Gospel Book

Gospel Book

The Gospel Book, or Book of the Gospels (Greek: ). Even when the antimension is unfolded to receive the chalice and diskos, the Gospel Book is not removed from the Holy Table, but is stood upright in front of the Tabernacle.

The Divine Liturgy begins with the priest lifting the Gospel Book high and making the sign of the cross with it over the Altar. The Gospel Book is carried in procession at specific times, accompanied by candles. The most frequent occurrence is during the Divine Liturgy when it is carried in the Little Entrance [In the Greek usage, the processional cross and fans are used in the Little Entrance as well. With the Russians, the fans are usually only used when a Bishop is celebrating.] which precedes the Epistle and Gospel readings. It is also carried in the Crucessions at Pascha and Theophany. After reading from the Gospel, the priest will bless the faithful with it. At Sunday Matins, after the Gospel reading, all come forward to venerate the Gospel Book and receive the blessing of the priest or bishop.

Whenever an Eastern Christian goes to Confession he or she will confess before a Gospel Book and the Cross. In traditional Orthodox countries, when a person takes a vow or oath, he usually does so before a Gospel Book and Cross.

Near the end of the Sacred Mystery of Holy Unction, the person or persons that were anointed will kneel and the Gospel Book is opened and placed on their heads, with the writing down. While the chief priest says a special Prayer of the Gospel.

When a Bishop is Consecrated, he kneels, touching his forehead to the Altar, and the Gospel Book is opened and placed with the text down over his neck, while the consecrating bishops place their hands on the Gospel and say the Prayer of Consecration.

When a Synod of bishops meets, a Gospel Book is often enthroned in a prominent place to show that Christ Himself presides over the meeting.

When a priest or bishop is buried, he is buried with a Gospel Book resting on his chest, as an indication of his vocation to preach the Gospel to all men. The funeral service for a priest and bishop will have several readings from the Gospels, to indicate the importance of the Gospel to his ministry.

The Gospel Book contains the readings that are used at Matins, the Divine Liturgy, Molebens, and other services. Among the Greeks the Gospel Book is laid out in order of the cycle of readings as they occur in the ecclesiastical year, with a section in the back providing the Gospel readings for Matins, Feasts and special occasions. In the Slavic usage, the Gospel Book contains the full text of the four Gospels in canonical order (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John), with annotations in the margins to indicate the beginning and ending of each reading, and a table of readings in the back. Occasionally it will contain pre-arranged texts of the more complex composite readings, such as the Twelve Gospels read at Matins on Good Friday.

Armenian Use

In the Armenian Apostolic Church and the Armenian Catholic Church, during the reading of the Gospel, the deacon holds a piece of fine fabric in his hands, and with that he holds the Gospel Book. It is considered improper to touch the Gospel Book with bare hands. No lectern is provided for the Gospel reading in the Armenian sanctuary.

ignificant Gospel Books

*Ada Gospels
*Rossano Gospels
*Rabula Gospels
*Mulling Gospels
*Cadmug Gospels
*MacRegol Gospels
*Book of Durrow
*Echternach Gospels
*St. Augustine Gospels
*Stonyhurst Gospel
*Durham Gospels
*Lindisfarne Gospels
*Lichfield Gospels (also known as the St. Chad Gospels)
*Leningrad Gospels
*Book of Kells
*Trier Gospels
*Saint-Martin-des Champs Gospels
*Maaseik Gospels
*Cutbercht Gospels
*Barberini Gospels
*Vienna Coronation Gospels
*Aachen Coronation Gospels
*Ebbo Gospels
*Codex Aureus of St. Emmeram
*Lorsch Gospels
*Gero Codex
*Codex Aureus of Echternach
*Xanten Gospels
*Gospels of Henry the Lion
*Tetraevangelia of Ivan Alexander
*Peresopnytsia Gospels


External links

* [http://en.liturgy.ru/photo/evang.htm Photo of Orthodox deacon holding Gospel Book]
* [http://en.liturgy.ru/photo/ryba.htm Photo of Paschal Liturgy] (the Gospel Book can be seen lying on the Epitaphios)
* [http://www.russianorthodoxchurch.ws/synod/pictures/2jvanaf_16.jpgReading the Gospel] at All-Night Vigil
* [http://en.liturgy.ru/photo/f20.htm Photo of Confession]
* [http://www.russianorthodoxchurch.ws/synod/eng2006/images/sfsun49.jpgPhoto of Gospel Book enthroned at council]
* [http://en.liturgy.ru/photo/popy.htm Photo of deacon reading the Gospel]
* [http://www.orthodoxphotos.com/cgi-bin/photo.pl?path=Holy_Relics/St._John_Maximovitch&file=2.jpgFuneral of an Orthodox Bishop] (St. John Maximovitch) showing Gospel Book in coffin
* [http://www.alexanderpalace.org/jewels/gospel.html Jewelled Gospel book-Romanov collection] at the Alexander Palace

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