Acroomeni

Acroomeni (ἀκροώμενοι, hearers), a class of penitents in the Church. The arrangement of penitents in different classes took place at the end of the 3d century, or in the beginning of the 4th. They were generally arranged in four classes. προσκλαίοντες, mourners; ἀκροώμενοι, hearers; ὑποπίπτοντες, kneelers; .συνιστάμενοι, bystanders. The hearers were permitted to enter within the doors, and to take their station in the narthex, or lowest part of the building, where they were allowed to hear the Scriptures read and expounded; but they were denied the privilege of joining in the prayers of the Church. Three years was the term of their continuance in this order. They were regarded as sustaining the same relation to the Church as the first class of catechumens, who were also called audientes. They were distinguished from the catechumens by not being permitted to receive the imposition of hands.

 
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