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Author Topic: Organs in America  (Read 8128 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #45 on: April 11, 2007, 10:27:56 PM »

You think organs are bad, wait till you hear a piano played for the Divine Liturgy.  This was used at a military chapel I once attended.
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« Reply #46 on: April 11, 2007, 10:40:55 PM »

Wow, I disappear for a day and here we are...well I was 'appalled' because I was not used to seeing such things. Until recent months, these things were never part of our churches'  (Greek Canadian) practice. Maybe its an American thing...when I went to this one downtown Toronto church, the priest said Greeks in America use the organ and so will we, its wonderful! I love the organ- just not in Greek churches accompanied by harmony. It fits in well in Orthodox Western Rite parishes or Roman Catholic parishes. In Greek churches, it seems to makes the chant really screwed up. I was talking to someone yesterday and she told me that organs have been used in GOA churches in America since like the 1950's...so maybe you guys are used to it and thats why you were all like "wow this guy is crazy and overreacting". I also noticed that lots of icons in GOA churches were western as opposed to Byzantine. Up here, all our iconography is either from Athonites or Romanians and Ukrainians.

Actually in Corfu and the other Eptanisia in Greece, they use a sort of Byzantine polyphony due to the Venetian Italian influence so its not like I'm totally ignorant but I was just surprised at the amount of GOA churches using the beautiful byzantine chant so poorly or not at all.
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« Reply #47 on: April 12, 2007, 09:58:07 AM »

At least no-one plays "Jump" by Van Halen after the end of the Liturgy as I heard once in a Pentecostal church.

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« Reply #48 on: April 12, 2007, 10:18:51 AM »

Timos - you are right, it is an American thing in the main. The Greek mission in Panama City uses an organ - very quietly, following the chant. I have no idea where the sheet music comes from, but it indeed follows the chant. However, many of their members stand in the back and whisper complaints about it. I can imagine what would happen to the peace of the local community is someone tried to remove the organ and choir (and, that pastoral issue is just as important as 'correctness' and should always be considered in these situations.)

Of course - I'm an architectural nut, and my aesthetic sense is hyper-sensitive (us artists aren't well people.) I go in there and desperately want to have a bonfire of pews, carpet, and much else. Maybe I need a show on HGTV where we do a 48 hour renovation of Orthodox churches? Know of an iconographer that can paint that fast? Wink The organs can always be sent down the street the the many little Hispanic Catholic missions...

Having said that - American Greek churches also have a Byzantine polyphony that I find quite striking. I've been looking for the composer's name again - he was early 20th c. The recordings "Byzantine Music in the New World" had many of his compositions - and I've heard much of his music chanted in Antiochian parishes as well. Anyone got the name? I'm wondering if he or a colleague might have wrote some of the organ music used in Greek churches?
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« Reply #49 on: April 12, 2007, 11:00:32 AM »

In Greek churches, it seems to makes the chant really screwed up. I was talking to someone yesterday and she told me that organs have been used in GOA churches in America since like the 1950's...

I think organs may have been used in the US well before that. The performance and composition of choral music has become a big deal over the years for certain parishes. In fact, in some areas of the country, the National Forum of Greek Orthodox Church Musicians is quite active: http://www.goarch.org/en/archdiocese/affiliates/nfcm/ In other areas, Byzantine music led by chanters is the norm. It really just depends on what happened in that region and in that given parish during the 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s -- when choral compositions took off in number, variety and popularity. If a certain parish has a 60 year history of choral music, then most members know nothing else.

In fact, in some more well organized parishes (like the one in Weston, MA or the Archdiocesan Cathedral) the choir does a huge variety of pieces, ranging from settings of "Byzantine" melodies from all periods to various Russian-style compositions (and even original compositions by members). You can see and hear the Cathedral's services on its Web site.
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« Reply #50 on: April 12, 2007, 11:47:53 AM »

Having said that - American Greek churches also have a Byzantine polyphony that I find quite striking. I've been looking for the composer's name again - he was early 20th c. The recordings "Byzantine Music in the New World" had many of his compositions - and I've heard much of his music chanted in Antiochian parishes as well. Anyone got the name? I'm wondering if he or a colleague might have wrote some of the organ music used in Greek churches?

