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Offline samkim

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wearing a suit and tie
« on: December 06, 2011, 08:30:29 PM »
From my own limited observations, it seems like few Orthodox men wear formal clothing to church. By this I mean a suit and tie. Folks usually wear at least a nice shirt and slacks, but few wear a coat, and even fewer wear a tie. I even remember reading somewhere that it is not traditional For Orthodox men to wear ties because of vanity.

Thoughts?
주 예수 그리스도 하느님의 아들이시여 저 이 죄인을 불쌍히 여기소서.

Offline akimori makoto

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Re: wearing a suit and tie
« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2011, 08:42:36 PM »
Speaking only for myself, I dislike wearing suit and tie to Church as it reminds me too much of work. I also feel that suit and tie together connote "commerce", rather than "formality".
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Re: wearing a suit and tie
« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2011, 08:52:40 PM »
I think you should look your best. Whenever we would have liturgies at the seminary there were many guys who would wear cufflinks & ties underneath their cassocks.  Now, were they doing it b/c of "sunday best" or b/c of vanity, that is a personal spiritual issue.  IMO, you should dress your best every sunday.  Is it the end of the world if you don't?  No, but it shows effort, which i'm a big fan of.
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Offline Ortho_cat

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Re: wearing a suit and tie
« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2011, 08:54:28 PM »
i see a good representation of suits and ties at my parish. i dont wear one, primarily becuase i dont have one.

Offline FormerReformer

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Re: wearing a suit and tie
« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2011, 08:59:55 PM »
i see a good representation of suits and ties at my parish. i dont wear one, primarily becuase i dont have one.

I have a total of one suit. I only wear it to Liturgy on Christmas, Pascha, or the other Great Feasts. Other than that it's one of my three dress shirts and a pair of black jeans. That said, if I had the expendable income, I might start wearing suits more often.
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Offline FrChris

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Re: wearing a suit and tie
« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2011, 09:42:43 PM »
I think there are multiple factors in play here:

-Geographical area;
-Age of the parishioner;
-Time of year;
-Whether or not a suit is in the parishioner's closet;
-the service itself.

When I was a priest in MS, I never saw a suit during the summer. July/August in MS is unbeleivably warm, even if the air conditioning had not been stolen and was functioning. Suits just were not seen, except for maybe a funeral.

Once fall arrived, older male parishioners would wear suits to the Sunday Liturgy if they had one; dress was more casual if the service was during a weekday or not a Liturgy.

From my colleagues in other parts of the US, suit wearing was more common in MS than other places due to the culture of the area.
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Offline Marc1152

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Re: wearing a suit and tie
« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2011, 09:51:18 PM »
At the OCA Parish where I was baptized, suit and tie.

At the current Rocor Parish, it is way too hot to wear a suit especially for me due to vesting.

I had to wear a suit this Saturday when we hosted +Metropolitan Hilarion for an ordination. I ripped that sucker off as fast as I could after I handed him the bread and salt.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2011, 09:53:37 PM by Marc1152 »
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Offline TheMathematician

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Re: wearing a suit and tie
« Reply #7 on: December 06, 2011, 09:54:34 PM »
I wear a shirt and tie and a pair of nice slacks because that is how i feel most comfortable, and respectful

Offline HandmaidenofGod

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Re: wearing a suit and tie
« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2011, 09:54:51 PM »
From my own limited observations, it seems like few Orthodox men wear formal clothing to church. By this I mean a suit and tie. Folks usually wear at least a nice shirt and slacks, but few wear a coat, and even fewer wear a tie. I even remember reading somewhere that it is not traditional For Orthodox men to wear ties because of vanity.

Thoughts?

I live in the North East section of the US, and growing up my father and the other male members of my family always wore a suit and tie. If not a tie, a suit with a nice shirt underneath. This still holds true to this day, and whenever my boyfriend attends Liturgy with me he always wears a shirt and tie, if not a full suit and tie. During the summer months, men will usually switch off to a polo shirt and a nice set of khakis.

As others have said, I think it depends on geography, age, and the economy of the surrounding area of the parish.

I've been to some parishes in well to do areas where everyone was dressed quite prim and proper, and been to other parishes where people were dressed rather casual.

