Author Topic: Female Sub-Deacons and Readers  (Read 46978 times)

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Offline Fr. George

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Re: Female sub-deacons
« Reply #90 on: October 18, 2005, 06:33:05 PM »
No, EA said the Coptic Synod was above all Canons and the infallible voice of the Holy Spirit. Sure, the church can re-use old canons, but to simple "re-apply according to own re-interpretation" is putting a local group of bishops over and above the Traditions of the Church.

In any event, your remarks pertaining to what may possibly or even probably have been the initial intent of that particular canon are irrelevant, for the Holy Coptic Synod is vested with the authority from none other than Christ Himself to either re-apply a certain canon according to their own re-interpretation of it (as Cleveland has himself pointed out more than once in this thread), or even to produce their own canons regardless. 

The case made here is the following: that the Synod of the Coptic Church has the right to interpret the canons however they wish, regardless of original intent, and has the right to make new canons to apply to their local Church; this is the nature of Orthodox conciliar ecclesiology.  The synod of bishops for an area has the right to interpret the tradition of the Church and its canons for their particular flock; if they wanted to interpret a canon in a different way, and/or apply it in a different way than it was historically, then they are within their rights. 

The problem comes with having people do ordained services in the church when they are not ordained. That's been the subject of this thread ever since I started it. 

I agree with you. If the Church's position is that women can read and chant, then they should be made readers and cantors. If they are cleaning in the Church, then the bishop should read the prayer blessing them to enter the sanctuary to clean. 

And I agreed with you back then - if your bishops want women to read but don't want to tonsure them readers, then there is a problem. 

And the Epitome, when read with the canon itself, makes it quite clear and evident that they did not have ordination simply because the Paulicians did not ordain them. So when they became Orthodox they could not be received as ones being ordained. It does not say that it is wrong for women to be ordained. And as I pointed out earlier, the canons at Chalcedon speaks quite clearly of the "ordination of deaconesses". I don't expect EA to respect that canon, of course, but I would expect more from you. 

No, it is not certain and clear that its just the Paulicians that didn't ordain their deaconesses; and while I know there was some sort of "ordination" (and I don't want to debate how/where/when this ordination was... that's too long a sidebar for this thread) the canon doesn't speak how you claim it does.  Now I'm not arguing with you about it not saying women can't be ordained; but then again, I never quoted it in the first place.

Sorry, confused as to what you're trying to say here.

I should be the one apologizing for not completing my thought well enough...

It should have read: "I don't think the fact that early deaconesses did minister to the women of the Church - distributing communion and assisting with baptisms - is under debate here.  This practice is clearly documented and was pre-schism, so there shouldn't be disagreement between the partied involved here."

Everyone knows that the Slavic rite got changed more during the so-called "western captivity" than the Greek rite. This is exactly where the "first-degree of the priesthood" phrase comes in. And, as the self-same dogmatics professor pointed out to me, this clericism of degrees leading up to the priesthood effectivly disbars women from becoming Readers since they can't be priests then its silly to ordain them to the "first degree of priesthood". Since I think we all here clearly understand that such a "stepping-stone" mentality is wrong, so we can then clearly see that ordaining women to be Readers does not have anything at all to do with the priestly ordination. Did I not say this same thing in my OP? Why are we discussing this on page 6?? 

I wasn't debating whether or not you were for/against a "stepping stone" mentality; read my post.  It says that I don't like you reading this mentality into the text as being obvious when it really isn't - its more a product of one's own prejudice than anything else.  I haven't used this text, canon, Great Book of Needs, or anything else to debate whether or not women should be readers... So stop taking out your frustrations responding to me.

But then some here seem convinced to kill this idea no matter how illogical and self-contradictory their reasoning..............

If that's true, let them try.  If they're right, then it will die; if they're not, then it won't.
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Offline Xaira

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Re: Female sub-deacons
« Reply #91 on: October 18, 2005, 10:34:59 PM »
The case made here is the following: that the Synod of the Coptic Church has the right to interpret the canons however they wish, regardless of original intent, and has the right to make new canons to apply to their local Church; this is the nature of Orthodox conciliar ecclesiology.ÂÂ  The synod of bishops for an area has the right to interpret the tradition of the Church and its canons for their particular flock; if they wanted to interpret a canon in a different way, and/or apply it in a different way than it was historically, then they are within their rights.ÂÂ

So in other words a group of present bishops has more authority than a canon of an Ecumenical Council?? I just can't swallow that. With that we'll be no better then a bunch of Protestants simply deciding what they want the church to do based upon their own personal opinions. If we are going to say we have a Traditional and Apostolic Church built upon the Ecumenical Councils then we should actually respect what the Councils said and not try to change/ignore/re-interpret them to match our own personal whims and opinions.


No, it is not certain and clear that its just the Paulicians that didn't ordain their deaconesses; and while I know there was some sort of "ordination" (and I don't want to debate how/where/when this ordination was... that's too long a sidebar for this thread) the canon doesn't speak how you claim it does.ÂÂ  Now I'm not arguing with you about it not saying women can't be ordained; but then again, I never quoted it in the first place.

I'm sorry, just not seeing your point. The only subject at hand in this canon is the reception of the Paulicians into orthodoxy and how to deal with their ordained clergy. This is also the interpreation of Evangelos Theodorou on this canon, and he has done much more research on it than I. And again, during this time there is clear evidence of the full ordination of women to the diaconate throughout the church, so then we would be making the Nicene canon into making a false statement! Given the number of bishops at Nicaea and their diverse origins I find this hard to believe.


I wasn't debating whether or not you were for/against a "stepping stone" mentality; read my post.ÂÂ  It says that I don't like you reading this mentality into the text as being obvious when it really isn't - its more a product of one's own prejudice than anything else.ÂÂ  I haven't used this text, canon, Great Book of Needs, or anything else to debate whether or not women should be readers... So stop taking out your frustrations responding to me.

Well, it's certaintly not my mentality, it's the informed statement of an Orthodox professor of Dogmatic Theology. And it doesn't really matter what the text was trying to say, it matters what it says now. The dogmatics professor quite firmly expressed to me that nearly all bishops simply do not ordain women as Readers because of this statement "the first degree of the priesthood is Reader", simply because they do not want to give the impression that they are ordaining a women to be a mini-priest, hence opening up the door for people to argue for women priests out of mere precendence, whether it is happens in the Greek or Russian church it doesn't matter, people of all stripes will try to use that line to push an agenda. My point: change the rite to excise this line, ordain women as Readers. Problem solved.