"Harmonized" Byzantine music is a crime and this stuff should be jettisoned.  Do it right or do something else if you want polyphony (Serbian, Russian, etc.).

You may be thinking of a person named "Kazan" - NOT music from the city of Kazan in Russia.  His stuff isn't as bad as the Fr. John Finley (J.D.F.) stuff though.
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« Reply #51 on: April 12, 2007, 12:06:54 PM »

You may be thinking of a person named "Kazan" - NOT music from the city of Kazan in Russia.  His stuff isn't as bad as the Fr. John Finley (J.D.F.) stuff though.

No, it was a Greek name - ended in 'ides' IIRC. Kazan compiled much of the music used by the Antiochian Archdiocese (Russky party.) I've only heard one of Finley's compositions in use - a Cherubimic Hymn, it was unison, though 'sing songy'. We preferred Bortiniansky.
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« Reply #52 on: April 12, 2007, 02:30:44 PM »

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No, it was a Greek name - ended in 'ides' IIRC.

Ahhh, teh Sak. (Sakellarides, most famous of the Greek polyphonists, whose music should be anathema.)
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« Reply #53 on: April 12, 2007, 02:34:18 PM »

Ahhh, teh Sak. (Sakellarides, most famous of the Greek polyphonists, whose music should be anathema.)

You're right on the name, and right on the anathema.
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« Reply #54 on: April 12, 2007, 04:08:13 PM »

Yes, he's the one. LOL  Well, for now - he isn't anathema, and in fact is used by GOA and Antiochians alike. So, technically I don't have a horse in that race, but still - the Church hasn't disowned him.
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« Reply #55 on: April 12, 2007, 04:36:39 PM »

Ahhh, teh Sak. (Sakellarides, most famous of the Greek polyphonists, whose music should be anathema.)

We do his "Awed by the Beauty"...which is NOT polyphonic and has melody + Ison.  Rather nice, but the only piece of his we do.
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« Reply #56 on: April 12, 2007, 04:37:40 PM »

No, it was a Greek name - ended in 'ides' IIRC. Kazan compiled much of the music used by the Antiochian Archdiocese (Russky party.) I've only heard one of Finley's compositions in use - a Cherubimic Hymn, it was unison, though 'sing songy'. We preferred Bortiniansky.

Interesting...I wasn't aware Fr. Finely wrote ANYTHING unison.
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« Reply #57 on: April 12, 2007, 05:01:13 PM »

A Cherubimic Hymn - it sounded like a praise chorus, but it was sung unison. As for ison - by most definitions, use of an ison alongside the melody qualifies as polyphonic. The same way that use of bells in a liturgy qualifies as 'instruments'.
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« Reply #58 on: April 12, 2007, 05:18:51 PM »

I have the Liturgy CD done by Assumption church in Denver which does Theodore Bogdanos stuff...his stuff actually sounds good, especially his compositions with light polyphony and ison in the background.

Another guy Tikey Zes' works sounds a little out there and Renaissance inspired.
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« Reply #59 on: April 20, 2007, 02:05:22 PM »

Tonsured, as in tonsured woman reader?  Like part of the minor orders tonsured?  If so, that sounds more scandalous than an organ.  My feet would be walking out the door of any GOA church practicing this.

Me to...
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« Reply #60 on: April 20, 2007, 02:18:13 PM »

I disagree completely with the use of any "non" classical instruments in the Church service and definetly not during the liturgy.

However with Gods grace such instruments may be needed to facilitate missions in "non" orthodox societies around the world. In this case organs and the like mmust be considered if only unilt the newly converted has gained an appreciation for the "traditional" without feeling disconnected or disenfranchised from thier former "musical" tradition used outside the Orthodox Church.

This does not mean to make organs and the like a "new' tradition but only an end to a means.
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« Reply #61 on: April 20, 2007, 02:30:12 PM »

Once you start it, it will never go away. So hence, I say, no way should it be used even for missionary purposes.

