Reception of New Antimins and a Supplication Service to St. Raphael
In June 2015, His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph issued new Antimins to all of his parishes in the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America. On July 5, Fr. Antony presented the new Antimins to our congregation and spoke briefly about St. Raphael, whose relic is sewn into the Antimins. We then prayed a supplication service to St. Raphael to intercede on our behalf to God.
To learn more about the Antimins and its liturgical role, we may turn to the June 2015 edition of the Word Magazine, page 4 (antiochian.org/sites/default/files/june_2015_word.pdf). Here are two excerpts from His Eminence's pastoral letter:
"In the Orthodox Christian liturgical tradition, the Antimins is among the most important liturgical adornments used in the altar during the Divine Liturgy. It is a type of icon, a rectangular cloth, traditionally sewn of either linen or silk. Beautifully embellished, it always refl ects the image of Christ’s entombment, the four Evangelists and scriptural passages related to the Eucharist. A small piece of a martyr’s relic is ceremoniously and prayerfully placed into the fold of the Antimins as each one is blessed. It is an essential component without which the Holy Eucharist cannot be celebrated. This Antimins is inscribed with the text from the Holy Saturday Troparion, 'The noble Joseph, taking down Thy most pure body from the tree, wrapped it in clean linen and sweet spices, and laid it in a new tomb.'"
"Each Antimins has been consecrated in the archdiocesan chapel of St. John Chrysostom and contains a relic of St. Raphael of Brooklyn. Please take this opportunity to share the meaning of this important church vessel with the faithful by showing it to them properly and referencing this letter if needed. In light of the 100th anniversary of his repose as well as his relic being placed inside the Antimins, you might encourage your parishioners to learn the Troparion to St. Raphael."