And it is highly fustrated to get lambasted for "not respecting the canons of the Church" when I speak in favor of say, an EO-OO reunion, but on another topic people start saying stuff like the canons don't matter at all, just what the current heirarchs are saying. Ok, present heirarchs have all called for reunion! never mind the canons! let's all reunite! For goodness sakes....................

« Last Edit: October 18, 2005, 10:35:38 PM by Xaira »

Offline EkhristosAnesti

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Re: Female sub-deacons
« Reply #92 on: October 19, 2005, 12:26:10 AM »
Xaira,

Please don’t misrepresent my position; this is not the way to react simply because the validity of your appeal to precedent in the Coptic Church has been debased.

Cleveland has perfectly and reasonably interpreted my very clear implications.

Quote
So in other words a group of present bishops has more authority than a canon of an Ecumenical Council??

If you understood anything that Cleveland has said regarding this issue, you would understand that your question is loaded.

The authority of a Church canon lies only with respect to how it is interpreted and applied by the Church Herself — it is not authoritative in and of itself as some sort of a distinct and independent authority from the Church, nor is its binding authority beyond time such as to bind the regulation of future Church life in any event.ÂÂ  

Nonetheless, it seems that you have forgotten your very own argument regarding this canon in the first place. I thought your position was that the canon in question had, in its historical context, nothing to do with the ordination of deaconesses in the Orthodox Church, but was rather a regulation pertaining to the reception of deaconesses of an heretical church, into the Orthodox Church. So what does respect or disrespect of this canon have to do with anything, if your whole position consequently entails that the canon in question is irrelevant to the Holy Coptic Synod’s decision in the first place?

Let me save my time arguing the implications and intentions of this canon, by assuming your position on such things for arguments sake. The Holy Coptic Synod has thus passed its own canon addressing an issue that has no relationship or connection towards any previous canon, whether ecumenically or locally passed.ÂÂ  So what’s your argument now? You do believe in an authoritative Church that continues to exist and live by the Spirit till this present day do you not?

Peace.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2005, 12:27:46 AM by EkhristosAnesti »
No longer an active member of this forum. Sincerest apologies to anyone who has taken offence to anything posted in youthful ignorance or negligence prior to my leaving this forum - October, 2012.

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Offline Fr. George

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Re: Female sub-deacons
« Reply #93 on: October 19, 2005, 05:19:34 AM »
So in other words a group of present bishops has more authority than a canon of an Ecumenical Council?? I just can't swallow that. With that we'll be no better then a bunch of Protestants simply deciding what they want the church to do based upon their own personal opinions. If we are going to say we have a Traditional and Apostolic Church built upon the Ecumenical Councils then we should actually respect what the Councils said and not try to change/ignore/re-interpret them to match our own personal whims and opinions.   

Nobody said anything about 'personal opinions.'  But the argument I did make is the same that Christ Himself did to the Pharisees; the law is not an organ that exists on its own, or that dictates on its own, or has its own fronima or its own application.  The law (the canons in this case, the law of Moses at the time of Christ) is rather the guidelines and guides of the Church that are applied by the Church to its present situation.  If the hierarchs decide that a canon has no modern application, then guess what - it isn't applied.  If they decide that a canon has more application now than it did in the past, then it is more strictly applied.  This is the nature of the Church - that the local bishops, when meeting in synod, make the decisions for their flocks.  If what they preach and/or do is heretical, then it is up to the people to call them out on it.  But since they are not (at least at the moment), then the final say is theirs.  If the synod of Cosntantinople wanted to make a canon regarding Abortion, it is within their rights; and everyone within the same ecclesial family (the EP) would be bound by it.    And if the Antiochian Synod says to receive members from Catholicism with chrismation only, then that is their right, and everyone within that ecclesial family is bound by it.

Our Traditional and Apostolic Church is built upon Christ and noone else; the Councils elaborated points of the faith and left guidelines for us to use, but it is at the discretion of the pastors that they are used.  This has been the way of Orthodoxy from the 4th century, not some new phenomenon.

I'm sorry, just not seeing your point. The only subject at hand in this canon is the reception of the Paulicians into orthodoxy and how to deal with their ordained clergy. This is also the interpreation of Evangelos Theodorou on this canon, and he has done much more research on it than I. And again, during this time there is clear evidence of the full ordination of women to the diaconate throughout the church, so then we would be making the Nicene canon into making a false statement! Given the number of bishops at Nicaea and their diverse origins I find this hard to believe.   

That's why I stated that I never brought this canon up to have anything to do with ordaining women; and, to the contrary, I pointed out that it was counter-productive to bring it up.

Well, it's certaintly not my mentality, it's the informed statement of an Orthodox professor of Dogmatic Theology. And it doesn't really matter what the text was trying to say, it matters what it says now. The dogmatics professor quite firmly expressed to me that nearly all bishops simply do not ordain women as Readers because of this statement "the first degree of the priesthood is Reader", simply because they do not want to give the impression that they are ordaining a women to be a mini-priest, hence opening up the door for people to argue for women priests out of mere precendence, whether it is happens in the Greek or Russian church it doesn't matter, people of all stripes will try to use that line to push an agenda. My point: change the rite to excise this line, ordain women as Readers. Problem solved.   

Nearly all is a phrase that will get him into trouble.  But whatever; there are bishops that use that reasoning, and they obviously have a skewed view of the orders of the Church.  But even they are reading something into the text, not drawing anything out of it.

And it is highly fustrated to get lambasted for "not respecting the canons of the Church" when I speak in favor of say, an EO-OO reunion, but on another topic people start saying stuff like the canons don't matter at all, just what the current heirarchs are saying. Ok, present heirarchs have all called for reunion! never mind the canons! let's all reunite! For goodness sakes....................   