Plain chanting or singing does exist in several American Churches so it should present no problem.
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« Reply #62 on: April 20, 2007, 11:44:36 PM »

Tonsured, as in tonsured woman reader?  Like part of the minor orders tonsured?  If so, that sounds more scandalous than an organ.  My feet would be walking out the door of any GOA church practicing this.
Me to...
Can you two provide a good reason from Tradition why women should not be tonsured readers, considering that women were even ordained to the diaconate as late as the 5th Century, as evidenced by the 15th Canon of the Council of Chalcedon (quoted below)?

Let no woman be ordained a deaconess before the age of forty, and even then after a strict test. But if she, after receiving the gift of chirothesy and remaining for some time in the ministry, proceeds to give herself in marriage, thus insulting the grace of God, let any such actress be anathematized together with the man who has joined himself with her in marriage.
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« Reply #63 on: April 20, 2007, 11:54:30 PM »

Sure, there were never women readers - and deaconesses and deacons are two different offices, with different services for the making of either, different functions (the latter more  liturgical.) The fact is that all of the orders - chorister, reader, porter, exorcist, catechist, acolyte, subdeacon, deacon, priest, bishop - were always male offices. Female offices were separate and only included deaconess besides the  monastic of nun or abbess. For tonsured women readers to be acceptable, it would have to be normative in the Tradition - yet we have no services for tonsuring 'lectoresses', nor canons allowing such. The phrase "considering that women were even ordained to the diaconate" is problematic, as it assumes that deaconess was exactly the same as deacon. I always see that argument put forward as if it is a given, yet it isn't. (Rather like stating "Since we know UFOs are alien visitors...")
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« Reply #64 on: April 21, 2007, 12:24:02 AM »

Me to...

Can you two provide a good reason from Tradition why women should not be tonsured readers, considering that women were even ordained to the diaconate as late as the 5th Century, as evidenced by the 15th Canon of the Council of Chalcedon (quoted below)?

Let no woman be ordained a deaconess before the age of forty, and even then after a strict test. But if she, after receiving the gift of chirothesy and remaining for some time in the ministry, proceeds to give herself in marriage, thus insulting the grace of God, let any such actress be anathematized together with the man who has joined himself with her in marriage.


Sure, there were never women readers - and deaconesses and deacons are two different offices, with different services for the making of either, different functions (the latter more  liturgical.) The fact is that all of the orders - chorister, reader, porter, exorcist, catechist, acolyte, subdeacon, deacon, priest, bishop - were always male offices. Female offices were separate and only included deaconess besides the  monastic of nun or abbess. For tonsured women readers to be acceptable, it would have to be normative in the Tradition - yet we have no services for tonsuring 'lectoresses', nor canons allowing such. The phrase "considering that women were even ordained to the diaconate" is problematic, as it assumes that deaconess was exactly the same as deacon. I always see that argument put forward as if it is a given, yet it isn't. (Rather like stating "Since we know UFOs are alien visitors...")

Ditto -  yeah what he said.
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« Reply #65 on: April 21, 2007, 12:39:19 AM »

Sure, there were never women readers - and deaconesses and deacons are two different offices, with different services for the making of either, different functions (the latter more  liturgical.) The fact is that all of the orders - chorister, reader, porter, exorcist, catechist, acolyte, subdeacon, deacon, priest, bishop - were always male offices. Female offices were separate and only included deaconess besides the  monastic of nun or abbess. For tonsured women readers to be acceptable, it would have to be normative in the Tradition - yet we have no services for tonsuring 'lectoresses', nor canons allowing such. The phrase "considering that women were even ordained to the diaconate" is problematic, as it assumes that deaconess was exactly the same as deacon. I always see that argument put forward as if it is a given, yet it isn't. (Rather like stating "Since we know UFOs are alien visitors...")
What specific evidence do you have to support your theses?  I've heard arguments on both sides of the issue, and I'm honestly not convinced by either.  Can you provide evidence from the Holy Fathers, from early writings on Church discipline (such as the Didache), from other canons (esp. those forbidding ordination of women to the lower orders of the clergy), etc.?  Something to go beyond your apparently personal interpretation of the historic role of the deaconess?
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« Reply #66 on: April 21, 2007, 12:41:47 AM »

Female offices were separate and only included deaconess besides the  monastic of nun or abbess.

