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Author Topic: Women and the Epistle  (Read 1681 times) Average Rating: 0
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isaelie
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« on: May 12, 2014, 08:29:51 PM »

I found a thread on this, but it got off-topic.

Women doing the Epistle, what do you think? Quite frankly, I get annoyed very much when this is the case. I've seen it done in slavonic churches. But when done in a byzantine style, i get distressed. Keep in mind that there always are very capable men who are able to do it, and are standing right there. Common practise here in australia in antioch church's. I run out of the church when this happens. I am not kidding. The men of the choir give it to women to do more than half the time, as if they have to satisfy some equality constraint.

I pray for the ordination of a reader, so I can stop running out of the church. But God is gracious, and who are we to dispute who he has chosen as his clergy, or their decisions.

Anything of this sort happen to you?
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« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2014, 08:43:05 PM »

Women doing the Epistle, what do you think? Quite frankly, I get annoyed very much when this is the case.

Why do you get annoyed?

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« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2014, 08:48:30 PM »

Because there are men there to do it, women dont know how to do it properly, they dress very inappropiately, they are reading from the Bible but you get the feeling they are putting on a show contest, they give the choir master a dirty look if they do not get the reading, they do not wear head covering, they want the microphone to be right on their lips so the street outside can hear them, its not proper chanting because they add their emotion into it and their own agenda, respect for the men that are there

EDIT: Respect for God and the Liturgy, realising the difference between men and women, if men and women are the same, why are the priests men? Why was Jesus a God-Man?
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« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2014, 09:03:26 PM »

I belong to a small mission with one priest and no deacon.  One of the families at our mission has 2 daughters who have been doing the chanting for the past five years.  One of them usually reads the Epistle.  She dresses modestly, wears a headcovering, and reads just fine.  They are they same words no matter which gender reads them.
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« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2014, 09:15:20 PM »

Why was Jesus a God-Man?

I don't think this line of reasoning will take you where you want it to.
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« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2014, 09:26:02 PM »

I found a thread on this, but it got off-topic.

Women doing the Epistle, what do you think?

I am with you.  I don't run out of such a church, I just don't attend it in the first place.  There is never a Liturgy where there is not at least one man there - the priest.  From what I have seen, the churches that allow women to read have been boiling the frog with other innovations, too, such as shortening the liturgy, revising the calendar, cutting the canon out of Matins, allowing priests to remarry and the like.  And they are good at making excuses for all of it, just as the Psalmist says. 
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« Reply #6 on: May 12, 2014, 09:37:47 PM »

Because there are men there to do it

If the men are not tonsured readers, they are just as undesirable.

Quote
women dont know how to do it properly

That can be fixed fairly easily.  Even men had to be taught how to read. 

Quote
they dress very inappropiately

This, too, can be addressed fairly easily. 

Quote
they are reading from the Bible but you get the feeling they are putting on a show contest

I've seen men do this too.  In both cases, this can and ought to be addressed by training, both before taking up this task and continual education.

Quote
they give the choir master a dirty look if they do not get the reading

Also not limited to women.

Quote
they do not wear head covering

If your priest allows them to commune without wearing a head covering, then this is a losing battle to fight. 

Quote
they want the microphone to be right on their lips so the street outside can hear them

I know a priest that does this, to the point that it looks indecent.  This, too, is a matter of training. 

And, honestly, I wouldn't mind if the Scriptures were audible from the street.  At least it gives the smokers loitering outside something to think about. 

Quote
its not proper chanting because they add their emotion into it and their own agenda

Not limited to women and can be addressed by training. 

Quote
respect for the men that are there

Liturgical service is not about respecting men.

Quote
Respect for God and the Liturgy

This point needs elabouration.

Quote
realising the difference between men and women

This has little to do with it, IMO. 

Quote
if men and women are the same, why are the priests men? Why was Jesus a God-Man?

Priesthood and "reading" are two rather different things, so male priesthood really shouldn't enter too seriously into this discussion. 

And asking why Jesus became incarnate as a man isn't going to help us understand the office of reader, even if it is otherwise useful.     
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« Reply #7 on: May 12, 2014, 09:40:43 PM »

I am sorry i was on the train, i will add more to what i wanted to say.
Epistles were written by bishops

Ideal order of the church is that a reader should do epistle, and as u know a reader must be a man

12 apostle were men

If you know that head covering is an Orthodox pious tradition on account of the angels, why you O woman should neglect it? And then after you're negligence consider yourself worthy to read the the epistle? No thanks.

Humility is first, I think a beautiful soul is one who is humble, God forgive me for everything, sorry i cant read ur replies anytime soon
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« Reply #8 on: May 12, 2014, 09:44:23 PM »

A tonsured reader is obviously the most desirable but otherwise I don't see it being a distraction to the liturgy.  At our parish, we have women read the epistle during October or during other services that have several readings.  It's not as though the women are in the sanctuary parading around and the like.

I will agree that being respectfully dressed is important, but it's important for both sexes.  I don't think it's appropriate for a man or a woman to come to Divine Liturgy dressed in a football jersey and NFL mini logos on their face; I did see this once and that person was not allowed to commune.  Common sense should always prevail.
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« Reply #9 on: May 13, 2014, 10:40:27 AM »

Does this bother other people?  Have you all adressed the issue with the priest?
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« Reply #10 on: May 13, 2014, 10:47:48 AM »

Every so often, we have the teens in the parish do the epistle reading. Some of them are girls.  I never gave it a second thought. I figure what is being read is more important than who is reading it.
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« Reply #11 on: May 13, 2014, 12:19:10 PM »

My impression is that, if necessary, e.g. if there's literally no one else who can do it, a woman can carry out the functions of a reader, which I suppose would include reading the Epistle. But in this instance, is there really no man who can be made a reader, or is this just about tokenism and being politically correct and inclusive?
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« Reply #12 on: May 13, 2014, 01:22:17 PM »

Every so often, we have the teens in the parish do the epistle reading. Some of them are girls.  I never gave it a second thought. I figure what is being read is more important than who is reading it.

True, but the problem I have is that too many people (both men and women) who want to read the epistle have no business reading the epistle for a variety of reasons including, but not limited to: 1)  They don't speak clearly 2) They don't speak loud enough 3)  They try to be dramatic in the reading (thus having people focus on the reader rather than the message) 4) changing the text as they read (e.g. instead of saying "brothers" or "brethren" one reader likes to say "Brothers and sisters.")  5)  cannot intone/chant the prokeimenon because they do not understand the Byzantine tonal system, etc.  

IMHO, the epistle should be read by only  tonsured readers, but I know that will never fly in my parish, though I do know some parishes who limit reading the epistle to those people.
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« Reply #13 on: May 13, 2014, 02:04:55 PM »

Does this bother other people?  Have you all adressed the issue with the priest?

It certainly bothered me when I visited my original GOA parish of record. Thus far in 12 years I've not seen this with the Rusyns.
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« Reply #14 on: May 13, 2014, 02:16:49 PM »

Every so often, we have the teens in the parish do the epistle reading. Some of them are girls.  I never gave it a second thought. I figure what is being read is more important than who is reading it.

True, but the problem I have is that too many people (both men and women) who want to read the epistle have no business reading the epistle for a variety of reasons including, but not limited to: 1)  They don't speak clearly 2) They don't speak loud enough 3)  They try to be dramatic in the reading (thus having people focus on the reader rather than the message) 4) changing the text as they read (e.g. instead of saying "brothers" or "brethren" one reader likes to say "Brothers and sisters.")  5)  cannot intone/chant the prokeimenon because they do not understand the Byzantine tonal system, etc.  

IMHO, the epistle should be read by only  tonsured readers, but I know that will never fly in my parish, though I do know some parishes who limit reading the epistle to those people.
Those certainly can be problems, and I do enjoy the tonsured readers when they do the readings better, but with education, the others can do a good job of it as well.  I see nothing wrong with trying to involve as many people as possible providing it is not causing a disturbance or a distraction.  If it is causing those, then those disturbances should be addressed, but I don't see a benefit the throwing the baby out with the bathwater.
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« Reply #15 on: May 13, 2014, 04:15:44 PM »

Although I'm rather a liturgical conservative, I don't see any problem in women doing some readings under the condition they're prepared for it. Especially it may be necessary in small parishes/missions or even in normal parishes, but e.g during weekdays or some special occasions. Reading is not a priesthood, so it's not reserved only for men. Women usually make much more than half people being at a service so it's very nice if they can just something do and serve in some way.
What's more, e.g. on Pascha actually everybody can read the Gospel in his/her native language and it happennes quite often.

