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Author Topic: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church  (Read 185762 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #270 on: May 02, 2006, 09:32:19 PM »

Indeed she held the Divine Logos in her, but that does not make it "sacramental."  We all, male or female, hold the Holy Spirit in us that we may be sons of God like the Logos, and she held the most Divine grace stemming from the Logos than anyone else, something that we all strive for.  In the OT, mothers of prophets, kings, or priests were very important, for they have raised their children to be great in the eyes of the Lord.  People like St. Sarah, St. Hannah, the mother of Moses (and Pharaoh's daughter), the mother of Samson, St. Rahab, St. Ruth and St. Elizabeth all had important children to give birth to, but they were not priests and kings in virture of giving birth to important figures.  They were exceedingly blessed, but blessed among all women is the Theotokos Mary, for she bore God.  But bearing God does not make her the True God, but makes her full of grace, where no one else, save the Forerunner, had greater blessing.

First of all, none of these other women gave birth to God, giving birth to a king or prophet, no matter how great, is not even analogous to giving birth to God. And not only did she give birth to God, but she formed the Divine Body and the Divine Blood from herself; she gave to God her nature that He may be both God and Man. No, she is not God and no one says otherwise, but she is the one who united God and Man, hardly a trivial role.

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To define "sacramental," it is a duty upon which a priest in a ritualistic sense must perform.  For St. Mary, this was not "sacramental," but natural.  Miraculously, she bore in her God without the seed of Man which is the unnatural part, but afterwards, all that Christ went through in her and out was a natural outcome of His full humanity.

Except Christ was not a mere human, he was and is theanthropic...his body and blood are not merely human but also Divine. For Just as he is fully human, so also is he fully divine. Our Lady was no less Mother to the Divinity than to the Humanity...unless you believe her to be merely Christotokos?

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One can say the same of women like Sts. Sarah, the mother of Samson, Hannah, and Elizabeth (who also had a child filled with the Holy Spirit at conception) who were barren and bore children by the miraculous grace of God, but nevertheless, not something that makes them priests.  St. Paul writes:
1Tim. 2:15

These are not analogous, for they did not give birth to Divinity.

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That's the point.  You made it seem at first as if a slave has no chance of being free in the first place.  However, is there a chance for a female to become a male later in her life?

Well with modern technology there's no telling anymore Wink

But seriously, the mutability or immutability of the condition does not lessen the injustice.

Unless you want to define certain levels of what is "sacramental," for I have no problem that our lives even in helping the needy and simply praying to God is considered sacramental, for all these things help us partake of God.  But priestly issues are clear where the "main sacraments" are celebrated and distributed for the order of things.

What I am saying is that the Incarnation is the Eucharist [/i]par excellence[/i], it is the fullest and most complete manifestation of the Eucharist that has ever been celebrated. And in this incarnation one person alone acted on the behalf of all mankind, one person made the sacrifice that brought God to Man, these actions of our Lady are the essence of the priestly role and she fulfilled this Priestly office to a degree that no one else in the history of the world has been able to accomplish.

I was reviewing the canons, since this topic forced me to look at the canons, and in the Council of Nicea Canon XIX is translated:

The "laying of hands" may be a weakness of language, but in the ancient epitome, it is also written:

Just a quick note here, I made this point earlier on the forum but in case you missed it. There seems to be a change in practice at some point between Nicea and Chalcedon. At Nicea it is clear that deaconesses were not ordained by the laying on of hands like the male clergy; however, in the canons of Chalcedon it is stated (as received practice, not innovation), that deaconesses are ordained by the laying on of hands just like male priests (this point is clearly emphasized twice in the canon, I believe canon 15 if I remember properly). This is confirmed by the Novles of Justianian which also speak of the Ordination of Deaconesses, it also states that they participate in the celebration of the 'mysterious and sacred rites' of the Church (can't remember the exact reference, but it's in a fairly recent post on this thread).

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Not really.  A Catholic female theologian writes some very convincing concerning the role of Christ as a male for the salvation of women, and why we should always necessarily follow Christ's suit for the sake of equality:

http://www.godspy.com/reviews/Priesthood-and-the-Masculinity-of-Christ.cfm

I'd avoid that article for your posistions, it is heavily dependent on the Latin doctrine of Original Sin, which is rejected by the Orthodox, to say the least. To deny that the Image of Christ is just as present in Woman as in Man seems to me to be blasphemy against the Image of God as it is a denial of its form and existance.
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« Reply #271 on: May 02, 2006, 10:01:10 PM »

"Well, to be equally frank...if you think that a male priesthood is what separates us from the protestants you have no idea what it means to be Orthodox...do you? Do you really think that if we ordained women we would all the sudden be protestants? There was a time when we had deaconesses and women in prominent places in the Church. A female priesthood would simply be resurrecting and expanding upon ancient roles for women, ancient roles that were limited not by sound theology but by the culture and society of the day." -- greekischristian

Actually, I do know, and am still learning, what it means to be Orthodox.  One thing I do know -- the Church, as the pillar and foundation of the truth, does not create truth, it simply is a depositor of the truth and as such, clarifies it.  When the ecumenical councils met, they did not do so to create new "truth/dogma", but rather to clarify what had been believed universally by the church since its inception.  Women have never been allowed to be bishops and or priests, and it is my humble opinion that the true church will not suddenly declare some new revelation.  Of course, the ecumenists may, in an heretical moment, try to change the tradition of the church in this regard, but that does not mean that it is correct doctrine.

As to your unkind remark about my understanding of what it means to be Orthodox, I will admit that I have much to learn.  There is one other thing I have learned, however:  ecumenism is the great heresy facing the Church in our times.  You would do well to steer clear of this, lest you fall out of the grace of God.  In the late Fr. Seraphim Rose's book Orthodoxy and the Religion of the Future, Fr. Seraphim recounts a story (pp. 189-190) of a disciple of St. Paisius the Great who was confused by a Jew who told St. Paisius' disciple that Jesus was not the Messiah.  "The disciple, being weak in mind and simple in heart, began to listen to these words and allowed himself to say: 'Perhaps what you say is correct.'" (p. 190).  When the disciple returned to St. Paisius, the saint informed him that the grace of Baptism had left him and the image of a Christian had been removed.  The disciple repented, the saint prayed for him, and the Lord restored him.  Father Seraphim goes on to compare the ecumenists, and even those who participate in the ecumenical movement but are not truly ecumenists, with this disciple because, "by their very participation in this movement, including invariably common prayer with those who believe wrongly about Christ and His Church, they tell the heretics who behold them: 'Perhaps what you say is correct,', even as the wretched disciple of St. Paisius did.  No more than this is required for an Orthodox Christian to lose the grace of God; and what labor it will cost for him to gain it back!" (p. 191).

Take heed!

P.S.  I don't think that the male priesthood is what seperates us from protestants.  I used to be a protestant, remember?  If you think that protestants are all "ordaining" women, then you don't know much about protestantism, do you?  Your comment reflects not only a lack of kindness and some serious bad manners (didn't you listen to your mother?), but an arrogance that one would not expect in this forum.

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« Reply #272 on: May 02, 2006, 10:22:08 PM »

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The male priesthood was unquestionably culturally motivated, the initial influences were Jewish, which was an extremely misogynistic culture.

That is a weak presupposition.  On the contrary, the Jewish all-male priesthood itself could very well be THEOLOGICALLY motivated, which I believe is a very strong case.  You would need to twist and turn the passages of the Old Testament to suite your speculation and Marcionite tendencies.  To this effect, I expect you to say that the Old Testament itself was "culturally motivated."

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By the time that Pagan culture became influential in the late second century it reflected Roman State Religion, which relegated women to minor Roles, granted there were a few unofficial cults that were women-only, but these were always looked upon with suspicion by the mainstream of society; and the popular non-state cults that formed (Christianity and Mithra) both ended up coming in line with the tendencies of Roman State Religion.

You are treating the Roman Empire as having a homogeneous culture. That speaks millions about your ignorance of the subject.

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Your reference to pre-Roman Greek religious practices is irrelevant;

Constantinople--the capital of the Roman Empire--was predominantly GREEK.  That makes a survey of Greek society so very, very relevant.

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most of those cults either integrated into the mainstream Roman State Religion, with the relevant gender roles, or became unofficial cults that were tolerated but taboo.

See?  The key word is HETEROGENEOUS, that's why it is important to identify the particular culture in the Roman Empire that is relevant to the discussion, i.e., Greek.

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The reason that I didn't address this issue before is because the claim that Jewish misogynistic culture did not influence an all-male priesthood is absurd at best and unworthy of comment.

How about Jewish theology influencing Christian theology? Let me just replace a word on your statement and tell me how it sounds to you:

The reason that I didn't address this issue before is because the claim that Jewish THEOLOGY did not influence an all-male priesthood is absurd at best and unworthy of comment.
 
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No, haven't you studied Church history? Culture dictates custom and tradition; it was Imperial Politics that dictated theology.

That's what the Jehovah's Witnesses say. Shake that thing off.

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As one of my professors here at Holy Cross told me, we Orthodox do a great job at preserving dogmas and liturgy, but where we fail and the Catholics and Protestants excel is in the advocating and advancing of justice and that we could learn a thing or two if we paid attention to them.

