Author Topic: Beards and Tradition  (Read 110320 times)

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Offline PeterTheAleut

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Beards and Tradition
« on: September 21, 2007, 01:12:04 AM »
So the differences are not only filioque and beardless priests the whole understanding of Tradition and Liturgy is different!
The mass of 1054 does not exist anymore, the Liturgy of the rcc today is very far away from the traditional understanding ( rock masses, rave masses, kumbja my lord...?)
I hate to break this to you, but, for better or for worse depending on how you look at this, beardless priests really don't mark the Latin Church as different from many Orthodox churches nowadays.
« Last Edit: September 21, 2007, 01:12:20 AM by PeterTheAleut »
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Offline Christodoulos

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Re: Beards and Tradition
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2007, 11:27:51 AM »
I hate to break this to you, but, for better or for worse depending on how you look at this, beardless priests really don't mark the Latin Church as different from many Orthodox churches nowadays.

God bless!+

Please forgive but I said WAS because when you read the discussion it was an different point for latins and orthodox!

And usually also today orthodox priests are not alowed to shave their beard and cut their hair( when some do not follow this tradition anymore it means not that it is still a tradition) In the traditional orthodox countries priests have beard and long hair( only some few exeptions)
I think a priest promises also today at his ordination not to cut his beard!

In CHRIST




Offline Αριστοκλής

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Re: Beards and Tradition
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2007, 11:33:10 AM »
Unless the priest is following his bishops orders. Former GOA Archbishop Iakovos(+Memory Eternal) directed his priests to both shave and wear western style garb. This has not been changed by his two successors.

Of course, under the new charter, each metropolitan would decide here now.
« Last Edit: September 21, 2007, 11:35:07 AM by Αριστοκλής »
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Offline Christodoulos

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Re: Beards and Tradition
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2007, 12:00:15 PM »
Unless the priest is following his bishops orders. Former GOA Archbishop Iakovos(+Memory Eternal) directed his priests to both shave and wear western style garb. This has not been changed by his two successors.

Of course, under the new charter, each metropolitan would decide here now.
God bless!+

Is this Iakovos the ecumenical wich said we need a new christianity ? If he is we do not have to speak anymore - everything is clear!
If he is not every Bishop has to folloew the Tradition and costums of the Holy church no bishop is above the Tradition . When a Bishop order something contrary to Tradition flew him flew him he will lead you far away from God like St. John chrysostom says!
Anyone looking at photographs and portraits of clergy in Greece, Russia, Rumania, and other Orthodox countries taken in the early twentieth century will notice that almost without exception both the monastic and married clergy, priests and deacons, wore untrimmed beards and hair. Only after the First World War do we observe a new, modern look, cropped hair and beardless clergy. This fashion has been continued among some of the clergy to our own day. If one were to investigate this phenomenon in terms of a single clergyman whose life spanned the greater part of our century one would probably notice his style modernize from the first photographs up through the last.

The priest is the incarnation of the absolute, the expression of the constant, stable and unshakeable, the trumpet of Heaven, the image of incorruption, the mile-marker of eternity. May he remain forever unchanged, even in his external appearance, as a reminder and symbol of the ages and of the unchanging truths which he represents.

—Blessed Elder Epiphanios of Athens

The priests cassock is the flag of the Church of our Christ: for this reason we must try hard to honor it, we who wear it, with a holy life, so that those who dont wear it will honor and respect it.

—Blessed Elder Amphilochios of Patmos

I am proud of the cassock I wear and consider it more valuable and seemly than every other kind of garment, even than the royal purple robes of kings. I consider myself unworthy to dress in such a modest, honorable and holy garb, which was honored by numberless monastic Saints, monk martyrs, confessors and Saints. I am saddened by and pity those clerics who reject the cassock and who shave their beards.

—Blessed Elder Philotheos of Paros

There was also Blessed Elder Joachim of Mount Athos , he was shocked when he came to the states and saw the orthodox priests without beard and long hair!The problem was he had not really much beard so he prayed to the Theotkos to give him a great beard that the americans can see how an orthodox priest looks like!
And the Theotkos worked a miracle his beard growed so long that he had to put it in a bag ! And all were ammazed seeing him! ( I could post a Foto of him with beard)

I will look for some more quotations of the controversy between latins/greeks!

In CHRIST

To all a blessed FEASTDAY OF OUR LADY !+

Offline Αριστοκλής

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Re: Beards and Tradition
« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2007, 12:04:57 PM »
Interesting that your zeal overlooks the Greek Orthodox Archbishop of North and South America orders which, in proper submission, were followed by his priests.

Actually, to be correct, I remember the archbishop encouraged these things and allowed them, leaving it up to the priest himself to decide.
« Last Edit: September 21, 2007, 12:14:47 PM by Αριστοκλής »
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Offline Christodoulos

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Re: Beards and Tradition
« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2007, 12:17:34 PM »
Interesting that your zeal overlooks the Greek Orthodox Archbishop of North and South America orders which, in proper submission, were followed by his priests.

God bless!+

Of course do you not know that many bishops were great heretics? Even Popes and Patriarchs!
Was not Nestorius the Patriarch of Konstantinoplel? Why do you wonder! Thats not new.

I think today many Bishops lost their true calling so please be very careful- not everything called orthodox is orthodox!

Many romanian elders ( also greek and russian,serbian) spoke about and told us to be very cautious today!
 

In CHRIST
( its nice to see everytime reading your posts the picture of the Panhagia of Soumela!)

Offline lubeltri

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Re: Beards and Tradition
« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2007, 12:44:48 PM »
Are you implying that bishops who tell their priests to cut their beards are heretics?

Offline Christodoulos

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Re: Beards and Tradition
« Reply #7 on: September 21, 2007, 12:57:39 PM »
Are you implying that bishops who tell their priests to cut their beards are heretics?

God bless!+

No that was not what I wrote!  Please read exactly!
I only want to demonstrate that not all what Bishops are sying or doing must be the right thing.

In CHRIST



Offline Ebor

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Re: Beards and Tradition
« Reply #8 on: September 21, 2007, 01:06:55 PM »
God bless!+

No that was not what I wrote!  Please read exactly!
I only want to demonstrate that not all what Bishops are sying or doing must be the right thing.

In CHRIST

Nor, I think, is it necessarily so that something a Bishop does or says that a person does not like is therefore a wrong thing. 

Ebor
« Last Edit: September 21, 2007, 03:11:48 PM by Ebor »
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Offline PeterTheAleut

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Re: Beards and Tradition
« Reply #9 on: September 21, 2007, 08:49:15 PM »
God bless!+

Of course do you not know that many bishops were great heretics? Even Popes and Patriarchs!
Was not Nestorius the Patriarch of Konstantinoplel? Why do you wonder! Thats not new.

I think today many Bishops lost their true calling so please be very careful- not everything called orthodox is orthodox!

Many romanian elders ( also greek and russian,serbian) spoke about and told us to be very cautious today!
 

In CHRIST
( its nice to see everytime reading your posts the picture of the Panhagia of Soumela!)

You certainly do preach a rigid traditionalism, Christodoulos.  Would you care to explain why you see this as the only way of the Orthodox?
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Offline Christodoulos

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Re: Beards and Tradition
« Reply #10 on: September 22, 2007, 10:44:52 AM »
You certainly do preach a rigid traditionalism, Christodoulos.  Would you care to explain why you see this as the only way of the Orthodox?

God bless!+

Why it is the only way of the Orthodox?-  because Tradition is the essence of orthodoxy! We believe that the faith (Dogma and Practice) was revealed ONCE to us and can not be changed.
So staying close to Tradition is to stay close to orthodoxy. A brick in wall might be a little thing but many of this little bricks build the wall. Like St. Basil the great says put away this little brick and the whole wall will be destroyed.
Many today think to believe in some Dogmas makes us orthodox but I think this is a truly western approach . We can not divid Dogma and Practice, they are the two sides of one coin!
The Apostles, Fathers, Church councils gave us exact teachings how we should Believe.
Ortho-DOX means Right Glory: To give God the right Glory would it mean only right believe than it would not be translated Prawo Slavne wich exactly also means right Glory.
Tradition is precious and a richness we should love and honor !

Father Alexander Schmemann:

For the purpose and funnction of the Hierarchy is precisly to keep pure and undistorted the Tradition in its fulness, and if and when it sanctions or even tolaerates anything contrary to the truth of the church, it puts itself under the condemnation of canons!

Holy Tradition is the experience of the Church . It is enlivened by CHRIST. It is sealed by the Saints!

Sacred Tradition originates from God ,it is a Divine revelation! The orthodox church has been the only faithful keeper of Tradition.

Julius Tyciak wrote:

For the Eastern Orthodox church Traditionn is everythin. She wants to be the chruuch of Tradition the Chuch of ancient times! ( written by an heterodox)

Cavarnos:
Faith and Tradition do not alter with time.

