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Author Topic: Female Altar Servers??  (Read 16008 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #45 on: September 28, 2009, 12:25:49 PM »

If you need and want to I can translate the rite of Deaconess' ordination according to Goar's Euchologion sive Rituale Graecorum complectens ritus et ordines divinae liturgiae.
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« Reply #46 on: September 28, 2009, 12:42:27 PM »

There is quite a lot I could say in response, but why bother? Some of you are obviously in grip of passion and are not amenable to reason. I will say this though:

Which passion would that be, spreading false information under the guise of clergy advice?  I am under the grip of no passion now, thank you, and would ask that you actually address my question, rather than provide sources that either lack the credibility to answer this particular question, or who don't address it at all!

To Cleveland: Regarding the sacramental basis for the orders of bishop and deacon, you asked me for authorities and I cited several, but you yourself have CITED NONE.

You haven't read what I have said.  Sad, really.  I had hoped for a better dialogue with you.  It's a shame you're unwilling to continue.

That’s the sad truth. If you want more truth, read The Scandal of Gender: Early Christian Teaching on the Man and the Woman, published by Regina Orthodox Press in 1998. There’s a chapter on silence, a chapter on authority, a chapter on head-coverings, and much else — all based on the writings of the Apostles and Fathers, with ample quotations. I wrote it some time ago and need to correct one point on the nature of gender, but the rest still stands. 

Oh, now here's the context I need.  The Orthodox folk I've spoken with who have read this book don't speak very highly of the level of scholarship therein.  I'm sorry I expected more.
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« Reply #47 on: September 28, 2009, 01:00:08 PM »

To Mike: I cited the fourth-century Apostolic Constitutions and do not deny that things were done differently later. 

Where are you, on the selective reading train?  Ap.Con. III:2 speaks about having a Deaconess to do to women what the Deacon does to men.  Ap. Con. VIII:3, just after the description that the deaconess does not do what the deacon does, states that she is a minister for the deacon, which is clearly contradicted in other places in the Apostolic Constitutions where she is described as a minister for the bishop.  So what is it?  Your one reference, or the two or three that precede it that contradict it?
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« Reply #48 on: September 28, 2009, 02:54:32 PM »

The article is written by PhD of Theology (got on St. Serge's), Polish Autocephalous Orthodox Church's spokesman and seminary's lecturer. It is published on Polish Autocephalous Orthodox Church' official website.

Could you post the link?
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« Reply #49 on: September 28, 2009, 03:00:10 PM »

Could you post the link?

Here you are: Diakonisy (historia i współczesność) - Deaconesses (past and presence)
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« Reply #50 on: September 28, 2009, 03:02:04 PM »

To Second Chance: “Husband of one wife” has long been understood to mean that a bishop must not have been married more than once, not that bishops are required to be married.

Dear Father Deacon Patrick,

I am surprised that you felt the need to reiterate something that is obvious to all, including to me. At the Council in Trullo, the Fathers decided to separate the bishop from his wife, not to forbid a married man to become a bishop. They did not dare to do so because of precedent: Apostolic Canons and 1 Timothy 3. Indeed, the plain meaning of 1 Timothy 3 is that a bishop is usually a married man, not an exception to the rule. So, while it is true that bishops were never required to be married, married bishops were not a rarity either, at least in the Apostolic Age. My point however was not about the marital status of bishops but the fact that a long-standing policy of the Church, and a very famous and strict injunction of the Lord Himself, were altered to prevent further scandal amongst the faithful. I made the point that the Church's reluctance to provide ministry opportunities to women is causing scandal and division in the Church.

I was hoping to hear from you about the distinction I made between formal and situational leadership. I hope that you will return to address this very important and real difference.