Yes, YOU should be paying attention yourself. What we learn from both Catholics and Protestants are their MISTAKES.  For instance, we should recognize the failure of liberal theology (which led to atheism) and Vatican II. Other than those mistakes, Orthodoxy has nothing to gain from them because they have everything to gain from us. ÂÂ

On the subject of female priesthood, go to England and see what a disaster it has created among the laity.

http://www.westernorthodox.com/options
I can still remember the confusion and pain at Nashotah House Seminary when the news began to spread that the 1976 General Convention had passed, by a razor thin margin, a canon to permit the ordination of women to the priesthood and episcopate. The 100th Archbishop of Canterbury, Michael Ramsey, was teaching theology at the seminary in the fall of 1976. His powerful presence had an almost spell-like effect on everyone and we all looked to him for guidance and wisdom. In true Anglo-Catholic fashion, most, but not all of us, decided to stay and suffer through! We rallied around Lord Ramsey and other sound bishops, like Robert Terwilliger, and we made our threats to stay and not leave!

There are days now, when I wish that I had been able to recognize that the Anglican house was no longer inclusive enough to find room for orthodox Christians. It would take me another 18 years before it became clear that I truly no longer had a place at the family table in the Anglican Communion, which had been the very place where I had been formed as an orthodox Christian.

In my case, I fell victim to an Episcopalian bishop who totally ignored the Eames Commission, Lambeth pronouncements and the so-called conscience clause by trying to force me to stand with a woman priest to renew ordination vows. This action was not long after his promise not to force the issue with his clergy who held theological objections to female ordinations.




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« Reply #273 on: May 02, 2006, 11:05:59 PM »

I would say "compelling" to at least open the doors of discussion and discernment on the subject of Ordination of women and the issues around this.
Just take the 3rd one- the belief that "the Priest is the Icon of Christ". Shouldn't it be "compelling" to at least examine the possibility that a doctrine used to support an all-male Priesthood may actually be heresy?
I think I opened my first post on this thread with this assertion, and I'll say it again.  Though I currently oppose women's ordination to the priesthood, I certainly do not oppose at least a reasonable discussion of the issue.  (I'm actually saying this to voice my agreement with your above quote.)
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« Reply #274 on: May 02, 2006, 11:19:52 PM »

These may indeed be arguments, but I for one certainly don't find them compelling.  (More on this later, if I get around to it.)
Okay, now is the time to expand on the above statement.

Here are three that have been discussed on this thread:

1) The fact that Christians are not Muslims, and that our theology forbids us to consider women to be inferior to men.
With our understanding of the biological and psychological differences between men and women, we do understand that women can perform roles that are different from men's.  Different, though, in no way means inferior.

However, I don't see how the above argument says anything that applies even remotely to the issue of women's ordination.  Are we automatically calling woman inferior to man because we deny her ordination to the priesthood?  If so, then maybe our concept of the priesthood is not according to Tradition.

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2) The fact that women have been ordained in the Church in the past.
No one will deny that women were ordained deacons in the past.  But we have no record of women ever being ordained priests or bishops.

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3) The fact that the docrine that the Priest is the "Icon of Christ" is a questionable doctrine.
I won't argue with this.  This may be one good argument for reconsidering our blanket rejection of women's ordination, but it certainly doesn't tell anyone why we should actively ordain a woman to the priesthood.
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« Reply #275 on: May 03, 2006, 12:23:40 AM »

George,

Just take the 3rd one- the belief that "the Priest is the Icon of Christ". Shouldn't it be "compelling" to at least examine the possibility that a doctrine used to support an all-male Priesthood may actually be heresy?

Why would this be heresy? I'm having trouble seeing the connection you're trying to make here between "Priest as Chrstic Icon" and "mere re-enactment instead of memorial Eucharist" (the latter two terms also confuse me).
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« Reply #276 on: May 03, 2006, 06:22:37 AM »

Why would this be heresy? I'm having trouble seeing the connection you're trying to make here between "Priest as Chrstic Icon" and "mere re-enactment instead of memorial Eucharist" (the latter two terms also confuse me).

I think there are four issues I need to clarify for you if I understood you correctly:
1) The Eucharist as memorial vs. the Eucharist as re-enactment.
2) The validity of the notion of the Priest as Icon of Christ.
3) How (1) and (2) interplay.
4) How all this ties in with the question of women's ordination.

Before I start spending time explaining myself about these 4 issues, can I just check that this is what you want me to do?
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« Reply #277 on: May 03, 2006, 07:08:59 AM »

However, I don't see how the above argument says anything that applies even remotely to the issue of women's ordination.  Are we automatically calling woman inferior to man because we deny her ordination to the priesthood?  If so, then maybe our concept of the priesthood is not according to Tradition.
That our concept of Priesthood may not be in accordance with Tradition in the sense of not in accordance with Orthodox Christian dogma, (particularly cosmology) is a possibility we may need to examine. If we can clearly demonstrate that God, and not merely men has decreed that women must be excluded from the priesthood, then clearly, no issue of inferiority could be implied. But if this is a tradition of men and not a command of God, then not only does it throw up the question of why this tradition of excluding women from the priesthood should be maintained, it also brings in to question everything we have assumed to be dogmatic reasons to exclude women from the priesthood. If women have been excluded  from priesthood solely because of a custom of men based on the notion that women are not "worthy" to be priests and bishops, then everything we have used as a "dogmatic justification" to obscure the real motive for our position is false dogma which has no place in the Church.

No one will deny that women were ordained deacons in the past.  But we have no record of women ever being ordained priests or bishops.
No one is arguing that women have never been Priests or Bishops. But the history of the Deaconesses demonstrates at least that women were not excluded from the Mystery of Cherotonia. We can never say that Cherotonia can only be administered to a male.

I won't argue with this.  This may be one good argument for reconsidering our blanket rejection of women's ordination, but it certainly doesn't tell anyone why we should actively ordain a woman to the priesthood.
No, but it may remove one false dogmatic reason- if it is false- which is repeatedly used to dogmatically justify the exclusion of women from the priesthood And don't tell me it's a non-issue, because it has been used on this thread, For example:
Two arguments sway me on this issue, although I must further admit to having no strong feelings on this particular issue. Being male and having absolutely NO desire for the priesthood (BLECH!!!) It doesn't impact me much. However, I do believe there are theological issues at stake here.........The second argument that I find compelling is the "icon of Christ" argument, which was brought up by Sarah at the beginning of this discussion.
Questioning the validity of the "Priest as Icon of Christ" doctrine does not compell us to ordain women, but it does cause us to question the validity of a dogmatic reason some find "compelling" to exclude women from the priesthood.
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« Reply #278 on: May 03, 2006, 07:09:55 AM »

I think there are four issues I need to clarify for you if I understood you correctly:
1) The Eucharist as memorial vs. the Eucharist as re-enactment.
2) The validity of the notion of the Priest as Icon of Christ.
3) How (1) and (2) interplay.
4) How all this ties in with the question of women's ordination.

Before I start spending time explaining myself about these 4 issues, can I just check that this is what you want me to do?

You got it, exactly.
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« Reply #279 on: May 03, 2006, 08:06:55 AM »

Pedro,

(1) The Eucharist as memorial vs. the Eucharist as re-enactment.

Here's a potted explanation of the difference:
At the Mystical Supper, Our Lord Jesus Christ commanded the Apostles: "Do this in rememberance (Gk: en anemnisis) of Me."
"In rememberance" means do this in a way comparable to our custom of erecting War Memorials and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in our cities in rememberance (en anemnisis) of our soldiers who have fallen in war.
If we were to "re-enact" the Mystical Supper, not only we would be doing something comparable to staging a "Civil War Re-enactment", we would also be disobeying Christ Who commanded us to remember Him, not the Mystical Supper itself.
The Eucharist is the memorial of Christ's Sacrifice on Golgotha, not the memorial of the Mystical Supper. Thus, the Apostle says: "For as often as you eat this bread, and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death till he come." (1Cor. 11:26).

(2) Validity of the Notion of Priest as Icon of Christ.
If the Eucharist is the memorial of Christ's Sacrifice on Golgotha, what then do we mean if we say that "the Priest is the Icon of Christ" in the Eucharist?
Firstly, this is incongruous, because the Priest offers the Gifts also on behalf of himself. We would have the "Icon of Christ" offering the Sacrifice of the Eucharist on behalf of the "Icon of Christ".
Secondly, why do we need an Icon of Christ in the Eucharist? Not only did He promise that "when two or three gather in my Name, I am there among them", we also have the Real Presence of Christ in the Gifts.
Thirdly, the Eucharist is not an "Icon" of anything. It is not a symbolic gesture or action. It is an actual reality in itself. Each Eucharist is the Divine and Eternal directly entering the Earthly and Temporal. The Eucharist is not simply an Earthly gesture symbolising something Divine- it is Divine in itself, hence we call it "The Divine Liturgy".
Fourthly, in what way is the Priest the "Icon of Christ"? Is he the Icon of Christ's physical image? I doubt it. Is he the Icon of Christ's Authority? Then why must he perform the Divine Liturgy on an antimension signed by his Bishop? What do we mean by "The Priest is the Icon of Christ"?

