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Poll
Question: Where should everyone stand in the church?
Men on left, Women on right
Women on left, Men on right
All Single Women on left, all men and married women on right
All married people on left, all single people on right
All the converts in the front of the church and all the cradles in the back
Stand? Why stand when you can sit in a pew?

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« on: July 25, 2007, 02:55:58 AM »

So I was just debating with several people in my parish about the correct place for the women to stand in the church. One guy said that the women should stand on the left since that is the side of the Theotokos on the iconostasis. Another one says that women are on the right since it corresponds to the theology behind why the deacon stands in front of the icon of Christ while the hymns to the Theotokos are sung during the 1st antiphon. One guy said he enjoyed praying with his wife on his side while another enjoyed having his wife as far away from him as possible.

I am more confused then ever and was hoping that everyone on the site could tell me what the Orthodox church teaches on these matters.
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« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2007, 03:15:09 AM »

As far as I know, the tradition is that women stand on the left and men on the right (facing the altar). This is the way we do it at my church also. However, I think it's more importnat to be at the church and not where you stand.
I'm glad by that arrangement, though, because I can concentrate on the Holy Liturgy and not on beautiful women, like a sinner that I am.
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« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2007, 03:26:18 AM »

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastern_Orthodox
Traditionally, men stand on the right and women on the left.

http://biserica.org/Publicatii/1995/NoIV/31_index.html
4. A patra conditie canonica. Totdeauna barbatii in biserica trebuie sa stea in partea dreapta, iar femeile in partea stanga. Si in ordinea aceasta trebuie sa stea in biserica : barbatii batrani in frunte, cei mai putin carunti la spate, cei mai tineri in spatele lor, flacaii si baietii tot asa. La fel si femeile. Iar intre barbati si femei, sa lasati o carare in biserica, ca sa mearga cine vine sa se inchine si sa duca darul la Sfantul Altar.

4. The Forth Canonic Law. Men should always stand in the church on the right side and women on the left. And this is the way to stand in the church: older men in the front, the one less older men behind them, the young ones behind those, teenagers and children likewise. The same thing for women. Between men and women leave  room so that anyone who comes to church can go to the Holy Altar to cross himself and bring his gift.

I believe this is different in the OO churches:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethiopian_Orthodox_Tewahedo_Church

As with Orthodox synagogues, men and women are seated separately in the Ethiopian church, with men on the left and women on the right (when facing the altar).
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« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2007, 03:30:09 AM »

As far as I know, the tradition is that women stand on the left and men on the right (facing the altar). This is the way we do it at my church also. However, I think it's more importnat to be at the church and not where you stand.
That's right and I agree with you that where you stand is unimportant - but try telling that to a Moldovan babusca who looks just about ready to knock you to the ground for standing with the women!
Quote
I'm glad by that arrangement, though, because I can concentrate on the Holy Liturgy and not on beautiful women, like a sinner that I am.
Well in our church here, there is no division of the sexes, though I was quite surprised to se this. I'm sure that everyone must have been used to it at home (they're nearly all Romanian immigrants) but they appear to have arrived in Britain and just started mixing. I prefer it non-segregated as it allow me to do my share of looking after the kids.

James
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« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2007, 04:18:23 AM »

In Greece, traditionally, men go on the right and women to the left. We do not keep this strictly though as women´s side is always far more congested, so women will usually occupy space on the right hand side of the church as well as upstairs in the Gynaeconites. On Feast Days, as the church is usually too crowded for norms to be properly applied, people mix more at the entrance of the Church and to facilitate things for Holy Communion, women are channeled to the queue of men as well, to balance things out.
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« Reply #5 on: July 25, 2007, 07:20:09 AM »

I prefer women in front/men in back myself - women standing in their pews/ men sitting in theirs.
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« Reply #6 on: July 25, 2007, 08:37:44 AM »

Traditionally, men go on the right and women to the left.  In my parish married couples tend to stand together with their kids as a family throughout the church but many of the single men have chosen to stand in the front on the right side and the single women to stand on the left side in the front.

