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Author Topic: Standing during Divine Liturgy  (Read 13764 times) Average Rating: 0
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Marat
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« on: December 30, 2005, 10:41:37 AM »

Yesterday I managed to screw my back up pretty badly. I'm having a lot of trouble standing and walking. Judging from the past when this has happened, I will not be better before Sunday. Which bring me to my question. There is no way I'll be able to stand throughout the Divine Liturgy this Sunday. I could skip it, but I don't want to. I'm capable of sitting and occassionally standing. How bad is it to sit through the services? And are there particular parts I should definitely stand for? Would it be better if I just didn't go this week? I don't want to be disrespectful.
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« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2005, 10:52:47 AM »

Go to Church!!!
There is nothing at all wrong with sitting if you are in pain.  I've sprained ankles, had slipped disks, blown out knees.  (I'm a bit accident prone).  If you are capable of getting there, (unless it hurts too much to drive, walk, bike, whatever), sit with a clean conscience. 
You should try to stand for certain parts of the service though, like the gospel, Mercy of Peace, Our Father, and of course when they bring out the chalice for Communion, but feel free to sit once Communion has started.
If your uncertain, call your priest.
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« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2005, 10:53:21 AM »

It is better for you to be present in the convocation of the community that is Communion (nifty, eh?) and sitting, than to be absent because you can't stand.  And I'm sure that this is the advice your priest/spiritual father/whomever would give to you.  Go and pray!
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« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2005, 10:56:41 AM »

We have a few people, both young, old, pregnant, that canot stand during the whole service.  They go for as long as they feel comfortable, then sit.  Same with the kneeling...if they can't get down all the way they sort of perch on the edge of the pew.  Nobody thinks they are disrespecting anyone.  At least they are there!
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« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2005, 11:05:44 AM »

We have a few people, both young, old, pregnant, that canot stand during the whole service.  They go for as long as they feel comfortable, then sit.  Same with the kneeling...if they can't get down all the way they sort of perch on the edge of the pew.  Nobody thinks they are disrespecting anyone.  At least they are there!

I had wondered about the kneeling. I could get down, but getting back up would be rather difficult, and I'm afraid it would be attention getting. That is the last thing I'd want.

Thanks for the responses. I probably will go, since I really want to. I just didn't want to be disprespecful. I must admit I'm concerned also about what others might think. I appear to be in good health (other than when I'm walking) and don't want to feel judged or looked down on.
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« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2005, 11:08:03 AM »

don't want to feel judged or looked down on.

You know what, at the coffee hour, mention to someone about your difficulty, everyone will know by next week.  So no prob there.  Or if you dont want to do that, don't worry, it really isnt their business, you are doing the best you can.
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« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2005, 11:09:45 AM »

I wouldn't worry about what others are thinking as long as you aren't trying to be controversial or whatnot (which you aren't)...
Remember, if your heart is in the right place, then it will be as if your spirit is kneeling/standing/whatnot.

And I hope your back heals soon!  Lord, have mercy on your servant!
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« Reply #7 on: December 30, 2005, 11:25:49 AM »

don't want to feel judged or looked down on.

You know what, at the coffee hour, mention to someone about your difficulty, everyone will know by next week.  So no prob there. 

LOL.. thanks kinda funny. Funny because it is most probably true.
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« Reply #8 on: December 30, 2005, 12:07:05 PM »

It is better for you to be present in the convocation of the community that is Communion (nifty, eh?) and sitting, than to be absent because you can't stand.ÂÂ  And I'm sure that this is the advice your priest/spiritual father/whomever would give to you.ÂÂ  Go and pray!

We have some who because of medical reasons have to sit during the Liturgy.  And sitting is one posture of prayer.  I would not miss Liturgy if I could not stand up.  Sitting is not irreverant if one can not do the standing. 

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« Reply #9 on: December 30, 2005, 12:18:30 PM »

We have some who because of medical reasons have to sit during the Liturgy.  And sitting is one posture of prayer.  I would not miss Liturgy if I could not stand up.  Sitting is not irreverant if one can not do the standing.     

Exactly!  It falls under the same lines of those who cannot absolutely fast (i.e. not eat) before communion for medical reasons; we have a gentleman at our church who must eat breakfast with his medicine first thing, or else he will pass out in Liturgy (which he has done 2 or 3 times)... Father told him to eat his breakfast and still receive (which he has a hard time with) - it's not out of disresepct that he's eating!
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« Reply #10 on: January 03, 2006, 02:15:35 AM »

I attended a parish out of town that sat for the Litanies and some knelt at time.ÂÂ  Yes, it was an Orthodox Church.ÂÂ  I stood almost the whole time, and no one looked at me funny.ÂÂ  I did sit a few times, epistle, homily, once or twice when they did.ÂÂ  I was up front by myself and there really wasn't many people around me.
No one looked at me funny when I stood, even when they knelt.ÂÂ I got used to not kneeling, as at the parish I attend we stand except for the homily, so I did what I was used to and no one minded. I have a bad back, and sometimes I have to sit at Liturgy and no one looks at me.ÂÂ  I just make sure to stand during the Communion, you know use common sense and stand at the important parts if you can.ÂÂ  
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« Reply #11 on: January 06, 2006, 02:10:30 AM »

Yesterday I managed to screw my back up pretty badly. I'm having a lot of trouble standing and walking. Judging from the past when this has happened, I will not be better before Sunday. Which bring me to my question. There is no way I'll be able to stand throughout the Divine Liturgy this Sunday. I could skip it, but I don't want to. I'm capable of sitting and occassionally standing. How bad is it to sit through the services? And are there particular parts I should definitely stand for? Would it be better if I just didn't go this week? I don't want to be disrespectful.

I was in a motor vehicle accident 14 months ago, got rear ended by a car going 40 mph while I was stopped.  Major whiplash in my back and neck and vitreous detachments in both my retinas.  I go to services since then and stand when I can and sit when I can't.  I was eventually forced to retire early.  My priest says it's better to be here and do what you are able to do than not be here at all.  By now everyone knows about it.  In time everyone will know about your injury.  God knows what you are able to do and that's all that matters.  I wish you a speedier recovery than mine.
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« Reply #12 on: January 06, 2006, 11:07:26 AM »

Sit.  NO guilt dude!  There are some converts to Orthodoxy that try to prove there Orthodoxness by standing erect throughout. It's not about the standing. Its about your heart.
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« Reply #13 on: January 06, 2006, 03:48:35 PM »

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!  There are some converts to Orthodoxy that try to prove there Orthodoxness by standing erect throughout

Why are you obsessed with being highly critical of converts?  Perhaps you should attend a normal Orthodox parish - like mine.  We only have people at my parish - some have Russian last names, some Greek last names, some Romanian names, pluse some British, Scottish and even a Polish one.  I guess we don't feel the need to create false divisions...
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« Reply #14 on: January 06, 2006, 04:13:59 PM »

a normal parish? What do you mean by that? So an ethnic parish is not 'normal'- how come?

I don't think a serb meant what he wrote in a negative way. I know some converts who are really good Orthodox ppl @ heart, they read the Bible and the synaxarion a lot and are kind. But there are also the extremist converts (just as there are extremist ethnics) who follow the rules exactly and believe they have failed otherwise.
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« Reply #15 on: January 06, 2006, 04:28:52 PM »

Where did I say an ethnic parish isn't normal?  By normal I mean there isn't this need to group people as Russians, Non-Russian ethnic Orthodox or converts at my parish.  People are just people.  People are Orthodox Christians - not converts or craddle.

The whole idea of a "crazy convert" is simply ridiculous - there are plenty of craddle Orthodox that act identically to "crazy converts."  So why not just call the whole group as one, rather than singling out the converts?  Or maybe if the ethnic enclaves would welcome converts as fellow Orthodox Christians, no different than themselves, rather than always treating them as outsideres they wouldn't become "crazy converts"....
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« Reply #16 on: January 06, 2006, 04:39:21 PM »

Where did I say an ethnic parish isn't normal?ÂÂ  By normal I mean there isn't this need to group people as Russians, Non-Russian ethnic Orthodox or converts at my parish.ÂÂ  People are just people.ÂÂ  People are Orthodox Christians - not converts or craddle.

The whole idea of a "crazy convert" is simply ridiculous - there are plenty of craddle Orthodox that act identically to "crazy converts."ÂÂ  So why not just call the whole group as one, rather than singling out the converts?ÂÂ  Or maybe if the ethnic enclaves would welcome converts as fellow Orthodox Christians, no different than themselves, rather than always treating them as outsideres they wouldn't become "crazy converts"....

Personally I don't think aserb was being negative either...

Also, as a "cradle" Orthodox, I never distinguished between cradle or convert, until I came to this site (which I think is probably a majority convert).  I think Orthodox, is Orthodox.  Lets not try to judge one another.
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« Reply #17 on: January 06, 2006, 07:00:51 PM »

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Personally I don't think aserb was being negative either...

Obviously he has some axe to grind with converts.  Below is the one I was able to quickly locate, but I do know he has posted more post in the same spirit of charity.

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php?topic=7794.msg101496#msg101496

The reason I suggested he attend a parish like mine is because we are a mixed group and the parish doesn't fall under the stereotype of neither an ethnic parish nor a convert parish.  There need not be such divisions.  If aserb has such strong feelings that "You Evangelical converts are a piece of work !" I wonder how he feels about parishes such as the Dormition of the Theotokos in the Dalles, Oregon (http://www.dormitionorthodoxchurch.org/index.aspx) or the monasteries Bishop Jovan brought under his omniphoron - are they just pieces of work? 
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« Reply #18 on: January 06, 2006, 07:27:02 PM »

aserb made a good and perfectly valid point, while both ethnic Orthodox Christians and Converts are susceptible to pietism and fundamentalism, it does seem to plague the convert community in disproportionate numbers for various reasons. That's not to say all converts are like that and that is not what aserb is claiming, but that, quote, 'SOME,' converts to Orthodoxy are like that both a true and valid point.
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« Reply #19 on: January 06, 2006, 07:45:55 PM »

Saying that some converts.... is just as absurd as saying some people with black hair are susceptible to that which was mentioned.  And if you want to say converts are more prone to be fundamentalists - let's look at the major schimatic groups of the last hundred years:

Old Calendarist Churches in Romania and Greece (and later Bulgaria) - no converts here

HTM/HOCNA group- the bishops and abbot of the monastery at that time were all Greeks

ROAC - All Russians in the leadership roles here

Dormition Skete, CO - Arabs here

ROCiE - more Russians here

The Platina monastery - left the church only after the death of the convert Hieromonk while under the sole leadership of their Russian hieromonk.  Was later recieved back into the church because of the converts in the brotherhood. 

Yeah, I definetly see a trend here.  Those CRAZY CONVERTS! 

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« Reply #20 on: January 06, 2006, 08:09:33 PM »

OK Enough, sorry if I ruffled feathers. By the way, sorry SouthSerb, I attend a mixed Antiochian Parish (Serbs, Russians, Arabs, Scots, Germans, WASP's even a Jewish person). This where I first saw converts acting in an ultra orthodox fashion, standing till they fainted, checking ingredients on labels to make sure there was no dairy products in their cookies during the fast, praying every prayer and prostrating ad infinitum. In their defense they propbably are still stuck in the legalism that they learned in the former chirch homes. My point is it is about where your heart is. Ya I do have an axe to grind. Why. Don't convert to Orthodoxy and then act like the expert or the more pious than those who are traditionally Orthodox and who came from families that passed the torch of orthodoxy down through the ages.
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« Reply #21 on: January 06, 2006, 08:16:33 PM »

And yet its somehow ok for converts to attack our greek/russian churches for being to Hellenistic, being too Slavic...making fun of our traditions, our language(s). umm, double standard... Sure we do have problems in our parishes. I'm not saying its ok for ethnics to isolate converts. Thats wrong, its a sin ( clearly goes against "Love your neighbour") but that doesn't mean its ok for converts to attack our parishes.

Remember couple months ago, the numerous posts on "eww, what do I do about these horrible Greeks and their greekness? It's making me sick. I need to be immersed in white anglo-saxon culture to survive in Orthodoxy" type of posts.

