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Author Topic: Churching of a Child: Male or Female to enter the altar?  (Read 12218 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #45 on: November 27, 2007, 03:47:27 PM »

Thanks, cleveland.
I almost missed this with all the Random noise in FFA. Perhaps ACROD was different or I was asleep.
This of course, still begs the question about a 'deaconess', doesn't it?
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« Reply #46 on: November 27, 2007, 07:16:07 PM »

The service is exactly the same.  the only difference is that some of the petitions are different, since they are in charge of different things. 

Also the vestments might be different, since they don't deal with the same things. 

Also, instead of saying "o diakonos" you say "i diakonos" notice that the ending is the same, but the article is different for gender. 
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« Reply #47 on: November 27, 2007, 08:49:35 PM »

Father Ambrose mentioned that they receive a deacons stole  worn in front similar  to a latin priests stole due to veil that they wear because many are nuns or former nuns now deacons ,,plus they can preform baptisims which a male deacon can't...they receive communion at the altar like the priest and male deacons do...i hope Fr. sees this post and enlightens us with his wisdom...stashko




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« Reply #48 on: November 28, 2007, 01:38:43 AM »

Father Ambrose mentioned that they receive a deacons stole  worn in front similar  to a latin priests stole due to veil that they wear because many are nuns or former nuns now deacons ,,plus they can preform baptisims which a male deacon can't...they receive communion at the altar like the priest and male deacons do...i hope Fr. sees this post and enlightens us with his wisdom...stashko




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I'm not sure where he is getting his information from.  There are a couple of questionable points in what you said above. 

Male deacons do "do" baptisms, you just do not see it often.  You see it about as often as you see deaconneses do a baptism, which is almost never. 

a.  not many of them exist
b.  when they do, they arn't performing public functions b/c people are not ready yet (partially)

Male deacons have switched roles significantly in the history of the church.  Their primary function, technically, is to deal with the Eucharist.  But this does not mean that they cannot officiate a baptism.  Mainly, the priest would annoint a male neophyte, but a deacon could do it just as well.  that's one of the main purposes of female deaconesses, to baptise FEMALE neophytes. 

The other problem is how they wore the stole...i'd love to see references to what you described. 

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« Reply #49 on: November 28, 2007, 02:21:02 AM »

I'm not sure where he is getting his information from.  There are a couple of questionable points in what you said above. 

Male deacons do "do" baptisms, you just do not see it often.  You see it about as often as you see deaconneses do a baptism, which is almost never. 

a.  not many of them exist
b.  when they do, they arn't performing public functions b/c people are not ready yet (partially)

Male deacons have switched roles significantly in the history of the church.  Their primary function, technically, is to deal with the Eucharist.  But this does not mean that they cannot officiate a baptism.  Mainly, the priest would annoint a male neophyte, but a deacon could do it just as well.  that's one of the main purposes of female deaconesses, to baptise FEMALE neophytes. 

The other problem is how they wore the stole...i'd love to see references to what you described. 


<a href="http://plugin.smileycentral.com/http%253A%252F%252Fwww.smileycentral.com%252F%253Fpartner%253DZSzeb008%255FZS%2526i%253D8%252F8%255F4%255F61%2526feat%253Dprof/page.html" target="_blank">SmileyCentral.com" border="0 Brate ...I will ask Father Ambrose if he can participate here and let him answer ,,i really myself don't know anything ,,im learning orthodoxy my self slowly but surly ....stashko

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« Reply #50 on: November 28, 2007, 03:12:07 AM »

Also, instead of saying "o diakonos" you say "i diakonos" notice that the ending is the same, but the article is different for gender.

Do you know how this is done in Slavic liturgical texts?  Or for that matter when the GOA is operating in English?   

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« Reply #51 on: April 08, 2009, 01:04:41 PM »

Quote
What if people start nominating and electing bishops who do support such views?

That would be unfortunate. But nominated is not the same thing as tonsured and ordained. In this case fellow bishops in the synod would have the responsibility to say no...pick somebody else, this one is not a proper choice at this time.

Quote
Antioch has directed that either both boys and girls are Churched within the Sanctuary, or neither are.  It would be fair to demand a reason why there should be a difference.

As I was taught, the reason is fairly simple. A male child is a potentially priest  and this is his first introduction to that possible responsibility. Priesthood of this sort is not possible to women, hence they are churched differently. It has nothing to do with privilege or mean spirited discrimination. There is a difference between men and women and there are responsibilities that men can be called to that are exclusive to them. In some ways I think it has parallels to the woman's role as mother. Bringing forth life into the world is something given by God exclusively to women. Without a woman no man can exist...except perhaps the very first one. Not even God Himself entered this world except by a woman. But the direction of spiritual life within the parish and the initiation into the spiritual life and mysteries of the Church God has given to men. Without men there is no sacramental life. Churching male infants differently than female points to this division of graces as it were.



Since it was brought up in another thread, thank you, Cleveland, for posting the link to this thread.

