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Author Topic: Why do some Orthodox priests wear the Roman collar?  (Read 9078 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: June 28, 2010, 11:21:11 PM »

Glory to Jesus Christ!

I must admit that I'm really and truly befuddled by this. I see pictures (and in person) of Orthodox priests and hierarchs even wearing the Roman collar that Roman Catholics and some Protestant clergy wear. Clearly this is not a part of our tradition. My priest (Bulgarian diocese) at my home parish in VA always wears a cassock, but in Greek churches and Antiochian churches I have visited I've seen the priests and deacons where the Roman collar. What gives here?

Please don't misunderstand. I don't think they're "graceless" and it doesn't cause me to doubt my faith, but I think it's really bizarre that they don't wear what was given them throughout years upon years of tradition. Is it because some Orthodox had an inferiority complex when they can to this country so they wanted to "blend in" better? Is there any cry to return to not looking like a Roman Catholic or Protestant clergy and looking like an Orthodox one?

Any insights would be helpful.

In Christ,
Andrew
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« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2010, 11:30:22 PM »

Antiochian clergy in America are generally not allowed to wear cassocks outside church.

Our clerics wear "Roman collars" because they identify people as clergyman in the western world. I'm pretty sure Orthodox priests in the middle east will also sometimes wear collars. Korean Orthodox priests do.

If I'm not mistaken, the clerical collar's origin is simply from the white dress shirt  worn under cassocks, visible through the unbuttoned top tip of the cassock.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2010, 11:31:13 PM by samkim » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2010, 11:36:53 PM »

Glory to Jesus Christ!

I must admit that I'm really and truly befuddled by this. I see pictures (and in person) of Orthodox priests and hierarchs even wearing the Roman collar that Roman Catholics and some Protestant clergy wear. Clearly this is not a part of our tradition. My priest (Bulgarian diocese) at my home parish in VA always wears a cassock, but in Greek churches and Antiochian churches I have visited I've seen the priests and deacons where the Roman collar. What gives here?

Please don't misunderstand. I don't think they're "graceless" and it doesn't cause me to doubt my faith, but I think it's really bizarre that they don't wear what was given them throughout years upon years of tradition. Is it because some Orthodox had an inferiority complex when they can to this country so they wanted to "blend in" better? Is there any cry to return to not looking like a Roman Catholic or Protestant clergy and looking like an Orthodox one?

Any insights would be helpful.

In Christ,
Andrew

Most I see wear one wear it simply as a way to be identified as a Priest to non-Orthodox. Most non-Orthodox are not going to recognize them as a Priest unless they have the collar on. Even if they wear their cross, non-Orthodox will have no clue who or what they are. We still only make up about .3%-1% of the total United States population, so the vast majority are not going to have a clue what a cassock/riassa is, and they have no clue what one means. So I think that many Orthodox clergy wear the collar so as to be identified as as Priest. (this could be helpful both for the average person, as well as other figures like policemen who might be suspicious of someone wearing a black or grey cloak walking around town Wink)

Hmm... just learned something new while reading about clerical collars... Apparently Roman Catholics and some Protestant denominations have their Priests wear cassocks...
« Last Edit: June 28, 2010, 11:46:35 PM by 88Devin12 » Logged
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« Reply #3 on: June 29, 2010, 12:47:48 AM »

Glory to Jesus Christ!

I must admit that I'm really and truly befuddled by this. I see pictures (and in person) of Orthodox priests and hierarchs even wearing the Roman collar that Roman Catholics and some Protestant clergy wear. Clearly this is not a part of our tradition. My priest (Bulgarian diocese) at my home parish in VA always wears a cassock, but in Greek churches and Antiochian churches I have visited I've seen the priests and deacons where the Roman collar. What gives here?

Please don't misunderstand. I don't think they're "graceless" and it doesn't cause me to doubt my faith, but I think it's really bizarre that they don't wear what was given them throughout years upon years of tradition. Is it because some Orthodox had an inferiority complex when they can to this country so they wanted to "blend in" better? Is there any cry to return to not looking like a Roman Catholic or Protestant clergy and looking like an Orthodox one?

Any insights would be helpful.

In Christ,
Andrew

Most I see wear one wear it simply as a way to be identified as a Priest to non-Orthodox. Most non-Orthodox are not going to recognize them as a Priest unless they have the collar on. Even if they wear their cross, non-Orthodox will have no clue who or what they are. We still only make up about .3%-1% of the total United States population, so the vast majority are not going to have a clue what a cassock/riassa is, and they have no clue what one means. So I think that many Orthodox clergy wear the collar so as to be identified as as Priest. (this could be helpful both for the average person, as well as other figures like policemen who might be suspicious of someone wearing a black or grey cloak walking around town Wink)

Hmm... just learned something new while reading about clerical collars... Apparently Roman Catholics and some Protestant denominations have their Priests wear cassocks...

Yep. My priest always wears a cassock when acting liturgically, and occasionally about. Usually he wears the collared shirt and jacket combo, though. A lot of the newer orthodox Catholic priests, like in the FSSP and the like, tend to wear the cassocks around.