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« Reply #7 on: July 25, 2007, 09:54:35 AM »

In my parish families stand together, but everyone huddles near the door, or at least as close to the walls as possible. We don't really differentiate by sex.
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« Reply #8 on: July 25, 2007, 11:24:18 AM »

How about Agia Sophia (and the other ancient super-Basilicas): Women and visitors on the balcony, men on the ground level.
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« Reply #9 on: July 25, 2007, 11:29:27 AM »

How about Agia Sophia (and the other ancient super-Basilicas): Women and visitors on the balcony, men on the ground level.
This is why I think most churches here in America are uncanonical in their design. If there is no balcony then the women are not in their proper place in the church. If the women are standing above us men then we can't be distracted by them as we pray.
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« Reply #10 on: July 25, 2007, 11:29:45 AM »

How about Agia Sophia (and the other ancient super-Basilicas): Women and visitors on the balcony, men on the ground level.

In my parish that would put all the women in the choir loft...not sure how that would work.
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« Reply #11 on: July 25, 2007, 11:30:38 AM »

This is why I think most churches here in America are uncanonical in their design. If there is no balcony then the women are not in their proper place in the church. If the women are standing above us men then we can't be distracted by them as we pray.

Please do cite the relevant canon for us!
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« Reply #12 on: July 25, 2007, 11:42:01 AM »

Please do cite the relevant canon for us!
Everyone knows it is 111 of Trullo aka the Quitisext Council.
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« Reply #13 on: July 25, 2007, 11:42:14 AM »

In my parish that would put all the women in the choir loft...not sure how that would work.

Eh, I don't like the "choir lofts."  They should make full-sized, large balconies.

How about a "choir rail" instead of the loft/mini balcony - a catwalk-type ledge going around the sides of the Church about 2 stories up, only wide enough for people to stand against the rail and have someone else walk behind them.  They had that at the Great Church of Christ (Agia Sophia) as well!  (You could get over 1000 cantors involved - quite a feat!)
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« Reply #14 on: July 25, 2007, 11:57:25 AM »

Reminds me of the original church of the Greek parish in Norfolk, VA. It had a three-sided loft around the nave. Church was very wide, too - iconostasis had 7 icons (large) on each side (to get some perspective). View from loft was stunning.
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« Reply #15 on: July 25, 2007, 12:03:28 PM »

Everyone knows it is 111 of Trullo aka the Quitisext Council.

Huh?

Oh, OK, I 'see' it now... Wink
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« Reply #16 on: July 25, 2007, 12:20:23 PM »

This is why I think most churches here in America are uncanonical in their design. If there is no balcony then the women are not in their proper place in the church. If the women are standing above us men then we can't be distracted by them as we pray.

I like the idea of women being up high and above the men. There is something intuitively appropriate with that arrangement. We ladies could harmonize with the angels during Divine Liturgy while all of you men could work out your distraction problems down below. Then, at a moment's notice you could quickly run up to the altar to receive confession for your lustful thoughts   Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy
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« Reply #17 on: July 25, 2007, 12:25:10 PM »

I like the idea of women being up high and above the men. There is something intuitively appropriate with that arrangement. We ladies could harmonize with the angels during Divine Liturgy while all of you men could work out your distraction problems down below. Then, at a moment's notice you could quickly run up to the altar to receive confession for your lustful thoughts   Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy

Lustful thoughts? As in from glancing up?
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« Reply #18 on: July 25, 2007, 12:28:30 PM »

I've belonged to 5 different SOC parishes (4 without pews, 1 with) and in each of them women were on the left, men on the right.  I always assumed it was just a small "t" tradition.
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« Reply #19 on: July 25, 2007, 02:17:43 PM »

Lustful thoughts? As in from glancing up?

The sound of our angelic voices would incline you to look up and that would be your downfall.
Perhaps having separate churches would be the answer! Cool
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« Reply #20 on: July 25, 2007, 02:23:54 PM »

Maybe you should be Jewish. They've got this all figured out.  Wink
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« Reply #21 on: July 25, 2007, 02:33:19 PM »

The sound of our angelic voices would incline you to look up and that would be your downfall.
Perhaps having separate churches would be the answer! Cool

A variation of that forbidden fruit thing, right?
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« Reply #22 on: July 25, 2007, 02:37:49 PM »

The sound of our angelic voices would incline you to look up and that would be your downfall.
Perhaps having separate churches would be the answer! Cool
With my parish, you women would NEED to be in the balcony just so you can hear yourselves sing without the basses drowning you out! Cool
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« Reply #23 on: July 25, 2007, 03:44:44 PM »

With my parish, you women would NEED to be in the balcony just so you can hear yourselves sing without the basses drowning you out! Cool

But when you're singing that Russian music, you better have your basses drowining out everyone else or the music doesn't sound good!  Cheesy
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« Reply #24 on: July 25, 2007, 04:23:35 PM »

If I was to face the altar, we have women standing on the right side and men on the left.  I saw the same with the Ethiopians and Indians, and I assume the Syrians as well.