I like converts and their parishes. I find some of their services a little to my distaste (such as using byzantine, then using slavic chant, and then switching over to American Orthodox composers' music, and how its somewhat watered down) but  that does not mean I go around and bash them or their services (like I just did to prove a point).
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« Reply #22 on: January 06, 2006, 10:18:03 PM »

OK Enough, sorry if I ruffled feathers. By the way, sorry SouthSerb, I attend a mixed Antiochian Parish (Serbs, Russians, Arabs, Scots, Germans, WASP's even a Jewish person). This where I first saw converts acting in an ultra orthodox fashion, standing till they fainted, checking ingredients on labels to make sure there was no dairy products in their cookies during the fast, praying every prayer and prostrating ad infinitum. In their defense they propbably are still stuck in the legalism that they learned in the former chirch homes. My point is it is about where your heart is. Ya I do have an axe to grind. Why. Don't convert to Orthodoxy and then act like the expert or the more pious than those who are traditionally Orthodox and who came from families that passed the torch of orthodoxy down through the ages.

aserb,

    Yes, I knew you belonged to a mixed Antiochian Parish, and I also know that you are far from mean spirited or intent on demonizing an entire group (like converts). 

(i just wrote about 5 paragraphs and decided to erase them for being entirely irrelevant, and sufficient to warn myself for "thread hijacking")!
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« Reply #23 on: January 06, 2006, 10:47:44 PM »

I can really feel the love here.
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« Reply #24 on: January 06, 2006, 10:49:36 PM »

I can really feel the love here.

Well considering the Love, Kindness, and Understanding that we've all put into our discussions of this topic in the past, would you expect anything different? Wink
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« Reply #25 on: January 06, 2006, 11:19:10 PM »

*opens mouth*.......... *thinks*.......  *closes mouth*.......

Phew! That was close.
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« Reply #26 on: January 07, 2006, 01:58:47 AM »

Asterikos:

My original intent in writing to Marat was to assure him that it was OK to sit during liturgy, especially if you have a medical condition and to not let others judge you wrongly. I am giving him the benefit of the doubt and believe that his heart is in the right place during liturgy.  So my originnal reply was written from love and concern, even protectiveness, for my brother. i did not want him to feel guilt or fall off of the track of his path of Orthodoxy.

Also, I beleive that Siloun is concerned that maybe I am being overly harsh on converts to the Orthodox church and maybe I am.In a round about way his rebuke of me is a form of love. "Better the rebuke of a friend than the kisses of an enemy " (Somewhere in Proverbs).

Finally, and on a lighter note, i know that SouthSerb does not love me  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #27 on: January 07, 2006, 02:09:36 AM »

aserb, of the super-Orthodox types you mention I have seen the same attitudes in Russians (in American parishes), some Greeks in America (but IME Greeks don't seem to think standing is such a big deal as Russians do) and I saw a great deal of such during my time on the Holy Mountain - again primarily from ethnic/craddle Orthodox.  Hence why your statement is utterly absurd to say it is a convert issue.  But I won't forget to day my daily prayer of aserb, "I thank Thee O Lord for not making me like one of those crazy converts."
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« Reply #28 on: January 07, 2006, 02:39:05 AM »

"I thank Thee O Lord for not making me like one of those crazy converts."

Hahahaha.
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« Reply #29 on: January 07, 2006, 02:41:19 AM »

Asterikos:

My original intent in writing to Marat was to assure him that it was OK to sit during liturgy, especially if you have a medical condition and to not let others judge you wrongly. I am giving him the benefit of the doubt and believe that his heart is in the right place during liturgy.  So my originnal reply was written from love and concern, even protectiveness, for my brother. i did not want him to feel guilt or fall off of the track of his path of Orthodoxy.

Also, I beleive that Siloun is concerned that maybe I am being overly harsh on converts to the Orthodox church and maybe I am.In a round about way his rebuke of me is a form of love. "Better the rebuke of a friend than the kisses of an enemy " (Somewhere in Proverbs).

Finally, and on a lighter note, i know that SouthSerb does not love me  Roll Eyes

I took it the way you meant it. I asked only because I'm fairly new, and just felt weird about it. I thought I'd ask opinions, and I got them. I do appreciate the feedback. In my mind, others should understand, but it wouldn't be the first time I've been wrong.  Smiley
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« Reply #30 on: January 07, 2006, 08:00:51 AM »

OK Enough, sorry if I ruffled feathers. By the way, sorry SouthSerb, I attend a mixed Antiochian Parish (Serbs, Russians, Arabs, Scots, Germans, WASP's even a Jewish person). This where I first saw converts acting in an ultra orthodox fashion, standing till they fainted, checking ingredients on labels to make sure there was no dairy products in their cookies during the fast, praying every prayer and prostrating ad infinitum. In their defense they propbably are still stuck in the legalism that they learned in the former chirch homes. My point is it is about where your heart is. Ya I do have an axe to grind. Why. Don't convert to Orthodoxy and then act like the expert or the more pious than those who are traditionally Orthodox and who came from families that passed the torch of orthodoxy down through the ages.

I normally just lurk around here, but I hope it's OK to go back and respond to this comment. I'm neither cradle nor convert Orthodox, but I guess one day I'd like to be a convert, so I probably identify more with that group. I think I understand a lot of the issues related to the overzealousness of converts, and I try to be sensitive to them. But I think something needs to be said here about the specific things aserb brings up. I suppose standing until one faints is a genuine problem; although, if you're normally OK with standing, and you don't know exactly when it's appropriate to sit and when it's appropriate to stand, it does make things a bit awkward when you feel like you probably ought to sit for a while but you don't want to offend anyone. Plus, my experience is that sometimes you don't know how long a holiday service is going to go on, so you might keep thinking that it must be almost over, until your legs give out.

For most of the other things, I think at least some of it can be attributed to the learning process. Personally, when I visit an Orthodox service, I prostrate when everyone else does (or at least a significant number). I happen to like the fact that Orthodoxy includes prostration (whereas the Evangelical church I attend seems to have no understanding of posture in worship), so I appreciate the opportunities I get. Of course, when I'm praying at home, I don't have a crowd to follow, so I've read various guides, and I pretty much try to prostrate or bow or cross myself whenever it seems like I'm supposed to. Maybe someday someone will set me straight, but right now I just do the best I can. I do pray a lot, but again this is partly a matter of ignorance--that I don't have much feel for which prayers to pray and which ones to skip--and partly because I recognize that I'm in a learning process. I come from a "non-liturgical" background, and I have yet to internalize the language of Orthodox prayer. So among other things, praying a lot of Orthodox prayers is training my mind to think in the appropriate conceptual framework.

Finally, on the issue of checking ingredients. I guess this was the item that really jumped out at me. It seems that a cradle Orthodox person would have grown up familiar with a stock list of foods that could be eaten while fasting. For someone without that kind of background, you have to learn somehow what is and isn't appropriate. I suppose one way to do that would be to move in with an Orhtodox family and do what they do, but who has that opportunity? So if I see that I'm not supposed to eat dairy, it's only natural for me to check the ingredients to learn what does and doesn't have it. And it happens that I've been quite surprised on several occasions, which only confirms that it was better not to assume I already knew. Actually, one trick I've picked up is to check the hesher--the mark that says if food is kosher--since it will normally identify when something has dairy. It's quicker and easier than checking the ingredients (if it's there), although I also notice that because of dairy allergies and intolerances, these items are often highlighted in the list. But my point is that it's a learning process. I'm sure after I've been fasting for a few years I won't need to do it anymore, because I'll have my set foods that I know are OK. But I don't see why making the effort to learn makes a person legalistic or overzealous. I'm not going to go around telling Orthodox people they shouldn't eat certain things--I suppose that could be legalistic. But for the sake of my own conscience, this just happens to be the effort I've chosen to make.

Trevor
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« Reply #31 on: January 07, 2006, 08:59:48 AM »

Quote
But I don't see why making the effort to learn makes a person legalistic or overzealous. I'm not going to go around telling Orthodox people they shouldn't eat certain things--I suppose that could be legalistic. But for the sake of my own conscience, this just happens to be the effort I've chosen to make.

Trevor

Trevor, your points are well taken. I want to comment on the food part. Many Orthodox, cradle included, ignore the fasts. This is to the other extreme. Yet, for some reason, I do not find these people annoying. Conversely, many Orthodox keep a strict regiment in the fasts. This I find annoying when they in a round about way proclaim it by reading labels in your prescence and boast. These are my observations where I am. Maybe it is different elsewhere. It is important to keep the fast with your heart, this includes prayer and almsgiving as well. Some people get hung up on food. Orthodoxy is not about legalism. Fasting rules are guidelines. Many have a personalized fast in consultation with their priest and with his blessing. For instance, in my parish, pregnant women are usually exempted by the priest as are people with certain medical conditions such as diabetics. They are not to be condemned. It is about your heart attitude. This is what  I am trying to convey. Furthermore, we lay people are not monastics. We struggle in a diverse, secular world. Yet, there are those lay persons who have been to the Holy Mountain and in their arrogance have all the answers. I guess we should suffer with them as we are all on this journey together, and pray  Undecided.  Thanks Trevor for the comments. Please come back

Dan
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« Reply #32 on: January 07, 2006, 03:05:20 PM »

This I find annoying when they in a round about way proclaim it by reading labels in your prescence and boast. These are my observations where I am. Maybe it is different elsewhere. It is important to keep the fast with your heart, this includes prayer and almsgiving as well. Some people get hung up on food. Orthodoxy is not about legalism. Fasting rules are guidelines. Many have a personalized fast in consultation with their priest and with his blessing. For instance, in my parish, pregnant women are usually exempted by the priest as are people with certain medical conditions such as diabetics. They are not to be condemned. It is about your heart attitude. This is what  I am trying to convey. Furthermore, we lay people are not monastics. We struggle in a diverse, secular world. Yet, there are those lay persons who have been to the Holy Mountain and in their arrogance have all the answers. I guess we should suffer with them as we are all on this journey together, and pray  Undecided.  Thanks Trevor for the comments. Please come back

Dan

I didn't realize I'd gone anywhere :-) Actually, I just got back from visiting a Ukranian Christmas service. My wife isn't interested in Orthodoxy, so I chose to spend Western Christmas with my family. I normally visit the OCA parish nearby or the Antiochian parish that a friend introduced me to. I figured this would be a good opportunity to visit a Ukranian service, a cathedral, and an Orthodox Christmas service, all at once. Anyway, I understand your point about the heart attitude. On the other hand, my wife would say the heart attitude is pretty much everything. (Not that she doesn't think external behavior is important, but when it comes to things like forms of worship.) I'm still trying to find a balance somewhere in the middle. I personally try to avoid talking about fasting, so that I don't seem like I'm bragging. I know I often get a lot out of it (although I'm discovering that I get much more out of it when I'm attending Orthodox services), but I seem to have a weird metabolism. Unless I go without food or drink for a couple of days, I hardly even notice the difference. Being scrupulous about what I eat helps give it more meaning. On the other hand, because I am mostly surrounded by non-Orthodox, I do make plenty of exceptions to accommodate various relationships.

It's sort of the same thing with standing, I guess. I don't think anyone at the Evangelical church I attend really pays much attention to when it would be most meaningful to stand. It frustrates me, and it always has. I like the idea of standing for pretty much the whole service, although I'm content to go along with whatever the group seems to be doing. (They did a lot more sitting in this service today than I remember in other Orthodox services I've visited.) And I prefer standing to sitting in general (even at home, I often read standing up), so given the choice, I feel more reverent if I stand the whole time. I also like prostration. As a fan of the Old Testament, I think it should be obvious that prostration is integral to worship. I'm sure my excitement for some of these things will calm down over time, but I guess I can understand why a lot of converts try to do everything.

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« Reply #33 on: January 07, 2006, 07:50:22 PM »

Saying that some converts.... is just as absurd as saying some people with black hair are susceptible to that which was mentioned.  And if you want to say converts are more prone to be fundamentalists....

It's not absurd at all.  Quite often they are more prone to wander down the garden path.  Aserb and GIC have a valid point.  I am a convert myself.  After I converted I spent a few months in a monastic setting where the abbot proceeded to beat the protestant **** out of me.  And I thank God that he did.  It was an extremely valuable experience.   I think I might otherwise have proven to be fruitful soil for fundamentalist propaganda.    I have to say that I have noticed an attitude among converts sometimes, wherein they think that they know everything.   They might know things intellectually, but they have often not interiorized their knowledge; they have not developed an Orthodox consciousness.  This can take many years, and you have to be open to it.  As one poster has mentioned, many western people join the Church and then commence to impose their exacting WESTERN  standards on it, assuming that because they have been chrismated and gone to communion and confession that everything that they do and think is now Orthodox.  Well, it isn't.  They bring their protestant and Latin baggage with them without being aware of it.  It can be quite painful and require quite a lot of humility to excise this baggage.

