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Author Topic: Standing during Divine Liturgy  (Read 13899 times) Average Rating: 0
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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

Quote
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 »

Quote
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.

Zoe,

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?

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.

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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.

Quote
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.

Quote
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.

Quote
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.

Quote
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:

Quote
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.

Quote
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.

Quote
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.

Quote
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.

Quote
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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Tessa
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