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Author Topic: On Modesty of Women in Church  (Read 21448 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: April 30, 2006, 04:57:02 PM »

Here's an interesting article that i found. However, let me also add that modesty for men counts too!  Tongue

http://www.orthodox.net/cotc/modesty.html
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« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2006, 05:38:16 PM »

I like that article very much!
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« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2006, 05:39:37 PM »

I think he brings up some good points. At the same time he seems a little judgemental of others. However, that may be necessary when writing an article about such an issue. Anyway, we need to do get one out there about men too. Can't anybody grow a beard? Wink
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« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2006, 06:00:40 PM »

Can't anybody grow a beard? Wink

Hehe, I have a full beard and I just turned 18 Tongue
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« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2006, 06:03:29 PM »

Hehe, I have a full beard and I just turned 18 Tongue

I tip my hat to you sir. Wink
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« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2006, 07:24:09 PM »

His viewpoint seemed naive and traditionalist at the same time.  This is a very dangerous viewpoint to have.  

If you can teach people the ascetic and spiritual nourishment one can have through dressing correctly GREAT, if not then telling them about verses from the Bible are going to turn them away.  As sad as that is to say, its too often the truth.  

We also have a theology of oikonomia, does this Nathan Williams know about it?  Can he explain it?  I would bet not, but he CAN tell us what to do in a traditionalist sense!   Roll Eyes

First explain to me the exact opposite of your argument and then i'll listen to your argument.  
(I don't mean this literally, i'll listen to anyone, but you can't just sit on one side of the fence and stay there and tell me you're more right than I am just cuz of what side you're on)  
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« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2006, 11:15:53 PM »

I think he brings up some good points. At the same time he seems a little judgemental of others. However, that may be necessary when writing an article about such an issue. Anyway, we need to do get one out there about men too. Can't anybody grow a beard? Wink

A lot of men are starting to grow out beards, and some really want a beard but cant grow one properly. I find that beards on men look beautiful!

As my hubby would say: Did they shave in 12th century Russia!?

Hehe, I have a full beard and I just turned 18 Tongue

Wow, i know some guys who would die for that! They're couple of guys in Church, who are around 20 years old. They can only grow stringy beards that come out half way and only in certain areas of their face, it depresses them a lot.

His viewpoint seemed naive and traditionalist at the same time.  This is a very dangerous viewpoint to have.  

If you can teach people the ascetic and spiritual nourishment one can have through dressing correctly GREAT, if not then telling them about verses from the Bible are going to turn them away.  As sad as that is to say, its too often the truth.  

We also have a theology of oikonomia, does this Nathan Williams know about it?  Can he explain it?  I would bet not, but he CAN tell us what to do in a traditionalist sense!   Roll Eyes

First explain to me the exact opposite of your argument and then i'll listen to your argument.  
(I don't mean this literally, i'll listen to anyone, but you can't just sit on one side of the fence and stay there and tell me you're more right than I am just cuz of what side you're on)  

I have one question before anything else: Why did you think his view point was naive and traditionalist at the same time?

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« Reply #7 on: April 30, 2006, 11:33:07 PM »

I must have been destined to be Orthodox.  I grew my first beard in my second trimester.
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« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2006, 11:42:53 PM »

Quote
His viewpoint seemed naive and traditionalist at the same time.  This is a very dangerous viewpoint to have.  

Huh. It reminded me of various Scriptural passages, like "In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array" (1 Tim. 2:9) or "Your [women's] beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight." (1 Pet. 3:3-4)  Grin
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« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2006, 09:45:42 AM »

I don't think his viewpoint is naive; I do not agree, but I can see what he is getting at. However, I did find some of his comments worrying. The things he wrote about a woman bringing shame over herself and her future husband is something I might have expected to hear from a follower of Islam, not Christianity.

I agree that coming to church dressed in a really tight, short skirt isn't a very good idea, but not because it would "bring shame" over the person wearing it. It might be thoughtless and even immature, but I don't understand why he has to talk about shame. Serb1389 pretty much summed it all up:quoting Bible verses might actually turn these people away. Would that be better?

Edit: After surfing the net, I have realised that his opinions are rather extreme. I could only find similar rants in fundamentalist Muslim forums.
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« Reply #10 on: May 01, 2006, 10:45:19 AM »

Well i'm just going to give one answer that answers the question about what I stated earlier.
Quote
"It seems that more and more often we see young women standing in church who, contrary to the explicit teachings and traditions of the Orthodox Church, are wearing immodest clothing, lipstick and no head coverings."