The Schism of the western church was from the Eastern was a result of innovation!


The reason why we have icons is because we follow tradition,the richness and beauty of our church music also because we follow tradition ,our Liturgy , our prayers, ......our church would not be orthodox when our fathers would not stay close to tradition. Did not also the catholic church have icons but they changed this tradition so it would be the same if orthodox changed it!

Do you not see that today one part after the other is changed by innovators like pews, organs, church music, iconography, calender,dress code, behavier in church, priest without beard and long hair, the rassa is not worn, ..............and so on. What will happen when this way will be continued?

Father Gervasios of Patras:
He longed , if it were possible ," for the bells of the whole orthodox world to be rung, calling an alarm, so that this destructive delusion might cease".

How is it that we are working on the roofs when the foundationsare being shaken? How is it that we await the blessing of God for a work wich ignores basic laws of the great spiritual matters!(Tradition and Canons)
Woe to the generation of those christians, whose Bishops neglected or ceased struggling for this battle above all!
His Motto was: Back to the Canons and the Fathers!


In CHRIST

Offline pensateomnia

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Re: Beards and Tradition
« Reply #11 on: September 22, 2007, 02:24:43 PM »
Why it is the only way of the Orthodox?-  because Tradition is the essence of orthodoxy! We believe that the faith (Dogma and Practice) was revealed ONCE to us and can not be changed.

Dogma was indeed revealed once, but its application in history varies according to pastoral need and the guidance of the Holy Spirit within the Church. Thus, practice changes in many observable ways (in outward forms, in discipline, even in liturgy).

1) Divorce was forbidden for eight centuries, except for specific Scripturally approved reasons. Since then, ecclesiastical divorce and re-marriage are both allowed for various pastoral reasons (for second AND third marriages).

2) Married bishops were quite common. Canon 5 of the Holy Apostles even forbids a bishop, presbyter, or deacon to put away his wife. But the Penthekte Synod mandated that all previously ordained bishops should leave their wives and made episcopal celibacy mandatory.

3) Our liturgical services have undergone many additions, changes and new creations. This has been discussed many, many times on this forum. Perhaps someone can find a link to a thread about the Cathedral Rite, or the Studite Reforms, or the original Typikon of St. Savas, or the Neo-Sabaitic synethesis, or the 19th century origins of the Unnailing Service of the Body of Christ from the Cross during Holy Week, etc. Or just read St. Symeon of Thessaloniki's description of the divine services at his time to see how they were similar and different.

These are just a few examples. Of course, there are pastoral, theological and historical reasons for all of these changes, but changes they still be. The Church is not a relic of the past, nor is it static. Rather, the Church is an eschatological reality that exists in various historical periods. The Faith is always the same; most of our ecclesiastical expressions of that Faith are similar, since they evolve naturally within the spiritual experience of the faithful; but not everything is identical.
« Last Edit: September 22, 2007, 02:45:17 PM by pensateomnia »
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Offline lubeltri

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Re: Beards and Tradition
« Reply #12 on: September 22, 2007, 02:53:45 PM »
Dogma was indeed revealed once, but its application in history varies according to pastoral need and the guidance of the Holy Spirit within the Church. Thus, practice changes in many observable ways (in outward forms, in discipline, even in liturgy).

1) Divorce was forbidden for eight centuries, except for specific Scripturally approved reasons. Since then, ecclesiastical divorce and re-marriage are both allowed for various pastoral reasons (for second AND third marriages).

2) Married bishops were quite common. Canon 5 of the Holy Apostles even forbids a bishop, presbyter, or deacon to put away his wife. But the Penthekte Synod mandated that all previously ordained bishops should leave their wives and made episcopal celibacy mandatory.

3) Our liturgical services have undergone many additions, changes and new creations. This has been discussed many, many times on this forum. Perhaps someone can find a link to a thread about the Cathedral Rite, or the Studite Reforms, or the original Typikon of St. Savas, or the Neo-Sabaitic synethesis, or the 19th century origins of the Unnailing Service of the Body of Christ from the Cross during Holy Week, etc. Or just read St. Symeon of Thessaloniki's description of the divine services at his time to see how they were similar and different.

These are just a few examples. Of course, there are pastoral, theological and historical reasons for all of these changes, but changes they still be. The Church is not a relic of the past, nor is it static. Rather, the Church is an eschatological reality that exists in various historical periods. The Faith is always the same; most of our ecclesiastical expressions of that Faith are similar, since they evolve naturally within the spiritual experience of the faithful; but not everything is identical.

Ditto. Extremely well-said.

Offline Jakub

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Re: Beards and Tradition
« Reply #13 on: September 22, 2007, 03:06:35 PM »
I agree, and how refreshing...

Now off to active participation elsewhere to irritate the many... 8)
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Grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway, the good fortune to run into the ones I do, and the eyesight to tell the difference.

Offline PeterTheAleut

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Re: Beards and Tradition
« Reply #14 on: September 22, 2007, 03:20:50 PM »
Christodoulos,

Let me venture to say that your view of Tradition is good as far as it goes, but it is very one-sided and far from complete.  What you advocate is not so much Tradition as it is a preservationist view of Tradition.  You believe that everything in our Tradition is to be preserved unchanged, as though it were all revealed by God for all eternity.

I believe that we need to never lose our connection to this point of view, but we also need to keep in mind that the Church exists in place and time and can never really be separated from this contact with humanity.  Our mission is to save all mankind.  It is important that we keep the Gospel message unchanged, since it is the word of the eternal God, but our mission also requires that we engage humanity, its cultures, and its history.  We must seek to do that which is necessary for each person's salvation.  If preserving a particular custom (for example, unaccompanied singing, bearded clergy, clergy wearing of the rassa, Saturday evening vigils, ascetic strictness for laity, etc.) in the name of Tradition actually makes one's salvation more difficult or impossible, then I think we need to consider deviating from our customary practice.

Dogma was indeed revealed once, but its application in history varies according to pastoral need and the guidance of the Holy Spirit within the Church. Thus, practice changes in many observable ways (in outward forms, in discipline, even in liturgy).

1) Divorce was forbidden for eight centuries, except for specific Scripturally approved reasons. Since then, ecclesiastical divorce and re-marriage are both allowed for various pastoral reasons (for second AND third marriages).

2) Married bishops were quite common. Canon 5 of the Holy Apostles even forbids a bishop, presbyter, or deacon to put away his wife. But the Penthekte Synod mandated that all previously ordained bishops should leave their wives and made episcopal celibacy mandatory.

3) Our liturgical services have undergone many additions, changes and new creations. This has been discussed many, many times on this forum. Perhaps someone can find a link to a thread about the Cathedral Rite, or the Studite Reforms, or the original Typikon of St. Savas, or the Neo-Sabaitic synethesis, or the 19th century origins of the Unnailing Service of the Body of Christ from the Cross during Holy Week, etc. Or just read St. Symeon of Thessaloniki's description of the divine services at his time to see how they were similar and different.

These are just a few examples. Of course, there are pastoral, theological and historical reasons for all of these changes, but changes they still be. The Church is not a relic of the past, nor is it static. Rather, the Church is an eschatological reality that exists in various historical periods. The Faith is always the same; most of our ecclesiastical expressions of that Faith are similar, since they evolve naturally within the spiritual experience of the faithful; but not everything is identical.

Thank you, PensaT, for giving exactly the answer I thought needed to be given.
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Offline PeterTheAleut

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Re: Beards and Tradition
« Reply #15 on: September 22, 2007, 03:25:59 PM »
Father Alexander Schmemann:

For the purpose and funnction of the Hierarchy is precisly to keep pure and undistorted the Tradition in its fulness, and if and when it sanctions or even tolaerates anything contrary to the truth of the church, it puts itself under the condemnation of canons!
Interesting that you quote Fr. Schmemann (out of context), since he spent much of his ministry advocating a rethinking of our liturgical theology and spoke out so frequently against your preservationist view of Tradition.
« Last Edit: September 22, 2007, 03:26:39 PM by PeterTheAleut »
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Offline Christodoulos

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Re: Beards and Tradition
« Reply #16 on: September 22, 2007, 04:56:24 PM »
Dogma was indeed revealed once, but its application in history varies according to pastoral need and the guidance of the Holy Spirit within the Church. Thus, practice changes in many observable ways (in outward forms, in discipline, even in liturgy).

1) Divorce was forbidden for eight centuries, except for specific Scripturally approved reasons. Since then, ecclesiastical divorce and re-marriage are both allowed for various pastoral reasons (for second AND third marriages).

2) Married bishops were quite common. Canon 5 of the Holy Apostles even forbids a bishop, presbyter, or deacon to put away his wife. But the Penthekte Synod mandated that all previously ordained bishops should leave their wives and made episcopal celibacy mandatory.