And what's your opinion isaelie reading/chanting other prayers (e.g the Hours) by women then?


Sometimes I chant the Old Testament at the Presanctified Liturgies, once I've also chanted the epistle, it was at a baptism service - two Serbs were baptised and I was asked by my priest to prepare the reading (Serbian text and Serbian chanting style of epistle) as he knew that I've attended Church Slavonic lessons (at which we don't only study the language, but also how to chant and read various liturgical texts) and sometimes had read some prayers and the OT readings.
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« Reply #16 on: May 13, 2014, 04:22:12 PM »

The issue is not about women reading the epistle. The issue is about laymen reading the epistle. Women can't be ordained as readers but IMO any non-ordained shouldn't be reading it.
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« Reply #17 on: May 13, 2014, 04:36:50 PM »

Every so often, we have the teens in the parish do the epistle reading. Some of them are girls.  I never gave it a second thought. I figure what is being read is more important than who is reading it.

True, but the problem I have is that too many people (both men and women) who want to read the epistle have no business reading the epistle for a variety of reasons including, but not limited to: 1)  They don't speak clearly 2) They don't speak loud enough 3)  They try to be dramatic in the reading (thus having people focus on the reader rather than the message) 4) changing the text as they read (e.g. instead of saying "brothers" or "brethren" one reader likes to say "Brothers and sisters.")  5)  cannot intone/chant the prokeimenon because they do not understand the Byzantine tonal system, etc.  

IMHO, the epistle should be read by only  tonsured readers, but I know that will never fly in my parish, though I do know some parishes who limit reading the epistle to those people.
Those certainly can be problems, and I do enjoy the tonsured readers when they do the readings better, but with education, the others can do a good job of it as well.  I see nothing wrong with trying to involve as many people as possible providing it is not causing a disturbance or a distraction.  If it is causing those, then those disturbances should be addressed, but I don't see a benefit the throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

The problem is that education on how to "properly" read the epistle has been given but no one wants to take advantage of it because they think the way they do it is just fine.  And it's not just limited to the epistle; choir members and chanters often will not take advantage of things like the SMI offered by the AANA (though geography is an issue) or even lessons/advice from experienced choristers and chanters.  Too many people (and I suppose that goes for me too) are just set in their way of "doing" Liturgy whether it's good or not.  But, whenever the Scriptures are proclaimed to the people, great care should be given to ensure that what is proclaimed is done with the greatest pastoral care for the people who hear it.

The issue is not about women reading the epistle. The issue is about laymen reading the epistle. Women can't be ordained as readers but IMO any non-ordained shouldn't be reading it.

I concur with this, but I know in my parish, it will be a losing battle.  People will claim that it's a power grab.
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« Reply #18 on: May 13, 2014, 07:17:59 PM »

The issue is not about women reading the epistle. The issue is about laymen reading the epistle. Women can't be ordained as readers but IMO any non-ordained shouldn't be reading it.

It is desirable, but not essential, that someone be a tonsured reader to read the Epistle.

There are many epistle readers the world over who are not tonsured, but read the Epistle week in, week out, with the full approval of their hierarchy. In my 50 years in the church, across several jurisdictions and ethnicities, perhaps two or three of the epistle readers were tonsured.
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« Reply #19 on: May 13, 2014, 07:23:22 PM »

The issue is not about women reading the epistle. The issue is about laymen reading the epistle. Women can't be ordained as readers but IMO any non-ordained shouldn't be reading it.

this sounds nice and conciliatory, but it doesn't really reflect traditional belief or practice. Even lay men have certain roles or privileges that lay women do not have from what I've seen.
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« Reply #20 on: May 13, 2014, 07:27:50 PM »

The issue is not about women reading the epistle. The issue is about laymen reading the epistle. Women can't be ordained as readers but IMO any non-ordained shouldn't be reading it.

It is desirable, but not essential, that someone be a tonsured reader to read the Epistle.

There are many epistle readers the world over who are not tonsured, but read the Epistle week in, week out, with the full approval of their hierarchy. In my 50 years in the church, across several jurisdictions and ethnicities, perhaps two or three of the epistle readers were tonsured.

A tolerated abuse is still an abuse. 
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« Reply #21 on: May 13, 2014, 07:28:23 PM »

Even lay men have certain roles or privileges that lay women do not have from what I've seen.

Such as?
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« Reply #22 on: May 13, 2014, 07:29:32 PM »

Even lay men have certain roles or privileges that lay women do not have from what I've seen.

Such as?

The babies enter the altar during churching.
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« Reply #23 on: May 13, 2014, 07:35:50 PM »

The babies enter the altar during churching.

I'm not sure that's the best, precedent-setting example, but I will concede that such a practice exists. 

Did you have anything else in mind?  I'm particularly interested in "certain roles", but "privileges" will also work.   
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« Reply #24 on: May 13, 2014, 07:48:48 PM »

Here is a question:

During the history of Byzantium there were several female monarchs.   Empress Irene comes to mind.

During the Royal Hours, did she enter the altar with a gift?
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« Reply #25 on: May 13, 2014, 07:55:49 PM »

The babies enter the altar during churching.

I'm not sure that's the best, precedent-setting example, but I will concede that such a practice exists. 

Did you have anything else in mind?  I'm particularly interested in "certain roles", but "privileges" will also work.   

They can be altar servers. They are blessed much more frequently to enter the altar than women for various things, such as telling the priest that all the koliva got eaten. I was also thinking of the belief that the husband is the spiritual head of the household, and I assume that would mean that he would lead prayers in the home.
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« Reply #26 on: May 13, 2014, 08:03:16 PM »

The issue is not about women reading the epistle. The issue is about laymen reading the epistle. Women can't be ordained as readers but IMO any non-ordained shouldn't be reading it.

It is desirable, but not essential, that someone be a tonsured reader to read the Epistle.

There are many epistle readers the world over who are not tonsured, but read the Epistle week in, week out, with the full approval of their hierarchy. In my 50 years in the church, across several jurisdictions and ethnicities, perhaps two or three of the epistle readers were tonsured.

A tolerated abuse is still an abuse. 

+1
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« Reply #27 on: May 13, 2014, 08:58:36 PM »

The issue is not about women reading the epistle. The issue is about laymen reading the epistle. Women can't be ordained as readers but IMO any non-ordained shouldn't be reading it.

It is desirable, but not essential, that someone be a tonsured reader to read the Epistle.

There are many epistle readers the world over who are not tonsured, but read the Epistle week in, week out, with the full approval of their hierarchy. In my 50 years in the church, across several jurisdictions and ethnicities, perhaps two or three of the epistle readers were tonsured.

A tolerated abuse is still an abuse. 

+1

+2  I rank that saying up there with "Silence implies consent".
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« Reply #28 on: May 13, 2014, 09:54:15 PM »

I have just posted a new thread in the Faith section. This thread about the epistle concerns only 1 problem I have encountered. I have addressed my entire dilemma in the new thread, please post your responses, as I would like to hear them.
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« Reply #29 on: May 13, 2014, 10:42:35 PM »

The issue is not about women reading the epistle. The issue is about laymen reading the epistle. Women can't be ordained as readers but IMO any non-ordained shouldn't be reading it.

It is desirable, but not essential, that someone be a tonsured reader to read the Epistle.

There are many epistle readers the world over who are not tonsured, but read the Epistle week in, week out, with the full approval of their hierarchy. In my 50 years in the church, across several jurisdictions and ethnicities, perhaps two or three of the epistle readers were tonsured.

Amen.
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« Reply #30 on: May 13, 2014, 10:55:11 PM »

The issue is not about women reading the epistle. The issue is about laymen reading the epistle. Women can't be ordained as readers but IMO any non-ordained shouldn't be reading it.

It is desirable, but not essential, that someone be a tonsured reader to read the Epistle.

There are many epistle readers the world over who are not tonsured, but read the Epistle week in, week out, with the full approval of their hierarchy. In my 50 years in the church, across several jurisdictions and ethnicities, perhaps two or three of the epistle readers were tonsured.

A tolerated abuse is still an abuse. 

+1

+2  I rank that saying up there with "Silence implies consent".

+3
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« Reply #31 on: May 13, 2014, 11:43:32 PM »

how depressed a person becomes when they struggle to find Orthodoxy!