It's part of the official dress of priests. The jacket and shirt are just modern dress approved for clerical wear. You always see the Pope in a cassock, for example. Do not forget that our cassocks are much tighter fitting and have a sash around the waist.
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« Reply #4 on: June 29, 2010, 02:51:03 AM »

The jacket and shirt are just modern dress approved for clerical wear.

Why the cassocs where abandoned in the first place? When did it happened? Are they more prevalent in the more traditional RC lands?
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« Reply #5 on: June 29, 2010, 08:30:14 AM »

One should remember that in the west cassocks without the white collar attached are worn by non-priests: I wear one very Sunday during choir season.
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« Reply #6 on: June 29, 2010, 10:46:15 AM »

Glory to Jesus Christ!


Please don't misunderstand. I don't think they're "graceless" and it doesn't cause me to doubt my faith, but I think it's really bizarre that they don't wear what was given them throughout years upon years of tradition. Is it because some Orthodox had an inferiority complex when they can to this country so they wanted to "blend in" better? Is there any cry to return to not looking like a Roman Catholic or Protestant clergy and looking like an Orthodox one?

Any insights would be helpful.

In Christ,
Andrew

Here is a quote from a Holy Synod ruling for priests serving ourside Russia in Non-Orthodox lands from 1820 so you can see it has nothing to do with an "inferiority complex" but rule from the Holy Synod.

"On the basis of Holy Synod determination of 1 May 1820 approved by the
Autocrat, clergy posted to churches abroad, are given a gold pectoral cross from
the Royal offices which are theirs to keep if they have served abroad for seven
or more years; if they do not, the cross is returned to the Royal office."

"Clergy serving abroad have the right to trim their hair and may, outside of
official functions, wear secular attire; in this case their pectoral cross is
not worn".

(See Nechayev  "Directions for Sacred Ministers" SPB 1903; pp 437-8)
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« Reply #7 on: June 29, 2010, 10:50:06 AM »

Any insights would be helpful.

Orthodox clergy outside of Russian Alaska have been wearing clerical collars instead of cassocks for as long as there have been full-fledged parishes in the US. St. Raphael Hawaweeny and St. Alexander Hotovitzky are two early examples, but there are plenty of others.

Here's an article on the subject: http://orthodoxhistory.org/2009/12/cassocks-or-collars/

In Romania, most of the priests I know just wear totally normal clothes when they aren't at church or at a monastery.

In Greece, clergy are required by law to wear clerical garb in public. That's been the case for a long time, going back to the late Byzantine period. That might explain why the earliest generations of Greek clergy in the US tended to continue the practice. However, the first Greek seminary, established in Pomfret, CT in 1937, required seminarians to be clean-shaven and wear clerical collars, so that's why most of the oldest Greek priests still alive today appear that way. Such was seen as appropriate to ministry in this country, and, also, a deterrent to vandalism and attack. By the late 1930s, beards were no longer "normal," and groups like the KKK targeted Greek Orthodox churches, community centers, businesses, and clergy. Incidentally, it was those generations of Greek priests in the 40s, 50s, 60s, and 70s that shepherded, by far, the most growth in the history of Orthodoxy in America.
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« Reply #8 on: June 29, 2010, 10:51:24 AM »

Sts. Raphael of Brooklyn, Tikhon of Moscow, John of Chicago, Alexander of New York, etc. often wore secular dress.
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« Reply #9 on: June 29, 2010, 11:01:22 AM »

Quote
In Romania, most of the priests I know just wear totally normal clothes when they weren't at church or at a monastery.
This is a very recent development, as far as I know; there was a time, not that long ago, when priests would wear their cassock as a way of "dressing up" even when not attending church functions of course. Like, I remember, coming to the weekly market day in our town. The older also used to wear a large black  hat like this:
http://www.techworld.com/cmsdata/news/3219481/Black%20hat.jpg
Of corse no priest was expected to wear a cassock when working in the field.
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« Reply #10 on: June 29, 2010, 11:04:05 AM »

Quote
In Romania, most of the priests I know just wear totally normal clothes when they weren't at church or at a monastery.
This is a very recent development, as far as I know; there was a time, not that long ago, when priests would wear their cassock as a way of "dressing up" even when not attending church functions of course.

Sure. But is your experience in the last 10 or 20 years similar to mine?
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« Reply #11 on: June 29, 2010, 11:18:22 AM »

Generally yes, I'll have to say, although, in the early nineties, you could still spot many  priests, the older generally-where I come from, at least- wearing the cassock for all sorts of business they had in town.
Like this one:
http://commondatastorage.googleapis.com/static.panoramio.com/photos/original/14540133.jpg
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« Reply #12 on: June 29, 2010, 11:25:22 AM »

The origin of the dog collar is actually Anglican, not Roman. It was popularized by the Oxford Movement where it was identified as academic attire, only being appropriate dress for a Doctor of Divinity. However, the Latins, who were forbidden by law from wearing Cassocks in public in England, did popularize it and extended its use to non-academics.

