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The Sanctuary, as viewed by the Orthodox Church, represents heaven itself or God's residence place among His heavenly creatures and saints.
The following traditions are observed by the church to indicate its reverence:
– Laymen are forbidden to take part in the Communion inside the Sanctuary area.
– We can only step into the Sanctuary bare-footed, in response to the divine commandment to Moses "Take off your shoes... for the place whereon you stand is holy ground". (Ex 3:5). Taking off the shoes indicates the feeling of unworthiness to be present in such a holy place.
– The church ordains that: "No talking is allowed in the Sanctuary, except for urgent matters".
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