God bless.
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« Reply #25 on: July 25, 2007, 04:34:42 PM »

...but everyone huddles near the door, or at least as close to the walls as possible.

Doesn't that just drive you nuts?   Blocking the doors in an out, almost like they're afraid to get fully in the door and keep their quick escape options open.  Or more than likely, huddling around the doors and walls like cockroaches lets you lean against something while resting your feet.  Try juggling young kids, diaper bags and baby carriers while clueless people lean in the doorways.  I would never admit to getting any satisfaction from whacking them on the shins with a baby carrier as I struggled past. 
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« Reply #26 on: July 25, 2007, 04:59:28 PM »

After long and tedious reconsideration of this weighty question I am afraid I must offer my suggestions.
ISTM that the best side for BOTH women AND men to stand on should be, without question, their own bottom-side or soles of their feet. The alternatives, while possible, offer distinct disadvantages, to wit:

1) Standing on their "top- sides" or heads would be entirely too difficult to carry off (especially for some of the ladies and most of the men) in genteel fashion. Additionally, for the women, this alternative might prove too distracting for the men (see Loft post above).
2) Standing on BOTH sides is also to be discouraged as this entails, technically, standing on one's hands. As one can tell, this offers the identical drawbacks that Option 1) above does plus it prevents the mothers and Yiayias from rendering proper discipline to the children (or men) in corporal fashion.
3) Rumor has it that a certain 'competition' has begun among OC.neters involving alcoholic beverages. Advance warning should be given that "standing on one's backside" or in a semi-conscious, prone arrangement is not to be tolerated whether on winning or losing teams.

Thanks for your attention.
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« Reply #27 on: July 26, 2007, 02:30:34 AM »

After long and tedious reconsideration of this weighty question I am afraid I must offer my suggestions.
ISTM that the best side for BOTH women AND men to stand on should be, without question, their own bottom-side or soles of their feet.



Sorry, I discussed the options you suggested with my church girlfriends and we decided we are not coming down. We like it up here  Cheesy Wink Kalinichta agapito!
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« Reply #28 on: July 26, 2007, 02:42:11 AM »

Sorry, I discussed the options you suggested with my church girlfriends and we decided we are not coming down. We like it up here  Cheesy Wink Kalinichta agapito!
If that's how you feel, then stay up there. Tongue  We don't want you down here. Wink
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« Reply #29 on: July 26, 2007, 05:02:44 AM »

If that's how you feel, then stay up there. Tongue  We don't want you down here. Wink

We planned that, right...?  Undecided
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« Reply #30 on: July 27, 2007, 01:29:55 AM »

Didymus,

Quote
All Orthodox Churches separate men and women in Church don't they? - Quoted from this thread

As far as I know, that is the tradition of the various groups. However, in America, almost every Church I've been in has a mixed congregation. As I sit here, I can only think of one Church that had seperated men and women, while I can think of probably a dozen that I've been in that was mixed.
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« Reply #31 on: July 27, 2007, 02:03:21 AM »

Didymus,

As far as I know, that is the tradition of the various groups. However, in America, almost every Church I've been in has a mixed congregation. As I sit here, I can only think of one Church that had seperated men and women, while I can think of probably a dozen that I've been in that was mixed.

I'm Australian so I can't speak for what Americans do however as you yourself admit, traditionally all Orthodox Churches have separated men and women.

I'm fairly sure the OOs place the women on the right when facing the altar whilst EOs place the women on the right when looking out from the altar.
The issue here is whether the symbolic 'queens' should stand to the right of their husbands or to the right of God on the altar.
The Psalmist says, at Thy right did stand the Queen in gold. This refers to the Lord and His mother St. Mary but the issue in where ladies stand in the Church has to do with symbolism.

Here in Australia I have only heard of and seen Churches where the traditional practises of the Faith are kept. I have only seen inside Coptic, Ethiopian and Serbian Churches though. I've seen others from the outside but this doesn't help this discussion. I believe the Greeks, Romanians and Russians also separate as the Serbians though at least in Australia.

Having come from a Protestant background, I think it distracts from worship to have men and women stand together so they ought to be separated.
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« Reply #32 on: July 27, 2007, 02:06:41 AM »

In my parish families stand together, but everyone huddles near the door, or at least as close to the walls as possible. We don't really differentiate by sex.