So the problem with your priests (the overwhelming majority of which do not have a D.Div.) wearing the collar is not that it's 'Catholic' but that they're assuming an academic honour they're not entitled to. A nice suit would be a much more classy approach. Wink
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« Reply #13 on: June 29, 2010, 12:05:25 PM »

Personally, I think if they are going to wear collars than we need to create our own distinctive look so that people know they are Orthodox Priests. Wearing a Roman collar makes you look like a Roman and Protestant collars make you look protestant so people will assume you to be heterodox. Besides why would anyone want to look like a "priest" from another faith community? I believe many Orthodox would not even believe that there is such a possibility as a priest outside of the OC. I think we need to stop conforming to society and start transforming it.
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« Reply #14 on: June 29, 2010, 12:15:47 PM »

Glory to Jesus Christ!


Please don't misunderstand. I don't think they're "graceless" and it doesn't cause me to doubt my faith, but I think it's really bizarre that they don't wear what was given them throughout years upon years of tradition. Is it because some Orthodox had an inferiority complex when they can to this country so they wanted to "blend in" better? Is there any cry to return to not looking like a Roman Catholic or Protestant clergy and looking like an Orthodox one?

Any insights would be helpful.

In Christ,
Andrew

Here is a quote from a Holy Synod ruling for priests serving ourside Russia in Non-Orthodox lands from 1820 so you can see it has nothing to do with an "inferiority complex" but rule from the Holy Synod.

"On the basis of Holy Synod determination of 1 May 1820 approved by the
Autocrat, clergy posted to churches abroad, are given a gold pectoral cross from
the Royal offices which are theirs to keep if they have served abroad for seven
or more years; if they do not, the cross is returned to the Royal office."

"Clergy serving abroad have the right to trim their hair and may, outside of
official functions, wear secular attire; in this case their pectoral cross is
not worn".

(See Nechayev  "Directions for Sacred Ministers" SPB 1903; pp 437-8)

Maybe I'm not seeing what you are, but I don't think this talks about taking the clericals from a heterodox and donning them as their own. It's possible that the modern clericals for Western Christians were not even in existence at this point. I'm not advocating that priests and hierarchs wear cassocks all the time.

My priest is a private contractor in addition to his priestly service and duties and he wears jeans and a long sleeve shirt a lot, especially when he's doing repairs for the church or things of that nature. I think it would be nice for people to see Orthodox clergy wearing what they've always worn, even if it is a little unknown to a particular area. I'm sure that when St. Herman went to Alaska, they natives weren't used to see men walk around in cassocks and a klobuk.

Should Orthodoxy ever make inroads in traditionally Islamic countries, do any of you think that the priests should dress like imams there?

In Christ,
Andrew
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« Reply #15 on: June 29, 2010, 12:17:25 PM »

Personally, I think if they are going to wear collars than we need to create our own distinctive look so that people know they are Orthodox Priests. Wearing a Roman collar makes you look like a Roman and Protestant collars make you look protestant so people will assume you to be heterodox. Besides why would anyone want to look like a "priest" from another faith community? I believe many Orthodox would not even believe that there is such a possibility as a priest outside of the OC. I think we need to stop conforming to society and start transforming it.
Amen. This is exactly how I understand it. If I want to ask a blessing from a priest, it would be nice to know right from the outset that he's Orthodox rather than having to guess and come to find out that he's a Methodist minister or a Roman Catholic deacon.

Just my 2 cents. Smiley

In Christ,
Andrew
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« Reply #16 on: June 29, 2010, 12:27:27 PM »

Personally, I think if they are going to wear collars than we need to create our own distinctive look so that people know they are Orthodox Priests. Wearing a Roman collar makes you look like a Roman and Protestant collars make you look protestant so people will assume you to be heterodox. Besides why would anyone want to look like a "priest" from another faith community? I believe many Orthodox would not even believe that there is such a possibility as a priest outside of the OC. I think we need to stop conforming to society and start transforming it.

But the thing is, I don't think we can transform society at this point, there are only 1mil to 3mil of us in a country of over 307mil. We only make up .3%-1% of the total population. Most Orthodox Christians are focused in major cities where they are a significant minority. The vast majority of the country has never seen an Orthodox Christian (or at least known it).

I also think that it is helpful to be identified as a Priest. First of all, it helps Orthodox Priests avoid suspicion by the authorities. Second, if Orthodox Priests are working in hospice or visiting a hospital, it's probably helpful for them to be identified as being a Priest and not just a nutjob wearing a black cloak. It also helps identify our Priests as being Christians and not as someone from another religion.

A couple examples:
Our Priest has often been mistaken for a Muslim or a Jewish man because he has had his cloak on. Even with his pectoral cross, people seem to be oblivious to it.

I also know another Priest who works in hospice in a major metropolitan area of over 2 million people. I don't know if he wears a collar or not, but if he did, it would help identify him to the families as being a Christian Priest.

I think it is also helpful to identify Orthodox Priests, especially if the Priests have semi-long or long beards, and/or are wearing their hats. (whether its a Kamilavki or a Skufia)

I wished we were a greater minority, but unfortunately, here in America, we aren't. I don't think we should ever compromise our faith or anything like that to conform to a foreign culture, but minor things like collars aren't a big deal. (I actually think pews are a bigger deal than collars, but that is a different discussion that shouldn't be in this thread)
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« Reply #17 on: June 29, 2010, 12:35:22 PM »

Glory to Jesus Christ!