No one said the canons don't matter at all!  But we have been saying that we can't appeal to the canons as the highest authority - they do not take precedence over the dynamic work of the Spirit; the Holy Spirit working through the church is the highest authority; if the bishops stray, then the Spirit moves the people; if the people stray, then the Spirit moves the bishops and presbyters.  But the breathless canons do not rule over any of these parts; instead, they are used by the parts to lead all people to salvation; and if they cease serving their purpose, then they are set aside until they can serve that purpose again.
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Offline SaintShenouti

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Re: Female sub-deacons
« Reply #94 on: November 18, 2006, 01:18:09 PM »
Quote
And it is highly fustrated to get lambasted for "not respecting the canons of the Church" when I speak in favor of say, an EO-OO reunion, but on another topic people start saying stuff like the canons don't matter at all, just what the current heirarchs are saying. Ok, present heirarchs have all called for reunion! never mind the canons! let's all reunite! For goodness sakes....................

Agreed madame, but all in good time. 

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Re: Female sub-deacons
« Reply #95 on: November 01, 2011, 04:05:56 PM »
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Offline Ioannis Climacus

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Re: Female sub-deacons
« Reply #96 on: November 01, 2011, 04:41:44 PM »
Not Subdeacons but nice, too!

http://byztex.blogspot.com/2011/11/greeks-to-tonsure-girls-as-readers.html
According to the author of the blog first publishing the story (George Michalopulos), the planned "ordinations" were cancelled and only three adult men were ordained.

http://www.monomakhos.com/2011/10/another-nail-in-the-coffin-of-orthodox-unity/#comment-13449

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« Last Edit: November 01, 2011, 04:42:17 PM by Ioannis Climacus »
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Re: Female sub-deacons
« Reply #97 on: November 01, 2011, 04:46:38 PM »
Not nice.
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Offline Benjamin the Red

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Re: Female sub-deacons
« Reply #98 on: November 04, 2011, 09:09:07 AM »
As long as the prayers included in the standard Russian practice concerning reader as being the "first level of the priesthood" and if the candidate does well he may find himself in a "greater office" are eliminated (and probably should be all-together, as they're quite misleading about how the Church historically views her various offices) I don't see a problem with female readers. They aren't entering the altar, they aren't teaching...again...not seeing a problem.

Further, I don't see an issue with a female diaconate, either. It is an historical office of the Church. Of course, younger deaconesses, if they were to be ordained, could not serve in the altar. Of course later on they were restricted to women above the age of 40 (meaning, most likely, that they were past child-bearing age and therefore ritual impurity was not a concern). That being a concern, these days the age limit would need to be increased for these deaconesses to serve in the altar, but I wouldn't see a problem with it.

Of course, I would also like to see the re-establishment of the separate office of "taper-barer" and only those men who are tonsured to the office may be permitted within the altar. And, I am an altar server, meaning I would have to either get out of the altar, or get tonsured.

I'm open to a lot of different things, as long as proper and traditional reverence is given to the holy things and places. That is the most important point to maintain.
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Offline ialmisry

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Re: Female sub-deacons
« Reply #99 on: November 04, 2011, 09:29:19 AM »
therefore ritual impurity was not a concern
Has Christ not fulfilled the Law, and therefore abolished it?
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Re: Female sub-deacons
« Reply #100 on: November 04, 2011, 09:54:58 AM »
therefore ritual impurity was not a concern
Has Christ not fulfilled the Law, and therefore abolished it?

Christ Himself said that he came not to abolish the Law, but to fulfill it. In it's fulfillment, the sacrifice of bulls and goats have ceased, not because we no longer have sacrifice, but because He is the eternal sacrifice, once for all. In like manner, we do not cast out the Ten Commandments nor do we rid ourselves of the basic rubrics of Temple worship (which are now found in the Eucharistic Liturgy) given to the Moses. Ritual bathing has been fulfilled in baptism and is renewed in confession. All meats are made clean, but we still fast (yet, according to the Apostolic Council, Christians should abstain from the blood of animals, literally "things strangled").

In the same way, the confession of involuntary sin and the existence of prayers for the churching of a mother and her child 40 day after birth as well as a male purity rule show us that sin is still in the world and part of our fallen lives. Ritual purity is a Christian teaching.
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Offline ialmisry

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Re: Female sub-deacons
« Reply #101 on: November 04, 2011, 10:11:15 AM »
therefore ritual impurity was not a concern
Has Christ not fulfilled the Law, and therefore abolished it?

Christ Himself said that he came not to abolish the Law, but to fulfill it. In it's fulfillment, the sacrifice of bulls and goats have ceased, not because we no longer have sacrifice, but because He is the eternal sacrifice, once for all. In like manner, we do not cast out the Ten Commandments nor do we rid ourselves of the basic rubrics of Temple worship (which are now found in the Eucharistic Liturgy) given to the Moses. Ritual bathing has been fulfilled in baptism and is renewed in confession. All meats are made clean, but we still fast (yet, according to the Apostolic Council, Christians should abstain from the blood of animals, literally "things strangled").
Fasting has nothing to do with ritual purity.  The things strangled have to do with pagan worship of idols, which are still defiling.

In the same way, the confession of involuntary sin and the existence of prayers for the churching of a mother and her child 40 day after birth as well as a male purity rule show us that sin is still in the world and part of our fallen lives. Ritual purity is a Christian teaching.
To the pure, all things are pure, but to the defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure. Such is Christian teaching.

Quote
First Epistle of Athanasius the Great,
addressed to the monk Amun.