I think you should always wear your "best" for Church, whatever that may be. If your "best" happens to be the only clean pair of jeans you own, then put them on. If you can afford a suit, well put that on.
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Offline scamandrius

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Re: wearing a suit and tie
« Reply #9 on: December 06, 2011, 09:59:18 PM »
I wear a suit and tie during the winter months, but during the summer it's more "business casual" for me.

I don't understand why people wear jeans  and tennis shoes to church.  That doesn't seem right.
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Offline Agabus

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Re: wearing a suit and tie
« Reply #10 on: December 06, 2011, 10:11:29 PM »
When I was a priest in MS, I never saw a suit during the summer. July/August in MS is unbeleivably warm, even if the air conditioning had not been stolen and was functioning. Suits just were not seen, except for maybe a funeral.
As a sometime practitioner of Mississippi Orthodoxy, I wholeheartedly attest to the truthfulness of this, especially the possibility that someone stole the air-conditioner. Churches make excellent targets for copper thieves.

But speaking only of clothes and especially suits, in the summer an older gentleman might wear a seersucker suit, but those men are getting fewer and fewer. Even in the cooler months when jackets come out they will be open and no ties worn. In one rural parish I have attended, it is likely the men will be evenly split between wearing slacks/white shirt and their best pair of Wranglers/work shirt. The jeans will always be the newest, darkest ones with the least amount of wear, though the Skoal ring in the back pocket will obviously stand out. I do not think there is any theology behind this, only practicality -- you wear what you have, and you have what you can afford.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2011, 10:13:19 PM by Agabus »
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Offline FrChris

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Re: wearing a suit and tie
« Reply #11 on: December 06, 2011, 10:18:59 PM »
When I was a priest in MS, I never saw a suit during the summer. July/August in MS is unbeleivably warm, even if the air conditioning had not been stolen and was functioning. Suits just were not seen, except for maybe a funeral.
As a sometime practitioner of Mississippi Orthodoxy, I wholeheartedly attest to the truthfulness of this, especially the possibility that someone stole the air-conditioner. Churches make excellent targets for copper thieves.

But speaking only of clothes and especially suits, in the summer an older gentleman might wear a seersucker suit, but those men are getting fewer and fewer. Even in the cooler months when jackets come out they will be open and no ties worn. In one rural parish I have attended, it is likely the men will be evenly split between wearing slacks/white shirt and their best pair of Wranglers/work shirt. The jeans will always be the newest, darkest ones with the least amount of wear, though the Skoal ring in the back pocket will obviously stand out. I do not think there is any theology behind this, only practicality -- you wear what you have, and you have what you can afford.


No, I wasn't kidding about the ac being stolen..in two years in MS the ac units got stolen twice.

Nothing like doing a Liturgy with 5 layers of clothing in a day with 99 degrees heat and 90% humidity....
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Offline Ionnis

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Re: wearing a suit and tie
« Reply #12 on: December 06, 2011, 10:41:18 PM »
I usually wear jeans to church.  A lot of the men wear jeans, so I don't feel out of place.  There is only one guy at the service I attend who wears a suit and he is a Texan in his 60s. :)
« Last Edit: December 06, 2011, 10:41:50 PM by Ionnis »
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Offline Ioannis Climacus

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Re: wearing a suit and tie
« Reply #13 on: December 06, 2011, 10:46:41 PM »
I never quite understood the reasoning behind wearing "Sunday best". Does it glorifies God in any way? Not that I know of. It seems more or less to be a bizarre custom our culture has adopted. Not that I wish to condemn people who feel the need to dress that way, I just choose not to. The witness of the saints, monastics, and fools-for-Christ is quite clear - good looks and comely dress have never assisted in salvation.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2011, 10:49:20 PM by Ioannis Climacus »
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Offline serb1389

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Re: wearing a suit and tie
« Reply #14 on: December 06, 2011, 10:50:16 PM »
I never quite understood the reasoning behind wearing "Sunday best". Does it glorifies God in any way? Not that I know of. It seems more or less to be a bizarre custom our culture has adopted. Not that I wish to condemn people who feel the need to dress that way, I just choose not to. The witness of the saints, monastics, and fools-for-Christ is quite clear - good looks and comely dress have never assisted in salvation.