Please don't misunderstand. I don't think they're "graceless" and it doesn't cause me to doubt my faith, but I think it's really bizarre that they don't wear what was given them throughout years upon years of tradition. Is it because some Orthodox had an inferiority complex when they can to this country so they wanted to "blend in" better? Is there any cry to return to not looking like a Roman Catholic or Protestant clergy and looking like an Orthodox one?

Any insights would be helpful.

In Christ,
Andrew

Here is a quote from a Holy Synod ruling for priests serving ourside Russia in Non-Orthodox lands from 1820 so you can see it has nothing to do with an "inferiority complex" but rule from the Holy Synod.

"On the basis of Holy Synod determination of 1 May 1820 approved by the
Autocrat, clergy posted to churches abroad, are given a gold pectoral cross from
the Royal offices which are theirs to keep if they have served abroad for seven
or more years; if they do not, the cross is returned to the Royal office."

"Clergy serving abroad have the right to trim their hair and may, outside of
official functions, wear secular attire; in this case their pectoral cross is
not worn".

(See Nechayev  "Directions for Sacred Ministers" SPB 1903; pp 437-8)

Maybe I'm not seeing what you are, but I don't think this talks about taking the clericals from a heterodox and donning them as their own. It's possible that the modern clericals for Western Christians were not even in existence at this point. I'm not advocating that priests and hierarchs wear cassocks all the time.

My priest is a private contractor in addition to his priestly service and duties and he wears jeans and a long sleeve shirt a lot, especially when he's doing repairs for the church or things of that nature. I think it would be nice for people to see Orthodox clergy wearing what they've always worn, even if it is a little unknown to a particular area. I'm sure that when St. Herman went to Alaska, they natives weren't used to see men walk around in cassocks and a klobuk.

Should Orthodoxy ever make inroads in traditionally Islamic countries, do any of you think that the priests should dress like imams there?

In Christ,
Andrew

Actually, Orthodox clerical dress in Islamic countries has been regulated by the government. The rules differ depending on the locality. BTW, almost all "traditionally Islamic countries" were at one time predominately Christian.
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« Reply #18 on: June 29, 2010, 12:59:38 PM »



We should have the homilist for the day don preaching tabs as well, as that would help people to know who will be speaking that day.
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« Reply #19 on: June 29, 2010, 01:22:25 PM »

They do it because we Catholics are infiltrating the Eastern Orthodox Church and plan to take over.  Wink
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« Reply #20 on: June 29, 2010, 01:23:37 PM »

"But the thing is, I don't think we can transform society at this point, there are only 1mil to 3mil of us in a country of over 307mil. We only make up .3%-1% of the total population. Most Orthodox Christians are focused in major cities where they are a significant minority. The vast majority of the country has never seen an Orthodox Christian (or at least known it)."

So the answer to this is to have the clergy walk around wearing camouflage? Who cares if heterodox recognize them as priests? He can't do anything for them unless they want to convert. I on the other hand may need an Orthodox Priest but would not think about going to a Roman lay person dressed up as a cleric for help.  If that person was in fact an orthodox priest why is he hiding from his flock? I think it is a side effect of ecumenism. This concept that we are all the same when we are not. Just my opinion any one is free to have their own we can agree to disagree. I also don't think the first Christians, who made up  0.0000000000000000001 % of the population waited for a majority position before they started to transform society. Its an ongoing process that requires us to evangelize and uphold the Truth of Orthodoxy against all the heresies in this world.
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« Reply #21 on: June 29, 2010, 01:30:39 PM »

They do it because we Catholics are infiltrating the Eastern Orthodox Church and plan to take over.  Wink

Hahaha. No, I don't believe that. Tongue But, I'll save that comment for some of our more "gifted" posters who seem to think so.

In Christ,
Andrew
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« Reply #22 on: June 29, 2010, 01:31:29 PM »



We should have the homilist for the day don preaching tabs as well, as that would help people to know who will be speaking that day.
Brilliant! Why couldn't I think of that?!

In Christ,
Andrew
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« Reply #23 on: June 29, 2010, 01:33:10 PM »

"But the thing is, I don't think we can transform society at this point, there are only 1mil to 3mil of us in a country of over 307mil. We only make up .3%-1% of the total population. Most Orthodox Christians are focused in major cities where they are a significant minority. The vast majority of the country has never seen an Orthodox Christian (or at least known it)."

So the answer to this is to have the clergy walk around wearing camouflage? Who cares if heterodox recognize them as priests? He can't do anything for them unless they want to convert. I on the other hand may need an Orthodox Priest but would not think about going to a Roman lay person dressed up as a cleric for help.  If that person was in fact an orthodox priest why is he hiding from his flock? I think it is a side effect of ecumenism. This concept that we are all the same when we are not. Just my opinion any one is free to have their own we can agree to disagree. I also don't think the first Christians, who made up  0.0000000000000000001 % of the population waited for a majority position before they started to transform society. Its an ongoing process that requires us to evangelize and uphold the Truth of Orthodoxy against all the heresies in this world.

