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Author Topic: Orthodox Parish allowing Altar Girls?  (Read 6892 times) Average Rating: 0
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88Devin12
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« Reply #135 on: July 04, 2012, 10:26:35 PM »

So you have an issue with female Parish Council members reading the Epistle - a common occurrence at most Orthodox Churches.  Or, you have an issue with female Sunday School students reading the Epistle, which occurs at some Orthodox Churches.

Yes actually I do, in the Churches I have attended, only men (and if a reader is available the reader) read the Epistle.

The ONLY reason this should be occurring and the ONLY reason anyone other than the Reader or someone in training as a Reader should be reading the Epistle is if readers are available and no men (who can chant well) are available.

This is another one of the things which our Bishop has warned against and that if possible, only Readers, and after that only Men should read the Epistle. Even little children shouldn't be reading the Epistle.

BTW, I've heard several women at the parishes I've attended support this and say that the only reason they have ever read is when their parish only had a few attendees and no baptized men who could chant were available.

This is an abuse the several jurisdictions, including the GOA is guilty of. Just because someone is "respected" in the community, or they are a "cute kid" doesn't mean they should be reading the Epistle. We trivialize the reading of the holy Epistle when we act like it is simply something that is just read by respected members of the community in church.
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« Reply #136 on: July 04, 2012, 10:31:01 PM »

Devin, never stop posting.
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« Reply #137 on: July 04, 2012, 10:34:37 PM »

This is an abuse the several jurisdictions, including the GOA is guilty of.

Yup, you have issues with the GOA and the Antiochians for not doing things the way your traditionalist OCA Church does them.

Just because someone is "respected" in the community, or they are a "cute kid" doesn't mean they should be reading the Epistle.

I read the Epistle on 2 occasions when I was in Sunday School and that wasn't because I was "respected" or a "cute kid."

We trivialize the reading of the holy Epistle when we act like it is simply something that is just read by respected members of the community in church.

No, we emulate the Apostle Paul and his disciples by reading the Epistle.  Reading the Epistle is not reserved strictly for readers and chanters because Paul himself says that people of all talents are needed in the church (1 Corinthians 12:27-31).
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PeterTheAleut
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« Reply #138 on: July 04, 2012, 10:36:56 PM »

And why is this an unchangeable part of Tradition while our Liturgy is not?

The Liturgy is an unchangeable part of Church Tradition. The specific wording of our many liturgies are not.

The male priesthood, which extends also to the minor orders (the female diaconate does not correspond to the male diaconate, but is an entirely different role) is also an unchangeable tradition of the Church.

Quote
I'll bet that if we ever ordain a woman to the diaconate, she'll wear more vestments than just a sticharion. Also, why will you not allow a girl to be an altar girl if you will allow for the possibility that we may ordain a woman to the diaconate? Don't you see the inconsistency in your reasoning on this point?

Given that the female diaconate is something quite different from the regular diaconate, it's quite superflous to the discussion at hand, and it is only by drawing a false equivalency between the two that you can accuse Devin of inconsistency on this point. A deaconess would not be serving in the altar, but in the baptistries, hospitals, prisons, schools, private homes, etc.
I've seen sufficient evidence to believe that the female diaconate may really have been much more similar to the male diaconate than you say it is.

BTW, on the points where I've been questioning Devin, I want Devin to answer for himself, since it's his opinions that demand a cogent defense, and only he can articulate that defense.

How am I the one who has to answer to you? I'm remaining within the Orthodox tradition. Those who want altar girls are the ones who have to answer why they should be allowed, not me.
I don't care one way or the other. I simply asked you to give a theological defense for your opposition to altar girls, since I'm not convinced that your opinion is based on the Tradition of the Church. So far you've resisted giving any answers.

As for unchangeable tradition, the Liturgy hasn't changed, we haven't ever eliminated the Eucharist nor the reading of the Epistle nor the basic core of the liturgy. The wording has changed a little in various points and it has been greatly expanded, but it hasn't changed.
Okay. Thank you for finally engaging one of my points.

Like Orthodox11 said, the male Priesthood is unchangeable and the deaconess' role is unchangeable. There is no possibility for altar girls because there is no such role.
That assumes that altar boys and altar girls are different roles. They're not, AFAIK. So why must the role of the altar server be reserved only for men?

The reason altar boys are allowed is because we assume that they are in training to eventually become readers or subdeacons. Altar Girls have no role to train for by standing up at the altar and serving in the roles of deacons and readers.
Is that assumption really the reason why we don't allow girls to serve in the altar?
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PeterTheAleut
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« Reply #139 on: July 04, 2012, 10:38:46 PM »

they didn't share the Eucharist duties

One of their duties would be to distribute the Eucharist to women unable to attend the liturgy, those confined to hospitals, prison or their homes. So the Eucharist played a big part in the ministry of deaconesses. Those 'Eucharist duties' did not occur as part of the divine Liturgy, however.

One of the sources I read said that they did distribute it to the women during Liturgy and received communion at the same time as the Deacons behind at the altar.
What sources are you reading?
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PeterTheAleut
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« Reply #140 on: July 04, 2012, 10:40:42 PM »

So you have an issue with female Parish Council members reading the Epistle - a common occurrence at most Orthodox Churches.  Or, you have an issue with female Sunday School students reading the Epistle, which occurs at some Orthodox Churches.

Yes actually I do, in the Churches I have attended, only men (and if a reader is available the reader) read the Epistle.

The ONLY reason this should be occurring and the ONLY reason anyone other than the Reader or someone in training as a Reader should be reading the Epistle is if readers are available and no men (who can chant well) are available.

This is another one of the things which our Bishop has warned against and that if possible, only Readers, and after that only Men should read the Epistle. Even little children shouldn't be reading the Epistle.

BTW, I've heard several women at the parishes I've attended support this and say that the only reason they have ever read is when their parish only had a few attendees and no baptized men who could chant were available.

This is an abuse the several jurisdictions, including the GOA is guilty of. Just because someone is "respected" in the community, or they are a "cute kid" doesn't mean they should be reading the Epistle. We trivialize the reading of the holy Epistle when we act like it is simply something that is just read by respected members of the community in church.
What theological reason do you have for arguing that only men be permitted to read the Epistle during the Liturgy?
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88Devin12
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« Reply #141 on: July 04, 2012, 10:47:11 PM »

So you have an issue with female Parish Council members reading the Epistle - a common occurrence at most Orthodox Churches.  Or, you have an issue with female Sunday School students reading the Epistle, which occurs at some Orthodox Churches.

Yes actually I do, in the Churches I have attended, only men (and if a reader is available the reader) read the Epistle.

The ONLY reason this should be occurring and the ONLY reason anyone other than the Reader or someone in training as a Reader should be reading the Epistle is if readers are available and no men (who can chant well) are available.

This is another one of the things which our Bishop has warned against and that if possible, only Readers, and after that only Men should read the Epistle. Even little children shouldn't be reading the Epistle.

BTW, I've heard several women at the parishes I've attended support this and say that the only reason they have ever read is when their parish only had a few attendees and no baptized men who could chant were available.

