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JoeZollars
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« Reply #45 on: April 06, 2004, 12:08:50 PM »

My Baptist grandmother actually complained regularly to the minister that women no longer wore hats to church.  Of course this was a rural, and boy do I ever mean rural, Southern Baptist Church.

I partially agree with you David, but I also find women more attractive when they are actually covering their heads and dressing modestly.

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« Reply #46 on: April 06, 2004, 12:14:30 PM »

Excuse me, but what's wrong with little girls wearing headcoverings? One should get used to proper orthopraxis at an early age.

Yes, but women covering their heads is directly tied to maturity as a woman.  A child is not a woman.

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« Reply #47 on: April 06, 2004, 12:19:35 PM »

And then there's the story of the woman who beat her daughter when they got home from church because the daughter took her head covering off in church (and this is a true story)...... seems to me that that woman missed the point completely.

Telling others whether they should wear headcoverings is probably about as annoying as telling others that they are not "fasting properly."  The matushka of our parish, a real pillar of our church and our choir director, does not wear one.  It's not my place (or anyone else's) to tell her that she should.
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« Reply #48 on: April 06, 2004, 01:11:36 PM »

I do agree that there are infinitly more important things to get bent out of shape over.  

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« Reply #49 on: April 06, 2004, 06:21:57 PM »

Lazarus = Latin

Lazaros = Greek

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« Reply #50 on: April 06, 2004, 06:22:58 PM »

well at least the Russians didn't latinize the Calander;).

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« Reply #51 on: April 06, 2004, 06:39:03 PM »

Personally, Gregory2, I agree with you.  If I'm being distracted by something that someone else is doing (or wearing), I think that is my problem and *I* need to work on it.  I think whether head coverings should be worn should be between the woman and her priest/spiritual father.  If she's doing what she's doing (whether she is or is not wearing a headcovering) with the blessing of her priest, then that's all that matters.
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« Reply #52 on: April 12, 2004, 09:43:17 AM »

Christ is Risen!

This question has recently been  one that has caused some division in my parish.  The following is an article that I am writing for our newsletter that presents both sides of the story and what the Antiochian view of the issue is, as I understand it:

The Tradition of Women Covering their Head when They Pray

For nearly two thousand years, Orthodox women, according to the words of the holy Apostle Paul, have gone to God's church with covered heads.  Until recently, this custom has been kept by faithful women and has been handed down from generation to generation. It is a custom not only of the local churches, but also in world-wide Orthodox churches,  whether one is in the Greek, Antiochian, Russian, eastern European, or African Orthodox Church, women in the church have their heads covered.

In the United States since the 1960s ( after the Roman Catholic decision of Vatican II that women did not have to cover their heads), some Orthodox women have chosen not to follow this custom.  They have felt that it was dated custom that had no place in the practice of modern Orthopraxis. While head coverings are still the norm in the “old World”, the response to this is varied by the jurisdictions in the United States.  In most Russian and Slavic Churches, head coverings are still required and a woman is not communed without a head covering. In the Greek, Antiochian, and many OCA parishes head coverings are not required and the practice is left as a pious custom that women may use or not use as they wish. Many parishes, like ours, have head coverings for women who wish them but do not require them.

SCRIPTURAL BASIS FOR WOMEN COVERING THEIR HEADS
We find the basis for this pious custom of covering the head in Sacred Scripture itself, in the New Testament. The Most Holy Virgin Mary covered her head in the holy temple from her young years. According to tradition, her veil (head covering) in the Jerusalem temple was light blue; therefore, on the feast days of the Theotokos, Orthodox clergy often wear light blue vestments. The Most Holy Theotokos wore a veil (head covering) as a sign of her humility and submissiveness to God's will, which was manifested on the day of the Annunciation. Later the Apostle Paul reiterated the importance of this when he addressed the model for men and women as they prayed:  
“Be ye followers of me, as I also am of Christ. Now I praise you, brethren, that in all things you are mindful of me and keep my ordinances as I have delivered them to you. But I would have you know that the head of every man is Christ: and the head of the woman is the man: and the head of Christ is God. Every man praying or prophesying with his head covered disgraceth his head. But every woman praying or prophesying with her head not covered disgraceth her head: for it is all one as if she were shaven. For if a woman be not covered, let her be shorn. But if it be a shame to a woman to be shorn or made bald, let her cover her head. The man indeed ought not to cover his head: because he is the image and glory of God. But the woman is the glory of the man. For the man is not of the woman: but the woman of the man [c.f. Genesis 2-3]. For the man was not created for the woman: but the woman for the man. Therefore ought the woman to have a power over her head, because of the angels. But yet neither is the man without the woman, nor the woman without the man, in the Lord. For as the woman is of the man, so also is the man by the woman: but all things of God. You yourselves judge. Doth it become a woman to pray unto God uncovered? Doth not even nature itself teach you that a man indeed, if he nourish his hair, it is a shame unto him? But if a woman nourish her hair, it is a glory to her; for her hair is given to her for a covering. But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, nor the Church of God [i.e., if anyone want to complain about this, we have no other way of doing things, this is our practice; all the churches believe the same way]. Now this I ordain: not praising you, that you come together, not for the better, but for the worse. “ (1 Corinthians 11:1-17)