(3) How do (1) and (2) interplay?
The only reason the Priest would have to be the "Icon of Christ" in the Eucharist would be if the Eucharist was a re-enactment of an action of Christ in which the Priest serves the function of representing Christ. In other words, the Priest is doing what Christ did.
But the Eucharist is not a re-enactment, but a memorial, so what is the Priest doing that Christ did? Is he hosting the Mystical Supper as Christ did? Then the Eucharist is simply a stage-play in which we are re-enacting what happened in the Upper Room before Christ's death, and it recalls the Mystical Supper, not the Sacrifice of Christ. Is the Priest acting as Christ on Golgotha? Then why does he offer the gifts on his own behalf as well?
The conclusion we are compelled to draw is that the Eucharist is not a "re-enactment" of anything at all. It is a memorial. So if we say that the Priest is the "Icon of Christ" in the Eucharist, we make the Eucharist into something it isn't.

(4)How all this ties in with the question of women's ordination.

If we accept that the Eucharist is a memorial, and not a re-enactment, then the Priest is not the "icon of Christ" in the Eucharist. And if a Priest does not have to be an "Icon of Christ" in order to celebrate the Eucharist, then the exclusion of women from the Priesthood on the basis of the notion that only a male can be an "Icon of Christ" is invalid.

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« Reply #280 on: May 03, 2006, 10:13:25 AM »

A parishoner once asked me what I would do if a woman priest were standing at the altar one day.

"I'd promptly leave and go find an Orthodox Church," was my response.

Christ selected no woman as Apostles. I believe those that wish to change this tradition see themselves as being superior in some way to Christ Himself.
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« Reply #281 on: May 03, 2006, 10:22:38 AM »

Dear Pensatoemnia,

Actually GiC admitted that there was no "laying of hands" on deaconesses from Nicea.  Plus, I don't see how one can escape the ancient epitome.  They mentioned Paulinian priests not only to be rebaptized, but reordained.  For deaconesses, while she was "among the clergy," as in helping the clergy (it is in no way indicating she was of a clerical duty, which the last sentence shows).

And I don't mind being "GiC'ed."  In many times, being "GiC'ed" forces me to think. Wink

Speaking of GiC,

Dear GiC Smiley

We may continue to disagree on the role of the Theotokos.  One thing I do know is that she is above all the cherubim and the serafim, sitting on the throne with Christ interceding to Him for us.  This is perhaps one proof on the side of "male-only priests" that priests are not considered superior to all others, especially women.  If anything, the Theotokos makes the priests submit to the women, even though he is considered leader and master.  St. Paul did say "submit to one another."

But still, we cannot escape St. Paul's theological explanations of man-woman relations and the priesthood, such as the head of woman is man (head of Christ is the Father), and that women are not allowed to "speak" because man was formed first, and that wives must submit to husbands as the Church to Christ.  All these attest to theological explanations.  There may have been some cultural issues and misinterpretations into these (especially the latter when men forget the sacrificial loving role of the husband), but that does not automatically dismiss the Apostles' theological/spiritual explanations, not to mention St. Paul's plea to hold on to whatever he teaches and never change the customs, and we all know how very gender nuetral St. Paul is.

Other issues that come to mind is that if the Theotokos would be considered a priest (in context of the call of Melchizedek), then there would have been no need for a Forerunner baptizing Christ and preparing His way, or the Apostles should have included women in that Holy Table breaking bread and drinking wine with Christ partaking of Him.  Surely, the speaking in tongues came to anyone, including women, but the breath of the Holy Spirit ordaining them to priesthood was reserved for the men.

There is no greater priest than the Theotokos, and in priest, I mean what is told to us in Revelations, the spiritual priest, in which we are all, in a sacramental fashion sacrificying ourselves and holding the Holy Spirit within us.  But the role of the priesthood of Melchizedek was not given to St. Mary.

Just one other thing, and I know you wanted to push a button there Wink

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Except Christ was not a mere human, he was and is theanthropic...his body and blood are not merely human but also Divine. For Just as he is fully human, so also is he fully divine. Our Lady was no less Mother to the Divinity than to the Humanity...unless you believe her to be merely Christotokos?

She held the theanthropic Logos, and she is TRULY the Theotokos, holding in her the prosopon who existed before all ages.  Yet, while she is full of grace and no one held much grace than she did, I don't believe she held all of the divinity, for the divinity was not only in her, but out of her and beyond to infinity.  I don't believe she held the Divine essence, for she can't hold all of it, but a small part of it, the energia.

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These are not analogous, for they did not give birth to Divinity.

I disagree.  Regardless of giving birth to God or not, I see the analogy.  Otherwise, there would have been no need for a Forerunner.

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What I am saying is that the Incarnation is the Eucharist [/i]par excellence[/i], it is the fullest and most complete manifestation of the Eucharist that has ever been celebrated. And in this incarnation one person alone acted on the behalf of all mankind, one person made the sacrifice that brought God to Man, these actions of our Lady are the essence of the priestly role and she fulfilled this Priestly office to a degree that no one else in the history of the world has been able to accomplish.

This is beautiful and all, but I disagree that it is some sort of Melchizedek priestly role.  The Eucharist is not just bringing Christ, but a crucified Christ.  "Here is My Body and My Blood, which is broken and shed for you."  Did she give birth to a broken and shed Christ, or did she present the prosfora that will be washed and anointed (John the Baptist) and broken (the Apostles) by the priest?  I'm not denying that she made a sacrifice herself incomparably above all priestly sacrifices, which we all must follow her example, but the order of things done is clear.

The Theotokos also represents the Church, for just as the Theotokos gave birth to God, the Church by Her baptismal womb gives birth to gods by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.  It is afterwards, in our journey after putting on Christ, do we suffer with Him.

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But seriously, the mutability or immutability of the condition does not lessen the injustice.

I don't see any injustice.  It is injustice to those who misconstrue the roles as some sort of superiority-inferiority complex, which brings me back to my belief that those who should be priests are those qualified persons who didn't want to be priests in the first place.

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Just a quick note here, I made this point earlier on the forum but in case you missed it. There seems to be a change in practice at some point between Nicea and Chalcedon. At Nicea it is clear that deaconesses were not ordained by the laying on of hands like the male clergy; however, in the canons of Chalcedon it is stated (as received practice, not innovation), that deaconesses are ordained by the laying on of hands just like male priests (this point is clearly emphasized twice in the canon, I believe canon 15 if I remember properly). This is confirmed by the Novles of Justianian which also speak of the Ordination of Deaconesses, it also states that they participate in the celebration of the 'mysterious and sacred rites' of the Church (can't remember the exact reference, but it's in a fairly recent post on this thread).

Besides the fact that I am not a Chalcedonian, it is obvious that "deaconesses" were not considered ordained in the same manner that their fellow deacons were, even the the practice is the same, such as laying of hands and cheritonia.  Therefore, if it may be "received practice and not innovation", then the idea behind it should remain the same as it was in that Nicean canon.  And in accordance with the "mysterious and sacred rites," I agree that even in Nicean times or before, that deaconesses had to help women in baptistry with the priest there or of the like, with the consecration coming from the priest, assisted by the deaconess.  If the Eucharist has to be administered to women, it was first consecrated by a priest, so forth.  A deaconess is not independant from the clergy nor is she of the clergy, but she is "among" them assisting them.

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I'd avoid that article for your posistions, it is heavily dependent on the Latin doctrine of Original Sin, which is rejected by the Orthodox, to say the least. To deny that the Image of Christ is just as present in Woman as in Man seems to me to be blasphemy against the Image of God as it is a denial of its form and existance.

Come on now!  She hardly touched on her definition of "Original Sin."  If it pleases you, replace it with "Fallen Nature" or "Corrupt Nature" or simply "The Fall."  I've also read somewhere in the GOTR that St. John Chysostom also believed gender inequalities to be a result of the fall.

God bless.

Mina
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« Reply #282 on: May 03, 2006, 10:59:00 AM »

As a cradle Orthodox woman, I have never felt like a second-class citizen in regard to church matters or otherwise.  It never occurred to me to be offended or pouty because I couldn't be an altar server.  Guess what?  God blessed me with two when I became a mother!

So many sects were started because someone didn't get his way and suddenly had a revelation of the truth.  Bah!  Pride has a lot to do with this as well.  Sounds like those people have their sights on themselves and not on God.

Does anyone actually believe that Christ would have been swayed by the customs of the time?  He bucked a lot of tradition and rules even without the priest issue.  If He meant for women to serve as priests, He would have chosen them to be Apostles.  He didn't exclude women in His ministry, however.  In fact, the Theotokos was the first one to accept Christ, thus becoming the first Christian!  The influence of women is felt in the church at home, when they teach their children, when they perform the myriad tasks needed at the temple.

ozgeorge, I'm not sure how you went from a priest being the Icon of Christ to a priest being the Icon of Christ in the Eucharist in your argument above.  I've read that the priest accepts the offering, and, by doing so, represents God accepting our offering.  There again is the "maleness" represented in the priesthood.
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« Reply #283 on: May 03, 2006, 11:08:57 AM »

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(1) The Eucharist as memorial vs. the Eucharist as re-enactment.

I believe the "memorial" is a "re-enactment," not just of the Last Supper, but of Golgotha.  To be mere memorial of Him in Golgotha would lead to the Protestant belief that the body and blood are just "mere statues of the soldiers of the Civil War", and not the real thing.  Not only was it Him we preach crucified, but Him who also broke that bread in the Last Supper, which leads to the next point:

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(2) Validity of the Notion of Priest as Icon of Christ.

