Thursday, December 03, 2015


'Metany' is a word that I had literally never seen before today. It derives from the Greek word 'metanoia' (repentance), and is a variant of 'metania'. A full prostration would be something like kneeling with one's forehead touching the floor, or close to doing so; a metany is a substitute for this, a lesser prostration in which one simply bends at the waist to touch the floor with one hand, or at least come close to it. It's a ritual gesture found in some Eastern churches, sometimes as a requirement and sometimes as a substitute for people who cannot do a full prostration when such things are required. Like any other prostration it is a gesture of humility.

So now you know, and can go forth and impress people whenever the topic comes up in casual conversation....

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