This is an abuse the several jurisdictions, including the GOA is guilty of. Just because someone is "respected" in the community, or they are a "cute kid" doesn't mean they should be reading the Epistle. We trivialize the reading of the holy Epistle when we act like it is simply something that is just read by respected members of the community in church.
What theological reason do you have for arguing that only men be permitted to read the Epistle during the Liturgy?

The fact that the role is restricted to the role of the Reader (only males can be readers).

The only reason it can be otherwise is out of economy when a Reader is not present, and if a Reader is not present, someone who is in training to be a Reader should be the one to read the Epistle.

Peter, just quit trying to play the devil's advocate. If you truly are Orthodox and don't think altar girls should be permitted then you have absolutely no reason to question me.

I'm sure you also are either ignoring or just didn't see reply number 127.
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88Devin12
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« Reply #142 on: July 04, 2012, 10:49:22 PM »

This is an abuse the several jurisdictions, including the GOA is guilty of.

Yup, you have issues with the GOA and the Antiochians for not doing things the way your traditionalist OCA Church does them.

Just because someone is "respected" in the community, or they are a "cute kid" doesn't mean they should be reading the Epistle.

I read the Epistle on 2 occasions when I was in Sunday School and that wasn't because I was "respected" or a "cute kid."

We trivialize the reading of the holy Epistle when we act like it is simply something that is just read by respected members of the community in church.

No, we emulate the Apostle Paul and his disciples by reading the Epistle.  Reading the Epistle is not reserved strictly for readers and chanters because Paul himself says that people of all talents are needed in the church (1 Corinthians 12:27-31).

It isn't just those two jurisdictions that are guilty of it, the OCA is too. There are FAR too many Orthodox here in America who have tried to "Americanize" and thus have adopted heretical Protestant sensibilities. This includes female readers, altar girls, pews, organs, westernized iconography, women holding the communion cloth etc...

I guarantee you don't see altar girls in most of the "Old World" there is a reason for it and we need our Bishops to begin cracking down on such illegal innovations like my Bishop has been.

There are circumstances where some things can be permitted via economy. However economy should NEVER become the norm. That is why it is called economy, it is allowed under that specific, temporary circumstance.
« Last Edit: July 04, 2012, 10:50:31 PM by 88Devin12 » Logged
PeterTheAleut
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« Reply #143 on: July 04, 2012, 10:50:13 PM »

Devin, you see me keep pressing you for theological reasons for why we the Church do what we do. What I would like to see from you is a statement of how men and women are ontologically different in God's sight and how those ontological differences dictate that only men can be permitted to perform most of the liturgical ministries in the Church. I understand that we have traditionally done things a particular way, and I'm certainly not going to be so presumptuous as to say that we should change that. Given time, I suppose I can even articulate some theological reasons for why we do what we do. Merely saying, "We've always done things this way, so we're always going to do things this way, and nothing's ever going to change," is an intellectual cop-out, IMO. Our Church is built on theological revelation, not thoughtless repetition.
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« Reply #144 on: July 04, 2012, 10:54:34 PM »

The fact that the role is restricted to the role of the Reader (only males can be readers).

Do you believe in female saints that are equal to the Apostles, like St. Mary Magdalene, St. Olga, St. Helen?  Do you believe it is OK for women to be teachers?  Does your Bishop believe that it is OK for women to be teachers?

The only reason it can be otherwise is out of economy when a Reader is not present, and if a Reader is not present, someone who is in training to be a Reader should be the one to read the Epistle.

According to whom do you base the above statement?

Peter, just quit trying to play the devil's advocate. If you truly are Orthodox and don't think altar girls should be permitted then you have absolutely no reason to question me.

I don't know why this parish in Jacksonville, FL allows altar girls nor do I know why Metropolitan Alexios allows this parish (and others?) to have altar girls?
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88Devin12
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« Reply #145 on: July 04, 2012, 10:55:07 PM »

Devin, you see me keep pressing you for theological reasons for why we the Church do what we do. What I would like to see from you is a statement of how men and women are ontologically different in God's sight and how those ontological differences dictate that only men can be permitted to perform most of the liturgical ministries in the Church. I understand that we have traditionally done things a particular way, and I'm certainly not going to be so presumptuous as to say that we should change that. Given time, I suppose I can even articulate some theological reasons for why we do what we do. Merely saying, "We've always done things this way, so we're always going to do things this way, and nothing's ever going to change," is an intellectual cop-out, IMO. Our Church is built on theological revelation, not thoughtless repetition.

So what if it is an intellectual cop-out? I'm no theologian and don't know the answer to everything. I shouldn't be expected to have an answer for everything in the Orthodox world.

Saying, "we've always done it this way and it isn't going to change" is true. It HAS always been this way and it ISN'T ever going to change. There are good theological reasons for it but why should we care to articulate them instead of just accepting the way it is and realizing we cannot change it? If people don't like it, they should simply get out, or submit and accept it instead of trying to change things.
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« Reply #146 on: July 04, 2012, 10:56:16 PM »

So you have an issue with female Parish Council members reading the Epistle - a common occurrence at most Orthodox Churches.  Or, you have an issue with female Sunday School students reading the Epistle, which occurs at some Orthodox Churches.

Yes actually I do, in the Churches I have attended, only men (and if a reader is available the reader) read the Epistle.

The ONLY reason this should be occurring and the ONLY reason anyone other than the Reader or someone in training as a Reader should be reading the Epistle is if readers are available and no men (who can chant well) are available.

This is another one of the things which our Bishop has warned against and that if possible, only Readers, and after that only Men should read the Epistle. Even little children shouldn't be reading the Epistle.

BTW, I've heard several women at the parishes I've attended support this and say that the only reason they have ever read is when their parish only had a few attendees and no baptized men who could chant were available.

This is an abuse the several jurisdictions, including the GOA is guilty of. Just because someone is "respected" in the community, or they are a "cute kid" doesn't mean they should be reading the Epistle. We trivialize the reading of the holy Epistle when we act like it is simply something that is just read by respected members of the community in church.
What theological reason do you have for arguing that only men be permitted to read the Epistle during the Liturgy?

The fact that the role is restricted to the role of the Reader (only males can be readers).

The only reason it can be otherwise is out of economy when a Reader is not present, and if a Reader is not present, someone who is in training to be a Reader should be the one to read the Epistle.
That's not a theological reason. I would appreciate even a citation of St. Paul's injunction that we not allow women to be in positions of authority over men, but what you've provided is nothing more than another repetition of, "this is simply the way we do things in the Church."

Peter, just quit trying to play the devil's advocate. If you truly are Orthodox and don't think altar girls should be permitted then you have absolutely no reason to question me.
I'm not playing devil's advocate, so please quit projecting that motive onto me. I merely want to know the foundation on which you build your opinions.

I'm sure you also are either ignoring or just didn't see reply number 127.
No, I've seen it, and I'm not ignoring it. It's just a bit more complicated to respond to than your other posts, and drafting a reply would take more time.
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88Devin12
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« Reply #147 on: July 04, 2012, 10:59:47 PM »

The fact that the role is restricted to the role of the Reader (only males can be readers).

Do you believe in female saints that are equal to the Apostles, like St. Mary Magdalene, St. Olga, St. Helen?  Do you believe it is OK for women to be teachers?  Does your Bishop believe that it is OK for women to be teachers?

