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Author Topic: Kyrie Eleison Tattoo  (Read 4478 times) Average Rating: 0
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JVRR
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« on: December 01, 2010, 01:35:23 AM »

So I know we could talk all day and night about whether tattoo's are good or not  Wink. And though I am not opposed to different viewpoints by any means, that is not what I am seeking, so feel free to elaborate on your belief if you would like, but, do not forget my question please Grin.

I have wanted to get an Orthodox tattoo for a long time. I really wanted to get my patron saint, St. Vladimir, on my left shin (the icon from his Cathedral in Kyiv, of him baptizing Kyiv). I felt it would be perfect because it would not only be Orthodox, but represent my heritage, and go perfectly with my American Flag/Eagle on my right shin Cheesy. However, I am not sure how comfortable I am with the idea of an icon being tattooed on myself, and it would seem cheapening to simply remove the halo or something to "disqualify it," or something.

So, what I am sold on is a basic "Kyrie Eleison" on my left wrist (in perfect placement to be covered by a watch when necessary). I was leaning towards the scripture about if your hand leads you to sin, remove it, for it is better to go to Heaven with one hand... but I love Kyrie Eleison because of its role as a prayer of both thanksgiving and celebration and a plea for help.

Sorry, I have gotten off track! Anyway, my question is this. I want it in Greek, and despite being Christmated in the Greek jurisdiction, my Greek is, well, non existent. So I have attached a small image of what I can best figure it should look like, but you know computers, I want to make sure I am not getting a letter sized improperly or anything. There are two, #1 is all the same font size, whereas #2 has "ἐ" adjusted to look more "natural" to my eyes- if that looks unnatural though let me know Grin.

I am most certainly up to suggestions, if there is something more calligraphic or such, but I am very much not opposed to the simplicity seen below.

By the way, I look forward to searching around these forums more. I am not simply asking this question in church because I do not get to go much at all working every Sunday, and I left my home church when I moved after uni unfortunately. However, I am moving to Russia in January and am looking forward to getting the opportunity to find another church to call home after a long delay.

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« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2010, 01:48:53 AM »

I don't know the answer to your question, but welcome to the forum!
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« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2010, 02:01:57 AM »

Hey JVRR!  Welcome to the forum.

 I like the Kyrie Eleison tattoo idea, but AFAIK, having an icon tattoo is an horrible idea.  Icons are meant to be venerated, they are not merely pieces of artwork to be admired.  Besides, is that the best way to honor your patron saint?  Having sweat beads run down his blessed face?  Having dead skin slough off around him?  I wouldn't do it if I were you, brother.
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« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2010, 02:10:54 AM »

The first E in Eleison is lowercase while the rest is upper case. If it were me getting the tattoo, I would do something like this (maybe in a different font):

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JVRR
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« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2010, 02:39:01 AM »

Gabriel: That is pretty much the conclusion I came to! I do largely view the idea of an Orthodox tattoo as a tool in faith, as I mentioned in another thread I think it is easy to minimalize or push aside (to the back of one's mind) faith and spirituality, and physical reminders are a great tool against that. So the icon would serve to be more than artwork to admire, but I did largely come to the same conclusion regardless.

Wynd: Interesting, is that italicized or is it all a different case? It looks very different! Thank you for the response.
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« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2010, 10:11:46 PM »

bump  Grin
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« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2010, 11:41:15 PM »

Wynd: Interesting, is that italicized or is it all a different case? It looks very different! Thank you for the response.

It's italicized, different case (all lower case except the K) and probably a different font too. I don't know what font yours was, so I just picked Times New Roman italic.
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« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2010, 12:04:12 AM »

Do not, under any circumstance, put a tattoo of an icon on your body. It's sacrilege.
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JVRR
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« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2010, 12:40:36 AM »

Do not, under any circumstance, put a tattoo of an icon on your body. It's sacrilege.

I think we have this covered  Grin.
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« Reply #9 on: December 02, 2010, 01:25:38 AM »

Do not, under any circumstance, put a tattoo of an icon on your body. It's sacrilege.
By what authority do you say this?
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« Reply #10 on: December 03, 2010, 02:26:37 PM »

Do not, under any circumstance, put a tattoo of an icon on your body. It's sacrilege.
By what authority do you say this?

