Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
Excuse me Father, but I am not quite sure what you are trying to say here exactly. You are being ratehr ambiguous about it, could you please elucidate the point you are contending?
It was said in another thread....
I am going to disagree with you because we don't understand the context of why St. Sophia chose to use the term "sacrament fee" instead of more appropriate language like "administrative fee", "processing fee" or "voluntary contribution." St. Sophia's charges $300 fee (presumably administrative costs) for processing an application for a Sacrament of Holy Matrimony. Documents have to be FedEx'ed between LA and SF (where the Metropolis is located) which requires secretary's time, Priest's time, Metropolis staff time, etc. If you have an issue with the $300 processing fee (which is what I'll use), I think talking to the Priest would help you reduce it; however, the issue raised was the term "sacrament fee" which I think is a misnomer.
If I felt St. Sophia's was charging "simony" to perform the Sacrament, I would cry "simony" with everyone else; however, my church charges $200 administrative fee (which is consistent among the Greek Orthodox Churches that I know) for processing an application for a Sacrament of Holy Matrimony. My issue is a Church forcing a sponsor to pay a certain fee if the sponsor cannot produce a letter in good standing from an Orthodox Church; however, that is not the point of this thread.
You realize that you're talking to an EO Priest, correct?
Very misguided statement. Why do you care who gets married at the Cathedral? If I commented about every $$$$-$$$$$ dress, purse and pair of shoes I saw on any woman, I'd be condemning myself. Instead, I shake my head at the audaciousness of modern "Big Fat Weddings" and continue with my business....
I think your words were very misguided. Forgive me.
I think you misunderstood me completely. I am not crying simony either, rather I agree with you, that this seems to be an issue of semantics and poor phraseology rather than theology. If the website had rephrased the fee as you mentioned, then perhaps it would be in better taste. But honestly I felt the accusations being made in that thread were off-base and were based more on personal gripe rather than sincere theological discourse. I did not know you are a priest, but then again I was also not targeting you specifically in my responses on that thread, but you being a priest surely understand the amount of individual discretion afforded to clergy in these kinds of situations, so what about my statements are misguided?
My commentary on the exorbitant weddings was not to find any fault in the by the way, but rather to put the gripe in context, if people are having very expensive and ostentatious weddings, surely they can budget a small fee into the equation with little fan fair about it.. Further, have we established rightfully if this particular Cathedral does in fact turn away small and modest family weddings and baptisms for those who refuse the fees?
I stand by my assessment, this beautifully excessive Cathedral is not
generally used for small, everyday kinds of weddings (and I say this as an Orthodox Angelino who admires this Cathedral), but is usually for the more affluent tastes, as is expected. Do any of the large Cathedrals in Constantinople or Moscow hold small parish weddings (sincere question)?
Lastly, what is so misguided about my comment asking people to receive the Divine Mysteries in the spirit of humility and repentance, then taking their marriages very serious and putting it in God's Grace rather then their own willful volition and even worse, narcissistic, self-righteous pageantry? A wedding is a wedding. If God grants us such a Grace to receive this Divine Mystery and Sacrament, which is of God and not ourselves, then surely we can receive it in His mercy to the His decision as to the location? I am a bit confused as to what you are criticizing or suggesting about my comments on humility, let alone the reason you decided to start this entire thread dedicated to sort-of explaining your personal gripe with me, but Father, in all honesty you are being a bit confusing and misleading yourself here. Could you clarify for me, I honestly respect your opinion all the more for being a priest, but I am not quite understanding your intentions exactly aside from seemingly being a bit capricious