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« Reply #32 on: May 14, 2014, 12:49:30 AM »

Every so often, we have the teens in the parish do the epistle reading. Some of them are girls.  I never gave it a second thought. I figure what is being read is more important than who is reading it.
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« Reply #33 on: May 14, 2014, 12:51:36 AM »

how depressed a person becomes when they struggle to find Orthodoxy!

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find it?   Are you not already Orthodox?
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« Reply #34 on: May 14, 2014, 06:14:04 AM »

what i mean by find it, is what Bishop Ignatius Brianchaninov meant when he said he used to despair because he couldnt find any orthodox monks who practised orthodox ascetism correctly
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« Reply #35 on: May 14, 2014, 07:14:42 AM »

And to end it all off, i want to quote this:
"We know where the Church is but we cannot be sure where it is not; and so we must refrain from passing judgment on non-Orthodox Christians."

I dont anticipate logging back in until a looong time, maybe never. Not that anyone has offended me or anything. But i really have work to tend to.
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« Reply #36 on: May 14, 2014, 08:06:24 AM »

my last post, i promise. Let's forget the bad, and think about the jewel which is orthodoxy.

this is antiochian. this is canonical. this is orthodox.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6K-u6UYSjpY

Taking down of Jesus from the Cross -

Glory to the Father, and the Son, and the Holy
Spirit both now and ever and unto ages of
ages. Amen

Thou who art clothed with light as a garment,
when Joseph together with Nicodemus took
Thee down from the Tree and he gazed
upon Thee dead, naked and unburied, and
in grief and mourning he lamented:
Woe is me, my sweetest Jesus! A short while
ago, the sun beheld Thee hanging on the
Cross and it shrouded itself in darkness. The
earth quaked in fear. The veil of the temple
was torn. Now I see Thee willingly submitting
to death for my sake. How shall I bury Thee,
O my God? How can I wrap Thee with
windings sheets? How can I touch Thy most
pure body with my hands? What songs shall
I hymn thy departure, O compassionate one?
I magnify Thy Passion. I glorify Thy Burial
and Thy Holy Resurrection, crying:
O Lord, Glory to Thee!
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« Reply #37 on: May 14, 2014, 10:20:24 AM »

Before people start going all around in circles with the 'this is never acceptable anywhere ever ever' nonsense....might want to keep in mind that there are indeed places where having young women read the epistle is a tradition.

see below for just -two- of the many links I could have given you.

http://www.serborth.org/02182014.html

http://www.easterndiocese.org/news_140326_1.html
His Grace Bishop Dr.MITROPHAN said it was good to see teachers at the Deanery meetings. His Grace encouraged involving the boys as altar servers and girls to read the Epistle. His Grace said to teach and to live what is taught.

and frankly...I will vote that you all are nuts and overreaching then I will him....any darn day of the week.


Because honestly....you all tell prospective converts that you cannot make Orthodoxy into what -you personally- want...

and then you spend quite a large percentage of your time arguing and doing just that.....find someplace that agrees with you and break away....


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« Reply #38 on: May 14, 2014, 10:22:06 AM »

Oh snap!  The girl with naturally curly hair told ya'll!  Kiss
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« Reply #39 on: May 14, 2014, 10:31:23 AM »

Before people start going all around in circles with the 'this is never acceptable anywhere ever ever' nonsense....might want to keep in mind that there are indeed places where having young women read the epistle is a tradition.

see below for just -two- of the many links I could have given you.

http://www.serborth.org/02182014.html

http://www.easterndiocese.org/news_140326_1.html
His Grace Bishop Dr.MITROPHAN said it was good to see teachers at the Deanery meetings. His Grace encouraged involving the boys as altar servers and girls to read the Epistle. His Grace said to teach and to live what is taught.

and frankly...I will vote that you all are nuts and overreaching then I will him....any darn day of the week.


Because honestly....you all tell prospective converts that you cannot make Orthodoxy into what -you personally- want...

and then you spend quite a large percentage of your time arguing and doing just that.....find someplace that agrees with you and break away....

Now, why'd you go and ruin it for all the Serbian Orthodox folk? Angry Grin
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« Reply #40 on: May 14, 2014, 10:32:06 AM »

Before people start going all around in circles with the 'this is never acceptable anywhere ever ever' nonsense....might want to keep in mind that there are indeed places where having young women read the epistle is a tradition.

see below for just -two- of the many links I could have given you.

http://www.serborth.org/02182014.html

http://www.easterndiocese.org/news_140326_1.html
His Grace Bishop Dr.MITROPHAN said it was good to see teachers at the Deanery meetings. His Grace encouraged involving the boys as altar servers and girls to read the Epistle. His Grace said to teach and to live what is taught.

and frankly...I will vote that you all are nuts and overreaching then I will him....any darn day of the week.


Because honestly....you all tell prospective converts that you cannot make Orthodoxy into what -you personally- want...

and then you spend quite a large percentage of your time arguing and doing just that.....find someplace that agrees with you and break away....




Don't despair.  Regardless of subject matter, the internet is full of false bravado posted by folks  who would never make eye contact with you in real life, let alone say what they post. Orthodoxy is no exception.

True and serious conversations are rare online and when they occur, they more often than not are problematic and perhaps, dare I say it, not well grounded.  Many " talk the talk" but like St. Paul says , they appear to be lacking love in their hearts, hence they are but a clanging gong.... Perhaps that is harsh, but if not, one might easily fail to grasp the true richness and cultural diversity of the Orthodox Faith if one were to solely judge it from the angry, judgmental, rigid, legalistic box many sincere posters try to wrap it in.

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« Reply #41 on: May 14, 2014, 10:38:06 AM »

Oh I am not despairing.

Just slightly sad that it seems that the forest is lost for the trees. 

At least here. And yes it's the internet. BUT, unless everyone here is just pretending, people are still Orthodox Christians.

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« Reply #42 on: May 14, 2014, 11:10:39 AM »

It's not about saying that women have no role in the church, but having the right understanding of what that role is. From my experience in traditionalist Orthodox churches, that role includes all sorts of stuff, such as baking prosphora, artos and fanouropita and cooking koliva, preparing flowers and decorations, cleaning the church and vestments, cooking agape meals, teaching Sunday school and Greek school to the children and much else. This is all necessary work and the church would not be able to function without them. Sure, these are humble and background roles: the women don't get to stand up in front of everyone and read the epistle and otherwise advertise their presence, and I can certainly see why some women would think they "deserve" more than the traditional roles. But then that gets us to the nub of the problem, which is pride, which is the antithesis of what Orthodoxy is about.

I also get the impression at the traditional churches I've been to that both men and women are content with the roles assigned to them. What makes it work is love we show each other and the respect we give to each of our duties, however humble or exalted.

EDIT: I absolutely forgot the Philoptochos! Women play a disproportionate role in almsgiving, one of the three pillars of Orthodox praxis alongside prayer and fasting.
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« Reply #43 on: May 14, 2014, 11:13:29 AM »

It's not about saying that women have no role in the church, but having the right understanding of what that role is. From my experience in traditionalist Orthodox churches, that role includes all sorts of stuff, such as baking prosphora, artos and fanouropita and cooking koliva, preparing flowers and decorations, cleaning the church and vestments, cooking agape meals, teaching Sunday school and Greek school to the children and much else. This is all necessary work and the church would not be able to function without them. Sure, these are humble and background roles: the women don't get to stand up in front of everyone and read the epistle and otherwise advertise their presence, and I can certainly see why some women would think they "deserve" more than the traditional roles. But then that gets us to the nub of the problem, which is pride, which is the antithesis of what Orthodoxy is about.

I also get the impression at the traditional churches I've been to that both men and women are content with the roles assigned to them. What makes it work is love we show each other and the respect we give to each of our duties, however humble or exalted.

I am leaving your whole quote...but honestly the part in orange is PURE speculation on your part.  Unless as has been suggested of others, you are also a mind reader and can thus understand the motivation of others........


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« Reply #44 on: May 14, 2014, 11:17:41 AM »

It's not about saying that women have no role in the church, but having the right understanding of what that role is. From my experience in traditionalist Orthodox churches, that role includes all sorts of stuff, such as baking prosphora, artos and fanouropita and cooking koliva, preparing flowers and decorations, cleaning the church and vestments, cooking agape meals, teaching Sunday school and Greek school to the children and much else. This is all necessary work and the church would not be able to function without them. Sure, these are humble and background roles: the women don't get to stand up in front of everyone and read the epistle and otherwise advertise their presence, and I can certainly see why some women would think they "deserve" more than the traditional roles. But then that gets us to the nub of the problem, which is pride, which is the antithesis of what Orthodoxy is about.