The only reason it can be otherwise is out of economy when a Reader is not present, and if a Reader is not present, someone who is in training to be a Reader should be the one to read the Epistle.

According to whom do you base the above statement?

Peter, just quit trying to play the devil's advocate. If you truly are Orthodox and don't think altar girls should be permitted then you have absolutely no reason to question me.

I don't know why this parish in Jacksonville, FL allows altar girls nor do I know why Metropolitan Alexios allows this parish (and others?) to have altar girls?

Being a Reader isn't simply the role of a "teacher" I don't see why you think that it is. Women simply cannot be tonsured as Readers, that is a fact of our Church. It is just like the sub-deaconate, the deaconate, the priesthood and the episcopacy.
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88Devin12
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« Reply #148 on: July 04, 2012, 11:01:05 PM »

So you have an issue with female Parish Council members reading the Epistle - a common occurrence at most Orthodox Churches.  Or, you have an issue with female Sunday School students reading the Epistle, which occurs at some Orthodox Churches.

Yes actually I do, in the Churches I have attended, only men (and if a reader is available the reader) read the Epistle.

The ONLY reason this should be occurring and the ONLY reason anyone other than the Reader or someone in training as a Reader should be reading the Epistle is if readers are available and no men (who can chant well) are available.

This is another one of the things which our Bishop has warned against and that if possible, only Readers, and after that only Men should read the Epistle. Even little children shouldn't be reading the Epistle.

BTW, I've heard several women at the parishes I've attended support this and say that the only reason they have ever read is when their parish only had a few attendees and no baptized men who could chant were available.

This is an abuse the several jurisdictions, including the GOA is guilty of. Just because someone is "respected" in the community, or they are a "cute kid" doesn't mean they should be reading the Epistle. We trivialize the reading of the holy Epistle when we act like it is simply something that is just read by respected members of the community in church.
What theological reason do you have for arguing that only men be permitted to read the Epistle during the Liturgy?

The fact that the role is restricted to the role of the Reader (only males can be readers).

The only reason it can be otherwise is out of economy when a Reader is not present, and if a Reader is not present, someone who is in training to be a Reader should be the one to read the Epistle.
That's not a theological reason. I would appreciate even a citation of St. Paul's injunction that we not allow women to be in positions of authority over men, but what you've provided is nothing more than another repetition of, "this is simply the way we do things in the Church."

Peter, just quit trying to play the devil's advocate. If you truly are Orthodox and don't think altar girls should be permitted then you have absolutely no reason to question me.
I'm not playing devil's advocate, so please quit projecting that motive onto me. I merely want to know the foundation on which you build your opinions.

I'm sure you also are either ignoring or just didn't see reply number 127.
No, I've seen it, and I'm not ignoring it. It's just a bit more complicated to respond to than your other posts, and drafting a reply would take more time.

We don't need theological reasons to defend our church's traditions. They are there, but who cares what they are, we aren't going to change them. People who want to change them should either get out of the church or submit and accept them as they are.
« Last Edit: July 04, 2012, 11:01:28 PM by 88Devin12 » Logged
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« Reply #149 on: July 04, 2012, 11:02:02 PM »

It isn't just those two jurisdictions that are guilty of it, the OCA is too. There are FAR too many Orthodox here in America who have tried to "Americanize" and thus have adopted heretical Protestant sensibilities. This includes female readers, altar girls, pews, organs, westernized iconography, women holding the communion cloth etc...

The Church in America continues to evolve and suffer growing pains.  That's why there's an Episcopal Assembly whose work may take decades, even centuries, to come to fruition.

I guarantee you don't see altar girls in most of the "Old World" there is a reason for it and we need our Bishops to begin cracking down on such illegal innovations like my Bishop has been.

Can you provide links to where your Bishop has issued statements condemning what you deem "heretical Protestant sensibilities?"

There are circumstances where some things can be permitted via economy. However economy should NEVER become the norm. That is why it is called economy, it is allowed under that specific, temporary circumstance.

Do you think what you see is an abuse of economy?
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« Reply #150 on: July 04, 2012, 11:03:56 PM »

Devin, you see me keep pressing you for theological reasons for why we the Church do what we do. What I would like to see from you is a statement of how men and women are ontologically different in God's sight and how those ontological differences dictate that only men can be permitted to perform most of the liturgical ministries in the Church. I understand that we have traditionally done things a particular way, and I'm certainly not going to be so presumptuous as to say that we should change that. Given time, I suppose I can even articulate some theological reasons for why we do what we do. Merely saying, "We've always done things this way, so we're always going to do things this way, and nothing's ever going to change," is an intellectual cop-out, IMO. Our Church is built on theological revelation, not thoughtless repetition.

So what if it is an intellectual cop-out? I'm no theologian and don't know the answer to everything. I shouldn't be expected to have an answer for everything in the Orthodox world.
Even "I don't know" is an answer. In fact, it's often a much better answer than those you've provided on this thread.

Saying, "we've always done it this way and it isn't going to change" is true. It HAS always been this way and it ISN'T ever going to change. There are good theological reasons for it but why should we care to articulate them instead of just accepting the way it is and realizing we cannot change it?
I will venture to say that most people are not like you. If they have a good theological understanding of why we do what we do, they'll voice those theological reasons. If not, they're not going to pontificate that we should just accept it just because that's the way we've always done things.

In the end, though, I don't think there's any room for your virulent anti-intellectualism in the Church.

If people don't like it, they should simply get out, or submit and accept it instead of trying to change things.
Again, I'm not trying to change things. I'm just trying to understand.
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« Reply #151 on: July 04, 2012, 11:07:29 PM »

Being a Reader isn't simply the role of a "teacher" I don't see why you think that it is.

Because he/she is reading the words written by Paul or one of the Apostles who went and taught the entire world.

Women simply cannot be tonsured as Readers, that is a fact of our Church. It is just like the sub-deaconate, the deaconate, the priesthood and the episcopacy.

An example of economy is tonsuring a women, who chants, as a reader.  Some Orthodox Churches have female chanters; maybe your visits to traditional Orthodox lands have caused you to lose sight of the reality of the Orthodox Church as it currently exists in America.
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« Reply #152 on: July 04, 2012, 11:08:46 PM »

It isn't just those two jurisdictions that are guilty of it, the OCA is too. There are FAR too many Orthodox here in America who have tried to "Americanize" and thus have adopted heretical Protestant sensibilities. This includes female readers, altar girls, pews, organs, westernized iconography, women holding the communion cloth etc...

The Church in America continues to evolve and suffer growing pains.  That's why there's an Episcopal Assembly whose work may take decades, even centuries, to come to fruition.

I guarantee you don't see altar girls in most of the "Old World" there is a reason for it and we need our Bishops to begin cracking down on such illegal innovations like my Bishop has been.

Can you provide links to where your Bishop has issued statements condemning what you deem "heretical Protestant sensibilities?"

There are circumstances where some things can be permitted via economy. However economy should NEVER become the norm. That is why it is called economy, it is allowed under that specific, temporary circumstance.

Do you think what you see is an abuse of economy?

