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Alveus Lacuna
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« on: April 25, 2010, 04:32:05 PM »

Are Orthodox priests required to always be in some type of clerical garb, like a rassa or black suit, or are they allowed to sometime wear civilian clothing? I only ask because occasionally I come across a priest in a sweatsuit without a pectoral cross and I am uncomfortable asking for his blessing when he looks like an Average Joe off the street.
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« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2010, 05:07:26 PM »

Priests gotta work out too.   Smiley

I don't think a priest's ability to give a blessing is dependent on his clothes.  In certain countries like Turkey, for example, I think it's actually illegal for priests to wear clerical garb in public.  They're still priests, though, no matter what they are wearing.

So I would ask for a blessing anyway.
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« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2010, 09:14:01 PM »

I've never seen a priest in non-priestly attire, but then I've never seen one at the gym or something like that, or worse yet, at the beach. I can understand your reluctance, though. It would probably indeed seem... a bit off, somehow. Still, I'd agree with Salpy, and ask for a blessing if that was my normal custom.
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« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2010, 05:55:28 AM »

I've never seen a priest in non-priestly attire...

How can you know this?  A priest dressed in non-priestly attire would not look like a priest, (especially if he were only slightly bearded or clean shaven), so it is entirely possible that you have seen many priests in non-priestly attire - at the supermarket, in their secular employment, walking down the street - without realising it.
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« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2010, 06:56:59 AM »

Are Orthodox priests required to always be in some type of clerical garb, like a rassa or black suit, or are they allowed to sometime wear civilian clothing? I only ask because occasionally I come across a priest in a sweatsuit without a pectoral cross and I am uncomfortable asking for his blessing when he looks like an Average Joe off the street.

I have seen my priest here in Japan change out of his clerical garb right before leaving the church to drive home.  It was a little bit weird seeing him in normal clothes.
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« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2010, 07:32:10 AM »

Are Orthodox priests required to always be in some type of clerical garb, like a rassa or black suit, or are they allowed to sometime wear civilian clothing? I only ask because occasionally I come across a priest in a sweatsuit without a pectoral cross and I am uncomfortable asking for his blessing when he looks like an Average Joe off the street.

In Romania, especially in the countryside, I often saw priests without clerical garb. They didn't own a Western-style collar, so they would just wear normal clothes when around the house or working in the fields.

In Greece and Cyprus, the clergy are actually required by law to wear the full clerical garb when in public: antiri (cassock), exorasson (rassa with large sleeves), and kalamafki (hat). In the hot summer, some clergy wear their normal cassock but, to avoid the heat, throw their exorasson over their shoulder instead of putting it on, thereby "wearing" everything they are required to. Outside of the cities, it's less strict.
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« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2010, 09:04:08 AM »

Coming from a family of priests, I can assure you that priests do not always wear 'priestly' attire and yes, those with families have even been known to take them on vacation and stay at the beach or go to Disneyworld with their children! If that bothers you, you are the person with the problem, not the priest and his family.

I have to say that I get tired of the comments from many here that seem to presuppose that all Orthodox, laity and clergy alike, need to play a public charade to present an outward appearance that borders on what one would properly expect a monk or a nun to observe rather than people living in the world.

Of course a clergyman should present himself as a priest in garb appropriate to his tradition, in a modest manner. All of us should dress modestly and not in accord with the latest outrageous fashion.

By the way, it is easy to pick out a priest on vacation, look for a man who looks uncomfortable in shorts wearing black shoes and high black socks. Could be!

Don't sweat the small stuff as we say in the States!
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« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2010, 11:07:25 AM »

I've never seen a priest in non-priestly attire...

How can you know this?  A priest dressed in non-priestly attire would not look like a priest, (especially if he were only slightly bearded or clean shaven), so it is entirely possible that you have seen many priests in non-priestly attire - at the supermarket, in their secular employment, walking down the street - without realising it.

Let me rephrase things, then. Of the priests that I would recognize, I have never seen one out of clerical attire. Nor do I particularly care what they wear Smiley
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« Reply #8 on: April 26, 2010, 02:15:10 PM »

All the priests I know seem to be extremely conscientious about wearing their rassas at all times. One even had a very physically demanding secular job, and all the same, he wore his rassa all day long while to work.

Recently I happened to bump into a Serbian priest visiting my building (quite a shock for me to see him and his wife, as they live in another city!). He was in civilian, but very tasteful clothing-a neatly tailored black coat, black trousers and shoes and a black and grey argyle pullover sweater. His long beard added a dignified touch. I was very impressed to see how distinguished and priestly he looked despite not wearing his rassa.