On the other hand, I have also met cradle Orthodox who are really dangerously ignorant about the faith, and assume that they know everything just by virtue of their family lineage, which is also pure bunk.  Both standpoints can really put one in trouble.  A little bit of (genuine) humility sure goes a long way.

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« Reply #34 on: January 07, 2006, 08:20:33 PM »

*sigh*

"Super-correctness" (to use the terminology of Fr. Seraphim Rose) is not a convert thing, nor is over laxity and ignorance solely a cradle thing.  Spend some time in Greece - where that are basicly no converts (some monasteries may have a handful) and you will notice there is just a much of a super-correctness problem as among convert groups in the United States.  To approach it as if it were a convert only, or predominatly convert problem is as reckless and spiritually dangerous as saying AIDS is simply an homosexual problem.
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« Reply #35 on: January 07, 2006, 11:39:59 PM »

On the other hand, I have also met cradle Orthodox who are really dangerously ignorant about the faith, and assume that they know everything just by virtue of their family lineage, which is also pure bunk.ÂÂ  Both standpoints can really put one in trouble.ÂÂ  A little bit of (genuine) humility sure goes a long way.

I have seen this more often than is probably healthy.  Dustin once explained "folkodoxy" to me (as opposed to Orthodoxy, which I think is probably more common at cradle parishes.
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« Reply #36 on: January 08, 2006, 01:19:58 AM »

 Cheesy"Folkodoxy".  Love it!  That's very good.  Cheesy  LOL.
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« Reply #37 on: January 08, 2006, 09:50:41 AM »

OK, Can I out in a good word for converts. Silouan, are you paying attention?  The insurgence of converts has, in many cases, breathed new life into old parishes and, to some extent, challenged the cradle Orthodox to take the beliefs that they have seriously. I was away from the Orthodox church for many years and, to be honest, when I found out that evangelicals were converting to Orthodoxy, jealous. It was my faith. Where and who are these upstarts. It challenged me to take my faith seriously. I can honestly say that today I know more about my faith than I ever did as a child or young adult.
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« Reply #38 on: January 09, 2006, 06:47:08 PM »

Well, something happened yesterday on this very topic. Jlerms, if you were there yesterday and saw this, please comment.

Early on during Orthros, there were only maybe ten of us there, including what looked like two new people. I don't know everyone, but they seemed liked visitors, in that they didn't seem to know what all to do. They were sitting, taking everything in. From time to time the priest will motion with his hands either to stand, or to sit if you want. During Orthros, he motioned for us to stand. Everyone was standing anyway, other than the new couple, and one person with a child. The one with the child stood up right away. The couple didn't know what the hand motions where, so kept on as they were. The priest made bigger hand motions. They still sat. He finally started mouthing STAND UP along with the hand motions. They finally got the subtle hint, and stood. The also tore out of the church a few minutes later. I think they were mortified by being singled out for sitting.

I'm not sure what else to say. I was concerned about being reverent and acting proper. I never thought I'd see something like this where it was enforced. What do you all think about this? Have you ever seen anything like this at your parish?
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« Reply #39 on: January 09, 2006, 06:58:59 PM »

OK, Can I out in a good word for converts. Silouan, are you paying attention?  The insurgence of converts has, in many cases, breathed new life into old parishes and, to some extent, challenged the cradle Orthodox to take the beliefs that they have seriously. I was away from the Orthodox church for many years and, to be honest, when I found out that evangelicals were converting to Orthodoxy, jealous. It was my faith. Where and who are these upstarts. It challenged me to take my faith seriously. I can honestly say that today I know more about my faith than I ever did as a child or young adult.

I think these points are very interesting and well-taken, Aserb. 

Bob James
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« Reply #40 on: January 09, 2006, 07:07:36 PM »

I'm not sure what else to say. I was concerned about being reverent and acting proper. I never thought I'd see something like this where it was enforced. What do you all think about this? Have you ever seen anything like this at your parish?

I think that standing at appropriate times should be enforced, when we are talking about people who know the parish.  When it comes to visitors, IMHO it is a grave pastoral error to insist that they follow conventions  that they know nothing about. 

Of course, the best thing is to not have pews.  They encourage people to be passive spectators instead of participants, restrict freedom, make it impossible to pray and other negative things.  They are even considered an innovation in the West, where they didn't appear until the high middle ages.  But I  digress, as  this is a completely different topic. 

I have seen parishes where encouraging people to sit and stand at the appropriate times seems to work for the parishes concerned. 

James Bob
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« Reply #41 on: January 09, 2006, 11:05:15 PM »

I attended a glorious Hierarchal Divine Liturgy on Saturday in Austin. It was beautiful and moving. The only thing that  put a damper on the service was the Pews.  I had three of my Grandsons with me and my wife.  Now our Parish has no pews and we have become quite attached to the freedom that it provides us to move around with the grandchildren and sit on the benches around the wall when necessary.  Saturday, our attention to the Liturgy was diverted by our 4 and 5 year old grandsons trying to get where they could see the Liturgy. In our parish without pews we would have simply moved to a sight line they could see from, not so with the confinement of the Pews.  My littlest grandson  was actually scared of the kneelers used at the  Epikelisis, he was used to the full metania and was confused as to what to do.

All in all, the service was done standing as is appropriate for a Dinvine Liturgy however the pews really limited the participation by those attending with full reverences, metanias, etc.  It made me thankful that we don't have pews at our home parish. Both parishes are in the Antiochian Archdiocese, doing the same liturgy, and under the same Bishop, yet there was a difference that I could feel in our worship.


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« Reply #42 on: January 10, 2006, 12:34:17 AM »

I attended a glorious Hierarchal Divine Liturgy on Saturday in Austin. It was beautiful and moving. The only thing that  put a damper on the service was the Pews.  I had three of my Grandsons with me and my wife.  Now our Parish has no pews and we have become quite attached to the freedom that it provides us to move around with the grandchildren and sit on the benches around the wall when necessary.  Saturday, our attention to the Liturgy was diverted by our 4 and 5 year old grandsons trying to get where they could see the Liturgy. In our parish without pews we would have simply moved to a sight line they could see from, not so with the confinement of the Pews.  My littlest grandson  was actually scared of the kneelers used at the  Epikelisis, he was used to the full metania and was confused as to what to do.

All in all, the service was done standing as is appropriate for a Dinvine Liturgy however the pews really limited the participation by those attending with full reverences, metanias, etc.  It made me thankful that we don't have pews at our home parish. Both parishes are in the Antiochian Archdiocese, doing the same liturgy, and under the same Bishop, yet there was a difference that I could feel in our worship.


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« Reply #43 on: January 10, 2006, 05:21:46 AM »

MAUSOC* convention will take place shortly...

*Movement Against Unnecessary Sitting in Orthodox Churches
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« Reply #44 on: January 10, 2006, 01:17:12 PM »

Besides, it really is the best way to keep people from falling asleep during the service.  Wink

I DO know that after my experience with Easter last year, this year I am going to be doing some strength training for my legs, by the end of the week I felt like I'd run a marathon!

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« Reply #45 on: January 10, 2006, 01:37:53 PM »

I can't remember the line about Orthodox and varicose veins in the legs, but I'm sure it's pertinent at the moment...
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« Reply #46 on: January 15, 2006, 06:39:19 PM »

I never thought I'd see something like this where it was enforced. What do you all think about this? Have you ever seen anything like this at your parish?
I've never seen anything like this for matins, though visitors blundering towards the Eucharist table have been stopped pretty assertively in our services.  But the motions and rhythms of an Orthodox service are bewildering to newcomers.  If you try to "enforce" everything on visitors, that would be a big job!
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« Reply #47 on: January 15, 2006, 06:46:30 PM »

Dear Marat,

Yes it was at St Elias. A wonderful parish with warm loving people. But those pews, whew!

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« Reply #48 on: February 08, 2006, 11:27:52 AM »

This is slightly off-subject, but it does pertain to posture during the liturgy. It has always been my understanding that the 'proper' posture for worship is standing, and that we do not kneel on Sundays because Sundays are always de facto celebrations of our Lord's Resurrection. Recently, though, some people started kneeling during the consecration at my parish, and it has spread to almost everyone except me and a few others. I don't want to turn this into a right-vs-wrong issue, but am I wrong for continuing to stand?
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« Reply #49 on: February 08, 2006, 11:44:15 AM »

On Sundays, no you're not wrong; the prohibition for Sunday kneeling is because of the resurrectional character of the day, and some have argued no kneeling on Saturday because it is never a strict fasting day... on weekdays though, kneeling is not only an acceptable posture, many would argue that it is preferrable because of its penitential nature.
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« Reply #50 on: February 08, 2006, 12:20:38 PM »

whoops.  double post.
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« Reply #51 on: February 08, 2006, 12:21:29 PM »

I suspect that some people like to kneel during the consecration because they are only able to attend the Divine Liturgy on Sundays.  They probably are doing it out of reverence (not that they don't believe in the Ressurection) and through a feeling of compunction.   Just a thought.

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« Reply #52 on: February 08, 2006, 03:14:32 PM »

I agree 100% Juliana.  I doubt there is any mailce or any disrespect to the resurrection intended.  It's just a pious custom.
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« Reply #53 on: February 08, 2006, 03:17:28 PM »

I've seen Romanians kneeling at the reading of the Gospel.
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« Reply #54 on: February 09, 2006, 03:54:11 PM »

I personally like to kneel during the consecration because it is such a holy moment. Also, if I ever get tired, I would prefer to kneeling rather than simply sitting as it then becomes somewhat of a "play" that you are watching whereas by kneeling, you are also praying- not to say that you can't pray when your sitting though...
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« Reply #55 on: February 09, 2006, 06:31:32 PM »

In the Antiochian jurisidiction, it is a practice to kneel during the epiclesis on Sundays but for nothing else.  During the days of the week when the Liturgy is offered, the communicants will still kneel though those who are in the back and the readers will prostrate themselves.  I simply make a metanoia.  I've read that the Greeks consider such actions to be "innovations."  I'm almost positive that the Russians would agree.  If anyone from the Russian or Greek jurisdictions would clarify that for me, I'd appreciate it.
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« Reply #56 on: February 09, 2006, 07:53:03 PM »

I grew up in the Antiochian Orthodox Church.  The only time we ever knelt during a service was on Pentecost.  I'm not saying that's the law--it is just the way I was taught.
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« Reply #57 on: February 09, 2006, 08:11:06 PM »

I grew up in the Antiochian Orthodox Church.  The only time we ever knelt during a service was on Pentecost.  I'm not saying that's the law--it is just the way I was taught.


And as far as Sundays go, that's the ancient practice; no one is here to say that kneeling on Sunday is bad or whatnot, just trying to get an understanding of what happened and why (I think...)
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« Reply #58 on: February 09, 2006, 10:30:42 PM »

I have no ethnic background in Orthodoxy, but looking through the Council of Nicea, it seems to be a canonical, not jurisdictional, issue. Canon 20:

"Since there are some persons who kneel in church on Sunday and on the days of Pentecost, with a view to preserving uniformity in all parishes, it has seemed best to the holy Council for prayers to be offered to God while standing."
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« Reply #59 on: February 20, 2006, 12:10:04 AM »

I personally like to kneel during the consecration because it is such a holy moment. Also, if I ever get tired, I would prefer to kneeling rather than simply sitting as it then becomes somewhat of a "play" that you are watching whereas by kneeling, you are also praying- not to say that you can't pray when your sitting though...

If you really don't like the idea of it being a "play" why don't you just stand through it?  (just curious)

Also, what about just bowing your head on Sundays for the consecration.  Bowing your head is actually much more theologically sound and liturgically sound than kneeling.  Every vespers service (and others) there is a prayer to God for those "bowing their heads and necks before you O Lord" so why don't we just do that.  Even monks, who could outstand us any day of the week, just bow their heads on Sundays...very lowly, but still bow their necks. 

It almost seams like, to me, that we are trying to out-do the monks, and say "hey look at what I can do"....obviously i'm overexagerating.  not everyone does this.  But its a great danger. 