Oh boy! This topic is a phoenix of the worst kind -- i.e. the most tiresome!

The only reason I have decided to post anything is because I just finished reading my newest purchase: Les Constitutions Apostoliques, 3 vols., ed., trans., intro., critical text, notes Marcel Metzger, Sources Chretiennes, vols. 320, 329, and 336 (Paris: Editions du Cerf, 1985-87).

I refer everyone to Book VIII, 3-5, 16-26 of this fourth-century work, wherein one can find the rites of ordination listed in this order: bishops, presbyters, deacons, deaconesses, subdeacons and readers. These are followed by the rites of consecration for several other offices (some of which included women), i.e. confessors, virgins, widows and exorcists.
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« Reply #67 on: April 21, 2007, 12:59:08 AM »

Virgins and Widows are the origins of the female monastic life. St. Patrick was big on that practice. Still - the best argument is still the silence of history. If it was around, we'd have plenty of contemporary witness. Rather, history is silent. If it existed, we'd have evidence in spades. The onus is not on those to 'prove a negative', but rather on those to prove a positive. The ones to demand evidence of are those who claim deacon/deaconess are the same (if so, why separate liturgical texts?) Let them give evidence of *normative* tonsuring of female readers (being accepted and continuous, and not a fringe practice that died out or was stamped out.)
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« Reply #68 on: April 21, 2007, 02:41:06 AM »

Virgins and Widows are the origins of the female monastic life. St. Patrick was big on that practice.
I guess I don't know you well enough to yet deem you a trustworthy reporter of history, so I ask again what sources you cite for your description of the historical record.  You've made a lot of statements of historical "fact" that I would like you to substantiate.

Quote
Still - the best argument is still the silence of history.
I've never really liked this argument, "We've never done it before, so we should never do this now or in the future," because the argument asserts itself as the sole reason.  To me this is the worst possible case of circular reasoning.  What theological reasons do we have for not doing something?  WHY is something not part of our traditional praxis?  Is it explicitly verboten, or is it merely something we've never done before?  If we've merely never done it before, why?  Is there a sound theological/ecclesiological reason, or, in the case of tonsuring women readers, is it just the misogynist culture that often seems to have infected the Church?  Just because a practice was never instituted doesn't mean that we should forbid it, and just because some practice was never prohibited doesn't mean we now have license to start.

Quote
The ones to demand evidence of are those who claim deacon/deaconess are the same (if so, why separate liturgical texts?)
Like what texts?  I don't deny their existence; I'm just not familiar with them.  I made no explicit claim that the offices of deacon and deaconess are the same, though my language may at first reading indicate otherwise, so I have nothing to prove to you.  You asserted as point of fact that the offices of deacon and deaconess are NOT the same, so the onus is on you to prove it.

Quote
Let them give evidence of *normative* tonsuring of female readers (being accepted and continuous, and not a fringe practice that died out or was stamped out.)
Likewise, you should give evidence that the practice is strictly forbidden and has consistently been so.
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« Reply #69 on: April 21, 2007, 03:01:00 AM »

Virgins and Widows are the origins of the female monastic life.

The status of widows and virgins is really incidental. The more germane points of interest in the Apostolic Constitutions are (1) that it lists the office of deaconess above both subdeacon and reader; (2) it lists the office of deaconess firmly in the mild of these clerical grades, not in some separate category; (3) the prayer itself speaks of the deaconess being "ordained," while the prayers for the offices of subdeacon and reader do not.

The latter point is true of other more official euchologia, including the Barberini Codex.

Regardless, this one is a dead horse.
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« Reply #70 on: May 17, 2007, 05:11:10 PM »

Me to...

