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Author Topic: Why do women go through purification after childbirth?  (Read 5520 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: September 07, 2009, 11:40:12 PM »

I was asked this by an Atheist. Answers?
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« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2009, 12:04:28 PM »

Women, and their children, are blessed on the 40th day after a period of recovery/spiritual preparation, just as Jesus and Mary were blessed on the 40th day in the Temple (Luke 2:22-29). That's the main, anagogical reason.

By definition, I don't think an anagogical reason would make much sense to an atheist, though.
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« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2009, 01:08:24 PM »

I was asked this by an Atheist. Answers?

I suspect the origins of this lie in the fact that women used routinely not to survive childbirth. A very common cause of death in the period after birth (ie., death not as a result of bleeding, or an impacted foetus, or anything that is really part of labour) is what used to be called childbed fever: it is blood poisoning as a result of infection. A woman might live for several days of even a week or more, before dying. I imagine that forty days was a long enough time of recovery for people to be reasonably sure that the woman was out of danger, so she could be welcomed back into the community. This is I guess a social reason, so it might make more sense to an atheist than a purely religious one. It doesn't, of course, explain why women still go through purification, but might help suggest that this ritual is not so much about restricting women, as about recognition of the extreme dangers of childbirth that we have, luckily for us, mostly been able to forget.
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« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2009, 01:43:49 PM »

As it was explained to me, there are several reasons for the prayers:

1) If you follow ancient Jewish custom, one was considered ritually impure after contact with blood and other body fluids http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ritual_impurity#Judaism.  Actually, men had to do a lot more washing if you follow the Law carefully.

2) Not all conceptions are under pleasant circumstances.  So, rather than having different prayers for different women (i.e. prayer for a woman after giving birth to a child conceived in rape as opposed to a prayer for a child conceived in a happy marriage), the Church developed a one-size-fits-all prayer that gives every woman the same sense of God's mercy and love.  The woman who bravely holds onto the child conceived in violence is given the same treatment as one who conceived through her desire for her husband.

Frankly, I think giving all women the same prayer is life-affirming and noble, so that women who have given birth in good circumstances can share their joy with those less fortunate, and that we do not discriminate.

Certainly, there are many women who give birth with mixed feelings: inadequacy, selfishness, etc.  Their joy and sorrow are scrambled together in this event, and so the prayer releases all the negative so that she may experience purer happiness.

I think some people who freak out about the prayer are generally unhappy with having to acknowledge their own sinfulness.  There's nothing wrong or depressing about noting one's sinfulness when one is certain of God's mercy and love.

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« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2009, 03:20:51 PM »

One theory posited to us in seminary:

It isn't that women are "impure" because they gave birth or anything.  What happens is that 40 days after the birth, the woman is welcomed back into the church (the 40 days has symbolic connotations, but really, before the advent of modern medicine, it took women about 40 days to recover from giving birth, whereas now, they're on their feet in 3 days)...anyone away from the church for that length of time is going to be "impure," not because of physical things, but because of their absence from the community of the Church in a sense.  So the prayer is read to purify them.

The prayer is really to welcome the mother back in to the community.
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« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2009, 04:37:34 PM »

One theory posited to us in seminary:

It isn't that women are "impure" because they gave birth or anything.  What happens is that 40 days after the birth, the woman is welcomed back into the church (the 40 days has symbolic connotations, but really, before the advent of modern medicine, it took women about 40 days to recover from giving birth, whereas now, they're on their feet in 3 days)...anyone away from the church for that length of time is going to be "impure," not because of physical things, but because of their absence from the community of the Church in a sense.  So the prayer is read to purify them.

The prayer is really to welcome the mother back in to the community.

That angle would make sense in the context of the Church's view on absence; canonically, one is separated from the Body and Blood of Christ for excessive consecutive absences (more than 3, iirc), and needs to go through their own purification to re-enter the Church (confession & reconciliation).
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« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2009, 11:03:35 PM »

In addition to what others have said above, I should say that physicians usually require (or at least strongly recommend) that a woman rest for six weeks after childbirth, and lift nothing heavier than her baby. There is often a lot of practical wisdom in the Church's teachings.
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« Reply #7 on: September 09, 2009, 12:07:05 AM »

If you follow ancient Jewish custom, one was considered ritually impure after contact with blood and other body fluids http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ritual_impurity#Judaism.  Actually, men had to do a lot more washing if you follow the Law carefully.