I have no links because it was a conference of clergy with the Bishop, and I had heard the same exact thing from several Priests, and the laypeople who had been forwarded the Bishop's email.

Yes, I do believe it is an abuse of economy... I have attended a mission parish which would occasionally have to have women read the epistle (though they would sometimes ask me to do so for them) because they didn't have anymore than a few people in attendance. Yet that same mission parish now has more members in attendance and only the baptized men read, and the women in the parish have vocally expressed their dislike for the practice of making it a regular rule of having laypeople (especially women and children) read the Epistle during Liturgy.

I have seen a parish with 150 people in attendance have a female member of the parish read the Epistle (and they had allowed a young child in the congregation, not an altar boy read the epistle on another occasion). This same parish had about 10 kids (from very young to late adolescence) serving as altar boys. They also had 2-3 deacons serving and multiple Priests. This is an abuse of economy...
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« Reply #153 on: July 04, 2012, 11:10:35 PM »

We don't need theological reasons to defend our church's traditions. They are there, but who cares what they are, we aren't going to change them. People who want to change them should either get out of the church or submit and accept them as they are.

Your logic resembles the logic of a Priest who wouldn't marry an Orthodox with a Catholic in the 1950's and 1960's, resulting in the loss of the family from the Orthodox Church.
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« Reply #154 on: July 04, 2012, 11:11:11 PM »

Being a Reader isn't simply the role of a "teacher" I don't see why you think that it is.

Because he/she is reading the words written by Paul or one of the Apostles who went and taught the entire world.

Women simply cannot be tonsured as Readers, that is a fact of our Church. It is just like the sub-deaconate, the deaconate, the priesthood and the episcopacy.

An example of economy is tonsuring a women, who chants, as a reader.  Some Orthodox Churches have female chanters; maybe your visits to traditional Orthodox lands have caused you to lose sight of the reality of the Orthodox Church as it currently exists in America.

They don't have females who are tonsured as chantors/readers because this is a role restricted to men. They may be blessed by the Priest to do so, but it should be an example of economy and not something that is "just done".

There has to be a good reason, and that reason should be the lack of anyone serving at the altar or a tonsured reader. Otherwise it is an abuse of economy.

Just face the facts, too many American parishes have subjected themselves to Protestant & American Catholic tendencies which are liturgical abuses that need to be corrected.
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« Reply #155 on: July 04, 2012, 11:12:04 PM »

We don't need theological reasons to defend our church's traditions. They are there, but who cares what they are, we aren't going to change them. People who want to change them should either get out of the church or submit and accept them as they are.

Your logic resembles the logic of a Priest who wouldn't marry an Orthodox with a Catholic in the 1950's and 1960's, resulting in the loss of the family from the Orthodox Church.

They shouldn't marry an Orthodox with a Roman Catholic (they aren't Catholic, we are) unless the Roman Catholic agrees to either convert or raise all of their children as Orthodox Christians and in the church with absolutely NO inter-communion. If the parents allow their kids to commune in a Roman Catholic Church, the parents ought to immediately be excommunicated.
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« Reply #156 on: July 04, 2012, 11:13:29 PM »

So you have an issue with female Parish Council members reading the Epistle - a common occurrence at most Orthodox Churches.  Or, you have an issue with female Sunday School students reading the Epistle, which occurs at some Orthodox Churches.

Yes actually I do, in the Churches I have attended, only men (and if a reader is available the reader) read the Epistle.

The ONLY reason this should be occurring and the ONLY reason anyone other than the Reader or someone in training as a Reader should be reading the Epistle is if readers are available and no men (who can chant well) are available.

This is another one of the things which our Bishop has warned against and that if possible, only Readers, and after that only Men should read the Epistle. Even little children shouldn't be reading the Epistle.

BTW, I've heard several women at the parishes I've attended support this and say that the only reason they have ever read is when their parish only had a few attendees and no baptized men who could chant were available.

This is an abuse the several jurisdictions, including the GOA is guilty of. Just because someone is "respected" in the community, or they are a "cute kid" doesn't mean they should be reading the Epistle. We trivialize the reading of the holy Epistle when we act like it is simply something that is just read by respected members of the community in church.
What theological reason do you have for arguing that only men be permitted to read the Epistle during the Liturgy?

The fact that the role is restricted to the role of the Reader (only males can be readers).

The only reason it can be otherwise is out of economy when a Reader is not present, and if a Reader is not present, someone who is in training to be a Reader should be the one to read the Epistle.
That's not a theological reason. I would appreciate even a citation of St. Paul's injunction that we not allow women to be in positions of authority over men, but what you've provided is nothing more than another repetition of, "this is simply the way we do things in the Church."

Peter, just quit trying to play the devil's advocate. If you truly are Orthodox and don't think altar girls should be permitted then you have absolutely no reason to question me.
I'm not playing devil's advocate, so please quit projecting that motive onto me. I merely want to know the foundation on which you build your opinions.

I'm sure you also are either ignoring or just didn't see reply number 127.
No, I've seen it, and I'm not ignoring it. It's just a bit more complicated to respond to than your other posts, and drafting a reply would take more time.

We don't need theological reasons to defend our church's traditions.
Actually, yes we do. "That's the way we've always done things" is just not a persuasive argument. Our Church is built on theology, not thoughtless repetition.

They are there, but who cares what they are, we aren't going to change them. People who want to change them should either get out of the church or submit and accept them as they are.
Knowledge of our reasons does not imply a desire to change. If anything, knowledge of our reasons will most often strengthen our desire to preserve our Tradition unchanged. After all, did not Jesus offer Himself to be touched by Thomas's hands in order to strengthen his faith? Was not St. Thomas afterward one of our strongest apostles precisely because of his personal experience of the risen Christ?
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« Reply #157 on: July 04, 2012, 11:15:00 PM »


Yes, I do believe it is an abuse of economy... I have attended a mission parish which would occasionally have to have women read the epistle (though they would sometimes ask me to do so for them) because they didn't have anymore than a few people in attendance. Yet that same mission parish now has more members in attendance and only the baptized men read, and the women in the parish have vocally expressed their dislike for the practice of making it a regular rule of having laypeople (especially women and children) read the Epistle during Liturgy.

Why do you think the women of this parish have expressed a dislike that you describe?

I have seen a parish with 150 people in attendance have a female member of the parish read the Epistle (and they had allowed a young child in the congregation, not an altar boy read the epistle on another occasion). This same parish had about 10 kids (from very young to late adolescence) serving as altar boys. They also had 2-3 deacons serving and multiple Priests. This is an abuse of economy...

Sounds like a typical Orthodox Church to me.
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« Reply #158 on: July 04, 2012, 11:15:39 PM »

So you have an issue with female Parish Council members reading the Epistle - a common occurrence at most Orthodox Churches.  Or, you have an issue with female Sunday School students reading the Epistle, which occurs at some Orthodox Churches.

Yes actually I do, in the Churches I have attended, only men (and if a reader is available the reader) read the Epistle.

The ONLY reason this should be occurring and the ONLY reason anyone other than the Reader or someone in training as a Reader should be reading the Epistle is if readers are available and no men (who can chant well) are available.

This is another one of the things which our Bishop has warned against and that if possible, only Readers, and after that only Men should read the Epistle. Even little children shouldn't be reading the Epistle.