Ultimatly, I think we should stand, and rejoice in the Lord, and look up at him (or at Him) from our standing position.  We beat ourselves up every other day of the week. Why can't we relish in the joy that is Sunday and the Resurrection, one day out of the week. 
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« Reply #60 on: February 20, 2006, 09:00:10 AM »

IMHO, standing during during the entire Divine Liturgy (providing one is not elderly or infirm) is much easier, and consumes MUCH less energy than standing, sitting, standing, sitting, standing, sitting, etc. PLUS, some people don't know when to stand and when to sit, as I also honestly don't, and then they start following the people in front of them which sometimes don't know, which leads to people sitting during important parts of the Liturgy.  Embarrassed

If all churches would eliminate pews, they could:

1.) spend less money on buying pews and spend more money on nice Iconastis, Baptismal Font, Chalice, etc.
2.) fit more people inside.
3.) eliminate women wearing 6" stilettos to church, not that there is anything wrong with playing "dress up" and wearing stilettos, but hey, it IS church.
4.) actually have room for people to make prostrations at the given times during the year, WITHOUT having to go to the aisles to do so.
5.) have less things for my 1 1/2 year old to knock her head on while she is trying to escape from me during the service.

I know there are many more reasons why we should get rid of pews and stand but I can't think of them now.

Not to say I dislike or disrespect people who sit, but I MYSELF am in favor of standing, when you can.

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« Reply #61 on: February 20, 2006, 12:19:34 PM »

which leads to people sitting during important parts of the Liturgy.  Embarrassed

People have always been sitting during the liturgy even when there were no pews, they just had to sit on the floor. This would be the reason that we have chanted, since ancient times, rubrics in the divine services (Σοφία. Ορθοί...), plus, better they sit than be kneeling on Sundays (or Saturdays).

Quote
1.) spend less money on buying pews and spend more money on nice Iconastis, Baptismal Font, Chalice, etc.

Or we could spend the money on caring for the poor...

Quote
2.) fit more people inside.

I haven't been to too many Orthodox Parishes (in this country, I can't speak for others) where people have to stand in the aisle, the Seminary here on major feast days is a rare exception (but technically this isn't a parish either).

Quote
3.) eliminate women wearing 6" stilettos to church, not that there is anything wrong with playing "dress up" and wearing stilettos, but hey, it IS church.

I know the pietists have this great hatred of pants (despite the fact that female senators now wear them on a regular basis) and an affinity for islamic headgear (if you really want to flame me for this, please just cut and paste the link from the last time we went through this and save yourself the difficulity of repeating yourself)...but now there's something wrong with wearing certain types of shoes to church? Almost as ridiculous as the anti-kalimafi crowd, all this fuss over a HAT!!! Roll Eyes

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4.) actually have room for people to make prostrations at the given times during the year, WITHOUT having to go to the aisles to do so.

How about we just get rid of the kneelers? The overwhelming majority of people only come to Church on Sunday so they have no business ever kneeling, no need to encourage them in their violation of the canons of the Great Synod.

Personally I dont like pews for aesthetic reasons, they just dont look right with the traditional architecture of the Orthodox Church. However if properly arranged (i.e. not all front facing like chairs) stasidia can be a nice fit.
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« Reply #62 on: February 20, 2006, 12:55:52 PM »

Aserb, I like to kneel on sundays because most of the time I cannot go to church on the weekdays. Besides, during the consecration, my priest kneels and so do we (the altar servers) during the "Tα σα εκ τον Σων...We offer you these gifts from your own gifts...."

Also, greekischristian, you might as well be blaming the Panagia for wearing "Islamic headgear". I take this as a joke becausel ong before Islam adopted a headgear for women, it has been in christian culture for centuries. Remember St. Paul's exhortation for women to cover their hair and shut up in church? Not that I completely agree with only women shutting up- men should too. And as for wearing a piece of cloth, it had its time in the church and I still think its a nice way for women to express piety to God and self-respect but I'm not so sure it is completely necessary. Still as for calling it Islamic, thats kinda extreme don't ya think. Look at most traditional greek,balkan, european clothing...
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« Reply #63 on: February 20, 2006, 01:32:27 PM »

Wow, this brought some interesting responses.  Huh

If someone is of ill health, it is perfectly fine for them to sit. I have yet to witness anyone making someone who is sitting stand up. This is an issue that should be taken up with a local parish priest.


A note about the cradle vs ethnic thing.

I have the luxury of being of Serbian descent therefore I was raised around the church but I did not convert until I was adult (Long story)  I can see both sides of the issue. Here's my unsolicited summary of the whole thing.

Converts: even though you may run knowledge circles around the Bible, Holy Tradition, The Canons, Church Fathers and Orthodoxy in general- You simply don't have the "life experience" of being Orthodox.   Quite frankly, you may be perceived as arrogant or a know it all even if that wasn't your intent. The Orthodox church in America has the unfortunate position of being the cultural navel of a variety of ethnic backgrounds.   It is very difficult for ethnic cradler's to view the church apart from their ethnic identity- Don't expect them to separate being (Greek, Russian Serbian, etc) from being Orthodox. Here's what you can learn from the cradle population, the ability to BE Orthodox doesn't always come from books. Make your faith shine from your heart and your actions.

Cradles You have the reputation for being flashy, vulgar and annoyingly ignorant about the faith you have professed for 20+ years of your life. I'm willing to wager if you knew what Orthodoxy was really about then you probably wouldn't be Orthodox. You don't become Episcopalian out of fear of violating some sort of invisible family code. Be nice to the converts, without them many churches would fall apart and die. Converts bring money, time and a feeling finding the True Faith- something you may know deep in your heart but cannot express.  This means that everything your ancestors worked for will die to.




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« Reply #64 on: February 20, 2006, 01:55:00 PM »

Also, greekischristian, you might as well be blaming the Panagia for wearing "Islamic headgear". I take this as a joke becausel ong before Islam adopted a headgear for women, it has been in christian culture for centuries. Remember St. Paul's exhortation for women to cover their hair and shut up in church? Not that I completely agree with only women shutting up- men should too. And as for wearing a piece of cloth, it had its time in the church and I still think its a nice way for women to express piety to God and self-respect but I'm not so sure it is completely necessary. Still as for calling it Islamic, thats kinda extreme don't ya think. Look at most traditional greek,balkan, european clothing...

No, it's not a joke, it's hyperbole. It is a charge against those who absolutize an ancient culture and do everything in their power to prevent it from evolving, from modernizing. This is this islamic mindset that I believe to be a threat to the Orthodox Church...there's nothing wrong with wearing a headscarf, but if one is going to insist on it, require it, view it as a symbol of being Orthodox, consider it as part of their religious/cultural identity in the modern age...then THAT is a problem....THAT is what I'm condemning as an Islamic weltanschauung.
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« Reply #65 on: February 20, 2006, 09:16:47 PM »

aah, gotcha.
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« Reply #66 on: February 20, 2006, 09:19:00 PM »

I'm willing to wager if you knew what Orthodoxy was really about then you probably wouldn't be Orthodox.

Could you clarify what you meant by that?
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« Reply #67 on: February 20, 2006, 10:14:54 PM »

As someone who has/does worship in both the pewed and nonpewed small tradition, the issue isn't as big as many perceive.  Pews do get in the way of prostrations and the priest swinging the censor at will Wink  They do support a continuation of kneeling on Sundays, but hey, if the parish has been doing it for 80 years here and 400 years over in the old country, who am I to tell someone that is 70 years old he can't kneel on Sunday?
I think we hit a nail on the head, let's just go to church and worship God.
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« Reply #68 on: February 21, 2006, 01:40:17 AM »

I don't like pews because I feel they're a concession to western Christian tradition. We don't even USE them most of the time anyway, and they require maintainance, take up space, etc.

That aside I see nothing wrong with sitting. I'm in my 30's and I have a very weak lower back. I see many people who are in their 70's who can stand better and longer than I can. Especially during vespers I have no problem sitting on the sides of our church just to rest my aching back. At the same time I don't allow myself to get too comfy, I tell myself to get up from time to time and the elderly with their very standing presence always inspire me to try whenever I can.

What I really get irritated by is the "babushka police", the old ladies who act as self-appointed cops in church. This is a Russian problem, unfortunately. They come up to people whom they think are being irreverant and they tell them what to do "You can't do this, you have to do that, you must do this that way or else it's wrong!" It's not unusual that their temper will get a hold of them, and this can have a devastating effect on neophytes or first time visitors. Also, they often believe in certain spiritual supersticions that they try to force on other people. These are the ones you might find being pushy during service and who will care about standing up, sitting down, etc.

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« Reply #69 on: February 21, 2006, 08:48:01 AM »

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I think we hit a nail on the head, let's just go to church and worship God

Aesthetics are one of the most important aspects of Liturgy.  If your choir, or chanter sucks, if your priest sucks, if you have to deal with pews and everyone and their mother bumping into them, and jossling them every 2 second...time after time, after time.  You're going to go insane.  So how am I going to go and worship God if these pews are a central road-block to me being able to pray.  Now that may sound rediculous, but hey, its not that far from being realistic...trust me.  
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« Reply #70 on: February 21, 2006, 05:20:02 PM »

What I really get irritated by is the "babushka police", the old ladies who act as self-appointed cops in church. This is a Russian problem, unfortunately. They come up to people whom they think are being irreverant and they tell them what to do "You can't do this, you have to do that, you must do this that way or else it's wrong!" It's not unusual that their temper will get a hold of them, and this can have a devastating effect on neophytes or first time visitors. Also, they often believe in certain spiritual supersticions that they try to force on other people. These are the ones you might find being pushy during service and who will care about standing up, sitting down, etc.

I laughed out loud when I read this. And believe me, it's not just the Russian "Babushka Police". Some years ago, my husband broke a finger on his right hand. The finger didn't need dressing, for some reason I fail to remember, but the middle digit just wouldn't bend so he couldn't make the sign of the cross correctly. Egads, we had been at that particular Greek parish for years. But after the liturgy some helpful dear comes up to him and explains that he wasn't "crossing himself correctly". Hubby just laughed and explained that he had broken his finger. I do believe I saw the lady flush with embarrassment, or perhaps that is wishful thinking.  Grin

As I have read through this thread I have been interested by the responses, but I'm no longer surprised by the convolutions we human beings put ourselves and others through. I suspect greekischristian is right and it all boils down to a certain weltanschauung which simply can't resist making mountains out of molehills, and then make the molehills the object of great legalistic moment; in the process leaving inquirers and recent converts confused, annoyed and under unnecessary pressure.

When I made my first approach towards Orthodoxy I was handed a booklet of all the do’s and don’ts. If I were of a different personality and not so determined to become Orthodox, I would have found it highly offensive. Just what spiritual business is it of the "church" to dictate what someone should or shouldn't wear to the liturgy? Of course, any sensible person isn't going to turn up dressed, or half-dressed, like Kyli Minogue. Most of us don't have the figure for it, in the first place!  :'( Then there was the point about crossing one's legs when sitting during the homily. Which I would never do - heavens, my mother always told me that would give me varicous veins!

Ok, I admit it, I was at first intimidated. In an attempt to be completely respectful, I popped out to buy a skirt. Hadn't worn one in years, can't stand them! My style is classy, but casual - no 6" heels, because I fell down a flight of stairs several years ago wearing silly shoes and in the process damaged my back.  Undecided  Anyway, after all the worry about attending the first liturgy, I arrived and found that there are other ladies wearing slacks - and, horror of horrors, makeup, too!! I wouldn't have been surprised if one or two actually crossed their legs during the homily.

I have to wonder if all this "dress/behaviour code" is an affectation of the West, because whilst in Russia and the Ukraine I noticed people popping into church in their work clothes, heads bare, wearing makeup; everything considered highly offensive in my helpful little booklet.

Fortunately, a good sense of humour helps when it comes to people who want to control every thought and decision of others; that and the ability to ignore them if the advice is unsolicited and considered irrelevant. (Such as the repetitious insistance that "Christians" shouldn't read Harry Potter. I suggest using the Riddikulus Charm on people who suggest you are incapable of deciding what is appropriate or not for your own children; who try to make you fearful, mindless copies of themselves. (Unless there's been an eccumenical council lately, that I missed condemning Harry Potter?)  

Of course, due respect in the liturgy is paramount, but that anyone should have doubts that they could sit due to a back injury, confirms my impression that there are those of a legalistic mindset within Orthodoxy (Cradle and converts alike) who "do a number" on inquirers/new converts that is completely unnecessary.

