicting the Virgin Mary with the Christ Child, or the bishop's medallion (Encolpion) which usually is decorated with an icon of the Panagia (especially in the Russian Church). (See also Theotokos.)


Pantocrator. (Gr. "He who reigns over all; almighty"). One of the appellations of God. In Orthodox art, Pantocrator is the name of the fresco decorating the center of the dome, depicting Christ as the almighty God and Lord of the Universe. 

Paraklitiki. The week day edition of the Oktoechos (q.v.),which contains the services arranged according to the eight tones (q.v.) for week services. Week day services are normally chanted in the tone of the week.


Pascha. (see Easter). The Orthodox Christian name for Easter or the Feast of the Resurrection of Christ.


Paschal week. (Gr. Diakaimsimos or "bright week"). The week following the Sunday of Easter (Pascha), signifying the spiritual renewal and joy brought to the world by the resurrected Christ.


Paschalion. The table of dates for Easter and all movable feasts of the year.


Paten. (Gr. Diskos). A small round and flat plate made of gold or silver on which the priest places the particles of bread at the celebration of the Eucharist.

Pectoral Cross:  Worn by Priests, it symbolizes the reality that the priest is the representative of Christ Crucified to the people and to the world, and as Christ’s ambassador, he is to bring them the Gospel of the Kingdom.


Pentecost. (Gr. "fiftieth Day"). A feast celebrated fifty days after Easter, commemorating the descent of the Holy Spirit onto the disciples of Christ. It is considered to be the birthday of Christianity.

Pentecostarion. A liturgical book containing all the prayers, hymns, and services performed during the period of fifty days between the feasts of Easter and Pentecost. The book that contains the services for Pascha (q.v.) through the Sunday After Pentecost.


Phelonion,  The outer cape like vestment worn by a priest (q.v..) over the sticharion (q.v) or cassock (q.v) and epitrachelion (q.v) during the Divine Liturgy and several other services. It is the Byzantine equivalent to the Western Chasuble. 19


Phimi. A chant which gives the full title of a Bishop.

Polychronion. (Gr. "for many years"). A prayer sung by the chanter or choir in honor of the celebrant bishop or presbyter. Its full version is: "for many years of life" (Gr. Eis Polla Eti Despota; Sl. Mnogaya Lyeta).

Polyeleos. (Gr. "oil candelabrum"; "abundance of oil and grace"). Psalms 134 and 135 chanted as the third reading from the Psalter during Matins (q.v.) on Sundays and Great Feasts

  1. Special hymns sung during the Service of Matins.

  2. The great candelabra hanging from the ceiling of an Orthodox church.

  3. A descriptive adjective used to describe Christ as the God of Mercy.

Presbyter. (Gr. "elder"). A priest in charge of a parish. A protopresbyter is an honorary title granted by a bishop in acknowledgement of service to the church.

Poustinia (Russian: пустынь) is a small sparsely furnished cabin or room where one goes to pray and fast alone in the presence of God.

Prayer rope. is a loop made up of complex woven knots formed in a cross pattern, usually out of wool or silk. Prayer ropes are part of the practice of Eastern Orthodox and Eastern-Catholic monks and nuns and is employed by monastics (and sometimes by others) to count the number of times one has prayed the Jesus Prayer or, occasionally, other prayers. The typical prayer rope has thirty three knots, representing the thirty three years of Christ's life. Oriental Orthodoxy also uses the prayer rope, where it is known by its Coptic name.

Prokeimenon. (Gr. "gradual introduction" Greek - What is set forth). A liturgical verse or scriptural passage sung or read before the reading of the Epistle. It serves as an introduction to the theme of this particular reading. Verses from the Psalter sung following the Entrance at Vespers (q.v.) and before the Gospel of Matins (q.v.) and the Epistle during the Divine Liturgy


Proskomide / Proskomedia. (Gr. "gathering of gifts" or "preparing to receive the gifts"; Sl. Shertvennik). The Service of the preparation of the elements of bread and wine before the Liturgy. It takes place on the Table of Oblation (Prothesis), which is situated at the left (north) side of the altar. is celebrated privately at the Prothesis Table (q.v) behind the Iconostasis before the Liturgy of the Word.

note: does this mean the priests hold their own private communion, without placing the elements both on a spoon together, carefully gathering every dropped crumb of bread? The thought it is blasphemous treading on these multiple leavened breadcrumbs when giving out hundreds of communions to the public may have evolved into the public communion from a spoon in Orthodoxy, when not so in Catholicism using wafers.