I don't think we are on the same page here, I'm not suggesting that our Priests should wear suits and ties with a collar on. I think our Priests should actually wear their clerical garb, the cassock, as well as (depending on the weather) the vest, hat, coat, etc...
However, I don't think it's a bad idea for the Priest to also have the collar on. Whenever I have seen our Priest with a collar on (which I think is rare), it is always underneath his cassock. You can't see the entire collar, only a small portion of it.
It kind of looks like this:
http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/40076000/jpg/_40076701_priest_ap_203body.jpg
But instead of being the collar of the undershirt, it's a clerical collar.

I recall a story last year of a visiting Orthodox Priest who was beaten by an ignorant American who thought he was a terrorist (beard + black cloak = terrorist I guess), a collar might not have saved him from being beaten (because the guy seemed pretty ignorant from the news story), but it may have helped.

Remember, we live in a place and time where we are not only the minority, but that also in America, anyone that stands out and seems suspicious, will probably get reported to the authorities. I would hate to see an Orthodox Priest be beaten or shot because some ignorant person thinks he is a criminal, or worse, a terrorist.
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« Reply #24 on: June 29, 2010, 02:22:26 PM »

I remember that story. The guy that attacked had some real problems. I believe that they alluded to him either being on drugs or steroids. He also changed his story and said that the priest asked for sex. Point is I don't disagree that they may need a modified form of clerical dress but it has to be one that identifies them as what they are. I doubt they would want to be confused with imams or rabbis etc And by choosing roman/Anglican/protestant clerical dress are we not giving legitimacy to these heterodox creeds?
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« Reply #25 on: June 29, 2010, 02:55:27 PM »

I remember that story. The guy that attacked had some real problems. I believe that they alluded to him either being on drugs or steroids. He also changed his story and said that the priest asked for sex. Point is I don't disagree that they may need a modified form of clerical dress but it has to be one that identifies them as what they are. I doubt they would want to be confused with imams or rabbis etc And by choosing roman/Anglican/protestant clerical dress are we not giving legitimacy to these heterodox creeds?

No.

By wearing phelonia and sakkos, are we not giving legitimacy to pagan Rome?
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« Reply #26 on: June 29, 2010, 03:59:05 PM »

No more than we're giving legitimacy to Imperial Byzantium (see my explanation above as to where the Orthodox episcopal vestments come from).

The descendant of a Roman riding cloak is not, I think, inappropriate to a priest, a successor of the Apostles.  Both have been sent out; they are men on a mission.
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« Reply #27 on: June 29, 2010, 04:51:38 PM »

No more than we're giving legitimacy to Imperial Byzantium (see my explanation above as to where the Orthodox episcopal vestments come from).

The descendant of a Roman riding cloak is not, I think, inappropriate to a priest, a successor of the Apostles.  Both have been sent out; they are men on a mission.

Exactly.
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« Reply #28 on: June 29, 2010, 06:15:19 PM »

No more than we're giving legitimacy to Imperial Byzantium (see my explanation above as to where the Orthodox episcopal vestments come from).

The descendant of a Roman riding cloak is not, I think, inappropriate to a priest, a successor of the Apostles.  Both have been sent out; they are men on a mission.
I would say that the two are different. On the one hand, those vestments were brought into the Church through a Christian empire in which they were living. Here, the Orthodox come to this country and some of them in attempts to blend in take after the hetertodox clergy in their dress. Perhaps, I'm just too stubborn (I am Italian after all Tongue), but I truly believe that Orthodox priests shouldn't blend in. We should be able to know who our clergy are. Clearly the clothing is outward and has no bearing on how holy a priest is, but I really believe we should be able to know who our clergy are.

The other question I have is when is this going to end? Are we going to change how our monastics look? After all, our monks don't look like the monks of the heterodox.

In Christ,
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« Reply #29 on: June 29, 2010, 06:45:58 PM »

No more than we're giving legitimacy to Imperial Byzantium (see my explanation above as to where the Orthodox episcopal vestments come from).

The descendant of a Roman riding cloak is not, I think, inappropriate to a priest, a successor of the Apostles.  Both have been sent out; they are men on a mission.
I would say that the two are different. On the one hand, those vestments were brought into the Church through a Christian empire in which they were living. Here, the Orthodox come to this country and some of them in attempts to blend in take after the hetertodox clergy in their dress. Perhaps, I'm just too stubborn (I am Italian after all Tongue), but I truly believe that Orthodox priests shouldn't blend in. We should be able to know who our clergy are. Clearly the clothing is outward and has no bearing on how holy a priest is, but I really believe we should be able to know who our clergy are.

The other question I have is when is this going to end? Are we going to change how our monastics look? After all, our monks don't look like the monks of the heterodox.

In Christ,
Andrew

But what if it's a situation where the Orthodox Priest is hassled by police? Or even assaulted by an ignorant bystander who assumes he is a terrorist? What if the Priest is serving in hospice, and the majority of people he serves (95-98%) aren't Orthodox?

I know we can't go on what-if scenarios, but I think it's more of a complex issue of being an East vs. West, Heterodox vs. Orthodox thing...

What is so un-Orthodox about our Priests wearing a collar? I think we have far more in our Church that used to be Pagan practices that were Christianized and made right and Holy. What is so different about something as small and minor about a collar? I think too many of us still have a sort of Romophobia, or rather, Westophobia. (I have it too, I know) Why don't we Christianize (Or Orthodox...ize) these things instead of rejecting them outright simply because they are used by heterodox?
The Early Christians didn't change the world by demolishing everything that wasn't Christian. They rejected some things, and Christianized other things.