In Christ.
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« Reply #51 on: September 28, 2009, 03:16:34 PM »

If you need and want to I can translate the rite of Deaconess' ordination according to Goar's Euchologion sive Rituale Graecorum complectens ritus et ordines divinae liturgiae.
I am sure that is already available in English in one of the books on Deaconesses in the Orthodox Church.
I seem to remember that it is also on the internet but I have lost the web address.
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« Reply #52 on: October 15, 2009, 01:34:16 PM »

I am sure that is already available in English in one of the books on Deaconesses in the Orthodox Church.
I seem to remember that it is also on the internet but I have lost the web address.

I've found it: http://www.anastasis.org.uk/woman_deacon.htm
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« Reply #53 on: October 15, 2009, 03:46:41 PM »

No, but they should be.
As an acolyte, I must disagree.


The people of my parish are very nice, beautiful people, but the last thing I need is the temptation to be thinking lustful things while in the altar.  When I was growing up Roman Catholic we had both male and female acolytes and trust me, the thoughts were omnipresent.
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« Reply #54 on: October 15, 2009, 06:57:09 PM »

The people of my parish are very nice, beautiful people, but the last thing I need is the temptation to be thinking lustful things while in the altar.  When I was growing up Roman Catholic we had both male and female acolytes and trust me, the thoughts were omnipresent.

Does that mean we should put the women up in balconies during the liturgy so that we are not tempted out in the nave?
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« Reply #55 on: October 15, 2009, 08:31:44 PM »

The people of my parish are very nice, beautiful people, but the last thing I need is the temptation to be thinking lustful things while in the altar.  When I was growing up Roman Catholic we had both male and female acolytes and trust me, the thoughts were omnipresent.

Does that mean we should put the women up in balconies during the liturgy so that we are not tempted out in the nave?

Hear, hear!  Back to the ancient Cathedral practice! Wink

(Why do I feel like someone is going to misread the above statement as being serious?)
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« Reply #56 on: October 16, 2009, 12:05:11 AM »

The people of my parish are very nice, beautiful people, but the last thing I need is the temptation to be thinking lustful things while in the altar.  When I was growing up Roman Catholic we had both male and female acolytes and trust me, the thoughts were omnipresent.

Does that mean we should put the women up in balconies during the liturgy so that we are not tempted out in the nave?

Hear, hear!  Back to the ancient Cathedral practice! Wink

(Why do I feel like someone is going to misread the above statement as being serious?)

LOL, does this mean that the Emperor is going to get to ride in on a horse? Who gets to play Emperor?

Besides Cleveland, we could never return to Cathedral practice. Our people can barely tolerate an hour and a half a week; you want them to stand for three?!
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« Reply #57 on: October 16, 2009, 12:22:06 AM »

Anyway, getting back on topic, at first this bothered me, and then I realized I didn't have any good reasons why it should.  At this point I don't care, unless there is some really compelling theological reasoning behind not allowing women behind the iconostasis.
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« Reply #58 on: October 16, 2009, 09:05:27 AM »

Quote
LOL, does this mean that the Emperor is going to get to ride in on a horse? Who gets to play Emperor?
I offer for the role!

Apart from these jokes, the problem of temptation is a very little problem. If we consider that in the past even baptisms were conducted with NAKED candidates but now pudicity imposes to be dressed, it is clear that all that "physical attraction" is more a part of the sexophile attitude of modern civilization then a component in our spiritual lives. Temptations are very useful when they help us recognize our weaknesses and work to get rid of them, so we shouldn't refrain from temptations, but ask God to help us in temptation: "And don't lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil". If we are weak just because we see a beautiful woman in church, there's no problem with that woman staying there, the problem is within us and we must battle it by faith.

In Christ,  Alex

PS: That doesn't mean I'm necessarily favourable to the insertion of women in the Orders, even if I advocate for the reintroduction of deaconesses according to their ancient role of apostolic origin.
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« Reply #59 on: October 16, 2009, 12:13:20 PM »

The people of my parish are very nice, beautiful people, but the last thing I need is the temptation to be thinking lustful things while in the altar.  When I was growing up Roman Catholic we had both male and female acolytes and trust me, the thoughts were omnipresent.