I was taught this as well, but when I said it to a priest, he responded with, "And yet the Theotokos was churched in the Altar."  Is she not the greatest of all mothers?  I don't think it's mean spirited discrimination.  I just think it's theologically incorrect, and a host of other priests and theologians would agree.
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« Reply #52 on: April 08, 2009, 01:18:24 PM »

Quote
What if people start nominating and electing bishops who do support such views?

That would be unfortunate. But nominated is not the same thing as tonsured and ordained. In this case fellow bishops in the synod would have the responsibility to say no...pick somebody else, this one is not a proper choice at this time.

Quote
Antioch has directed that either both boys and girls are Churched within the Sanctuary, or neither are.  It would be fair to demand a reason why there should be a difference.

As I was taught, the reason is fairly simple. A male child is a potentially priest  and this is his first introduction to that possible responsibility. Priesthood of this sort is not possible to women, hence they are churched differently. It has nothing to do with privilege or mean spirited discrimination. There is a difference between men and women and there are responsibilities that men can be called to that are exclusive to them. In some ways I think it has parallels to the woman's role as mother. Bringing forth life into the world is something given by God exclusively to women. Without a woman no man can exist...except perhaps the very first one. Not even God Himself entered this world except by a woman. But the direction of spiritual life within the parish and the initiation into the spiritual life and mysteries of the Church God has given to men. Without men there is no sacramental life. Churching male infants differently than female points to this division of graces as it were.



Since it was brought up in another thread, thank you, Cleveland, for posting the link to this thread.

I was taught this as well, but when I said it to a priest, he responded with, "And yet the Theotokos was churched in the Altar."  Is she not the greatest of all mothers?  I don't think it's mean spirited discrimination.  I just think it's theologically incorrect, and a host of other priests and theologians would agree.

In what way is it theologically correct? 

What about the iconic role of the priesthood?  How does that enter into it (in your mind), if at all?
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« Reply #53 on: April 08, 2009, 01:20:09 PM »

We tell adults that no one belongs in the Sanctuary without the Bishop's blessing and a purpose to be there.  The Child (regardless of gender) can be churched without entering the sanctuary.
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« Reply #54 on: April 08, 2009, 01:22:39 PM »

We tell adults that no one belongs in the Sanctuary without the Bishop's blessing and a purpose to be there.  The Child (regardless of gender) can be churched without entering the sanctuary.

I prefer it this way.  After doing my canon law project on canon 69 of Penthekte...I got a real clear glimpse of just how dangerous it is to be flippant about entry into the sanctuary. 
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« Reply #55 on: April 08, 2009, 01:25:56 PM »

It's discrimination.
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« Reply #56 on: April 08, 2009, 01:37:26 PM »

It's discrimination.

What is?  If entry into the altar is discrimination, then having a child is too.   Wink Grin Wink
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« Reply #57 on: April 08, 2009, 01:48:25 PM »

We tell adults that no one belongs in the Sanctuary without the Bishop's blessing and a purpose to be there.  The Child (regardless of gender) can be churched without entering the sanctuary.

I prefer it this way.  After doing my canon law project on canon 69 of Penthekte...I got a real clear glimpse of just how dangerous it is to be flippant about entry into the sanctuary.  

Exactly.  When I look into the Barberini text, or the "Constantinopolitan" (Arranz, Editrice Pontifica Universita Gregoriana, Roma, 1996) there are no rubrics after the prayer indicating what should be done with the child; considering the great respect shown by the canonical tradition toward entering the sanctuary, it's best to err on the side of caution and not bring any children into the Sanctuary.
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« Reply #58 on: April 08, 2009, 01:48:56 PM »

It's discrimination.

What is?  If entry into the altar is discrimination, then having a child is too.   Wink Grin Wink

You will make the Tiki Gods angry with that kind of talk!!!!

Not allowing girls in the sanctuary for churching has no sound theological basis.  It has some excuse somebody made up at some point to explain why the church discriminates in this regard.
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« Reply #59 on: April 15, 2009, 04:34:25 PM »

We talked about this briefly last semester at St. Vlad's Seminary.  I think the main idea was that there is no real theological reason why a girl couldn't be brought into the altar.  The main points we were encouraged to get across in our parishes in the future:

1)  Whatever you do in regards to "churching" children, be consistent.  I think one way to go is you either bring both into the altar, or bring neither; one or the other - just do it at the royal doors and before the icons of the Lord and Panagia.  I think it will depend on local practice.  Think about it, if you're a newly-ordained priest and you get assigned to a parish and see something you don't like (for example, the way the parish has practiced the "churching" of a child), and you barge in and start changing things right off the bat, you probably won't last long as a priest.  Gradual, slow, teaching is the way to go about it.  Either way, I can't see a huge issue in it; we've got bigger fish to fry in terms of Orthodox faith and life, especially in America.

2.)  Never "church" a child after they've been baptized.  It doesn't make theological sense to bring them into the church through baptism, then take them symbolically "out" again and then back "in" when you church them.  Always before baptism.

