By the way, I think that the site that you linked to (Saint George Orthodox Cathedral) is way off base when it affirms that "(the) Liturgical vestments come from the days of the first priests in the old testament". (Not that you are yourself defending this POV in your post.) There is no connection whatsoever between the levitical priesthood and Christian clergy.
What exactly do you mean by this? "No connection whatsoever"?
Well, I mean exactly what I say. Perhaps I have overstated things a little bit to make a point.
Yeah, this just confuses me because our clergy are directly related to the entirety of Temple priesthood.
Sorry, but IMHO this is an erroneous POV concerning the nature of Christian priesthood. Although the Church is indeed the true Israel, and though we have indeed inherited (and sometimes transformed) much from the Jewish tradition in terms of our scriptures and (early) liturgical practice, IMHO there can be no denying that priesthood is simply not the same now that the old covenant has been supplanted by the new covenant. The veil of the temple was torn in two. The glorious death, resurrection, and ascension of our Lord, together with the giving of the Spirit and inauguration of the Kingdom have turned the whole world upside down! Paul considered everything he inherited from Hebrew tradition to be garbage(!)
compared to the new life in Christ. (Philippians 3:4-11) Every baptised Christian believer is in fact a priest, which flows from the only true priesthood: that of Christ. Bishops and their delegates (presbyters) function as the president of each local Church or assembly. It is certainly true that there are sacerdotal elements that come into play in their function, and that only bishops or their duly appointed delegates my preside at liturgy. But it is the entire assembly that participates in the offering and consecration of the Eucharist, not just the president of the assembly. Although the clergy are called to a special role in the Church, they are also all still laos
in the early Christian sense, just like the rest of us. I am not saying that the Church is not hierarchical, or that we should not respect and love and pray for our bishops and priests....this is our duty, and they need our support! But I think it is dangerous to set them apart completely, this can lead to clericalism.
I have no trouble at all with us calling prebyters priests: sure, they are members of a ministerial
priesthood, just like bishops. I get that. But the fact remains that they are drawn from the laos
and remain such while also being clergy, and we the members of the people of God are true priests if we are in Christ, and we are in no way related to the levitical priesthood. Unless you want to say that the levitical priesthood is a tupos
of the Christian priesthood to come, I suppose.
It is You, Lord, Who have also called me, Your humble, sinful and unworthy servant, caught up in many sins, and wallowing in the pleasures of life, to the holy and exceedingly lofty degree of the priesthood, and to enter within the innermost veil, into the holy of holies, where the holy Angels desire to penetrate and hear the voice of the Lord God announcing glad tidings, and to behold with their own eyes the presence of the sacred Oblation, and to enjoy the divine and sacred Liturgy.
You, Lord, deemed me worthy to minister Your heavenly Mysteries, and offer You gifts and sacrifices for our sins, and the ignorances of people; and to mediate for Your reason-endowed sheep, so that, through Your great and ineffable love for mankind, You may blot out their transgressions.
This appears to me to be an allegorical
way of talking about the priesthood that is in some ways most unfortunate. (It is from the prayer to be read by the fifth priest at the service of holy annointing).