All creatures of God are good and clean. For there is nothing useless or unclean that the Logos of God has made. "For we are a fragrance of Christ among the saved" says the Apostle (II Cor. 2:15). But inasmuch as the Devil’s arrows are various and versatile, and suffice to disturb the minds even of the most honest men, by inseminating them with cogitations of uncleanness and of pollution, let us proceed to dispel the Evil One’s delusion briefly, with the grace of our Savior, and bolster up the mind of simpler men. "Unto the pure all things are pure" (Titus 1:15): but the conscience and everything of the impure. I am moved to admiration by the Devils ingenuity, because though it breeds corruption and pestilence it suggests thoughts that seem to be pure, yet the result is rather an ambush than a test. For, as I said before, in order to occupy ascetics with, mannerly and salutary meditation, and appear in this respect to the winner, he nevertheless breeds such maggots as produce nothing good in life, but only empty argumentations and twaddle which one ought to forgo. For tell me, dear and most reverent friend, what sin or uncleanness is there in a natural excretion? It is as if one should find fault with mucus exuding from noses, and with the spittle expelled through the mouth. And we can say still more than this: the secretions of the stomach, which are necessary to the animal economy and to its vital processes. Furthermore, if we believe man to be a work of God’s hands, in accordance with the divine Scriptures, how could any work be polluted when made by a pure power And if we are a race or kindred of God (cf. Acts 17:28-29), as the divine Acts of the Apostles assert, we have nothing in us that is impure or unclean. For it is only then that we may be polluted when we perpetrate the foulest sin. But when any natural excretion occurs involuntarily, then, as we have said before, we must patiently put up with the necessity of nature. But simply because those who are inclined to dispute whatever is said aright, or rather done by God, are wont to cite a passage in the Gospel, on the ground that "it is not what goeth into the mouth that defiles a man, but that which cometh out" (Matt. 15:11), we must needs disprove also this illogicality (for we shall not call it an argumentation). For first of all, being unbolstered, they force the Scriptures to fit their ignorance. For the explanation of this divine assertion is as follows. Some men like these used to be in doubt about foods, and the Lord Himself, by way of exposing their ignorance, or, at any rate, making the deception patent to all, says that it is not what goes into a man that defiles him, or makes him unclean, but what comes out of him. Then he goes on to say from where it comes out, namely, from the heart. For there He knows the evil treasures of profane thoughts and of the other sins to be. The Apostle who has had it taught to him says more concisely: "Food commendeth us not to God" (I Cor. 8: 8). But even now one might reasonably enough say that no natural excretion commends us to God for punishment. Even the children of physicians (to be ashamed of their externals) might counter to this that certain necessary passageways have been given to the animal for the purpose of enabling each of us to eliminate superfluous humors that accumulate in our members. Thus, for instance, the hairs of the head are superfluities, or excess baggage; and the aqueous ejections from the head, and the expulsions from the stomach, and above all the emissions of seminal passages. After all, what sort of things, for God, O most God-beloved old fellow, constitute the sinfulness when the Lord has created the animal such and has wanted to have it have such passages in its members’? But inasmuch as we have to anticipate the objections of the wicked ones (for one might say that even their true use is not a sin either if the organs have been formed by the Creator), for this purpose let us cease asking them questions. What use are you referring to? That in the Law which God allowed by saying: "Be fruitful, and multiply; and replenish the earth!" (Gen. 1:28), which the Apostle accepted when he said: "Marriage is honorable, and the bed un-defiled" (Heb. 13:4): or the popular kind, performed clandestinely and adulterously Since in other transactions in life too we shall find differences to occur in some way or another: for instance, it is not permissible to murder anyone (Exod. 20:13), yet in war it is praiseworthy and lawful to slay the adversaries. Thus at any rate those who have distinguished themselves in war are entitled to and are accorded great honors, and columns are erected in memory of them reciting their exploits. So that the same matter in some respect and at some time or other is not permitted, but in another respect and at some other time when there is a good occasion for it, may be allowed and permitted. The same argument holds also with regard to coition. Blessed is the man who in his youth having a free yoke employs his natural parts for the prudence of creating children. But if he employs them for licentious or lascivious purposes, he will receive the punishment prescribed by the Apostle for fornicators and adulterers (Heb. 13:4). For, there being two roads in life as regards these matters, the one a more moderate and helpful road conducive to life, that of marriage, I mean; the other one being angelic and unsurpassable, that of virginity; but if anyone should choose the mundane life, that is to say, the way of marriage, though he is not liable to censure or blame, he will not receive so many gracious gifts. For what he will receive when he bears fruit will be thirty. But if he embraces the chaste and supramundane life, though the road is rough in comparison with the first and difficult to achieve, yet it has more wonderful features in the way of gracious gifts: for it has produced the perfect fruit, the hundred. So that their unclean and evil questions have their own solutions and have been solved by the divine Scriptures long before in times of old. Therefore, O Father, bolster up the herds under your care by giving them comfort from Apostolic passages, by refreshing their souls with passages from the Gospels, by offering them pieces of good advice derived from the Psalms, By saying, for instance, "Revive me, in accordance with Thy words" (Ps. 138:7); for it is in accordance with His words to worship Him with a pure heart. Being aware of this the same Prophet, as is translating his own utterance, says: “Create m me a clean heart. Ο God” (Ps. 51:10), in order to prevent any dirty thoughts from disturbing me. And again David says: "Uphold me with a princely spirit" (Ps. 51:12), in order that even though any thoughts should ever disturb me or disconcert me, a strong force lent by Thee may support me like a scaffold and prevent my falling. He himself, therefore, while recommending these and such things, tells those who are tardy in obeying the truth: "I will teach transgressors Thy ways" (Ps. 51:13); and having confidence in the Lord that you will be able to persuade them to abstain from such wickedness, chant to them: "And impious men shall be converted unto Thee" (ibid.). But God grant that those who are malignantly seeking satisfaction shall cease from such vain labor, whereas those who are in doubt about the goodness of piety shall be reinforced with a princely spirit. All of you who certainly understand the truth, have it unbroken and unshaken in Christ Jesus our Lord, with whom be glory and dominion unto the Father, together with the Holy Spirit, unto the ages of ages. Amen.


Interpretation.