The emperors were saints as well.  just saying. 
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Offline Ioannis Climacus

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Re: wearing a suit and tie
« Reply #15 on: December 06, 2011, 10:56:40 PM »
I never quite understood the reasoning behind wearing "Sunday best". Does it glorifies God in any way? Not that I know of. It seems more or less to be a bizarre custom our culture has adopted. Not that I wish to condemn people who feel the need to dress that way, I just choose not to. The witness of the saints, monastics, and fools-for-Christ is quite clear - good looks and comely dress have never assisted in salvation.

The emperors were saints as well.  just saying. 
Absolutely. I was not condemning anyone for dressing well. It should simply be clear that such customs are not helpful in our salvation. It is simply that - custom.
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Offline biro

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Re: wearing a suit and tie
« Reply #16 on: December 06, 2011, 10:58:12 PM »
Unless the parish posts a set of guidelines, I guess it's a judgement call. I enjoy wearing a blouse and skirt every week, but that's just me. Most of the people in our church dress what could be called 'business casual.' I have seen a few people come in casual clothes, though, and nobody bothers them. I'm just happy they're here.  :)

Offline Volnutt

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Re: wearing a suit and tie
« Reply #17 on: December 06, 2011, 10:59:21 PM »
From my own limited observations, it seems like few Orthodox men wear formal clothing to church. By this I mean a suit and tie. Folks usually wear at least a nice shirt and slacks, but few wear a coat, and even fewer wear a tie. I even remember reading somewhere that it is not traditional For Orthodox men to wear ties because of vanity.

Thoughts?

I live in the North East section of the US, and growing up my father and the other male members of my family always wore a suit and tie. If not a tie, a suit with a nice shirt underneath. This still holds true to this day, and whenever my boyfriend attends Liturgy with me he always wears a shirt and tie, if not a full suit and tie. During the summer months, men will usually switch off to a polo shirt and a nice set of khakis.

As others have said, I think it depends on geography, age, and the economy of the surrounding area of the parish.

I've been to some parishes in well to do areas where everyone was dressed quite prim and proper, and been to other parishes where people were dressed rather casual.

I think you should always wear your "best" for Church, whatever that may be. If your "best" happens to be the only clean pair of jeans you own, then put them on. If you can afford a suit, well put that on.
The problem with that is, I've known at least one person from the "only clean pair of jeans" set who honestly feels quite looked down upon when the rest of the congregation is suit and tie.

I guess I could just tell him to suck it up, only focus on God, etc. but I'm not sure...

Offline biro

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Re: wearing a suit and tie
« Reply #18 on: December 06, 2011, 11:02:23 PM »
In my parish, a lot of the people are from the older generation, and they were probably taught that dressed up is the way you go to Church. If it bothers you, ask someone in the parish staff. Otherwise, it's not the most important thing on the plate.

Offline Volnutt

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Re: wearing a suit and tie
« Reply #19 on: December 06, 2011, 11:12:36 PM »
In my parish, a lot of the people are from the older generation, and they were probably taught that dressed up is the way you go to Church. If it bothers you, ask someone in the parish staff. Otherwise, it's not the most important thing on the plate.
Not me, not my parish. Thanks though :)

Offline William

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Re: wearing a suit and tie
« Reply #20 on: December 06, 2011, 11:15:36 PM »
I generally wear a nice shirt and khakis. I could wear a suit, but I'd feel a little pretentious being that formal at 17 years old.  :P
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Offline FormerReformer

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Re: wearing a suit and tie
« Reply #21 on: December 06, 2011, 11:20:23 PM »
From my own limited observations, it seems like few Orthodox men wear formal clothing to church. By this I mean a suit and tie. Folks usually wear at least a nice shirt and slacks, but few wear a coat, and even fewer wear a tie. I even remember reading somewhere that it is not traditional For Orthodox men to wear ties because of vanity.

Thoughts?

I live in the North East section of the US, and growing up my father and the other male members of my family always wore a suit and tie. If not a tie, a suit with a nice shirt underneath. This still holds true to this day, and whenever my boyfriend attends Liturgy with me he always wears a shirt and tie, if not a full suit and tie. During the summer months, men will usually switch off to a polo shirt and a nice set of khakis.

