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Encyclopedia > Epigonation
Fresco from 14th century of a bishop wearing the epigonation
Fresco from 14th century of a bishop wearing the epigonation

The epigonation (Greek: ἐπιγονάτιον, "over the knee") or palitsa (Russian: палица, "club") is a vestment used in some Eastern Christian churches. Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (1000x2019, 238 KB) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Omophorion Epigonation ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (1000x2019, 238 KB) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Omophorion Epigonation ... A club, cudgel, truncheon, night stick, or bludgeon is perhaps the simplest of all mêlée weapons. ... Vestments are liturgical garments and articles associated primarily with the Christian religions, especially the Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Lutheran and Anglican Churches. ... It has been suggested that Eastern Church be merged into this article or section. ...

Description and usage

In Eastern Orthodoxy and Eastern Rite Catholic Churches in the Byzantine tradition it is worn by all bishops and as an award for some priests. The Eastern Orthodox Church is a Christian body that encompasses national jurisdictions such as the Greek Orthodox, Russian Orthodox, Serbian Orthodoxand other Churches (see Eastern Orthodox Church organization). ... The domes of an Ukrainian Catholic parish in Simpson, Pennsylvania This article refers to Eastern Churches in full communion with the See of Rome. ... A bishop is an ordained member of the Christian clergy who, in certain Christian churches, holds a position of authority. ... Roman Catholic priests in traditional clerical clothing. ...

It is a stiff, diamond-shaped cloth that hangs on the right side of the body below the waist, suspended by one corner from a strap drawn over the left shoulder. In the Russian tradition it is an award for service; in the Greek tradition it is usually a sign that the priest has an advanced academic degree and a blessing to hear confessions. If a Russian priest has been awarded both the nabedrennik and the palitsa, he shifts the former to the left side. It is considered to symbolize the weapon of the Holy Word or a sword of Christ. Look up blessing in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Confession of sins is an integral part of the Christian faith and practice. ... A Nabedrennik (Russian: набедренник) is a vestment worn by some Orthodox priests. ...


Its origin is uncertain. According to some authorities it was a decorated thigh-shield awarded to officials in the Byzantine Empire, originally military and later civilian. According to others it was originally an ornamental handkerchief, called at that date encheirion, "hand cloth", which received its present form and name in the twelfth century. In the former case it has no Western counterpart; in the latter it would correspond to the Western maniple. Byzantine Empire (native Greek name: - Basileia tōn Romaiōn) is the term conventionally used since the 19th century to describe the Greek-speaking Roman Empire of the Middle Ages, centered at its capital in Constantinople. ... No longer used as one of the vestments of the Roman Catholic church since the Second Vatican Council, the maniple was an embroidered band of silk, about 110cm long, 8cm wide and with ends about 12cm wide. ...

It is also said that it was used to carry documents relating to one's position in the Church. Papers such as those certifying one's ordination and rank would be most relevant when travelling. Carrying them in the Liturgy would be symbolic of bearing one's authority to conduct the Holy things of the Liturgy.

Sources and references


  Results from FactBites:
Vestments (2994 words)
Pontifical vestments are the liturgical head-covering, excepting in the Armenian Rite where the priest also wears such a covering for the head, the sakkos, the omophorion, the epigonation, and the epimanikia.
The new pontifical vestments were: the sakkos, still a patriarchal vestment; the epimanikien; the epigonation, in so far as this vestment had not already been introduced before the ninth century; the epigonation first had the form of a handkerchief and was called enchirion (hand-cloth, handkerchief), it was not named epigonation until the twelfth century.
In the fourth period, from the thirteenth century to the present time, the history of the liturgical vestments is almost entirely the history of their rubrical evolution, their adornment with embroidery and ornamental trimmings, and the nature of the material from which they are made.
EPIGONATION (71 words)
The epigonation, a later diamond-shaped garment that hangs at knee-height and symbolizes the sword of Christ and His triumph over death.
Gold-embroidered epigonation in the modern style, with representation of the Resurrection of Christ.
Epigonation of blue-green velvet, embroidered in silver with relief figure (late 18th cent.).
  More results at FactBites »



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