I've never met a priest in a sweatsuit in these parts of the world-I would find it jarring (bad enough to see ordinary men in sweats!! Sad).
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« Reply #9 on: April 26, 2010, 02:28:53 PM »

I suppose it only struck me as abnormal because the other priest in the parish absolutely always wears his rassa. I've seen other priests wear western style clerical suits before, actually one is a Serbian priest(!), but I'd still never seen a priest in street clothes. Imagine a priest with no beard, a pectoral cross and a basketball jersey. He'd look like a rapper!
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« Reply #10 on: April 26, 2010, 02:34:55 PM »

LOL! Surely no priest in such attire would wear a pectoral cross? Unheard of! I'm starting to feel thankful that I live in such a traditional, old-country-like part of the world...

Why, recently, during great lent, I saw a different priest who had just visited a family in my building, and he and his wife looked so beautiful-it was such a touching picture, and to see the love the family felt for their priest-they had come out to the street to say their farewells-and even his matushka was so modestly dressed in a long skirt, and he in his riassa and cross and beard. That was really a beautiful picture which has remained in my mind-I felt this very tangible sort of grace emitted from these people.
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« Reply #11 on: April 26, 2010, 04:18:16 PM »

It's pretty much standard for any man in any priestly order in my jurisdiction to wear at least a cassock when on "church business."  That being said I can see the point of the priest wearing a cassock or collar when on "church business."  But seriously a man isn't defined by his attire.  While the cleric is set aside with his attire he isn't less of a cleric if he shops at the Kroger in a rugby shirt and jeans.  I guess there are two sides to this debate.  One is that a priest/deacon etc.. should always represent his office and be in clerics when about in public to witness, that is, he is set aside (read the prayer of blessing of the cassock) in as much as the cassock/black is to make him "invisible."  But at the same time he should always be who he has become through ordination and the clerics help remind him that and those around him that he has been chosen to be the leader of the flock.  The other argument may be that a priest/deacon/bishop should be able to melt into his surroundings in non-clerics and enjoy his peace.   It's a conundrum.  The middle ground seems to be the short bearded short hair and roman collar.  Still that sets aside the cleric from the laity.  
As usual it is up to the cleric's bishop as to what he is allowed to wear and when.  I know some dioceses only allow priests and deacons to wear a cassock when on church property or say at the hospital visiting the sick.  Some priests and deacons aren't allowed to wear clerical hats nor are they allowed to have long hair and may have to receive permission from their bishop to wear facial hair.  Then you have some bishops that allow long hair, skufias, exoriasso or a basic cassock to be worn in public when no on church business.  The question is, if lay folk are never to be on a constant path of theosis and the priestly orders are chosen to be set aside to help guide the laity on the collective path of theosis why not allow a cleric to dress as such at all times.  If the laity aren't to forget about prayer and church life why, their leaders are always on duty as well.  And that may include assuming wearing the clothes they were set aside in (cassock, exoriasso, skufous)...
I guess what maybe the point here in this whole thread is that seeing your priest out and about in a woolrich shirt and khakis may shock you, but that doesn't mean he should be judged for it.  Priests, deacons and Bishops are people too.  They have families, they have fears, they have joy, they have bills to pay, they have interests and hobbies.  That is often something people forget.  Being a priest, deacon or Bishop doesn't make a man not a man, it poses him as a leader within the community.  But a leader should not be judged by what he wears, only God judges.  
After all do we not pray in the Divine Liturgy that the bishop "may rightfully divide the Word of Truth?"
That includes making sure from his priests, his local representatives, his deacons, his subdeacons, his readers, his flock are being taught the "Deposit of Faith" correctly.  As we know the Orthodox Church, the Christian church is a collection of local churches united by the Eucharist AND the Deposit of Faith.
We are not unified by priests wearing cassocks in public. We are not united by a singular man in one city.  We are not united by all the small traditions that are sometimes externals (such as the priests wearing riassa in public).  Orthodoxy is completed at the altar not by the length or a man's beard, the size of a woman's headscarf, how many prostrations we do or how many prayers we say.  Those things may help someone keep on the theosis path.  Remember, the most important thing is Theosis, the Deposit of Faith that directs us and of course the number one unifier is Christ in the Eucharist.
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« Reply #12 on: April 26, 2010, 04:27:38 PM »

LOL! Surely no priest in such attire would wear a pectoral cross? Unheard of! I'm starting to feel thankful that I live in such a traditional, old-country-like part of the world...

Why, recently, during great lent, I saw a different priest who had just visited a family in my building, and he and his wife looked so beautiful-it was such a touching picture, and to see the love the family felt for their priest-they had come out to the street to say their farewells-and even his matushka was so modestly dressed in a long skirt, and he in his riassa and cross and beard. That was really a beautiful picture which has remained in my mind-I felt this very tangible sort of grace emitted from these people.