Prosphoro. (Gr. "offering gift, an item dedicated to God and offered as a votive," also prosphora). The altar bread which is leavened and prepared with pure wheat flour to be used for the Eucharist, stamped with a seal with the Greek monogram "ICXC NIKA", which means "Jesus Christ Conquers." similar to Catholic wafer stamps. It is round and stamped on the top with a special seal (sphragis or Panagiari). Sometimes it is made in two layers symbolizing the two natures of Christ (Human and Divine). The inscribed parts of the top are used for the Eucharist, the priest cuts pieces from several, - usually five, loaves for the Eucharist and places them on the Discos or Paten, and the rest of it is cut into small pieces to be distributed to the faithful (antidoron).

Prothesis table. The table in the Altar (q.v.) to the left of the Holy Table (q.v.) on which the-gifts (q.v.) are prepared during the Proskomedia

Pulpit. (Gr.; Sl. Amvon, "an elevated place, podium"). A small raised platform or elaborate podium at the left (north) side of the solea and in the front of the iconostasis. Decorated with representations of the four Evangelists, it is the place on which the deacon or priest reads the Gospel and delivers his sermon.



Raso. (see cassock).

Readable books. (Greek - Anaginoskomena) The Orthodox term for the books classified as Apocrypha by Protestants and as Deutero-canonical by Roman Catholics. Since the official version of the Old Testament used by the Orthodox Church is the Septuagint Greek text, those books found in the Septuagint but not in the Masoretic Hebrew text enjoy authority in the Orthodox Church. However, Orthodox theologians do not agree on the exact nature of authority. Some consider them fully canonical, while others consider them of lesser value and call them Readable Books.

note: the first cracks appear. Their theology is crumbling. Suddenly their traditional canon is not so official anymore. Its a sign their house of cards is falling apart.

Reader: First of the minor orders, a reader is given the responsibility of  reading the Epistle during liturgy, and even celebrating some Divine Services in the absence of a Bishop or Deacon. (this shows the heresy of Nicolaitans, and a ridiculous man made power structure).


Relics. (Gr. Leipsana Agia). The remains from the body of a Saint or even a Saint's possessions, such as clothes or vestments. The relics are honored and venerated by all Orthodox. Upon the consecration of a new church, the consecrating bishop embeds holy relics in the Altar Table typifying Rev. 6:9., following the ancient traditions of the church in performing the Eucharist on the tombs of Martyrs (Martyria). Acts 19:11 and interestingly 2 Kgs 13:21 are scriptures scripture used in a bogus way to justify relics.. 


Rite. (Gr. Telete, Sl. Tchin). The performance of a religious ceremony following a prescribed order of words and actions (typikon). A method of worship. In the Orthodox Church, there are two rites, the Byzantine (q.v.) or Eastern Rite of most Orthodox, and the smaller Western Rite (q.v.)

Rite of Mutual Forgiveness. a form of general confession, (or manifest contrition), It involves an exchange between the priest and the congregation (or, in monasteries, between the superior and the brotherhood). The priest will make a prostration before all and ask their forgiveness for sins committed in act, word, deed, and thought. Those present ask that God may forgive him, and then they in turn all prostrate themselves and ask the priest's forgiveness. 

The priest then pronounces a blessing. The rite of Mutual Forgiveness does not replace the Mystery of Confession and Absolution, but is for the purpose of maintaining Christian charity and a humble and contrite spirit. This general confession is practiced in monasteries at the first service on arising (the Midnight Office) and the last service before retiring to sleep (Compline). Old Believers will perform the rite regularly before the beginning of the Divine Liturgy. The best-known asking of mutual forgiveness occurs at Vespers on the Sunday of Forgiveness, and it is with this act that Great Lent begins.


Rudder. (Gr. Pedalion). The book containing the rules and regulations prescribed by the Ecumenical Synods and the Fathers. It is the Constitution of the Orthodox Church.