Sorry Father, but this is precisely why I think that these prayers are completely and utterly inappropriate.....I think it is highly likely that they crept into use in some circles during a period  when judaizing was a problem. The resurrection of Christ has completely changed everything.  It has turned the world upside down.   In a service near Pascha the Church says that the death (and resurrection) of Christ has saved us from the curse of the law.  It is quite frankly shocking to me that otherwise very sensible and very Orthodox people today try to justify the use of prayers like this. 


Quote
I think some people who freak out about the prayer are generally unhappy with having to acknowledge their own sinfulness. 

No, I "freak out" about these kinds of prayers for the reasons I gave above.   Men and women are equal in the eyes of God. (This is not to say that women and men have the same roles, often they do not.) Particulurly in this New Covenant age of the Spirit, women are not to be seen as being somehow biologically inferior.  ("There is neither Jew nor Greek, male nor female.") 


One theory posited to us in seminary:
The prayer is really to welcome the mother back in to the community.

This is the reason I usually see for justifying the use of these kinds of prayers.  They could be used in this way if they were modified to remove references to impurity and to re-admittance to the Jewish community, but let's be honest.  Many prayers of this nature have inappropriate references to the "uncleanness" of the mother and even to the "unclean" state of those who have touched her (a clear and definite parallel to Jewish laws regarding ritual impurity).

Don't get me wrong, I realise that women often find comfort in these prayers when it comes to welcoming them back into the community after the trials and tribulations of childbirth and the time after it.....I just think that they should be modified.
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« Reply #8 on: September 10, 2009, 09:52:41 AM »

Let's look at the text of the prayer:

O Lord God Almighty, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who by Your word has made every rational and irrational creature, that brought all things out of nothingness into being: we pray to You and implore You, cleanse this Your servant (Name), whom by Your Will You have preserved, and who now comes into Your Holy Church, from every transgression, so that she may be accounted worthy to partake of Your holy Mysteries without condemnation.


This has no connotation whatsoever of physical impurity due to having given birth/flow of blood/whatever.  It just asks Gods to cleanse the woman from transgression.  Properly understood, I don't believe this has any allusion to Old Testament purification practices.  It's just that the woman has been away from the Church for an extended period of time, and like anyone else, needs to be cleansed from sin which becomes so easy when we are separated from the Church.
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« Reply #9 on: September 10, 2009, 10:15:35 AM »

I listened to a podcast today by Fr. Thomas Hopko about the Nativity. The purification ritual was discussed a little bit, Fr. Thomas said that the ritual is more a reinforcement that we are sinners and that we are to humble ourselves before God just having partaken in a divine act (the act of child birth) and that this is a gift bestowed upon us.
Thats my two cents.
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« Reply #10 on: September 10, 2009, 11:58:31 AM »

This has no connotation whatsoever of physical impurity due to having given birth/flow of blood/whatever... Properly understood, I don't believe this has any allusion to Old Testament purification practices.... 

Hello? This is just (a portion of?) one prayer of this type.  When I get home, I would be happy to give you a reference to prayers found in the OCA Book of Needs that contain direct and indirect references to Old Covenant practices.
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« Reply #11 on: September 10, 2009, 12:20:00 PM »

Why would we need to ask for forgiveness before  a journey?  It's all part of our prayer life.  To analyze the prayers for women shows an arrogance that is unhappy with Holy Tradition.
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« Reply #12 on: September 26, 2009, 12:33:11 AM »

Don't get me wrong, I realise that women often find comfort in these prayers when it comes to welcoming them back into the community after the trials and tribulations of childbirth and the time after it.....I just think that they should be modified.

I think that the Patriarchate of Antioch has already done it:
Quote
The Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Antioch, meeting in Syria from May 26-May 27, 1997, at the Patriarchal Monastery of St. George, decided, among other things: . . . to allow women to commune at any time and to remove from the Church’s "liturgical texts" any reference to women as "unclean" or "tainted."
Source: http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/praxis/antioch_innovation.aspx
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« Reply #13 on: October 03, 2009, 09:57:15 PM »

I think that the Patriarchate of Antioch has already done it

I think this is a good thing, and I also think that it is too bad the author of the article has such a limited understanding of the nature of  Holy Tradition.