Ah but one could argue the ONLY tradition that matters is the Deposit of Faith, the core beliefs of the church.  Everything else just reminds us of that Deposit of Faith and is a guide to keep us focused on that and on our path of Theosis. 
We argue what is right, pews, no pews, headscarves, no headscarves.  In as much as those small traditions should be respected and allowed to grow organically we may realise that outside of those small traditions the only tradition that is a matter of Salvation is adhering to the Deposit of Faith.
Anything else can be seen as man attempting to modify an external to build himself up individually.  Church isn't about the individual.  It is about the collective community.  Something we have largely lost in Western society.
My Ukrainian friend once said, "here in the States you have everything but you don't have each other, but in Ukraine we have nothing but we have each other." 
Calling out for audible prayers, no pews, all the externals, etc.. priests wearing garb in this place or that place, it is nothing compared to the Faith. 
My priest said on Sunday that when people get concerned about such things that is religion.  He said Orthodoxy is not a religion it is Faith.  When we consider it a religion, a set of externals and accomplishments or appearance then that is what matters.  When we consider it faith, we are living it and breathing it.  It becomes who we are.
How many of us know people from latter days who never read the bible or couldn't quote Origen? They had grown up in the church singing the hymns, the troparion, the kondaks, matins, vespers... They didn't read the bible, they prayed it and lived it.  They didn't focus on scholarly things.  More than anything Christianity is a lived Faith based on beliefs.  We don't always have the answers and certainly wearing a prayer rope to liturgy or cutting out "having suffered" from lenten services because it was Polish Catholic in origins isn't necessary to adhering to Faith.  Faith is believing without seeing.  You just know. 
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« Reply #13 on: April 26, 2010, 05:04:01 PM »

Met PHILIP of the Antiochian Archdiocese has said repeatedly that unless a priest (Eastern Rite) is working officially on the job, he should either be wearing the Latin collar and suit or just going about in plain clothes.   Apparently, there were some priests who would do everything in their cassock, from mowing the lawn (not kidding on this one) to going shopping so this directive was meant to put an end to that.  WHen priests of our archdiocese travel, I have noticed that they do so in a suit with the Latin collar.

However, I have noticed that at the DOWAMA Parish Life Conference, the priests are generally all clothed in cassocks, even in meetings and other events.  That's probably because Bishop BASIL is a little more traditional when it comes to priest's clothes.
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« Reply #14 on: April 26, 2010, 05:05:41 PM »

LOL! Surely no priest in such attire would wear a pectoral cross? Unheard of! I'm starting to feel thankful that I live in such a traditional, old-country-like part of the world...

Why, recently, during great lent, I saw a different priest who had just visited a family in my building, and he and his wife looked so beautiful-it was such a touching picture, and to see the love the family felt for their priest-they had come out to the street to say their farewells-and even his matushka was so modestly dressed in a long skirt, and he in his riassa and cross and beard. That was really a beautiful picture which has remained in my mind-I felt this very tangible sort of grace emitted from these people.

Ahhh...I love the image of which you described it is at once idealistic and true...and when some man chooses to transform the image of his household into an image of Christ and His Church...how can you not say it...Love, sweet love when a man struggles to be a reconciler of things within and without...being in the world but not of the world...tangible?  

Yes very much so...We (I and my wife) were traveling through Colorado Springs and needed our car troubleshooted and repaired; while we waited we walked around the old town and a few other directions.  We were walking and saw a car pull into a gas station and a couple as you described came out of the vehicle...I hastened leaving my wife (since she was being pouty that day) to catch the Priest-like man to learn if he were an Orthodox Priest (for he looked the part).  And after brief explanation and introduction as to how we came to be there and he in return explaining how they came to be there and my wife had caught up we asked for a blessing.  A simple spiritual action needed for the soul at that moment.  No further relationship was needed.

john
 
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« Reply #15 on: April 26, 2010, 05:31:14 PM »

I remember one time Presbytera and I had to drop something off at my Father-Confessor's house. As he was home for the evening, he was not wearing his rassa, but was wearing a dress shirt and slacks.

As I had never seen him without his rassa, it threw me off for a second. Then I thought to myself, "Wait a minute, he's in his own home. He can wear whatever he wants!"  laugh

I think sometimes as laypeople we forget that priests are people too, and that there are occasions when they will be rassa-less. What is more important than their clerical garments is their love for Christ, as is the case with all of us. Smiley
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« Reply #16 on: April 26, 2010, 05:37:11 PM »

Met PHILIP of the Antiochian Archdiocese has said repeatedly that unless a priest (Eastern Rite) is working officially on the job, he should either be wearing the Latin collar and suit or just going about in plain clothes.   Apparently, there were some priests who would do everything in their cassock, from mowing the lawn (not kidding on this one) to going shopping so this directive was meant to put an end to that.  WHen priests of our archdiocese travel, I have noticed that they do so in a suit with the Latin collar.