Where is your parish and which branch of The Church please?

In some Churches you're doing well if you can get everyone to stand on the inside of the Church. Is this why Ethiopians lock the doors?

Also, what is the Quitisext Council? I can't find anything about it?
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« Reply #33 on: July 27, 2007, 03:02:37 AM »

Didymus, try Quinisext Council, it seems you write it in the wrong way and this is why you cannot find any information. Smiley
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« Reply #34 on: July 27, 2007, 03:59:19 AM »

Thanks Sophie. Found it now and seems it's an EO council that explains why I haven't heard of it. What exactly does canon 111 say?
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« Reply #35 on: July 27, 2007, 06:05:40 AM »

Quote
What exactly does canon 111 say?

It was a joke. Wink
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« Reply #36 on: July 27, 2007, 11:12:45 AM »

Where is your parish and which branch of The Church please?
Springfield, Missouri. It's an OCA parish.
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« Reply #37 on: July 30, 2007, 07:14:13 AM »

The Quinisext Council only has 102 canons.
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« Reply #38 on: July 30, 2007, 08:03:40 AM »

The Quinisext Council only has 102 canons.

It was joke, MA.
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« Reply #39 on: August 01, 2007, 12:35:56 AM »

Doesn't the Bible say Men in the front and Women in the back?? (and that women aren't supposed to talk during church??)  Wink

PS- I'm just stirring the pot! (I'm just joking)
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« Reply #40 on: August 01, 2007, 12:35:07 PM »

Doesn't the Bible say Men in the front and Women in the back?? (and that women aren't supposed to talk during church??)  Wink

PS- I'm just stirring the pot! (I'm just joking)


But it is also written in the Bible, "The neck shall always move the head!"
so it really doesn't matter where we puppetmast....ur I mean...women stand...hee, hee, hee  Wink
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« Reply #41 on: August 13, 2007, 02:41:44 PM »

In good old american non-sexual discriminatory style, my church inter-mixes the sexes. Which makes sense from not only a practical perspective, but also since we are called to be in the image of both Christ and the Theotokos, not one or the other.

-Nick
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« Reply #42 on: September 20, 2007, 06:46:56 PM »

In good old american non-sexual discriminatory style, my church inter-mixes the sexes. Which makes sense from not only a practical perspective, but also since we are called to be in the image of both Christ and the Theotokos, not one or the other.

-Nick

God bless!+

That woman and man are seperated has nothing todo with discrimination!
We should not follow our own way of thinking or our own opinion in such questions.
It is an old tradition that woman stand on the left side and man on the right ( usually in every serbian orthodox church also today you can see this).I think it is written above because the icon of the Theotokos is on the left side and the icon of christ on the right!
In the early church often the two sexes were completly seperated with seperate entrances for woman and man and a curtain or wall in the midst so that no side could see the other( I think the practise of the muslim mosquee copy the ancient christian practice!)

This was the tradition in all orthodox ( also in catholic) churches ! Some local churches stand fast in this tradition others are not so strict but it can be proofed that it was common. I read a few months ago an appeal of a russian bishop that this tradition should be followed again by all orthodox christians!

When you study the mass in the middle age also it was common in the catholic church because this tradition is an very old one. Like it was also a catholic tradition to stand during prayer and liturgy!

So it is not important if it we understand or like this seperation , it is a tradition of the church and we should follow it! We are not allowed to change any tradition of the church.

In CHRIST




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« Reply #43 on: September 20, 2007, 07:05:47 PM »

So it is not important if it we understand or like this seperation , it is a tradition of the church and we should follow it! We are not allowed to change any tradition of the church.
This may be a minor quibble, but I would say that we are not allowed to change any Tradition of the church, but that we can change traditions when the need arises. Now, whether something is a tradition or a Tradition is another matter.
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« Reply #44 on: September 20, 2007, 07:09:25 PM »

This may be a minor quibble, but I would say that we are not allowed to change any Tradition of the church, but that we can change traditions when the need arises. Now, whether something is a tradition or a Tradition is another matter.