3) Our liturgical services have undergone many additions, changes and new creations. This has been discussed many, many times on this forum. Perhaps someone can find a link to a thread about the Cathedral Rite, or the Studite Reforms, or the original Typikon of St. Savas, or the Neo-Sabaitic synethesis, or the 19th century origins of the Unnailing Service of the Body of Christ from the Cross during Holy Week, etc. Or just read St. Symeon of Thessaloniki's description of the divine services at his time to see how they were similar and different.

These are just a few examples. Of course, there are pastoral, theological and historical reasons for all of these changes, but changes they still be. The Church is not a relic of the past, nor is it static. Rather, the Church is an eschatological reality that exists in various historical periods. The Faith is always the same; most of our ecclesiastical expressions of that Faith are similar, since they evolve naturally within the spiritual experience of the faithful; but not everything is identical.

God bless!+

Divorce was forbidden for 8 cent( please correct me but did not St. Basil the great say that a second marriage is a shame for the church but it is better to marry a 2nd time than to life in adultery?)

Of course the Liturgy did grow in its form( like the early christians received the communion with theire hands later it was given with spoon from the chalice) but this means not a real change more an enrichment( because to protect the sanctity of the communion)

What you mentioned , for example the unnailing is not contrary to any canon or tradition of the church so why not ( beautiful new custom- an enrichment)??? Or when St. John of Shanghai wants to make it a new tradition that on the feast of the Theotokos Entrance in the Tempel, in the vigil at the entrance young girls would follow this entrance-there would be no problem because its not against any tradition or canon!

There are many new types of icons or hymns but this is not contrary to any canon ! But the innovations I wrote about are absolut contrary to the unchangeable tradition of the church!
I think St. Symeon stand and prostrated during prayer like St. Basil facing east !

It is also with the Dogmas they did not change but was more detailed explained ! It is not new or contrary when the Synod of Ephesus declares the Virgin as Theotokos to the first ecumenical Synod or? So its not contrary to receive the communion with the spoon to the practice to receive it with the hands!

In CHRIST


Offline PeterTheAleut

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Re: Beards and Tradition
« Reply #17 on: September 22, 2007, 05:15:02 PM »
Of course the Liturgy did grow in its form( like the early christians received the communion with theire hands later it was given with spoon from the chalice) but this means not a real change more an enrichment( because to protect the sanctity of the communion)

...

So its not contrary to receive the communion with the spoon to the practice to receive it with the hands!
Actually, ozgeorge seems quite knowledgeable about this specific subject and can, in fact, point out how reception of Communion in the hand is spoken of (mandated?) in the canons.
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Offline pensateomnia

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Re: Beards and Tradition
« Reply #18 on: September 22, 2007, 06:04:03 PM »
Divorce was forbidden for 8 cent( please correct me but did not St. Basil the great say that a second marriage is a shame for the church but it is better to marry a 2nd time than to life in adultery?)

First, re-read what I wrote: "Divorce was forbidden for eight centuries, except for specific Scripturally approved reasons."

Second, don't you find it counter-productive to bring up an example of what was considered extreme oikonomia when you are arguing that one must hold strictly to the Canons? St. Basil's epistles on canonical and disciplinary matters are a good example of the Church's flexibility, not Her absolute adherence to "strictness" or the original practice.

Anyway, I actually don't remember reading that exact quote in St. Basil's epistles, but it does fit with his very stark approach to adultery (he says in Epistle 198 that a husband is obligated to send away his adulterous wife). Regardless, your quote doesn't reflect the strictness of the canons or the prevailing attitude of the early Church. There are innumerable references in the patristic literature of the first five centuries to the Church's theoretical hard-line against re-marriage. Some authors even indicate that re-married individuals that had been previously divorced were excluded from Baptism and the Eucharist.

That's why St. Theodore the Studite and his monks were willing to go to the lengths they did to fight the Church's decision to allow re-marriage in the manner we do today. They called it innovation and went into schism over it, and, yet, it's been standard practice for hundreds of years and the Church continues, filled with Grace nonetheless.

Personally, I consider issues such as these far weighter than questions of facial hair.
But for I am a man not textueel I wol noght telle of textes neuer a deel. (Chaucer, The Manciple's Tale, 1.131)

Offline lubeltri

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Re: Beards and Tradition
« Reply #19 on: September 22, 2007, 06:23:15 PM »
Actually, ozgeorge seems quite knowledgeable about this specific subject and can, in fact, point out how reception of Communion in the hand is spoken of (mandated?) in the canons.

I forgot which Father. . .but I remember one of the Fathers explaining exactly how one is to receive the Host in the hand.

I never claimed the re-introduction of Communion in the hand after Vatican II was untraditional---just that it was pastorally unwise at that time of upheaval and dissent, when the externals (like kneeling and reception on the tongue) should have been used to bolster the laity's awareness of the Real Presence, which was being challenged by the liberals at the time.

Offline Christodoulos

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Re: Beards and Tradition
« Reply #20 on: September 22, 2007, 07:30:27 PM »
I forgot which Father. . .but I remember one of the Fathers explaining exactly how one is to receive the Host in the hand.

I never claimed the re-introduction of Communion in the hand after Vatican II was untraditional---just that it was pastorally unwise at that time of upheaval and dissent, when the externals (like kneeling and reception on the tongue) should have been used to bolster the laity's awareness of the Real Presence, which was being challenged by the liberals at the time.

God bless!+

Lubeltri I know that St. Kyrill in his Mystagogical Homilies wrote exactly about the receiving of the communion with hands ( exactly how orthodox receive the blessing the left hand under the right )

In CHRIST

Offline lubeltri

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Re: Beards and Tradition
« Reply #21 on: September 22, 2007, 07:45:53 PM »
You're right, now I remember. It was St. Cyril.

Offline Peter J

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Re: Beards and Tradition
« Reply #22 on: September 22, 2007, 08:06:23 PM »
Just out of curiosity, can anyone tell me when it first became an official policy, rather than just a common practice, for Orthodox priests to be bearded?
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Offline Christodoulos

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Re: Beards and Tradition
« Reply #23 on: September 22, 2007, 08:10:31 PM »
You're right, now I remember. It was St. Cyril.

God bless!+

A quotation from the 5th Mystagogical Homily:

21. In approaching therefore, come not with thy wrists extended, or thy fingers spread; but make thy left hand a throne for the right, as for that which is to receive a King. And having hollowed thy palm, receive the Body of Christ, saying over it, Amen. So then after having carefully hollowed thine eyes by the touch of the Holy Body, partake of it; giving heed lest thou lose any portion thereof; for whatever thou losest, is evidently a loss to thee as it were from one of thine own members. For tell me, if any one gave thee grains of gold, wouldest thou not hold them with all carefulness, being on thy guard against losing any of them, and suffering loss? Wilt thou not then much more carefully keep watch, that not a crumb fall from thee of what is more precious than gold and precious stones?

22. Then after thou hast partaken of the Body of Christ, draw near also to the Cup of His Blood; not stretching forth thine hands, but bending, and saying with an air of worship and reverence, Amen, hallow thyself by partaking also of the Blood of Christ. And while the moisture is still upon thy lips, touch it with thine hands, and hallow thine eyes and brow and the other organs of sense. Then wait for the prayer, and give thanks unto God, who hath accounted thee worthy of so great mysteries.


In CHRIST

Offline prodromas

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Re: Beards and Tradition
« Reply #24 on: September 22, 2007, 08:17:12 PM »
http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/praxis/clergy_hair.aspx

Here's a link to Orthodox info about clergy and beards minus the Anti-Catholic it makes an interesting point PJ. Also can any OO tell me whether it is Tradition for clergy to be bearded?
The sins I don't commit are largely due to the weakness of my limbs.

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(1914-1923) Ελληνική Γενοκτονία, never again

Offline Christodoulos

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Re: Beards and Tradition
« Reply #25 on: September 27, 2007, 08:34:39 AM »
Just out of curiosity, can anyone tell me when it first became an official policy, rather than just a common practice, for Orthodox priests to be bearded?

God bless!+

Usually even lay christian men are not allowed o shave their beards! Please read the apostolic constitutions:

“You shall not make to yourselves curls and round rasures.”  Nor may men destroy the hair of their beards, and unnaturally change the form of a man. For the law says: “Ye shall not mar your beards.”  Lev. xix. 27, xxi. 5   For God the Creator has made this decent for women, but has determined that it is unsuitable for men. But if thou do these things to please men, in contradiction to the law, thou wilt be abominable with God, who created thee after His own image. If, therefore, thou wilt be acceptable to God, abstain from all those things which He hates, and do none of those things that are unpleasing to Him.