However, I have noticed that at the DOWAMA Parish Life Conference, the priests are generally all clothed in cassocks, even in meetings and other events.  That's probably because Bishop BASIL is a little more traditional when it comes to priest's clothes.

Your Metropolitan has a vision for the American church that many of his fellow bishops do not share. The Antiochian priest here in Kansas City always wears a cassock, and he has a beard and long hair. He is from Syria, and whenever he can he comes and celebrates with us on the Old Calendar, whenever it doesn't interfere with his regular parish duties (I believe this is because he is more of a traditionalist). So is he defying the Metropolitan in these matters, or simply following his conscience, or perhaps he has a blessing from his diocesan bishop, or it's the regular custom in the Midwestern diocese?

Here he is, by the way:



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« Reply #17 on: April 26, 2010, 06:25:41 PM »

Christ is Risen!

Alveus,
   I know all the OCA priests here normaly were clerical garb although I've Often seen Fr.Tim without a cassock I know he normaly wears a Catholic(dog)collar and sometimes I've even seen him simply wearing slacks a dress shirt a sweater and his pectoral cross

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« Reply #18 on: April 26, 2010, 06:34:45 PM »

I agree that lay people worry about this way too much, rather you should worry about what character of man your priest is - beware of wolves in sheep's clothing!
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« Reply #19 on: April 26, 2010, 06:41:17 PM »

I agree that lay people worry about this way too much, rather you should worry about what character of man your priest is - beware of wolves in sheep's clothing!

I'm not "worried" about it. I just hadn't seen it before and was wondering if it was normal. The stuff about Antiochian customs is just a side issue of curiosity.
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« Reply #20 on: April 26, 2010, 10:20:27 PM »



Your Metropolitan has a vision for the American church that many of his fellow bishops do not share. The Antiochian priest here in Kansas City always wears a cassock, and he has a beard and long hair. He is from Syria, and whenever he can he comes and celebrates with us on the Old Calendar, whenever it doesn't interfere with his regular parish duties (I believe this is because he is more of a traditionalist). So is he defying the Metropolitan in these matters, or simply following his conscience, or perhaps he has a blessing from his diocesan bishop, or it's the regular custom in the Midwestern diocese?

First of all I was just relating facts, not saying that Met. PHILIP's actions are necessarily the right course of action.

BTW, I do know Fr. Elias (I attended St. Basil's for three months from October through December of 2009) and I do know that he is very traditionally minded.  Also, when Fr. Elias worked outside when doing construction, he would change to street clothes.
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« Reply #21 on: April 27, 2010, 04:30:27 PM »

Met PHILIP of the Antiochian Archdiocese has said repeatedly that unless a priest (Eastern Rite) is working officially on the job, he should either be wearing the Latin collar and suit or just going about in plain clothes.   Apparently, there were some priests who would do everything in their cassock, from mowing the lawn (not kidding on this one) to going shopping so this directive was meant to put an end to that.  WHen priests of our archdiocese travel, I have noticed that they do so in a suit with the Latin collar.

However, I have noticed that at the DOWAMA Parish Life Conference, the priests are generally all clothed in cassocks, even in meetings and other events.  That's probably because Bishop BASIL is a little more traditional when it comes to priest's clothes.

Aren't we ALL always on church business?  Didn't Christ say to be a witness at all times and places?  If we are on our path of Theosis, aka becoming more like Christ, aren't we then always on church business?  In regards to that why should a priest who is a visual leader and ordained minister and our father in our local Christian community not be allowed to wear clerics whenever possible since it helps identify him as our father?  Seeing a cleric in his clerical garb may be a visual to remind us of the sacrament that his ordination bestowed upon him and that if he has submitted to the office of his clerical status and ALL the responsibilities it involves then it may help us take a look at our current status in our path to theosis.  Now, mowing grass or digging a ditch in a cassock IS possible but that is besides the point.  Roman collars do not help Orthodox Christian clerics stand out from any other community that uses the word Christ in their belief structure.  No one else that would be immediately recognizable by society at large wears a cassock like Orthodox Christian clergy, save for Greek Catholic Clergy.  Most people in the country are roughly aware of what a Greek or Russian Orthodox person is.  No one would doubt that there must be something special about that bearded man with his black hat and long flowing black robe with that giant cross about his neck.  Be proud of what we have to share with the world!  I had a wise priest say that praying the Our Father with non-Orthodox kind of says that we agree with the non-Orthodox present and their non-Orthodox beliefs. 
To be honest I know many people who wear cassocks on the way to church and on church business.  They eat out in their cassocks after church. They go to the hospital in cassock, they go to the funeral home in cassock.  No one looks at them weird, no one questions.  If anything they may ask neat questions and want to learn!  If we believe the world was saved through Christ and that the Orthodox Church is the vessel that can lead men towards that Salvation then we need to witness.  Why conform to society? Make them know who we are.  A priest/deacon in cassock in public is a perfect way to start teaching.  There is no shame in it.  It is the garb the Bishop vested them in when they first took their steps are a seminarian or as a reader.  It's a silent witness.  It's not "in your face."  We need to get noticed and we're not going to get noticed if Father A and Panimatka A are out and about at the grocery store with him sporting a roman collar.  People just think, oh he's Lutheran.  If he's sporting the cassock people ask questions and I've seen people come to church through this.  I've seen people who just moved into the area find their church because they ran into the priest in cassock at the store.
But as far as a priest wearing it all the time, really, it's a good thing if he does.  But he's a man too, if he's at his kid's football game why not blend in and have the focus be on the kid not the priest in cassock in the stands.  Really, in the end, I rest my case in my previous posts.
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« Reply #22 on: April 27, 2010, 05:16:16 PM »