Please don't anyone get excited and think that I am generalising or being judgmental. I know that it's not always like this. But all too often it is. I'm very well aware that we are all faulty human beings. How else would someone be silly enough to wear 6" heels and think they can run down a flight of stairs?  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #71 on: February 21, 2006, 07:12:05 PM »

Reminds me of when I was in Greece for the first time and made the grave error of wearing some relatively high heels (relative to me, since my heels are never high).  My uncle then proceeded to link arms with me and scare the daylights out of me by running down a notorious flight of stairs on the island.  Geez.

Most of the time when we would go up to a monastery on some mountain I wore shorts and tennis shoes...but I was 13 at the time.  Although I do recall my mother not wearing a skirt/dress, either.  This taught me then, despite what those in my own home parish believe, that dress shouldn't matter above the main point of church-going.  And really, who's going to don a pair of heels when climbing a friggin' mountain?!

Although I can't say I agree with wearing a pair of jeans to church when the rest of the congregation is dressed up.  I know, from experience of seeing others perhaps not so knowledgable to the customs of our church, how annoyed and really scandalized others in my parish get.  Although I go to other churches where women are in pant-suits and jeans, and men wearing jeans as well.  Neither practice really bother me.

My one pet peeve is crossing legs/arms during church.  I suppose it has been ingrained in me to not do so since childhood, but I'm not about to "correct" someone else for doing it.
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« Reply #72 on: February 21, 2006, 08:26:47 PM »

My one pet peeve is crossing legs/arms during church.  I suppose it has been ingrained in me to not do so since childhood, but I'm not about to "correct" someone else for doing it.

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Oh my goodness - crossing arms as well?  Undecided That little gem was missed in my booklet of prohibitions.  Grin
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« Reply #73 on: February 21, 2006, 09:38:08 PM »


 This taught me then, despite what those in my own home parish believe, that dress shouldn't matter above the main point of church-going.

This point kind of summarizes a point I wanted to pick with the last couple of posts.  

I always heard an old addage that "if you were going to see a king, how would you dress" and obviously (to most) you would never say "slacks and a shirt" or "a buisiness suit" or anything of that kind.  You would most likely say somethin like "a nice dress" or "a skirt" or something along those lines.  

Obviously times have changed, and i'm sure many ladies would have no problem wearing such things as a suit to see a king, and that would be perfectly sufficient.  However, I really think the point is the same.  

If we are going to get dressed up in what most traditionalists would consider "proper" attire for a king, why wouldn't we for the King of all, our Lord God and our Savior Jesus Christ?  Its just a deep sign of respect for God's house and His presence.  If we can't do that 1 day a week, when God gives us His gifts every moment of every day...well...some personal reflection might be necessary.  

To be even more brutaly honest, i've seen GYPSIES wear nicer clothes than some people in church...not that i'm looking around  Grin
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« Reply #74 on: February 21, 2006, 10:18:58 PM »

As someone who has/does worship in both the pewed and nonpewed small tradition, the issue isn't as big as many perceive.  Pews do get in the way of prostrations and the priest swinging the censor at will Wink  They do support a continuation of kneeling on Sundays, but hey, if the parish has been doing it for 80 years here and 400 years over in the old country, who am I to tell someone that is 70 years old he can't kneel on Sunday?
I think we hit a nail on the head, let's just go to church and worship God.

Well said!  I think converts forget that many of the older parishes were founded by immigrants who, although they wanted to retain their Orthodox Faith and "old country" traditions, also wanted to fit in and become truly Americans.  They saw their RC and Protestant friends' and neighbors' churches with pews and simply copied them.  Also, many of their first churches where bought from other denominations and came already with pews.  My parish bought their first church from the Swedish Lutherans.  And so, the tradition of pews continued.  If you don't like pews, join the choir.  Wink  Choir lofts rarely have pews.  Oh, I'm so sorry, real Orthodox Churches don't have choir lofts, they have klirosi!  Grin
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« Reply #75 on: February 21, 2006, 10:22:39 PM »

I always heard an old addage that "if you were going to see a king, how would you dress" and obviously (to most) you would never say "slacks and a shirt" or "a buisiness suit" or anything of that kind.  You would most likely say somethin like "a nice dress" or "a skirt" or something along those lines.

Obviously times have changed, and i'm sure many ladies would have no problem wearing such things as a suit to see a king, and that would be perfectly sufficient.  However, I really think the point is the same. ÂÂ

If we are going to get dressed up in what most traditionalists would consider "proper" attire for a king, why wouldn't we for the King of all, our Lord God and our Savior Jesus Christ?  Its just a deep sign of respect for God's house and His presence.  If we can't do that 1 day a week, when God gives us His gifts every moment of every day...well...some personal reflection might be necessary. ÂÂ

You know, you could be right about the personal reflection. I've never seen a guy wear a tux to Church.  Tongue
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« Reply #76 on: February 21, 2006, 10:56:10 PM »

Hey I never said it goes one way.   Wink  

As a personal note, if I didn't have to wear certain atire at seminary, I would wear my nicest suit to church every sunday.  

At home I always wear suit and tie, but my dad's a priest, so different standards I guess.  

I think my point still stands though doesn't it?  Its not about pointing fingers at anyone, its about understanding what church really means to us and how much respect we're going to show God.  
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« Reply #77 on: February 22, 2006, 01:06:32 AM »

Hey I never said it goes one way. ÂÂ  Wink ÂÂ

As a personal note, if I didn't have to wear certain atire at seminary, I would wear my nicest suit to church every sunday. ÂÂ

At home I always wear suit and tie, but my dad's a priest, so different standards I guess. ÂÂ

I think my point still stands though doesn't it?  Its not about pointing fingers at anyone, its about understanding what church really means to us and how much respect we're going to show God. ÂÂ

It's not about "standards", but preferences. Out of respect to God and where I am, I wear my nicest clothes to Church every week and they are of excellent standard.   Wink

So much fuss about clothing and yet our Precious King and Saviour came to live on earth in the most humble of conditions and wore the simple garb of a Carpenter.

Serb1389; you are going to despair of me. I'm simply too easy going to get worked up about externals. I'm content to let people be who they are. If they want my help or advice, I'm there for them. But I couldn't care less what they wear to church. Just to see the faithful there, worshipping God and partaking of Him brings joy to my heart.  Grin

(And my husband is a Fr Deacon - so he's the one who wears a dress to Church in our family.)  Cheesy

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« Reply #78 on: February 22, 2006, 01:21:40 AM »

This point kind of summarizes a point I wanted to pick with the last couple of posts.  

I always heard an old addage that "if you were going to see a king, how would you dress" and obviously (to most) you would never say "slacks and a shirt" or "a buisiness suit" or anything of that kind.  You would most likely say somethin like "a nice dress" or "a skirt" or something along those lines.  

Obviously times have changed, and i'm sure many ladies would have no problem wearing such things as a suit to see a king, and that would be perfectly sufficient.  However, I really think the point is the same.  

If we are going to get dressed up in what most traditionalists would consider "proper" attire for a king, why wouldn't we for the King of all, our Lord God and our Savior Jesus Christ?  Its just a deep sign of respect for God's house and His presence.  If we can't do that 1 day a week, when God gives us His gifts every moment of every day...well...some personal reflection might be necessary.  

To be even more brutaly honest, i've seen GYPSIES wear nicer clothes than some people in church...not that i'm looking around  Grin

I've heard that analogy before, and I do agree wholeheartedly.  I dress nicely when I go to church, I'd go so far to say that the idea of wearing pants to church kind of irks me.  However I was brought up in a certain tradition, and so who's to say that the girl sitting next to me who has on a nice pant suit is less reverent in church than I am?

I remember once from my childhood some lady that my mother worked with invited us to her church.  I consider this to me by first exposure to people outside of Orthodoxy - everyone was in jeans/shorts and dressed like they were going to a picnic.  I complained to my mom, "why couldn't I have worn jeans?" and she said something to the effect of this is what we do, and this is what they do.  Of course this was not meant in a derogatory way, but what I believe a way of showing me to not easily concede to outside practices.  Of course, this is may be a little t tradition but, it did mean a lot to me then (and now, in extension, to other things more important than mere dress).

It matters when people start wearing sweats to church, considering that the extreme.  Many people I've spoken to believe that "lowering the standards" of what we wear to church will open the doors to that kind of attire.  I agree there is a line somewhere, but I've also seen far too many cases where people focus so much on what another is wearing that it becomes an obstacle for them (which is another reason why I dress what I consider properly - to avoid scandalizing someone else).
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« Reply #79 on: February 22, 2006, 02:09:51 AM »

I have stopped wearing a suit to church because they're expensive, and wearing it a lot will wear it down, I can't afford to upkeep them easily so I only wear them on big feast days. Also, I dislike wearing ties in general. Some clerics have compared ties to a hangman's rope, and have told their altar boys not to wear them saying it symbolizes Judas's suicide, but that's going too far IMHO Wink

I think one should dress to church with some reasonable comfort in mind, and I think it's better to err on the side of modesty when possible. I usually like to wear dark/black clothes, i.e. a black turtleneck or long sleaved collar shirt and black pants.

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« Reply #80 on: February 22, 2006, 02:25:59 AM »

Ok I have been stewing on this post of yours GreekChristian, so I am going to write it off, and then move on because it's probably not worth my time. The more and more I read things on this forum, the more and more I realize it's probably not to my advantage to spend alot of time here. It's too far outside my way of thinking.

The response that I wrote was satirical in nature, something that is hard to determine from typed words alone. So then, it went into this HUGE thing about Islam and headcoverings...wow! Maybe if I had posted a DIFFERENT picture of myself, i.e. without a scarf, I would have received a different toned answer.


So now I will respond to your responses to my corresponding notations. LOL.

1. yes, you're right.
2. you've never been to a Serbian Orthodox Church on January 6th, have you, that's the Eve of the Nativity by the way, so many people it's against fire code-I am always afraid of getting trampled. Tongue
3. the stiletto remark was a JOKE, you know like, "ha, ha". Maybe you should wear a pair sometime and maybe you could understand my sentiment. There uncomfortable and *FOR ME* I feel there not conducive to actively participating in the Divine Services.

Secondly, I really don't care WHAT Senators wear. Where did that come from? AND NO-I don't have an affinity for "Islamic headgear". But I will say the Panagia wore her HIJAB way before any of Muhammad's wives so is it truly Islamic? And why is there so much anti-Muslim rhetoric here? Muslims aren't the only ones who have standards for modesty-at least while at prayer, Jews do, Roman Catholics used to, Amish do, Mennonites do, Sikhs do, and I am sure there are many more. People can rip Muslims all they want-however take a look at there statistics for, say, AIDS. The instance of sexually transmitted diseases are not even on the map when compared to other developed and non-developed countries. Yes, the Shari'a does scare people into submission, but what America doesn't see is an all around culture of sobriety. The homosexual agenda is non-existent. No, I don't agree with forcing women to wear a veil (niqab) or head covering (hijab), however, I don't think it's right how females are becoming so over sexualized in the US either. Try buying a decent outfit for even a five year old proves to be a monumental task. (I have literally seen underwear in size 5 that had "Sexy" printed on the rear end.) Angry
4. no, in my church we don't have kneelers.


So please forgive me if I have offended anyone. I wonder though, for all those out there that consider St. Paul's admonition "outdated"-where does it stop and how do you make that determintation?

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« Reply #81 on: February 22, 2006, 03:07:09 AM »

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The homosexual agenda is non-existent.

I'll leave this for people with expertise in the area to expound upon, but I've seen a lot to suggest that that isn't entirely the case.    
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« Reply #82 on: February 22, 2006, 08:33:19 AM »

Well lemme rephrase...

the homosexual agenda is not "openly" being shoved down their throats at every waking moment-through television, movies, music, magazines, fashion, etc. It's not trendy like it is here, case in point-South Beach. Roll Eyes
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« Reply #83 on: February 22, 2006, 01:30:59 PM »

Could you clarify what you meant by that?


Sure.

This comment stems from some very very very ignorant Cradle Orthodox (My own family in some cases!  Shocked Shocked)  I have encountered. The best example I can think of right now is fasting and confession.  I was informed that fasting on Wednesdays and Fridays is absurd and "We are not Monks and should not have to live like them".  I also had a conversation with someone who was cradle who claimed to have never been to confession.  Huh   and thought that since she confessed her sins before God, that this took care of everything.

I have also met more than a few cradle Orthodox who would not attend a local parish because it didn't have the appropriate ethnic qualifier in its name.  Roll Eyes Regardless of the churches "ethnicity" it is One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.