According to St. Paul, Orthodox Women veil themselves as a sign that His glory, not theirs, should be the focus at worship, and as a sign of our submission to authority. It is an outward sign of our recognizing headship, both of God and man, and a sign of our respecting the presence of the Heavenly Hosts at the Divine Liturgy. In veiling, we reflect the divine invisible order and make it visible. This St. Paul presents clearly as a practice of all the churches of his time.

THE ARGUMENT AGAINST HEADCOVERINGS
Faithful Orthodox women who choose to not cover their head in church note that they believe that St. Paul was speaking as a man of his time, and that this ordinance no longer applies in modern context.  They view this often more as a custom from the old world and not one that translates well into modern life. An example given is that in the “Old Country”, Orthodox married women always had a head covering on to identify themselves as married and to help them protect themselves from the elements (much like to bonnets of pioneer women in the early US history). Women who choose not to wear a head covering note that several jurisdictions in the United States no longer require this custom after 1960s choosing to leave it a practice of personal piety.  As a result of these issues they see no mandate for the continued veiling of American  Orthodox women.

Often the detractors of those women who choose not to veil will judge them by saying their only reason for not veiling is that  “veils and headscarves are not in style” or “I don’t want to spoil my hair style”. The reality is that for the faithful Orthodox Woman, who chooses not cover her head, there is no spiritual value to their covering their heads and so they choose to not cover their heads.

THE ARGUMENT FOR HEADCOVERINGS
Faithful Orthodox women who choose to wear a head covering (veil) believe that in doing so she recalls the image of her who was vouchsafed to carry the Savior Himself. If the Most Pure and Most Blessed One herself had a covered head, shall we really consider the imitation of her as foolish or old fashioned?  To these women every outward action, accompanied by the correct Christian inward disposition, brings benefit to the soul. The action of wearing a head covering is one of obedience to the Holy Scripture and the tradition of the Church. The act is so rich with symbolism to these women. They often note that it is a “submission to authority”, “ a surrender to God”, “an imitation of the Most Holy Theotokos as a woman who uttered her "fiat!"; “the covering of my glory for His glory”, and a sign of modesty and chastity. Many converts feel that the veil is a symbol of their adoption into the Holy Orthodox Church through all of the ages and the women who are their spiritual ancestors and examples.  One person interviewed noted that in all the icons of Holy women, the one common point of most is the covering of their head by veil or scarf.

Just as there are detractors for those who choose not veil, those who choose to cover the head in church have their detractors who will judge them as “old fashioned and out of touch with the modern church”, or “ too legalistic”.  The reality is that for the Orthodox Woman, who chooses to cover her head, there is real spiritual value and identification with the Church in the covering of their head and so they cover their heads.

TO VEIL OR NOT TO VEIL?
The Antiochian Archdiocese does not require women to cover their heads in church. Our bishops have wisely determined that this act is a voluntary pious act that has meaning to one who does it and understands why they do it. They do not require it, as an act of obedience, for those to whom it has no spiritual value. The greatest danger to our spiritual life is not whether a woman chooses to veil or not veil herself when praying, but lies in our judging her decision to do so, for when we so judge we put our own  salvation in peril.

End of Article

Some of the points that some have made on this website may still be incorporated inthe article which is to be printed in our parish newsletter in May.  If you have points that you feel salient to the article please respond in the Forum and I will attempt to use  them  within this or subsequent articles.

Have a Blessed Bright Week,
Thomas
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« Reply #53 on: April 12, 2004, 10:35:05 AM »

I detect your sarcasm, Tom Sigma.

I've heard it said that in the past it was shocking for a woman to go to church without a head covering. Tertullian said that the head should be well covered and that those who cover only with some little thing would be judged by the pagan women of Arabia who are so veiled that they don't see well (I'm not sure how canonical Tertullian's writings are, I've heard pros and cons of it). A saint of about 1000 years ago, St. Matrona of Constantinople, once escaped from her husband to a male monastery. She pretended to be a man, but it was (divinely?) revealed that she was not. The abbot asked how she had dared go to church without a covering, and she said that in fact she hadn't - she had pretended to be sick and put a towel or something on her head.