Aren't we ALL always on church business?  Didn't Christ say to be a witness at all times and places?  If we are on our path of Theosis, aka becoming more like Christ, aren't we then always on church business?  In regards to that why should a priest who is a visual leader and ordained minister and our father in our local Christian community not be allowed to wear clerics whenever possible since it helps identify him as our father?  Seeing a cleric in his clerical garb may be a visual to remind us of the sacrament that his ordination bestowed upon him and that if he has submitted to the office of his clerical status and ALL the responsibilities it involves then it may help us take a look at our current status in our path to theosis.  Now, mowing grass or digging a ditch in a cassock IS possible but that is besides the point.  Roman collars do not help Orthodox Christian clerics stand out from any other community that uses the word Christ in their belief structure.  No one else that would be immediately recognizable by society at large wears a cassock like Orthodox Christian clergy, save for Greek Catholic Clergy.  Most people in the country are roughly aware of what a Greek or Russian Orthodox person is.  No one would doubt that there must be something special about that bearded man with his black hat and long flowing black robe with that giant cross about his neck.  Be proud of what we have to share with the world!  I had a wise priest say that praying the Our Father with non-Orthodox kind of says that we agree with the non-Orthodox present and their non-Orthodox beliefs. 
To be honest I know many people who wear cassocks on the way to church and on church business.  They eat out in their cassocks after church. They go to the hospital in cassock, they go to the funeral home in cassock.  No one looks at them weird, no one questions.  If anything they may ask neat questions and want to learn!  If we believe the world was saved through Christ and that the Orthodox Church is the vessel that can lead men towards that Salvation then we need to witness.  Why conform to society? Make them know who we are.  A priest/deacon in cassock in public is a perfect way to start teaching.  There is no shame in it.  It is the garb the Bishop vested them in when they first took their steps are a seminarian or as a reader.  It's a silent witness.  It's not "in your face."  We need to get noticed and we're not going to get noticed if Father A and Panimatka A are out and about at the grocery store with him sporting a roman collar.  People just think, oh he's Lutheran.  If he's sporting the cassock people ask questions and I've seen people come to church through this.  I've seen people who just moved into the area find their church because they ran into the priest in cassock at the store.
But as far as a priest wearing it all the time, really, it's a good thing if he does.  But he's a man too, if he's at his kid's football game why not blend in and have the focus be on the kid not the priest in cassock in the stands.  Really, in the end, I rest my case in my previous posts.

Username,

You'll really get no argument from me.  My godfather, who is now a priest, used to tell me how people would be more naturally attracted to a priest in a cassock simply because it is not ordinary and that the cassock confirms just how different the Orthodox faith is from others.  He said many times that while he was in NY (he studied at St. Vlad's), people would come up to him all the time and ask him about his clerical garb and then the discussion naturally proceeded to Orthodoxy.  He thought of it as a good means for evangelism.
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« Reply #23 on: April 27, 2010, 05:41:23 PM »

^ The other day, while walking into a grocery story, someone said (from their car), "Martial arts, right?" Cheesy

Me: "No.  Priest."

Him: "Oh.  Priest?"  I should have stuck around to tell him more, but I was in the middle of an extremely busy day.
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« Reply #24 on: April 28, 2010, 10:07:20 AM »

I agree that lay people worry about this way too much, rather you should worry about what character of man your priest is - beware of wolves in sheep's clothing!