As others have said, I think it depends on geography, age, and the economy of the surrounding area of the parish.

I've been to some parishes in well to do areas where everyone was dressed quite prim and proper, and been to other parishes where people were dressed rather casual.

I think you should always wear your "best" for Church, whatever that may be. If your "best" happens to be the only clean pair of jeans you own, then put them on. If you can afford a suit, well put that on.
The problem with that is, I've known at least one person from the "only clean pair of jeans" set who honestly feels quite looked down upon when the rest of the congregation is suit and tie.

I guess I could just tell him to suck it up, only focus on God, etc. but I'm not sure...

What I tend to find most often (and I was guilty of this myself, in the past) is that "the only clean pair of jeans" set is most often those who have access to better clothes but specifically dress in a t-shirt and jeans to "make a point". Usually, they go dressed like that in order to be "looked down on" (or in the case of certain non-denoms they just feel out of place while visiting mom and dad's church for Christmas). For me, any feelings of such persecution left when I really did start attending Church in my only clean pair of jeans- my last pair of khaki's headed out the door after a stain remover ended up being the stainer.
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Offline biro

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Re: wearing a suit and tie
« Reply #22 on: December 06, 2011, 11:23:04 PM »
I wore jeans to church for a while in college. This happened a lot when I lived in a town where we got heavy snow, and frankly, I didn't feel like having my legs freeze before I got to the building.  :)

Offline IsmiLiora

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Re: wearing a suit and tie
« Reply #23 on: December 06, 2011, 11:32:29 PM »
I'm glad more men don't wear suits to church. Otherwise they would be a distraction.


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Offline Cognomen

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Re: wearing a suit and tie
« Reply #24 on: December 06, 2011, 11:53:53 PM »
My old parish was full of suits.

My new one is far more casual and contains some of the LARPing sort, but primarily from the women.

Edit: I'm fairly formal, but try not to wear anything too flashy.  I don't do the jeans and a t-shirt thing, because I'm not a redneck nondenominational whatever who thinks Jesus is my drinking buddy (I'm with you, FormerReformer).  The judgment that some of those people have for those of us who choose to dress up a bit is remarkable.  It seems a great deal of effort goes into being "properly" attired from the clergy side; the least I can do is look presentable.  For those who can't afford to "dress up," it's a totally different scenario, but some form of slacks and a collared shirt (I always cover my arms) shouldn't be too difficult for most.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2011, 12:00:09 AM by Cognomen »
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Offline Tallitot

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Re: wearing a suit and tie
« Reply #25 on: December 07, 2011, 12:00:10 AM »
Funny but people wear thier best to meet earthly "VIPs"; presidents, queens, prime ministers, CEO's etc.
But when you go to spend time with G-d, jeans are ok.
Proverbs 22:7

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Re: wearing a suit and tie
« Reply #26 on: December 07, 2011, 12:04:40 AM »
I remember hearing somewhere, when you go to worship, "you should dress like you're going to see a king."

Because you are.  :angel:

Offline Golgotha

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Re: wearing a suit and tie
« Reply #27 on: December 07, 2011, 12:17:02 AM »
I've done a bit of traveling and I notice people in the South dress up more for Church. I haven't been to the Northeast but I assume it might be the same. A large chunk of the guys at my parish wear suits and ties. (Some even with cowboy boots) I feel a little out of place wearing slacks and a shirt :P

Offline Ioannis Climacus

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Re: wearing a suit and tie
« Reply #28 on: December 07, 2011, 12:27:03 AM »
Funny but people wear thier best to meet earthly "VIPs"; presidents, queens, prime ministers, CEO's etc.
But when you go to spend time with G-d, jeans are ok.
The former expect us to be dressed according to worldly customs. For them, it is indeed right and proper. God, on the other hand, only requires we be clothed in the wedding garments of repentance and illumination.
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Offline Volnutt

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Re: wearing a suit and tie
« Reply #29 on: December 07, 2011, 12:29:19 AM »
Funny but people wear thier best to meet earthly "VIPs"; presidents, queens, prime ministers, CEO's etc.
But when you go to spend time with G-d, jeans are ok.
The former expect us to be dressed according to worldly customs. For them, it is indeed right and proper. God, on the other hand, only requires we be clothed in the wedding garments of repentance and illumination.
But doesn't the entire Orthodox theology of icons, vestments, altar dressings, etc. imply that God wants the best we can materially offer as well?