I hope I'm not coming across as being argumentative or anything, I'm not intending to be. I just don't understand what is so wrong with this?
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« Reply #30 on: June 29, 2010, 08:45:50 PM »

Hassled by police? Assaulted? I am sorry but if a priest cannot pick up his cross and carry it then perhaps he needs to do something else with his life. Jesus, most of the Apostles, and countless martyrs went to their deaths for the Kingdom. Why is it a big deal? Because these collars give an untrue representation they represent different creeds. I wear a Roman collar therefore I believe in the Papacy, Immaculate Conception, Purgatory, indulgences, created grace etc. and if I wear a protestant collar I don't believe in sacraments or the Church Fathers or many other things that the Orthodox Church does. It serves no purpose to dress like "priests" of other confessions (why not dress like a buddhist monk?) I think a suit and tie would be just as appropriate than a clerical suit from another confession but alas I still would walk right by them and not know that he is an Orthodox Priest. 
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« Reply #31 on: June 29, 2010, 08:54:55 PM »

Glory to Jesus Christ!

I must admit that I'm really and truly befuddled by this. I see pictures (and in person) of Orthodox priests and hierarchs even wearing the Roman collar that Roman Catholics and some Protestant clergy wear. Clearly this is not a part of our tradition. My priest (Bulgarian diocese) at my home parish in VA always wears a cassock, but in Greek churches and Antiochian churches I have visited I've seen the priests and deacons where the Roman collar. What gives here?

Please don't misunderstand. I don't think they're "graceless" and it doesn't cause me to doubt my faith, but I think it's really bizarre that they don't wear what was given them throughout years upon years of tradition. Is it because some Orthodox had an inferiority complex when they can to this country so they wanted to "blend in" better? Is there any cry to return to not looking like a Roman Catholic or Protestant clergy and looking like an Orthodox one?

Any insights would be helpful.

In Christ,
Andrew

I have seen this mostly in the NC Churches, where there seems to be a push to fit in.  I have not seen the dog collar worn by ROCOR, any of the Old Calendar Greeks, or even in the Serbian Church that I attend. 
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« Reply #32 on: June 29, 2010, 09:10:55 PM »

I need to just leave this conversation, it isn't leading me anywhere good...

Forgive me please...
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« Reply #33 on: June 29, 2010, 11:20:55 PM »

The Church took pagan holidays, stories, clothing, and images and baptized them. If She can do that, then surely She can do the same with Christian ones.
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« Reply #34 on: June 29, 2010, 11:37:21 PM »

No more than we're giving legitimacy to Imperial Byzantium (see my explanation above as to where the Orthodox episcopal vestments come from).

The descendant of a Roman riding cloak is not, I think, inappropriate to a priest, a successor of the Apostles.  Both have been sent out; they are men on a mission.
I would say that the two are different. On the one hand, those vestments were brought into the Church through a Christian empire in which they were living. Here, the Orthodox come to this country and some of them in attempts to blend in take after the hetertodox clergy in their dress. Perhaps, I'm just too stubborn (I am Italian after all Tongue), but I truly believe that Orthodox priests shouldn't blend in. We should be able to know who our clergy are. Clearly the clothing is outward and has no bearing on how holy a priest is, but I really believe we should be able to know who our clergy are.

The other question I have is when is this going to end? Are we going to change how our monastics look? After all, our monks don't look like the monks of the heterodox.

In Christ,
Andrew

But what if it's a situation where the Orthodox Priest is hassled by police? Or even assaulted by an ignorant bystander who assumes he is a terrorist? What if the Priest is serving in hospice, and the majority of people he serves (95-98%) aren't Orthodox?

I know we can't go on what-if scenarios, but I think it's more of a complex issue of being an East vs. West, Heterodox vs. Orthodox thing...

What is so un-Orthodox about our Priests wearing a collar? I think we have far more in our Church that used to be Pagan practices that were Christianized and made right and Holy. What is so different about something as small and minor about a collar? I think too many of us still have a sort of Romophobia, or rather, Westophobia. (I have it too, I know) Why don't we Christianize (Or Orthodox...ize) these things instead of rejecting them outright simply because they are used by heterodox?
The Early Christians didn't change the world by demolishing everything that wasn't Christian. They rejected some things, and Christianized other things.

I hope I'm not coming across as being argumentative or anything, I'm not intending to be. I just don't understand what is so wrong with this?

I don't think you're being argumentative and I apologize if I myself came off as anti-Western. There does seem to be a lot of it amongst certain sections of Orthodoxy. St. John of San Francisco would classify it as "zeal without knowledge." For me, I do not understand why an Orthodox priest would want to take on another group's dress when he has his perfectly own style of dress, setting himself apart as a man of God, that has been given to him throughout generations. We aren't supposed to be of the world anyway. Wink

I'm just very wary of this little alterations. They are just as able to grow into bigger ones.

