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WHAT IS ANTIMENSION?
ancient traditions - re: tenebrae & anastasis

AWAKE O SLEEPER - ARISE FROM THE DEAD



 ~ ANTIMENSION ~

 
EPHESIANS 5:14
  14  ---- "Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light. 
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TENEBRAE AND ANTIMENSION
 What do tenebrae and Antimension: "instead of the table" have to do with each other?  The altar linens I use when celebrating mass at the bed side of the sick in the hospital or hospice all have crosses on them.  The Antimension is near by placed in prominate view so it will not be spoiled by fluids.  My mass kit  is designed to focus on the cross which the Savior died.  The mass the celebration of the Holy Eucharist calls those who participate to focus on our Lord’s death and the gift of Himself under the signs of the bread and the wine; the resurrected Christ is with us.
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A REMINDER
Tenebrae is a reminder of Christ’s sacrifice for us so our sins can be forgiven and focuses on the what it cost our Lord to pay for the sins we and the whole world committed against the Holy Trinity.  The Antimension: "instead of the table"  reminds me that I am holding in my hands the very body and blood of Christ, the gift that cost our Lord every thing by His suffering, bleeding, dying, buried, and his decent into Hell secured my hope of eternal life.
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FOR MORE INFORMATION - click icon
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"The visual images of the Cross of the Lord Jesus Christ release the power of Christ, in blessing homes that are experiencing violent hauntings.  I strike the front door with a crucifix commanding that all evil specters of Satan leave this place by the power of the Lord Jesus Christ and His blood stained cross.  In life and in facing our deaths  we need to know that the blood of Jesus Christ has power to cleanse us from all sin.  Both Tenebrea and the mass, and even the  Antimension: "instead of the table"  help us to apply the grace of God from the cross to our daily lives."
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 Blessings,
Fr. Joe

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follow these links for more information:
WHAT HAPPENED AFTER HE BREATHED HIS LAST?
MORE ABOUT ANTIMENSION   -   (GREAT FRIDAY) - EPITAPHIOS
also see
AN ANCIENT HOMILY   -   MORE LINKS



WHAT HAPPENED 
AFTER JESUS BREATHED HIS LAST?
The Passover lambs had been sacrificed in every Jewish home. The Lord of Glory the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ had taken in His heart all of the sins of mankind on the alter of His blood stained cross. When Jesus Christ died on the cross; darkness covered the whole earth, the earth quake caused the mount the cross stood on to split in two.  Tradition states that Adam the first man had been buried on Mt. Calvary so the very first sinners along with Mother Eve was redeemed by the precious blood of the Savior.
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The real Passover, the true deliverace was celebrated in the compartment of Hell called Paradise where the souls of the just who died since the beginning of the world were being detained. At that moment when the Lord Jesus breathed his last.  The soul of the Lord Jesus descended into this compartment of Hell to announce the glad tidings of mankind’s redemption, to tell those there they would soon rise in triumph following Christ to Heaven.  When the Lord Jesus had risen from the dead on His Ascension all of these redeemed and resurrected people escorted our Lord to His throne in heaven.
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We too who place our faith in and live for our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ will too one day join these saints and others in heaven when Christ resurrects us from the dead.   Shared by Father Joe 
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PSALM 16:9 -10 
  9 Therefore my heart is glad, my soul rejoices; my body also dwells secure, 10 For you will not abandon me to Sheol, nor net your faithful servant see the pit.
   




~ MORE ABOUT ANTIMENSION ~

  ROMANIAN ANTIMINS
from Oradea-Mare (Transylvania), 1890.
The Antimins, (from the Greek Antimension: "instead of the table"), is one of the most important furnishings of the altar in many Eastern Christian liturgical traditions. It is a rectangular piece of cloth, either linen or silk, typically decorated with representations of the Descent of Christ from the Cross, the four Evangelists, and inscriptions related to the Passion. A small relic of a martyr is sewn into it.
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FOR MORE INFORMATION - please click icon
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It is not permitted to celebrate the Eucharist without an antimins. The antimins is kept in the centre of the Holy Table (altar) and is unfolded only during the Divine Liturgy, before the Anaphora. At the end of the Liturgy, the antimins is folded in thirds, and then in thirds again, so that when it is unfolded the creases form a cross (see picture, left). When folded, the antimins sits in the center of another slightly larger cloth, the eiliton (Slavonic: Ilitón)—similar to the western corporal, except it is usually red in colour—which is then folded around it in the same manner (3 x 3), encasing it completely. 
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A flattened natural sponge is also kept inside the antimins, which is used to collect any crumbs which might fall onto the Holy Table. When the antimins and eiliton are folded, the Gospel Book is laid on top of them.
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A SIGN OF PERMISSION
The antimins must be consecrated and signed by a bishop. The antimins, together with the chrism remain the property of the bishop, and are the means by which a bishop indicates his permission for the Holy Mysteries (Sacraments) to be celebrated in his absence. It is, in effect, the church's licence to hold divine services. If a bishop were to withdraw his permission to serve the Mysteries, he would do so by taking the antimins and chrism back. Whenever a bishop visits a church or monastery under his jurisdiction, he will enter the altar (sanctuary) and inspect the antimins to be sure that it has been properly cared for, and that it is in fact the one that he issued.
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Besides the bishop, no one is allowed to touch an antimins except a priest or deacon; and because it is a consecrated object, they should be vested when they do so—the deacon should be fully vested, and the priest should vest in at least epitrachil (stole) and epimanikia (cuffs).