This Tradition has no beginning it allways was practiced (also in the old testament, like Samson and the nazores- the god dedicated for them it was not allowed to cut their hair and to cut the beard!-Christ was a nazorer and also St. John the Baptist we also know that St. Mark the Apostel and Evangelist never cut his hair and his beard!)

Also in the western church it was a tradition you only have to look at icons and pictures of early western saints ( like St. Ambrose of Milan, Blessed Augustine,Blessed Jerome, St. Gregory the great......all with beards)

The first we can read when the greeks were shocked that the latin clergy shave their beard in the live of St. Photios the great Patriarch of Constantinopel.
"The greeks, on the other hand ,accused the Latins of Judaistic tendencies because they fasted on saturdays, especially during the Forty Day of Great Lent (Quadragesima). The Greeks were critical of the Latin omission to celebrate during the weekdays of Great Lent the Presanctified Liturgy, wich had been compiled by St. Gregory the Dialogist(c.540-604) Pope of Rome. They were also SHOCKED that latin priests shave off their beards........and many others.
(from the Book; The Pillars of Orthodoxy by the Holy Apostels Convent)

To shave the beard was a pagan custom.

In orthodoxy the Bishops are icons of Christ and the Priests of the Apostels so - Christ had a beard and the apostels too! Please look at icons.

Minos Charitos:

Woe unto such innovators and impious human beings! Such are these wich desire the abolition and alteration of the cassock wich was made holy and scared through the Blood of the martyrs-Mark of Ephesus, Kosmas the Aitolian, Gregory the Fith, Chrysostom of Smyrna. Such are these I say wich desire the shaving of the beard and mustach, etc.... namly the external symbols of the clerical office in accordance with Aaron and Melchisedeck, the High Priest of Jesus Christ. Woe unto them!

And from the articel Concerning the Tradition of long Hair and beards:
In another source, The Eerdmans Bible Dictionary, we read the follow ing concerning the Old Testament practice: "To an extent, hair style was a matter of fashion, at least among the upper classes, who were particularly open to foreign [pagan] influence. Nevertheless, long hair appears to have been the rule among the Hebrews (cf. Ezek. 8:3), both men and women" [3] (cf. Cant 4:1; 7:5). Thus we observe that cropped or stylized hair was the fashion among the pagans and not acceptable, especially among the Christian clergy from most ancient times up to our contemporary break with Holy Tradition. It is interesting to note that the fashion of cropped or stylized hair and shaved beards found its way into the Roman Catholic and Protestant worlds. So important had this pagan custom be come for Roman clergy by the 11th Century that it was listed among the reasons for the Anathema pronounced by Cardinal Humbert on July 15, 1054 against Patriarch Michael in Constantinople which precipitated the Western Church's final falling away from the Orthodox Church: "While wearing beards and long hair you [Eastern Orthodox] reject the bond of brotherhood with the Roman clergy, since they shave and cut their hair." [!] [4]


Clergymen are, therefore, unjustified in cutting their hair in the modern style, which is almost unknown in Christian history, until recent centuries. With regard to shaving, the Old Testament, the Church Fathers, and the Canons forbid a clergyman to cut his beard. One of the observations made by the Orthodox against the Popes during the union councils (and repeated by a number of Orthodox Fathers in modern times) was that, as they began to deviate from the Apostolic Faith, they also, oddly enough, began to shave off their beards. Moreover, not only should clergymen not shave, according to various Church authorities, but many holy men, such as St. Kosmas Aitolos, hold that laymen should let their beards, or least a moustache, grow naturally.


And the poor wretches do not know that by what they are doing they are managing only to make themselves like that hag and whore called Jezebel (II Kings 9:30), and are themselves becoming new and second Jezebels, because she too used to paint her face in order to please the eyes of men, just as is written: “And when Jehu was come to Jezreel, Jezebel heard of him; and she painted her face, and attired her head, and peeped through the window” (ibid.). So all men and all women who do such things are all excommunicated by the present Ecumenical Council. And is these things are forbidden to be done by the laity in general, how much more they are forbidden to clerics and those in holy orders, who ought by their speech and by their conduct, and by the outward decency and plainness of their garments, and of their hair, and of their beard, to teach the laity not to be body-lovers and exquisites, but soul-lovers and virtue- lovers. Note that the present Canon censures the priests of the Latins who shave off their moustache and their beard and who look like very young men and handsome bridegrooms and have the face of women. For God forbids men of the laity in general to shave their beard, by saying: “Ye shall not mar the appearance of your bearded chin” (Lev. 19:27). But He specially forbids those in holy orders to shave their beard, by saying to Moses to tell the sons of Aaron, or, in other words, the priests, not to shave the skin of their bearded chin (Lev. 21:5). Not only did He forbid this in words, but He even appeared to Daniel with whiskers and beard as the Ancient of Days (Dan. 7:9); and the Son of God wore a beard while he was alive in the flesh. And our Forefathers and Patriarchs and Prophets and Apostles all wore beards, as is plainly evident from the most ancient pictures of them wherein they are painted with beards. But, more to the point, even the saints in Italy, like St. Ambrose, the father of monks Benedict, Gregory Dialogus, and the rest, all had beards, as they appear in their pictures painted in the church of St. Mark in Venice. Why, even the judgment of right reason decides the shaving of the beard to be improper. For the beard is the difference which in respect of appearance distinguishes a woman from a man. That is why a certain philosopher when asked why he grew a beard and whiskers, replied that as often as he stroked his beard and whiskers he felt that he was a man, and not a woman. Those men who shave their beard are not possessors of a manly face, but of a womanly face. Hence it was that Epiphanius blamed the Massalians for cutting off their beard, which is the visage peculiar to man as distinguished from woman. The Apostles in their Injunctions, Book I, ch.3, command that no one shall destroy the hair of his beard, and change the natural visage of the man into one that is unnatural. “For,” says he, “God the Creator made this to be becoming to women, but deemed it to be out of harmony with men.” The innovation of shaving the beard ensued in the Roman Church a little before Leo IX, Gregory VII even resorted to force in order to make bishops and clerics shave off their beard. Oh, and what a most ugly and most disgusting sight it is to see the successor of St. Peter close-shaven, as the Greeks say, like a “fine bridegroom,” with this difference, however, that he wears a stole and a pallium, and sits in the chief seat among a large number of other men like him in a council called the college of cardinals, while he himself is styled the Pope. Yet bearded Popes did not become extinct after insane Gregory, a witness to this fact being Pope Gelasius growing a beard, as is stated in his biography. See the Dodecabiblus of Dositheus, pp. 776-8. Meletius the Confessor (subject 7, concerning unleavened wafers) states that a certain Pope by the name of Peter on account of his lascivious acts was arrested by the king and one half of his beard was shaven off as ‘a mark of dishonor. According to another authority, in other temples too there were princes, even on the sacerdotal list, who had a beard, as in Leipzig they are to be seen painted after Martin Luther in the church called St. Paul’s and that called St, Thomas’s. I saw the same things also in Bardislabia.

http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/praxis/clergy_hair.aspx

In CHRIST

Offline Αριστοκλής

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Re: Beards and Tradition
« Reply #26 on: September 27, 2007, 09:27:09 AM »
All very nice.
However, do you have a canon from an Ecumenical Council proscribing clean shaven faces or other requirements?
There may be some, bit I've not read them. Until then and EVEN then, the local bishop rules.
« Last Edit: September 27, 2007, 11:44:31 PM by Αριστοκλής »
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Offline Jakub

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Re: Beards and Tradition
« Reply #27 on: September 27, 2007, 03:48:42 PM »
proscribing cleans haven faces someone has had a few, eh ?
An old timer is a man who's had a lot of interesting experiences -- some of them true.

Grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway, the good fortune to run into the ones I do, and the eyesight to tell the difference.

Offline PeterTheAleut

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Re: Beards and Tradition
« Reply #28 on: September 27, 2007, 11:36:31 PM »
Since when do we get to selectively choose which parts of the Law of Moses are still authoritative while rejecting the rest as not binding upon Christians?  Did not the God who told His Jewish men to not shave their beards also tell them to not eat pork and shellfish, calling them an abomination?  Why do we now allow men to eat pork and to eat shellfish even during Lent, yet require them to do so with bearded faces?  Maybe we have other reasons, but I'm not about to allow a selective reading of the Old Testament be one of them.
Not all who wander are lost.

Offline Christodoulos

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Re: Beards and Tradition
« Reply #29 on: September 28, 2007, 10:40:12 AM »
Since when do we get to selectively choose which parts of the Law of Moses are still authoritative while rejecting the rest as not binding upon Christians?  Did not the God who told His Jewish men to not shave their beards also tell them to not eat pork and shellfish, calling them an abomination?  Why do we now allow men to eat pork and to eat shellfish even during Lent, yet require them to do so with bearded faces?  Maybe we have other reasons, but I'm not about to allow a selective reading of the Old Testament be one of them.