In Christ,
Andrew
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« Reply #35 on: June 29, 2010, 11:42:46 PM »

My godfather, who is now a priest, regularly wears his cassock for all his priestly duties (which means he doesn't shop or mow the lawn in it).  He doesn't like Met. PHILIP's preference for priests to wear the Roman collar or even business suits for meetings at Englewood.  In fact, my godfather has often said that he finds he gets more of a response from people from his clerical cassock than he does wearing the collar.  In his opinion (and it's well thought out and brought on by experience) many people are looking for the church that does not appear like "all the others" and his clerical garb reflects that the Orthodox Church is not like the other churches.  A person could pass an Orthodox priest on the road wearing a collar and just assume he's a Roman priest or a Lutheran pastor.  One cannot get the same impression if he were wearing the cassock.  I'm not trying to suggest a dress code for Orthodox priests or even for Orthodox laymen, but I would suggest that even the priestly vestment reflects just as much of who we are as Orthodox and how we are not "like everyone else."
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« Reply #36 on: June 30, 2010, 12:01:01 AM »

I
Quote
do not understand why an Orthodox priest would want to take on another group's dress when he has his perfectly own style of dress, setting himself apart as a man of God, that has been given to him throughout generations
well there are more than one style of dress even when one wears a cassock.
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« Reply #37 on: June 30, 2010, 12:16:35 AM »

This thread seems like a great place to ask. A deacon at my church (we have two!) has been looking for a book for a long time on the origins of the rassa. I think he said it was called "The Holy Rassa" or something like that. A former seminarian mentioned it to him in passing one time, and he's been trying to find it for years. My searches have been unsuccessful. Can anyone direct me to this or any other books with significant information on the background and the meaning of the cassock? If I could give this to him as a gift then I know that he would be absolutely thrilled!
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« Reply #38 on: June 30, 2010, 07:25:46 AM »

The jacket and shirt are just modern dress approved for clerical wear.

Why the cassocs where abandoned in the first place? When did it happened? Are they more prevalent in the more traditional RC lands?

I've no idea. Sorry I'm not much help.
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« Reply #39 on: June 30, 2010, 07:29:23 AM »

One should remember that in the west cassocks without the white collar attached are worn by non-priests: I wear one very Sunday during choir season.

You are an "arch-Protestant"? I am confused.

However, so far as I know, the only non-clergy to wear collars are seminarians in the Roman Catholic Church. The laity I see who wear choir dress, and the altar boys, do not have collars on their cassocks. The seminarians, however, when they serve when they are home, they have collars.
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« Reply #40 on: June 30, 2010, 11:53:15 AM »

Generally yes, I'll have to say, although, in the early nineties, you could still spot many  priests, the older generally-where I come from, at least- wearing the cassock for all sorts of business they had in town.
Like this one:
http://commondatastorage.googleapis.com/static.panoramio.com/photos/original/14540133.jpg

Or this:
http://www.darnick.com/halmagiu/images/foto/stefanbogdan62x.jpg
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« Reply #41 on: June 30, 2010, 01:49:35 PM »

This thread seems like a great place to ask. A deacon at my church (we have two!) has been looking for a book for a long time on the origins of the rassa. I think he said it was called "The Holy Rassa" or something like that. A former seminarian mentioned it to him in passing one time, and he's been trying to find it for years. My searches have been unsuccessful. Can anyone direct me to this or any other books with significant information on the background and the meaning of the cassock? If I could give this to him as a gift then I know that he would be absolutely thrilled!

You're probably thinking of The Blessed Rasson by John Sanidopoulos. It's hard to come by -- I think I picked up my copy about 10 years ago at a monastery -- because it was basically self-published. It's more or less a collection of term papers, although I'm fond of it because it introduced me to some juicy tidbits in Clement of Alexandria and, of course, my favorite curmudgeon, Tertullian. It's been a long time since I last read it, but I seem to recall that John wrote it as part of his course of studies in apologetics at some seminary. Anyway, it's about a lot more than just the rasson. It has several chapters, one on the rasson, the hat, the beard, the hair, etc. If you want a copy, try e-mailing John through his blog.
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« Reply #42 on: June 30, 2010, 03:44:03 PM »

You're probably thinking of The Blessed Rasson by John Sanidopoulos. It's hard to come by -- I think I picked up my copy about 10 years ago at a monastery -- because it was basically self-published. It's more or less a collection of term papers, although I'm fond of it because it introduced me to some juicy tidbits in Clement of Alexandria and, of course, my favorite curmudgeon, Tertullian. It's been a long time since I last read it, but I seem to recall that John wrote it as part of his course of studies in apologetics at some seminary. Anyway, it's about a lot more than just the rasson. It has several chapters, one on the rasson, the hat, the beard, the hair, etc. If you want a copy, try e-mailing John through his blog.

Thank you so much for the heads-up! If he is unable to provide me with a copy, would you be willing to part with yours for a fair price, or at least loan it to me?
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« Reply #43 on: June 30, 2010, 04:58:21 PM »

You're probably thinking of The Blessed Rasson by John Sanidopoulos. It's hard to come by -- I think I picked up my copy about 10 years ago at a monastery -- because it was basically self-published. It's more or less a collection of term papers, although I'm fond of it because it introduced me to some juicy tidbits in Clement of Alexandria and, of course, my favorite curmudgeon, Tertullian. It's been a long time since I last read it, but I seem to recall that John wrote it as part of his course of studies in apologetics at some seminary. Anyway, it's about a lot more than just the rasson. It has several chapters, one on the rasson, the hat, the beard, the hair, etc. If you want a copy, try e-mailing John through his blog.
Thank you so much for the heads-up! If he is unable to provide me with a copy, would you be willing to part with yours for a fair price, or at least loan it to me?