I also get the impression at the traditional churches I've been to that both men and women are content with the roles assigned to them. What makes it work is love we show each other and the respect we give to each of our duties, however humble or exalted.

I am leaving your whole quote...but honestly the part in orange is PURE speculation on your part.  Unless as has been suggested of others, you are also a mind reader and can thus understand the motivation of others........




Only you know the answer, but I honestly believe this is the underlying motivation for all the talk of "inclusiveness" and the apportioning of male roles in the church to females without necessity. If it weren't for pride, we would be content to accept the roles given to us by tradition as it's been handed down to us.
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« Reply #45 on: May 14, 2014, 11:18:43 AM »

Before people start going all around in circles with the 'this is never acceptable anywhere ever ever' nonsense....might want to keep in mind that there are indeed places where having young women read the epistle is a tradition.

see below for just -two- of the many links I could have given you.

http://www.serborth.org/02182014.html

http://www.easterndiocese.org/news_140326_1.html
His Grace Bishop Dr.MITROPHAN said it was good to see teachers at the Deanery meetings. His Grace encouraged involving the boys as altar servers and girls to read the Epistle. His Grace said to teach and to live what is taught.

and frankly...I will vote that you all are nuts and overreaching then I will him....any darn day of the week.


Because honestly....you all tell prospective converts that you cannot make Orthodoxy into what -you personally- want...

and then you spend quite a large percentage of your time arguing and doing just that.....find someplace that agrees with you and break away....

Now, why'd you go and ruin it for all the Serbian Orthodox folk? Angry Grin

Now that the cat's out of the bag, I must say I really like the Serbian church I am currently attending. 
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« Reply #46 on: May 14, 2014, 11:23:00 AM »

It's not about saying that women have no role in the church, but having the right understanding of what that role is. From my experience in traditionalist Orthodox churches, that role includes all sorts of stuff, such as baking prosphora, artos and fanouropita and cooking koliva, preparing flowers and decorations, cleaning the church and vestments, cooking agape meals, teaching Sunday school and Greek school to the children and much else. This is all necessary work and the church would not be able to function without them. Sure, these are humble and background roles: the women don't get to stand up in front of everyone and read the epistle and otherwise advertise their presence, and I can certainly see why some women would think they "deserve" more than the traditional roles. But then that gets us to the nub of the problem, which is pride, which is the antithesis of what Orthodoxy is about.

I also get the impression at the traditional churches I've been to that both men and women are content with the roles assigned to them. What makes it work is love we show each other and the respect we give to each of our duties, however humble or exalted.

I am leaving your whole quote...but honestly the part in orange is PURE speculation on your part.  Unless as has been suggested of others, you are also a mind reader and can thus understand the motivation of others........




Only you know the answer, but I honestly believe this is the underlying motivation for all the talk of "inclusiveness" and the apportioning of male roles in the church to females without necessity. If it weren't for pride, we would be content to accept the roles given to us by tradition as it's been handed down to us.


And my links above showed you that it is a tradition in various places....to have young women read the epistle....the quote was from a Bishop....not a woman demanding some right.  

Let me repeat it in case you didn't bother to read it...in your haste to decide what motivation people other than yourself have.


'His Grace Bishop Dr.MITROPHAN said it was good to see teachers at the Deanery meetings. His Grace encouraged involving the boys as altar servers and girls to read the Epistle. His Grace said to teach and to live what is taught.


That is not a woman...that is a Bishop.

Get off your high horse of thinking you know -what- motivation drives people other than yourself.  


Of course, in your mind, he isn't even the Church....so this is a rather pointless discussion.....


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« Reply #47 on: May 14, 2014, 11:55:11 AM »

It's not about saying that women have no role in the church, but having the right understanding of what that role is. From my experience in traditionalist Orthodox churches, that role includes all sorts of stuff, such as baking prosphora, artos and fanouropita and cooking koliva, preparing flowers and decorations, cleaning the church and vestments, cooking agape meals, teaching Sunday school and Greek school to the children and much else. This is all necessary work and the church would not be able to function without them. Sure, these are humble and background roles: the women don't get to stand up in front of everyone and read the epistle and otherwise advertise their presence, and I can certainly see why some women would think they "deserve" more than the traditional roles. But then that gets us to the nub of the problem, which is pride, which is the antithesis of what Orthodoxy is about.

I also get the impression at the traditional churches I've been to that both men and women are content with the roles assigned to them. What makes it work is love we show each other and the respect we give to each of our duties, however humble or exalted.

I am leaving your whole quote...but honestly the part in orange is PURE speculation on your part.  Unless as has been suggested of others, you are also a mind reader and can thus understand the motivation of others........




Only you know the answer, but I honestly believe this is the underlying motivation for all the talk of "inclusiveness" and the apportioning of male roles in the church to females without necessity. If it weren't for pride, we would be content to accept the roles given to us by tradition as it's been handed down to us.


And my links above showed you that it is a tradition in various places....to have young women read the epistle....the quote was from a Bishop....not a woman demanding some right.  

Let me repeat it in case you didn't bother to read it...in your haste to decide what motivation people other than yourself have.


'His Grace Bishop Dr.MITROPHAN said it was good to see teachers at the Deanery meetings. His Grace encouraged involving the boys as altar servers and girls to read the Epistle. His Grace said to teach and to live what is taught.


That is not a woman...that is a Bishop.

Get off your high horse of thinking you know -what- motivation drives people other than yourself.  


Of course, in your mind, he isn't even the Church....so this is a rather pointless discussion.....




OK well we probably have different ideas of what counts as "tradition". If one bishop decides to do something un-traditional, like have women read the epistles even when there are men around who can do it, and then people get used to that and forget how they did it before, then sure from their point of view it's "traditional" to have women read the epistle, even though if you take a longer historical view it's not traditional but an innovation. Now if you have examples from a hundred years ago before feminism got started and you can find examples of Orthodox churches letting women read the epistle, then that would be interesting, but examples like these are not really convincing on their own. I've never been to a traditionalist Orthodox church (like in the GOC or ROCOR) where women reading the epistle was the norm, which suggest that it is not an authentic tradition.

In the same way, lots of Protestants and Catholics think having organs and instruments in church services are "traditional" because that is not only what they remember from their childhood, but their parents too and their parents, often going back many generations. It's only on exposure to Orthodox practice that they realize that organs are not traditional at all from the point of view of authentic Christian tradition going back to the Apostles.
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« Reply #48 on: May 14, 2014, 12:04:36 PM »

The issue is not about women reading the epistle. The issue is about laymen reading the epistle. Women can't be ordained as readers but IMO any non-ordained shouldn't be reading it.

It is desirable, but not essential, that someone be a tonsured reader to read the Epistle.

There are many epistle readers the world over who are not tonsured, but read the Epistle week in, week out, with the full approval of their hierarchy. In my 50 years in the church, across several jurisdictions and ethnicities, perhaps two or three of the epistle readers were tonsured.

My experience has been the opposite; a tonsured reader has always chanted the Epistle, with one possible exception. I was recently at a women's monastery and of the nuns (who also served as an acolyte) chanted the Epistle.

That said, I am not opposed to women serving as tonsured readers, deaconesses or altar servers--if these "innovations" will not cause scandal among the faithful. IMHO, there are no theological reasons why they should not perform non-sacerdotal functions.
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« Reply #49 on: May 14, 2014, 12:05:31 PM »

It's not about saying that women have no role in the church, but having the right understanding of what that role is. From my experience in traditionalist Orthodox churches, that role includes all sorts of stuff, such as baking prosphora, artos and fanouropita and cooking koliva, preparing flowers and decorations, cleaning the church and vestments, cooking agape meals, teaching Sunday school and Greek school to the children and much else. This is all necessary work and the church would not be able to function without them. Sure, these are humble and background roles: the women don't get to stand up in front of everyone and read the epistle and otherwise advertise their presence, and I can certainly see why some women would think they "deserve" more than the traditional roles. But then that gets us to the nub of the problem, which is pride, which is the antithesis of what Orthodoxy is about.

I also get the impression at the traditional churches I've been to that both men and women are content with the roles assigned to them. What makes it work is love we show each other and the respect we give to each of our duties, however humble or exalted.

I am leaving your whole quote...but honestly the part in orange is PURE speculation on your part.  Unless as has been suggested of others, you are also a mind reader and can thus understand the motivation of others........




Only you know the answer, but I honestly believe this is the underlying motivation for all the talk of "inclusiveness" and the apportioning of male roles in the church to females without necessity. If it weren't for pride, we would be content to accept the roles given to us by tradition as it's been handed down to us.