So he is a traditionalist in the sense that: (i'm making this sarcastic to prove a point)
"OBVIOUSLY we need to wear modest clothing and head coverings" which IS traditional

Also he is naive t othink that there are EXPLICIT teachings and TRADITIONS of the church in terms of wearing these things.  

There are also EXPLICIT teachings and TRADITIONS of the church that say the opposite, but he fails to say those.  

Here is another example:
Quote
"To an Orthodox young man who is devoted to serving God and the Church, it is far more appealing to see a young woman wearing a scarf in accordance with God’s law than to see one putting aside obedience to the Church in order to look more "attractive.""

so I am not a faithful orthodox man because I find a woman attractive without a scarf, which is CLEARLY in accordance with God's law  Roll Eyes

Last time i checked the devil tempts us way more with flesh than with head coverings.  I could be wrong though... Tongue
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« Reply #11 on: May 01, 2006, 01:01:18 PM »

From reading the essay I learned four things:

First, Mr. Williams has serious psychological problems and would probably benifit from a good secular therapist.

Secondly, Mr. Williams has a real problem with pride and vainglory (it's just oozing out of the essay...I mean does he really expect women to change their behaviour because he reveals his own personal fetishes?); however, as I enjoy the same vices, this isn't so much a criticism as an observation...perhaps he just needs to learn how to focus his pride and vainglory towards psychologically healthier thoughts and purposes.

Thirdly, Mr. Williams is completely out of touch with mainstream Orthodoxy and seems to be unduly influenced by his local imam.

And finally, Mr. Williams is most certainly not an academic.
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« Reply #12 on: May 01, 2006, 01:37:40 PM »

The article reeks to me of fundamentalism and judgmentalism.  The author is obviously very offended by what he sees as the immodesty of women in church, but could this be coming out of his own pharisaical self-righteousness?  His article seems to say this.

The author admits to being a young man.  Learning from my own experience, what a young man often believes is righteous indignation is really nothing more than his own anger and outrage.  Most young men I know--at 34 I'm not yet that far removed from being a young man--don't yet have great control of their passions, anger being a very common passion.  As such, I think a young man should work first on controlling his own anger through ascetic practice under the guidance of a spiritual father before speaking his outrage at various practices he sees in the Church.  Only after he has gained some mastery over his passion of anger will he actually be able to speak with the righteous indignation of a true spiritual authority.
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« Reply #13 on: May 01, 2006, 07:46:00 PM »

Perhaps the author sounds a little jugmental and talking like it's not that hard for people to change there ways, when it may be the case. But in other cases, i agree with him.

I agree that there is some problem with the dress that women wear in Church, but a lot of women do know how to dress when they are in Church. Men also need to watch they're wearing. You would be surprised at how many men have flashed me without knowing when prostrating in Church. And women, wearing a skirt means trying not to show the outline of your body, a mini skirt or a long tight skirt, OR a long skirt with a massive lit in the back doesn't count.

On the other hand, we Orthodox Christians shouldn't only try to dress 'modestly' in Church. We should try achieving a modest dress in our everyday life.
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« Reply #14 on: May 01, 2006, 08:26:12 PM »

Look people. It's sackcloth and ashes or you are going straight to Hell  Tongue

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« Reply #15 on: May 01, 2006, 08:35:49 PM »

Look people. It's sackcloth and ashes or you are going straight to Hell  Tongue

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« Reply #16 on: May 01, 2006, 08:43:55 PM »

Look people. It's sackcloth and ashes or you are going straight to Hell  Tongue

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LOL...that would have conveyed the point and wasted far less of everyone's time.
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« Reply #17 on: May 01, 2006, 08:59:50 PM »

It's sad that in the Christian world any call for modesty is met by outrage. Oh no, loose fitting clothes! Next thing you know we will be closing our eyes during sex scenes in movies, and become Amish. Roll Eyes
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« Reply #18 on: May 01, 2006, 09:02:06 PM »

It's sad that in the Christian world any call for modesty is met by outrage. Oh no, loose fitting clothes! Next thing you know we will be closing our eyes during sex scenes in movies, and become Amish. Roll Eyes

Feel free to wear whatever clothes you want...just dont go around calling down fire and brimstone on your neighbour if they disagree with your fashion reviews.