BTW, I've heard several women at the parishes I've attended support this and say that the only reason they have ever read is when their parish only had a few attendees and no baptized men who could chant were available.

This is an abuse the several jurisdictions, including the GOA is guilty of. Just because someone is "respected" in the community, or they are a "cute kid" doesn't mean they should be reading the Epistle. We trivialize the reading of the holy Epistle when we act like it is simply something that is just read by respected members of the community in church.
What theological reason do you have for arguing that only men be permitted to read the Epistle during the Liturgy?

The fact that the role is restricted to the role of the Reader (only males can be readers).

The only reason it can be otherwise is out of economy when a Reader is not present, and if a Reader is not present, someone who is in training to be a Reader should be the one to read the Epistle.
That's not a theological reason. I would appreciate even a citation of St. Paul's injunction that we not allow women to be in positions of authority over men, but what you've provided is nothing more than another repetition of, "this is simply the way we do things in the Church."

Peter, just quit trying to play the devil's advocate. If you truly are Orthodox and don't think altar girls should be permitted then you have absolutely no reason to question me.
I'm not playing devil's advocate, so please quit projecting that motive onto me. I merely want to know the foundation on which you build your opinions.

I'm sure you also are either ignoring or just didn't see reply number 127.
No, I've seen it, and I'm not ignoring it. It's just a bit more complicated to respond to than your other posts, and drafting a reply would take more time.

We don't need theological reasons to defend our church's traditions.
Actually, yes we do. "That's the way we've always done things" is just not a persuasive argument. Our Church is built on theology, not thoughtless repetition.

They are there, but who cares what they are, we aren't going to change them. People who want to change them should either get out of the church or submit and accept them as they are.
Knowledge of our reasons does not imply a desire to change. If anything, knowledge of our reasons will most often strengthen our desire to preserve our Tradition unchanged. After all, did not Jesus offer Himself to be touched by Thomas's hands in order to strengthen his faith? Was not St. Thomas afterward one of our strongest apostles precisely because of his personal experience of the risen Christ?

You ignore the fact that most people who question it do want to change the church's traditions. Just look at the heretics in Axios, or the heterodox people in the St. Nina's website.
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« Reply #159 on: July 04, 2012, 11:17:16 PM »

So you have an issue with female Parish Council members reading the Epistle - a common occurrence at most Orthodox Churches.  Or, you have an issue with female Sunday School students reading the Epistle, which occurs at some Orthodox Churches.

Yes actually I do, in the Churches I have attended, only men (and if a reader is available the reader) read the Epistle.

The ONLY reason this should be occurring and the ONLY reason anyone other than the Reader or someone in training as a Reader should be reading the Epistle is if readers are available and no men (who can chant well) are available.

This is another one of the things which our Bishop has warned against and that if possible, only Readers, and after that only Men should read the Epistle. Even little children shouldn't be reading the Epistle.

BTW, I've heard several women at the parishes I've attended support this and say that the only reason they have ever read is when their parish only had a few attendees and no baptized men who could chant were available.

This is an abuse the several jurisdictions, including the GOA is guilty of. Just because someone is "respected" in the community, or they are a "cute kid" doesn't mean they should be reading the Epistle. We trivialize the reading of the holy Epistle when we act like it is simply something that is just read by respected members of the community in church.
What theological reason do you have for arguing that only men be permitted to read the Epistle during the Liturgy?

The fact that the role is restricted to the role of the Reader (only males can be readers).

The only reason it can be otherwise is out of economy when a Reader is not present, and if a Reader is not present, someone who is in training to be a Reader should be the one to read the Epistle.
That's not a theological reason. I would appreciate even a citation of St. Paul's injunction that we not allow women to be in positions of authority over men, but what you've provided is nothing more than another repetition of, "this is simply the way we do things in the Church."

Peter, just quit trying to play the devil's advocate. If you truly are Orthodox and don't think altar girls should be permitted then you have absolutely no reason to question me.
I'm not playing devil's advocate, so please quit projecting that motive onto me. I merely want to know the foundation on which you build your opinions.

I'm sure you also are either ignoring or just didn't see reply number 127.
No, I've seen it, and I'm not ignoring it. It's just a bit more complicated to respond to than your other posts, and drafting a reply would take more time.

We don't need theological reasons to defend our church's traditions.
Actually, yes we do. "That's the way we've always done things" is just not a persuasive argument. Our Church is built on theology, not thoughtless repetition.

They are there, but who cares what they are, we aren't going to change them. People who want to change them should either get out of the church or submit and accept them as they are.
Knowledge of our reasons does not imply a desire to change. If anything, knowledge of our reasons will most often strengthen our desire to preserve our Tradition unchanged. After all, did not Jesus offer Himself to be touched by Thomas's hands in order to strengthen his faith? Was not St. Thomas afterward one of our strongest apostles precisely because of his personal experience of the risen Christ?

You ignore the fact that most people who question it do want to change the church's traditions. Just look at the heretics in Axios, or the heterodox people in the St. Nina's website.
Most of the people you've read? Don't you think you're making a hasty generalization here?
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« Reply #160 on: July 04, 2012, 11:19:27 PM »


Yes, I do believe it is an abuse of economy... I have attended a mission parish which would occasionally have to have women read the epistle (though they would sometimes ask me to do so for them) because they didn't have anymore than a few people in attendance. Yet that same mission parish now has more members in attendance and only the baptized men read, and the women in the parish have vocally expressed their dislike for the practice of making it a regular rule of having laypeople (especially women and children) read the Epistle during Liturgy.

Why do you think the women of this parish have expressed a dislike that you describe?

I have seen a parish with 150 people in attendance have a female member of the parish read the Epistle (and they had allowed a young child in the congregation, not an altar boy read the epistle on another occasion). This same parish had about 10 kids (from very young to late adolescence) serving as altar boys. They also had 2-3 deacons serving and multiple Priests. This is an abuse of economy...

Sounds like a typical Orthodox Church to me.

It definitely isn't a typical Orthodox Church, you need to go out and see more churches, especially in places where Orthodoxy has been there for 2000 years. Idiots shouldn't try to Americanize our church because we don't need Protestant heresies and ideas in our pure, undefiled church.

Also, these women are respectable, traditional Orthodox Christians. They actually wear and prefer to wear headcoverings, they refuse to handle the communion cloth if a male (and especially altar boys) are there. They are in the choirs of their churches, but they don't read the Epistle (nor do they desire to).

Why do they dislike it? Because they are Orthodox Christians who hold fast to the church's traditions instead of seeking to "modernize" it.

Feminists and misogynists have no place in our church.
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« Reply #161 on: July 04, 2012, 11:20:11 PM »

We don't need theological reasons to defend our church's traditions. They are there, but who cares what they are, we aren't going to change them. People who want to change them should either get out of the church or submit and accept them as they are.

Your logic resembles the logic of a Priest who wouldn't marry an Orthodox with a Catholic in the 1950's and 1960's, resulting in the loss of the family from the Orthodox Church.

They shouldn't marry an Orthodox with a Roman Catholic (they aren't Catholic, we are) unless the Roman Catholic agrees to either convert or raise all of their children as Orthodox Christians and in the church with absolutely NO inter-communion. If the parents allow their kids to commune in a Roman Catholic Church, the parents ought to immediately be excommunicated.