As this great Father of ours was asked, it would appear, about the emission which we have from the natural parts during sleep, or what is more commonly called a wet dream, whether it is sinful, he wrote the present letter in reply, wherein he says that all things created by God are clean, and that God created nothing that is unclean or polluted. Yet, since the machinations of the Devil are many and various, with which he is wont to confuse men, and to annoy simple servants of God, meaning the ascetics, and to deter them from their accustomed virtue by sowing unclean thoughts in their imagination, we ought to banish that machinery of the Devil with the help of Christ, and to bolster up the confidence of our innocent brethren, in order to prevent them from being annoyed any longer. With this in mind he commences with the passage of St. Paul which says: "All creatures of God are pure to the pure and virtuous. But to the impure and sinful all things appear to be impure and polluted because of their polluted and unclean conscience. But the Saint is amazed at the wickedness of the Devil upon seeing that although the Devil himself is impure and unclean he nevertheless succeeds in sowing in us thoughts that arc apparently pure and clean, whereas in reality they are attempts and secret machinations and devices of his designed to prevent, as we have said, the brethren from engaging in salutary meditation, and to appear to have defeated them with some maggots, or, in other words, with some paltry noises and fears such as those of insects called bumblebees, in efforts that cause our life nothing but useless quarrels and vain discussions, which divine Paul tells us to hate. Afterwards he asks the Saint what sin or impurity there is in the natural emission which occurs during sleep and which is ejected like an excretion, unless one insists upon blaming the whole human body for ejecting the other emissions and excretions, such as, for instance, as mucus, phlegm, and the like, including even evacuations of the belly, which are manifestly necessary to the human body. For. if we believe (says he) that man is a creature of the hands of God (as he is, according to the Scriptures), how can what God has created be impure or unclean, at a time when all that God created is "very good" (Gen. 1:31)? And if we are His offspring, as the poet Aratus and divine Paul (Acts 17:31) say, it follows that no part of us is impure or unclean; for it is only when we commit the filthy and deplorable sin that we become polluted. But when the natural emission occurs during our sleep and without our volition, then we must put up with it patiently as a necessary concomitance of our nature, like the excretions we spoke of above. But inasmuch as those who insist upon objecting to correct statements, or, we might rather say, to things created by God, by way of controverting us are wont to cite the passage in the Gospel saying that "it is not what goeth into the mouth that defileth a man, but that which cometh out" (Matt. 15:11), we must refute this nonsense of theirs, and not a perplexity. Accordingly, we assert that they themselves, being ignorant, expound the Holy Scriptures in accordance with their likes and dislikes and their lack of knowledge. The real meaning of the Gospel passage is as follows. Inasmuch as some persons used to hesitate (like these men) about the food, fearing timorously lest they be defiled by it in case they should eat it, Christ dispelled the uncertainty and exposed their misconception, by asserting that it is not what goes in that denies, i.e.. pollutes, a man, but what comes out of him, and He immediately says also whence it comes out, to wit, from the heart, in which are to be found the bad treasures of impure thoughts and of other sinful acts. But divine Paul has taught us this more briefly and more pointedly by saying: "Food commendeth us not to God" (I Cor. 8: 8). But one might say this same thing in regard to the present matter. A natural emission does not commend us for punishment. Physicians of the body, too, he says, might reply to them concerning this, in order that they should be convinced by authorities outside of the Church. For they too say that certain necessarv passages have been given to man by the Creator in order to permit excrements to be ejected from our members when these are nourished, including, for instance, the hair that falls from the head and various fluids that are excreted through its passages (mucus, that is to say, from the nose, spittle from the mouth, tears from the eyes, and the like), while excretions from the belly are the evacuations. So, then just as these things are necessary, so too is that emission which marks a wet dream an excretion of the spermatic passages. Hence he turns to the Saint and says: Seeing, then, that God created man and wanted his body to have such organizations and passages, what sin has a man on this account? None, I think. But, he says, we must go further and anticipate the objections of the captious and of the wicked. For they may say: Well, then, is it not a fact that neither is the true use of the spermatic organs any sin, since they too have been given by God for such a purpose and use? To this we reply: What purpose and use are you referring to? The lawful one which God permitted by His commandment "Be fruitful and multiply" (Gen. 9:1), which even the Apostle applauds by saying: "Marriage is honorable, and the bed undefiled" (Heb. 13:4); or the common one which is carried out secretly and unlawfully, which is as much as to say, fornication and adultery? If you mean the former one, it is obvious that it is good; but if you mean the latter one, it is obvious that it is bad. And let us not be astonished (says the Saint) if one and the same thing is at times good and at times evil, since we see many other things too in the present life that are sometimes good and sometimes bad. For instance, killing a man is not allowed except when it is done in the course of a war against enemies of the faith; then indeed it is both allowable and praiseable — and for this reason those who have been victorious in a war receive great honors, and statues are erected to their name proclaiming their victories (concerning these persons see c. XIII of Basil). Well, this same reckoning attaches also to sexual intercourse. Accordingly, the Saint here praises those who utilize the conjugal relation of marriage for the purpose of producing children, with the passage of Jeremiah; but, on the other hand, he intimidates the lascivious with the passage wherein the Apostle says that God will judge fornicators and adulterers (Heb. 13:4). He then points out that God has shown us two roads in the present life: one which is moderate and humble, that of marriage, I mean, and of matrimony, and the other one is one which is angelical and incomparable — that of virginity. Accordingly, whoever chooses marriage has no sin, yet he cannot receive the gracious gifts of virginity, though he does receive the fruit of thirty (by producing children) in accordance with the parable of the sower. But whoever takes a liking to virginity and monastic life (although this too is difficult of achievement in comparison with the first, or, to speak more explicitly, the first road of marriage, that is to say, or in the beginning, owing to one’s not being accustomed to it, and because the body is in a youthful state and prone to coition) acquires nevertheless gracious gifts and virtuous qualities more admirable than marriage; for he produces the perfect fruit, that of a hundredfold. Then he goes on to say that such unclean questions of such persons have their solution in the answers afforded by the Holy Scriptures. After advising him to support with recommendations and admonitions the monks whom he is governing, to be derived from both the holy Gospel, the Apostle, and the Psalms of David, and turning the discourse into a prayer, he concludes the Epistle. See also c. IV of Dionysius and the Footnote thereto.
http://www.holytrinitymission.org/books/english/canons_fathers_rudder.htm#_Toc78634055
« Last Edit: November 04, 2011, 10:12:33 AM by ialmisry »
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Offline Benjamin the Red

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Re: Female sub-deacons
« Reply #102 on: November 04, 2011, 10:37:16 AM »
therefore ritual impurity was not a concern
Has Christ not fulfilled the Law, and therefore abolished it?

Christ Himself said that he came not to abolish the Law, but to fulfill it. In it's fulfillment, the sacrifice of bulls and goats have ceased, not because we no longer have sacrifice, but because He is the eternal sacrifice, once for all. In like manner, we do not cast out the Ten Commandments nor do we rid ourselves of the basic rubrics of Temple worship (which are now found in the Eucharistic Liturgy) given to the Moses. Ritual bathing has been fulfilled in baptism and is renewed in confession. All meats are made clean, but we still fast (yet, according to the Apostolic Council, Christians should abstain from the blood of animals, literally "things strangled").
Fasting has nothing to do with ritual purity.  The things strangled have to do with pagan worship of idols, which are still defiling.