Does that mean we should put the women up in balconies during the liturgy so that we are not tempted out in the nave?
LOL   Grin Roll Eyes

A bit much, however, all I saw in the thread up to now was all this "there's a theological reason"/"there's no theological reason" stuff and attempted to throw in a practicality there.

But it ended in levity so all is well.
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« Reply #60 on: October 16, 2009, 05:38:26 PM »

Quote
LOL, does this mean that the Emperor is going to get to ride in on a horse? Who gets to play Emperor?
I offer for the role!

Apart from these jokes, the problem of temptation is a very little problem. If we consider that in the past even baptisms were conducted with NAKED candidates but now pudicity imposes to be dressed, it is clear that all that "physical attraction" is more a part of the sexophile attitude of modern civilization then a component in our spiritual lives. Temptations are very useful when they help us recognize our weaknesses and work to get rid of them, so we shouldn't refrain from temptations, but ask God to help us in temptation: "And don't lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil". If we are weak just because we see a beautiful woman in church, there's no problem with that woman staying there, the problem is within us and we must battle it by faith.

In Christ,  Alex

PS: That doesn't mean I'm necessarily favourable to the insertion of women in the Orders, even if I advocate for the reintroduction of deaconesses according to their ancient role of apostolic origin.

In comparison with some of the struggles we faced with getting some of the teen girls to dress modestly in church last year, putting some vestments on them and have them be acolytes may actually reduce the temptation factor, rather than increase it!

Heck, I'd be in favor of putting cassocks on some of them just to cover them up! lol
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« Reply #61 on: October 16, 2009, 05:44:26 PM »

Quote
LOL, does this mean that the Emperor is going to get to ride in on a horse? Who gets to play Emperor?
I offer for the role!

Apart from these jokes, the problem of temptation is a very little problem. If we consider that in the past even baptisms were conducted with NAKED candidates but now pudicity imposes to be dressed, it is clear that all that "physical attraction" is more a part of the sexophile attitude of modern civilization then a component in our spiritual lives. Temptations are very useful when they help us recognize our weaknesses and work to get rid of them, so we shouldn't refrain from temptations, but ask God to help us in temptation: "And don't lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil". If we are weak just because we see a beautiful woman in church, there's no problem with that woman staying there, the problem is within us and we must battle it by faith.

In Christ,  Alex

PS: That doesn't mean I'm necessarily favourable to the insertion of women in the Orders, even if I advocate for the reintroduction of deaconesses according to their ancient role of apostolic origin.

In comparison with some of the struggles we faced with getting some of the teen girls to dress modestly in church last year, putting some vestments on them and have them be acolytes may actually reduce the temptation factor, rather than increase it!

Heck, I'd be in favor of putting cassocks on some of them just to cover them up! lol

Well, that's REALLY a good point!
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« Reply #62 on: October 16, 2009, 07:44:13 PM »

Maybe I'm old fashioned, but I thought the purpose of being an altar server was to 1. serve at the altar and 2. introduce the male to serving at the altar, perhaps directing him to discern whether God is calling him to be a priest. Wouldn't it just be teasing women to say "you can serve, but you can't be a priest!" Women deserve more respect than that, IMO. Men and women both have their roles in the church. To try and give one role to the other and vice-versa is chaos and smacks of relativism.

In Christ,
Andrew
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« Reply #63 on: October 16, 2009, 11:15:59 PM »

Maybe I'm old fashioned, but I thought the purpose of being an altar server was to 1. serve at the altar and 2. introduce the male to serving at the altar, perhaps directing him to discern whether God is calling him to be a priest. Wouldn't it just be teasing women to say "you can serve, but you can't be a priest!" Women deserve more respect than that, IMO. Men and women both have their roles in the church. To try and give one role to the other and vice-versa is chaos and smacks of relativism.