A fair quip which cuts either way: in that the *outward* character of the man can cloak the inward disposition of his heart.  The old adage you can't judge a book by its cover is only applicable to the quality of its contents; certainly when you are looking for a fairy tale you wouldn't pick up a romance novel, or when you needed a service manuel you wouldn't purchase a hot rod magazine, would you?

Yes, you can't judge a book by its cover, but it helps you to know the category to which the book belongs (O', that dewey thing can help also).  Only time with the book will reveal its actual worthiness, sorta like accepting a new friend: everything is out in the open for possibilities, but everything is reserved in case of probabilities.  There are those occasional good-ones whose inside and out are the same, God bless them everyone.

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« Reply #25 on: May 08, 2010, 06:08:26 AM »

Here in the UK I have never seen an Orthodox clergyman wearing a Roman collar. I've noticed quite a few Americans in different pictures doing so. As an ex-Anglican minister I have a few in the attic which i keep meaning to offer to any local Protestant ministers I come across. For those of you over there in the US, can you please tell me what the practice amongst the Greek clergymen is? Thank you.
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« Reply #26 on: May 11, 2010, 11:50:24 AM »

For those of you over there in the US, can you please tell me what the practice amongst the Greek clergymen is? Thank you.

I've seen quite a few Greek-American clergymen wearing roman collars and are clean shaven, but also many who are bearded and wear cassocks.
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« Reply #27 on: May 11, 2010, 12:22:04 PM »

For those of you over there in the US, can you please tell me what the practice amongst the Greek clergymen is? Thank you.

I've seen quite a few Greek-American clergymen wearing roman collars and are clean shaven, but also many who are bearded and wear cassocks.

I've even seen clean-shaven priests wear cassocks!!   Shocked

Where will the madness end???!!!

 Tongue  Grin  laugh
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« Reply #28 on: May 12, 2010, 11:06:31 AM »

I've never seen a priest in non-priestly attire, but then I've never seen one at the gym or something like that, or worse yet, at the beach. I can understand your reluctance, though. It would probably indeed seem... a bit off, somehow. Still, I'd agree with Salpy, and ask for a blessing if that was my normal custom.

Well anyway, I take this back. Saw my priest on Monday when he wasn't wearing priestly attire. He looked just like any other Joe. Was it being this way in 19th century Russia? Is outrage!  Tongue
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« Reply #29 on: May 12, 2010, 04:45:34 PM »

I understand that this is an issue for many people; I've considered it myself from time to time.  

But I think the reality is this:  If I have an issue with what a priest wears, it's me that has the problem, not the priest.  If I'm scandalized by something like this, it's probably because I'm too busy judging the priest rather than looking at myself.

Personally, I'm not opposed to one or the other. Whatever the priest wears, let it be for the right reasons; if his conscience doesn't betray him, and he isn't disobeying the bishop, let's not nitpick over it.  In the end, he's still a priest, still hears confessions, still consecrates the Eucharist, and should still minister to people through his actions, regardless of what he might be wearing.
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« Reply #30 on: August 01, 2010, 01:06:01 AM »

Does this priest look like a rapper? Also, not sure why he is wearing a neck brace/big scarf.

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« Reply #31 on: August 01, 2010, 07:17:59 AM »

IMO Bishop Athanasius is wearing a cervical collar.
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« Reply #32 on: August 02, 2010, 12:07:00 PM »

IMO Bishop Athanasius is wearing a cervical collar.

Are you quite sure that's what you mean?  Shocked
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« Reply #33 on: August 02, 2010, 03:14:06 PM »

I meant that for me on that picture he is wearing that thing you have to wear when your cervical bones are damaged.
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« Reply #34 on: August 02, 2010, 04:23:41 PM »

"A cervical collar (also neck brace) is an orthopedic piece of medical equipment used to support the cervical portion of a patient's spinal cord, and their head. It is also used by emergency medical services personnel for victims of traumatic head or neck injuries, [1] and can be used to treat chronic medical conditions."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cervical_collar
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« Reply #35 on: August 02, 2010, 04:32:18 PM »

IMO Bishop Athanasius is wearing a cervical collar.

Are you quite sure that's what you mean?  Shocked

That's what it looks like (i.e. the "collar" around Bishop Afanasiey's neck) to me, too.
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« Reply #36 on: August 02, 2010, 04:46:23 PM »

Coming from a family of priests, I can assure you that priests do not always wear 'priestly' attire and yes, those with families have even been known to take them on vacation and stay at the beach or go to Disneyworld with their children! If that bothers you, you are the person with the problem, not the priest and his family.

I have to say that I get tired of the comments from many here that seem to presuppose that all Orthodox, laity and clergy alike, need to play a public charade to present an outward appearance that borders on what one would properly expect a monk or a nun to observe rather than people living in the world.