Personally I find headscarves unattractive and rather absurd in this day and age.
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« Reply #19 on: May 01, 2006, 09:08:31 PM »

Feel free to wear whatever clothes you want...just dont go around calling down fire and brimstone on your neighbour if they disagree with your fashion reviews.

Personally I find headscarves unattractive and rather absurd in this day and age.

You are right. But there should be an effort to guide people in such a thing as clothing. I mean if men started wearing hats or shorts to Church, they would probably put up a notice in Church. So this article is some ways is that notice, with a little too much judgement.

Dude, head covering is not supposed to be sexy.
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« Reply #20 on: May 01, 2006, 09:09:46 PM »

It's sad that in the Christian world any call for modesty is met by outrage. Oh no, loose fitting clothes! Next thing you know we will be closing our eyes during sex scenes in movies, and become Amish. Roll Eyes

Ummm...Andrew, I think it is the "holier than thou" and presumptuous attitude of the author of the article that everyone is criticizing - not modest dress per se.  The author seems to assume that any female entering a church should know all Orthopraxis to a 't', what "ought" to be and to follow it to the letter.  We have two priests at my parish:  a father-son duo.  The father is almost 80 and "Emeritus" (has been a preist >50 years is on the conservative end) while the son is the rector (and even more conservative than dad).  The older Matushka doesn't wear a head covering while the younger Matushka wears one almost 100% of the time.  If this author (a Reader) said something to the older Matushka, I would take him outside and scold his butt and tell him he needs to confess his pompousness at the first opportunity and then go back and apologize to the Matushka.

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« Reply #21 on: May 01, 2006, 09:11:45 PM »

Quote
Dude, head covering is not supposed to be sexy.

You don't need to tell that to me, tell that to the author of the article...it was his statements to which I was reacting.
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« Reply #22 on: May 01, 2006, 09:17:26 PM »

Ummm...Andrew, I think it is the "holier than thou" and presumptuous attitude of the author of the article that everyone is criticizing - not modest dress per se.  The author seems to assume that any female entering a church should know all Orthopraxis to a 't', what "ought" to be and to follow it to the letter.  We have two priests at my parish:  a father-son duo.  The father is almost 80 and "Emeritus" (has been a preist >50 years is on the conservative end) while the son is the rector (and even more conservative than dad).  The older Matushka doesn't wear a head covering while the younger Matushka wears one almost 100% of the time.  If this author (a Reader) said something to the older Matushka, I would take him outside and scold his butt and tell him he needs to confess his pompousness at the first opportunity and then go back and apologize to the Matushka.



I get what you are saying. Maybe this chap Nathan is trying to act holier than thou. I just think that the man's point is correct. Just ignore the attitude he has, and look at the mesage he is trying to convey.

Look I am a sinful person. I don't think I in anyway am holier than anyone. I just have noticed that many men and women come to Church dressed in a way that is meant to attract the opposite sex through lust. We as Orthodox should strive not to live by societies norms, but by the teachings of the Church. And I think this is one of the points he is trying to make.
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« Reply #23 on: May 01, 2006, 09:18:46 PM »

And that sackcloth better not be threadbare! Minimum threadcount of 250!
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« Reply #24 on: May 01, 2006, 09:20:48 PM »

God made the human form to be admired by the opposite sex. Or, was that Satan? Maybe we were all ugly jellyfish and when we "fell" God punished us by making women have all those sinful curves!

Hye! Maybe that explains the reason that women bring forth children in pain! It's cause of those sinful curves that they have been cursed with!
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« Reply #25 on: May 01, 2006, 09:22:00 PM »

God made the human form to be admired by the opposite sex. Or, was that Satan? Maybe we were all ugly jellyfish and when we "fell" God punished us by making women with all those sinful curves!

God also blessed marriage, which is the way we are to enjoy those curves.
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« Reply #26 on: May 01, 2006, 09:23:42 PM »

God also blessed marriage, which is the way we are to enjoy those curves.

But we have to be attracted by them in the first place.
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« Reply #27 on: May 01, 2006, 09:25:47 PM »

But we have to be attracted by them in the first place.

Well, I don't think you have to be lustful in the firstplace. There is more to attraction that just the sexual kind, as you obviously know.

You can admire a man or women's beauty without thinking lustfully of their bodies.
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« Reply #28 on: May 01, 2006, 09:26:54 PM »

You don't need to tell that to me, tell that to the author of the article...it was his statements to which I was reacting.

