Lithium , or Litania ( church glorious. Lithuania , Greek. Λιτανεία - long  procession  , or from Greek. Λιτή - “request, prayer, prayer”) - one of the Orthodox services performed in the narthex of the church . Lithium in modern practice can be called:
- part of the all-night vigil following the petition litany at the Great Vespers , or the daily praise at the Great Supper .
- funeral service, which is shorter than a memorial service .
- procession and prayer during public disasters.
Lithium at Vespers
Initially at the Vespers, the Refraction of the Loaves or Agap — a charity evening ( dinner ) of love with communion, took place . At meals, they fed not only all baptized , but also the present caterers , who could only be in the narthex of the temple at the entrance doors, where a special funeral table was specially set up to collect offerings, consecrate them and then treat them. Another name for this table “eve” indicates its liturgical use on the eve of major holidays). The oil was consecrated not only for eating, but also for burning in oil lamps . Lamps and candles , which are placed in large numbers lit on a funeral table (on a modern lithium device, only three candles), have become more common. Temples in ancient catacombs often served as cemeteries , so the tombs of Christians in the narthex corresponded to the requiem of the second prayer of lithium
about the success, the weakening, the blessed memory and the remission of the sins of all the foregoing fathers and brethren who are lying there and Orthodox everywhere; ..
Hence, the church service for the dead is called Panikhida ( dr. Greek παννυχίς , pannihis  - “ all-night vigil ” from πᾶς, πᾶσα, πᾶν - “whole, whole” + νύξ, νυκτός - “night”), and its abbreviated the option is called lithium. At this service, a special dish of wheat grains blessed on lithium is blessed - colivo .
The content of the prayers of lithium indicates that in the Church of Constantinople it has historically been a special litigation in connection with social disasters. In fervent prayer, Christians prayed all night - an all-night vigil , and only for the sake of reinforcing their strength did the worshipers eat specially consecrated bread on lithium, after which they did not eat anything until communion . At present, due to the reduction in the duration of worship, if lithium is performed at night, those preparing for communion, on the contrary, are forbidden to eat from lithium breads in order to observe the already insufficiently long Eucharistic fast - no less than 6 hours of hunger (physiology) . According to the Typicon, there is no all-night service without lithium, but in the ubiquitous parish practice, lithium is served only at all-night services on twelfth and patronal holidays.
In ancient times, lithium was performed at the end of every Vespers. The memory of this tradition remained in the charter of performing hallelujah services, usually performed during Great Lent , when after the Vespers, a memorial service was put and in the charter of the Vespers, after which a light meal was laid, as well as in a chronicle where prayers are given between the evening and the Great Supper spoken at the meal.
Features of the
As part of an all-night vigil, it is performed in the narthex of the temple, or in the extreme western part of the refectory of the temple: the primate in epitrachili , skufie or a camilion and the deacon with the censer , bowing to the holy throne , leave the altar with the north door to the narthex and face the altar. The deacon at this time censors the temple and worshipers, the choir sings stichera on lithium from Minea or Triodi in accordance with the table:
|Service||Sequence stichera on lithium|
Special litany follows.
During the singing, stichera in the verses of the clergy enters the middle of the church, where a lithuania is prepared, which censes three times in a circle during the singing of the Virgin Virgin or troparia celebration. Blessing of lithium is the blessing of bread, wheat, wine, and oil.
Lithium at Vespers is a prayer outside the temple, that is, in the narthex of the temple. Moreover, the exodus from it may be complete (on lithium, laid according to the Typicon for some twelve holy days and during the Bright Week before the liturgy) or incomplete (all other cases). In all cases, the meaning of such a movement is a symbolic expression of unworthiness to pray in the temple: “ we pray, standing before the gates of St. of the temple, as it were before the gates of heaven ... like Adam , the publican , the prodigal son . " [four]
A special kind of lithium is established for prayer for the dead: it is performed when the deceased is taken out of the house, and also, at the request of his relatives, during church commemoration at any other time - the so-called memorial service . Memorial lithium, unlike lithium at the all-night service, can be performed both in the church itself and outside the church, for example, in a cemetery.
In addition to lithiums at festive all-night and memorial services, lithium can also occur in cases of public disasters: pandemics, droughts, earthquakes, or when recollecting them, usually outside the church , connecting with the prayer service and the procession .
- Lithium appliance