Of course a clergyman should present himself as a priest in garb appropriate to his tradition, in a modest manner. All of us should dress modestly and not in accord with the latest outrageous fashion.

By the way, it is easy to pick out a priest on vacation, look for a man who looks uncomfortable in shorts wearing black shoes and high black socks. Could be!

Don't sweat the small stuff as we say in the States!

Amen!

("black shoes and black socks--brings back memories. Smiley)
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« Reply #37 on: August 10, 2010, 12:54:21 PM »

most priests I've seen in public wear a Kassak (long black robe) and a cross when shopping/being in public.  at Church camp, the priest leading the hike hiked in his kassak, while my parish priest put on regular pants and a black shirt with white collar, like a Western priest.
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« Reply #38 on: August 10, 2010, 03:48:48 PM »

Quote
In Greece and Cyprus, the clergy are actually required by law to wear the full clerical garb when in public: antiri (cassock), exorasson (rassa with large sleeves), and kalamafki (hat). In the hot summer, some clergy wear their normal cassock but, to avoid the heat, throw their exorasson over their shoulder instead of putting it on, thereby "wearing" everything they are required to. Outside of the cities, it's less strict.

I didn't realize this was statutory, but I must admit I loved seeing so many black garbed priests walking around in Greece. I felt like I was home.

Quote
Met PHILIP of the Antiochian Archdiocese has said repeatedly that unless a priest (Eastern Rite) is working officially on the job, he should either be wearing the Latin collar and suit or just going about in plain clothes.   Apparently, there were some priests who would do everything in their cassock, from mowing the lawn (not kidding on this one) to going shopping so this directive was meant to put an end to that.  WHen priests of our archdiocese travel, I have noticed that they do so in a suit with the Latin collar.

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« Reply #39 on: August 12, 2010, 11:06:13 AM »

In former USSR many of the clergy take off the cassock when off duty. They don't have the white collar in Russia, people think it's like Catholic or protestant.
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« Reply #40 on: August 12, 2010, 12:34:36 PM »

Most folks think I am a 'fundeeementalist' when they see me about town, but my reasons for appearing as I do have more to do with practical issues than anything.

I had long hair and a beard before I converted.  My family always had facial hair in various motifs.

I wear a cassock to deal with the heat and also because of my recent medical issues which have made wearing a belt rather uncomfortable, and so a cassock affords me the opportunity to wear loose-fitting pants that just don't go well with a collared shirt.  Plus, those shirts, even the short-sleeve obnes, are heat traps.

If I'm going to wear black, I want circulation.

Funny story: I was in my cassock while taking my daughter to her dance class.  One of the adult students came up and, with great anticipation, asked me what kind of dance I was 'into.'
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« Reply #41 on: August 12, 2010, 01:06:25 PM »

In former USSR many of the clergy take off the cassock when off duty. They don't have the white collar in Russia, people think it's like Catholic or protestant.

It is Catholic/protestant.  They were put into use in the Orthodox Church to make our clergy look like heterodox clergy.  I dislike the collar because we should be proud to be Orthodox, not hoping to blend in with sectarians.

It also carries the presumption that people are too stupid to figure out that a man in a cassock is a priest or deacon.  The only reason people put strange questions to our priests in cassocks now is because they don't know any better.   If more Orthodox priests wear real priestly attire instead of collars out in the world, people will eventually learn.
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« Reply #42 on: August 12, 2010, 01:16:48 PM »

my reasons for appearing as I do have more to do with practical issues than anything.


I'm glad to see our priests dressed as priests, but if these are your reasons maybe suspenders and one of those battery powered fans would be a better option?   Grin
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« Reply #43 on: August 12, 2010, 01:26:41 PM »

In former USSR many of the clergy take off the cassock when off duty. They don't have the white collar in Russia, people think it's like Catholic or protestant.
It is Catholic/protestant.  They were put into use in the Orthodox Church to make our clergy look like heterodox clergy.  I dislike the collar because we should be proud to be Orthodox, not hoping to blend in with sectarians.
It also carries the presumption that people are too stupid to figure out that a man in a cassock is a priest or deacon.  The only reason people put strange questions to our priests in cassocks now is because they don't know any better.   If more Orthodox priests wear real priestly attire instead of collars out in the world, people will eventually learn.

Careful!  Several Orthodox saints wore suit and collar regularly (St. Raphael of Brooklyn, for example). 
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« Reply #44 on: August 12, 2010, 01:37:51 PM »

A priest I knew from Chicago told me one day in the 1980s he was walking down the street wearing his rasso and a little girl and her mother were passing on the sidewalk. The girl said, "Look, Mommy!! An ayatollah!" And her mother nervously escorted her past the priest.