You are practicing akriveia, which means exactness or being strict. I was commenting on your insistence of people to either submit to the Church or get out; do we always have the choice to get out especially if we don't agree or understanding Orthodox practice?  Do we have forum members who have "gotten out" of Orthodoxy on numerous occasions and "re-entered" Orthodoxy on those same numerous occasions?
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« Reply #162 on: July 04, 2012, 11:24:47 PM »

We don't need theological reasons to defend our church's traditions. They are there, but who cares what they are, we aren't going to change them. People who want to change them should either get out of the church or submit and accept them as they are.

Your logic resembles the logic of a Priest who wouldn't marry an Orthodox with a Catholic in the 1950's and 1960's, resulting in the loss of the family from the Orthodox Church.

They shouldn't marry an Orthodox with a Roman Catholic (they aren't Catholic, we are) unless the Roman Catholic agrees to either convert or raise all of their children as Orthodox Christians and in the church with absolutely NO inter-communion. If the parents allow their kids to commune in a Roman Catholic Church, the parents ought to immediately be excommunicated.

You are practicing akriveia, which means exactness or being strict. I was commenting on your insistence of people to either submit to the Church or get out; do we always have the choice to get out especially if we don't agree or understanding Orthodox practice?  Do we have forum members who have "gotten out" of Orthodoxy on numerous occasions and "re-entered" Orthodoxy on those same numerous occasions?

intercommunion is heresy and is personal excommunication, economy CANNOT be applied in such a case.

If an Orthodox seeks to marry a Roman Catholic, the Roman Catholic should either convert or agree to raise their children in the Orthodox Church.

If the family knowingly allows their children to receive communion in a heretical (IE Roman Catholic Church) they have deliberatly defied the Orthodox Church and have excommunicated themselves and should be formally excommunicated by the Priest. They have endangered the lives of their children and become apostates themselves. The Priest has a DUTY to refuse them communion.

If they leave the Church, then so be it, they shouldn't sit in the church and deceive it by endangering the souls of their children by allowing them to partake of the body and blood of Christ and then the food of the demons.

Another example, I know a man who is still upset at our Priests and late Bishop for refusing a funeral to his son who committed suicide. The simple fact is that suicides cannot receive Orthodox funerals, they can only receive a Trisagion at their grave (if that much). The man simply should have accepted the fact that while tragic, this is how it always has to be. His son committed a grave sin (even if it might have been in the midst of severe mental illness which it doesn't seem like it was) and our church doesn't allow Orthodox funerals for suicides. The man probably almost left the Church, but that was his own fault for doubting and questioning the Church. If he left, it was on his own soul not the fault of the Church or the Priests.

Another example, in the early Church, you were excommunicated if you had offered to the idols. There were some Christian's whose hands were seized and they were physically forced to offer to the idols. From what I've read in the canons and such, the Church still refused them communion for a period of time and required they be amongst the kneeling penetants in the narthex.
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« Reply #163 on: July 04, 2012, 11:29:37 PM »

It definitely isn't a typical Orthodox Church, you need to go out and see more churches, especially in places where Orthodoxy has been there for 2000 years.

I've been to my mother's village church.  As a little boy, I went to the island of Tinos (where there's a Church dedicated to the Annunciation) and also visited the Monastery of Panagia Prousiotissa in Evrytania province.  I don't have to visit Athos to remain an Orthodox Christian.

Idiots shouldn't try to Americanize our church because we don't need Protestant heresies and ideas in our pure, undefiled church.

Christ knows that his Chuch is pure and undefiled.  We know we are sinners.  Should we just give up and apostasize?

Also, these women are respectable, traditional Orthodox Christians. They actually wear and prefer to wear headcoverings, they refuse to handle the communion cloth if a male (and especially altar boys) are there. They are in the choirs of their churches, but they don't read the Epistle (nor do they desire to).

Are they recent converts to Orthodoxy, like you are?

Why do they dislike it? Because they are Orthodox Christians who hold fast to the church's traditions instead of seeking to "modernize" it.

Feminists and misogynists have no place in our church.

The Church is a hospital for sinners....
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« Reply #164 on: July 04, 2012, 11:32:14 PM »

It definitely isn't a typical Orthodox Church, you need to go out and see more churches, especially in places where Orthodoxy has been there for 2000 years.

I've been to my mother's village church.  As a little boy, I went to the island of Tinos (where there's a Church dedicated to the Annunciation) and also visited the Monastery of Panagia Prousiotissa in Evrytania province.  I don't have to visit Athos to remain an Orthodox Christian.

Idiots shouldn't try to Americanize our church because we don't need Protestant heresies and ideas in our pure, undefiled church.

Christ knows that his Chuch is pure and undefiled.  We know we are sinners.  Should we just give up and apostasize?

Also, these women are respectable, traditional Orthodox Christians. They actually wear and prefer to wear headcoverings, they refuse to handle the communion cloth if a male (and especially altar boys) are there. They are in the choirs of their churches, but they don't read the Epistle (nor do they desire to).

Are they recent converts to Orthodoxy, like you are?

Why do they dislike it? Because they are Orthodox Christians who hold fast to the church's traditions instead of seeking to "modernize" it.

Feminists and misogynists have no place in our church.

The Church is a hospital for sinners....

They aren't recent converts.

Also, I haven't ever been to Mount Athos...

If you willingly disagree with the church, you have ALREADY committed a form of apostasy and shouldn't receive communion until you confess it and repent. This is one of the reasons why this specific question is often asked in confession.
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« Reply #165 on: July 04, 2012, 11:38:44 PM »

intercommunion is heresy and is personal excommunication, economy CANNOT be applied in such a case.

There's Confession and penance (if necessary).

If an Orthodox seeks to marry a Roman Catholic, the Roman Catholic should either convert or agree to raise their children in the Orthodox Church.

If the family knowingly allows their children to receive communion in a heretical (IE Roman Catholic Church) they have deliberatly defied the Orthodox Church and have excommunicated themselves and should be formally excommunicated by the Priest. They have endangered the lives of their children and become apostates themselves. The Priest has a DUTY to refuse them communion.

If they leave the Church, then so be it, they shouldn't sit in the church and deceive it by endangering the souls of their children by allowing them to partake of the body and blood of Christ and then the food of the demons.

Things happen.  Who are we to judge?

Another example, I know a man who is still upset at our Priests and late Bishop for refusing a funeral to his son who committed suicide. The simple fact is that suicides cannot receive Orthodox funerals, they can only receive a Trisagion at their grave (if that much). The man simply should have accepted the fact that while tragic, this is how it always has to be. His son committed a grave sin (even if it might have been in the midst of severe mental illness which it doesn't seem like it was) and our church doesn't allow Orthodox funerals for suicides. The man probably almost left the Church, but that was his own fault for doubting and questioning the Church. If he left, it was on his own soul not the fault of the Church or the Priests.

If the Priest knew that the person was troubled and has medical evidence, a funeral can be performed for suicides.