Yes, the Icon of Christ gives us Christ.  Christ Himself on the Last Supper broke the bread and consecrated the wine, and did not partake of the communion until He went to Heaven.  When the priest breaks bread and consecrates the wine, it is not the priest, but Christ in Him who "sups with us" (Rev. 3:20).  There is nothing incongruous about it.  In fact, we should remember that this sacrament is a mystery, which holds an element unexplainable to us, but we practice it anyway because we know the grace of God that is contained in it.

And the sacrifice is not done on the icon of Christ's behalf, but on behalf of all.  For when Christ died on the Cross, He didn't do this for Himself, even though He was fighting sin and corruption in His humanity, but for all, so that even the priest who eats it takes the same grace and blessing as all who did, with the exception that it is he as the priest whom Christ appointed to consecrate and distribute.  Even Christ eats and drinks Them with us (Lk 22, Rev. 3) Who is the primary Consecrator and Distributer.

Christ and the Apostles, including St. Paul always asked us to follow their examples so that we may imitate things divine:  "Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ." (1 Cor. 11:1)  This is all we need to do.  And surely enough, St. Paul in that same Chapter gives an explanation of the man being the head of the woman.  Thus, this is just one of many reasons why priests must be male and that this priest becomes the Icon of Christ to all, the icon of His authority, priesthood, and service (and in some churches, physically, including the beard and hair, imitating the Nazarene practice).

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(3) How do (1) and (2) interplay?

Like I said before, memorial is re-enactment.  Otherwise, we would be Protestants in our beliefs.  Furthermore, the Eucharist is a mystery, and it is only a result of pride trying to understand more than the mystery allows us to understand.  St. Paul writes in 1 Cor. 11 (the same chapter of male-female issues) to re-enact what Christ did in the Last Supper without blemish.  This is very clear, and that this re-enactment is the re-enactment of Christ's sacrifice in Golgotha.

Furthermore, just because the priest is the icon of Christ does not mean the Eucharist is being made into something it's not.  In fact, if Christ promises to eat and drink this with us (Lk 22 and Rev. 3), then should we question Christ eating His own flesh, or do we leave it as a mystery of the communion He is establishing between us and Him?

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(4)How all this ties in with the question of women's ordination.

Therefore, since the memorial is indeed a re-enactment, and that the priest is truly the icon of Christ re-enacting Christ in the Last Supper and remembering the crucified Christ in the Eucharist, the issue of female priesthood is out of question, and male-only priesthood is indeed very valid.

God bless.

Mina
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« Reply #284 on: May 03, 2006, 11:16:28 AM »

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As a cradle Orthodox woman, I have never felt like a second-class citizen in regard to church matters or otherwise.  It never occurred to me to be offended or pouty because I couldn't be an altar server.  Guess what?  God blessed me with two when I became a mother!

You can imagine how a mother of a bishop or patriarch must have felt, or even the Theotokos herself. Smiley

God bless.

Mina
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« Reply #285 on: May 03, 2006, 12:19:45 PM »

Mina,

Excellent reply.  You said everything I was eventually going to, and probably did it better.  I especially liked this part:

I believe the "memorial" is a "re-enactment," not just of the Last Supper, but of Golgotha. ... Furthermore, just because the priest is the icon of Christ does not mean the Eucharist is being made into something it's not.  In fact, if Christ promises to eat and drink this with us (Lk 22 and Rev. 3), then should we question Christ eating His own flesh, or do we leave it as a mystery of the communion He is establishing between us and Him?

This got to the heart of the matter, I think.  Christ Himself, during the original Mystic Supper, partook of His own, yet-to-be-crucified-in-time-yet-still-eucharistically-crucified Body, as did the apostles.  Therefore the Mystic Supper was itself a memorial of Golgotha before the fact, as are our re-enactments of the Mystic Supper; we not only participate in the Mystic Supper, but also in Calvary.

Therefore, as mina said, priest=icon of Christ, priest is male.  As for GiC's comment that priest must=Jew as well, aside from what pensateomnia said re: "The New Jews" et al, which was good, I'd also add that the apostles themselves, within the NT era, appointed Gentiles to the priesthood, so obviously they made a distinction between ethnicity and gender in terms of who was eligible for the priesthood.  Obviously the "Jew/Greek, slave/free, m/f" phrase is not meant to be applied as an eligibility litmus test for the priesthood.
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« Reply #286 on: May 03, 2006, 12:35:02 PM »

(1) The Eucharist as memorial vs. the Eucharist as re-enactment.[/b]
Here's a potted explanation of the difference:
At the Mystical Supper, Our Lord Jesus Christ commanded the Apostles: "Do this in rememberance (Gk: en anemnisis) of Me."
"In rememberance" means do this in a way comparable to our custom of erecting War Memorials and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in our cities in rememberance (en anemnisis) of our soldiers who have fallen in war.
If we were to "re-enact" the Mystical Supper, not only we would be doing something comparable to staging a "Civil War Re-enactment", we would also be disobeying Christ Who commanded us to remember Him, not the Mystical Supper itself.
The Eucharist is the memorial of Christ's Sacrifice on Golgotha, not the memorial of the Mystical Supper. Thus, the Apostle says: "For as often as you eat this bread, and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death till he come." (1Cor. 11:26).
May I suggest a third way?  What if it happens that the Greek concept of "anamnesis" could be better translated into English?  For instance, what if the concept really means much more than just remembering a past event?  What if it means that we actually enter into the past event so that we are present at the event in a mystical way?  This is not a re-enactment of an event that cannot be repeated, but neither is it strictly memorial in the English sense of the word.
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« Reply #287 on: May 03, 2006, 12:35:45 PM »

This got to the heart of the matter, I think.  Christ Himself, during the original Mystic Supper, partook of His own, yet-to-be-crucified-in-time-yet-still-eucharistically-crucified Body, as did the apostles.  Therefore the Mystic Supper was itself a memorial of Golgotha before the fact, as are our re-enactments of the Mystic Supper; we not only participate in the Mystic Supper, but also in Calvary.

Actually, the majority of Orthodox do not believe that the "institution" of the Eucharist took place at the mystic supper.  It is considered to be Christ perhaps beginning the "setting in motion" of the "institution" of the Eucharist, but not the complete Eucharist.

Apart from this, I think the "iconic" argument for the male priesthood originally put forward by Latin theologians is a good argument, and is not given enough credit sometimes.
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« Reply #288 on: May 03, 2006, 01:34:02 PM »

Actually, the majority of Orthodox do not believe that the "institution" of the Eucharist took place at the mystic supper.  It is considered to be Christ perhaps beginning the "setting in motion" of the "institution" of the Eucharist, but not the complete Eucharist.

Huh.  Never heard this one.  Do you have any references for that?  And does this mean, if such is the case, that these Orthodox don't believe that the bread and wine really became His Body and Blood like it does for us when Christ did it in the original mystic supper?
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« Reply #289 on: May 03, 2006, 01:48:14 PM »

Therefore, as mina said, priest=icon of Christ, priest is male.  As for GiC's comment that priest must=Jew as well, aside from what pensateomnia said re: "The New Jews" et al, which was good, I'd also add that the apostles themselves, within the NT era, appointed Gentiles to the priesthood, so obviously they made a distinction between ethnicity and gender in terms of who was eligible for the priesthood.  Obviously the "Jew/Greek, slave/free, m/f" phrase is not meant to be applied as an eligibility litmus test for the priesthood.

Let me be more clear about my own beliefs: I think ordination of women to the priesthood (1) will NOT happen in the canonical Orthodox Church; (2) SHOULD not happen; and (3) discussion of it is fraught with peril, especially on a forum such as this, since it is far too easy to be misunderstood.

That said, I really think the whole "Icon of Christ" argument should be chucked out the window. It is NOT one used by the ancient Fathers, and it just doesn't make good theological or liturgical sense. In order for it to even BEGIN to make theological sense, one would have to define how male "nature" -- if that is even a valid theological (as opposed to behavioral, etc.) category! -- is ONTOLOGICALLY different than female "nature." Then, one would have to explain how that ONTOLOGICALLY different nature is somehow uniquely what Christ assumed/is. I doubt one could do either. That's why the Fathers and the Church’s hymnography *always* say that Christ became HUMAN, or He took on HUMAN nature...not that he became a MALE.

From a liturgical and patristic point of view, there's little, if any, indication that the priest being in persona Christi is anything other than analogical and angogical.

St. Ignatius, for example, compares priests to the Apostles and the BISHOP to Christ in several passages, but, when he does so, he is always making a point about the offices' AUTHORITY and the individual's moral uprightness. St. Ignatius' point isn't about gender or ontological representation, but about order, orthodox teaching and submission to authority. Further, in more direct passages, such as Magnesians 3.1, St. Ignatius draws a parallel between the Bishop and God the Father. How would gender have anything to do with this representation? Are we to assume, then, that Saint Ignatius was trying to insist on a male episcopacy because he believed the Father was, in fact, MALE? No. Because St. Ignatius is concerned with the SOURCE of priestly authority, not the priesthood as an iconic representation. Bishops, priests and deacons are authoritative teachers and moral guides because their authority comes from God, not because their gender happens to be male.

(Anyway, St. Ignatius also says Bishops equal God the Father; priests are like the Apostles; and deacons represent Christ. Why? Because deacons are "Icons" of Christ in so far as they are servants, i.e. because of moral action/life, not because of some mystical ontological equivalence).