Someone also quoted a story on these boards about a woman - I think she was a Russian in the USA, who had beautiful hair but always went covered in church. One day, she got cancer and while praying heard a voice praising her for having honoured God (or the Theotokos?), that is for having honoured by being covered, and the voice said she would recover and not lose any of her hair.

In Slavic churches, I think this tradition is considered very important. One Serbian cleric told a woman poster on another forum that if a woman goes to church uncovered, her prayer is not answered. She heard more about the importance of this, and is convinced that women should be covered.
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« Reply #54 on: April 12, 2004, 10:45:27 AM »

Sorry, but to me when you make headcoverings compulsory for women in the contemporary context it really smacks of an almost Islamic sensibility of gender relations.  Really the justifications for this that are offered here (it is distracting, it is tempting, etc.) are the same ones trotted out by Muslims in support of the hijab.  My response is that we men should grow up and learn to control ourselves, both in and outside church and if you find a woman who doesn't have her head covered an undue distraction and a temptation to sin then oh boy do you have a long way to go *outside* the church building!

The overarching rule is modesty, inside and outside church .. whether that involves covering the head or not really is an individual issue, in my view.
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« Reply #55 on: April 12, 2004, 06:27:03 PM »

I guess Saint Paul was an islamic minded man who couldn't control himself.
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« Reply #56 on: April 12, 2004, 06:52:37 PM »

I think you miss the reason St. Paul gave.  The reason for the head covering was to show submission to the husband and to God.  The reason he gives have nothing to do with men not being able to control themselves.  If that was the case, maybe he would have insisted on a burka.

One has to learn to control himself--not others.  Whether some female has had a head covering or not has never been a temptation to me.  Then again, if some female comes dressed with the skirt above the knee and a deep vee for a neckline and looks like she is out trolling for men, it's still up to me to control my thoughts and actions.  I can relocate so that she doesn't become a distraction or I can just train myself.  Some of the older women probably should take the young lady aside and instruct her in modesty.
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« Reply #57 on: April 12, 2004, 08:50:06 PM »

I agree that people are ultimately responsible for themselves, but I find the flippant disregard for Orthodox Tradition regarding headcoverings to be very troubling.  Of course some people will cite Orthodox Tradition for the wrong reasons, but people who condemn those who would force women to covery their heads in church condemn Saint Paul.
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« Reply #58 on: April 12, 2004, 10:26:57 PM »

...but people who condemn those who would force women to covery their heads in church condemn Saint Paul.  

I think you are taking that to the extreme. They are not condemning St. Paul, they are sinmply saying that he was reflecting what society at that time saw as showing proper respect.

Don't forget that in that same passage he said that women should not speak AT ALL in Church. Do you think that that is correct for today?

Not ALL traditions are forever applicable.




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« Reply #59 on: April 12, 2004, 11:31:29 PM »

God is not a God who "forces" people to do anything.  No one "forces" us to go to church on a Sunday or whenever, no one "forces" us to fast, and no one should "force" a woman to wear a headcovering.  We come to Him of our own free will.
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« Reply #60 on: April 13, 2004, 12:13:34 AM »

I will never forget when I was a trad lat, a novus ordo family I was friends in got a little lesssion in the ways of hte (Papist) church from their 7 year old daughter.  Their daughter always wore a headcovering to Church and it didn't matter what anyone said.  Also the young boys who dress apropriatly for church in their little shirts and ties.  Out of hte mouths of babes....

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« Reply #61 on: February 05, 2009, 04:32:31 PM »

Who here can tell me they don't want to join up after seeing this picture? Can you really turn your back on stuffed animals and children?  Awww....


What picture??
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« Reply #62 on: February 05, 2009, 04:42:33 PM »

Who here can tell me they don't want to join up after seeing this picture? Can you really turn your back on stuffed animals and children?  Awww....


What picture??
A lot has happened in five years.
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« Reply #63 on: February 05, 2009, 04:54:41 PM »

Way to resurrect yet another looooong dormant thread.  Seriously, asking a question of someone about something they wrote 4 1/2 years ago?
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« Reply #64 on: February 05, 2009, 04:56:58 PM »

^ Ha...well, it was originally a link to a picture of Met. Laurus surrounded by children. Mystery solved.
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« Reply #65 on: February 05, 2009, 05:16:16 PM »

^ Ha...well, it was originally a link to a picture of Met. Laurus surrounded by children. Mystery solved.

Ah. Thanks. That explains it. Smiley
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