Actually, never mind. I just successfully obtained two copies from him. Thanks again!
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« Reply #44 on: June 30, 2010, 08:21:40 PM »

You're probably thinking of The Blessed Rasson by John Sanidopoulos. It's hard to come by -- I think I picked up my copy about 10 years ago at a monastery -- because it was basically self-published. It's more or less a collection of term papers, although I'm fond of it because it introduced me to some juicy tidbits in Clement of Alexandria and, of course, my favorite curmudgeon, Tertullian. It's been a long time since I last read it, but I seem to recall that John wrote it as part of his course of studies in apologetics at some seminary. Anyway, it's about a lot more than just the rasson. It has several chapters, one on the rasson, the hat, the beard, the hair, etc. If you want a copy, try e-mailing John through his blog.
Thank you so much for the heads-up! If he is unable to provide me with a copy, would you be willing to part with yours for a fair price, or at least loan it to me?

Actually, never mind. I just successfully obtained two copies from him. Thanks again!
Do you know if he has any more?  Grin I friended him on facebook earlier today as I really enjoy his articles. Does John ever post here?

In Christ,
Andrew
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« Reply #45 on: June 30, 2010, 11:18:21 PM »



We should have the homilist for the day don preaching tabs as well, as that would help people to know who will be speaking that day.

IS that Tim Curry, and if it is, what movie is it?
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« Reply #46 on: June 30, 2010, 11:28:56 PM »

Rocky Horror Picture Show (went to the website that picture is on... i've never seen Rocky Horror Picture Show)
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« Reply #47 on: July 01, 2010, 03:48:22 PM »

Me neither, but recognized him, thanks.
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« Reply #48 on: July 01, 2010, 05:48:51 PM »

Outer Cassocks actually look like Manchurian or Mongolian clothing to me. Any chance of eastern influence?
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« Reply #49 on: July 01, 2010, 07:50:23 PM »

The exorason is, in fact, a Turkish judge's robe.
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« Reply #50 on: July 01, 2010, 09:37:30 PM »

Aren't there canons stating what clerics should be wearing?
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« Reply #51 on: July 01, 2010, 10:44:00 PM »

The exorason is, in fact, a Turkish judge's robe.

Ah, interesting.
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« Reply #52 on: July 01, 2010, 10:44:44 PM »

Aren't there canons stating what clerics should be wearing?

Maybe. But note that in the United States, Antiochian clergy are specifically asked not to wear cassocks outside church.
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« Reply #53 on: July 03, 2010, 09:06:44 AM »

Aren't there canons stating what clerics should be wearing?
No ecumenical canons. I am sure there is some local council of Pennslaviarusorchrid that gives very specif instructions, but there is nothing universal.
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« Reply #54 on: July 06, 2010, 05:45:51 PM »

Just a couple of observations on the topic:

1.)  A commentor on an Orthodox blog once responded to the cassock vs. collar question.  He/she made the point that in many cases, converts to Orthodoxy are opposed to the collar, while many clergy from the Middle East are opposed to the cassock.  Why?  Because some (albeit not all) converts are coming from the "dreaded West" and wish to shed all vestiges of where they came from, while the Middle-Eastern clergy in this country sometimes view the long robes and beards as reminders of Islam, and thus feel more comfortable wearing the collar.

2.)  When it comes down to it, a priest needs to be obedient to his bishop regarding clergy dress.  If anyone else has an issue with what a priest is wearing, unless he is that priest's bishop, that person may want to consider that it is he, and not the priest, that has the real problem.

« Last Edit: July 06, 2010, 05:48:38 PM by SakranMM » Logged

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« Reply #55 on: July 07, 2010, 04:42:04 AM »

One Of Our serbian Priest At St.Sava Libertyville Illinois ..wore a wide Brim Black Hat like the Italian Clergy wear,Plus a Latin Cassock with white collar...I was younger then so i didn't voice my disapproval of it, though i didn't like it, i knew it wasn't a orthodox Look...

I recognized the Catholic look from watching tv, that showed Roman Catholic clergy wearing ,what he was wearing....

Curious Though ,if he still wears that getup considering the sexual scandals that's rocking in the catholic Church........ Grin
« Last Edit: July 07, 2010, 04:59:12 AM by stashko » Logged

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« Reply #56 on: July 07, 2010, 10:07:19 AM »


Curious Though ,if he still wears that getup considering the sexual scandals that's rocking in the catholic Church........ Grin
What?
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« Reply #57 on: July 07, 2010, 11:47:13 AM »

What?

He's implying that he wouldn't want to be mistaken for a pedophile these days, so he's probably reverted to traditional Orthodox priestly attire. Stashko doesn't like Roman Catholics, if you can believe it.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2010, 11:47:39 AM by Alveus Lacuna » Logged
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« Reply #58 on: July 07, 2010, 11:57:23 AM »

As if there were not pedophile priests in our churches...
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