Forgive my misunderstanding, Brother.
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« Reply #29 on: May 01, 2006, 10:10:35 PM »

Just ignore the attitude he has, and look at the mesage he is trying to convey.

I looked at the article.  The attitude is part of the "message", may be.

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« Reply #30 on: May 01, 2006, 10:19:41 PM »

Perhaps if the article was written with a less judgemental attitude it would be better.  However, looking at the past editions there, Reader Nathan seems to be around 19 or 20.  Now, I'm one that is not for using age as a qualifier, but most young men have . . . . a different understanding of women than the rest of the population.
That said, even though I of course agree with him on modesty for women (and men) and head coverings that's not really my first thought on meeting an Orthodox, but what type of life they join.
As one Greek priest once told me, "Yes, I do think women should wear headcoverings, but  considering in my parish I have people having pre-marital sex, involved in occult and other religions, or those who only come to Church twice a year, what's on top of women's heads is not my first concern."  A good viewpoint, imho.
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« Reply #31 on: May 01, 2006, 10:21:23 PM »

Perhaps if the article was written with a less judgemental attitude it would be better.  However, looking at the past editions there, Reader Nathan seems to be around 19 or 20.  Now, I'm one that is not for using age as a qualifier, but most young men have . . . . a different understanding of women than the rest of the population.
That said, even though I of course agree with him on modesty for women (and men) and head coverings that's not really my first thought on meeting an Orthodox, but what type of life they join.
As one Greek priest once told me, "Yes, I do think women should wear headcoverings, but  considering in my parish I have people having pre-marital sex, involved in occult and other religions, or those who only come to Church twice a year, what's on top of women's heads is not my first concern."  A good viewpoint, imho.

Good point made by the Priest there.

Number one, let's get the people to come to Church first, and let the rest of the stuff come after.
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« Reply #32 on: May 01, 2006, 10:25:53 PM »

I think the article writer makes some good points, but I don't like his argument that dressing modestly makes women more attractive to men.  Doesn't that kind of miss the point of dressing modestly?!   Wink  I characterize myself as a modest dresser, but I would think that dressing modestly solely in order to pick up guys risks the same moral pitfalls as dressing immodestly for the same reason.

Quote from: greekischristian
Personally I find headscarves unattractive and rather absurd in this day and age.

Forgive my presumptuousness, but would you care to elaborate on why you feel that headscarves are "absurd in this day and age"?
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« Reply #33 on: May 01, 2006, 10:35:25 PM »

Forgive my presumptuousness, but would you care to elaborate on why you feel that headscarves are "absurd in this day and age"?

Well, I've had this discussion a few times, I'll try to make this one less heated...headcoverings are simply not part of the modern cultural experience, in either western or orthodox countries. They are an artificial imposistion from a past era and culture; the reason I find headscarves absurd is the same reason that I would believe someone wearing a toga to Church would be absurd. Yeah, there was a time when it was culturally acceptable, and even the norm, but no longer. Unlike Islam, we do not absolutize past cultures, 1st Century Jewish Culture is not our own, our customs and practices differ and the attempt to maintain cultural standards from these past eras that are foreign to our modern experience is, thus, absurd.
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« Reply #34 on: May 01, 2006, 10:47:23 PM »

I think the author is a total dweeb and is just bitter that girls aren't interested in him.   Lips Sealed
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« Reply #35 on: May 01, 2006, 11:04:48 PM »

Well, I've had this discussion a few times, I'll try to make this one less heated...headcoverings are simply not part of the modern cultural experience, in either western or orthodox countries. They are an artificial imposistion from a past era and culture; the reason I find headscarves absurd is the same reason that I would believe someone wearing a toga to Church would be absurd.

Interesting.  Thank you.

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Yeah, there was a time when it was culturally acceptable, and even the norm, but no longer. Unlike Islam, we do not absolutize past cultures, 1st Century Jewish Culture is not our own, our customs and practices differ and the attempt to maintain cultural standards from these past eras that are foreign to our modern experience is, thus, absurd.

If I remember correctly, headcoverings were the norm for churchgoing women--not only for Orthodox but for many Christian women everywhere--until just a few decades ago.  I wonder why women stopped wearing them after so long.
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« Reply #36 on: May 02, 2006, 02:03:50 AM »

I think the author is a total dweeb and is just bitter that girls aren't interested in him.   Lips Sealed

Hah!  I wouldn't doubt it.