And my links above showed you that it is a tradition in various places....to have young women read the epistle....the quote was from a Bishop....not a woman demanding some right.  

Let me repeat it in case you didn't bother to read it...in your haste to decide what motivation people other than yourself have.


'His Grace Bishop Dr.MITROPHAN said it was good to see teachers at the Deanery meetings. His Grace encouraged involving the boys as altar servers and girls to read the Epistle. His Grace said to teach and to live what is taught.


That is not a woman...that is a Bishop.

Get off your high horse of thinking you know -what- motivation drives people other than yourself.  


Of course, in your mind, he isn't even the Church....so this is a rather pointless discussion.....




OK well we probably have different ideas of what counts as "tradition". If one bishop decides to do something un-traditional, like have women read the epistles even when there are men around who can do it, and then people get used to that and forget how they did it before, then sure from their point of view it's "traditional" to have women read the epistle, even though if you take a longer historical view it's not traditional but an innovation. Now if you have examples from a hundred years ago before feminism got started and you can find examples of Orthodox churches letting women read the epistle, then that would be interesting, but examples like these are not really convincing on their own. I've never been to a traditionalist Orthodox church (like in the GOC or ROCOR) where women reading the epistle was the norm, which suggest that it is not an authentic tradition.

In the same way, lots of Protestants and Catholics think having organs and instruments in church services are "traditional" because that is not only what they remember from their childhood, but their parents too and their parents, often going back many generations. It's only on exposure to Orthodox practice that they realize that organs are not traditional at all from the point of view of authentic Christian tradition going back to the Apostles.

Do you pray the Trisagion?

Or hold the Great and Little Entrance entirely in Church?

Do you confess before the icons and not the congregation?

Then you too have accepted the sort of innovations you condemn in others.  
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« Reply #50 on: May 14, 2014, 12:07:58 PM »

It's not about saying that women have no role in the church, but having the right understanding of what that role is. From my experience in traditionalist Orthodox churches, that role includes all sorts of stuff, such as baking prosphora, artos and fanouropita and cooking koliva, preparing flowers and decorations, cleaning the church and vestments, cooking agape meals, teaching Sunday school and Greek school to the children and much else. This is all necessary work and the church would not be able to function without them. Sure, these are humble and background roles: the women don't get to stand up in front of everyone and read the epistle and otherwise advertise their presence, and I can certainly see why some women would think they "deserve" more than the traditional roles. But then that gets us to the nub of the problem, which is pride, which is the antithesis of what Orthodoxy is about.

I also get the impression at the traditional churches I've been to that both men and women are content with the roles assigned to them. What makes it work is love we show each other and the respect we give to each of our duties, however humble or exalted.

I am leaving your whole quote...but honestly the part in orange is PURE speculation on your part.  Unless as has been suggested of others, you are also a mind reader and can thus understand the motivation of others........




Only you know the answer, but I honestly believe this is the underlying motivation for all the talk of "inclusiveness" and the apportioning of male roles in the church to females without necessity. If it weren't for pride, we would be content to accept the roles given to us by tradition as it's been handed down to us.


And my links above showed you that it is a tradition in various places....to have young women read the epistle....the quote was from a Bishop....not a woman demanding some right.  

Let me repeat it in case you didn't bother to read it...in your haste to decide what motivation people other than yourself have.


'His Grace Bishop Dr.MITROPHAN said it was good to see teachers at the Deanery meetings. His Grace encouraged involving the boys as altar servers and girls to read the Epistle. His Grace said to teach and to live what is taught.


That is not a woman...that is a Bishop.

Get off your high horse of thinking you know -what- motivation drives people other than yourself.  


Of course, in your mind, he isn't even the Church....so this is a rather pointless discussion.....




OK well we probably have different ideas of what counts as "tradition". If one bishop decides to do something un-traditional, like have women read the epistles even when there are men around who can do it, and then people get used to that and forget how they did it before, then sure from their point of view it's "traditional" to have women read the epistle, even though if you take a longer historical view it's not traditional but an innovation. Now if you have examples from a hundred years ago before feminism got started and you can find examples of Orthodox churches letting women read the epistle, then that would be interesting, but examples like these are not really convincing on their own. I've never been to a traditionalist Orthodox church (like in the GOC or ROCOR) where women reading the epistle was the norm, which suggest that it is not an authentic tradition.

In the same way, lots of Protestants and Catholics think having organs and instruments in church services are "traditional" because that is not only what they remember from their childhood, but their parents too and their parents, often going back many generations. It's only on exposure to Orthodox practice that they realize that organs are not traditional at all from the point of view of authentic Christian tradition going back to the Apostles.


Well its not one Bishop...and it goes back hundreds of years.

Alas I am at work, and don't truly have the time to chase more resources for you....and I apologize for that...

However...you say 'I have never been to a ....' and give a very narrow range of attendance...as 'proof' that it simply cannot be tradition.

That's no more convincing that it cannot be tradition somewhere you simply have not yet been.  
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« Reply #51 on: May 14, 2014, 12:18:18 PM »

It's not about saying that women have no role in the church, but having the right understanding of what that role is. From my experience in traditionalist Orthodox churches, that role includes all sorts of stuff, such as baking prosphora, artos and fanouropita and cooking koliva, preparing flowers and decorations, cleaning the church and vestments, cooking agape meals, teaching Sunday school and Greek school to the children and much else. This is all necessary work and the church would not be able to function without them. Sure, these are humble and background roles: the women don't get to stand up in front of everyone and read the epistle and otherwise advertise their presence, and I can certainly see why some women would think they "deserve" more than the traditional roles. But then that gets us to the nub of the problem, which is pride, which is the antithesis of what Orthodoxy is about.

I also get the impression at the traditional churches I've been to that both men and women are content with the roles assigned to them. What makes it work is love we show each other and the respect we give to each of our duties, however humble or exalted.

I am leaving your whole quote...but honestly the part in orange is PURE speculation on your part.  Unless as has been suggested of others, you are also a mind reader and can thus understand the motivation of others........




Only you know the answer, but I honestly believe this is the underlying motivation for all the talk of "inclusiveness" and the apportioning of male roles in the church to females without necessity. If it weren't for pride, we would be content to accept the roles given to us by tradition as it's been handed down to us.


And my links above showed you that it is a tradition in various places....to have young women read the epistle....the quote was from a Bishop....not a woman demanding some right.  

Let me repeat it in case you didn't bother to read it...in your haste to decide what motivation people other than yourself have.


'His Grace Bishop Dr.MITROPHAN said it was good to see teachers at the Deanery meetings. His Grace encouraged involving the boys as altar servers and girls to read the Epistle. His Grace said to teach and to live what is taught.


That is not a woman...that is a Bishop.

Get off your high horse of thinking you know -what- motivation drives people other than yourself.  


Of course, in your mind, he isn't even the Church....so this is a rather pointless discussion.....




OK well we probably have different ideas of what counts as "tradition". If one bishop decides to do something un-traditional, like have women read the epistles even when there are men around who can do it, and then people get used to that and forget how they did it before, then sure from their point of view it's "traditional" to have women read the epistle, even though if you take a longer historical view it's not traditional but an innovation. Now if you have examples from a hundred years ago before feminism got started and you can find examples of Orthodox churches letting women read the epistle, then that would be interesting, but examples like these are not really convincing on their own. I've never been to a traditionalist Orthodox church (like in the GOC or ROCOR) where women reading the epistle was the norm, which suggest that it is not an authentic tradition.

In the same way, lots of Protestants and Catholics think having organs and instruments in church services are "traditional" because that is not only what they remember from their childhood, but their parents too and their parents, often going back many generations. It's only on exposure to Orthodox practice that they realize that organs are not traditional at all from the point of view of authentic Christian tradition going back to the Apostles.

Do you pray the Trisagion?

Or hold the Great and Little Entrance entirely in Church?

Do you confess before the icons and not the congregation?

Then you too have accepted the sort of innovations you condemn in others.  

One innovation doesn't automatically justify another. If any change in outward practice takes place, it should be in mind of the inward spirit of the law. When it comes to women reading the epistle, I'm skeptical about the motivation behind it. If the idea is to "include" women in Church life, I just explained how women already participate in Church life through their particular roles. It seems the motivation is rather to give women the same roles as men in the church, and I don't see anything in Orthodox tradition that justifies such an attitude. Rather, it seems to be inspired by ideas coming from outside the Church, like feminism which holds that men and women are equal and should be allowed to carry out the same kinds of work and duties. So no, I don't trust it.

