When should we stand during Liturgy?


Father Chris, when should we be standing during the Holy Liturgy?              

The traditional stance for prayer in the Orthodox Church has always been standing before God.  Ideally, we should be standing during the ENTIRE Liturgy.  However, if we are not physically capable of this, due to weakness, pain, or discomfort, we should not be ashamed to sit down.  God loves each and every one of us, and accepts the intention of the heart more than the physical act.

During the Great Litany at the beginning of the Liturgy, we should remain standing.  We may sit during the singing of the Antiphons, rising when it is time to begin the “Little Entrance”.  After the “Trisagion” is sung (Svjati Boze), we may sit during the Epistle Reading, and stand during the Alleluia, when Father is censing the congregation.  We should remain standing during the reading of the Holy Gospel, and sit during the sermon/homily.  At this time, no one should be coming into the Church to disrupt what is occurring.

We may remain sitting during the Litanies, rising during the Litany for the Catechumens only when we are praying over catechumens. We stand during the singing of “The Cherubikon” and the Great Entrance, sitting after the Holy Gifts are presented in the Altar and are covered.  We may then remain sitting during the Litany before the Offering.

When Father proclaims, “Let us stand aright….” we should stand for the Anaphora/Offering, until the Litany before the “Lord’s Prayer”.

We stand during the Lord’s Prayer, and remain standing until after Father has received Holy Communion.  We also should stand during the Communion of the Faithful, only sitting again after the Dismissal. 

Once again, this is determined by our ability and strength.  I would rather someone come to Church and have to sit the entire time, than not come at all!


There are also times during the Liturgy when we should make a small prostration (blessing ourselves and touching the floor):

1)  During the Trisagion (Holy God)

2)  As the gifts are processed around us during the Great Entrance

3)  During the Holy Anaphora, anytime the clergy do a small prostration.