Rather than a Roman collar, I think it would be more helpful for Orthodox priests in non-Orthodox countries to follow the albeit late Russian custom of wearing a cross while in cassock.
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« Reply #45 on: August 12, 2010, 01:40:40 PM »

Don't sweat the small stuff as we say in the States!

Exactly. Sorry but this thread reeks of 'insecure convert', as much as I like traditional clerical garb, Roman and the various Eastern kinds.

Looking a little at history: the RCs in the US, setting an example I've seen Orthodox priests follow, in 1884 at their Council of Baltimore decided the priestly church uniform would be cassock and biretta (like a skufia) but the street one a black suit and clerical collar, which I think the Anglicans invented. The Archdiocese of New York's priestly street uniform in the 1930s-1960s was that and a black fedora or homburg hat. Apparently Met. Philip has adopted a modified version of that. His call.

I understand in the late 1800s-early 1900s St Tikhon said priests in the US could wear suits and trim their beards, and legend has it there's a photo of him in a suit. (After reading the thread I think it could have been St Raphael.)

So many generations of Orthodox priests in America have looked like that, from St T's Russian dioceses/Metropolia/OCA where the older generation of priests look like RC priests, clean-shaven with black shirt/white-tab collar, to the Greek Orthodox; once at a Greek Orthodox gathering I met several older ones who all were clean-shaven and wore black suits with the Anglican white band collar all the way round the neck. Dressed just like conservative Episcopal priests.

Those who have nothing to prove aren't uptight about wearing civilian clothes off-duty, which seems the attitude in Europe.

I'd say if you know the priest, sure, ask for his blessing. It's just like when he's in uniform; he's usually not vested then either.
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« Reply #46 on: August 12, 2010, 02:05:09 PM »

Heaven forbid I should walk around with those things and look strange!   Cheesy

If given the option, I would continue to dress as I dress because it has allowed me to share the Church through the questions I receive, something that never happens when I wear the 'collar,' since most folks assume (wrongly) that they know I am RC/Episcopal/Presbyterian/etc.

In the Antiochian Archdiocese, the older immigrant generation frowns upon cassocks, perhaps in part because they have worked very hard to be accepted by American society and want to appear 'modern.'  Even converts from the '50s generation broke in that direction as well.

However, the Gen X folks like myself don't have the same view: collars have a rather negative connotation for the most part.  Our parents, to varying degrees, were more than likely influenced by the hippie movement and cassock are, like, cool, man.  We have different taste in music as well: my young people are totally into Byzantine, and can't be bothered with four-part music which sounds 'weird' to them (they are from a generation raised without the big Hollywood musical productions of the 1950s or mandatory school music programs, mind you).

I don't worry about how I dress, because once I start talking people know exactly where I come from and who I am.  I can't hide that anywhere I go, so I don't worry about it.  perhaps my statement was a little overstated, because I do see that clergy appearance should be a matter of obedience rather than persoanl taste.  However, the common experience right now is that personal preference wins out, since neither uniform has been absolutely abolished.

My brethren who were able to attend the Antiochian Clergy Symposium reported all manner of garb, from collars to cassocks.  I was not able to go for health reasons, but I'm sure I would have brought a collar AND a cassock because I never know which way the wind will blow.



my reasons for appearing as I do have more to do with practical issues than anything.


I'm glad to see our priests dressed as priests, but if these are your reasons maybe suspenders and one of those battery powered fans would be a better option?   Grin
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« Reply #47 on: August 12, 2010, 06:03:45 PM »

In former USSR many of the clergy take off the cassock when off duty. They don't have the white collar in Russia, people think it's like Catholic or protestant.
It is Catholic/protestant.  They were put into use in the Orthodox Church to make our clergy look like heterodox clergy.  I dislike the collar because we should be proud to be Orthodox, not hoping to blend in with sectarians.
It also carries the presumption that people are too stupid to figure out that a man in a cassock is a priest or deacon.  The only reason people put strange questions to our priests in cassocks now is because they don't know any better.   If more Orthodox priests wear real priestly attire instead of collars out in the world, people will eventually learn.

Careful!  Several Orthodox saints wore suit and collar regularly (St. Raphael of Brooklyn, for example). 

I didn't say priests in collars couldn't be holy.  I just really dislike that kind of clothing, both for itself and for the reasons it's worn by Orthodox priests.  I'd much rather see a priest in street clothes than a collar.
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« Reply #48 on: August 16, 2010, 07:28:05 PM »

There are two hieromonks in "my" monastery that work in the world.  One dresses in a jacket and tie for his job as a legal researcher for a Silicon Valley law firm, and the other is a construction worker who used to own his own construction firm.  I'm sometimes there on weekdays, and I'm always a little surprised to see Father in a tee shirt, jeans, and baseball cap when he comes home from work.   Grin
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