In Christ,
Andrew

Women already are given the message "you can serve, but you can't be a priest." Unless, of course, you do not consider singing in the choir, chanting, being a choir director, being a Sunday School teacher, working with the Ladies Auxilary to clean the church, clean the vestments, change the altar linens, prepare coffee hour, lead youth groups, write books on Orthodoxy, and being missionaries for the Church a form a service. Wink
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« Reply #64 on: October 17, 2009, 07:57:54 AM »

The fact that women were given the order of deaconesses (which liteally means servants) clearly tells us that women are there to serve the church: it is their charisma, and the most beautiful charisma, that of charity. And it is not a degrading ministry... Jesus himself said that we must become servants of each other and gave us an example of this. Governing the church, on the contrary, is not an honour... it's a burden, and God has chosen men because they are generally emotionally stronger to hold such a responsibility. Which is a thing women just can't understand because they exchange authority for power in a civilization where power is everything and feminism a must for women.

In Christ,    Alex
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« Reply #65 on: September 16, 2013, 07:35:42 AM »

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« Reply #66 on: September 16, 2013, 07:42:11 AM »



Blech.  Tongue Tongue Tongue
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« Reply #67 on: September 16, 2013, 07:53:04 AM »

OMG, we're all gonna die.  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #68 on: September 16, 2013, 07:58:07 AM »


Which part? Cheesy
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« Reply #69 on: September 16, 2013, 08:05:10 AM »


The sight of a girl in vestments, and the sloppy attire of the deacon. Those vestments look like they were run up by his aunt in a hurry.
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« Reply #70 on: September 16, 2013, 10:21:36 AM »


The sight of a girl in vestments, and the sloppy attire of the deacon. Those vestments look like they were run up by his aunt in a hurry.
Acolyte on the right is totally checking out her candle too.
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« Reply #71 on: September 16, 2013, 10:25:01 AM »

What is going on up in here?
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« Reply #72 on: September 16, 2013, 11:28:38 AM »

I'm sorry to be a pain, but is there actually a canon against female altar servers? Is there a rule being broken, or is it more a custom?

Just a thought.
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« Reply #73 on: September 16, 2013, 11:32:17 AM »



If that's a real Orthodox Church and not one of those pretend groups, we need to find who their Bishop is and get that stopped immediately. If the Bishop won't do anything, then we need to beyond him to whicher Patriarch they are under.

That is just sick and distorted, they can't possibly call themselves Orthodox and tolerate that.
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« Reply #74 on: September 16, 2013, 11:33:19 AM »

If that's a real Orthodox Church and not one of those pretend groups, we need to find who their Bishop is and get that stopped immediately. If the Bishop won't do anything, then we need to beyond him to whicher Patriarch they are under.

That is just sick and distorted, they can't possibly call themselves Orthodox and tolerate that.

More and more funny.
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« Reply #75 on: September 16, 2013, 11:36:14 AM »

Well, at one time, there were women deacons. Not saying there should be more than that, but I think it may have been included in the duties of the woman deacon to carry a candle sometimes.

If St. Paul could accept it in his time, and his letters say that he did, why not people today?
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« Reply #76 on: September 16, 2013, 11:37:11 AM »

You go, Devin!  I'm behind you all the way.  Well, maybe trailing more out of curiosity, but still...
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« Reply #77 on: September 16, 2013, 11:38:53 AM »

Well, at one time, there were women deacons. Not saying there should be more than that, but I think it may have been included in the duties of the woman deacon to carry a candle sometimes.

If St. Paul could accept it in his time, and his letters say that he did, why not people today?

Deaconesses were widows or nuns, right?  And people got baptized naked also, too.  There was a need to have a deaconess assist in the baptism of other women, as well as assist the women who were sick.
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« Reply #78 on: September 16, 2013, 11:42:02 AM »

Well, at one time, there were women deacons. Not saying there should be more than that, but I think it may have been included in the duties of the woman deacon to carry a candle sometimes.