Saccos. The tunic like vestment worn by a bishop (q.v.) over the sticharion. It symbolizes the seamless robe of Christ and often has bells in imitation of the tunic of the Jewish High Priest.

Sacrament. (Gr. Mysterion; Sl. Tainstvo). The outward and visible part of religion, consisting of various ceremonies, words, and symbolisms, producing an invisible action by the Holy Spirit that confers grace on an individual. All Sacraments were instituted by Christ for the salvation of the believer (see separate sections on the Sacraments and the Sacramental Life in the Orthodox Church).

see Mystery


Sacrifice. (Gr. Thysia; Sl. Zhertva). The bloodless offering to God, which is the Holy Eucharist offered at the Liturgy. It signifies the sacrifice of Christ on the cross for man's salvation. Also, refer to the article on the Dogmatic Tradition of the Orthodox Church.


Sacristy. (Gr. Skevophylakion; Sl. Riznitsa). A utility room at the right side (south) of the altar, where vestments and sacred vessels are kept and where the clergy vest for services.


Sakkos or Dalmatic. The main vestment worn by the bishop during the Liturgy. It originates from the vestments of the Byzantine emperor.


Salutations. (see Akathistos hymn).

Solea. The area between the Nave q.v.) and the Altar (q.v.) directly in - front of the Iconostasis (q.v.). Services such as Marriage, Baptism, and-Memorial Services for the Departed are conducted in the Solea. SPEAR - The liturgical lance used to cut the bread during the Proskomedia (q.v).



Service books. They are special books containing the hymns or the services of the Orthodox Church. There are eight, as follows: Gospel (Evangelion), Book of Epistles (Apostolos), Psalter (Octoechos or paraklitiki), Triodion, Pentecostarion, Twelve Menaia, Horologion, and Service or Liturgy book (Euchologio or Ieratiko).


Service Book or Ieratikon or Litourgikon or Euchologio. (Sl. Sluzhebnik). The liturgical book containing the prayers and ceremonial order of the various church services including the Liturgy.


Sign of the Cross. The Orthodox make the Sign of the Cross to signify their belief in the sacrifice of Christ upon the cross for man's salvation. It is made by the right hand in a cruciform gesture touching the forehead, chest, right and left shoulders with the tips of fingers (the thumb, index, and middle finger joined together as a symbol of the Holy Trinity, the ring and little fingers touching the palm as a symbol of the two Natures of Christ).

Solea. An area with elevated floor in front of the iconostasis of the church, where the various rites and church ceremonies are held.

Spiritual guide. the person whom one confesses sins before on a regular basis, usually a priest or a starets.

Spoon.  A gold or silver spoon used to administer Holy Communion to the Laity. Following the Communion of the Clergy, the Priest places the Lamb (q.v) in the Chalice for the Communion of the Laity. STAR - Two metal bands that form a star and are placed over the bread on the diskos (q.v) during the Proskomedia (q.v.) to protect it from the veil.

Star Cover: Cross-piece of gold or silver with a star located at the top, placed on the Diskos to keep the chalice veils from resting on the Lamb.  Symbolizes the Star of Bethlehem, which shone over the Christ Child at His Nativity.


Sticharion. The Byzantine equivalent to the Western Alb. It symbolizes the garment of Baptism, but is not always white. when worn by Bishops, and Priests it is worn under their other vestments. When worn by Deacon’s it is often ornate, being made of colored fabrics. Subdeacons, readers, and altar boys also wear sticharions, like that of the Deacon.


Stichera.  Troparia chanted between the verses of the "Lord, I have cried..." (q.v.) in Vespers (q.v.) and the Ainoi (q.v.) of Matins (q.v.) , which change according to the Tone (q.v.) or feast.



  1. A brief biography of a saint read in the church on occasions of his feast day.

  2. Book or books containing lives of the saints.

Synaxis. (Gr. "assembly"; Sl. Sobor). A gathering of the faithful in honor of a saint or for reading passages from his biography (synaxarion).