Offline HandmaidenofGod

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Re: wearing a suit and tie
« Reply #30 on: December 07, 2011, 12:34:11 AM »
I guess I could just tell him to suck it up, only focus on God, etc. but I'm not sure...

And this would be the correct response. We shouldn't be focusing on what others wear to Church; there are beautiful icons all around us, if you want something to look at, look at an icon.  

It angers and annoys me how much time is dedicated to what people are wearing. "Her skirt is too short!" "His arms are showing!" "Why doesn't he have a beard?" "Where is her head covering?"

Stop focusing on others and focus on your own soul and your relationship with God.

Each one of us here is familiar with the social norms, economic challenges, and weather obstacles we must overcome to go to Liturgy at our own particular parish. My advice to anyone would be to do the best with what you've got. If you see others in the parish are dressed more casual, then that's okay. If you see people are dressed more formal, and you can afford to do so, then follow suit. (No pun intended.)

To spend time consuming yourself with worry about what others think of you and such is not only sinful, it will just cause unnecessary anxiety.
"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope." Jer 29:11

Offline HandmaidenofGod

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Re: wearing a suit and tie
« Reply #31 on: December 07, 2011, 12:38:19 AM »
But doesn't the entire Orthodox theology of icons, vestments, altar dressings, etc. imply that God wants the best we can materially offer as well?

While this is sound reasoning, it's not always possible.

A family may be able to afford fine dresses and suits, but if they have to traverse through snow and cold winds to get to Liturgy, this may not be practical.

This is why it is best not to focus on what others wear, and to only worry about yourself.

You ultimately have to dress in a way that you feel is honoring to God, but isn't giving into pride, vanity, etc.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2011, 12:38:41 AM by HandmaidenofGod »
"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope." Jer 29:11

Offline Volnutt

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Re: wearing a suit and tie
« Reply #32 on: December 07, 2011, 12:45:33 AM »
But doesn't the entire Orthodox theology of icons, vestments, altar dressings, etc. imply that God wants the best we can materially offer as well?

While this is sound reasoning, it's not always possible.

A family may be able to afford fine dresses and suits, but if they have to traverse through snow and cold winds to get to Liturgy, this may not be practical.

This is why it is best not to focus on what others wear, and to only worry about yourself.

You ultimately have to dress in a way that you feel is honoring to God, but isn't giving into pride, vanity, etc.
True, but I was responding to IC's assertion that such things are completely irrelevant spiritually. That sounds like the kind of reasoning that leads to the Protestant "four bare walls and a sermon."

Offline Ioannis Climacus

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Re: wearing a suit and tie
« Reply #33 on: December 07, 2011, 01:00:35 AM »
Funny but people wear thier best to meet earthly "VIPs"; presidents, queens, prime ministers, CEO's etc.
But when you go to spend time with G-d, jeans are ok.
The former expect us to be dressed according to worldly customs. For them, it is indeed right and proper. God, on the other hand, only requires we be clothed in the wedding garments of repentance and illumination.
But doesn't the entire Orthodox theology of icons, vestments, altar dressings, etc. imply that God wants the best we can materially offer as well?
I think there is a distinction to be made in liturgy and personal dress. A beautiful liturgy is for the glory of God and to the benefit of the faithful. Wearing pressed pants and a nice coat...not so much.

St. Cyril of Jerusalem : "But let your apparel be plain, not for adornment, but for necessary covering: not to minister to your vanity, but to keep you warm in winter, and to hide the unseemliness of the body: lest under the pretense of hiding the unseemliness, you fall under another kind of unseemliness by your extravagant dress."