God bless!+

The Church and the Fathers exact explain how we should understand the Law! Did not Christ say of himself that he did not come to abolish, he came to fulfil. Because many parts of the Law were Forshadows of the Future, for example the circumcision/ baptism, the pessach/pascha also pentecost..... But many things of the Law are still important for us or do you not follow the 10 commandments? Are not many parts of the Orthodox Liturgy come from the Tempel Liturgy of Jerusalem?
I think we are not wiser or have more knowledge than the Apostels or fathers of the Church and they used the same way of interpretation. It is not my opinion - they told us to follow this tradition!

In CHRIST

Offline lubeltri

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Re: Beards and Tradition
« Reply #30 on: September 28, 2007, 12:36:18 PM »
It is this kind of legalism which sucks the life out of the Gospel. We shouldn't be arguing over things like calendars and beards. So a beardless EO priest is somehow less Orthodox than one who has hair growing off his face? Does this disqualify Native Americans and some Asians from becoming EO priests, pray tell?

Offline Αριστοκλής

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Re: Beards and Tradition
« Reply #31 on: September 28, 2007, 05:45:14 PM »
Unbelievable but true! lubeltri and I agree on something (gasp).  :o
"Religion is a neurobiological illness and Orthodoxy is its cure." - Fr. John S. Romanides

Offline Jakub

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Re: Beards and Tradition
« Reply #32 on: September 28, 2007, 06:25:27 PM »
I will raise my glass/bottle to that...



An old timer is a man who's had a lot of interesting experiences -- some of them true.

Grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway, the good fortune to run into the ones I do, and the eyesight to tell the difference.

Offline PeterTheAleut

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Re: Beards and Tradition
« Reply #33 on: September 28, 2007, 09:54:12 PM »
God bless!+

The Church and the Fathers exact explain how we should understand the Law! Did not Christ say of himself that he did not come to abolish, he came to fulfil. Because many parts of the Law were Forshadows of the Future, for example the circumcision/ baptism, the pessach/pascha also pentecost..... But many things of the Law are still important for us or do you not follow the 10 commandments? Are not many parts of the Orthodox Liturgy come from the Tempel Liturgy of Jerusalem?
I think we are not wiser or have more knowledge than the Apostels or fathers of the Church and they used the same way of interpretation. It is not my opinion - they told us to follow this tradition!

In CHRIST

Christodoulos,

Would you care to address this concern I brought up with you about ten days ago?  So far it appears that you've conveniently avoided giving an answer.

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,12796.msg174896.html#msg174896

Your conception of the Middle age church is not the orthodox concept! The church should not be a middle age church but an apostolic and patristic one( wich should not change with time)!
Only a thing under time can change but not the church wich is above time (like God he is always the same in past present and future) in church are not terms like old fashioned or modern or new or old ..
(You speak in secular terms to the Holy Church!)

I'm sorry, but the above concept of the Church strikes me as much closer to Eutychian Monophysitism than to the genuine Orthodox Christology of Chalcedon (EO) and Ephesus (OO). Just as we believe that Christ is fully Divine and fully human, are we not to also see the Church as fully Divine and fully human? Your view of the Church would have us believe that the ever-transcendent Divinity of Christ within the Church absorbs all human aspects and eradicates them, but we don't believe this about Christ, lest we follow after the error of Eutychius.

So how do we recognize the human element of the Church? In addition to standing apart from and above time, the Church, through all her faithful, has also been actively entrenched in time. She has been and must continue to be in active dialogue with human culture through all of history until the end of the age. As much as the Church has influenced the cultures with whom she has had contact, so must she also be open to what godly influence the surrounding culture may be able to offer her. This means that we even open ourselves to the influence of science and other scholarly ways of knowing the world, and I think we can look no farther than the great Council of Nicea as our example. Did not the Fathers of this council place great importance on astronomical accuracy in determining the date for Pascha? After all, they did delegate to Alexandria the final authority on when Pascha would be celebrated, because Alexandria was seen as the center of the astronomical knowledge of the day.

Who are the Holy Fathers?  Has the Church made a dogmatic proclamation listing everyone who is to be revered as a Holy Father, such that we can automatically reject the wisdom of all others not on this list?  If we have no such dogmatic list of Fathers, how can you speak with any dogmatic authority on how the Fathers tell us to interpret the Law?  How can you say with such certainty, "It is not my opinion - they told us to follow this tradition!"?
« Last Edit: September 28, 2007, 09:55:21 PM by PeterTheAleut »
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Offline Christodoulos

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Re: Beards and Tradition
« Reply #34 on: September 29, 2007, 08:03:55 AM »
Christodoulos,

Would you care to address this concern I brought up with you about ten days ago?  So far it appears that you've conveniently avoided giving an answer.

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,12796.msg174896.html#msg174896

I'm sorry, but the above concept of the Church strikes me as much closer to Eutychian Monophysitism than to the genuine Orthodox Christology of Chalcedon (EO) and Ephesus (OO). Just as we believe that Christ is fully Divine and fully human, are we not to also see the Church as fully Divine and fully human? Your view of the Church would have us believe that the ever-transcendent Divinity of Christ within the Church absorbs all human aspects and eradicates them, but we don't believe this about Christ, lest we follow after the error of Eutychius.

So how do we recognize the human element of the Church? In addition to standing apart from and above time, the Church, through all her faithful, has also been actively entrenched in time. She has been and must continue to be in active dialogue with human culture through all of history until the end of the age. As much as the Church has influenced the cultures with whom she has had contact, so must she also be open to what godly influence the surrounding culture may be able to offer her. This means that we even open ourselves to the influence of science and other scholarly ways of knowing the world, and I think we can look no farther than the great Council of Nicea as our example. Did not the Fathers of this council place great importance on astronomical accuracy in determining the date for Pascha? After all, they did delegate to Alexandria the final authority on when Pascha would be celebrated, because Alexandria was seen as the center of the astronomical knowledge of the day.


Who are the Holy Fathers?  Has the Church made a dogmatic proclamation listing everyone who is to be revered as a Holy Father, such that we can automatically reject the wisdom of all others not on this list?  If we have no such dogmatic list of Fathers, how can you speak with any dogmatic authority on how the Fathers tell us to interpret the Law?  How can you say with such certainty, "It is not my opinion - they told us to follow this tradition!"?

God bless!+

If you had read carefully you would see that I had answered your post! The problem is - please be honest-that you do not accept what I wrote because you do not like it- so I can present to you full Bibliotheks of proofs and witness you will not accept it!

In the case of the Fathers, what you wrote NO traditional orthodox christian would agree! If every Doctrine in the Orthodox Church must be dogmatizised we would have thousends of Dogmas.
The problem is that some do not understand that Doctrine and Tradition is also authoritiv ( please read my post on the Assumption of the Theotokos).
The orthodox church believes that the Fathers are God inspired and the consense of their mind is truth (Dogma) even if some topics are not strict Dogmas this mean not that to believe it or not is subjectiv!
We have no infallable pope our infallable truth is the teaching of the Fathers !

Blessed Father Seraphim Rose:

In only one place is there to be found the fount of true teaching, coming from God Himself, not diminished over the centuries but ever fresh, being one and the same in all those who truly teach it, leading those who follow it to eternal salvation. This place is the Orthodox Church of Christ, the fount is the grace of the All-Holy Spirit, and the true teachers of the Divine doctrine that issues forth from this fount are the Holy Fathers of the Orthodox Church.

    Alas! How few Orthodox Christians know this, and know enough to drink from this fount! How many contemporary hierarchs lead their flocks, not on the true pastures of the soul, the Holy Fathers, but along the ruinous paths of modern wise men who promise something "new" and strive only to make Christians forget the true teaching of the Holy Fathers, a teaching which—it is quite true—is entirely out of harmony with the false ideas which govern modern times.
   
The Orthodox teaching of the Holy Fathers is not something of one age, whether "ancient" or "modern." It has been transmitted in unbroken succession from the time of Christ and His Apostles to the present day, and there has never been a time when it was necessary to discover a "lost" patristic teaching. Even when many Orthodox Christians have neglected this teaching (as is the case, for example, in our own day), its true representatives were still handing it down to those who hungered to receive it. There have been great patristic ages, such as the dazzling epoch of the fourth century, and there have been periods of decline in patristic awareness among Orthodox Christians; but there has been no period since the very foundation of Christ's Church on earth when the patristic tradition was not guiding the Church; there has been no century without Holy Fathers of its own. St. Nicetas Stethatos, disciple and biographer of St. Simeon the New Theologian, has written; "It has been granted by God that from generation to generation there should not cease the preparation by the Holy Spirit of His prophets and friends for the order of His Church."