In the same way, the confession of involuntary sin and the existence of prayers for the churching of a mother and her child 40 day after birth as well as a male purity rule show us that sin is still in the world and part of our fallen lives. Ritual purity is a Christian teaching.
To the pure, all things are pure, but to the defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure. Such is Christian teaching.

I like how you didn't actually answer anything I said. Particularly the history of prayers for purity in the Church, as well as the nice list of parallels I gave you.

We fast because of our sin. Because the Master is not here. For penance and asceticism. This is why the Apostles didn't fast while Christ was on earth:

"Then came to him the disciples of John, saying, Why do we and the Pharisees fast oft, but thy disciples fast not? And Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the bridechamber mourn, as long as the bridegroom is with them? but the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken from them, and then shall they fast." (Matt. 9:14-15)

You're right that St. Paul exhorts the Corinthians to avoid food sacrificed to idols, and that the Apostolic Council states that Christians are to avoid the "pollutions of idols", but mentions "things strangled" and "blood" as separate items, not in direct conjunction with the first prohibition:

"But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood." (Acts 15:20)

As a matter of fact, the very next verse cites the Law as the reason these things are required: "For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every sabbath day." (Acts 15:21)
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Tonsuring women as readers?
« Reply #103 on: November 04, 2011, 10:43:40 AM »
I got this information from a link from the blog Again and Again. I don't know the reliability of the source, but I'm posting the link for you to read.

Apparently, Archbishop DEMETRIOS of the GOA will be tonsuring several women to be readers.  Now, isn't the position of reader the first step towards being clergy and what would that do to our understanding of the male priesthood?  If this is true, this is disturbing.

http://www.monomakhos.com/2011/10/another-nail-in-the-coffin-of-orthodox-unity/

From the entry:  Recently, Monomakhos has learned that several young girls are going to be tonsured as Readers in the GOA later today in Scottsdale, Arizona. Needless to say, this has caused consternation among some of the more traditional members of that jurisdiction.
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Re: Tonsuring women as readers?
« Reply #104 on: November 04, 2011, 11:09:38 AM »
This was mentioned in another thread, and His Eminence was going to tonsure a few female readers. That plan, however, was cancelled. They will not be tonsured.


That said, I don't believe tonsuring female readers would be a problem. Many churches have women cantors that will also read the epistle. As long as we don't view the reader as the "first level of the priesthood" which is an idea that really doesn't historically belong to Orthodoxy (an idea falsely attributed to Dionysius that all power is found in the bishop who "gives out" degrees of the priesthood to every other office), what's the big deal? They aren't entering the altar and they aren't teaching the people. I don't see a problem.

Fr. Hopko actually has a good podcast on Dionysius and talks all about this problem in it. I'll see if I can dig it up.
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Re: Tonsuring women as readers?
« Reply #105 on: November 04, 2011, 11:14:27 AM »
^I've got no issues with women chanting or reading the epistle. Several women at my church do one or the other.  But tonsuring a reader is the first step in the priesthood (I don't know where you got your information;  It's in the PRAYER for the one being tonsured!) As women are barred from the priesthood, tonsuring them as readers makes no sense.  Now, giving a woman a blessing to read the epistle or OT reading or chant is entirely permissible but let's not go overboard and put them in the clergy ranks!
« Last Edit: November 04, 2011, 11:15:13 AM by scamandrius »
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Re: Tonsuring women as readers?
« Reply #106 on: November 04, 2011, 11:18:02 AM »
But tonsuring a reader is the first step in the priesthood.

And that's the problem. Such thinking is not consistent with the historical teaching of the Church, but developed later, through false understanding of the writings of Dionysius. The priesthood is just that...the priesthood. The deacons are deacons...they aren't priests. Neither are subdeacons, readers or anyone else. There aren't "levels" in the priesthood. Either you're a priest (i.e., you're ordained to consecrate the Holy Gifts) or not.

Let me find that Fr. Hopko podcast now. It's really quite good...
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Re: Tonsuring women as readers?
« Reply #107 on: November 04, 2011, 11:18:13 AM »
I don't know if they are "tonsured" (I would guess there would be some sort of blessing involved), but I have seen female readers.
And FWIW, these are our Fathers too, you know.

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Re: Tonsuring women as readers?
« Reply #108 on: November 04, 2011, 11:21:25 AM »
Found it! It's on his Speaking the Truth in Love on Ancient Faith Radio. It's part of his larger series on the bishop...which is quite good! I've learned a lot and recommend the whole series (it's very lengthy...and on-going!). But anyway, without further ado:

Bishops Part 12: Dionysius the Areopagite
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Re: Tonsuring women as readers?
« Reply #109 on: November 04, 2011, 11:38:03 AM »
But tonsuring a reader is the first step in the priesthood.

And that's the problem. Such thinking is not consistent with the historical teaching of the Church, but developed later, through false understanding of the writings of Dionysius. The priesthood is just that...the priesthood. The deacons are deacons...they aren't priests. Neither are subdeacons, readers or anyone else. There aren't "levels" in the priesthood. Either you're a priest (i.e., you're ordained to consecrate the Holy Gifts) or not.

Let me find that Fr. Hopko podcast now. It's really quite good...

But there is a progression, would you not agree?  A priest cannot be a priest without being a deacon first, correct?  There are steps, a gradus if you will. Are you basing your entire argument on one podcast of Fr. Thomas?  I guess the church has been employing this false standard for a long time then.
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Re: Tonsuring women as readers?
« Reply #110 on: November 04, 2011, 11:40:51 AM »
Does every reader become a presbyter? If not - where is the problem?
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Re: Tonsuring women as readers?
« Reply #111 on: November 04, 2011, 11:57:43 AM »
^I've got no issues with women chanting or reading the epistle. Several women at my church do one or the other.  But tonsuring a reader is the first step in the priesthood (I don't know where you got your information;  It's in the PRAYER for the one being tonsured!) 