Were modern fashion and pleasant dress such a boon to salvation, I sincerely doubt anyone would have worn things like this :







Fine clothing is just like fine tasting food. Not sinful in of itself, but it can be a pitfall for many. The saints have shown time after time that neither are necessary nor are they beneficial in obtaining illumination.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2011, 01:02:24 AM by Ioannis Climacus »
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Offline IsmiLiora

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Re: wearing a suit and tie
« Reply #34 on: December 07, 2011, 01:06:05 AM »
No one is saying that they are a "boon to salvation," IC. Not even close.
She's touring the facility/and picking up slack.
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Offline Volnutt

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Re: wearing a suit and tie
« Reply #35 on: December 07, 2011, 01:07:12 AM »
And yet by the same quote of St. Cyril, St. Mary of Egypt and the Fools-for-Christ were in violation of his "hide the unseemliness of the body advice." Those saints were by and large special cases so it's kind of pointless to bring them up in a general discussion of dress.

Just like a church can be well decorated for the glory of God, so can the people be well dressed for the glory of God. By the same token, God is also pleased with people who don't have a lot of money and are dressing the best they can and with poor parishes that can only afford a couple of icons. The point is that we make the effort.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2011, 01:08:16 AM by Volnutt »

Offline Ioannis Climacus

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Re: wearing a suit and tie
« Reply #36 on: December 07, 2011, 01:07:38 AM »
No one is saying that they are a "boon to salvation," IC. Not even close.

Go reread the thread.
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Offline Ioannis Climacus

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Re: wearing a suit and tie
« Reply #37 on: December 07, 2011, 01:21:09 AM »
And yet by the same quote of St. Cyril, St. Mary of Egypt and the Fools-for-Christ were in violation of his "hide the unseemliness of the body advice." Those saints were by and large special cases so it's kind of pointless to bring them up in a general discussion of dress.

Just like a church can be well decorated for the glory of God, so can the people be well dressed for the glory of God. By the same token, God is also pleased with people who don't have a lot of money and are dressing the best they can and with poor parishes who can only afford a couple of icons. The point is that we make the effort.
I don't think the saints are "special cases" (in the since that their examples are removed from the tradition of the Church). They should be sources of inspiration, not simply admiration. Obviously, this must be taken in strides as we are able. Do you find St. Cyril's quote applicable to Orthodox today?

Do you know of any saints/elders/teachers of the Church that encourage fine dress and equate it to beautiful liturgy?

And I will make clear for anyone reading (lest my words be misinterpreted) : I am not condemning fine clothing, only the idea that it is pleasing to God or in anyway beneficial to the salvation of our souls.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2011, 01:22:24 AM by Ioannis Climacus »
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Offline William

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Re: wearing a suit and tie
« Reply #38 on: December 07, 2011, 01:24:07 AM »
Funny but people wear thier best to meet earthly "VIPs"; presidents, queens, prime ministers, CEO's etc.
But when you go to spend time with G-d, jeans are ok.
In Spanish, you use the informal second person when talking to God and use the formal second person when talking to presidents, queens, prime ministers, CEOs, etc.
Apart from moral conduct, all that man thinks himself able to do in order to become acceptable to God is mere superstition and religious folly. - Immanuel Kant

Offline Volnutt

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Re: wearing a suit and tie
« Reply #39 on: December 07, 2011, 01:29:43 AM »
And yet by the same quote of St. Cyril, St. Mary of Egypt and the Fools-for-Christ were in violation of his "hide the unseemliness of the body advice." Those saints were by and large special cases so it's kind of pointless to bring them up in a general discussion of dress.

Just like a church can be well decorated for the glory of God, so can the people be well dressed for the glory of God. By the same token, God is also pleased with people who don't have a lot of money and are dressing the best they can and with poor parishes who can only afford a couple of icons. The point is that we make the effort.
I don't think the saints are "special cases" (in the since that their examples are removed from the tradition of the Church). They should be sources of inspiration, not simply admiration. Obviously, this must be taken in strides as we are able. Do you find St. Cyril's quote applicable to Orthodox today?

Do you know of any saints/elders/teachers of the Church that encourage fine dress and equate it to beautiful liturgy?

And I will make clear for anyone reading (lest my words be misinterpreted) : I am not condemning fine clothing, only the idea that it is pleasing to God or in anyway beneficial to the salvation of our souls.
Special cases in the sense that not everyone goes walking about naked today. They did it for a specific reason.

