Orans posture in Eastern liturgies

The use of an orans posture by the congregation is prescribed in the Maronite rite, and I think is also used in Melkite liturgies. Has this always been the case, and if not, when did it start?

My understanding is that this originated in the Syriac/Antiochian Tradition - as most of the Churches which traditionally use the orans position for the laity were from Jerusalem/Antioch and south India. It is mainly used for the Our Father, and a few other prayers - but I have never seen it done in imitation of the priests orans which is elevated and extended, usually the laity extend but don’t ‘over’-elevate or ‘spread out’.

I’ve seen orans, especially at the Our Father, but at other times as well, used by the faithful in Antiochian, Melkite, Maronite, and Chaldean Churches.

I’ve not been to a Syrian Catholic liturgy, but it wouldn’t surprise me.

I guess it’s an immemorial practice of these churches.

The congregation praying the Our Father during the liturgy is a relatively recent development in the Latin church. Has this always been done in Eastern liturgies?

I’ve seen it among some Eritreans and Ethiopians, too. If you search for videos of Ethiopian Orthodox mezmurs on Youtube you’ll probably find a fair bit of it, to varying degrees. The Protestants in Ethiopia, from what little I’ve seen, either go crazy with it or don’t do it at all, preferring a lot of hand clapping and jazz hands instead… :rolleyes:

The way I’m familiar with it, in the Syriac Churches (I’m not sure about the Alexandrenes or the Armenians), at the Lord’s Prayer it’s supposed to be hands up (shoulder height), palms forward, more like the “sick-em up” position, but it’s not the “orans posture” as known in the post-conciliar Latin Church.

It’s interesting among the Maronites that the posture (in either form) was never used until the “orans posture” was (Latin style) became fashionable. Interesting, too, that the vast majority of Latins in the congregation employ it, but the bulk of the Maronites do not.

As traditionally observant as I may be, I personally don’t do it, (unless I’m with a very heavy-duty Syriac community), mainly because of the post-conciliar taint.

As I said previously, it seems to be an immemorial custom in the Eastern Churches I mentioned.

Don’t forget, Latin use is NOT the standard for Catholicism.

Certainly not. I understood you to say that use of the orans posture was an immemorial custom, not the praying of the Our Father by the congregation.

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