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Author Topic: The Men in Black  (Read 1227 times) Average Rating: 0
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Greek Orthodox

« on: April 28, 2008, 12:32:57 AM »

What theological or symbolic reason is it that the rasso of the priest is black? This is serious, would the lyrics in the Johnny Cash song Men in Black suffice as to the reasons?

Men In Black - Johnny Cash

Well, you wonder why I always dress in black,
Why you never see bright colors on my back,
And why does my appearance seem to have a somber tone.
Well, there's a reason for the things that I have on.

I wear the black for the poor and the beaten down,
Livin' in the hopeless, hungry side of town,
I wear it for the prisoner who has long paid for his crime,
But is there because he's a victim of the times.

I wear the black for those who never read,
Or listened to the words that Jesus said,
About the road to happiness through love and charity,
Why, you'd think He's talking straight to you and me.

Well, we're doin' mighty fine, I do suppose,
In our streak of lightnin' cars and fancy clothes,
But just so we're reminded of the ones who are held back,
Up front there ought 'a be a Man In Black.

I wear it for the sick and lonely old,
For the reckless ones whose bad trip left them cold,
I wear the black in mournin' for the lives that could have been,
Each week we lose a hundred fine young men.

And, I wear it for the thousands who have died,
Believen' that the Lord was on their side,
I wear it for another hundred thousand who have died,
Believen' that we all were on their side.

Well, there's things that never will be right I know,
And things need changin' everywhere you go,
But 'til we start to make a move to make a few things right,
You'll never see me wear a suit of white.

Ah, I'd love to wear a rainbow every day,
And tell the world that everything's OK,
But I'll try to carry off a little darkness on my back,
'Till things are brighter, I'm the Man In Black.

The sins I don't commit are largely due to the weakness of my limbs.

1915-1923 Հայոց Ցեղասպանութիւն ,never again,
ܩܛܠܐ ܕܥܡܐ ܐܬܘܪܝܐ 1920-1914, never again,
השואה  1933-1945, never again,
(1914-1923) Ελληνική Γενοκτονία, never again
John of the North
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« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2008, 12:44:21 AM »

Maybe...probably not.

Most likely it has to do with self-denial and being removed from society.

"Christianity is not a philosophy, not a doctrine, but life." - Elder Sophrony (Sakharov)
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« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2008, 09:10:00 AM »

I always thought it had to do with being humble and "not showing" off so to speak

"This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it."
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May the Lord bless you and keep you always!

« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2008, 11:44:17 AM »

What theological or symbolic reason is it that the rasso of the priest is black? This is serious, would the lyrics in the Johnny Cash song Men in Black suffice as to the reasons?

One can actually find the Anderi (small Rasso) and Exorasso (big Rasso) in different colors.  However, it is the tradition of Churches within the EP family to wear the black in mourning for the loss of the city (i.e. Constantinople); as for others, I don't know.

"The man who doesn't read good books has no advantage over the one who can't read them." Mark Twain
Ordained on 17 & 18-Oct 2009. Please forgive me if earlier posts are poorly worded or incorrect in any way.
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« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2008, 10:56:48 PM »

As a Lutheran, I learned that the black was to symbolize the fact that the essential man is still a sinner. Black being either the symbol of sin or the absence of "The Light."

This teaching appeared in several classes on "church symbolism through the ages."

Some of these courses were taken at Concordia College in Bronxville, NY (where St. Vladimir's sends students who need a BA degree.)
« Last Edit: May 01, 2008, 11:05:59 PM by howdydave » Logged


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« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2008, 01:27:55 AM »

I read that Cash wrote the song to commemorate Vietnam War Veterans who returned home to shame and humiliation and turned to drugs, alcohol and other addictions just to get by.  Cash was a drug and alcohol addict and stopped when he became "born again."
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