Similar principles hold true for other Fathers who speak of an analogical relationship between priest and Christ, Who is, of course THE priest.

Finally, as others have mentioned, the priest prays the anaphora and celebrates the Divine Mysteries not as a representative or Icon of Christ to the people, but as a representative of the people (the Church) to God the Father THROUGH Christ and the Holy Spirit. This is an important distinction between old-school Roman Catholic sacramental theology and Orthodox liturgy/theology: in persona Christi vs. in persona Ecclesiae.
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« Reply #290 on: May 03, 2006, 02:26:13 PM »

Pensateomnia,

So then, why DO you think that the male priesthood is something that will and SHOULD remain in the Church, if not for the priest-as-icon thing?

Personally, I see the priest-as-both-Christi-and-Ecclesia as a perfectly acceptable position...
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« Reply #291 on: May 03, 2006, 02:29:41 PM »

Huh.  Never heard this one.  Do you have any references for that?  

No, but so far I have found 4 or 5 patristic and modern references that contradict my assertions explicitly or implicitly!  Maybe I will have to eat my words here.  Obviously I will have to dig deeper and perhaps even admit that I am wrong.    Unbelievable!  Wink Tongue

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« Reply #292 on: May 03, 2006, 04:04:47 PM »

Personally, I see the priest-as-both-Christi-and-Ecclesia as a perfectly acceptable position...

PERHAPS if one is willing to admit (1) it is not a theologoumenon that comes from the ancient Fathers; (2) that the priest as "icon" is "iconic" in a purely symbolic or exterior sense, i.e. he must be male to the same degree that an Icon of Christ must portray Christ as a male, not as a female...(although if general exterior features are the critical thing, what, then, does one do with the numerous Icons of Christ as an African, Byzantine Emperor, Roman senator, German and/or Chinese wise man?).

If THIS is what the priest as "icon" means, however, then it is a rather weak argument in this particular debate, since it is not grounded in any dogmatic or ontological reality, but only in questions of form.

And, thus, one is still faced with the essential theological question: If Christ assumed HUMAN nature, in what way -- ontologically -- do males have the exclusive, categorical ability to "represent" Christ?

(Further, as this theologoumenon is applied within this particular debate, it completely sidesteps the essential Patristic message that the ordained clergy (all priestly offices, not just the presbyters!) are Icons of Christ not because of exterior representation but because of their charismata, their office, their moral/spiritual life and their orthodox teaching. Thus, a re-interpreted theologoumenon is elevated to the status of one of THE defining elements of the priesthood...it's just way too ad hoc).
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« Reply #293 on: May 03, 2006, 05:42:09 PM »

Pensateomnia,

You make a good point.  TO repeat my question, though, why, then, DO you think that the male priesthood is something that will and SHOULD remain in the Church, if not for the priest-as-icon thing?
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« Reply #294 on: May 03, 2006, 06:15:26 PM »

To be mere memorial of Him in Golgotha would lead to the Protestant belief that the body and blood are just "mere statues of the soldiers of the Civil War", and not the real thing.  
How so? How does being a re-enactment make them "the real thing"? A re-enactment is a play, it is theatre. When you watched the Mel Gibson movie "The Passion of The Christ", did you believe the red liquid which was sprayed on the pillar and the ground as the actor playing Christ was "scourged" was actually "The Precious Blood of Christ"? How did being a re-enactment make it a reality?

When the priest breaks bread and consecrates the wine, it is not the priest, but Christ in Him who "sups with us" (Rev. 3:20).
So who "sups with us" when we are ill and the Deacon brings us the Holy Gifts to Commune? Yes it is Mystery, but you seem to wish to substitute Mystery with Theatre.


Christ and the Apostles, including St. Paul always asked us to follow their examples so that we may imitate things divine:  "Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ." (1 Cor. 11:1)  This is all we need to do.  And surely enough, St. Paul in that same Chapter gives an explanation of the man being the head of the woman.  Thus, this is just one of many reasons why priests must be male and that this priest becomes the Icon of Christ to all, the icon of His authority, priesthood, and service (and in some churches, physically, including the beard and hair, imitating the Nazarene practice).
So, by this logic, not only can women not imitate the Apostles, they cannot imitate Christ. Christianity is therefore a faith only for males.
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« Reply #295 on: May 03, 2006, 06:32:10 PM »

May I suggest a third way?  What if it happens that the Greek concept of "anamnesis" could be better translated into English?  For instance, what if the concept really means much more than just remembering a past event?  What if it means that we actually enter into the past event so that we are present at the event in a mystical way?  This is not a re-enactment of an event that cannot be repeated, but neither is it strictly memorial in the English sense of the word.
This is actually correct, but had I tried to explain it, I could see what was going to happen- I would again be accused of being Protestant. As I have already been accused of being so anyway, I guess it makes no difference.
"Anemnesis" includes the notion of "making present again", it makes a reaity that once was in the past "present in the present again". In the case of the Eucharist, the Mystery not only makes the Sacrifice of Golgotha "present again", it also makes the Eternal Feast in the Kingdom of Heaven present, so that in Communing we become partakers of a foretast of the Kingdom of Heaven as well as sharers in the Body and Blood of Christ Broken and Poured out on Golgotha "so that sins may be forgiven". And when the Priest communes us, these two realities are mentioned: "The Servant of God, N, Communes of the Body and Blood of Christ to the forgiveness of sins and Eternal Life. Amen"
So these two realities, the Sacrifice of Christ and the Eternal Kingdom are made present again in the Eucharist, that is, they are "re-presented." But if the Eucharist is a re-enactment, these two realities are not "re-presented", but merely "represented".
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« Reply #296 on: May 03, 2006, 08:51:13 PM »

This is actually correct, but had I tried to explain it, I could see what was going to happen- I would again be accused of being Protestant. As I have already been accused of being so anyway, I guess it makes no difference.
"Anemnesis" includes the notion of "making present again", it makes a reaity that once was in the past "present in the present again". In the case of the Eucharist, the Mystery not only makes the Sacrifice of Golgotha "present again", it also makes the Eternal Feast in the Kingdom of Heaven present...
To continue this train of thought...
Anemnesis is not only the remembrance or making present past realities but also future realities as well.  As the anaphoral prayer of St Basil continues after the words of institution, "Do this in remembrance of Me!  For as often as you eat this Bread and drink this Cup, you proclaim My Death, you profess My Resurrection!"  It doesn't say re-enact My Death, re-enact My Resurrection.  Continuing, "Therefore, we also, O Master, remembering His saving Passion and life-creating Cross, His three-day Burial and Resurrection from the dead, His Ascension into heaven and Sitting at the right hand of the God and Father, and His glorious and awesome Second Coming..." An event yet to take place.  Unless I am missing something, the prayer neither states nor alludes to a re-enactment.
Now, in reference to the priest as in persona Christi, the priest continues the prayer "Therefore, most holy Master, we also, Thy sinful and unworthy servants, whom Thou hast permitted to serve at Thy Holy altar not because of our own righteousness (for we have done nothing good upon the earth) but because of Thy mercy and compassions (which Thou hast so richly poured out on us)..."  If the priest is the icon of Christ, why does the priest, at this very moment, refer to himself as "sinful and unworthy" and that he serves at the altar not because of his own righteousness?  This certainly doesn't sound like an icon of Christ but an icon of humanity, an icon of us all, female and male.
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« Reply #297 on: May 04, 2006, 12:29:31 AM »

How so? How does being a re-enactment make them "the real thing"? A re-enactment is a play, it is theatre. When you watched the Mel Gibson movie "The Passion of The Christ", did you believe the red liquid which was sprayed on the pillar and the ground as the actor playing Christ was "scourged" was actually "The Precious Blood of Christ"? How did being a re-enactment make it a reality?

You make a good point.  A re-enactment does not make something real, and you are right.  However, to make things mere memorial is also weak on your part, if not weaker.

When one participates in the Liturgy, a lot of the prayers do become a re-enactment.  When we say "Take eat of it all of you, for this is My body," or "take drink of it all of you, for this is My blood of the new covenant," we are re-enacting the Last Supper, and not merely remembering Him.  When we have something as real as the Body and Blood of Christ, mere memory is not enough according to St. Paul, but the way we practice is how we should remember, and the way we practice IS TRULY INDEED re-enactment.  I don't see how re-enactment makes something merely "represented."  You "re-present" it when you re-enact as well.

And I don't think I called you Protestant, but just your way of thinking.  Forgive me if you were offended (I didn't think you were the type of person to be offended anyway), but you seemed to forget that we do re-enact in our Liturgies, and St. Paul even mentions in an indirect manner that we should re-enact.  And who else breaks the bread other than the priest?  Who else consecrates the wine other than the priest?

Now, let's reverse this question.  Who else in the Bible broke bread or consecrated the wine before distributing them?  Now that one sees this as a "re-enactment" and not just mere "memorial," the priest is considered the icon of Christ.

And just to be fair, the way you defined "amnesis" was the way I define "re-enactment."  So when you say that we don't re-enact, it only made me wonder how you missed out on the Liturgical "re-enactments" themselves, and the Church structure as well.

Quote
So who "sups with us" when we are ill and the Deacon brings us the Holy Gifts to Commune? Yes it is Mystery, but you seem to wish to substitute Mystery with Theatre.