Christodoulos, as a non-native English speaker, may not know what you are referring to. Could you clarify for him and others?
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« Reply #45 on: September 20, 2007, 07:31:04 PM »

Ah, certainly. I am here making a distinction between the specific Tradition given by God to His holy prophets, handed down to us by the Apostles and by our ancestors, and our traditions, the ways of doing things that we grow accustomed to. Holy Tradition is unchangeable--the capital T shows that it is holy, much like capitalizing the words Church, Orthodoxy, Apostles, and God does. Our traditions are changeable--the small T shows that they are something ordinary, like a boat or a tree. Now, in a perfect world, our traditions would be the same as Holy Tradition; yet we know that we as sinners do not always do things as they ought to be done. Of course, such limitations do not affect Holy Tradition, but they do affect our traditions, the ones that we create for ourselves in response to God. Many of these traditions are good, and help in salvation, but as they are of human origin, are subject to the same failings we are. Holy Tradition, on the other hand, is of divine origin, and as such is perfect and cannot fail.

That distinction is carried in merely capitalizing one letter. What an amazing language English is!
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« Reply #46 on: September 20, 2007, 10:27:10 PM »


In the early church often the two sexes were completly seperated with seperate entrances for woman and man and a curtain or wall in the midst so that no side could see the other( I think the practise of the muslim mosquee copy the ancient christian practice!)
Regarding the Muslims, you are correct. Regarding the early Church (and many countries today), I wish our parish followed this Tradition though I understand that it may not affect our salvation wherever we stand. 
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« Reply #47 on: September 20, 2007, 10:45:40 PM »

If this is the best thing someone has to think about while in Church, I question why they think their presence there will have any impact whatsoever on their salvation, regardless of where they stand (or sit, as we do in this day and age).
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« Reply #48 on: September 20, 2007, 11:13:06 PM »

If this is the best thing someone has to think about while in Church, I question why they think their presence there will have any impact whatsoever on their salvation, regardless of where they stand (or sit, as we do in this day and age).
I agree that it might not be the *best* thing to think about, but it is one thing to think about considering 1) the early Christians thought it important and 2) many Christians still continue the practice and think it important to this day (assuming we take this poll at face value). I  also believe that if one isn't bothered by standing with the opposite sex, then go ahead. But if the Orhodox Church were to ever have an Eighth council, it wouldn't surprise me if this came up.

 In Christ,
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« Reply #49 on: September 20, 2007, 11:28:24 PM »

I agree that it might not be the *best* thing to think about, but it is one thing to think about considering 1) the early Christians thought it important and 2) many Christians still continue the practice and think it important to this day (assuming we take this poll at face value). I  also believe that if one isn't bothered by standing with the opposite sex, then go ahead. But if the Orhodox Church were to ever have an Eighth council, it wouldn't surprise me if this came up.

 In Christ,
 Gabriel

Waiting 1300 years to figure out where to stand in Church...and we wonder why people don't take us seriously.
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« Reply #50 on: September 20, 2007, 11:38:40 PM »

Waiting 1300 years to figure out where to stand in Church...and we wonder why people don't take us seriously.
But brother, people do take us very seriously. I agree that on the surface, esp to a Western audience, this point sounds backwards and a bit chauvanistic. Yet I would argue it is exactly our tenacious clinging to Tradition that is attracting people from all walks of life. People want stability and firmness, not rigidity, but something that doesn't change with the times.

 In Christ,

 Gabriel
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« Reply #51 on: September 20, 2007, 11:56:34 PM »

Quote
Waiting 1300 years to figure out where to stand in Church...and we wonder why people don't take us seriously.

Perfectly said. 

Of all the serious problems in the world and in the Orthodox church and THIS is on the agenda....
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« Reply #52 on: September 21, 2007, 12:06:05 AM »

Perfectly said. 

Of all the serious problems in the world and in the Orthodox church and THIS is on the agenda....
Forgive me if I'm wrong, but isn't Holy Tradition the sum of it's parts?
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« Reply #53 on: September 21, 2007, 12:10:34 AM »

Oh good. Now where women stand in church is part of the sacred and holy Tradition. 
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« Reply #54 on: September 21, 2007, 12:17:18 AM »

Oh good. Now where women stand in church is part of the sacred and holy Tradition. 
I don't believe it's meant for one particular sex but for all of us. As for it being Holy Tradition, aren't the Canonic Laws a part of Holy Tradition?

4. The Forth Canonic Law. Men should always stand in the church on the right side and women on the left. And this is the way to stand in the church: older men in the front, the one less older men behind them, the young ones behind those, teenagers and children likewise. The same thing for women. Between men and women leave  room so that anyone who comes to church can go to the Holy Altar to cross himself and bring his gift.