I don't know about the Trisagion or the Entrances, but the requirement to confess only before an icon and a priest is clearly a concession to human weakness. It is certainly something to be humble about that we can't confess our sins before the whole congregation, but the awareness of the innovation in practice itself inspires humility, and it preserves the spirit of the original practice in we continue to confess our sins before God and before a human witness.
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« Reply #52 on: May 14, 2014, 12:18:59 PM »

It's not about saying that women have no role in the church, but having the right understanding of what that role is. From my experience in traditionalist Orthodox churches, that role includes all sorts of stuff, such as baking prosphora, artos and fanouropita and cooking koliva, preparing flowers and decorations, cleaning the church and vestments, cooking agape meals, teaching Sunday school and Greek school to the children and much else. This is all necessary work and the church would not be able to function without them. Sure, these are humble and background roles: the women don't get to stand up in front of everyone and read the epistle and otherwise advertise their presence, and I can certainly see why some women would think they "deserve" more than the traditional roles. But then that gets us to the nub of the problem, which is pride, which is the antithesis of what Orthodoxy is about.

I also get the impression at the traditional churches I've been to that both men and women are content with the roles assigned to them. What makes it work is love we show each other and the respect we give to each of our duties, however humble or exalted.

I am leaving your whole quote...but honestly the part in orange is PURE speculation on your part.  Unless as has been suggested of others, you are also a mind reader and can thus understand the motivation of others........




Only you know the answer, but I honestly believe this is the underlying motivation for all the talk of "inclusiveness" and the apportioning of male roles in the church to females without necessity. If it weren't for pride, we would be content to accept the roles given to us by tradition as it's been handed down to us.


And my links above showed you that it is a tradition in various places....to have young women read the epistle....the quote was from a Bishop....not a woman demanding some right.  

Let me repeat it in case you didn't bother to read it...in your haste to decide what motivation people other than yourself have.


'His Grace Bishop Dr.MITROPHAN said it was good to see teachers at the Deanery meetings. His Grace encouraged involving the boys as altar servers and girls to read the Epistle. His Grace said to teach and to live what is taught.


That is not a woman...that is a Bishop.

Get off your high horse of thinking you know -what- motivation drives people other than yourself.  


Of course, in your mind, he isn't even the Church....so this is a rather pointless discussion.....




OK well we probably have different ideas of what counts as "tradition". If one bishop decides to do something un-traditional, like have women read the epistles even when there are men around who can do it, and then people get used to that and forget how they did it before, then sure from their point of view it's "traditional" to have women read the epistle, even though if you take a longer historical view it's not traditional but an innovation. Now if you have examples from a hundred years ago before feminism got started and you can find examples of Orthodox churches letting women read the epistle, then that would be interesting, but examples like these are not really convincing on their own. I've never been to a traditionalist Orthodox church (like in the GOC or ROCOR) where women reading the epistle was the norm, which suggest that it is not an authentic tradition.

In the same way, lots of Protestants and Catholics think having organs and instruments in church services are "traditional" because that is not only what they remember from their childhood, but their parents too and their parents, often going back many generations. It's only on exposure to Orthodox practice that they realize that organs are not traditional at all from the point of view of authentic Christian tradition going back to the Apostles.


Well its not one Bishop...and it goes back hundreds of years.

Alas I am at work, and don't truly have the time to chase more resources for you....and I apologize for that...

However...you say 'I have never been to a ....' and give a very narrow range of attendance...as 'proof' that it simply cannot be tradition.

That's no more convincing that it cannot be tradition somewhere you simply have not yet been.  

Denise, I am happy to be corrected if this really is an old tradition that goes back centuries.
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« Reply #53 on: May 14, 2014, 12:19:29 PM »

I have never been to a canonical parish that refused to obey the instructions of their bishop to permit women or non-tonsured laypersons to read, so I would submit that it suggests that it is an authentic tradition to be in obeyance to one's bishop on matters pertaining to praxis.
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« Reply #54 on: May 14, 2014, 12:31:52 PM »

I have never been to a canonical parish that refused to obey the instructions of their bishop to permit women or non-tonsured laypersons to read, so I would submit that it suggests that it is an authentic tradition to be in obeyance to one's bishop on matters pertaining to praxis.

I'm not sure the distinction is quite this clear-cut, though I agree in general that as rational sheep we need to be sure about our bishop's correct confession of faith while allowing him his discretion in applying the canons and ordering practical church life. But I can imagine several aspects of praxis where we would surely all agree a bishop does not have discretion. E.g. if the bishops decided that it was okay to marry two men or two women. It's an extreme example, sure, but can you provide a watertight argument that this would be a dogmatic rather than a practical issue? The problem is that in Orthodoxy we don't have an absolute distinction between dogma and praxis, but they blend into each other. E.g. one of the doctrinal areas of disagreement with the Catholics is their use of unleavened bread for the Eucharist. Is that dogma or just praxis?

St Paul said explicitly that women should not "speak" in church, by which I think the traditional interpretation is that they should not have teaching or preaching roles. And strictly speaking all the individual spoken or chanted roles in the Divine services are reserved for men tonsured or ordained in various orders, either as reader, subdeacon, deacon or priest. In practice, untonsured men often carry out the first role, but notably the formal order of reader is not open to women. So there is definitely reason to believe that, as normative practice, women do not take up spoken roles in the church without necessity. Again, though, I'd be interested to entertain evidence to the contrary.
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« Reply #55 on: May 14, 2014, 01:30:05 PM »




[/quote]
 
Jonathan Gress wrote:

OK well we probably have different ideas of what counts as "tradition". If one bishop decides to do something un-traditional, like have women read the epistles even when there are men around who can do it, and then people get used to that and forget how they did it before, then sure from their point of view it's "traditional" to have women read the epistle, even though if you take a longer historical view it's not traditional but an innovation. Now if you have examples from a hundred years ago before feminism got started and you can find examples of Orthodox churches letting women read the epistle, then that would be interesting, but examples like these are not really convincing on their own. I've never been to a traditionalist Orthodox church (like in the GOC or ROCOR) where women reading the epistle was the norm, which suggest that it is not an authentic tradition.

In the same way, lots of Protestants and Catholics think having organs and instruments in church services are "traditional" because that is not only what they remember from their childhood, but their parents too and their parents, often going back many generations. It's only on exposure to Orthodox practice that they realize that organs are not traditional at all from the point of view of authentic Christian tradition going back to the Apostles.
[/quote]

Actually, Orthodox churches of the West were using organs as part of her worship as early as the 7th century, but before that, no record of it.   So, going back to the Apostles?  No, but a lot of things in the Orthodox church do not go back to the Apostles.  For instance, the use of a spoon to administer communion.  Apparently there is a canon against the use of any utensil to administer the holy mysteries, but was instead placed in the hand (on a cloth).  Later there arose a need, so tradition was broken to innovate.

There are those in the TOC groups who do not allow women to chant/sing, ignoring certain traditions allowing such to take place in our worship, but does that mean they are doing it correctly by not allowing women to chant?  No.  TOC does not denote a "puritanical" practice in all they do, in fact they have plenty of innovation of their own.
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« Reply #56 on: May 14, 2014, 02:53:03 PM »

I don't know about other TOC groups but in the GOC I have frequently seen women chanting. One could argue that if women can chant, then they can also perform the duties of reader, though a reader outranks a chanter.
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« Reply #57 on: May 14, 2014, 03:02:00 PM »

It's worth adding that an innovation in one area does not make it OK to innovate in other areas. Every innovation and economy is something to be regretted on account of our weakness, not "progress" to be welcomed. We want to minimize change and innovation as much as we are able. It is of course always a delicate matter for the bishop to decide which economies are needed for the sake of our weakness, and perhaps Bp Mitrofan had some very compelling reason. The other possibility, however, is that the innovation was simply seen as good way to make the Church "relevant", and I suspect it's the latter that was the primary motive.
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« Reply #58 on: May 14, 2014, 06:38:57 PM »

ive come to the personal conclusion that antioch is good, however one should not forget the innovations. Not to be lazy like 'behold the bridegroom' chant says, or heedless.

