Synaxis refers to the gathering for action at the beginning of a service; it is a name for the first part of the eucharistic service.
Here I want to suggest that the action of gathering at the very beginning of a service is worth some careful reflection. I have been in a few services lately where guests have been present. As the service has unfolded I have wondered whether the 'feel' of the service might have been improved if we had exchanged greetings at the beginning of a service. When this happens we are in fellowship through the service as friends rather than strangers.
Note that I have said 'exchange of greetings' rather than 'Exchange of (the) Peace'. The latter should always take place at its proper place between the Synaxis and the Eucharist proper. The former, I am suggesting, has a place in some situations, especially those where either the special character of the service or the special day in which the service takes place warrants it as guests are present.
Resources for Advent 3
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