If some cradle Orthodox knew that Confession and Fasting were part of being Orthodox Christian, they would look beyond The Church as a "tradition" to carry on.
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« Reply #84 on: February 22, 2006, 01:33:16 PM »

It's not about "standards", but preferences. Out of respect to God and where I am, I wear my nicest clothes to Church every week and they are of excellent standard. ÂÂ  Wink

So much fuss about clothing and yet our Precious King and Saviour came to live on earth in the most humble of conditions and wore the simple garb of a Carpenter.

Serb1389; you are going to despair of me. I'm simply too easy going to get worked up about externals. I'm content to let people be who they are. If they want my help or advice, I'm there for them. But I couldn't care less what they wear to church. Just to see the faithful there, worshipping God and partaking of Him brings joy to my heart.  Grin

(And my husband is a Fr Deacon - so he's the one who wears a dress to Church in our family.)  Cheesy



You know I really don't want you to get the wrong impression.  I totally and wholeheartedly agree with you.  Standards are standards, but we shouldn't get in a twist about it.  We shouldn't make people think that they can't come to church because they're not dressing appropriately.  

I personally have bigger fish to fry than someone not wearing a skirt, or wearing pants instead.  It would be nice if people were more traditional, but times are changing, so hey...change with the times.  

p.s. how come he's (your fr Deacon) the traditional one, wearing the skirt and not a collar Wink Wink Grin
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« Reply #85 on: February 22, 2006, 02:06:12 PM »

Ok I have been stewing on this post of yours GreekChristian, so I am going to write it off, and then move on because it's probably not worth my time. The more and more I read things on this forum, the more and more I realize it's probably not to my advantage to spend alot of time here. It's too far outside my way of thinking.

Freedom of thought and speech is always benificial, it makes people think, question themselves and advance closer towards the truth. Ignorance may be bliss, but it is also inconsonant with truth. On this site we have people from the entire political and cultural spectrum, which is benificial for all involved.

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The response that I wrote was satirical in nature, something that is hard to determine from typed words alone. So then, it went into this HUGE thing about Islam and headcoverings...wow! Maybe if I had posted a DIFFERENT picture of myself, i.e. without a scarf, I would have received a different toned answer.

Dont take my statements personally, I have addressed this issue before, as implied in my post, I am attacking a political posistion, a weltanschauung, not you personally. I really have nothing against a woman wearing a headscarf in the proper context, but when it's required (or even recommended) or forced or an issue is made out of it or it becomes a point of pharisaic 'correctness,' then I do have an objection to what I consider an Islamic mindset.

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2. you've never been to a Serbian Orthodox Church on January 6th, have you, that's the Eve of the Nativity by the way, so many people it's against fire code-I am always afraid of getting trampled. Tongue

One day a year? Perhaps two including Pascha? Hardly a good reason to adjust the Church's architecture.

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3. the stiletto remark was a JOKE, you know like, "ha, ha". Maybe you should wear a pair sometime and maybe you could understand my sentiment. There uncomfortable and *FOR ME* I feel there not conducive to actively participating in the Divine Services.

Well, if they're not comfortable, perhaps people are wearing them for ascetic exercise? Wink I knew it was a joke, but a joke with an underlying contempt for modern fashion norms.

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Secondly, I really don't care WHAT Senators wear. Where did that come from?

It was put forward to establish that it is the norm in our culture and society. The 13th canon of Gangera:

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If any of the menfolk uses a wrapper for the sake of supposedly ascetic exercise, and as if endowed with righteousness by this he should regard disdainfully those men who are wearing robes called beri and using the common dress which is in vogue, let him be anathema.

Addresses the problem, which arose in the fourth century, of people wearing certain types under the pretense that they were some how more holy than other clothing, and distaining people who would wear the common dress. The fact that female senators wear pant-suits establishes that they are acceptable formal wear in the context of our culture, thus making it highly inappropriate, or worse, for an ecclesiastical body that claims to be orthodox to show prejudice against the above mentioned clothing.

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AND NO-I don't have an affinity for "Islamic headgear". But I will say the Panagia wore her HIJAB way before any of Muhammad's wives so is it truly Islamic? And why is there so much anti-Muslim rhetoric here? Muslims aren't the only ones who have standards for modesty-at least while at prayer, Jews do, Roman Catholics used to, Amish do, Mennonites do, Sikhs do, and I am sure there are many more.

OK, I'm just going to cut and paste my response to a similar criticism earlier in this thread:

No, it's not a joke, it's hyperbole. It is a charge against those who absolutize an ancient culture and do everything in their power to prevent it from evolving, from modernizing. This is this islamic mindset that I believe to be a threat to the Orthodox Church...there's nothing wrong with wearing a headscarf, but if one is going to insist on it, require it, view it as a symbol of being Orthodox, consider it as part of their religious/cultural identity in the modern age...then THAT is a problem....THAT is what I'm condemning as an Islamic weltanschauung.

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People can rip Muslims all they want-however take a look at there statistics for, say, AIDS. The instance of sexually transmitted diseases are not even on the map when compared to other developed and non-developed countries.

Hmmm, AIDS and STD's or Sharia Law, that's a hard choice...not really...ΕΛΕΥΘΕΡΙΑ Ή ΘΑΝΑΤΟΣ!!!

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The homosexual agenda is non-existent.

Yes, it just all happens behind closed doors, like it did in Victorian England...that's a great solution...out of sight out of mind, we dont even have to address the problem.

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So please forgive me if I have offended anyone. I wonder though, for all those out there that consider St. Paul's admonition "outdated"-where does it stop and how do you make that determintation?

Things change with changing culture, but ultimately it is up to our bishops to make the determinatino of what prohibitions are cultural and outdated, and which arn't.

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WATERING DOWN THE TRUE FAITH AND PATRISTIC WISDOM IS THE REAL THREAT. EVENTUALLY IT WILL BE SO DILUTED THERE WILL BE NOTHING LEFT TO SAVOR.

The true faith does not lie in clothes or customs, it has to do with the Adoration of the Triune God and our Incarnate Lord. The patristic wisdom is not their opinions on various cultural norms of the day but rather their methodology of combining scripture, philosophy, and science to learn and proclaim the true theology of the Church.
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« Reply #86 on: February 22, 2006, 03:24:22 PM »

You know I really don't want you to get the wrong impression.  I totally and wholeheartedly agree with you.  Standards are standards, but we shouldn't get in a twist about it.  We shouldn't make people think that they can't come to church because they're not dressing appropriately.  

I personally have bigger fish to fry than someone not wearing a skirt, or wearing pants instead.  It would be nice if people were more traditional, but times are changing, so hey...change with the times.  

p.s. how come he's (your fr Deacon) the traditional one, wearing the skirt and not a collar Wink Wink Grin

Serb1389;

How funny! I typed out a long response to you and then my cat, enthusiastic for a morning smooch, jumped onto the keyboard and somehow eliminated everything. Then I came back and see what greekischristian has posted in the meantime; with far more eloquence than I could accomplish.   Roll Eyes

Rather that re-type everything, all I can say now is; "What greekischristian said!"   Grin (Oh, and hubby wears a collar, but obviously for the Liturgy he dresses in robes.)

PS to SrbMama;

You certainly haven't offended me at all. I believe in your personal right to uphold your cultural traditions and wear your headscarf or do anything else that is culturally sensitive for you. I also believe its my right to keep my Anglo/Western cultural traditions rather than affecting a pretense that, in becoming Orthodox, I am compelled to adopt another ethnic culture and traditions. In my early days, I remember someone telling me it wasn't "Orthodox" to have a Christmas tree. Well, in this Orthodox household it is! Smiley These "issues" are divisive and far too fundamentalist for my liking. Greater acceptance of each other's differences is only going to be beneficial for Orthodoxy and for those who look at us from the outside. So often I wonder where is the Orthodoxy that teaches unconditional love and acceptance of each other as fellow sinners. Smiley

To no one in particular:

How is it that people sit through homilies such as those pertaining to the Pharisee and the Publican year after year and not get the point that we are not at church to be "scandalised" by what the person next to us is doing/wearing/whatever, but to consider our own spiritual path and faults and in repentance partake of Him?  Shocked

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« Reply #87 on: February 22, 2006, 04:51:52 PM »

Serb1389,

One thing I did want to tell you. I’ve been to a Serbian parish on many occasions for various reasons. The first time I went, I joined the line for confession before the Liturgy and someone from my own parish came up to me to inform me that the priest wouldn’t see me, because I didn’t have a head scarf. I thanked them and said that I would like to hear that from the priest himself. The person persisted, telling me how embarrassing it would be to be turned away from confession. I couldn’t see how it would be - unless they meant it would be embarrassing for them to see someone from their parish turned away.

I was indifferent regarding the concern of embarrassment, considering that what anyone else might conclude concerning the matter was up to them.

Anyway, I arrived before the priest and mentioned the lack of head scarf issue and asked him was it a hindrance to confession? He was such a sweet man. He said of course it wasn’t; that Serbian traditions weren’t my traditions and no one expected them to be. He asked if it was my desire to confess and take the Eucharist? I told him it was. Then, he told me, in his delightful accent, that was all that was important.   Smiley

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« Reply #88 on: February 22, 2006, 05:42:09 PM »

Wow...I would have paid to see something like that...haha.  Especially if what that lady told you was accurate.  You should see some of the things my dad told people...haha.  

And the headscarf with confession thing...that's a new one in my book.  NEVER have I heard that, except for at the monastery, but that makes sense.  

And doesn't it make you wonder, if that preist is willing to "pass" the rules just for you cuz "you're from a different parish" and the theology doesn't apply to you, then why should it apply to the ones IN the parish?  Are they different than you?  How?  All good questions...Too bad most serbian priests never abide by the rules they set upon people.  
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« Reply #89 on: February 22, 2006, 06:13:16 PM »

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I really have nothing against a woman wearing a headscarf in the proper context, but when it's required (or even recommended)

Glad the Canons stick but St. Paul is irrelevant here...like Snoop says-"drop it like it's hot... Cool" I am done debating this one, lol.

Quote
How is it that people sit through homilies such as those pertaining to the Pharisee and the Publican year after year and not get the point that we are not at church to be "scandalised" by what the person next to us is doing/wearing/whatever, but to consider our own spiritual path and faults and in repentance partake of Him?

To no one in particular;
I'm not necessarily "scandalized", but when the chic in front of me bends down to get a dollar out of her purse and her T-back underwear creep out of her too tight pants-I am at least distracted. It's not a fashion show people. It applies to both sexes though...I have seen young men lately with shirts and pants too tight as well.


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« Reply #90 on: February 22, 2006, 06:50:52 PM »

I was waiting for someone to throw this in but no one has yet:

The fact is is that we are all humans and are, then, susceptible to typical human behaviors which do include judging another based on their type of clothing.  Regardless of how many times or in what ways we manage to fashion our hefty arguments there will be people who will be bothered by a pair of jeans in church.  The challenge is, then, to not view these sorts of trivial annoyances as some sort of unwritten dogma given to the Yiayias to enforce but to accept them for what they are, tradition, and go about our merry way TRYING (with prayer, o'course) to not let us judge others, so that we may not be judged.

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« Reply #91 on: February 22, 2006, 09:50:14 PM »

I was waiting for someone to throw this in but no one has yet:

The fact is is that we are all humans and are, then, susceptible to typical human behaviors which do include judging another based on their type of clothing.  Regardless of how many times or in what ways we manage to fashion our hefty arguments there will be people who will be bothered by a pair of jeans in church.  The challenge is, then, to not view these sorts of trivial annoyances as some sort of unwritten dogma given to the Yiayias to enforce but to accept them for what they are, tradition, and go about our merry way TRYING (with prayer, o'course) to not let us judge others, so that we may not be judged.

Zoe,

Yes, tradition with the lower-case 't'. Probably a good idea for us all to remember that these issues are not of capital 'T' importance. And there's always going to be someone annoyed by something. If not clothing, it will be something else.
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« Reply #92 on: February 22, 2006, 10:08:56 PM »

Wow...I would have paid to see something like that...haha.  Especially if what that lady told you was accurate.  You should see some of the things my dad told people...haha.
ÂÂ

The point being, I wasn't interested in hearing it from anywhere but the horse's mouth. If it had been so, that's life! No biggy. I can't imagine that a refusal would have psychologically scarred me for life. Grin

Quote
And the headscarf with confession thing...that's a new one in my book.  NEVER have I heard that, except for at the monastery, but that makes sense.