Again, brothers, this need not be a point of contention between us. We are, by the Grace of God, Christians. Let us give praise and thanks unto the Lord.

 In Christ,

 Gabriel
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« Reply #55 on: September 21, 2007, 12:29:32 AM »

I don't believe it's meant for one particular sex but for all of us.

Let's not feign ignorance, I'm sure that we all have at least a cursory understanding of history and sociology.

Quote
As for it being Holy Tradition, aren't the Canonic Laws a part of Holy Tradition?

Not that I know of, what synod promulgated them and what oecumenical synod ratified them?

Quote
Again, brothers, this need not be a point of contention between us. We are, by the Grace of God, Christians. Let us give praise and thanks unto the Lord.

That's essentially my point...the issue is irrelevant and should be forgotten and ignored.
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« Reply #56 on: September 21, 2007, 01:06:32 AM »


But it is also written in the Bible, "The neck shall always move the head!"
so it really doesn't matter where we puppetmast....ur I mean...women stand...hee, hee, hee  Wink


Point taken; I concede.  Cheesy
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« Reply #57 on: September 21, 2007, 01:36:07 AM »

I believe some woman stand straight, some a little crooked, some with a gait, and some in heels.  I have yet to see one stand on their side. Grin
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« Reply #58 on: September 21, 2007, 01:43:32 AM »

I believe some woman stand straight, some a little crooked, some with a gait, and some in heels.  I have yet to see one stand on their side. Grin
Better yet is to see one stand on her head. Shocked
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« Reply #59 on: September 21, 2007, 01:45:20 AM »

In church?  What a distraction!
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« Reply #60 on: September 21, 2007, 01:47:06 AM »

In church?  What a distraction!
Yeah, it does make prostrations rather difficult.
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« Reply #61 on: September 21, 2007, 01:49:13 AM »

For both the performer and the witnesses!
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« Reply #62 on: September 21, 2007, 01:52:20 AM »

"Why are you walking on your hands?"

"Because my feet hurt."
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« Reply #63 on: September 21, 2007, 10:34:11 AM »

If this is the best thing someone has to think about while in Church, I question why they think their presence there will have any impact whatsoever on their salvation, regardless of where they stand (or sit, as we do in this day and age).
God bless!+

Perhaps yor personal opinion but not that of the church and the fathers!
Everything is impossible for orthodox christians especially the behavier in church. In church are not great and little things they all are equal.( read St. Basil the great in his writing about the Holy Spirit) even little words are great things in theology and church!

All you do physically will have a spiritual effect , we can not pray: let us worship and fall down before Christ our God while sitting on pews! (I think this would be nonsense) or when we pray: Bow our heads before the Lord -sitting.....

No one in russia sits during Liturgy ( only some old or weak) or prayer, also in Serbia you will not find a church with chairs or pews! The pews were introduced like other foreign things into orthodoxy a few years ago( in greece I think in the 70s please correct me if I am wrong ) because when you look on photos from the early years of our century you will never find pews or chairs in an orthodox Church only Stasidions ( but they usually help to stand)!

There are also many traditional orthodox churches in the west wich have no pews! ( like russian church abroad, the serbian , old calendarian) I even know many greek churches here wich have also introduced no pews.
Pews are truly completly foreign to orthodoxy and orthopractice . This introduction is really a sad thing!
With pews you can not participate during prayer( you can not pray with the spirit alone) !
Orthodox christians since 2 thousend years stand in prayer ( with bows, prostrations, crossing, kneeling) and no one ever should change this!

Like I have written earlier when you study the celebration of the catholic mass in the middle age you will also see that also catholics stand during prayer and mass that was absolutly normal! ( the rcc followed the protestant in the 17th cent introducing pews- I am not sure about the exact date)!

I and many others pray that these orthodoxy- destroying innovations will put away!( in usa some parishes have organs?Huh)

In CHRIST
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« Reply #64 on: September 21, 2007, 10:57:23 AM »

Oh good. Now where women stand in church is part of the sacred and holy Tradition. 

God bless!+

Of course it is! This is absolutly clear! Why do you not read the early church fathers and writings ?

We have exact explanations how the Liturgy was celebrated in early times!
The apostels followed the old custom of the Tempel in Jerusalem where women also stand seperated like virgins ( do you not know the story of the Virgin Mary that she after birthgiving still stood on the side for virgins?)Like I have said there were even sperated entrances in the churches for woman and man and there were many deacons to look for the mans side and deaconesess for the womans side! Often the two were completly sperated!( look today in mosques they took this tradition like others from christians we know that mohamed had known some nestorian christians and he copied much from them)

You can read even about haircovering and hairstyle in the writings of the apostels! You always tell us your opinion but please forgive me it is not importnat what you think about tradition and what is important or not!