You seem to forget that there is a "theatre."  What's the point of icons or the Church structure if we don't "re-enact"?  What's the point of incense, if it's nothing but what happens in heaven?  Or the praise of "Holy, Holy, Holy"?  How are all of these not "re-enactments"?  When something is "amnesis," not only is it memorial, but we LIVE in the memorial, we LIVE in the roleplaying.  Yes, call it a "theatre," but mere theatrics, as you correctly pointed is only fake, but what we have is real and we live in the roles, or as you correctly put it "makes a reality that once was in the past present in the present again."  And as Carpatho correctly puts it, not only past, but present and future.

And when the priest issue comes up, the first thing an Orthodox or Catholic Christian says is that men and women have "roles", and that a priest is not superior to laymen neither are laymen, which includes women, inferior to priests, but one submits to the authority of the other, while the other sacrifices himself in the service for the one.  The word "role" itself is also extended to those confused concerning homosexual relationships, and how one understands that not only biologically, but even spiritually, God intended men and women to have a heterosexual sort of relationship, if there is a relationship to begin with, but never homosexual.  We are in a "divine play," not just "memorial statues," and we live the role for the sake of grace, not just pretend to live the role for vanity's sake.

As for your question, when the priest eats and drinks, not only is it for His own good, but clearly, as a conclusion to the thought of Him being the icon of Christ (or even the icon of the Father, which all the more proves the point), he represents Christ who said to "sup" with us.  And yes, Christ is supping with all of us, when we eat it.  He passes the Spirit of this Icon to all of us.

We also say amongst ourselves that when we kiss the hands of a priest, we are kissing the hands of Christ.

Now anticipating to what you may say, that doesn't mean we don't see Christ in anyone, for Christ came for everyone salvation, and the Image of God is in both man and woman.  It is only different when roleplaying and re-enacting, we imitate things divine for the grace that is provided for us, and that goes for both priesthood and marriage.  It was a logical outcome for the Anglican Church to go from female priesthood to the acceptance of homosexuality as a way of life because of merely practicing a memory, and not a true re-enactment.

Quote
So, by this logic, not only can women not imitate the Apostles, they cannot imitate Christ. Christianity is therefore a faith only for males.

Where did I say that?  He asked those to imitate him as he imitates Christ.  Not only does this mean in righteousness, but also in context of this verse, he writes in the next verse:  "Now I praise you, brethren, that you remember me in all things and keep the traditions just as I delivered them to you."  This included the head coverings and the spiritual teachings behind the head coverings and ends it with "But if anyone seems to be contentious, we have no such custom, nor do the churches of God."  St. Paul starts with a plea and ends with stubborness.  This is serious stuff.

Thus, when asking people to imitate him, and that man is the head of woman, while Christ is the head of man, is he saying that woman is inferior to man?  If not, then how is it that you can misconstrue my words into thinking Christianity is only for males?  When I say that St. Paul to imitate him, I was:

1.  Referencing 1 Cor. 11, which is personally a pivotal point to the dialogue.
2.  Saying that one should keep the tradition as it always was because there's a spiritual reason (the Father is the head of Christ).

If we imitate St. Paul, we are not only imitating what he's doing but also what he's teaching, and what he taught is very important.  And when I say we should imitate things divine as Christ, St. Paul, and the Apostles taught (such as husband and wife in relation to Christ and the Church), then this does not exclude women (otherwise, you would be asking men to become wives).  Or when I write something like:

Quote
And surely enough, St. Paul in that same Chapter gives an explanation of the man being the head of the woman.

If women are excluded from Christianity, then how can I even say that man should be the head of woman, unless a man wants to make himself a woman?

God bless.

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« Reply #298 on: May 04, 2006, 04:10:48 AM »

Pedro,

(1) The Eucharist as memorial vs. the Eucharist as re-enactment.

Here's a potted explanation of the difference:
At the Mystical Supper, Our Lord Jesus Christ commanded the Apostles: "Do this in rememberance (Gk: en anemnisis) of Me."
"In rememberance" means do this in a way comparable to our custom of erecting War Memorials and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in our cities in rememberance (en anemnisis) of our soldiers who have fallen in war.
If we were to "re-enact" the Mystical Supper, not only we would be doing something comparable to staging a "Civil War Re-enactment", we would also be disobeying Christ Who commanded us to remember Him, not the Mystical Supper itself.
The Eucharist is the memorial of Christ's Sacrifice on Golgotha, not the memorial of the Mystical Supper. Thus, the Apostle says: "For as often as you eat this bread, and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death till he come." (1Cor. 11:26).
Jeus Himself noted that His body is real food. And, lest anyone suggest it was merely a metaphor, He repeats and emphasises that it is.

Sometimes Jesus spoke metaphorically;

1. I am the light of the world (John 8:12)

2. I am the door (John 10:9)

3. I am the good shepherd (John 10:11)

4. I am the resurrection and the life (John 11:25)

5. I am the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6)

 

However Jesus says that His Body and Blood are really food and drink…

 

John 6:35 Then Jesus declared, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty. 36 But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe. 37 All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. 38 For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. 39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. 40 For my Father's will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day."

 

    41 At this the Jews began to grumble about him because he said, "I am the bread that came down from heaven." 42 They said, "Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say, 'I came down from heaven'?"

 

    43 "Stop grumbling among yourselves," Jesus answered. 44 "No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day. 45 It is written in the Prophets: 'They will all be taught by God.' Everyone who listens to the Father and learns from him comes to me. 46 No one has seen the Father except the one who is from God; only he has seen the Father. 47 I tell you the truth, he who believes has everlasting life. 48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your forefathers ate the manna in the desert, yet they died. 50 But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which a man may eat and not die. 51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world."

 

    52 Then the Jews began to argue sharply among themselves, "How can this man give us his flesh to eat?"

 

    53 Jesus said to them, "I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. 55 For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. 56 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him. 57 Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. 58 This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your forefathers ate manna and died, but he who feeds on this bread will live forever." 59 He said this while teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum.

It is why all three Synoptic Gospels show that it is a COVENANT...
Matthew 26:27 Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you. 28 This is my blood of the new covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.

Mark 14:24 "This is my blood of the new covenant, which is poured out for many," he said to them

Luke 22:20 In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.



And it is why Paul says it is not just a commemrative meal - he says if you're hungry eat at home, because this is a special meal.

 

1 Corinthians 11:20 When you come together, it is not the Lord's Supper you eat, 21 for as you eat, each of you goes ahead without waiting for anybody else. One remains hungry, another gets drunk. 22 Don't you have homes to eat and drink in?




He is saying that when the believers come together normally to eat together it is NOT the same as the Lord's Supper. The Lord's Supper is different.

 

1 Corinthians 11:26 For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes.

 27 Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. 28 A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup. 29 For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself.

 

He is saying that partaking of this bread and cup in sin is to sin against the flesh and blood of the Lord BECAUSE it is the flesh and blood of the Lord as proclaimed by Jesus (John 6:55)

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« Reply #299 on: May 04, 2006, 05:44:12 AM »

"My side"? What side am I on other than the side of those seeking examination, dialogue, and discussion about this?
If only.
You've berrated one convert here for being zealously in favour of tradition. You've cited that no evidence, none has been presented to you by those in favour of tradition, other than the Bible. When I point out further evidence you go on about how your time is precious, and that I've just googled it - so you instantly dismiss any evidence based on your own suppositions. And what do you add in return? Opinion.
On the contrary, once you believe that "My Priest, Father So-and-So says" is the equivalent of Holy Tradition, then you can kiss Holy Tradition goodbye. Oral Tradition means the teachings of the Apostles which were orally transmitted and recorded. It doesn't mean: "St. John told St. Prochoros, who told Fr. X who told Fr. Y who
told Fr. Z......who told my priest who told me"
And there you go again, re-working the evidence presented against you. How you can keep doing this is beyond me.
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« Reply #300 on: May 04, 2006, 05:46:14 AM »

What evidence are you talking about?  I asked a question.
Well your question was answered by those trying cultural relativity. Not by me, but by another

I didn't note who showed it, but they showed...
“The practice of women prophesying at the church in Corinth would have had no negative reaction from Greek culture, at least not for being done by females. On the contrary, two of the most famous oracles of the Greek world had at their heart women who were used as vehicles to medate the message of the god. Women played key roles in the public celebrations of many cults, and there is little doubt that at least some of these roles involved speaking: prayers, words of consecration of the sacrifice, perhaps instruction in the mysteries or words of assurance or warning to initiates. The only trouble Christian prophetesses would have caused the surrounding culture would have been due to the fact that the religion was foreign and denounced traditional faiths as false. But this has nothing to do with women's roles”
http://campus.houghton.edu/webs/employees/tpaige/Construct.html
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« Reply #301 on: May 04, 2006, 06:39:15 AM »

When one participates in the Liturgy, a lot of the prayers do become a re-enactment.  When we say "Take eat of it all of you, for this is My body," or "take drink of it all of you, for this is My blood of the new covenant," we are re-enacting the Last Supper, and not merely remembering Him.
If we were re-enacting the Last Supper in the Eucharist, then these words of Christ should be suffient to consecrate the Holy Gifts. But this is not the Orthodox understanding of the Eucharist. The gifts are consecrated by the priest's prayer of the  Epiclesis, not by repeating Christ's words of institution. We are not re-enacting the Last Supper in the Eucharist. To re-enact the Last Supper, we would have to have only 13 people present, be sitting reclined, the Priest should wash everyone's feet first, we should eat a meal during which we break the bread, and we should drink the wine after the conclusion of the meal, and one of the people present should betray the Priest to the local authorities.