Well, we all know how reliable the "Babushka Police" are.ÂÂ

Quote
And doesn't it make you wonder, if that preist is willing to "pass" the rules just for you cuz "you're from a different parish" and the theology doesn't apply to you, then why should it apply to the ones IN the parish?  Are they different than you?  How?  All good questions...Too bad most serbian priests never abide by the rules they set upon people.

From what I saw he seemed very willing to "pass" the rules regarding the head scarf for women in his congregation. I'm not even sure that he, particularly, had any. Obviously, some of the Serbian women wore them, but most didn't. And there were many ethnic groups attending the parish, not only Serbians. What he was doing, in fact, was allowing people to make the decision about this 'tradition' for themselves rather than forcing "piety" upon them. I'd take my hat off to him, if I ever wore one.  Tongue
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« Reply #93 on: February 22, 2006, 10:16:25 PM »

I'm not necessarily "scandalized", but when the chic in front of me bends down to get a dollar out of her purse and her T-back underwear creep out of her too tight pants-I am at least distracted. It's not a fashion show people. It applies to both sexes though...I have seen young men lately with shirts and pants too tight as well.

Might I suggest you get some blinders. They are quite successful in keeping horses from being distracted.  Cheesy Cheesy

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« Reply #94 on: February 22, 2006, 10:28:26 PM »

Glad the Canons stick but St. Paul is irrelevant here...like Snoop says-"drop it like it's hot... Cool"

Like who says? In any case, Paul was addressing a specific cultural practice, he assoicated no anathemas (or the biblical equivalent) in his statement, it was simply a custom that was adopted from jewish culture. The synod of Gangra, on the other hand, was dealing with a specific pietistic heresy that had this practice of distinguishing themselves by the clothing they wore, and showed disdain for the common dress of the day, and with this issue they very specifically assigned an anathema, emphasising its doctrinal significance to the Orthodox. You may elevate cultural norms above dogmatics simply on account of one is found in the New Testament and the Other in a Synod ratified by an Oecumenical Synod. But unlike the protestants, I do not assign greater value to the Bible over the Oecumenical Synods, though I do assign a greater value to dogma over custom.

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I am done debating this one, lol.

I'm sorry you no longer find your posistion defensible, it could have been a fun debate.
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« Reply #95 on: February 22, 2006, 11:09:30 PM »

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I'm sorry you no longer find your posistion defensible, it could have been a fun debate.

I think it is important to remember that many people do not post here for the sake of debate.  Not carrying out a debate doesn't mean someone doesn't find their position defensible in every case.  In many cases it simply means they don't wish to devote the time to a pointless exercise or that they come here to exchange conversation, information and a sort of informal Orthodox fellowship and not an academic debate.  
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« Reply #96 on: February 22, 2006, 11:58:09 PM »

Nektarios, well said! I dunno why many on this forum automatically assume that when anyone posts a thread, they are looking for a debate. Debate is a small 10% of this forum for me. The rest is just fellowship, exchanging ideas, news, faith issues etc. To me thats more valuable than the debate as in the end most people will leave it thinking the same way.
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« Reply #97 on: February 23, 2006, 06:27:14 PM »

Don't confuse debate with arguing.
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« Reply #98 on: February 24, 2006, 02:41:58 PM »

Nektarios, well said! I dunno why many on this forum automatically assume that when anyone posts a thread, they are looking for a debate. Debate is a small 10% of this forum for me. The rest is just fellowship, exchanging ideas, news, faith issues etc. To me thats more valuable than the debate as in the end most people will leave it thinking the same way.

That's debatable  Cheesy
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« Reply #99 on: February 27, 2006, 05:34:49 PM »

You should see some of the things my dad told people...haha.

This probably should start a new topic, but the above quote has given me food for thought. I'm assuming that serb1389 wasn't suggesting that his priest/dad was rude to people and that he found that amusing, but the comment did make me wonder how people dealt with abusive and insensitive priests.

I had a friend who attended a parish where the priest was appallingly brusque (interpret that as positively rude and unloving) with the members of his flock and often my friend was reduced to despair. Though we must honour our priests and forgive their foibles, it doesn't mean that they shouldn't be held accountable for their actions. I personally, would never allow one such leeway and he would be informed at an appropriate moment, with diplomacy and charity, that I found his behaviour unacceptable.

Any thoughts?
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« Reply #100 on: February 27, 2006, 05:39:13 PM »

Hey start a new thread if you want to open that can of worms up.  My entire jurisdiction would pile up the comments, so get ready...hahah Grin
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« Reply #101 on: February 27, 2006, 05:45:22 PM »

Hey start a new thread if you want to open that can of worms up.  My entire jurisdiction would pile up the comments, so get ready...hahah Grin

Will do.  Grin
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« Reply #102 on: June 21, 2006, 02:05:35 AM »

When I was Visting some friends of mine in Nizhni Novgorod Russia. I attented liturgy at Saint Alexander Nevsky Cathedral which I am also a honorary member of their Brotherhood. Any way they all stood up for the whole liturgy. It was very painful for me to stand a long time since they didÂÂ  not have very many sitting place so I stood up with my back against the Church wall.
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« Reply #103 on: June 21, 2006, 02:18:35 AM »

I know how to solve the dressing for church problem. Just tell the people that the church is going Naked  Shocked and see how nice they begin to dress in nice clothes for church.
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« Reply #104 on: June 21, 2006, 01:23:30 PM »

When I was Visting some friends of mine in Nizhni Novgorod Russia I attented liturgy at Saint Alexander Nevsky Cathedral which I am also a honorary member of their Brotherhood. Any way they all stood up for the whole liturgy. It was very painful for me to stand a long time since they did  not have very many sitting place so I stood up with my back against the Church wall.

As a priest, aren't you accustomed to standing for the entire liturgy???

Besides, a very good portion of the Orthodox world is pewless...it's not a big deal.

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« Reply #105 on: June 28, 2006, 09:09:34 AM »

I went from a church with pews to a church with seats and even though the services are 2.5 times as long, I look out and see the Archbishop there and if he can stand for 3 hours, so can I, simple matter. Holy Week was the first time I attended services at this new parish and I stood every minute for every service even after 21 years at a parish with pews and shorter services. If you're paying attention to the service, the time goes by really fast.

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« Reply #106 on: October 30, 2006, 12:40:29 PM »

Back home, we used to kneel several times throughout the Liturgy, even on Sundays: at "Come, let us worship and fall down before Christ...", at the reading of the Gospel, at the Great Entrance -"Vohod", from the "Take, eat, this is my Body..." to the Axion and then, some would even kneel for "Our Father". Besides that, those recieving the Holy Communion would always kneel for the pre-Communion prayers "I believe o Lord and I confess..." .
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« Reply #107 on: November 01, 2006, 01:11:01 AM »

I consider pews (or at least chairs as a substitute varaint) are necessary. I wish Orthodox parishes in "the Old country" will start to install them.
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« Reply #108 on: November 01, 2006, 03:41:25 AM »

I consider pews (or at least chairs as a substitute varaint) are necessary. I wish Orthodox parishes in "the Old country" will start to install them.

I know some of you will want to attack this but please just accept this as an opinion and move on. This has thread has been a good open discussion please don't make me close it now.
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« Reply #109 on: November 10, 2006, 04:23:45 PM »

Imagine you are in Bethlehem at the time of Chirsts birth; would you stand to see this great thing?

Imagine you are crippled and Christ comes unto you in the flesh and says stand up and walk; would you stand?

Imagine you were hearing the message of salvation being preached by Chirst on earth; would you stand to ensure you hear His every word?

Imagine you are at Golgotha witnessing the scorging and crudifiction of the Christ; would you need a comfortable seat for that?

Imagine you were seeing with your own eyes the resurrection and ascension of Christ; would you be concerned about sitting still?

Now imagine that the sunday after you read this post during the Axion Christ returns to earth in HIs advent as we expect and how he said he would. Would you want be found sitting or standing?

I think its clear that standing in the Liturgy is the only way to connect to it. The liturgy carries us into full worship of God ...WE ARE IN AWE.

How can you sit and be in awe?

You stand when Michael Jordan would make those nail bitting shots. I did to.

I stand to get my check cashed just like you with no complaints. Find a bank with seats and let me know.

We need to look at our worship.

If we are really worshipping as one post said..."the service moves"

Why? beacause we are not waiting we are worshipping.

I was invited to a Russian Church in NYC to celebrate the veneration of a very special Icon of the Holy Mother of God. I was invited by my ukranian Orthodox co-worker. After a very hard day I attended the service that frigid night. Upon entering the Church first a small sign reading: "women can not wear pants in the sanctuary". Then I entered and to my surprise NO pews...not one. Just a few folding chairs in the back for the elderly. I stood up for the whole 4 hour service without even a leaning post ... nothing. The service was only in Russian as well and I do not speak or understand any Russian. Me and my wife were the only black people thier. I noticed the people did not sway, lean, flich around, they stood straight and erect as if the Glory of God was in front of them. I did the same. I saw old people doing the same. The folding chairs barely got used. NO head turned left or right...everyone perfect like soldiers. After the service ended their was a procession which each person was allowed to approach the Icon and venerate it and pray then a Priest was at the end of the line who blessed you with prayer and Holy oil. When I had to move My legs were locked my back was locked, but I was able to move. After I venerated, prayed and received the oils the service ended with a beautiful benediction about 10:45 pm.  As I began to walk toward the exit I noticed so many people; some twice my age going toward the alter to continue more prayers as the choir was resounding through the space. I must say I began to cry.... I was overwhelmed with awe, absolutely and completely clasped due to awe. Yes I was in pain, my back, shoulders and neck was burning from fatigue. My spine and feet were almost numb from pain. Then I stepped outside into the freezing cold of the night and had to walk for a mile or so. I cried the whole way. Each pain from each area of my body as I walked remided me of Chirst passion and how unworthy I was to have recieved the blessing I received that night. I had a pain in my throat from chocking back tears for 2 weeks. The smell of the Oils was on my head for months. I asked my wife if she could still smelled it. She said "yes" but she did not want to say anything to me thinking that it was just her.

All this occurred in I did understand one word of Russian.

But I understood love and I could feel it in that sanctuary that night.

I hope that the Russian Orthodox Church and all others keep this tradition of no pews. It is an important act of devotion and worship. We can sit down at home.

In Ethiopia we are pewless in the old Christian capitals. But many CHurches have set up the pews. Even still the liturgy demands us to stand for 85% of the time. But even seeing the pews looses something.

God bless
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« Reply #110 on: November 10, 2006, 06:09:35 PM »

Amedtsion,
That is a great narrative.  I'll have to use that in the future.  I wonder if I can I bookmark a post?
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« Reply #111 on: November 10, 2006, 06:55:32 PM »

Amedtsion,
That is a great narrative.

I'll second that.  Very powerful.
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« Reply #112 on: November 10, 2006, 11:17:59 PM »

I agree..something is lost with the addition of pews. 
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« Reply #113 on: November 11, 2006, 12:10:13 AM »

I experienced a service without them for the first time this last summer, and I loved it.

Blessings,
Panagiotis
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« Reply #114 on: November 20, 2007, 06:52:34 PM »



Pews..............................Arrrrg!
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« Reply #115 on: November 20, 2007, 08:19:38 PM »


Pews..............................Arrrrg!
Wow, old thread!

My parish has movable chairs, which I think is a good compromise between allowing people to sit and being able to move them out of the way for the Lenten services which require lots of prostrations.
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« Reply #116 on: November 20, 2007, 08:26:44 PM »

mod - Why is the thread being resurrected? police
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« Reply #117 on: November 27, 2007, 12:18:35 AM »

mod - Why is the thread being resurrected? police

Probably Wink because someone still has something to offer to it. 
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« Reply #118 on: November 28, 2007, 02:28:49 PM »

Probably Wink because someone still has something to offer to it. 

It was good to have this thread ressurrected. Thanks!

I hope people chime in on this very good point of concern for our faith.

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« Reply #119 on: November 28, 2007, 02:59:33 PM »

God bless !!

Ah this is a thread for me, the Holy Tradition of standing in Church wich is set aside by some modernists ! Grin

In CHRIST
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« Reply #120 on: November 28, 2007, 03:20:00 PM »

God bless !!