Good health to all,

In my meager studies it has been made clear so far that a Christian is no permitted to mutilate their bodies. The natural body is important. Everything that is natural is the work of divine creation and is excellent: ‘And God saw everything that He had made, and, behold, it was very good’ (Gen. 1:3)

The Philokalia, Faber & Faber, vol. 2, St. Maximos the Confessor, “Fifth Century on Various Texts”, pgs. 270-271. says, “...to amend God’s own work through human skill...this is a most blasphemous way of looking at things.”

Tattooing destroys the natural beauty of skin and I wonder how many poisons are in the ink that people are unaware of.

Webster’s Dictionary of Synonyms Springfield, Massachusetts: G. & C. Merriam Company, 1968 “Mutilation ... implies the cutting off or removal of a part essential to completeness, not only of a person but also of a thing, and to his or its perfection, beauty, entirety, or fulfillment of function.”

I also agree that the first canon of the 1st Ecumenical Council condemns self-mutilation. “...if any one in sound health has castrated himself, it behooves that such an one, if [already] enrolled among the clergy, should cease [from his ministry], and that from henceforth no such person should be promoted...”

The following post mentions that one of the reasons Origen was excommunicated was due to self-mutilation. http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,4079.msg54125.html#msg54125

This is also why, as I understand it, that historically the Orthodox Church has not performed circumcision.

Forgive, brother John
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« Reply #11 on: December 03, 2010, 03:11:09 PM »

Good health to all,

In my meager studies it has been made clear so far that a Christian is no permitted to mutilate their bodies. The natural body is important. Everything that is natural is the work of divine creation and is excellent: ‘And God saw everything that He had made, and, behold, it was very good’ (Gen. 1:3)

I am not denying that it is very good, nor am I saying it needs to be made better, or anything of the sort. In addition this is not necessarily 100% true, we take medications, we work out, have surgeries, all to make our lives and bodies better/healthier. These things are not modifying Creation, but rather using the tools, skills, and abilities God has gifted us with, to protect Creation.

Quote
The Philokalia, Faber & Faber, vol. 2, St. Maximos the Confessor, “Fifth Century on Various Texts”, pgs. 270-271. says, “...to amend God’s own work through human skill...this is a most blasphemous way of looking at things.”

This could easily apply to many situations of plastic surgery, but I do not think it fits to my situation. I am not getting the tattoo to modify God's work, to make myself better looking, or anything of the sort. Instead I see it as an additional weapon in my arsenal for the battle of Faith.

Quote
Tattooing destroys the natural beauty of skin and I wonder how many poisons are in the ink that people are unaware of.

I survived my first tattoo so I am not too worried about secret poisons Smiley.


I think intent and details are very significant for Christians. It would be unfair to compare a Christian tattoo to a life saving operation, but it would also be unfair to compare it to getting a fake pair of boobs! That being said, a life saving operation is completed to strengthen physical health, if you can strengthen your spiritual health, which is arguably more important anyway, is that not something significant?
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« Reply #12 on: December 03, 2010, 03:15:39 PM »


Really?  Your spiritual health would be strengthened by the addition of "religious" tattoo?

Do you own/wear a Cross?  That should be enough of an arsenal.

The fact that you want your leg to say "Lord, have mercy!" seems just a bit inappropriate.  But, that's just me.

I also pick up pennies off the ground....not because they are lucky, but, because the word "God" is on them, and they shouldn't be rolling around a dirty parking lot.

 
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« Reply #13 on: December 03, 2010, 03:21:26 PM »


Really?  Your spiritual health would be strengthened by the addition of "religious" tattoo?

Do you own/wear a Cross?  That should be enough of an arsenal.

The fact that you want your leg to say "Lord, have mercy!" seems just a bit inappropriate.  But, that's just me.

I also pick up pennies off the ground....not because they are lucky, but, because the word "God" is on them, and they shouldn't be rolling around a dirty parking lot.


Wrist, not leg.

I cannot always wear a cross because of work, frequently carrying heavy items against my body that has ripped necklaces off before.