When we have something as real as the Body and Blood of Christ, mere memory is not enough according to St. Paul, but the way we practice is how we should remember, and the way we practice IS TRULY INDEED re-enactment.  I don't see how re-enactment makes something merely "represented."  You "re-present" it when you re-enact as well.
But in the "re-enactment theory" of the Eucharist, the Priest is the "Icon of Christ"- so doesn't that make the Bread and Wine the "Icon of the Body and Blood of Christ" rather than the prototype?

You seem to forget that there is a "theatre."  What's the point of icons or the Church structure if we don't "re-enact"?  What's the point of incense, if it's nothing but what happens in heaven?  Or the praise of "Holy, Holy, Holy"?  How are all of these not "re-enactments"?  When something is "amnesis," not only is it memorial, but we LIVE in the memorial, we LIVE in the roleplaying.  
My dear friend, you see, you used the word clearly here: "roleplaying". This makes the "Eucharist as re-enactment" no different to the animist rituals of shamans who put on masks and "roleplay" the gods and spirits and totems which the masks represent.

As for your question, when the priest eats and drinks, not only is it for His own good, but clearly, as a conclusion to the thought of Him being the icon of Christ (or even the icon of the Father, which all the more proves the point), he represents Christ who said to "sup" with us.  
Nope, you missed the point again.
The Eucharist is the Sacrifice of Golgotha. If the Priest is the :"Icon of Christ", then the "Icon of Christ" offers the Sacrifice on behalf of himself as well as the people. It is the fact that the "Icon of Christ" offers the Sacrifice of Christ on behalf of the "Icon of Christ" which is incongruous.

It is only different when roleplaying and re-enacting, we imitate things divine for the grace that is provided for us, and that goes for both priesthood and marriage.
So the Eucharist is not the Divine Liturgy, but the imitation of the Divine Liturgy?  Not in the Church in which I worship it isn't. It is The Divine Liturgy in my Church. I think a big part of your problem with this is a confusion of an Icon with it's prototype. I repeat again: the Eucharist is a Prototype, it is not an "Icon" of anything.

It was a logical outcome for the Anglican Church to go from female priesthood to the acceptance of homosexuality as a way of life because of merely practicing a memory, and not a true re-enactment.
Same illogical argument: "womanhood leads to sin". This is nonsense. If anything, homosexual transvestites would be most at home at your "re-enactment Eucharist"- they would love dressing up in embroidered vestments and roleplaying!
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« Reply #302 on: May 04, 2006, 06:41:47 AM »

Pensateomnia,

You make a good point.  TO repeat my question, though, why, then, DO you think that the male priesthood is something that will and SHOULD remain in the Church, if not for the priest-as-icon thing?
At last, someone wanting to return this thread to the OP! Cheesy

Still there has been no good reason put forward for change.
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« Reply #303 on: May 04, 2006, 07:07:11 AM »

Well your question was answered by those trying cultural relativity. Not by me, but by another

I didn't note who showed it, but they showed...
“The practice of women prophesying at the church in Corinth would have had no negative reaction from Greek culture, at least not for being done by females. On the contrary, two of the most famous oracles of the Greek world had at their heart women who were used as vehicles to medate the message of the god. Women played key roles in the public celebrations of many cults, and there is little doubt that at least some of these roles involved speaking: prayers, words of consecration of the sacrifice, perhaps instruction in the mysteries or words of assurance or warning to initiates. The only trouble Christian prophetesses would have caused the surrounding culture would have been due to the fact that the religion was foreign and denounced traditional faiths as false. But this has nothing to do with women's roles”
http://campus.houghton.edu/webs/employees/tpaige/Construct.html

Thanks for repeating that one, Montalban.  Scholarship beats speculation and unfounded presuppositions any time of the day.  At least now I know that the advocates of female priesthood on this board are fond of making things up.  I am positive that readers can distinguish fact from fiction.  

Let's just hope that the admins do their job and close this thread.  Any agument that is solely SPECULATIVE is never a good thing, especially to the Orthodox Church.  
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« Reply #304 on: May 04, 2006, 07:20:57 AM »

Let's just hope that the admins do their job and close this thread.  Any agument that is solely SPECULATIVE is never a good thing, especially to the Orthodox Church.  
Firstly, this is a forum, not the Orthodox Church.
Secondly, the Admins are doing their job in providing a moderated forum.
Thirdly I don't see anything "speculative" except in the statement quoted by montalban which says in part:
Quote
"and there is little doubt that at least some of these roles involved ....."
The words "and there is little doubt" means that there is some doubt- in other words, it is speculation.
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« Reply #305 on: May 04, 2006, 07:53:45 AM »

Thanks for repeating that one, Montalban.  Scholarship beats speculation and unfounded presuppositions any time of the day.  At least now I know that the advocates of female priesthood on this board are fond of making things up.  I am positive that readers can distinguish fact from fiction.  
Some can. Some are too proud to admit that they as individuals might be in error.
Let's just hope that the admins do their job and close this thread.  Any argument that is solely SPECULATIVE is never a good thing, especially to the Orthodox Church.  
Indeed. Odd that some in the 'opposition' posits nothing but opinion, whilst graphically down-playing evidence that is in fact presented AND at the same time refusing to provide any good reasons for change.

Maybe we're seeing the birth of Protestant Orthodoxy. Orthodox driven away from tradition because of modernism. I would not mind if they did close it, because we've gone for days with out any 'real' discussion of fact.
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« Reply #306 on: May 04, 2006, 08:02:57 AM »

Firstly, this is a forum, not the Orthodox Church.
A truism. But it's good to discuss the mind of the Orthodox Church to defend it against those who need to attack it due to modernist opinion. I can't wait for your posting of some evidence other than repeating your own opinion.
Thirdly I don't see anything "speculative" except in the statement quoted by Montalban which says in part: The words "and there is little doubt" means that there is some doubt- in other words, it is speculation.
Almost there!

1st statement:
I am certain of Orthodoxy.
2nd statement:
There are a few who doubt Orthodox truth.

The second statement saying that there is doubt is not speculative that there is doubt. It is stating a fact. It might be considered speculative on the amount of doubt; that there is little doubt, as opposed to a 'great deal of doubt'. Now in the context of the whole quote, if you believe that they are wrong in stating that there is little doubt, and instead there is a great deal of doubt, you're yet to show any proofs that their choice of words is speculative. (Granted they have not offered any proofs as to numbers of people polled, etc.)

Now as to your statements being speculative, they are a whole heap of opinion that women might be priests based on the opinion that they can possibly be priests. That is speculation, or maybe more accurately presumption.
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« Reply #307 on: May 04, 2006, 08:40:21 AM »

However, to make things mere memorial is also weak on your part, if not weaker.
It is not a mere memorial.  Re-read ozgeorge's and my comments.  It is a making present a past or future reality.  There is a difference in re-enactment and making present.  In re-enacting we are watching something that previously happened.  In making present, we participate in the actual event, not a re-enactment.  As the church sings on major holy days, "Today He is hung upon a tree", "The Virgin gives birth today", etc.
When we say "Take eat of it all of you, for this is My body," or "take drink of it all of you, for this is My blood of the new covenant," we are re-enacting the Last Supper, and not merely remembering Him.
The prayer continues, "Do this in memory of me!"  Do what in memory of me?  The answer, "Take eat...Take drink", not re-enact the Last Supper.
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« Reply #308 on: May 04, 2006, 08:42:49 AM »

Quote
Let's just hope that the admins do their job and close this thread.  Any agument that is solely SPECULATIVE is never a good thing, especially to the Orthodox Church.  

Why exactly would it be our job to close it?

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Past posts reflect stages of my life before my baptism may not be accurate expositions of Orthodox teaching. Also, I served as an Orthodox priest from 2008-2013, before resigning.
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« Reply #309 on: May 04, 2006, 09:22:17 AM »

It is not a mere memorial.  Re-read ozgeorge's and my comments.  It is a making present a past or future reality.  There is a difference in re-enactment and making present.  In re-enacting we are watching something that previously happened.  In making present, we participate in the actual
Exasperating, isn't it? Welcome to my world.  Cheesy
The problem I think is that some people on this thread assume I am pushing for women's ordination, so rather than looking at what is said, it is immediately dismissed and assumed that the opposite must be true.
I've said from the start: I know that the Church from the beginning to the present has not ordained women to the Priesthood or Episcopy. However, I don't know whether a male-only priesthood is dogma or not. And the arguments that people use to say it is dogma I find questionable, not  because they are a hinderance to women's ordination, but because I think they are a distortion of Orthodox doctrine.
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« Reply #310 on: May 04, 2006, 09:28:29 AM »

Firstly, this is a forum, not the Orthodox Church.
Secondly, the Admins are doing their job in providing a moderated forum.
Thirdly I don't see anything "speculative" except in the statement quoted by montalban which says in part: The words "and there is little doubt" means that there is some doubt- in other words, it is speculation.

Interesting that there were some in the thread who at least wanted to examine whys and whats and all, kind of like "refining" thoughts and arguements and not just "X? No! end of story".  Isn't that one of the reasons that a forum might exist? To at least get some understanding of other positions?  