Could you point to the prayer that says this? I can't find it, thanks.
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Re: Tonsuring women as readers?
« Reply #112 on: November 04, 2011, 12:07:20 PM »
^I've got no issues with women chanting or reading the epistle. Several women at my church do one or the other.  But tonsuring a reader is the first step in the priesthood (I don't know where you got your information;  It's in the PRAYER for the one being tonsured!)

Could you point to the prayer that says this? I can't find it, thanks.

Page 309 Hapgood Service Book

http://www.archive.org/stream/ServiceBookOfHolyOrthodoxChurchByHapgood/Service_Book_Orthodox_Church_Hapgood#page/n345/mode/2up

Quote
And the Sub-Deacons vest him in the tunic; and the Bishop exhorteth him
thus:

My son(^), the first degree in the Priesthood is that of Reader. It
behooveth thee (you) therefore, to peruse the divine Scriptures daily,
to the end that the hearers, regarding thee (you) may receive edifica-
tion ; that thou (ye) in nowise shaming thine (your) election, mayest
prepare thyself (may prepare yourselves) for a higher degree. For by a
chaste, holy and upright life thou shalt (ye shall) gain the favour of
the God of loving-kindness, and shalt render thyself (shall render your-
selves) worthy of a greater ministry, through Jesus Christ our Lord ;
to whom be glory unto ages of ages. Amen.

(The bishop can change the prayer)

« Last Edit: November 04, 2011, 12:21:48 PM by AWR »

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Re: Tonsuring women as readers?
« Reply #113 on: November 04, 2011, 04:37:24 PM »
But tonsuring a reader is the first step in the priesthood.

And that's the problem. Such thinking is not consistent with the historical teaching of the Church, but developed later, through false understanding of the writings of Dionysius. The priesthood is just that...the priesthood. The deacons are deacons...they aren't priests. Neither are subdeacons, readers or anyone else. There aren't "levels" in the priesthood. Either you're a priest (i.e., you're ordained to consecrate the Holy Gifts) or not.

Let me find that Fr. Hopko podcast now. It's really quite good...

But there is a progression, would you not agree?  A priest cannot be a priest without being a deacon first, correct?  There are steps, a gradus if you will. Are you basing your entire argument on one podcast of Fr. Thomas?  I guess the church has been employing this false standard for a long time then.

There is a progression of seniority, yes, for orders' sake. But to say that "part of the priesthood" (i.e., the consecration of the Holy Gifts) is due to readers is simply false. They do not serve as presbyters in any way. Nor to subdeacons or deacons. To say that readers have a "level of the priesthood" in this sense is not correct.

And no, I'm not basing my entire argument on a single podcast from one priest, though listening to that podcast started my further research into the question. Fr. Tom mentions several sources in his discussion of the thesis he lays out, and after looking into it myself it seems quite compelling.
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Re: Female Sub-Deacons and Readers
« Reply #114 on: November 07, 2011, 01:19:01 PM »
I don't know why this "first grade of the priesthood" garbage was inserted into the prayers - it's nothing but bunk.  There are several clear divisions in purpose and origin between the so-called "lower clergy" (LC) and the so-called "higher clergy" (and even within the "higher clergy" (HC)). 

- All the LC, and the deaconate too, are drawn from the ranks of the laity, while the priesthood is sourced from the Episcopacy, which comes from the Apostolic ministry.  Different origins.

- None of the LC can do anything remotely close to what the HC can do - distribute communion, lead petitions, celebrate or co-celebrate the sacraments, etc.

- None of the LC are ordained within the sanctuary, before the Holy Table.

- The priesthood exercises a degree of the Episcopal ministry, which cannot be said of the Deaconate (or the LC).  The priest can celebrate most of the sacraments (save Ordination, Consecration, and the making of Chrism) and do so "alone" (w/o other clergy).  The Episcopacy represents the fullness of the Church's ministry in the world (hence St. Ignatios' exhortations), the priests participate in that; the deacons (and LC) represent the meeting of the lay ministry and the clerical ministry, and the LC are laymen in authority.

None of this represents an argument for or against tonsuring women readers - I'm not a bishop, and therefore I don't care.  But I do hate to see perfectly good theology ruined with useless and false interjections.
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Re: Female Sub-Deacons and Readers
« Reply #115 on: November 08, 2011, 02:23:27 AM »
Fr., ACROD allows some subdeacons to distribute communion.  Could it be that Hapgood inserted the prayers or got it from Russian texts?

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Re: Female Sub-Deacons and Readers
« Reply #116 on: November 08, 2011, 03:41:54 PM »
Fr., ACROD allows some subdeacons to distribute communion.  Could it be that Hapgood inserted the prayers or got it from Russian texts?

The prayers are not inserted by Hapgood, but appear in the Book of Needs.  The idea that the reader is brought to the first rank of the priesthood is also indicated by the Bishop dressing the newly tonsured Reader with the small Phenolion before he proclaims the Apostol reading.

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Re: Tonsuring women as readers?
« Reply #117 on: November 08, 2011, 03:59:30 PM »
^I've got no issues with women chanting or reading the epistle. Several women at my church do one or the other.  But tonsuring a reader is the first step in the priesthood (I don't know where you got your information;  It's in the PRAYER for the one being tonsured!) 

Could you point to the prayer that says this? I can't find it, thanks.

Don't we all get "tonsured" at our baptism?  Girls and boys (men/women) both get their hair snipped.  So, to a small degree we are all consecrated to do the work of God.

However, as a woman, and would never agree to having women "clergy", in any degree.

While it smarts, and seems "unfair" to the fairer sex, nonetheless, I have to bow to God's greater wisdom....and the fact that Christ did not select any women Apostles.  However, He also never chased away the faithful women who followed Him.  He never told them to stop.  No, He encouraged them.  The women were with Him when He hung on the Cross, and they were among the first to get the news of His Resurrection.

We all have work to do...male, female, young and old.  There are things better suited for men to do, and other things for women to do.

I'm good with that.   Some days, I have more to do than I can handle.  It is enough.

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Re: Female Sub-Deacons and Readers
« Reply #118 on: November 08, 2011, 04:33:57 PM »
Fr., ACROD allows some subdeacons to distribute communion.  Could it be that Hapgood inserted the prayers or got it from Russian texts?