Ah this is a thread for me, the Holy Tradition of standing in Church wich is set aside by some modernists ! Grin

In CHRIST

Oh, goody! Then can we move on to "nothing but beeswax candles" and "no electricity" or telephones or Internet connections?  Wink
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« Reply #121 on: November 28, 2007, 03:55:00 PM »

I certainly prefer standing in Church - one of the better things I picked up from being around clergy all my life, and from 4 years at Seminary.  I won't go so far as to condemn those who don't, though.
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« Reply #122 on: November 28, 2007, 06:40:23 PM »

I certainly prefer standing in Church - one of the better things I picked up from being around clergy all my life, and from 4 years at Seminary.  I won't go so far as to condemn those who don't, though.

I'm with Cleveland on this one, especially after my years at HCHC as well.

I went from standing all the time to the parish I'm in now, which sits most of the time, and stands/sits/kneels when the priest rings a bell (can anyone say Pavlov's dogs?).  Besides the fact that I personally feel that people should be paying enough attention and know enough about church etiquette to know when to stand WITHOUT a bell, it feels bizarre to sit so much.  I have a MUCH harder time paying attention when I'm sitting down.  It's to easy to relax and stare off into space.  Not to mention that I just can't get past the fact that we are supposed to stand before God in light of the Resurrection, which means every Sunday.  And yes, I prefer to stand every other day of the week as well.
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« Reply #123 on: November 28, 2007, 06:45:46 PM »

Oh, goody! Then can we move on to "nothing but beeswax candles" and "no electricity" or telephones or Internet connections?  Wink

telephone and internet are OK........ police
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« Reply #124 on: November 28, 2007, 08:52:48 PM »

Personally, I just can't understand why anyone (assuming they were able-bodied) would want to sit during the divine services  UndecidedHuh
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« Reply #125 on: November 28, 2007, 09:08:25 PM »

Personally, I just can't understand why anyone (assuming they were able-bodied) would want to sit during the divine services  UndecidedHuh

God bless !

Me too - I want to partizipate in the Liturgy with bowing, prostration, kneeling......I do not want to watch the Liturgy I want to experience it. Come let us worship and fall down before Christ our King and God ...

In CHRIST
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« Reply #126 on: November 29, 2007, 12:21:28 AM »

Personally, I just can't understand why anyone (assuming they were able-bodied) would want to sit during the divine services  UndecidedHuh

I believe that it is a very personal preference and a very personal choice in any case. I prefer to sit and to concentrate on prayer in adequate position without interuption and uncomfortable movements. And yes, I do love pews!
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« Reply #127 on: November 29, 2007, 12:50:27 AM »

God bless !

Me too - I want to partizipate in the Liturgy with bowing, prostration, kneeling......I do not want to watch the Liturgy I want to experience it. Come let us worship and fall down before Christ our King and God ...

In CHRIST

I agree.  Even though our parish has pews, I prefer standing.  With so many commands to "stand" and "stand upright" in the Divine Liturgy, standing is clearly the normal posture of prayer in the Church.  Smiley

God bless,

Adam 
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« Reply #128 on: November 29, 2007, 05:47:36 AM »

I remember when the EP refered to pews as theater seats.  How spot on! I thought.

My sons's mother now goes to a megachurch (the boys refer to it as "the church where we don't pray").  When the one told me that at the Easter service was dark, I asked why, and they said "well, it's not really a church, it's more like a place where we sit and watch people."

Nave comes from the word "ship."  People want it to be a cargo ship: just sit and come along for the ride.

It's not, it's a slaver ship: everyone should be rowing with their prayers.

Btw, I also prostrate at the consecration on a weekday DL.  But I can't bring myself to even kneel on Sunday: to stand and to resurrect is the same in Arabic.
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« Reply #129 on: November 29, 2007, 08:16:25 AM »

I believe that it is a very personal preference and a very personal choice in any case. I prefer to sit and to concentrate on prayer in adequate position without interuption and uncomfortable movements. And yes, I do love pews!

God bless !

Please Starlight forgive me - but how can anyone "love pews" - you know were pews coming from ?
I think we do not need to post quotes from the Fathers and Elders how we should behave during prayer- we are a twofold nature and when praying with the mind you must also pary with the body.....you can not say let us worship and fall down -when sitting on a chair !

For me sitting during prayer and even during the Mystery of Mysteries - when Cherubim and Seraphim are prostrating and trembling it is even "blasphemious"- forgive me.


In CHRIST
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« Reply #130 on: November 29, 2007, 09:43:23 AM »

God bless !

Please Starlight forgive me - but how can anyone "love pews" - you know were pews coming from ?
I think we do not need to post quotes from the Fathers and Elders how we should behave during prayer- we are a twofold nature and when praying with the mind you must also pary with the body.....you can not say let us worship and fall down -when sitting on a chair !

For me sitting during prayer and even during the Mystery of Mysteries - when Cherubim and Seraphim are prostrating and trembling it is even "blasphemious"- forgive me.


In CHRIST


Christodoulos I see your point. But I see the point of Starlight too. Personally, I opt for sitting at times, you see, there are times my weak head feels dizzy - and this does indeed disrupt my concentration. I will not claim I know what practice is supported or validated by whom, I only know that when it comes down to praying, one who tries to pray all one can, one is bound to be praying in all possible conditions - outside liturgy, that is - driving and praying, eating and praying, cleaning and praying, lying down and praying...etc. My parish priest once told me he advises people to pray whenever and wherever they can, as much as they can. Everyone has their own limitations nevertheless, physical, spiritual or otherwise. So, I think the Epistle to Romans, Chapter 14 is to look up when it comes to matters such as these (I  know it talks about fast, but fast is not only about food, it can therefore apply to all things done for our Lord).


"Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters. One man's faith allows him to eat everything, but another man, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. The man who eats everything must not look down on him who does not, and the man who does not eat everything must not condemn the man who does, for God has accepted him. Who are you to judge someone else's servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.

One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. He who regards one day as special, does so to the Lord. He who eats meat, eats to the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who abstains, does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God. For none of us lives to himself alone and none of us dies to himself alone. If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord....."

God bless

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« Reply #131 on: November 29, 2007, 10:45:02 AM »

Christodoulos I see your point. But I see the point of Starlight too. Personally, I opt for sitting at times, you see, there are times my weak head feels dizzy - and this does indeed disrupt my concentration. I will not claim I know what practice is supported or validated by whom, I only know that when it comes down to praying, one who tries to pray all one can, one is bound to be praying in all possible conditions - outside liturgy, that is - driving and praying, eating and praying, cleaning and praying, lying down and praying...etc. My parish priest once told me he advises people to pray whenever and wherever they can, as much as they can. Everyone has their own limitations nevertheless, physical, spiritual or otherwise. So, I think the Epistle to Romans, Chapter 14 is to look up when it comes to matters such as these (I  know it talks about fast, but fast is not only about food, it can therefore apply to all things done for our Lord).


"Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters. One man's faith allows him to eat everything, but another man, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. The man who eats everything must not look down on him who does not, and the man who does not eat everything must not condemn the man who does, for God has accepted him. Who are you to judge someone else's servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.

One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. He who regards one day as special, does so to the Lord. He who eats meat, eats to the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who abstains, does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God. For none of us lives to himself alone and none of us dies to himself alone. If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord....."

God bless u Sophie !

Sophie there is no problem when people are sitting when they feel weak, or ill, or when old people are sitting.....problems with feet......no one ever said anything against that.

The problem is that some orthodox churches "copied" the heterodox and filled the complet space in Church with pews and chairs- so that it is not possible to prostrate or kneel or even bow.....they made it the common way - you will see even in "ultra-orthodox" Churches some chairs and seats on the sides or in the backround- and everyone who needs some rest can sit down.

When I stayed in Monasteries, were the Service can take 8 hours or more, it is also allowed to sit during the Kathismas .......but this is an exception.

We should never forget that the christian way of life is a way of struggle and not of comfort !
And we should not forget what happens during Divine Liturgy like I have said how can we sit when Seraphim and cherubim are trembling and prostrating!

There is the story of Elder Iakovos - when he served Divine Liturgy- so many Cherubim and Seraphim were around the Holy Table that it was hard to serve- there was no place for him and at the great Entrance with the Holy Gifts he could see and even feel their Wings on his shoulders- they are protecting the Holy Gifts - so how can we sit ?

The pews were first introduced by the Protestants ( they also stood in Church during prayer) -they have a different understanding of the Service, and later the rcc also put pews in Church ( they also stood in Church until the 18 cent) and only (I think) in the 50s some orthodox Churches began to copy this....

In CHRIST
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« Reply #132 on: November 29, 2007, 12:58:21 PM »

God bless u Sophie !

Sophie there is no problem when people are sitting when they feel weak, or ill, or when old people are sitting.....problems with feet......no one ever said anything against that.

The problem is that some orthodox churches "copied" the heterodox and filled the complet space in Church with pews and chairs- so that it is not possible to prostrate or kneel or even bow.....they made it the common way - you will see even in "ultra-orthodox" Churches some chairs and seats on the sides or in the backround- and everyone who needs some rest can sit down.

When I stayed in Monasteries, were the Service can take 8 hours or more, it is also allowed to sit during the Kathismas .......but this is an exception.

We should never forget that the christian way of life is a way of struggle and not of comfort !
And we should not forget what happens during Divine Liturgy like I have said how can we sit when Seraphim and cherubim are trembling and prostrating!

There is the story of Elder Iakovos - when he served Divine Liturgy- so many Cherubim and Seraphim were around the Holy Table that it was hard to serve- there was no place for him and at the great Entrance with the Holy Gifts he could see and even feel their Wings on his shoulders- they are protecting the Holy Gifts - so how can we sit ?

The pews were first introduced by the Protestants ( they also stood in Church during prayer) -they have a different understanding of the Service, and later the rcc also put pews in Church ( they also stood in Church until the 18 cent I think) and only I think in the 50s some orthodox Churches began to copy this....

In CHRIST

I may have mentioned this on a previous post but I am too lazy to go back and check, but all Christian churches at one time had not pews.  One can go into some of the most ancient of Roman Catholic churches in Europe and see a pewless Nave. A prime example of this is the very center of Catholicism St. Peter's in Rome.
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« Reply #133 on: November 29, 2007, 01:11:49 PM »

I may have mentioned this on a previous post but I am too lazy to go back and check, but all Christian churches at one time had not pews.  One can go into some of the most ancient of Roman Catholic churches in Europe and see a pewless Nave. A prime example of this is the very center of Catholicism St. Peter's in Rome.

God bless !

Yeah,...and many Latin Fathers wrote about this Topic-like Tertullian who said it is blasphemious even to sit AFTER prayer, or St. Augustine also spoke about standing during prayer ( he said it is not allowed to change this) ......

But I would say beside all this "spiritual" questions - I think the architecture is destroyed by pews- I saw this in Cypress - the tiny,beautiful Temples are complete filled up with chairs and pews,there is not empty place left no where.....


In CHRIST
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« Reply #134 on: November 29, 2007, 02:46:45 PM »

Oh, goody! Then can we move on to "nothing but beeswax candles" and "no electricity" or telephones or Internet connections?  Wink

I do not think modern lighting verses ancient forms of lighting and the other comparisons of tbis sort that you made have any real point.

Standing is an 'act' of the faith which our fathers handed down to us throughout the ages. Light and the and other utilitarian aspects may change over time.
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« Reply #135 on: November 29, 2007, 02:50:25 PM »

I do not think modern lighting verses ancient forms of lighting and the other comparisons of tbis sort that you made have any real point.

Standing is an 'act' of the faith which our fathers handed down to us throughout the ages. Light and the and other utilitarian aspects may change over time.

And I don't disagree. Point was where's your line? I've seen too many "traditionalists" ready to fall on their swords over candles and microphones.
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« Reply #136 on: November 29, 2007, 03:06:59 PM »

I am all for priests refusing Holy Communion to inappropriately dressed women (and men if that is the case).  If you're in Church, we don't need to see more of you than your husband does.  And if you have to squat or bend at the knees to kiss the icons you know your skirt is too short.  It's all about moderation.  Because for all the bare shoulders and creeping skirts, there is the other extreme in modesty.  Being modest does not mean you have to look like a bag lady. 

(Oh BTW, SrbMama, I don't know about other parishes, but the only women I ever see dressed to the nines and in 6" stilletos are the Russian emigrees.  Those women are amazing.  I can't make it through 2 hours of Liturgy in Birkenstocks but they can stand and hold babies on their hips in outrageously high heels.)
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« Reply #137 on: November 29, 2007, 07:58:23 PM »

There is nothing new being added here. Some you are ok with pews and some of you are not. Time to move on people. Thread Closed!
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