If I'm not mistaken, orthodox.net is a ROCOR site.  Well....I was at the ROCOR cathedral in SF for choir practice tonight.  Before practice, right as Vespers was ending, I saw 3 women in the church who.....*gasp*...HAD NO HEADCOVERING!  Scandal!    Shocked  Grin  Well, the priest who was there did NOT go get a scarf for any of them and it looked like he did a small Panakhida for them to.  No, the Orthodox dress police did not attack them.  They were otherwise dressed modestly.  
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« Reply #37 on: May 02, 2006, 11:05:48 AM »

Hah!  I wouldn't doubt it.

If I'm not mistaken, orthodox.net is a ROCOR site.  Well....I was at the ROCOR cathedral in SF for choir practice tonight.  Before practice, right as Vespers was ending, I saw 3 women in the church who.....*gasp*...HAD NO HEADCOVERING!  Scandal!    Shocked  Grin  Well, the priest who was there did NOT go get a scarf for any of them and it looked like he did a small Panakhida for them to.  No, the Orthodox dress police did not attack them.  They were otherwise dressed modestly.  

This just reminded me about somthing that happend last Liturgy. A women came to running to the Priest right before Liturgy so she can be absolved and be able to take communion that day. As she was asking him, the Priest noticed that she was 'holding' her headscarf in her hand instead of wearing it. He told her to put it on, which made me think... hunh? there must be a reason, right?
Besides, i don't think it made sense to hold the headscarf in your hand, when it's suppose to be on your head.
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« Reply #38 on: May 02, 2006, 11:25:55 AM »

This just reminded me about somthing that happend last Liturgy. A women came to running to the Priest right before Liturgy so she can be absolved and be able to take communion that day. As she was asking him, the Priest noticed that she was 'holding' her headscarf in her hand instead of wearing it. He told her to put it on, which made me think... hunh? there must be a reason, right?
Besides, i don't think it made sense to hold the headscarf in your hand, when it's suppose to be on your head.

There are so many problems with this scenario I wouldn't even know where to start...
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« Reply #39 on: May 02, 2006, 11:26:39 AM »

He told her to put it on, which made me think... hunh? there must be a reason, right?

The reason is that's what THIS PRIEST thinks is correct.
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« Reply #40 on: May 02, 2006, 11:37:45 AM »

Besides, i don't think it made sense to hold the headscarf in your hand, when it's suppose to be on your head.

She might not have had time to put it on before leaving the house or getting out of the car, and just grabbed the scarf on the way out the door.
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« Reply #41 on: May 02, 2006, 12:29:14 PM »

There are so many problems with this scenario I wouldn't even know where to start...

OK, then I'll start.  Grin

1) Why didn't she properly prepare and go to Confession earlier in the morning or a prior day instead of rushing the priest right before Liturgy?

2) If she had time to even grab the scarf, then she could have taken time to actually put it on - otherwise no sense in bothering.

3) The priest didn't need to bother her about the scarf - let her decide on her piety herself, as piety is a personal thing.  But this goes back to 2) above as the scarf reminded him by it's presence and not being in proper place....

4) What was the rush to be absolved and take Communion that day?  Did she just find out the day prior that she was going to die the next day or something?

But I needlessly speculate....
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« Reply #42 on: May 02, 2006, 12:33:37 PM »

Quote
Well....I was at the ROCOR cathedral in SF for choir practice tonight.  Before practice, right as Vespers was ending, I saw 3 women in the church who.....*gasp*...HAD NO HEADCOVERING!  Scandal!  

What!   Shocked Modernist Liberal ecummenicism has infilterated even the highest levels of the Russian Church Abroad.  A stop must be put to this immedietly.  Oy vey.
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« Reply #43 on: May 02, 2006, 02:19:17 PM »

What! ÂÂ  Shocked Modernist Liberal ecummenicism has infilterated even the highest levels of the Russian Church Abroad. ÂÂ A stop must be put to this immedietly. ÂÂ Oy vey.

I'll assume you're being facetious.
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« Reply #44 on: May 02, 2006, 02:30:48 PM »

Traditionalist priets and confession....i'm gona shut up so that the topic doesn't sway to something COMPLETELY different...although now it just might  Wink

I wonder how long this woman's skirt was...maybe that's why he was looking down  Wink   Tongue
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