The site Mystagogy reports on the celebration, with the approval of the local Greek bishop, of the Divine Liturgy of Sarapion (4th century Egyptian bishop) in a revival of a historical rite.

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The first surprise, of course, is that the priest is facing the people, using an altar set up in front of the iconostasis. Here are some other photos of the liturgy:

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I’m told that there is a tendency in Greece to resurrect ancient liturgies such as those of Jame, Sarapion, Mark, or Gregory the Theologian, along with some liturgical experimentation. This can mean the priest faces the people, or Communion is given separately rather than by intinction.

No doubt these experimental events are efforts to bring people closer to the liturgy. There is a populist streak to all this, for such events are popular and attract crowds. So versus populum isn’t just a post-Vatican II Roman thing.



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