Saturday, January 19, 2019

Terms for Translating Russian Texts about Liturgical Embroidery

As I've been working on translating a few articles about liturgical and medieval embroidery, I've encountered a number of terms from the Orthodox Christian church which Google doesn't really know, and I figured might not be familiar to my readers either. Thus, I put together this handy table of terms that may come in useful. Terms in Russian and Greek are shown in their native alphabet and transliterated. I included the Greek terms, as they sometimes come in useful when interpreting inscriptions on Russian liturgical items.

English TermRussian TermGreek TermDescriptionLink to more info
Aër, Veil Воздух, Покровцы (Vozdukh, Pokrovtsy) Αέρας (Aéras) Veils used to cover the chalice and diskos during the Rites
Agnus Dei, Lamb of God Се агнец (Se agnets) Ἀμνὸς τοῦ Θεοῦ (Amnós toú Theoú) An image depicting Christ as a lamb, as a symbol of His sacrifice as the savior of mankind.
Anastasis (Harrowing of Hell) Сошествие Христа в ад (Soshestvie Khrista v ad) Κατελθόντα εἰς τὰ κατώτατα [Katelthónta eis tá katótata] A depiction of the Resurrection, as Christ ascends triumphantly, breaking the gates of Hell and bringing salvation to the damned. Commonly, He is shown bringing Adam and Eve with him, representing all of the saved.
Annunciation [to the Blessed Lady] Благовещение [Пресвятой Богородицы] (Blagoveschenie [Presvjatoj Bogoroditsy]) Ευαγγελισμός της θεοτόκου (Evangelismós tis theotókou) The church holiday celebrating when the Archangel Gabriel informed the Blessed Virgin Mary that she would give birth to the son of God (or, a depiction of the event itself).
The Crucifixion [of Jesus Christ] Распятие [Иисуса Христа] (Raspjatie [Iisusa Khrista]) Σταύρωση [του Ιησού Χριστού] (Stávrosi [tou Iisoú Christoú]) A depiction of the crucifixion of Christ, showing him on the cross, usually with attendants on either side: often the Virgin Mary, the Apostles, and sometimes Cherubs or Seraphim.,_symbolism_and_devotions
The Enthroned Virgin and Child Похвала́ Пресвято́й Богоро́дицы (Pokhvala Presvjatoj Boroditsy) A common icon image showing the Virgin seated upon a throne, holding the infant Christ in her lap. Saints and angels typically surround her.
The Entombment of Christ Положение во гроб (Polozhenie vo grob) A common icon image showing the body of Christ being placed in his tomb by Mary and his disciples.
EpigonationНабедренник (nabedrennik) / Palitsa (palitsa) ἐπιγονάτιον (epigonation) A lozenge or diamond shaped embroidered item worn by bishops and some priests in the Orthodox church. The item is hung from the belt on the right side and hangs about knee height.
Epimanikia Поручи (poruchi) ἐπιμανίκια (Epimanikia) A pair of embroidered liturgical cuffs, worn on the wrist by a bishop, priest or deacon, attached to the end of the sleeve of their sticharion.
Epitaphios, Shroud Плащаница (plaschanitsa) Ἐπιτάφιος (epitáphios) A large cloth embroidered with the image of the body of Christ immediately after it has been removed from the Cross, typically surrounded by the Holy Virgin and other figures. It is placed on the Holy Table (altar) during services on Good Friday and Holy Saturday.
Epitrachelion епитрахиль (epitrakhil') ἐπιτραχήλιον (epitrachelion) A long liturgical vestment similar to a stole, worn around the neck and down the front by Orthodox priests and bishops.
Eucharist, Lord's Supper Евхаристия (Evkharistija) Ευχαριστία (Efcharistia) An image depicting the Communion given during the Last Supper, or the modern rite of Communion performed during the rite.
John the Baptist Иоанн Крести́тель, Иоанн Предте́ча (Ioann Krestitel', Ioann Predtecha) Ιωάννης ο Βαπτιστής (Ioannis o Baptistes) The New Testament Prophet believed to have Baptized Christ.
Khorugv', Gonfalon, Banner Xоругвь (khorugv') A banner displayed in the Orthodox church or during religious processions.
Ktetor Ктитор (ktitor) Kτήτωρ (ktetor) A title bestowed on a benefactor who paid for the building, renovation, or decoration of a church.
Orarion орарь (orar') ὀράριον (orarion) A long liturgical vestment worn over the left shoulder by Orthodox deacons.
Our Lady of the Sign Богоматерь знамение (Bogomater' znamenie) Παναγία (Panagia)A particular image of the Virgin Mary, showing her facing front in either full or half length. Her arms are raised in the Orans position. The child Christ appears in a round halo upon her chest.
Pall Покров (pokrov) A large embroidered cloth used to cover the coffin during funerary rites.
Phelonion Фелонь (felon') Φαιλόνιον (Failonion) A cloak-like liturgical vestment worn by Orthodox priests over their other vestments. It is similar to the chasuble worn in the Western church.
Podea Пелена [подвесная] (pelena [podvesnaja]) ποδέα (podea) An embroidered cloth which is used to decorate a revered icon. Often these are hung below the icon, and either duplicate or compliment the image on its painted counterpart.
The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, or The Entry of the Most Holy Theotokos into the Temple Введение во храм (Vvedenie vo khram) Εἴσοδος τῆς ῾Υπεραγίας Θεοτόκου ἐν τῷ Ναῷ (Eisodos tis 'Yperagias Theotokou en To Nao) A feast day and common icon theme depicting Mary's parents presenting their infant daughter in the temple, consecrating her to God.
Proskynetarion Проскинетарион (proskinetarion) Προσκυνητάριον (proskynetarion) A monumental icon of Christ, the Virgin, or a patron saint located in an Orthodox church.
Purificator Сударь (sudar') An embroidered cloth used to wipe the chalice and diskos during communion.
Sticharion Стихарь (stikhar') στιχάριον (sticharion) A liturgical vestment of the Orthodox church, equivalent to an alb and similar to a dalmatic.
The Virgin Hodegetria, or Our Lady of the Way Богоматерь одигитрия (Bogomater' odigitrija) Ὁδηγήτρια (Odigitria) An icon image showing the Virgin Mary, holding the infant Christ. She points to him as the salvation of mankind. He often raises one hand in blessing.
The Virgin of Tenderness, or the Eleousa Умиление Богоматери (Umilenie Bogomateri) Ἐλεούσα (Eleousa) A icon image showing the Virgin Mary, holding the infant Christ against her cheek.
The Virgin of the Incarnation, or Our Lady of the Incarnation Богоматерь Воплощение (Bogomater' Voploschenie) A icon image showing the Virgin Mary, holding the infant Christ. She stands facing the viewer, with her arms raised or spread. On her chest, in a mandala, is a half-length image of the infant Christ, who raises his hand in a blessing.

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