Can you two provide a good reason from Tradition why women should not be tonsured readers, considering that women were even ordained to the diaconate as late as the 5th Century, as evidenced by the 15th Canon of the Council of Chalcedon (quoted below)?

Let no woman be ordained a deaconess before the age of forty, and even then after a strict test. But if she, after receiving the gift of chirothesy and remaining for some time in the ministry, proceeds to give herself in marriage, thus insulting the grace of God, let any such actress be anathematized together with the man who has joined himself with her in marriage.


Women can not be Clergyman in the Holy Church.

Read 1st snd 2nd Timothy that "a deacon shall be the 'husband' of one wife". NOT the other way around. This is clearly the means required of all deacons. This is not for deaconesses since she can not have a wife.

Deaconesses are an order that is NOT IN the clergical diaconate. The position is provisional and local and has important uses that are not part of the Liturgical function such as is deacons.

The resstrictions are clearly noted in the edict you posted.

Men are ordained deacon under the same rules as a priest. Women as you can read in your posting has special age requirements and limits; particularly regarding marriage. Men have no such limitation.

We need to understand that a "deaconess" IS NOT a clergical order. "Deacon" is a clergical ucharistic order. It is a central part of the holy orders of the church required for all men who will serve the church on the way to priest and bishop. In some orthodox communions (like the Ethiopian) the diaconate is very professional and may be held by a man for life and not just a short stint before priest. In Ethiopia all men who are ordained deacon at the highest rank MUST at all times be referred to as IE:Deacon John or Deacon Michael etc. It is very impolite to call an ordained deacon by his first name only. Some communions have deacons but do not refer to anyone as "deacon" other than on the alter no matter what level he is. Deacons in such communions are not recognizeable as clegyman off the alter since they walk around in common street cloths aftre they remove the liturgical vestment.

The Deacon is very important clergyman in Ethiopia and is always required to carry his office as part of his life; not just soemthing he does on the alter on Sundays. The Ethiopian deacons can sometimes be confused for priests, even on the street. In the west (outside Ethiopia) deacons although still very important (members stand up when a known deacon enters a room) some deacons (and some married priests) do not wear the black or blue robe after the liturgy. There is a resurgence underway to correct this laxity which in the mind of the Ethiopians is infliuenced by secularism and protestantism.

The deaconess is not required to behave or carry on any formal liturgical orders but be a good example to others; women in particular of the faith. She teaches the girls to attend to good christian character regarding attitude, clothing and make-up choices, dating, prayer and all other issues that are special to a women. The deaconess in Ethiopia can not do anything without the approval of the Leke Diaqone or head deacon.

All deacons answers to the bishop. A deacon who doeas have alienment and open respect for the bishop where he presides is out of line with the rules of the Church of Ethiopia and is thus unfit to serve on any alter anywhere else he may go until he is esatblished with that bishop. If the bishop is not in alienment with the holy synod of Ethiopia the deacon in this area must take his direction from Ethiopia directly to avoid falling out of line with the church and create a stumbling block for himself causing a lack of good stewardship and thus stoppong the efforts that may lead to priesthood.

Deaconess are not on the path to priesthood so while they must be in good relations on all areas noted a fall from proper alienment does not stop any work she might want to do anyway even if she may be repremanded or suspended form her duty.

This view is of course one sided from the view point of Ethiopian order. I am aware of the same or very similar practice in many other communions like the Russian and Greek (from where I have seen).
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"ETHIOPIA shall soon stretch out her hands unto God".....Psalm 68:vs 31

"Are ye not as children of the ETHIOPIANS unto me, O children of Israel"?....Amos 9: vs 7
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« Reply #71 on: May 17, 2007, 07:36:48 PM »

Women can not be Clergyman in the Holy Church.

Roll Eyes

Quote
Read 1st snd 2nd Timothy that "a deacon shall be the 'husband' of one wife". NOT the other way around. This is clearly the means required of all deacons. This is not for deaconesses since she can not have a wife.

