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A Program of Spiritual Formation for Candidates to the Priesthood

The Lay Monastic Community of Caryana









Ecclesiastical History and Mystical Contemplation


The CHURCH. The Church is the temple of God, a holy place, a house of prayer, the assembly of the people, the body of Christ. The Church is the earthly heaven wherein God dwells. It was prefigured in the patriarchs, foretold by the prophets, founded in the apostles, adorned by the hierarchs, and fulfilled in the martyrs.

The SIMANDRON is a long, wooden-sounding board, which is struck to call the faithful to prayer. It is used in most Greek monasteries. The Latins use bells instead. This represents the angels and calls the contestants to battle against the invisible enemies.

The APSE corresponds to the cave in Bethlehem where Christ was born as well as the cave in which he was buried.

The ALTAR TABLE corresponds to the spot in the tomb where Christ was placed. Herein lies the body and blood of Christ which is offered to the faithful as food for eternal life. The Altar Table is also the throne of God on which Christ, borne by the Cherubim, rested in a human body.

The CIBORIUM represents the place where Christ was crucified. It similarly corresponds to the Ark of the Covenant. We usually call this the Baldichine, the roof over the altar supported by the four columns.

St. Germanus





( 01-05-02)

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