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Author Topic: Priestly Attire  (Read 5397 times) Average Rating: 0
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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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