I do not want to exaggerate it, its not like I think it is going to be some sort of "spiritual rebirth," but the power of Faith and spirituality is how simple things can make such significant impacts on them, and rarely the same way for multiple people.

Many people can walk through a garden and feel their spirituality or Faith strengthened by the natural beauty. Others cannot, it would not be fair to assume that everyones' Faith works and reacts identically.
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« Reply #14 on: December 03, 2010, 04:14:01 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

Do not, under any circumstance, put a tattoo of an icon on your body. It's sacrilege.

That is not entirely fair nor accurate.  The only Scriptural reference to tattooing is in Leviticus, and we have already discussed that even in Orthodox theology the Law is not to be practiced mandatory, but voluntary.  We are not required to follow the Law to the letter any longer, rather the Law serves as a guideline on how to live a better, healthier life in God.

I am not familiar with any Orthodox doctrine explicitly forbidding such tattooing, but I am humble enough to hear some if any brothers or sisters would like to share it with me from either the Canons, the Councils or the Fathers.

But my bias is that I come from the Tewahedo tradition, and Christian tattoos are quite common amongst Ethiopians.  Crosses, prayer rope patterns, sacred words, scriptural references, these things are a normal, perfectly acceptable form of worship and devotion in Ethiopia.  Ethiopians are STAUNCHLY conservative socially, but tattoos are not part of the taboos.  You will meet many old ladies who have their entire arms, neck and face tattooed with crosses and prayer rope designs.  MOST Ethiopian Christians (well, generally women that is) have at least a small cross tattooed somewhere, usually prominent. 

While I have not seen a lot of traditional iconography tattoos amongst elders, I do know a few younger folks here who have them, and many Rastafari folks I know also have these sacred images tattooed. 
Personally, what is the difference between a Cross and an Icon? Are not both iconic, sacred images of the Divine?

The only thing I would say negative about icon tattoos is that you must be ready to live your life with these sacred images permanently in your presence, because I am sure they shift the life in a monastical direction, and always weigh on the conscious.  I wear a Virgin Mary icon medallion alongside my Tewahedo cross and this image always keeps me on my toes when ever I glance down and see it. Further, in Ethiopia we call such things "ye'buda medhanet" which is "medicine against the Evil Eye"

Saint Augustine mentions that words are as much signs and symbols as images, as they create images in the mind's eye, and so spiritual words are as much icons as sacred images, as the words produce the sacred image inside the mind and heart.  So if folks can accept the concept of sacred words as tattoos, why not images?

Stay Blessed,
Habte Selassie

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« Reply #15 on: December 13, 2010, 08:32:18 PM »

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« Reply #16 on: December 13, 2010, 08:42:57 PM »

I like it.  Smiley
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« Reply #17 on: December 13, 2010, 08:58:49 PM »

I like it.  Smiley

Same here.  Very understated, like you described.
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« Reply #18 on: December 13, 2010, 10:19:58 PM »



ZOMG!!!1!! HOW COULD YOU DEFILE YOUR BODY THIS WAY?!?!?!? and other over exaggerated things of the sort... But seriously it looks great, and it can be covered by a long sleeve shirt at church lest you lead any brothers astray... angel
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« Reply #19 on: December 14, 2010, 06:03:06 PM »

Simple, and quite modest. I like it. I like the idea of a small tattoo as an expression of faith.

(Personally I wouldn't ask for an icon on my body where it could possibly be soiled or defiled in some way. I don't like the idea of it becoming wrinkled or whatever)

I do like symbolic tattoos, as a personal sign of commitment, faith and belonging. Don't like pain, so happy to wear a cross.
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« Reply #20 on: March 02, 2011, 05:52:53 PM »



I'm glad you liked my suggestion  Cheesy
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« Reply #21 on: March 02, 2011, 06:31:17 PM »


Looks nice, very plain, not flashy.

I don't know if I could get one. I just have a feeling that my body is not my own and thus I should take care of it but not "personalize it." Like if I were checking out a book from the library. Take care of it, but don't add my own little notes.

But that's just my personal feeling. I wouldn't get one, but I certainly like yours and many others shown on this forum.
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« Reply #22 on: March 02, 2011, 06:50:42 PM »

Coming from someone who is covered in tattoos, many of which I would not choose today, I like it a lot!
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