I agree with you OzGeorge. The Admins are doing their job.  

One wonders *whY* someone would want the thread closed.  What is it doing by being here?

Ebor
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« Reply #311 on: May 04, 2006, 09:35:59 AM »

Exasperating, isn't it? Welcome to my world.  Cheesy
The problem I think is that some people on this thread assume I am pushing for women's ordination, so rather than looking at what is said, it is immediately dismissed and assumed that the opposite must be true.

I'd noticed that you had never said anything about pushing it; you were looking at the subject.  It was interesting to see the jumping to conclusions/assumptions.  "You bring up Z? You must want Z."  

Sigh

Ebor
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« Reply #312 on: May 04, 2006, 09:45:00 AM »

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If we were re-enacting the Last Supper in the Eucharist, then these words of Christ should be suffient to consecrate the Holy Gifts. But this is not the Orthodox understanding of the Eucharist. The gifts are consecrated by the priest's prayer of the  Epiclesis, not by repeating Christ's words of institution. We are not re-enacting the Last Supper in the Eucharist. To re-enact the Last Supper, we would have to have only 13 people present, be sitting reclined, the Priest should wash everyone's feet first, we should eat a meal during which we break the bread, and we should drink the wine after the conclusion of the meal, and one of the people present should betray the Priest to the local authorities.

There is no mere re-enacting, but also prayer.  I don't say take everything to the extremes, and I agree that the priest consecrates by the Epiclesis, but what is so necessary about repeating Christ's words if it was just memorial?  We have the icon of the Last Supper showing 11 Apostles and Judas the betrayer leaving in the background.  We have 12 icons of the 12 Apostles, six on each side.  In some churches (especially the Coptic Church), the east altar includes Christ sitting on his throne with the 24 priests.  Confession and repentance is always the spiritual re-enacting of the washing of feet, and we celebrate the literal washing of feet on Holy Thursday of Pascha Week, where the Priest girds himself and washes all the people's feet.  Some churches offer an agape meal after the Eucharist, which only re-enacts or imitates the Last Supper, and I don't mind the drinking of wine.

The icons of the Church we have do most of the re-enacting for us; there is no need to take it to the extremes and have a "Judas."  We are doing things considered as God's desire or will, and we do them to imitate Him and the good things.  In Palm Sunday, we raise palms in the air and sing "Hosanna to the highest, hosanna to the Son of David, blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord."  In the Coptic Church, starting Holy Wednesday of Pascha (Coptic tradition), since it was the day of betrayal, we do not shake one another's hands to commemorate the evil Judas did up until Joyous Saturday.

The church building itself is a stage of the heavens, the altar being represented as the Holy of holies, where the throne of Christ is, which is why it is elevated above the rest of the Kingdom of Heaven.

How in all this do you not see some re-enactments?  I'm not saying to take it to extremes where we do a full-pledged Broadway play, but I'm saying that re-enactments are very clear by the structure of the Church, iconagraphy, and (tadadada) the roles of laity and priests, men and women, while also having the element of praying.

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But in the "re-enactment theory" of the Eucharist, the Priest is the "Icon of Christ"- so doesn't that make the Bread and Wine the "Icon of the Body and Blood of Christ" rather than the prototype?

I already implicitly answered this.  Who else but Christ Himself who broke bread and blessed the wine?  Unless you want to tell me that when Christ says "He will drink and eat with us," He meant He will eat the prototype because He's already there.  It's only a weak attempt on your behalf to belittle my idea of what I learned as Orthodox tradition.

Like I said, a re-enactment means we live the role.  So, if the priest is the icon of Christ, He is truly in the priest by the special grace of the Spirit in him.  Don't we say to the bishops, "you are a high priest forever, according to the order of Melchizedek?"  This echoes the same words said to Christ.

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My dear friend, you see, you used the word clearly here: "roleplaying". This makes the "Eucharist as re-enactment" no different to the animist rituals of shamans who put on masks and "roleplay" the gods and spirits and totems which the masks represent.

I could say the same about "memorial," which makes it nothing more than a memorial stone full of names of veterans, who we believe are truly present in the names.  Where is the argument you made here?

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Nope, you missed the point again.
The Eucharist is the Sacrifice of Golgotha. If the Priest is the :"Icon of Christ", then the "Icon of Christ" offers the Sacrifice on behalf of himself as well as the people. It is the fact that the "Icon of Christ" offers the Sacrifice of Christ on behalf of the "Icon of Christ" which is incongruous.

The priest takes two roles.  It is the fact that the "Icon of Christ" offers the Sacrifice of Christ on behalf of his own human weakness and all other human weakness, while re-enacting the role of Christ drinking it with us.  We commemorate all aspects of the Eucharist, Golgotha being the most important.

St. Paul writes in Hebrews 5 the qualifications of priests and mentioning their weaknesses, then attests that their priesthood comes from Christ, quoting the Psalmist concerning the "priesthood forever according to the order of Melchizedek."  Christ did not glorify Himself for the priesthood, but the Father did to Him, so also we are called to the priesthood, but we do not choose this honor for ourselves.  So this chapter alone proves that priests represent and become icons and images of Christ's priesthood.  And get this, priests are weak because they're human persons, but Christ was never weak, but took others' weaknesses, for our sake.  So while St. Paul says priests should have compassion to the weak because they're weak, and analogizing our priesthood to Christ's, is he saying Christ is naturally weak?

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So the Eucharist is not the Divine Liturgy, but the imitation of the Divine Liturgy?  Not in the Church in which I worship it isn't. It is The Divine Liturgy in my Church. I think a big part of your problem with this is a confusion of an Icon with it's prototype. I repeat again: the Eucharist is a Prototype, it is not an "Icon" of anything.

It seems that you missed the point as well.  When Christ blesses the Eucharist, where is Christ's body, in the Eucharist or in Him?  If both, you have no right to think of the body and blood not present but merely symbolized by bread and wine, since we are not only playing roles, but LIVING it, and when living it, lo and behold, the True Body and True Divine Blood is before us, and we all worship.  The Eucharist is not an icon, it is real.  We are all icons re-enacting what is real.

It is also not in the Church I worship too. Smiley  The Body and Blood is real.

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Same illogical argument: "womanhood leads to sin". This is nonsense. If anything, homosexual transvestites would be most at home at your "re-enactment Eucharist"- they would love dressing up in embroidered vestments and roleplaying!

In the Bible, you can't escape St. Paul's teaching about women's role in submission to men, and how he connects it to things divine.  If you want to call someone "anti-womanhood", you would have to go through St. Paul first.

You also can't escape the logical outcomes that came about the Anglican Church.  I'm not accusing you of endorsing anything; I'm only showing where your argument produces faults.  You misconstrued before and thought I called you Protestant, while I was only alluding to your arguments.

Dear Carpatho,

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It is not a mere memorial.  Re-read ozgeorge's and my comments.  It is a making present a past or future reality.  There is a difference in re-enactment and making present.  In re-enacting we are watching something that previously happened.  In making present, we participate in the actual event, not a re-enactment.  As the church sings on major holy days, "Today He is hung upon a tree", "The Virgin gives birth today", etc.

I've also explained that "re-enacting" means "to live whatever is present," or as you put it "to participate in the actual event."  Yes, we sing "Today."  We have icons to see this, and for the Eucharistic role, the priest would say the same words Christ says "Take, eat/drink all of you..."  To me "memorial" does not mean "making present and participating in it."  The word "memorial" in English is a weak word, not like amnesis.  That is why we have Protestants who confuse this verse.

Maybe you and I are saying the same thing, but when it comes to the debate concerning female priesthood, there seems to be a slight difference even though both leads to true Eucharistic presence of body and blood.

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The prayer continues, "Do this in memory of me!"  Do what in memory of me?  The answer, "Take eat...Take drink", not re-enact the Last Supper.

The fact that the priest says "Do this in memory of me," is he not repeating Christ's words to himself?  Whatever "Do this in memory of me" means does not disprove the re-enactment that's being done.

God bless.

Mina
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« Reply #313 on: May 04, 2006, 10:14:49 AM »

I've also explained that "re-enacting" means "to live whatever is present," or as you put it "to participate in the actual event."  Yes, we sing "Today."  We have icons to see this, and for the Eucharistic role, the priest would say the same words Christ says "Take, eat/drink all of you..."
You can't compare icons to the Eucharist.  Icons are representations of the proto-type.  The Eucharist is the proto-type
 To me "memorial" does not mean "making present and participating in it."  The word "memorial" in English is a weak word, not like amnesis.  That is why we have Protestants who confuse this verse.
As for the word memory (memorial, rememrance, etc),  answer this question, what do we mean when we sing "Memory Eternal" at the end of the funeral service, parastas, or lity for the dead?
Maybe you and I are saying the same thing...
We probably are!
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« Reply #314 on: May 04, 2006, 10:56:35 AM »

To re-enact the Last Supper, we would have to have only 13 people present, be sitting reclined, the Priest should wash everyone's feet first, we should eat a meal during which we break the bread, and we should drink the wine after the conclusion of the meal, and one of the people present should betray the Priest to the local authorities.

Other than the mass chaos that betraying your priest would cause, this would be the most hilarious scenario EVER!   Grin

Sorry I couldn't pass this one up!  Cheesy
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