THE GOSPEL TEXT - DR. GIL HAAS, SAINT AUGUSTINE OF CANTERBURY EPISCOPAL CHURCH, OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLAHOMA
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From ancient times the gospel lessons have been collected in a large book with an ornate cover, often illustrated and adorned with icons and jewels. This book if called a Gospel Book or Evangelion. The concept of an ornate Gospel Book was restored with the 1979 Book of Common Prayer which suggested that the lessons and gospel “be read from a book or books of appropriate size and dignity” (p 406). From the 4th century Gospel Books were produced as “display books” for ceremonial and ornamental purposes. When carried in procession, the Gospel Book is held as high as possible, and this function is often performed by the deacon. At the time of the gospel lesson, the deacon (who before proclaiming the gospel receives the presiding priest’s blessing) then processes the book to the ambo (i.e., lectern). If incense is used, the Gospel Book is censed by the deacon before the reading. The Second Council of Nicaea in 787 decreed the icons, crosses, and gospel books may be venerated as sacred images, just as the incarnate Christ is the image of the invisible God. At the gospel’s conclusion, the celebrant kisses the beginning of the gospel text.
~Dr. Gil Haas, Saint Augustine of Canterbury Episcopal Church, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Various Clergy and members of St. Augustine contribute to authoring the blog on a variety of topics.