Synaxis: A title applied to certain feast days falling on the day immediately after a Great Feast. Generally, all personages involved in the preceeding Great Feast are commemorated on this day. Often, it also used to refer to the main feast of a particular saint or local church, e.g. the Synaxis of the Archangels or the Synaxis of the Theotokos in Neochorion, etc. It is a term

Synaxis of the 70 Apostles: quote: "The Seventy Disciples and Apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ are those Whom our Saviour chose in addition to the Twelve and sent forth unto the work of preaching. With the passage of time, others were added to their number by the Holy Apostles, who, with the accompaniment and assistance of the Seventy, were preaching the Gospel of Christ in various lands. Although their number eventually exceeded seventy, they were all nonetheless referred to as "of the Seventy" out of reverence for the number of Apostles which the Lord chose." This is very significant as it shows an attempt to draw a comparison between the 70 elders of the old testament by the Orthodox, who through Baby;lonian corruption later wrote the Talmud, and this exposes the true demonic root of Apostolic Succession.

see - 

Apolytikion: Kontakion: - in churchianity section.


Tabernacle. (Gr. Artophorion; Sl. Darochranitelnitsa). An elaborate ark or receptacle kept on the Altar Table, in which the Holy Gifts of the Eucharist are preserved for the communion of the sick or for the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts during Lent.


Theotokos. (Greek - God Bearer) The chief title given to the Virgin Mary in Orthodox devotion. Affirmed by the Council of Ephesis in 431 as a means to profess the divinity of Christ from the moment of His conception as well as the fact that in Orthodox dogma Christ is perfect God and perfect Man. Orthodox Christians affirm the perpetual virginity of Mary, but reject the Roman Catholic dogma of the Immaculate Conception (see Original Sin). They celebrate the Feast of the Dormition but do not dogmatize the physical Assumption of Mary. -


Theotokion. (Gr. "referring to Theotokos"; Sl. Bogorodichey). A troparion, A hymn which refers to or praises Theotokos, the "Mother of God". The final troparion of a set of stichera is usually a Theotokion.

Tone. A group of set melodic formulas that forms the basis for Orthodox chant. There are eight such groups or tones in use. There are two basic forms of the tones, Byzantine and Slavonic.

Tradition. The life of the Church throughout the ages in the Holy Spirit (that blasphemous definition of theirs is difficult even to write down for a Protestant) . The chief elements of Tradition are the Bible, the decisions of the Ecumenical Councils, the liturgical texts of the services of the Church, and the writings of the Fathers and great theologians. Holy Tradition is the chief authority for Orthodox Christians in matters of belief and practice.


Transfiguration. (Gr. Metamorphosis). The transfiguration of Christ is a major feast day (August 6) commemorating the appearance of Christ in divine glory along with Moses and the prophet Elias on Mount Tabor (cf. Matt. 17: 1-7).

Triodion. (Gr. "three odes or modes").

  1. The period between the Sunday of the Pharisee and the Publican, and Cheese-Fare Sunday.

  2. A Liturgical book containing the hymns, prayers, and services of the movable feast before Easter, beginning with the Sunday of the Pharisee and the Publican and lasting until Easter Sunday.


Trisagion. (Gr. "thrice-holy").

  1. One of the most ancient hymns of the church, used by the Orthodox in every prayer or service: "Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, have mercy upon us."

  2. Memorial Service performed by the graveside or in church for the repose of the soul.


Thurible. a censer. for incense, incense that is used to affect the mind into semi-trance like states by causing people to look at icons with distorted faces, bodies and landscapes, causing people to think they have religious experiences in the gold plated churches of Orthodoxy.

Translation of Relics: The day on which a saint's relics are uncovered or when they are transferred from one place to another.

Troparion.  A short hymn. TYPIKA - Prayers, and hymns from the Divine Liturgy (q.v.) chanted on days when the Divine Liturgy (q.v.) is not celebrated. In the absence of a priest (q.v.), a deacon (q.v.) ,or layman may lead the service of the Typika.


Typikon. (Gr. "following the order"; Sl. Sluzhebnik). Liturgical book which contains instructions or rubrics about the order of the various church services and ceremonies in the form of a perpetual calendar. 

The Book of direction or rubrics that explains how to celebrate the services. There is the Greek Typikon and the Slavonic Typikon.



Unleavened bread. Used in the eucharist in Latin (Western) churches.

note: did Jesus break the law if he used leavened bread in the communion? On the other hand if he did use unleavened bread - s the Orthodox communion even like the original Last Supper? 

Unction. (see Chrism).