The church exactly teach us what is important and not, it is a western way of thinking that we decide whats tradition and not !
The Glory of Orthodoxy is that she follows during history the Holy Teachings and Tradition of the Apostels and Fathers! Stand fast in the traditions written and unwritten!

From the Seventh Holy Ecumenical Synod: "If someone sets aside any tradition [of the Church], written or unwritten, let him be anathema."
From St. Augustine: "Let there be no innovations, because innovations defile antiquity. For the Bridegroom and His Bride, the Church, are without blemish
( And to this Tradition belongs many others (like long hair and beard of priests, haircovering, church music,dress code in church ..........
I could post hundrets of such quotations!

IN CHRIST

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« Reply #65 on: September 21, 2007, 11:07:57 AM »

Perhaps yor personal opinion but not that of the church and the fathers!
Everything is impossible for orthodox christians especially the behavier in church. In church are not great and little things they all are equal.( read St. Basil the great in his writing about the Holy Spirit) even little words are great things in theology and church!

So in you eyes, whether your stand 3m to the left of where you're supposed to, or whether your renounce the creed and the faith and adopt Arianism are one and the same thing? You're making my job way too easy.

Quote
There are also many traditional orthodox churches in the west wich have no pews! ( like russian church abroad, the serbian , old calendarian) I even know many greek churches here wich have also introduced no pews.
Pews are truly completly foreign to orthodoxy and orthopractice . This introduction is really a sad thing!
With pews you can not participate during prayer( you can not pray with the spirit alone) !
Orthodox christians since 2 thousend years stand in prayer ( with bows, prostrations, crossing, kneeling) and no one ever should change this!

The overwhelming majority of people only go to Church on Sunday anyway, and maybe saturday night vespers. In either case, kneeling or prosterations are forbidden by the 1st Oecumenical Synod. So whether or not pews get in the way of these actions is moot.
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« Reply #66 on: September 21, 2007, 11:21:10 AM »

The overwhelming majority of people only go to Church on Sunday anyway, and maybe saturday night vespers. In either case, kneeling or prosterations are forbidden by the 1st Oecumenical Synod. So whether or not pews get in the way of these actions is moot.

IIRC, this particular thread was started as a parody of a then current one condemning pews which had reached jihad-status. But as this has been revived, GiC is EXACTLY correct.
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« Reply #67 on: September 21, 2007, 11:44:02 AM »

So in you eyes, whether your stand 3m to the left of where you're supposed to, or whether your renounce the creed and the faith and adopt Arianism are one and the same thing? You're making my job way too easy.

The overwhelming majority of people only go to Church on Sunday anyway, and maybe saturday night vespers. In either case, kneeling or prosterations are forbidden by the 1st Oecumenical Synod. So whether or not pews get in the way of these actions is moot.

God bless!+

I never said this but your argument on the 3m I can say yes and no are only two little words but have a great difference or? so it is not importnat if you say homoousios or homoiousios it is only one letter ah--- let us not matter about such things they are unimportant ? 3m away from an abyss can be life giving!

Would the fathers have thought this way we would have lost orthodoxy long ago!
Please forgive me but why not let the mind be enlightend by our great Heros - the church Fathers , read and study them and you will see that they had a different understanding of what is necessary and not!

In CHRIST




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« Reply #68 on: September 21, 2007, 03:20:33 PM »

3m away from an abyss can be life giving!
Nice analogy.  Cheesy Cool

Yes, the debate over whether something is changeable or unchangeable has the danger of moving into the abyss of changing everything we don't understand. It's better to err on the side of caution, IMO.
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« Reply #69 on: September 21, 2007, 03:58:41 PM »

We have exact explanations how the Liturgy was celebrated in early times!

How early?  I do not recall many descriptions of how Christians were arranged in the New Testament accounts except that they gathered together (though there was the young man who fell out the window when he fell asleep as mentioned in Acts which is a bit more information in that it was on an upper floor a building).

Quote
The apostels followed the old custom of the Tempel in Jerusalem where women also stand seperated like virgins ( do you not know the story of the Virgin Mary that she after birthgiving still stood on the side for virgins?)