To analyze the prayers for women shows an arrogance that is unhappy with Holy Tradition.

To accept everything handed to one with a pre-critical mindset shows an intellectually lazy attitude that facilitates the abrogation of one's responsibilities as a guardian of the faith.
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« Reply #14 on: October 03, 2009, 10:58:28 PM »

No reason. Stupid prejudice.
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« Reply #15 on: October 03, 2009, 11:00:50 PM »

No reason. Stupid prejudice.
Would you care to elaborate?
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« Reply #16 on: October 03, 2009, 11:51:42 PM »

One theory posited to us in seminary:

It isn't that women are "impure" because they gave birth or anything.  What happens is that 40 days after the birth, the woman is welcomed back into the church (the 40 days has symbolic connotations, but really, before the advent of modern medicine, it took women about 40 days to recover from giving birth, whereas now, they're on their feet in 3 days)...anyone away from the church for that length of time is going to be "impure," not because of physical things, but because of their absence from the community of the Church in a sense.  So the prayer is read to purify them.

The prayer is really to welcome the mother back in to the community.

That angle would make sense in the context of the Church's view on absence; canonically, one is separated from the Body and Blood of Christ for excessive consecutive absences (more than 3, iirc), and needs to go through their own purification to re-enter the Church (confession & reconciliation).

The old tradition in some quarters (and I know women in the 1970's at least who kept it) was that the new mother didn't go ANYWHERE for 40 days (hence the reason why she didn't go to Church), for recuperation, bonding and all that good stuff.  The presenation (and remmeber, its the Feast of the PRESENTATION/ENTRANCE of the Lord, not the Purification of the Theotokos, which is the main event) of the child for baptism and the "purification" of the mother's return was just their debut.  If you look at the wording of the prayer, there is nothing more sinister than that about it.
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« Reply #17 on: October 04, 2009, 12:45:26 AM »

If you look at the wording of the prayer, there is nothing more sinister than that about it.

The "Prayers for a Woman on the 40th Day After Childbirth" (the "churching" of the mother before the baptism of her child) make explicit reference to the "uncleanness" of the mother, and so do those that are prescribed for use one day after childbirth.

From Baptism, Department of Relgious Education, OCA, 1972:

Excerpt from a prayer on page 29:  "....Wash away her bodily uncleanness..."  At least one other prayer has a similar reference to the "unclean" state of the mother.

From the Book of Needs [Abridged] St. Tikhon's Seminary Press 2002, pages 3-4:

 [Excerpt from the 2nd] Prayer for a Woman on the First Day after Childbirth:

"....Have mercy on her and on the infant, and cleanse her from bodily uncleanness and the various afflictions of her womb..."

[Entire text of the 3rd] Prayer for a Woman on the First Day after Childbirth:

"Let us Pray to the Lord.  Lord, have mercy.

   O Lord our God, Who was well-pleased to come down from heaven and be born of the Holy Theotokos and Ever-virgin Mary, for the sake of the salvation of us sinners, knowing the frailty of human nature: According to the multitude of Your compassions, forgive Your servant N., who has given birth today.  For You have said, O Lord: "Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it."  Therefore, we, your servants, pray, and having boldness on account of your benign love for mankind, with fear we cry out to the Dominion of Your holy Name: Look down from heaven and behold the feebleness of us who are condemned.  Forgive this, your servant, N., and the whole household into which this infant has been born, all who have touched her, and all here present.  Forgive all of them, for You are a gracious God and love mankind, and alone have the power to forgive sins, by the prayers of the Most-holy Theotokos and all Your Saints.  Amen."

The "Prayers for a Woman on the Fortieth Day After Childbirth" (cited above in the quote from the OCA text Baptism) contain references to the "bodily uncleanness" of the mother.  The quote from the second "Prayer for a Woman on the First Day After Childbirth" shows a clear reference to Jewish law regarding ritual cleanliness.  The third prayer is even more clear in its reference, explicitly indicating that a woman who has just given birth and "all who have touched her", or even come near her,  are  "condemned."!  Jewish purity laws are clear in indicating that if one  touched someone or something unclean, one would become ritually unclean oneself. I don't see how one can say that there is "nothing sinister" about this kind of language, since it heavily implies that we are still under the sway of the law, an idea that every serious Christian must flatly reject.