It is canonical and we should treat as such. Bishops have said that it is canonical, we should respect their judgements. To be against them, is to be against those whom God has chosen. Like a monk we shouldnt even question their judgements, bcos i think God will always provide a Mark of Ephesus.
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« Reply #59 on: May 15, 2014, 11:02:28 PM »

So is this actually a tradition or just some innovation from a few decades ago? I'm asking sincerely. If you think the traditional (and scriptural) practices about men alone chanting and reading in church are wrong, out-of-date or whatever, at least have the guts to just say so. Don't start inventing nonexistent traditions.
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« Reply #60 on: May 15, 2014, 11:32:34 PM »

They can be altar servers.

There is no such rank in the Orthodox Church, and I personally feel that the allowance of utterly unordained men/boys to perform what are essentially clerical tasks in liturgical services is one of those "tolerated abuses" I mentioned earlier.  I'm not sure if this is an independent development in Orthodoxy or is related to a similar custom in the Latin West, but it is certainly not the ideal.  If it is allowed, it is allowed because they are standing in for clerics and can presumably be ordained if there are no impediments.  Of course, the question then becomes "Why not ordain?" 

Quote
They are blessed much more frequently to enter the altar than women for various things, such as telling the priest that all the koliva got eaten.

LOL. 

Besides the above, I'm not always sure if they have a blessing to enter the altar or if, possessing male genitals, they think themselves qualified to just walk in, and the priest simply passes on kicking them out and making them do it over properly.  I've seen that happen.   

Quote
I was also thinking of the belief that the husband is the spiritual head of the household, and I assume that would mean that he would lead prayers in the home.

Ideally, yes, but I'm not sure how much of that is a "male" privilege vs "husband" privilege.  And in practice, it varies.  I don't think I've ever seen a family in which the husband/father is the primary "prayer leader" unless he also happened to be a priest/deacon.  Perhaps it used to be more common, or I'm just surrounded by modernists.

So is this actually a tradition or just some innovation from a few decades ago? I'm asking sincerely. If you think the traditional (and scriptural) practices about men alone chanting and reading in church are wrong, out-of-date or whatever, at least have the guts to just say so. Don't start inventing nonexistent traditions.

If we are talking about women reading the Epistle, I cannot recall having come across any serious scholarship indicating that such is an ancient practice.  But there is patristic precedent for women's involvement and even leadership in chanting and reading: St Ephrem, for one, composed a number of his hymns specifically for women's choirs (which he had a hand in forming) in "mixed" congregations, something for which he was praised after his death.  The reception of hymnography authored by women into the liturgical corpus can be said, by extension, to give them a role in chanting and reading.  And there is reason to believe that in certain places there were women in one or the other order (deaconesses or minor clerics) who would perform these tasks, usually but not only in monasteries--but again, they would've been clerics of some sort, not some lady picked out of the congregation.   

I'm not sure the Scriptures specify that only men may chant and read in church: I'm inclined to believe this is a later (mis)application of St Paul's admonition for women to be silent in church.     
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« Reply #61 on: May 15, 2014, 11:40:35 PM »

Thanks Mor, the historical info is always more important than opinions. Do you remember where you learned that about St. Ephrem?

Do you think that St. Paul's words do not indicate any difference in roles among lay Christians? Historically speaking.
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« Reply #62 on: May 15, 2014, 11:57:04 PM »

Thanks Mor, the historical info is always more important than opinions. Do you remember where you learned that about St. Ephrem?

It's too late for me to rummage through the attic and look for it to make sure, but I believe it was in Sebastian Brock's The Luminous Eye: The Spiritual World Vision of Saint Ephrem the Syrian

Quote
Do you think that St. Paul's words do not indicate any difference in roles among lay Christians? Historically speaking.

I think there is definitely some difference in lay roles: for example, St Paul seems to speak of widows as an "order", but to the best of my knowledge "widow" was never a clerical order in the way "reader" is, so we're talking about a certain category of laypeople with particular roles within the larger community.  I'm just not sure we can take something like the "women should be silent" admonition as an absolute prohibition of women from chanting and reading--certainly St Ephrem didn't.  But I've heard stories of how this was (mis)applied and created all sorts of weird situations even in our own day.   
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« Reply #63 on: May 16, 2014, 01:25:41 AM »

        and I have to take issue with the 'baking prosphora' remark.
 I have some dough rising right now ready to be  baked for Sunday's Divine Liturgy.
 And I'm not a woman.
 I took on the job - well, split it 50-50 - with the young lady who does 1001 things in and for the parish, but had to take it easy when her second daughter arrived.
And we've been working this way ever since.
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« Reply #64 on: May 16, 2014, 01:38:41 AM »

        and I have to take issue with the 'baking prosphora' remark.
 I have some dough rising right now ready to be  baked for Sunday's Divine Liturgy.

So early?  How long do you let it rise??
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« Reply #65 on: May 16, 2014, 01:42:32 AM »

        and I have to take issue with the 'baking prosphora' remark.
 I have some dough rising right now ready to be  baked for Sunday's Divine Liturgy.
 And I'm not a woman.
 I took on the job - well, split it 50-50 - with the young lady who does 1001 things in and for the parish, but had to take it easy when her second daughter arrived.
And we've been working this way ever since.

Yes, please do tell.

Since I took pottery classes, when I attempt to bake any kind of bread, I overknead it, so it comes out like a rock.
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« Reply #66 on: May 16, 2014, 01:48:46 AM »

...."until (about) doubled in volume"
45 - 60 minutes
 We use one large prosphora - well, I guess  'prosphoron' would be the singular, but my Greek is rusty.

So, 3 1/2 c white flour;
 about 1 1/2, 1 3/4 water -- just so the dough isn't too stiff
salt
yeast  

and yes, it's early I know, I usually do it Friday night; more often even on Saturdays.
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« Reply #67 on: May 16, 2014, 02:03:49 AM »

and yes, it's early I know, I usually do it Friday night; more often even on Saturdays.

We're not allowed to make it that far in advance: we prepare and knead the dough on the eve and bake the following morning before the Liturgy. 
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« Reply #68 on: May 16, 2014, 02:05:53 AM »

     yes, well, you certainly don't want to 'slab' bread dough.
   for the ordinary bread, like what I should have made for my self tonight, but didn't;
  using a/p flour - or 'unbleached bread flour'
I knead until I can poke my forefinger into the dough up to the first knuckle, and the depression remains after I've pulled my finger out.
  But for the Prosphora, I knead much less than that. Given a gentle 'poke' (are you there, Mor?)
if the dough slowly fills in the depression, then that's enough.
send me a PM if you want more info.
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« Reply #69 on: May 16, 2014, 02:14:35 AM »

 Mor;
I've always had an uneasy feeling about this,
We're a Mission of an OCA parish and both the priests are to my way of thinking, just a little too lax in some things - like this, for instance.

BTW: the dough, unsealed and unbaked, is now in the garbage.
I'll start again Saturday  but I'll have to bake it Saturday night.
Thanks for the 'heads up.'
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« Reply #70 on: May 16, 2014, 02:19:57 AM »

        and btw: for prosphora I use 'white flour' --- not ----- unbleached A/P
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« Reply #71 on: May 16, 2014, 02:23:03 AM »

BTW: the dough, unsealed and unbaked, is now in the garbage.
I'll start again Saturday  but I'll have to bake it Saturday night.
Thanks for the 'heads up.'

Oh man, I didn't mean for you to go and do that! 
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« Reply #72 on: May 16, 2014, 02:26:41 AM »

Not a problem!
Nice to have someone who knows what's what; instead of pious "maybe this, maybe that"
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« Reply #73 on: May 16, 2014, 05:33:18 AM »

Mor;
I've always had an uneasy feeling about this,
We're a Mission of an OCA parish and both the priests are to my way of thinking, just a little too lax in some things - like this, for instance.

BTW: the dough, unsealed and unbaked, is now in the garbage.
I'll start again Saturday  but I'll have to bake it Saturday night.
Thanks for the 'heads up.'

I admit the first three times I read it, I saw 'garage' and wondered why one would put raw dough out where the car is, until Saturday and then bake it.

I kept thinking, wouldn't the yeast just keep eating? Is it warm enough out there?

*smacks herself upside the head*
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« Reply #74 on: May 16, 2014, 05:37:27 AM »

Mor;
I've always had an uneasy feeling about this,
We're a Mission of an OCA parish and both the priests are to my way of thinking, just a little too lax in some things - like this, for instance.

BTW: the dough, unsealed and unbaked, is now in the garbage.
I'll start again Saturday  but I'll have to bake it Saturday night.
Thanks for the 'heads up.'

I admit the first three times I read it, I saw 'garage' and wondered why one would put raw dough out where the car is, until Saturday and then bake it.