Before looking at two of the recent Holy Fathers, however, let us make clear that for us, Orthodox Christians, the study of the Holy Fathers is not an idle academic exercise. Much of what passes for a "patristic revival" in our times is scarcely more than a plaything of heterodox scholars and their "Orthodox" imitators, not one of whom has ever "discovered" a patristic truth for which he was ready to sacrifice his life. Such "patrology" is only rationalist scholarship which happens to take patristic teaching for its subject, without ever understanding that the genuine teaching of the Holy Fathers contains the truths which our spiritual life or death depends. Such pseudo-patristic scholars spend their time proving that "pseudo-Macarius" was a Messalian heretic, without understanding or practicing the pure Orthodox teaching of the true St. Macarius the Great; that "pseudo-Dionysius" was a calculated forger of books whose mystical and spiritual depths are totally beyond his accusers; that the thoroughly Christian and monastic life of Sts. Barlaam and Joasaph, handed down by St. John Damascene, is nothing but a "retelling of the Buddha story;" and a hundred similar fables manufactured by "experts" for a gullible public which has no idea of the agnostic atmosphere in which such "discoveries" are made. Where there are serious scholarly questions concerning some patristic texts (which, of course, there are), they will certainly not be resolved by referring them to such "experts, who are total strangers to the true patristic tradition, and only make their living at its expense.


NOT SO ARE TRUE Orthodox scholars; not so is the true Orthodox patristic tradition, where the genuine, unchanging teaching of true Christianity is handed down in unbroken succession both orally and by the written and printed word, from spiritual father to spiritual son, from teacher to disciple.

 In what does their greatness consist, and on what does their special significance for us depend? The Church, brethren, is the house of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth (I Timothy 3:15). Christian truth is preserved in the Church in Holy Scripture and Holy Tradition; but it requires a correct preservation and a correct interpretation. The significance of the Holy Fathers is to be found precisely in this: that they are the most capable preservers and interpreters of this truth by virtue of the sanctity of their lives, their profound knowledge of the word of God, and the abundance of the grace of the Holy Spirit which dwells in them." The rest of this sermon is composed of nothing but quotes from the Holy Fathers themselves (Sts. Athanasius the Great, Basil the Great, Simeon the New Theologian, Nicetas Stethatos) to support this view.

 "And I began often, with tears, to implore God that He might not give me over as a sacrifice to error, but that He might show me the right path on which I should direct towards Him my invisible journey of mind and heart. And, O wonder! Suddenly a thought stood before me… My heart went out to it as to The embrace of a friend. This thought inspired me to study faith in the sources—in the writings of the Holy Fathers! 'Their holiness,' the thought said to me, 'vouches for their trustworthiness: choose them for your guides.' I obeyed. I found means of obtaining the works of the holy pleasers of God, and in eagerness I began to read them, investigate them deeply. Having read some, I would take up and read others, read them, re-read them, study them. What was it that above all else struck me in the works of the Fathers of the Orthodox Church? It was their harmony, their wondrous, magnificent harmony. Eighteen centuries, through their lips, testified to a single unanimous teaching, a Divine teaching!

    "When on a clear autumn night I gaze at the clear sky, sown with numberless stars, so diverse in size yet shedding a single light, then I say to myself: such are the writings of the Fathers! When on a summer day I gaze at the vast sea, covered with a multitude of diverse vessels with their unfurled sails like white swans' wings, vessels racing under a single wind to a single goal, to a single harbor, I say to myself: such are the writings of the Fathers! When I hear a harmonious, many-voiced choir, in which diverse voices in elegant harmony sing a single Divine song, then I say to myself: such are the writings of the Fathers!

 "And what teaching do I find in them? I find a teaching repeated by all the Fathers, namely, that the only path to salvation is the unwavering following of the instructions of the Holy Fathers. 'Have you seen,' they say, 'anyone deceived by false teaching, perishing from an incorrect choice of ascetic labors?—then know that he followed himself, his own understanding, his own opinions, and not the teaching of the Fathers' (Abba Dorotheus, Fifth Instruction), out of which is composed the dogmatic and moral tradition of the Church. With this tradition as a priceless possession, the Church nourishes her children.
 Archbishop Theophanes concludes his patristic exhortation with this appeal: "Brethren, let this good thought {the taking of the Holy Fathers as our guide} be your guiding star also in the days of your earthly pilgrimage on the waves of the sea of life!"

    The truth of this appeal, as of the inspired words of Bishop Ignatius, has not dimmed in the decades since they were uttered. The world has gone for on the path of apostasy from Christian Truth, and it becomes ever more clear that there is no alternative to this path save that of following the uncompromising path of truth which the Holy Fathers have handed down to us.

There is no problem of our own confused times which cannot find its solution by a careful and reverent reading of the Holy Fathers: whether the problem of the sects and heresies that abound today, or the schisms and "jurisdictions;" whether the pretense of spiritual life put forth by the charismatic revival," or the subtle temptations of modern comfort and conveniences; whether complex philosophical questions such as "evolution," or the straightforward moral questions of abortion, euthanasia, and "birth control;" whether the refined apostasy of "Sergianism," which offers a church organization in place of the Body of Christ, or the crudeness of the "renovationism," which begins by "revising the calendar" and ends in "Eastern-rite Protestantism." In all these questions the Holy Fathers, and our living Fathers who follow them, are our only sure guide.

    Bishop Ignatius and other recent Fathers have indicated for us last Christians which Holy Fathers are the most important for us to read, and in what order. May this be an inspiration to us all to place the patristic teaching as the foundation stone of the building of our own souls, unto the inheritance of everlasting life! Amen.

In CHRIST
......will be continued

Offline Christodoulos

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Re: Beards and Tradition
« Reply #35 on: September 29, 2007, 10:22:13 AM »
God bless!+

From Bishop Averky:

Faith in Christ and the true Church as the repository and disseminator of that faith are given to us so that we might know the true God and, knowing Him, learn to believe in Him, hope in Him, and love Him.

      Faith in God must be "true" and "uncorrupted," that is, not

just any sort of faith thought up by people themselves according to their own taste, but correct, or orthodox, as that true Christian faith, pure and uncorrupted, undistorted by human sophistry, preached by the holy Apostles and preserved without change by the true Church, has always been called. The criterion for this faith is this: "That is true which has been believed everywhere,. at all times, by all people" (St.' Vincent of Lerins). And that faith must be "uncorrupted" in us, that is, we must preserve it so steadfastly, firmly, uncompromisingly that no one will be able to seduce us or draw us away from it.

Wherever the inherited spiritual link of grace going back to the holy Apostles and their successors the Apostolic Men and Holy Fathers has been broken, wherever various innovations have been introduced in faith and morals with the aim of "keeping in step with the times," of "progressing," of not getting out of date and of adapting to the demands and fashions of this world lying in evil ¾ there can be no talk of the true Church.

  In the midst of the general, mass, already self-perpetuating movement "Forward! Forward! To the Antichrist!" (although it might not be expressed so openly) for us members of the Russian Church Abroad the age-old motto of the true Church of Christ remains in full force: "stand fast...remain unmoved!" (cf. the words of Bishop Theophan in On Orthodoxy with Warnings about Errors Against It [in Russian], p. 7).

      Why is this so?

      "Human teachings," writes this same Bishop Theophan, "are always reaching out to what is new, growing, developing; and this is natural, for they do not have the truth, but are just seeking it. And let them seek it, as long as they find something stable. For us both the truth and the way to the truth have been defined once and for all. We possess the truth, and all our efforts are directed toward its assimilation, not its discovery" (Ibid.).

      This is why we are not going in the same direction at all as any "modernists" and "ecumenists." Our gaze should not be directed "ahead," but "backwards" ¾ to the earthly life of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, to the Divine teaching He preached on earth 19 centuries ago, to His act of redemption, His glorious Army of Martyrs, to the Holy Fathers and Teachers of the Church, to the establishers of the true faith, to the righteous ascetics, those "angels in the flesh," and, for us Russians, to the ideals of Holy Russia ...

      For us "forward" is only the constantly spreading "Apostasy" predicted by the Word of God and the Holy Fathers of the Church, and its crown ¾ the Antichrist, of whose near arrival so many already are so openly speaking; but after that will come the shining triumph of our Faith: the Last Judgment, the eternal torment of sinners and the eternal blessedness of the righteous.

      This is our ideology; this is the genuine (without evil or deceit) Orthodox view of the world to which our whole Russian Church Abroad should hold in order to justify its existence on earth, not to become the "salt which has lost its savor."

      Whoever thinks otherwise, whoever is inclined to "march in step with the times," consequently, has already entered into some sort of compromise with the "evil of this world," leading to the Antichrist, and is not really a member of our Russian Church Abroad, even though he formally continues to belong to it.

 And insofar as we wish to remain faithful to true Orthodoxy, many obligations are placed upon us.

