Author Topic: St. Olga of Kiev, by Mikhail Nesterov  (Read 409 times)

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Offline Zostrianos

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St. Olga of Kiev, by Mikhail Nesterov
« on: February 16, 2018, 03:09:24 PM »
Greetings.  I am looking to get an Orthodox perspective on what appears to be something like "liturgical vestments on a female" in Nesterov's painting of St. Olga, posted below.  The fact that she looks to be wearing clerical garb is interesting to me, but surely it can't be endorsing females in the priesthood.  Is it just a freak similarity between the alb/chasuble/cope scheme and the royal vestments of a tsarina or whatever she was?

More broadly, are there any groups or splinter sects within Eastern Orthodoxy that argue for allowing females into the clergy?  The Anglicans are already there, and it seems like the Catholics could possibly get there in twenty years or so, given a Pope Francis III type.  Are the Orthodox the most conservative in this regard?

Thank you for any insights you may want to share.

« Last Edit: February 16, 2018, 03:10:45 PM by Zostrianos »

Offline Iconodule

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Re: St. Olga of Kiev, by Mikhail Nesterov
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2018, 03:14:51 PM »
Orthodox clerical vestments are based on Byzantine imperial dress, which is basically what Saint Olga is wearing here.

Regarding ordination of women, there are a few voices in favor of it but no strong movement as of yet.
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Offline Alpo

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Re: St. Olga of Kiev, by Mikhail Nesterov
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2018, 04:40:06 AM »
Orthodox clerical vestments are based on Byzantine imperial dress, which is basically what Saint Olga is wearing here.

Are there side-by-side comparisons between clerical and Imperial garbs?

What did the clergy wear before adopting imperial standard?
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Re: St. Olga of Kiev, by Mikhail Nesterov
« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2018, 04:54:44 AM »
Is it possible that they developed alongside one another or even that the imperial dress borrowed from clerical vestments to some degree, especially since the emperor was afforded a certain sacredness (for example, permitted to pass through the Holy Doors and receive communion in the altar, if I recall correctly, and the claim of Leo III that he was both emperor and priest)?
« Last Edit: February 17, 2018, 04:57:09 AM by Hawkeye »
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Offline Saxon

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Re: St. Olga of Kiev, by Mikhail Nesterov
« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2018, 09:35:22 AM »
No one of significance has yet come out in favour of the ordination of women. The Greek Orthodox Church allows women to be "appointed" deaconesses in monasteries. Metropolitan Kallistos Ware and Fr. Thomas Hopko have spoken in favour of women being ordained deaconesses. That's a stepping stone, at least in my opinion.

Offline Zostrianos

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Re: St. Olga of Kiev, by Mikhail Nesterov
« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2018, 12:42:17 PM »
On the Roman Catholic side, at least, it is usually taught that clerical vestments have their origins in elements, mostly, of the Hebrew high priesthood, along with some accoutrements borrowed from Roman paganism.  At the same time, though, there is something very regal about liturgical garb, and no doubt there has always been a good amount of overlap between the appearance of a sanctuary and the court of a king.  (I've heard it said that in a Catholic church, with all its pomp and ornateness, everything suggests Christ as a king, whereas a Protestant church is structured more like a juridical courthouse, emphasizing God as judge).  I was just struck by how clearly St. Olga looks like a priest in this painting, even though it is almost certainly due to an innocent overlap in the styles.

No one of significance has yet come out in favour of the ordination of women. The Greek Orthodox Church allows women to be "appointed" deaconesses in monasteries. Metropolitan Kallistos Ware and Fr. Thomas Hopko have spoken in favour of women being ordained deaconesses. That's a stepping stone, at least in my opinion.

Yes.  That seems surely how it would get started.  Even Pope Francis, who seems to think John Paul II "infallibly" forbade allowing women to the priesthood in one of his documents, has nevertheless made some noises about having deaconesses.  This is not only because of a progressive desire to open up more ministerial roles to women, but also due to a ghastly decline in priestly vocations.  (In the future, it could be the case that in some areas the Mass will be replaced by a "Eucharistic service"—essentially, the Mass minus the consecration, presided over by a deacon or deaconess, with pre-consecrated hosts having been brought in from elsewhere to be distributed at communion).  But the first thing the Catholics would probably do to stave off their vocation crisis is to allow married clergy before female clergy.

In spite of the scriptural injunctions for women to keep silent in the church, it's interesting that at least three strains of early Christianity gave women roles as either priestesses or prophets: the Marcionites, the Montantists, and the gnostic sect known as the Carpocratians.  Obviously the orthodox reply would be to say, "well, and those were the heretics, for not taking seriously 1 Corinthians 14:34," but then, the snake handlers and strychnine drinkers of Appalachia probably believe anyone else is a heretic for not taking seriously Mark 16:18.  If women are to become priests in Catholicism or Orthodoxy as they are in Anglicanism, it will simply mean having to blithely disregard the biblical strictures that pertain to the matter.