Uniats. (see Byzantine Rite). Churches in full communion with Rome, that originally were part of the Eastern Orthodox Church (q.v.) or one of the Oriental Orthodox Churches (q.v.), and which retain the Rite of the Western Church rather than the Byzantine Rite (q.v) of most Orthodox. Western Rite services, vestments and church architecture resemble those of Roman Catholic or High Anglican churches.


Vespers. (Gr. Esperinos; Sl. Litiya). An important service of the Orthodox Church, held in the evening, which is mainly a Thanksgiving prayer for the closing day and a welcome of the new one to come the following morning. On the eve of an important holiday, the Vesper Service includes Artoclasia or the blessing of the five loaves (Gr. artos; Sl. Litiya) for health and the well-being of the faithful.

Vestments. (Gr. Amphia). The distinctive garments worn by the clergy in the liturgy and the other church services

See also:

  • Epigonation

  • Epitrachelion

  • Omophorion

  • Orarion

  • Rason

  • Sakkos

  • Sticharion

  • Zone


Viaticum: (Catholic).  Holy Communion received by dying persons to help them pass over to God in the afterlife.

Vigil. (Gr. olonychtia). Spiritual exercises during the night preceding the feast day of a saint or another major feast, observed by various spiritual preparations, prayers, and services.

Votive .offered or consecrated in fulfilment of a vow: votive offerings. This word is loaded with unbiblical connotations, as it is used not only about candles, but even with building "votive churches" (when the church is the people not a building, and as there are no such purpose built buildings in the new testament, some would argue it is "offering a sin to God".). These votive churches and then said to "atone" for sins and are linked to the controversy of vows. The list goes on, including votive crowns, a waste of money that could feed the poor. It is linked to votive offering to false gods. 




Year of the Church. (see calendar). 


Zeon. (Gr. "boiling"). The hot water poured into the Chalice following the fraction during the Divine Liturgy used by the priest for the Eucharist. It is added to the chalice during the Communion hymn in commemoration of the water that flowed out of the side of the crucified Christ when he was pierced with the spear.

The practice of drinking wine mixed with water existed already in Ancient Greece. Drinking wine unmixed was uncommon, and was signaled as such. The Sephardi Hebrews had the practice of meziga (mixing) the Kiddush wine with water. The Christian Orthodox and Sephardic customs may share the same Oriental origin.


Zone. The belt or girdle worn by the priests worn over the sticharion and the epitrachelion. It is wider than the Western cincture and made of the same - material as the epitrachelion. It signifies the power of faith or girding one's loins with righteousness..


Abbess. (from masc. abbot; Gr. Hegoumeni). The female superior of a community of nuns, appointed by a bishop; Mother Superior. She has general authority over her community and nunnery under the supervision of a bishop.


Abbot. (from Aram. abba, father; Gr. Hegoumenos, Sl. Nastoyatel). The head of a monastic community or monastery, appointed by a bishop or elected by the members of the community. He has ordinary jurisdiction and authority over his monastery, serving in particular as spiritual father and guiding the members of his community.

Hours. In Orthodox monasteries, monks maintain special services for the main hours of the day. Each hour commemorates a special event, as follows:

  1. First hour (6:00 A.M.): Thanksgiving for the new morning and prayer for a sinless day.

  2. Third hour (9:00 A.M.): the descent of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost.

  3. Sixth hour (12:00 noon): the nailing of Christ to the Cross.

  4. Ninth hour (3:00 P.M.): the death of Christ.

Mount Athos. The center of Orthodox monasticism, situated on a conical mountain on the Chakidi Peninsula, Greece.

Anchorite. / 


Archimandrite. (A celibate presbyter of high rank) / 


Ascetic. (monk) / 


Hours. (monastery services) / 


Monastery. /


Mount Athos / 


Stavropegion. /


All-Saints Sunday. / Annunciation. (feast of) / Apodosis. / Ascension. (feast of) / Assumption or Dormition (feast day) / Easter / Epiphany. / Salutation Services


Armenian Church. (451 AD split)

appr. = approximately
Ar. = Arabic
Aram. = Aramaic
cf. = see, check
esp. = especially
fem. = feminine n. = neuter

Gr. = Greek
Hebr. = Hebrew
Lat. = Latin
masc. = masculine
Sl. = Slavonic

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