Perhaps a lesbian in a committed relationship would fulfill your technical legal requirements. Somewhat how the Ruling Empresses of Rome got around the technicalities of male control of the military by simply adopting masculine titles; our ecclesiastical legal heritage is full of such manoeuvres.

Quote
Deaconesses are an order that is NOT IN the clergical diaconate. The position is provisional and local and has important uses that are not part of the Liturgical function such as is deacons.

So we'll just use the old male order and ordain women as deacons, just like men. (Then as priests, then, eventually, as bishops)

Quote
Men are ordained deacon under the same rules as a priest. Women as you can read in your posting has special age requirements and limits; particularly regarding marriage. Men have no such limitation.

Outdated and unjust restrictions of a backwards culture and society. Hardly something we should concern ourselves with, plus age requirements for men have been completely overhauled.

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The deaconess is not required to behave

So does this mean we get to bring back the religious orgies of the pagans? Count me in! This new idea of yours sounds fun. Grin

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She teaches the girls to attend to good christian character regarding attitude, clothing and make-up choices, dating, prayer and all other issues that are special to a women.

So basically they're fashion design experts that double as match makers? I like where this is going: orgies, free fashion tips, makeup artists, dating advice...a little something for everyone. Now you're thinking of ways to improve Church attendance!

Quote
The deaconess in Ethiopia can not do anything without the approval of the Leke Diaqone or head deacon.

That's their problem, but here we enjoy the benifits of a post-enlightenment society.

Quote
Deaconess are not on the path to priesthood so while they must be in good relations on all areas noted a fall from proper alienment does not stop any work she might want to do anyway even if she may be repremanded or suspended form her duty.

So they're not involved in the power struggles of fools. Probably for better, when you wrestle with a pig you both get dirty and only the pig has fun.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2007, 07:40:31 PM by greekischristian » Logged

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« Reply #72 on: May 18, 2007, 02:51:05 PM »

Roll Eyes

Perhaps a lesbian in a committed relationship would fulfill your technical legal requirements. Somewhat how the Ruling Empresses of Rome got around the technicalities of male control of the military by simply adopting masculine titles; our ecclesiastical legal heritage is full of such manoeuvres.

So we'll just use the old male order and ordain women as deacons, just like men. (Then as priests, then, eventually, as bishops)

Outdated and unjust restrictions of a backwards culture and society. Hardly something we should concern ourselves with, plus age requirements for men have been completely overhauled.

So does this mean we get to bring back the religious orgies of the pagans? Count me in! This new idea of yours sounds fun. Grin

So basically they're fashion design experts that double as match makers? I like where this is going: orgies, free fashion tips, makeup artists, dating advice...a little something for everyone. Now you're thinking of ways to improve Church attendance!

That's their problem, but here we enjoy the benifits of a post-enlightenment society.

So they're not involved in the power struggles of fools. Probably for better, when you wrestle with a pig you both get dirty and only the pig has fun.

Reading all of the things you stated was very difficult for me I am sorry to say. I am not used to your loose, glibb choice of words and metaphors. I really think that you are trying to say something worthwhile. I fail to see what that would or could be.

I must say that without a minimal knowledge of, adherence to and respect for what the Holy Universal Apostoic Church teaches in general and on this matter which she has been maintaining up to the present day this can be a very difficult and contentious subject. Any small discontent with the Orthodox church just makes it more difficult.

I am not that knowledgeable on many things in the Holy Church. I am learning and I am very sure you are as well.

In any event;you can be sure that their has never been anything Orthodox about the 'idea' of a 'clergy-women', it is'nt now and never will be.

If you and your "enlightened society" like the idea of having this type of thing you have your options to choose then.

Protestants are happy with this thing; you can be to if thats where you want to be.

We are all learning.

Thank you for your repsonse.

I will continue to prayer for you.

Please pray for me as well.

Your servant
Deacon Amde Tsion
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"ETHIOPIA shall soon stretch out her hands unto God".....Psalm 68:vs 31

"Are ye not as children of the ETHIOPIANS unto me, O children of Israel"?....Amos 9: vs 7
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