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« Reply #18 on: October 04, 2009, 03:01:08 PM »

If you look at the wording of the prayer, there is nothing more sinister than that about it.

The "Prayers for a Woman on the 40th Day After Childbirth" (the "churching" of the mother before the baptism of her child) make explicit reference to the "uncleanness" of the mother, and so do those that are prescribed for use one day after childbirth.

From Baptism, Department of Relgious Education, OCA, 1972:

Excerpt from a prayer on page 29:  "....Wash away her bodily uncleanness..."  At least one other prayer has a similar reference to the "unclean" state of the mother.

From the Book of Needs [Abridged] St. Tikhon's Seminary Press 2002, pages 3-4:

 [Excerpt from the 2nd] Prayer for a Woman on the First Day after Childbirth:

"....Have mercy on her and on the infant, and cleanse her from bodily uncleanness and the various afflictions of her womb..."

[Entire text of the 3rd] Prayer for a Woman on the First Day after Childbirth:

"Let us Pray to the Lord.  Lord, have mercy.

   O Lord our God, Who was well-pleased to come down from heaven and be born of the Holy Theotokos and Ever-virgin Mary, for the sake of the salvation of us sinners, knowing the frailty of human nature: According to the multitude of Your compassions, forgive Your servant N., who has given birth today.  For You have said, O Lord: "Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it."  Therefore, we, your servants, pray, and having boldness on account of your benign love for mankind, with fear we cry out to the Dominion of Your holy Name: Look down from heaven and behold the feebleness of us who are condemned.  Forgive this, your servant, N., and the whole household into which this infant has been born, all who have touched her, and all here present.  Forgive all of them, for You are a gracious God and love mankind, and alone have the power to forgive sins, by the prayers of the Most-holy Theotokos and all Your Saints.  Amen."

The "Prayers for a Woman on the Fortieth Day After Childbirth" (cited above in the quote from the OCA text Baptism) contain references to the "bodily uncleanness" of the mother.  The quote from the second "Prayer for a Woman on the First Day After Childbirth" shows a clear reference to Jewish law regarding ritual cleanliness.  The third prayer is even more clear in its reference, explicitly indicating that a woman who has just given birth and "all who have touched her", or even come near her,  are  "condemned."!  Jewish purity laws are clear in indicating that if one  touched someone or something unclean, one would become ritually unclean oneself. I don't see how one can say that there is "nothing sinister" about this kind of language, since it heavily implies that we are still under the sway of the law, an idea that every serious Christian must flatly reject.


A full reply would require more time that I have at hand: compare the prayers at the anointing of oil with this. 

I'm also not finding the references you have in the Antiochian texts.
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« Reply #19 on: October 04, 2009, 04:20:55 PM »

For no reason except stupid prejudice.
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« Reply #20 on: October 04, 2009, 04:21:38 PM »

No reason. Stupid prejudice.
Would you care to elaborate?

No. Self-explanatory.
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« Reply #21 on: October 04, 2009, 07:59:09 PM »

A full reply would require more time that I have at hand: compare the prayers at the anointing of oil with this. 

I'm not sure that I follow you.

Quote
I'm also not finding the references you have in the Antiochian texts.

Could this be a problem that we are facing in this discussion?  SakranMM lists his jurisdiction as being Antiochian as well:

This has no connotation whatsoever of physical impurity due to having given birth/flow of blood/whatever... Properly understood, I don't believe this has any allusion to Old Testament purification practices.... 

Hello? This is just (a portion of?) one prayer of this type.  When I get home, I would be happy to give you a reference to prayers found in the OCA Book of Needs that contain direct and indirect references to Old Covenant practices.

Don't get me wrong, I realise that women often find comfort in these prayers when it comes to welcoming them back into the community after the trials and tribulations of childbirth and the time after it.....I just think that they should be modified.