If St. Paul could accept it in his time, and his letters say that he did, why not people today?

Deaconesses were widows or nuns, right?  And people got baptized naked also, too.  There was a need to have a deaconess assist in the baptism of other women, as well as assist the women who were sick.

Okay. But they were there. Doing something, which was simple and helpful. The Church did not die out because of them.
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« Reply #79 on: September 16, 2013, 11:44:04 AM »

First, of all it is sexist!  Yes!  Why is she wearing purple and not gold like the her male counterpart?   Grin

All kidding aside, perhaps she is just holding the candle and participating on "this" side of the iconostas.  We have women holding candles during the reading of the Gospel, along with men.

However, if this goes deeper than just holding a candle....I find everything wrong with it.

I am a female, and still think it is unacceptable.

There's no need to fight for equal rights here.  We have enough to do, without taking over the work in the altar, as well.  Let the men do something.   angel



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« Reply #80 on: September 16, 2013, 11:46:59 AM »



The deacon is reading the Gospel from the bishop's chair?  Huh
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« Reply #81 on: September 16, 2013, 11:48:01 AM »

Well, at one time, there were women deacons. Not saying there should be more than that, but I think it may have been included in the duties of the woman deacon to carry a candle sometimes.

If St. Paul could accept it in his time, and his letters say that he did, why not people today?

Deaconesses were widows or nuns, right?  And people got baptized naked also, too.  There was a need to have a deaconess assist in the baptism of other women, as well as assist the women who were sick.

Okay. But they were there. Doing something, which was simple and helpful. The Church did not die out because of them.

You're right.  If there is a need and they have the blessing to do so, sure.  I just don't think the reasons of "Well, the girls feel left out," or "Women are equal to men so they should do the same things," as sufficent.
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« Reply #82 on: September 16, 2013, 11:48:47 AM »



The deacon is reading the Gospel from the bishop's chair?  Huh

With everything else going wrong here, why not?
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« Reply #83 on: September 16, 2013, 11:49:43 AM »

I love how everyone's got an orarion!  
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« Reply #84 on: September 16, 2013, 11:50:59 AM »

The Church did not die out because of them.

I guess it was the other way around, wasn't it?  
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« Reply #85 on: September 16, 2013, 11:52:40 AM »

The Church did not die out because of them.

I guess it was the other way around, wasn't it?  

If you say so.
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« Reply #86 on: September 16, 2013, 12:21:06 PM »

Well, at one time, there were women deacons. Not saying there should be more than that, but I think it may have been included in the duties of the woman deacon to carry a candle sometimes.

If St. Paul could accept it in his time, and his letters say that he did, why not people today?

Deaconesses were widows or nuns, right?  And people got baptized naked also, too.  There was a need to have a deaconess assist in the baptism of other women, as well as assist the women who were sick.

Okay. But they were there. Doing something, which was simple and helpful. The Church did not die out because of them.

I don't know how much is known about the duties of deaconesses in St Paul's day.  And while we know some things about the role of deaconesses in later centuries (such as those things Hecma brought up), I don't know if we can conclusively say that was it.  I lean in that direction, but the idea of a deaconess holding a candle doesn't bother me. 

What does bother me is the implication that if deaconesses could assist in women's baptisms and other women's ministries, holding a candle or reading the epistle is no big deal.  Each of the major and minor orders has a distinct ministry within the Church, whether or not that's exclusively liturgical.  Ideally, you don't perform a ministry for which you weren't called and set apart, because you don't have the grace to do so. 

A deacon is only ordained as such after being ordained to the orders of reader and subdeacon; even if he properly exercises only one role, he has the grace of the other roles, so he could perform their functions if necessary.  Is a deaconess only ordained after being ordained as reader and subdeacon?  If so, then I have no problem with it.  But if she's not ordained for those tasks before her ordination as deaconess (and I've never even once heard that they received minor orders), I think it's a stretch to say that she can perform such tasks by virtue of being a deaconess. 