« Last Edit: February 17, 2018, 12:50:23 PM by Zostrianos »

Offline pasadi97

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Re: St. Olga of Kiev, by Mikhail Nesterov
« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2018, 12:53:26 PM »
Don't worry.; The gates of the Hell will not overcome the Church.
Prayer is the best way to take fallen angels and their influence from churches. What happens happens because Christians don't pray much for defense of their churches and for their churches to come to truth when this is the case.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2018, 12:54:11 PM by pasadi97 »
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Offline Zostrianos

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Re: St. Olga of Kiev, by Mikhail Nesterov
« Reply #7 on: February 17, 2018, 01:07:07 PM »
Don't worry.; The gates of the Hell will not overcome the Church.
Prayer is the best way to take fallen angels and their influence from churches. What happens happens because Christians don't pray much for defense of their churches and for their churches to come to truth when this is the case.

Would the allowance of female ordination signify the defection of the Church?

With apologies—I'm not as well-acquainted with Eastern Orthodoxy as I'd like to be.  I am formerly of the "traditional Catholic" strain of Roman Catholicism, and the problem there is two-fold: one side believes the Church can promulgate any amount of novelty and not defect, and the other believes that Rome and the most of the hierarchy can defect, but that the Church perseveres in various splinter groups.

So I guess even if 95% of Eastern Orthodoxy allowed for priestesses, the Church would not defect so long there is the 5% remnant that keeps to tradition.  I believe this is something like the situation with the Russian Old Believers, no?

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Re: St. Olga of Kiev, by Mikhail Nesterov
« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2018, 01:12:41 PM »
I have yet to see a coherent theological explanation why female priests would be such a terrible thing. Not that that, in itself, means it ought to be done.
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When a time revolts against eternity, the only thing to set against it is genuine eternity itself, and not some other time which has already roused, and not without reason, a violent reaction against itself.
- Berdyaev

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Re: St. Olga of Kiev, by Mikhail Nesterov
« Reply #9 on: February 17, 2018, 01:53:58 PM »
Orthodox clerical vestments are based on Byzantine imperial dress, which is basically what Saint Olga is wearing here.

Are there side-by-side comparisons between clerical and Imperial garbs?

What did the clergy wear before adopting imperial standard?

Slidey slidey
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Re: St. Olga of Kiev, by Mikhail Nesterov
« Reply #10 on: February 17, 2018, 04:07:13 PM »
Orthodox clerical vestments are based on Byzantine imperial dress, which is basically what Saint Olga is wearing here.

Are there side-by-side comparisons between clerical and Imperial garbs?

What did the clergy wear before adopting imperial standard?

Slidey slidey

Quote
Orthodox Christian vestments are the result of a focused development stemming from a conscious endeavor to redeem the garments of the pomp of the world and transform them into the glorious, Heavenly garments of salvation.

Seems overly "intentional" to me. I think it was more just continually deciding over time to adapt the dress of the officials of the church to that of the officials of the outside world (accelerated by clergy being Roman civil servants, of course).

Not that the later theologizing is therefore false, just that I don't think it was planned that way all along (which the slide show itself admits when talking about epimanikia).

Also, the slide says that only clergy wear the sticharion. No doubt true in practice, but according to Fr. Hopko, the sticharion is technically the baptismal garment of every believer.


Good history lesson, though.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2018, 04:09:05 PM by Volnutt »
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Offline IreneOlinyk

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Re: St. Olga of Kiev, by Mikhail Nesterov
« Reply #11 on: February 17, 2018, 05:03:22 PM »
No one of significance has yet come out in favour of the ordination of women. The Greek Orthodox Church allows women to be "appointed" deaconesses in monasteries. Metropolitan Kallistos Ware and Fr. Thomas Hopko have spoken in favour of women being ordained deaconesses. That's a stepping stone, at least in my opinion.
Deaconesses in the Eastern Orthodox Church are ordained. 

Offline pasadi97

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Re: St. Olga of Kiev, by Mikhail Nesterov
« Reply #12 on: February 17, 2018, 05:35:00 PM »
Last time I checked Holy Light did come to Eastern Orthodox Church the perfect Church made by perfect God not to Russia old believers.

Looks like some old believers may have renounced immortality not all from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_Believers :
" The Bezpopovtsy claimed that any priest or ordinary who has ever used the Nikonian Rites have forfeited apostolic succession. Therefore, the true church of Christ had ceased to exist on Earth, and they therefore renounced priests and all sacraments except baptism."
« Last Edit: February 17, 2018, 05:35:56 PM by pasadi97 »
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Re: St. Olga of Kiev, by Mikhail Nesterov
« Reply #13 on: February 17, 2018, 05:54:06 PM »
This thread has gone all over the place, so we're taking a break while I figure out what to do with it. 

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