Royal Doors, Confession and other things

A few more snippets from the lectures of Hieromonk Atanasije (Jevtic):

“…after the Great Entrance I can’t confess anymore, not because I’m physically tired or something is preventing me, but because there is no sense in confessing anymore. We’ve entered into the mystery, what are going to confess now? If you have something, if something is bothering you, come earlier. If not – and there is always something for us to confess: if you put on the cleanest suit, how much dust is on you! – approach with boldness, even if you are a sinner, but also a son of God, adopted through Christ, and say: I am, Lord, that which I am and, behold, I sinful and unworthy, but I am not at peace with this, I do not identify with this. I desire to identify with You. Take my sins and destroy them, as you destroyed the sins of the world [….] Therefore, all the Holy Mysteries are completed before, until the Great Entrance. Today a sister brought two children after Liturgy and said: if you could read a prayer, Father. I said, I saw the children took communion. She said they did. Then what do you want now, after a rich meal do you want a snack. Don’t, please, the Liturgy is the greatest prayer. And the woman, thankful, said: Thank you Father I didn’t know.”

*     *     *

“I remember when a novice from Monastery Josanice, as a soldier from Valjevo, came to Monastery Celije for Liturgy and brought with him a soldier, a Roman Catholic seminarian from Slovenia, who was in awe of the Orthodox service of Fr. Justin and the sisters and the people, and so this Serb, the novice, asked the Abba: Should the Slovenian approach for the antidoron and Fr. Justin allowed him and personally gave it to him, saying:  “He’s a child.”

*     *     *

“The bishop has his throne in the church….In Belgrade, during the absolutist regime of Milos [and] Mihailo,  they added two more thrones for the emperor and empress, the king and queen. Byzantium never had this. Peter the Great and Franjo Josip introduced this: that the emperor sit next to the Bishop! He is only a lay person and stands among the laity. In Byzantium he stood when you enter the Cathedral church, where the venerating icon is, to the right near the wall and before the steps…”

*     *     *

[When explaining about the tradition of bringing the prosfora, the bread to be used for the liturgy, which at another place he mentions that it should be from the people, the community and not factory-made like the Catholic wafers. He also questions the Russian practice of only having older women make it. Anyway, he notes about the bishop receiving the prosfora at the Doors, and he says:]

“…which are called Royal today, but in fact they should be called Holy or Altar, or the Adorned Doors, since the Royal doors were at the main entrance of the church, as in Agia Sophia in Constantinople.”

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