Among my friends are at least two female readers in the Armenian Church, and know of at least one woman in the GOA who is an ordained chanter (I saw her walk into Vespers with a rasson and high heels, it was quite a sight!).  So I'm not against women performing those tasks, but I don't like the idea of allowing people who are not set apart for certain tasks to do those things anyway.  And actually I think it's patronising to allow women to read the Epistle at Liturgy or perform other similar functions but not ordain them to that ministry because only men can be ordained to those.  Have the guts to limit those functions to ordained men, or have the guts to tonsure women. 
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« Reply #87 on: September 16, 2013, 12:36:40 PM »

I don't know how much is known about the duties of deaconesses in St Paul's day.  And while we know some things about the role of deaconesses in later centuries (such as those things Hecma brought up), I don't know if we can conclusively say that was it.  I lean in that direction, but the idea of a deaconess holding a candle doesn't bother me. 

What does bother me is the implication that if deaconesses could assist in women's baptisms and other women's ministries, holding a candle or reading the epistle is no big deal.  Each of the major and minor orders has a distinct ministry within the Church, whether or not that's exclusively liturgical.  Ideally, you don't perform a ministry for which you weren't called and set apart, because you don't have the grace to do so. 

A deacon is only ordained as such after being ordained to the orders of reader and subdeacon; even if he properly exercises only one role, he has the grace of the other roles, so he could perform their functions if necessary.  Is a deaconess only ordained after being ordained as reader and subdeacon?  If so, then I have no problem with it.  But if she's not ordained for those tasks before her ordination as deaconess (and I've never even once heard that they received minor orders), I think it's a stretch to say that she can perform such tasks by virtue of being a deaconess. 

...

 And actually I think it's patronising to allow women to read the Epistle at Liturgy or perform other similar functions but not ordain them to that ministry because only men can be ordained to those.  Have the guts to limit those functions to ordained men, or have the guts to tonsure women. 

Agreed. We really do ourselves no favours by being so careless when it comes to the proper function of the minor orders. As long as you have a 'wonder worm' you can do pretty much whatever you like in most churches - sing, read, go into the altar, prepare the censer, carry fans, hold candles - despite having no blessing to do so. But when a woman wants to do any of those things, people revert to extraordinary feats of mental gymnastics, and often provide quite bizarre explanations, for why they can't. There's nothing sexist about denying certain liturgical functions to unordained women. It is, however, sexist to not apply the same standard to unordained men.
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« Reply #88 on: September 16, 2013, 01:24:04 PM »

I love how everyone's got an orarion!  

I think that is standard Greek practice (this includes Antiochians as far as I know). On acolytes, the orarion is usually wrapped around in the form you see above. I've been told that it is rarely done in the Slavic tradition, and only by special blessing from the Bishop. I think that is how subdeacons wear their orarions, but I don't know why acolytes would wear them that way. I just know I've seen it both in Greece, and in Antiochian parishes here in the US.
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« Reply #89 on: September 16, 2013, 01:24:04 PM »

First, of all it is sexist!  Yes!  Why is she wearing purple and not gold like the her male counterpart?   Grin

All kidding aside, perhaps she is just holding the candle and participating on "this" side of the iconostas.  We have women holding candles during the reading of the Gospel, along with men.

However, if this goes deeper than just holding a candle....I find everything wrong with it.

I am a female, and still think it is unacceptable.

There's no need to fight for equal rights here.  We have enough to do, without taking over the work in the altar, as well.  Let the men do something.   angel





She's vested, with an orarion... I know there are some Greek churches that put girls in traditional Greek outfits and sit them in the front row near the iconostasis and have them do various things outside the iconostasis. That's okay. That girl is dressed in a sticharion, and an orarion.
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