~ GREAT FRIDAY / GREAT SATURDAY ~
    EPITAPHIOS - ICON
The Epitaphios (Greek: epitáphios, or epitáphion; Slavonic: plashchanitsa; Arabic:  --naash) is an icon, today most often found as a large cloth, embroidered and often richly adorned, which is used during the services of Great Friday and Great Saturday in the Eastern Orthodox Churches and those Eastern Catholic Churches which follow the Byzantine Rite. It also exists in painted or mosaic form, on wall or panel.
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The Epitaphios is also a common short form of the Epitáphios Thr?nos, the "Lamentation upon the Grave" in Greek, which is the main part of the service of the Matins of Holy Saturday, served in Good Friday evening. (see wikimedia for more)
FOR MORE INFORMATION - click icon
A 17th-CENTURY EPITAPHIOS (icon)
(from Fyodorovskaya Church in Yaroslavl)

The antimins is a substitute altar. A priest may celebrate the Eucharist on the antimins even if there is no properly consecrated altar. In emergencies, war and persecution, the antimins thus serves a very important pastoral need. Formerly if the priest celebrated at a consecrated altar, the sacred elements were placed only on the eiliton. However, in current practice the priest always uses the antimins, even on a consecrated altar that has relics sealed in it.
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FOR MORE INFORMATION- click icon
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At the Divine Liturgy, during the Ektenias (Litanies) that precede the Great Entrance, the eiliton is opened fully and the antimins is opened three-quarters of the way, leaving the top portion folded. Then, during the Ektenia of the Catechumens, when the deacon says, "That He (God) may reveal unto them (the catechumens) the Gospel of righteousness," the priest unfolds the last portion of the antimins, revealing the mystery of Christ's death and resurrection.
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After the Entrance, the chalice and diskos are placed on the antimins and the Gifts (bread and wine) are consecrated. The antimins remains unfolded until after all have received Holy Communion and the chalice and diskos are taken back to the Prothesis (Table of Oblation). The deacon (or, if there is no deacon, the priest) must very carefully inspect the antimins to be sure there are no crumbs left on it, and then it is folded up, the eiliton is folded, and the Gospel Book placed on top of it.



AN ANCIENT HOMILY
Something strange is happening – there is a great silence on earth today, a great silence and stillness. The whole earth keeps silence because the King is asleep. The earth trembled and is still because God has fallen asleep in the flesh and he has raised up all who have slept since the world began. God has died in the flesh and hell trembles with fear.
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He has gone to search for our first parent, as for a lost sheep. Greatly desiring to visit those who live in darkness and in the shadow of death, he has gone to free from sorrow the captives Adam and Eve, he who is both God and the son of Eve. The Lord approached them bearing the cross, the weapon that had won him the victory. At the sight of him, Adam, the first man he had created, struck his breast in terror and cried out to everyone: “My Lord be with you all.” Christ answered him: “And with your spirit.” He took him by the hand and raised him up, saying: “Awake, O sleeper, and rise from the dead, and Christ will give you light.
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ICON; State Russian Museum, Sankt Petersburg, 1405-1504
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EPHESIANS 5:14
  14  ---- "Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light. 
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“I am your God, who for your sake have become your son. Out of love for you and for your descendants I now by my own authority command all who are held in bondage to come forth, all who are in darkness to be enlightened, all who are sleeping to arise. I order you, O sleeper, to awake. I did not create you to be held a prisoner in hell. Rise from the dead, for I am the life of the dead. Rise up, work of my hands, you who were created in my image. Rise, let us leave this place, for your are in me and I am in you; together we form only one person and we cannot be separated.
“For your sake, I, your God, became your son; I, the Lord, took the form of a slave; I, whose home is above the heavens, descended to the earth and beneath the earth. For your sake, for the sake of man, I became like a man without help, free among the dead. For the sake of you, who left a garden, I was betrayed to the Jews in a garden, and I was crucified in a garden.
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“See on my face the spittle I received in order to restore to you the life I once breathed into you. See there the marks of the blows I received in order to refashion your warped nature in my image. On my back see the marks of the scourging I endured to remove the burden of sin that weighs upon your back. See my hands, nailed firmly to a tree, for you who once wickedly stretched out your hand to a tree.
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“I slept on the cross and a sword pierced my side for you who slept in paradise and brought forth Eve from your side. My side has healed the pain in yours. My sleep will rouse you from sleep in Hell. The sword that pierced me has sheathed the sword that was turned against you.
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“Rise, let us leave this place. The enemy led you out of the earthly paradise. I will not restore you to that paradise, but I will enthrone you in heaven. I forbade you the tree that was only a symbol of life, but see, I who am life itself am now one with you. I appointed cherubim to guard you as slaves are guarded, but now I make them worship you as God. The throne formed by cherubim awaits you, its bearers swift and eager. The bridal chamber is adorned, the banquet is ready, the eternal dwelling places are prepared, the treasure houses of all good things lie open. The kingdom of heaven has been prepared for you from all eternity.




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great insight, dont miss 
NY TIMES 1872 - TENEBRAE
Essay on Adam Under Calvary - Fr Bagatti OFM
Chapel of Adam (Church of Holy Sepulchre) Jerusalem
A great link showing the 1st century 
rocky terrain where Christ Was Buried 
GOLGATHA CROSS SECTION MAP 
MUSEUM - ADAM
also see
LIFE IS A PRAYER
TENEBRAE / ANASTASIS
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