The prayers are not inserted by Hapgood, but appear in the Book of Needs.  The idea that the reader is brought to the first rank of the priesthood is also indicated by the Bishop dressing the newly tonsured Reader with the small Phenolion before he proclaims the Apostol reading.

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I've never seen a rubric in Greek books of any variety that allows for the Subdeacon to distribute Communion.

Of course, since many jurisdictions here allow Subdeacons to marry after their ordination, I'm not surprised that other liberties have come into practice.
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Re: Female Sub-Deacons and Readers
« Reply #119 on: November 08, 2011, 04:36:15 PM »
Has anyone seen any evidence of female sub-deaconesses?  I have seen the service for the ordination of deaconess but nothing for a sub-deaconess.

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Re: Female Sub-Deacons and Readers
« Reply #120 on: November 08, 2011, 04:36:37 PM »
The idea that the reader is brought to the first rank of the priesthood is also indicated by the Bishop dressing the newly tonsured Reader with the small Phenolion before he proclaims the Apostol reading.  

A small phelonion for readers?  Is this like having mitred archpriests - we're adding signs of rank not natural to the rank?
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Re: Tonsuring women as readers?
« Reply #121 on: November 08, 2011, 04:46:20 PM »
But tonsuring a reader is the first step in the priesthood.

And that's the problem. Such thinking is not consistent with the historical teaching of the Church, but developed later, through false understanding of the writings of Dionysius. The priesthood is just that...the priesthood. The deacons are deacons...they aren't priests. Neither are subdeacons, readers or anyone else. There aren't "levels" in the priesthood. Either you're a priest (i.e., you're ordained to consecrate the Holy Gifts) or not.

Let me find that Fr. Hopko podcast now. It's really quite good...

But there is a progression, would you not agree?  A priest cannot be a priest without being a deacon first, correct?  There are steps, a gradus if you will. Are you basing your entire argument on one podcast of Fr. Thomas?  I guess the church has been employing this false standard for a long time then.
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Re: Female Sub-Deacons and Readers
« Reply #122 on: November 08, 2011, 04:54:47 PM »
But there is a progression, would you not agree? 

Not necessarily.  There are men who have been ordained directly to their elected office without going through the so-called steps.  Some are saints, even.

A priest cannot be a priest without being a deacon first, correct? 

Cannot isn't correct.  It is the prevailing practice at present, but not the only way, and not the ancient way.

There are steps, a gradus if you will. Are you basing your entire argument on one podcast of Fr. Thomas?  I guess the church has been employing this false standard for a long time then.

The tricky balancing point: being thoughtfully critical of what may be less than perfect, while still acknowledging that the Holy Spirit dwells within the Church.  IMO: there are no "grades" and no "necessary progression," but I still believe that if we continue to call them "grades" and practice a "necessary progression," then we're ok because the Spirit still dwells within the Church.
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Re: Female Sub-Deacons and Readers
« Reply #123 on: November 08, 2011, 04:57:50 PM »
The idea that the reader is brought to the first rank of the priesthood is also indicated by the Bishop dressing the newly tonsured Reader with the small Phenolion before he proclaims the Apostol reading.  

A small phelonion for readers?  Is this like having mitred archpriests - we're adding signs of rank not natural to the rank?

The use of the small phelonion is much older than mitred archpriests -  it is still worn by altar servers in Old Believers' churches.

This site shows a few pictures of new readers in the short Phelonion http://www.newliturgicalmovement.org/2011/03/short-phelonion-in-byzantine-east.html
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Re: Female Sub-Deacons and Readers
« Reply #124 on: November 08, 2011, 06:29:38 PM »
Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ. Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you. But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God. Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head. But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven. For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered. For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man. For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man. Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man. For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels. Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord. For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman; but all things of God. Judge in yourselves: is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered? Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him? But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering.
(1Co 11:1-15)

Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church. What? came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only? If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord.(1Co 14:34-37)

I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the truth in Christ, and lie not; a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity. I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting. In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; But which becometh women professing godliness with good works. Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.
(1Ti 2:1-15)

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Re: Female Sub-Deacons and Readers
« Reply #125 on: November 09, 2011, 11:32:10 AM »

...excuse me as I choke on my coffee!
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Re: Female Sub-Deacons and Readers
« Reply #126 on: November 09, 2011, 05:45:30 PM »

...excuse me as I choke on my coffee!

Silence!
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Re: Female Sub-Deacons and Readers
« Reply #127 on: November 09, 2011, 06:46:28 PM »
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Re: Female Sub-Deacons and Readers
« Reply #129 on: November 09, 2011, 07:02:23 PM »
Quote from: GabrieltheCelt
If you spend long enough on this forum, you'll come away with all sorts of weird, untrue ideas of Orthodox Christianity.
Quote from: orthonorm
I would suggest most persons in general avoid any question beginning with why.

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Re: Female Sub-Deacons and Readers
« Reply #130 on: November 09, 2011, 07:25:47 PM »

LOL!

Conquer evil men by your gentle kindness, and make zealous men wonder at your goodness. Put the lover of legality to shame by your compassion. With the afflicted be afflicted in mind. Love all men, but keep distant from all men.
—St. Isaac of Syria

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Re: Female Sub-Deacons and Readers
« Reply #131 on: November 14, 2011, 11:03:36 AM »
Busted (Dormition Patriarchal Cathedral in Damascus):

http://www.mospat.ru/ru/2011/11/13/news52076/

Patriarch Cyrill apparently wasn't appalled.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2011, 11:06:08 AM by Michał Kalina »
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Re: Female Sub-Deacons and Readers
« Reply #132 on: November 14, 2011, 11:54:19 AM »

Oh oh.

Hopefully, the girls did not enter the Altar.
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Re: Female Sub-Deacons and Readers
« Reply #133 on: November 14, 2011, 12:07:16 PM »
Patriarch Cyrill apparently wasn't appalled.

Offense is not politically expedient, so it must be curtailed when bishops become politicians.

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Altar girls in the Patriarchal Cathedral in Damascus?
« Reply #134 on: November 14, 2011, 12:51:55 PM »
From the photo gallery (http://www.patriarchia.ru/db/text/1673624.html) of the Patriarchal Divine Liturgy concelebrated by Patriarchs Kirill and Ignatius IV on November 13