      We must, as Bishop Ignatius instructs us, avoid and protect ourselves from the Apostasy which is growing so rapidly in the world. We must defend ourselves against the corrupting spirit of the times to avoid its influence.

      And to this end we must first of all understand and never forget:

      that at the present time not everything that bears the most holy and most dear name of Orthodoxy really is Orthodoxy ¾ there now also exists pseudo-Orthodoxy, which we must fear and from which we must flee as from fire;

      that true Orthodoxy is only that which does not accept and does not permit in anything, either in teaching or in church practices, any sort of innovations opposed to the Word of God and the decrees of the Universal Church;

      that true Orthodoxy does not bless and does not indulge modern fashion ¾ the morality and customs of the modern, corrupt world, which, even more than in Apostolic times, is lying in evil, for it is a world which has abandoned God;

      that true Orthodoxy considers only pleasing God and saving souls, not arrangements for temporary, earthly happiness, a career, and earthly advantages and possessions;

      that true Orthodoxy is spiritual, not natural and carnal, not attached to the earth ¾ to earthly feelings and experiences.

They want to subject the eternal to the temporal, the heavenly to the earthly, the holy to the sinful...
     

      Where one finds the dogmas shaken and the moral teachings of the Gospel and the canonical structure of the Church founded on them undermined, this is clearly the work of servants of the coming Antichrist, no matter what they might call themselves and no matter how they are dressed.

      The "gates of hell" will riot prevail against the Church, but they have and certainly can prevail against many who consider themselves pillars of the Church, as is shown by Church history; this happens when they are full of their own conceits, abandon the one mind and one spirit of the whole One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church, and rely on their own conjectures and imaginings which contradict the teachings of the Gospel, the Holy Apostles, and the Fathers of the Church.

The sacred motto of our Church is that of the great confessor of Orthodoxy, St. Athanasius, Archbishop of Alexandria: "We must not serve time, but God."

Michale Pomazansky
The Works Of The Holy Fathers

For guidance in questions of faith, for the correct understanding of Sacred Scripture, and in order to distinguish the authentic Tradition of the Church from false teachings, we appeal to the works of the holy Fathers of the Church, acknowledging that the unanimous agreement of all of the Fathers and teachers of the Church in teaching of the Faith is an undoubted sign of truth. The holy Fathers stood for the truth, fearing neither threats nor persecutions nor death itself. The Patristic explanations of the truths of the Faith 1) gave precision to the expression of the truths of Christian teaching and created a unity of dogmatic language; 2) added testimonies of these truths from Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition, and also brought forth for them arguments based on reason. In theology, attention is also given to certain private opinions of the holy Fathers or teachers of the Church on questions which have not been precisely defined and accepted by the whole Church. However, these opinions are not to be confused with dogmas, in the precise meaning of the word. There are some private opinions of certain Fathers and teachers which are not recognized as being in agreement with the general catholic faith of the Church, and are not accepted as a guide to faith.

George Florovski
Following the Holy Fathers... It is not a reference to abstract tradition, to formulas and propositions. It is primarily an appeal to persons, to holy witnesses. The witness of the Fathers belongs, integrally and intrinsically, to the very structure of the Orthodox faith. The Church is equally committed to the kerygma of the Apostles and to the dogmata of the Fathers. Both belong together inseparably. The Church is indeed "Apostolic." But the Church is also "Patristic." And only by being "Patristic" is the Church continuously "Apostolic." The Fathers testify to the Apostolicity of the tradition.

The apostolic preaching is not only kept in the Church: it lives in the Church, as a depositum juvenescens, in the phrase of St. Irenaeus. In this sense, the teaching of the Fathers is a permanent category of Christian faith, a constant and ultimate measure or criterion of right belief. In this sense, again, Fathers are not merely witnesses of the old faith, testes antiquitatis, but, above all and primarily, witnesses of the true faith, testes veritatis. Accordingly, our contemporary appeal to the Fathers is much more than a historical reference—to the past. "The mind of the Fathers" is an intrinsic term of reference in Orthodox theology, no less than the word of the Holy Writ, and indeed never separated from it. The Fathers themselves were always servants of the Word, and their theology was intrinsically exegetical. Thus, as has been well said recently, "the Catholic Church of all ages is not merely a child of the Church of the Fathers, but she is and remains the Church of the Fathers."

Metropolitan Hierotheos:
Furthermore, the divinely inspired teaching of the saints is closely connected with the devout mind of the Church. The Church produces the saints and the saints express the devout mind of the Church. Saints cannot be thought of apart from the Church and saints are unthinkable who have heretical and erroneous views on serious theological questions.

In the Church, as St. Gregory Palamas says, there are "those initiated by experience" and those who follow and revere these tested ones. Thus if we do not have our own experience on these matters, we must nevertheless follow the teaching of those who see God, the deified and experienced saints. It is only in this way that we have the mind of the Church and the consciousness of the Church. Otherwise we open the path to self-destruction in various ways. We must constantly believe and confess "in accordance with the divinely inspired theologies of the saints and the devout mind of the Church".


The "Synodikon of Orthodoxy" is an excellent and very concise text which is a summing up of the whole orthodox teaching of our Church. This is why the Church has inserted it in its worship, on the Sunday of Orthodoxy, and it is read in an attitude of attention and prayer. It is a holy text. And we must harmonise with it all our thinking, and above all, our life.

We need to study it closely in order to recognise what constitutes the orthodox faith and orthodox life. And in fact the orthodox way of life is free of scholasticism and moralism. It is hesychastic and theological.

Our positive or negative stand towards this text shows to what extent we are animated by the orthodox mind of the Church or are possessed by scholasticism. We are of the Church insofar as we are of the holy Fathers.

Again George Florovski:
As we commented, Father Florovsky has contended that the authority of Scripture and Tradition rests ultimately in the "mind" of the Fathers [ie., the "mind" of the Church]. How do we know that the writings of the Fathers themselves, the liturgical practices and customs of the Church, and even Scripture itself are true and inspired? Not alone by the decrees of the first seven Œcumenical Synods accepted by the Orthodox, Father Florovsky argues; [3] certainly, as we have maintained, not by some idea of the teaching authority of the Church or a personal magisterium [the papacy]; but by the "mind" of the Fathers [which is the "mind" of the Church]. The "mind" of the Fathers is the source and manifestation of truth, a faculty for acknowledging, recognizing, and affirming truth that is universal, that speaks through all of the Fathers "as though with one mouth." [4] It is a faculty which constitutes a Tradition above and beyond tradition as we normally define it. As one spiritual writer of the Orthodox Church defines the "official expression" of this Tradition, it includes, "... first, the Word of God laid down in Holy Scripture; secondly, the definitions of the Councils... ; thirdly, the liturgical texts; and, lastly, the writings of the Fathers." [5] The Tradition embodied in the "mind" of the Fathers encompasses, unifies, and is the source of all ecclesiastical Tradition and of Scripture. It is the criterion by which valid revelation is judged, the faculty, as Lossky writes, "of judging in the Light of the Holy Spirit." [6]

Tradition, then, we can understand as the faculty for knowing truth that resides in the "mind" of the Fathers and of the Church. Tradition is, as one Orthodox theologian views it, "the measure and the criterion of the presence and action of God, through the Church, as well as of the genuineness of the penetration of the wishes and the pursuits of the human spirit by the 'true Knowledge."' [7] Truth, in short, is judged by Tradition. Tradition is the faculty for recognizing truth; but more than this, Tradition is itself a mystical truth. The "mind" of the Fathers is the "mind" of the Church. And the "mind" of the Church is part of the mystical Body of Christ, which constitutes the Church. Thus Tradition not only serves to make truth self-evident, but it can also serve to generate the very same self-evident truth. It can, in fact, bear forth every true tradition and expression of the Church—indeed, Scriptures themselves.

I could go on and on..

The Witness of the Fathers is a witness of the correctness of dogma or did you not read the Book of St. Basil the great or the writings of the ecumenical synods? ( with lists of names of the holy fathers as witness for truth)

Without the fathers there is no truth!

In CHRIST

Offline ozgeorge

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Re: Beards and Tradition
« Reply #36 on: September 29, 2007, 10:38:25 AM »
Canon 21 of the Sixth Oecumenical Council (Trullo):
"Those who have become guilty of crimes against the canons, and on this account subject to complete and perpetual deposition, are degraded to the condition of layman.  If, however, keeping conversion continually before their eyes, they willingly deplore the sin on account of which they fell from grace, and made themselves aliens therefrom, they may still cut their hair after the manner of clerics.  But if they are not willing to submit themselves to this canon, they must wear their hair as laymen, as being those who have preferred the communion of the world to the celestial life."