Another example, in the early Church, you were excommunicated if you had offered to the idols. There were some Christian's whose hands were seized and they were physically forced to offer to the idols. From what I've read in the canons and such, the Church still refused them communion for a period of time and required they be amongst the kneeling penetants in the narthex.

Is it practical in modern society to have kneeling penitents in the narthex?
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« Reply #166 on: July 04, 2012, 11:38:55 PM »

Can you answer me why it is that those who are in our church and espousing liberal views are composed of mostly cradles? (obviously I'm not saying all cradles are like this?)

I've talked to a woman who favored women's ordination to the Priesthood. She was a cradle...
I've talked to a man who disagrees with closed communion and thinks we should commune all Christians. He was a cradle...
I've talked to another woman who favored homosexual marriage in the church. She was a cradle...
I've talked to another man who thought he was qualified to serve the Liturgy because he had "seen it his whole life" and could "do just a good a job as the Priest"... He was a cradle...
I've talked to yet another woman who wanted to dress up like a man and sneak onto Mount Athos to shamelessly defy the ban on females there. She was a cradle...
I've talked to yet another man who wanted me to question our church's stance against ecumenism (inter-communion and con-celebration) and the Roman Catholic Church. He was a cradle...

Explain that to me, and why we should tolerate such people who openly defy and disagree with our church (with absolutely no regrets). Explain to my why I haven't encountered converts (and I'm talking baptized Orthodox converts) who feel this way?

You know, there is a reason we only have about 800,000-900,000 Orthodox Christians in North America. We cannot count the "baptized" who never attend church more than every few years, they simply aren't Orthodox Christians. That is why we don't have several million Orthodox in the United States, we don't even have a million.

I would rather we remain a smaller church with traditionally minded people or people willing to become traditionally minded rather than a bigger church with liberal, "progressive" minded people who openly disagree with the church without shame.
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« Reply #167 on: July 04, 2012, 11:44:50 PM »

Just to correct some of Devin's illusions: little kids (like 10, 11, 12 etc0 reading the Apostle has been common practice in the Romanian Church (girls too, on occasion) . I imagine it happens in many other churches. So much for the  new bishop of Chicago (OCA) outlawing that.
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« Reply #168 on: July 04, 2012, 11:46:03 PM »

Can you answer me why it is that those who are in our church and espousing liberal views are composed of mostly cradles? (obviously I'm not saying all cradles are like this?)

I've talked to a woman who favored women's ordination to the Priesthood. She was a cradle...
I've talked to a man who disagrees with closed communion and thinks we should commune all Christians. He was a cradle...
I've talked to another woman who favored homosexual marriage in the church. She was a cradle...

Explain that to me, and why we should tolerate such people who openly defy and disagree with our church (with absolutely no regrets). Explain to my why I haven't encountered converts (and I'm talking baptized Orthodox converts) who feel this way?

Did you ask these people, Why?   Huh

I get those questions as well.  I have answers and they begin with the Gospel.  Some people don't like the truth; however, we will find out on Judgment Day what is truth and what is everything else.  Sometimes, it is no use arguing with a person who's "set in their ways" because their heart is hardened; they want to believe and their belief system won't allow them to accept the Gospel into their heart.
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« Reply #169 on: July 04, 2012, 11:47:09 PM »

Just to correct some of Devin's illusions: little kids (like 10, 11, 12 etc0 reading the Apostle has been common practice in the Romanian Church (girls too, on occasion) . I imagine it happens in many other churches. So much for the  new bishop of Chicago (OCA) outlawing that.


Did I say all of the "Old World" churches? Besides, you don't even agree with the church anyway, so why should we trust what you say.

2.5 million Romanians aren't even Orthodox, I wouldn't trust anything that comes out of parts of central Romania and far northwestern Romania.

Romania needs to just kick out the non-Orthodox to the nations which are predominantly Roman Catholic like Hungary and Slovakia.
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« Reply #170 on: July 04, 2012, 11:51:03 PM »

Just to correct some of Devin's illusions: little kids (like 10, 11, 12 etc0 reading the Apostle has been common practice in the Romanian Church (girls too, on occasion) . I imagine it happens in many other churches. So much for the  new bishop of Chicago (OCA) outlawing that.


Did I say all of the "Old World" churches? Besides, you don't even agree with the church anyway, so why should we trust what you say.

2.5 million Romanians are heretics anyway, I wouldn't trust anything that comes out of parts of central Romania and far northwestern Romania.
I think I have a better grasp on some things than you have.
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« Reply #171 on: July 04, 2012, 11:52:29 PM »

Just to correct some of Devin's illusions: little kids (like 10, 11, 12 etc0 reading the Apostle has been common practice in the Romanian Church (girls too, on occasion) . I imagine it happens in many other churches. So much for the  new bishop of Chicago (OCA) outlawing that.


Did I say all of the "Old World" churches? Besides, you don't even agree with the church anyway, so why should we trust what you say.

2.5 million Romanians aren't even Orthodox, I wouldn't trust anything that comes out of parts of central Romania and far northwestern Romania.
Those are the ethnic Hungarians living there mostly, you silly. You have no idea.
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« Reply #172 on: July 04, 2012, 11:54:19 PM »

Quote
Romania needs to just kick out the non-Orthodox to the nations which are predominantly Roman Catholic like Hungary and Slovakia.
This is insane.
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« Reply #173 on: July 04, 2012, 11:54:30 PM »

Just to correct some of Devin's illusions: little kids (like 10, 11, 12 etc0 reading the Apostle has been common practice in the Romanian Church (girls too, on occasion) . I imagine it happens in many other churches. So much for the  new bishop of Chicago (OCA) outlawing that.


Did I say all of the "Old World" churches? Besides, you don't even agree with the church anyway, so why should we trust what you say.

2.5 million Romanians are heretics anyway, I wouldn't trust anything that comes out of parts of central Romania and far northwestern Romania.
I think I have a better grasp on some things than you have.

hmm... Like I said, I don't trust anything from anyone that comes from areas in Romania like Harghita, Covasna, Mures, Satu Mare, Bihor and Maramures. I would be skeptical of anything from anywhere in Romania where they live amongst a lot of non-Orthodox.
« Last Edit: July 04, 2012, 11:54:57 PM by 88Devin12 » Logged
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« Reply #174 on: July 04, 2012, 11:54:58 PM »

Okay, so here's how I see it.

Women, including young girls, have no place in the Altar.  From old this was the case, and this is why it was so extraordinary that the Theotokos was allowed in to the Holy of Holies (a place where the priest (always a male) only entered but once a year).

Why?  Well, there are many reasons mentioned in the OT and the NT.  To me personally, the most poignant lesson that women are not to enter the Altar, which is reserved for the clergy, is Christ choosing men to be His disciples, and therefore bishops, priest, etc.  He picked 12 men, and not a single woman.  Why did He do that?  Who knows?  I also don't know why God created mosquitoes, but He did.  I'm sure He knows best and has a reason for all He has done.

That's one reason.  Another might be that women have their monthly cycles, but, we won't go there because that has been covered ad nauseam.

What about when she's a mother....who will watch her children when she's busy in the altar?  I can't picture daycare behind the iconostasis.

