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The '''antimension''' (Greek for "instead of the table"), also called the '''antimins''' (Slavonic), is one of the furnishings of the [[altar]]. It is a rectangular piece of cloth, of linen or silk, with representations of the entombment of [[Jesus Christ|Christ]], the four [[Evangelist]]s, and scriptural passages related to the [[Eucharist]]. It often has a very small [[relics|relic]] sewn into it. During the [[Divine Liturgy]], it is unfolded on the altar just before the [[Anaphora]], and the Eucharist is [[Consecration of the Eucharist|consecrated ]] on it. The antimension must be [[consecration|consecrated ]] and signed by the [[bishop]], indicating his permission for the Eucharist to be celebrated in his absence. It is, in effect, the [[priest]]'s permission to officiate.
The antimension is a substitute altar. A priest may celebrate the Eucharist on the antimension even if there is no properly consecrated altar. In emergencies, war and persecution, the antimension serves a very important pastoral need. The [[eileton]] is now often used to wrap the antimension when it is not in use.
Although St . [[Theodore the Studite ]] (759-826) mentions "fabric altars," the term "antimension" is not found before the late twelfth century. ==Source==*[[w:Antimension|''Antimension'' on Wikipedia]] ==External link==*[ Antimens or Antiminsion] from ''A Dictionary of Orthodox Terminology'' by Fotios K. Litsas, Ph.D. (Orthodox Research Institute)*[ Antimensions from Mount Athos] at the Orthodox Multimedia Gallery*[ The Antimension]
[[Category:Liturgical objects]]
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