And for the rest, you may have a point. But I still don't see why dressing in a t-shirt in a jeans should be acceptable if this isn't all you have available.

Offline bogdan

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Re: wearing a suit and tie
« Reply #40 on: December 07, 2011, 01:30:43 AM »
It is true that many holy fools walked around in rags or even stark naked, but this was an outgrowth of their holiness and their calling to holy foolishness. Not everyone is called to that (in fact it's quite rare), and if one seeks to emulate them in their ascesis, without the accompanying holiness and calling, it is quite possible one is deluded and in fact more arrogant than some uptight man wearing an Armani suit.

You cannot judge a person by what they wear. Someone might wear simple clothes out of sheer pride before men, or someone may wear expensive clothes out of sheer awe before God. It is not for anyone to say.

For myself, I was raised to wear my best when I go to worship God. Not because I think I can impress Him, but because that is what humans do. We give nice things to people we consider important. Yes, it's all nothing but filthy rags before God, but I think it's like a 3-year-old scribbling in crayon for his mother. It's nothing but a mess, but it's beautiful to the mother and child and that's all that really matters.

People dress rather formally at my parish, and it does not necessarily reflect the wealth. I would wear a suit if I could afford one.

So long as we do not cause others to stumble, what we wear is a personal decision. Whatever we offer God with a loving and pure heart is accepted by Him, I believe.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2011, 01:40:03 AM by bogdan »

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Re: wearing a suit and tie
« Reply #41 on: December 07, 2011, 01:42:58 AM »
Funny but people wear thier best to meet earthly "VIPs"; presidents, queens, prime ministers, CEO's etc.
But when you go to spend time with G-d, jeans are ok.
The former expect us to be dressed according to worldly customs. For them, it is indeed right and proper. God, on the other hand, only requires we be clothed in the wedding garments of repentance and illumination.
But doesn't the entire Orthodox theology of icons, vestments, altar dressings, etc. imply that God wants the best we can materially offer as well?
I think there is a distinction to be made in liturgy and personal dress. A beautiful liturgy is for the glory of God and to the benefit of the faithful. Wearing pressed pants and a nice coat...not so much.

St. Cyril of Jerusalem : "But let your apparel be plain, not for adornment, but for necessary covering: not to minister to your vanity, but to keep you warm in winter, and to hide the unseemliness of the body: lest under the pretense of hiding the unseemliness, you fall under another kind of unseemliness by your extravagant dress."

Were modern fashion and pleasant dress such a boon to salvation, I sincerely doubt anyone would have worn things like this :

The saints have shown time after time that neither are necessary nor are they beneficial in obtaining illumination.
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Re: wearing a suit and tie
« Reply #42 on: December 07, 2011, 01:43:24 AM »
Whether it's at the Ethiopian Orthodox Church or the Greek Orthodox Church we attend here in Mississippi, the Orthodox Church is the only Church where I truly felt accepted regardless of what I wore. Of course, I never entered the Church dressed in an inappropriate manner. My personal opinion is that we should simply dress prepared to pray. Prostrations are difficult enough without trying to do them in a suit.  ;)



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Offline akimori makoto

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Re: wearing a suit and tie
« Reply #43 on: December 07, 2011, 02:03:46 AM »
Prostrations are difficult enough without trying to do them in a suit.  ;)

+1
The Episcopallian road is easy and wide, for many go through it to find destruction. lol sorry channeling Isa.

Offline Jack Bauer

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Re: wearing a suit and tie
« Reply #44 on: December 07, 2011, 02:06:26 AM »
OCA, GOA, or else, I wear a tie with a suit or nice sport jacket with slacks, all wool and my Johnny Murphy's as a sign of respect for the service I perform.  When I'm not serving, I always dress appropriately nice as a sign of respect towards Christ the King.  I feel so many people will deck out for a date or for a show, but when it comes to presenting oneself to God, they need a little work.  But what's worse than a man not wearing his Sunday Best?  ... Answer:  A woman wearing her "best", inappropriate for Sunday Best...  Does that ever happen in the Orthodox arena, and how is it handled?  I guess our former protestant ways are why we are the way we are.  And we live in Dallas, where heated summers are grueling hot.
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