Clerics had their hair cut at the time of the 6th Oecumenical Council. Does this make it an "Apostolic Tradition" that the clergy should have their hair cut?
« Last Edit: September 29, 2007, 10:41:04 AM by ozgeorge »
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Re: Beards and Tradition
« Reply #37 on: September 29, 2007, 11:37:59 AM »
I wear a beard and have longish hair, however in answer to the question about all the apostles having beards such is not the history as presented in the Holy Icons.  St Thomas, my patron is shown as clean shaven as are others in the icon of the mystical supper, the Pentecost, the Sunday of Thomas, and others---obviously there were apostles without beards. It is traditional for Orthodox Clergy to maintain a form of beards but as we can see in the icons agin that St Nicholas the Wonderworker, St John Chrystostomos and other  Clergy Saints did not have long hair  but rather trimmed hair and in some cases trimmed beards.  In the monastic and slavic traditions all priests must have uncut beards and hair but not so in the all the byzantine traditions historically as seen by the icon history.

Thomas
« Last Edit: September 30, 2007, 05:28:27 PM by Thomas »
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Offline ozgeorge

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Re: Beards and Tradition
« Reply #38 on: September 29, 2007, 11:43:02 AM »
my patron is shown as clean shaven

Mine too come to think of it!

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Re: Beards and Tradition
« Reply #39 on: September 29, 2007, 11:57:02 AM »
As is mine. A Roman soldier would have been clean-shaven.
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Offline pensateomnia

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Re: Beards and Tradition
« Reply #40 on: September 29, 2007, 01:35:24 PM »
Don't forget St. Stephen, the first Christian martyr and a clergyman, as well. No beard.
But for I am a man not textueel I wol noght telle of textes neuer a deel. (Chaucer, The Manciple's Tale, 1.131)

Offline Christodoulos

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Re: Beards and Tradition
« Reply #41 on: September 29, 2007, 01:43:19 PM »
I wear a beard and have longish hair, however in answer to the question about all the apostles having beards such is not the history as presented in the Holy Icons.  St Thomas, my patron is shown as clean shaven as are others in the icon of the mystical supper, the Pentecost, the Sunday of Thomas, and others---obviously there were apostles without beards. It is traditioal for Orthodox Clergy to maintain a form of beards but as we can see in the icons agin that St Nicholas the Wonderworker, St John Chrystostomos and other  Clergy Saints did not have long hair  but rather trimmed hair and in some cases trimmed beards.  In the monastic and slavic traditions all priests must have uncut beards and hair but not so in the all the byzantine traditions historically as seen by the icon history.


God bless!+

I can not agree that they had shaven faces because we know that for jews this was very pagan!
Even today orthodox jews do not shave their beard (later this tradition the muslims adopted from the christians like other things).
When some Apostels or Saints have no beard (only a few) there must be another reason:


I think the only two who have no beard are Apostel Philipp left and Thomas right ( beacuse of their young age!) Like St. Stephan, he also was very young when he was martyred! I think sometimes Apostel John  is also shown without beard because of his young age and not because he shaved!!!


Here you see John with the young Prochor (because of young age without beard)

And the canon 21 of the 6th Synod:
21. Those who become responsible for canonical crimes, and on this account are subject to complete and permanent deposition from office, and are thrust into the status of laymen, if with a view to returning they voluntarily forgo the sin on account of which they lapsed from grace, and render themselves utter strangers thereto, let them be tonsured in Clerical guise. But if they fail to do this of their own accord and as a matter of choice, let them grow back the hair of their heads, on the ground that they have preferred the return into the world to the heavenly life.

(Ap. c XXV; c, IX of the 1st; e. IV of the 6th; c. IX of Neocaesarea; cc. III, XVII, XXXII, L, LXX of Basil.)


Interpretation.

Those in holy orders who have been completely and permanently deposed from office, and have assumed the guise of a layman, and have to stand with the laymen, on account of canonical crimes, such as fornication, say, or adultery, or other such sins, commands the present Canon, if they themselves voluntarily and spontaneously repent, and actually effect complete abstinence from the sin on account of which they lost the grace of holy orders, let them tonsure the hair of their head, or, in other words, let them have a so-called papalethra (or "patch") at the point of the head, which was a guise and token of clerics. But if they fail to repent willingly and spontaneously, they must let the hair of their head grow back like worldlings, in order that the lay guise may so shame them as to bring them sooner or later to a sense of their viciousness and cause them to repent. Read also Ap. c. XXV.

From the Service of the Ordination:

3) In the questioning period of the candidate before the ordination, the candidate to the priesthood, in the presence of his spiritual father makes the following promise: "I promise to wear the clothing appropriate to my priestly rank, not to cut my hair nor my beard... for through such unseemly behavior I risk belittling my rank and tempting believers" (Promise #5).

It is important to note here that, in confirmation of his promise the candidate kisses the Gospel and the Cross and signs his name.

In CHRIST

Offline Fr. George

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Re: Beards and Tradition
« Reply #42 on: September 29, 2007, 01:46:25 PM »
From the Service of the Ordination:

3) In the questioning period of the candidate before the ordination, the candidate to the priesthood, in the presence of his spiritual father makes the following promise: "I promise to wear the clothing appropriate to my priestly rank, not to cut my hair nor my beard... for through such unseemly behavior I risk belittling my rank and tempting believers" (Promise #5).

Not as an attack, I'm just looking for information: can you give me a source for this?  I haven't seen it in my texts of the preparation for ordination.
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Offline pensateomnia

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Re: Beards and Tradition
« Reply #43 on: September 29, 2007, 02:15:51 PM »
I can not agree that they had shaven faces because we know that for jews this was very pagan!

Pagan philosophers of various schools wore beards, as did members of many mystery cults. Roman aristocrats did tend to shave at many points in history, but not necessarily if they were philosophers or traditionalists. For example, Pliny the Elder is often depicted with a beard.

Ancient people of all types throughout the Mediterranean basin believed beards were a reflection of the superior biological and spiritual nature of males. In fact, "pagan" scientists, philosophers and doctors of the Hellenistic and Late Antique period developed many interesting theories on this topic. By the early 2nd century such ideas appear to be very common. Galen writes on the topic and the famous Emperor Hadrian wore a beard.

Many early Christians adopted these ideas. Clement of Alexandria, for example, has some especially bombastic segments about facial hair and the superiority of male nature that are borrowed right from Hellenistic science.

Those in holy orders who have been completely and permanently deposed from office, and have assumed the guise of a layman, and have to stand with the laymen, on account of canonical crimes, such as fornication, say, or adultery, or other such sins, commands the present Canon, if they themselves voluntarily and spontaneously repent, and actually effect complete abstinence from the sin on account of which they lost the grace of holy orders, let them tonsure the hair of their head, or, in other words, let them have a so-called papalethra (or "patch") at the point of the head, which was a guise and token of clerics. But if they fail to repent willingly and spontaneously, they must let the hair of their head grow back like worldlings, in order that the lay guise may so shame them as to bring them sooner or later to a sense of their viciousness and cause them to repent. Read also Ap. c. XXV.

So, how does this support the idea that clerical appearance has always been uniform? Sounds to me like the commentary itself is admitting that there was a time when clergymen used a specific hair style to identify their rank -- which, even at the time of this commentary, had fallen out of use. The lesson seem to be that external signs change.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2007, 02:16:39 PM by pensateomnia »
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Offline Christodoulos

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Re: Beards and Tradition
« Reply #44 on: September 29, 2007, 02:29:29 PM »
Pagan philosophers of various schools wore beards, as did members of many mystery cults. Roman aristocrats did tend to shave at many points in history, but not necessarily if they were philosophers or traditionalists. For example, Pliny the Elder is often depicted with a beard.

Ancient people of all types throughout the Mediterranean basin believed beards were a reflection of the superior biological and spiritual nature of males. In fact, "pagan" scientists, philosophers and doctors of the Hellenistic and Late Antique period developed many interesting theories on this topic. By the early 2nd century such ideas appear to be very common. Galen writes on the topic and the famous Emperor Hadrian wore a beard.

Many early Christians adopted these ideas. Clement of Alexandria, for example, has some especially bombastic segments about facial hair and the superiority of male nature that are borrowed right from Hellenistic science.

So, how does this support the idea that clerical appearance has always been uniform? Sounds to me like the commentary itself is admitting that there was a time when clergymen used a specific hair style to identify their rank -- which, even at the time of this commentary, had fallen out of use. The lesson seem to be that external signs change.
God bless!+
You have to ask a jewish rabbi or read the Thora there you will read that God ordered to all of israel not to follow pagan practise and cut the hair of the beard like a cat or dog!!(please read lev,)
This mean not that no pagan man had beards!( of course they had)
Here is the icon of Christ the Emmanuel young without beard but this mean not that Christ shaved his beard!

and the many Fathers of west!






In CHRIST