Do you mean the Court of the Women at the Temple?  Is it an EO tradition that women were seperated there by marital status? Women could not enter the next court of the Temple, the Court of the Isrealites, which was only for male Jews.  Then again, gentiles could not enter the Court of  the Women but were restricted to an outer area and forbidden to go farther in on pain of death (signs to that effect have been found)
http://www.katapi.org.uk/Architecture/TempleMount30ce.html

It is mentioned in the NT that Jesus sat and observed things happening in the Court of the Women, btw.


Ebor
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« Reply #70 on: September 21, 2007, 04:07:35 PM »

So in you eyes, whether your stand 3m to the left of where you're supposed to, or whether your renounce the creed and the faith and adopt Arianism are one and the same thing? You're making my job way too easy.

The overwhelming majority of people only go to Church on Sunday anyway, and maybe saturday night vespers. In either case, kneeling or prosterations are forbidden by the 1st Oecumenical Synod. So whether or not pews get in the way of these actions is moot.

God bless!+

Here are some good quotations:

Unfortunately, in this country, people have become accustomed to the idea that being a believer means going to church on Sundays (or at least some Sundays), Christmas and Easter. Well, not for the Orthodox. The Orthodox have an extremely rich liturgical calendar. Of all of the richness of Orthodox liturgical texts, perhaps 1/10 of 1 percent is used at Sunday Liturgies, so if that's all you attend you are missing 99.9%.

Pious Orthodox believers live their lives by the calendar of the church—from feast to feast, from fast to fast. They even speak of dates only by the Church feast days:   "I'm going to visit my parents in New Jersey right after Transfiguration—I'll be back by Dormition," they'll say. The church calendar is the heartbeat of the life of the church—true Orthodox Christians tune their own lives to be in keeping with it.

Actually, the Church is a radiant joy—every single day of the year is a feast day! Every day of the year is the feast day of a saint (actually of a large number of saints), so we are continually celebrating. Those in tune with the life of the Church look forward to the next major feast day or major saint's day. On the eve of these days, vigil services are held, and on the day itself—Divine Liturgy.

Let's take the month of July. This is particularly rich in special holy days—in our parish we celebrate Sts. Cosmas and Damian (July 1), the Royal Martyrs of Russia (July 4), St. Sergius of Radonezh (July 5), The Kazan Icon of the Mother of God (July Cool, St. Anthony of the Kiev Caves (July10), St. Olga, Enlightener of Russia (July 11), St. Vladimir, Enlightener of Russia (July 15), St. Seraphim of Sarov (July 19), The Holy Prophet Elias (Elijah) (July 20), St. Mary Magdalene (July 22), Sts. Boris and Gleb (July 24), and St. Panteleimon (July 27). Also in July comes the feast of the Holy Fathers of the Sixth Ecumenical Council. This is all in addition to Saturday and Sunday services (we serve Divine Liturgy every Saturday year round), and, of course, this means services on the eve of all these days as well as Divine Liturgy on the day itself.

Such a schedule should be the norm in every parish where the Priest is not forced to work on the side. And guess what? People come. They come after work for the vigil services. Those who are able come in the morning for liturgy. Glory be to God, wondrous in His saints!

The "I go to church on Sundays" mindset has to be combatted. Every effort must be made in all our parishes to encourage people to come to Saturday night vigils, and to the many feast day services that are held (or should be held) during each month.



But I believe that faithfulness to traditions, even in the smaller "outward" things, is important. Let's not forget the words of our Savior, Who said to those who were faithful in small things:  "Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful in small [things], I will make thee ruler over many: enter thou into the joy of thy Lord" !

Pews violate the principle of standing while praying to God and make prostrations impossible. They are obviously an innovation in Orthodox churches, taken from non-Orthodox, heretical assemblies. They have absolutely no place in an Orthodox church
.

We have many writings of the Fathers about standing during prayer(Tertullian, Augustin......)

In CHRIST
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« Reply #71 on: September 21, 2007, 04:12:41 PM »

I never said this but your argument on the 3m I can say yes and no are only two little words but have a great difference or? so it is not importnat if you say homoousios or homoiousios it is only one letter ah--- let us not matter about such things they are unimportant ? 3m away from an abyss can be life giving!

A simple yes would have been enough for me to complete my argument by reductio ad absurdum. But thanks for expounding in any case.
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« Reply #72 on: September 21, 2007, 04:29:05 PM »

Locked! Do you really need to ask why? If you have a problem with me locking this, too bad.
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