I think that the Patriarchate of Antioch has already done it:
Quote
The Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Antioch, meeting in Syria from May 26-May 27, 1997, at the Patriarchal Monastery of St. George, decided, among other things: . . . to allow women to commune at any time and to remove from the Church’s "liturgical texts" any reference to women as "unclean" or "tainted."
Source: http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/praxis/antioch_innovation.aspx

To some extent, those who are Antiochian and those of us who are members of other jurisdictions may be talking past each other, since our points of reference may be different.  According to the article cited at Orthodoxinfo.com, the Antiochian Church took steps some time ago to have the offending parts of prayers of this type removed from her liturgical practice. 

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« Reply #22 on: October 05, 2009, 12:03:20 PM »

The same forty day Churching applies to a woman who has suffered a miscarriage.  Why is this?

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« Reply #23 on: October 06, 2009, 05:05:27 PM »

One theory posited to us in seminary:

It isn't that women are "impure" because they gave birth or anything.  What happens is that 40 days after the birth, the woman is welcomed back into the church (the 40 days has symbolic connotations, but really, before the advent of modern medicine, it took women about 40 days to recover from giving birth, whereas now, they're on their feet in 3 days)...anyone away from the church for that length of time is going to be "impure," not because of physical things, but because of their absence from the community of the Church in a sense.  So the prayer is read to purify them.

The prayer is really to welcome the mother back in to the community.

That angle would make sense in the context of the Church's view on absence; canonically, one is separated from the Body and Blood of Christ for excessive consecutive absences (more than 3, iirc), and needs to go through their own purification to re-enter the Church (confession & reconciliation).

Very correct Cleveland.   The canons excommunicate anyone who has not attended liturgy for 3 or more weeks without good cause.  The 40 day service acknowledges that there was just cause and the priest prays that any sins which she may have committed in this absence from church and sacrament be forgiven.
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« Reply #24 on: October 06, 2009, 05:10:48 PM »

Quote


Very correct Cleveland.   The canons excommunicate anyone who has not attended liturgy for 3 or more weeks without good cause.  The 40 day service acknowledges that there was just cause and the priest prays that any sins which she may have committed in this absence from church and sacrament be forgiven.

Really?? One is excommunicated for not attending liturgy for 3 or more weeks???
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« Reply #25 on: October 06, 2009, 05:20:36 PM »

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Very correct Cleveland.   The canons excommunicate anyone who has not attended liturgy for 3 or more weeks without good cause.  The 40 day service acknowledges that there was just cause and the priest prays that any sins which she may have committed in this absence from church and sacrament be forgiven.

Really?? One is excommunicated for not attending liturgy for 3 or more weeks???
How do you define excommunication?  The way most Orthodox use the term, excommunication merely means that you are separated from the Holy Mysteries and cannot receive them again until you've been to Confession.  It's not the long-term, serious penalty many think of when they hear the word "excommunication".
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« Reply #26 on: October 06, 2009, 05:22:45 PM »

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Very correct Cleveland.   The canons excommunicate anyone who has not attended liturgy for 3 or more weeks without good cause.  The 40 day service acknowledges that there was just cause and the priest prays that any sins which she may have committed in this absence from church and sacrament be forgiven.

Really?? One is excommunicated for not attending liturgy for 3 or more weeks???
How do you define excommunication?  The way most Orthodox use the term, excommunication merely means that you are separated from the Holy Mysteries and cannot receive them again until you've been to Confession.  It's not the long-term, serious penalty many think of when they hear the word "excommunication".

Oh. I see. I didn't know that! I always understood excommunication to mean basically kicked out of the church. This is much gentler, and makes sense to me. Thanks!
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« Reply #27 on: October 06, 2009, 05:39:01 PM »

Males should be excluded from Holy Communion with any of the following signs of rectal bleeding:  hemorrhoids; GI bleeds; colonoscopy trauma; colon cancer; diverticulitis; polyps; ulcerative colitis; non-steroidal drug usage; viral diarrhea and bacterial enterocolitiis.   That would exclude about all of the males in church from Holy Communion. Males would they would understand why exclusion/purification is a concern with women.  All bleeding restrictions would then be made “anathema”.