I kept thinking, wouldn't the yeast just keep eating? Is it warm enough out there?

*smacks herself upside the head*

The very best place to let yeast dough rise is in the car, parked outside, on a mild to warm day. The warmth inside is even and gentle, perfect for proving.
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« Reply #75 on: May 16, 2014, 05:42:26 AM »

I suspect if you left it there from Thursday  to Saturday you might have a very doughy car interior!
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« Reply #76 on: May 16, 2014, 05:49:07 AM »

I suspect if you left it there from Thursday  to Saturday you might have a very doughy car interior!

Indeed!  Shocked Unless it was midwinter, I suppose ...
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« Reply #77 on: May 16, 2014, 07:41:04 AM »

Not a problem!
Nice to have someone who knows what's what; instead of pious "maybe this, maybe that"
There is no such rule in the Orthodox Church and you just wasted bread. Because one parish does something a certain way does not make it a rule for everyone else.
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« Reply #78 on: May 16, 2014, 08:33:06 AM »

        and I have to take issue with the 'baking prosphora' remark.
 I have some dough rising right now ready to be  baked for Sunday's Divine Liturgy.

So early?  How long do you let it rise??
3 days. Haven't you ever read Scripture?  Wink
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« Reply #79 on: May 16, 2014, 08:50:30 AM »

Maybe he should have put it in the garage.  Grin
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« Reply #80 on: May 16, 2014, 09:21:03 AM »

yes, well if the Condo building I am part owner of had a condost heap - or is it compost head?-
then that would be the ideal place for it. Nature' balance would be restored; the nice wiggly worms would turn into - well- compost of course and get a free drink to boot.
But we don't; so I can't and neither can they.
Snfff

Now as to 'place' of rising. I have absolutely no intention of buying a nassty air-polluting car complete with all the appertaining expenses: Provincial licence plates, insurance, a driver's licence &c.     ......... simply to have a nice warm place to let my bread rise. (Mine and God'S for that matter)

Electric oven  -- has a little 15wt bulb in the back which you can leave on by flipping a switch on the back panel. This enables you to "see through the glass,darkly" ICor 13, v?
(darkly? for my oven? = not-at-all)

Anyway, turn it on before you start measuring and mixing - and then, when the dough is ready
so is the oven, about 30-35 * - just right.
 And why make unnecessary work for yourself?
The dough has finished its 'mixing' stage when it starts pulling aside from the bowl.
Take it out with your immaculately clean hands, put on a board or plate, dump the excess flour and paste into a small container for future use (kneading)   do NOT oil the sides &c of the bowl,
dough back in, cover with cling film - well, a damp towel is traditional - but not, I think "Traditional."
(chokes on coffee)
Set the kitchen timer for 45 min. you're looking for the dough to have doubled in volume.

Next installment after replacing coffee all over pajamas.
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« Reply #81 on: May 16, 2014, 10:04:23 AM »

how to swear on a keyboard \!@#$%?&*()_+

my !@#$ pop-up blocker didn't;
 the 'Who flung dung' ad for some Chinese movie neatly!!! erased all I had typed.
(Oh well, I needed to change out of those pj's anyway....)
but what a waste of lovely coffee.
Maybe I should use the little yellow pictures at the top.

Where's my prayer-robe? use it while the kettle boils again.

next installment shortly - I hope.
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« Reply #82 on: May 16, 2014, 10:09:49 AM »

Not a problem!
Nice to have someone who knows what's what; instead of pious "maybe this, maybe that"
There is no such rule in the Orthodox Church and you just wasted bread. Because one parish does something a certain way does not make it a rule for everyone else.

Gotta agree with that.
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« Reply #83 on: May 16, 2014, 11:56:26 AM »

Not a problem!
Nice to have someone who knows what's what; instead of pious "maybe this, maybe that"
There is no such rule in the Orthodox Church and you just wasted bread. Because one parish does something a certain way does not make it a rule for everyone else.

Gotta agree with that.

Except mine was not a parish practice, but a canon.  If the EO don't have any such strictures, that is another matter.   
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« Reply #84 on: May 16, 2014, 11:58:25 AM »

Not a problem!
Nice to have someone who knows what's what; instead of pious "maybe this, maybe that"
There is no such rule in the Orthodox Church and you just wasted bread. Because one parish does something a certain way does not make it a rule for everyone else.

Gotta agree with that.

Except mine was not a parish practice, but a canon.  If the EO don't have any such strictures, that is another matter.   
Yet another cautionary tale on why we should view those OO with suspicion.  Tongue
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« Reply #85 on: May 16, 2014, 12:05:36 PM »


Except mine was not a parish practice, but a canon.  If the EO don't have any such strictures, that is another matter.   
Yet another cautionary tale on why we should view those OO with suspicion.  Tongue

Come on, we all know that the Holy Spirit is not powerful enough to change bread made any other way into the Body of Christ.

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« Reply #86 on: May 16, 2014, 01:14:58 PM »

 police
WHAAAT?

maybe we should start building a bonfire somewhere...!!!
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« Reply #87 on: May 16, 2014, 04:03:10 PM »

I suspect if you left it there from Thursday  to Saturday you might have a very doughy car interior!

Or bread that is full of new car aroma!
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« Reply #88 on: May 16, 2014, 04:11:08 PM »

Not a problem!
Nice to have someone who knows what's what; instead of pious "maybe this, maybe that"
There is no such rule in the Orthodox Church and you just wasted bread. Because one parish does something a certain way does not make it a rule for everyone else.

Gotta agree with that.

Except mine was not a parish practice, but a canon.  If the EO don't have any such strictures, that is another matter.    

When I was attending the local Antiochian Orthodox Church, sometimes we were given moldy bread by the altar boys, so I think that freshly baked altar bread is best. Some churches do have a huge freezer where they store extra loaves of bread. Then the altar boys would zap it in the microwave just before the Divine Liturgy, but it would end up tough in texture and very crumbly.

The Antiochians also had women reading the Epistle and even giving homilies. Some were good, but I preferred that readers would read the Epistle and that priests would deliver the homilies.
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« Reply #89 on: May 16, 2014, 04:29:48 PM »

Deacons can give homilies, too. It is one of their functions, both to read the Gospel and to preach it.
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« Reply #90 on: May 16, 2014, 05:14:42 PM »


...

The Antiochians also had women reading the Epistle and even giving homilies. Some were good, but I preferred that readers would read the Epistle and that priests would deliver the homilies.

My dad reads the Epistles sometimes at the Antiochian parish I grew up in when I have visited over the past few years.  He reads it like a Protestant and I have told him.  He can't sing and the concept just flies over his head.  He's 70 now and you just can't teach this old dog new tricks.  I tolerate it.
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« Reply #91 on: May 16, 2014, 05:33:16 PM »

here's a suggestion...

GET OVER IT AND GET OVER YOURSELF
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« Reply #92 on: May 16, 2014, 05:43:24 PM »

here's a suggestion...

GET OVER IT AND GET OVER YOURSELF

What is "IT"?
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« Reply #93 on: May 16, 2014, 05:44:52 PM »

here's a suggestion...

GET OVER IT AND GET OVER YOURSELF

What is "IT"?
the issue with women reading the epistles.
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« Reply #94 on: May 16, 2014, 05:51:26 PM »

GET OVER IT AND GET OVER YOURSELF

What is "IT"?
the issue with women reading the epistles.

When the Church responsibly addresses the matter, your response will be helpful.  Until then, we still have some things to iron out.  Despite some appearances, we are not at liberty to just throw out all our standards like other Churches do.
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« Reply #95 on: May 16, 2014, 05:52:45 PM »

GET OVER IT AND GET OVER YOURSELF

What is "IT"?
the issue with women reading the epistles.

When the Church responsibly addresses the matter, your response will be helpful.  Until then, we still have some things to iron out.  Despite some appearances, we are not at liberty to just throw out all our standards like other Churches do.

if you say so.

I'll stick to "get over it."
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« Reply #96 on: May 16, 2014, 06:03:33 PM »

Deacons can give homilies, too. It is one of their functions, both to read the Gospel and to preach it.

Yes, and I did enjoy hearing the young or not so young deacons preach. 
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« Reply #97 on: May 16, 2014, 06:55:42 PM »

Deacons can give homilies, too. It is one of their functions, both to read the Gospel and to preach it.

Yes, and I did enjoy hearing the young or not so young deacons preach.  

If you live near a seminary, it is not uncommon to run into a service where one of the students is preaching - with supervision by his Homiletics prof....gotta learn somehow!
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