Author Topic: Are women permitted to be altar servers in western rite Orthodox  (Read 4062 times)

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Offline scamandrius

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I came across this vide from St. Paul Antiochian Western Rite Orthodox Church in Houston.  http://www.stpaulsorthodox.org/movie/SaintPaul.wmv  After watching it, I thought I saw women who were serving as altar servers.  Now I realize that this has been a fashion for other "Western Rite" groups such as Lutherans, Anglicans and even Roman Catholics.  So, if any Western Rite Orthodox would care to chime in and reveal whether such a practice is permissible.  And, if anyone from the Eastern Rite could clarify whether only men are permitted to serve behind the altar, save for in cloisters where women have to perform some of those duties, I'd appreciate it.  Thanks.
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Offline Aristibule

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Re: Are women permitted to be altar servers in western rite Orthodox
« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2007, 02:27:12 PM »
I came across this vide from St. Paul Antiochian Western Rite Orthodox Church in Houston. 

No - absolutely not permitted.

 In the video from St. Paul's, those aren't women - the man with long hair there is very much a man. That video and the misperception of some in it as women has been discussed on other forums, though you aren't the first to misidentify the participants. Members of that mission have had to clear it up as well.
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Offline Αριστοκλής

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Re: Are women permitted to be altar servers in western rite Orthodox
« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2007, 02:54:03 PM »

 In the video from St. Paul's, those aren't women - the man with long hair there is very much a man. That video and the misperception of some in it as women has been discussed on other forums, though you aren't the first to misidentify the participants. Members of that mission have had to clear it up as well.

Er...haircut?
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Offline Aristibule

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Re: Are women permitted to be altar servers in western rite Orthodox
« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2007, 04:18:00 PM »
It's a ponytail - and yes, men in the West have them as well, it isn't just Eastern.  ;D Really, I prefer medieval shoulder length hair (like Isildur in the Lord of the Rings.) Unfortunately, I've got a soldier's haircut at this time - growing it out isn't possible. I've had to take our family maternal leave to grow out my beard (a sort of 19th c. Irish/Mennonite look.)
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Offline Thomas

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Re: Are women permitted to be altar servers in western rite Orthodox
« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2007, 05:09:32 PM »
That was indeed a man with the ponytail.There are some women in that video in  robe and surplice, however, I have been advised by friends there that they are choir members. As do many western rite churches following their traditions they robe their choir members in cassock and surplice.

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Offline Simayan

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Re: Are women permitted to be altar servers in western rite Orthodox
« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2007, 11:06:54 PM »
Are women allowed to serve in a church liturgy so long as they stay outside of the altar? Such as during complicated Pascha services? I'm pretty sure I've seen some videos..
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Offline Aristibule

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Re: Are women permitted to be altar servers in western rite Orthodox
« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2007, 11:22:24 PM »
Are women allowed to serve in a church liturgy so long as they stay outside of the altar? Such as during complicated Pascha services? I'm pretty sure I've seen some videos..

No - to be a server at all, one must be male in the Western rite. Choirs may be mixed, but if they are not male cannot enter the chancel or altar (depending on how the Church is set up.) Pascha services in the West are not all that complicated, but still - we don't do women servers. That would be the normal servers and Deacon for all the services in the Triduum.
"We must begin at once to "build again the tabernacle which is fallen down, and to build again the ruins thereof, and to set it up;" for HE WHO GAVE THE THOUGHT IN OUR HEART HE LAID ALSO THE RESPONSIBILITY ON US THAT THIS THOUGHT SHOULD NOT REMAIN BARREN." - J.J. Overbeck, 1866

Offline ialmisry

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Re: Are women permitted to be altar servers in western rite Orthodox
« Reply #7 on: November 13, 2007, 07:53:03 AM »
No - to be a server at all, one must be male in the Western rite. Choirs may be mixed, but if they are not male cannot enter the chancel or altar (depending on how the Church is set up.) Pascha services in the West are not all that complicated, but still - we don't do women servers. That would be the normal servers and Deacon for all the services in the Triduum.

And what are male choir doing there?

All the ordained are men, but not all men are ordained. Possession of a Y chromosome is not a back stage pass to the altar.
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Offline Didymus

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Re: Are women permitted to be altar servers in western rite Orthodox
« Reply #8 on: November 13, 2007, 10:19:46 AM »
My browser can't find the page: http://www.stpaulsorthodox.org/movie/SaintPaul.wmv ???

Has it been moved? Can't find it via http://www.stpaulsorthodox.org either unless it's the one on the main page and from what has been said I don't think that it is.

Say please, do the Western Rite separate men and women to either side of the Church during the Holy Liturgy?
If not, would somebody please let me know why?
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Offline Reader KevinAndrew

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Re: Are women permitted to be altar servers in western rite Orthodox
« Reply #9 on: November 18, 2007, 08:56:34 PM »
My browser can't find the page: http://www.stpaulsorthodox.org/movie/SaintPaul.wmv ???

Has it been moved? Can't find it via http://www.stpaulsorthodox.org either unless it's the one on the main page and from what has been said I don't think that it is.

Say please, do the Western Rite separate men and women to either side of the Church during the Holy Liturgy?
If not, would somebody please let me know why?

No parishes in the Antiochian Western Rite Vicariate do, as far as I know. I don't see many parishes outside of ROCOOR ones seperate men and women either.

As far as why they don't do it, I'm not sure.