Sorry....couldn’t resist....hehe
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« Reply #28 on: October 06, 2009, 05:51:04 PM »

Males should be excluded from Holy Communion with any of the following signs of rectal bleeding:  hemorrhoids; GI bleeds; colonoscopy trauma; colon cancer; diverticulitis; polyps; ulcerative colitis; non-steroidal drug usage; viral diarrhea and bacterial enterocolitiis.   That would exclude about all of the males in church from Holy Communion. Males would they would understand why exclusion/purification is a concern with women.  All bleeding restrictions would then be made “anathema”.

Sorry....couldn’t resist....hehe

The canons if fact so direct, and I'll add ulcerated wounds.  I had one once on my leg and didn't commune.
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« Reply #29 on: October 06, 2009, 06:07:11 PM »

Males should be excluded from Holy Communion with any of the following signs of rectal bleeding:  hemorrhoids; GI bleeds; colonoscopy trauma; colon cancer; diverticulitis; polyps; ulcerative colitis; non-steroidal drug usage; viral diarrhea and bacterial enterocolitiis.   That would exclude about all of the males in church from Holy Communion. Males would they would understand why exclusion/purification is a concern with women.  All bleeding restrictions would then be made “anathema”.

Sorry....couldn’t resist....hehe

The canons if fact so direct, and I'll add ulcerated wounds.  I had one once on my leg and didn't commune.
Since we are in agreement, we can now start enforcement..hehe,  When you guys don't go up for communion,
all the ladies will contemplate (and stare at you Shocked) which of the anal problems you are experiencing.
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ialmisry
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« Reply #30 on: October 06, 2009, 06:20:33 PM »

Males should be excluded from Holy Communion with any of the following signs of rectal bleeding:  hemorrhoids; GI bleeds; colonoscopy trauma; colon cancer; diverticulitis; polyps; ulcerative colitis; non-steroidal drug usage; viral diarrhea and bacterial enterocolitiis.   That would exclude about all of the males in church from Holy Communion. Males would they would understand why exclusion/purification is a concern with women.  All bleeding restrictions would then be made “anathema”.

Sorry....couldn’t resist....hehe

The canons if fact so direct, and I'll add ulcerated wounds.  I had one once on my leg and didn't commune.
Since we are in agreement, we can now start enforcement..hehe,  When you guys don't go up for communion,
all the ladies will contemplate (and stare at you Shocked) which of the anal problems you are experiencing.


is there some duty of the deacons to check out the ladies that I don't know about?
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Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
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« Reply #31 on: October 06, 2009, 06:53:09 PM »

Males should be excluded from Holy Communion with any of the following signs of rectal bleeding:  hemorrhoids; GI bleeds; colonoscopy trauma; colon cancer; diverticulitis; polyps; ulcerative colitis; non-steroidal drug usage; viral diarrhea and bacterial enterocolitiis.   That would exclude about all of the males in church from Holy Communion. Males would they would understand why exclusion/purification is a concern with women.  All bleeding restrictions would then be made “anathema”.

Sorry....couldn’t resist....hehe

This thread is about women resting from childbirth for 6 weeks, not about bleeding.  There is another thread on menstruation and bleeding if you wish to comment there.   
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ms.hoorah
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« Reply #32 on: October 06, 2009, 07:24:31 PM »

http://www.stjohndc.org/Russian/homilies/e_9606s.htm

Father,
If the Prayers for Women on the 40th Day after Childbirth imply spiritual cleaning and not bodily purification,  does any "jurisdiction read the Church’s prayers for the infants' fathers in front of the parish?  They usually have also missed many DLs/Holy Communion after the birth. (Nursing newborns awake every 2 hours=extreme exhaustion.) 
« Last Edit: October 06, 2009, 07:40:54 PM by ms.hoorah » Logged
mike
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« Reply #33 on: October 07, 2009, 04:41:54 PM »

http://www.stjohndc.org/Russian/homilies/e_9606s.htm

Father,
If the Prayers for Women on the 40th Day after Childbirth imply spiritual cleaning and not bodily purification,  does any "jurisdiction read the Church’s prayers for the infants' fathers in front of the parish?  They usually have also missed many DLs/Holy Communion after the birth. (Nursing newborns awake every 2 hours=extreme exhaustion.) 

On the time the prayers were written fathers did not use to do such things.
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