Plus, if you think about it - and this is in my experience -, most people who bring their child to be churched will probably only darken the doors of the church a few times a year; they don't know what's going on anyway, and if you try to explain it to them, they probably won't pay too much attention.  For most of the "minimal" Orthodox that I am referring to here, the churching is really about a family event and gathering, especially in regards to the ethnic Orthodox populations.  However, I realize that this generality can't be applied across the board, so again, a priest in my view needs to pay attention to the practice of the community, the instructions of his bishop, and go with that.  Just be consistent about it, whatever you do.
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« Reply #60 on: April 15, 2009, 05:12:16 PM »

Hmmm I was always of the impression that churching followed right on the heels of baptism and chrismation.  Maybe I just don't see enough of them to have an opinion.
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« Reply #61 on: April 15, 2009, 05:12:27 PM »

We talked about this briefly last semester at St. Vlad's Seminary.  I think the main idea was that there is no real theological reason why a girl couldn't be brought into the altar.  The main points we were encouraged to get across in our parishes in the future:

1)  Whatever you do in regards to "churching" children, be consistent.  I think one way to go is you either bring both into the altar, or bring neither; one or the other - just do it at the royal doors and before the icons of the Lord and Panagia.  I think it will depend on local practice.  Think about it, if you're a newly-ordained priest and you get assigned to a parish and see something you don't like (for example, the way the parish has practiced the "churching" of a child), and you barge in and start changing things right off the bat, you probably won't last long as a priest.  Gradual, slow, teaching is the way to go about it.  Either way, I can't see a huge issue in it; we've got bigger fish to fry in terms of Orthodox faith and life, especially in America.

2.)  Never "church" a child after they've been baptized.  It doesn't make theological sense to bring them into the church through baptism, then take them symbolically "out" again and then back "in" when you church them.  Always before baptism.

Plus, if you think about it - and this is in my experience -, most people who bring their child to be churched will probably only darken the doors of the church a few times a year; they don't know what's going on anyway, and if you try to explain it to them, they probably won't pay too much attention.  For most of the "minimal" Orthodox that I am referring to here, the churching is really about a family event and gathering, especially in regards to the ethnic Orthodox populations.  However, I realize that this generality can't be applied across the board, so again, a priest in my view needs to pay attention to the practice of the community, the instructions of his bishop, and go with that.  Just be consistent about it, whatever you do.


What's the theological reason for BRINGING them into the altar...did they talk about that at St. Vlad's?  

I have brought up the theology of the icon of the high priest, and the icons of the high priest are the ones who go into the altar, upon the blessing of the literal icon of the high priest - the bishop.  Anything apart from that is oikonomia.  
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« Reply #62 on: April 15, 2009, 05:23:44 PM »

We talked about this briefly last semester at St. Vlad's Seminary.  I think the main idea was that there is no real theological reason why a girl couldn't be brought into the altar.  The main points we were encouraged to get across in our parishes in the future:

I suppose the point of these discussions is to establish whether or not there are theological reasons for not bringing a girl into the altar at Churching; it sounds like your SVOTS professor merely postulated without proving one way or another.

1)  Whatever you do in regards to "churching" children, be consistent.  I think one way to go is you either bring both into the altar, or bring neither; one or the other - just do it at the royal doors and before the icons of the Lord and Panagia.  I think it will depend on local practice.  Think about it, if you're a newly-ordained priest and you get assigned to a parish and see something you don't like (for example, the way the parish has practiced the "churching" of a child), and you barge in and start changing things right off the bat, you probably won't last long as a priest.  Gradual, slow, teaching is the way to go about it.  Either way, I can't see a huge issue in it; we've got bigger fish to fry in terms of Orthodox faith and life, especially in America.

Amen.  Consistency, love, and education are the keys.  And yes, there are much larger problems to be dealt with in the Church.

Plus, if you think about it - and this is in my experience -, most people who bring their child to be churched will probably only darken the doors of the church a few times a year; they don't know what's going on anyway, and if you try to explain it to them, they probably won't pay too much attention. 

This is too over-generalized for my liking.  In my experience, the people who have their children churched are the ones who attend frequently and know that they should indeed ceremonially bring them in.

a priest in my view needs to pay attention to the practice of the community, the instructions of his bishop, and go with that.  Just be consistent about it, whatever you do.

I would have put them in a different order: "A priest in my view needs to pay attention to the instructions of the bishop, and the practice of the community, and be consistent in practice."

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« Reply #63 on: April 15, 2009, 05:25:21 PM »

2.)  Never "church" a child after they've been baptized.  It doesn't make theological sense to bring them into the church through baptism, then take them symbolically "out" again and then back "in" when you church them.  Always before baptism.

In Poland we've got something completely opposite. A child is brought to the Church on 40th day after birth if s/he is not baptised yet. If s/he is already baptised it's been churched after his/hers baptism.
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