Finally, on a completely non-theological note....I don't care what you say, girls love to flirt.  With the odd exception, they will fluff their hair, redden their cheeks, elongate their lashes and giggle when a boy comes within sight.  Boys love to flirt with girls, as well.  Isn't it bad enough that the boys spill the wine, almost set the church on fire when lighting the censor, etc.....without the added burden of having to smile and impress girls at the same time.

Mt. Athos is forbidden to women, and we should respect that.  Granted in emergencies women have been permitted on the island, and in emergencies with permission, women have been allowed in the altar.  Women have a million places they "can" be and a million things they "can" be doing....we don't "need" to do everything and go everywhere.   ....and yet we have those who complain about this restriction...that the monks need to be strong enough to handle seeing a woman, etc.  Who says they aren't....but, it's an unnecessary distraction.  Why make them feel uncomfortable?  Isn't that why women often go to female exclusive gyms?  So that they don't worry about what is showing or bouncing, and that some guy is eyeing them?  What's wrong with the sexes being segregated if they wish to be?  Not everything needs to be equalized.  

As for the women keeping quiet, not teaching and not reading in church, etc....which is mentioned in the Scriptures....these things have changed with the times.  Women were forbidden to speak, but, women also didn't work, nor vote.  Now we do, and our roles and responsibilities have changed in the life of the Church.  

The "silence" portion wasn't even completely true in the time of the Apostles, as many women went out and preached from the get go....and many found favor in the eyes of God for their preaching.  

Therefore, having women read the Epistle, serve on the church council and act as Sunday School teachers is the norm.  It's rare to find a man who is even interested in filling the role of Sunday School teacher, and therefore, the women have taken it on, as it's better to have a woman teach your children, then let them out in the world with no knowledge of their Faith.

As for the reading of the Epistle, I have seen both women and children read it...and it didn't upset me. As the norm, it's the reader, or another man.  However, I don't honestly see anything wrong with women or teens reading.  They are not entering the Altar, they are simply reading within the Nave.  I've seen one teenage boy read the Epistle in Ukrainian, and a teenage girl read the same one in English after he had finished.  They read beautifully....even better than the man who usually reads...who yells so loud, one can't even understand what is being said.

As long as they are not being disrespectful, and are not in the Altar, I don't see the harm with older children taking an active role in the services.

“Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these."  Mark 10:14

In my parish, men have ruled for 65 years!  Women played no role whatsoever.  How disheartening to be a woman in such a situation.  The men held the candles, the men got to carry the banners, the icons, the......you name it.  Why?  You know there are women in the parish who are by far more faithful and yet they can't even carry an icon.  Why?

A few years back I saw other churches where women got to carry the banners out of the church when greeting a bishop.  Wow, I thought. Really?  So, at Pascha I asked my priest if he would mind...and he said he saw no issues with women carrying things outside the Altar.  So there I was....the first woman in the history of my parish to carry the banner of the Theotokos around the church on Pascha!  When I gathered in the center of the nave with the men, you could hear the whispers....and then I glanced at the choir which had gathered near the door, waiting to exit and sing....and the women were all giving me a thumbs up.

Why shouldn't I carry the banner?  Smiley  I have carried ever since....and to be honest....I only carry it out of principle...because that thing is HEAVY!!!!  Oh my gosh!!!!  I can't wait for the end of the third time around....and then climb the steps....man!  I don't know how the guys do it....I can hardly keep it balanced!  Cheesy

Let's not forget the Incarnation only occurred due to a woman.  Women are not disliked or discarded in the Church.  We simply have different roles from men.  Jobs need to be delegated to different individuals, otherwise, everyone would squabble over one duty, while completely neglecting another.

There are plenty of things for women to do in the Church.  Even kitchen duty is an honor.  We get to feed our people.  We get to teach the kids.  We get to keep peace in our families.  We nurture, we love, we clean, we make this world a better place.

Leave the altar to the men.  They have little enough to do otherwise.  Smiley


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« Reply #175 on: July 04, 2012, 11:59:45 PM »

Just to correct some of Devin's illusions: little kids (like 10, 11, 12 etc0 reading the Apostle has been common practice in the Romanian Church (girls too, on occasion) . I imagine it happens in many other churches. So much for the  new bishop of Chicago (OCA) outlawing that.


Did I say all of the "Old World" churches? Besides, you don't even agree with the church anyway, so why should we trust what you say.

2.5 million Romanians are heretics anyway, I wouldn't trust anything that comes out of parts of central Romania and far northwestern Romania.
I think I have a better grasp on some things than you have.

hmm... Like I said, I don't trust anything from anyone that comes from areas in Romania like Harghita, Covasna, Mures, Satu Mare, Bihor and Maramures. I would be skeptical of anything from anywhere in Romania where they live amongst a lot of non-Orthodox.
And we should trust you in Missouri, if the percentage of Orthodox is the criterion. The percentage of Orthodox in Bihor somewhere between 70%- to 80%. What is it again, in Missouri. You just keep shooting yourself in the foot.
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88Devin12
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« Reply #176 on: July 05, 2012, 12:01:51 AM »

Just to correct some of Devin's illusions: little kids (like 10, 11, 12 etc0 reading the Apostle has been common practice in the Romanian Church (girls too, on occasion) . I imagine it happens in many other churches. So much for the  new bishop of Chicago (OCA) outlawing that.


Did I say all of the "Old World" churches? Besides, you don't even agree with the church anyway, so why should we trust what you say.

2.5 million Romanians are heretics anyway, I wouldn't trust anything that comes out of parts of central Romania and far northwestern Romania.
I think I have a better grasp on some things than you have.

hmm... Like I said, I don't trust anything from anyone that comes from areas in Romania like Harghita, Covasna, Mures, Satu Mare, Bihor and Maramures. I would be skeptical of anything from anywhere in Romania where they live amongst a lot of non-Orthodox.
And we should trust you in Missouri, if the percentage of Orthodox is the criterion. The percentage of Orthodox in Bihor somewhere between 70%- to 80%. What is it again, in Missouri. You just keep shooting yourself in the foot.

I think this is one of the reasons we have so many abuses in American parishes including in my home state... Look at Greece where pretty much all the provinces are 98% Orthodox.

I never saw any of these abuses (save for chairs and westernized iconography which is being replaced and stopped).
« Last Edit: July 05, 2012, 12:04:51 AM by 88Devin12 » Logged
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« Reply #177 on: July 05, 2012, 12:02:43 AM »

A lovely post, Liza!  Thank you.
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« Reply #178 on: July 05, 2012, 12:07:26 AM »

All I have to say, is that if our Church ever officially allows gay marriage, female Priesthood or altar girls (serving at the altar), that would pretty much signal the end of my adherence to Christianity. Thankfully that will never, ever happen because the Church is pure and without change.
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« Reply #179 on: July 05, 2012, 12:10:15 AM »

All I have to say, is that if our Church ever officially allows gay marriage, female Priesthood or altar girls (serving at the altar), that would pretty much signal the end of my adherence to Christianity. Thankfully that will never, ever happen because the Church is pure and without change.
good grief Huh Roll Eyes your adherence to Christianity is already you know, fringey and plainly reactionary plus suffering from melancholy romanticism .
« Last Edit: July 05, 2012, 12:12:43 AM by augustin717 » Logged
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