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Consecration of a church

8 bytes added, 12:46, February 19, 2012
===Washing and anointing the altar table===
After placing the relics in the altar table (disposition), the bishop proceeds to the washing and anointing of the altar table. For this purpose the bishop is vested in a special white linen garment over his vestments called a [[savanon|sratchitza]] or savanon. The baptism of the altar table begins with the prayer of consecration by the bishop, followed by petitions by the [[diaconate|deacon]]. The bishop then is given a basin of water and, with a blessing and prayer, pours the water over the table three times and washes it while Psalm 84 is read. Symbolizing baptism, the table is cleaned by washing and made holy by the [[grace]] of the [[Holy Spirit]].
After the table is dried, the bishop sprinkles rosewater on it and continues reading Psalm 51. The assisting priests then dry the table with the [[antimins]]. Having anointed the table with chrism, once in the center and on each side, the bishop proceeds to spread the chrism over all the table while reciting a section of Psalm 133. The excess chrism is wiped off by the priests with the antimins, and [[icon]]s of the four [[Evangelist]]s are fastened, one at each corner, to the altar table.

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