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Qustion about women "Readers"

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  • Art Danks
    Hi all, A question came up at our parish that I m curious about. We have 4 different individuals that do the reading during the services at our church. TWo of
    Message 1 of 16 , Jun 7, 2008
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      Hi all,

      A question came up at our parish that I'm curious about. We have 4
      different individuals that do the reading during the services at our
      church. TWo of us are tonsured readers (both men of course), and the
      other two are non-tonsured, and are both women.

      When it comes time for the blessing before the reading of the
      Prokemeinon and Epistle reading, the male tonsured Readers go into
      the altar area to receive the blessing, and then then go back into
      the Nave for the readings. However, the women of course, only go up
      to the foot of the stairs, and our Priest steps forward to give them
      the blessing prior to the reading.

      This has been the practice of our parish for many years, but I have
      recently heard that this actually is not proper protocol, and that
      in fact when women do the reading they normally do not receive a
      blessing, and that this is just a recent innovation and not a common
      practice in other parishes.

      I'm curious to hear what the groups thoughts are, the practices of
      your particular parish, and what you have heard on this matter.

      Thank you all.

      In His service,

      Reader John
    • sustain_ability@123mail.org
      Hello Reader John, We do it the same way as you described. Rdr.George/Yuri On Sun, 08 Jun 2008 05:40:10 -0000, Art Danks ... --
      Message 2 of 16 , Jun 8, 2008
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        Hello Reader John,

        We do it the same way as you described.

        Rdr.George/Yuri


        On Sun, 08 Jun 2008 05:40:10 -0000, "Art Danks" <artdanks1@...>
        said:
        > Hi all,
        >
        > A question came up at our parish that I'm curious about. We have 4
        > different individuals that do the reading during the services at our
        > church. TWo of us are tonsured readers (both men of course), and the
        > other two are non-tonsured, and are both women.

        --
        http://www.fastmail.fm - One of many happy users:
        http://www.fastmail.fm/docs/quotes.html
      • Philip Sokolov
        ... That has been my experience at Holy Trinity Cathedral in San Francisco. I will add that a male reader will get a blessing in the altar whether or not he is
        Message 3 of 16 , Jun 8, 2008
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          Art Danks wrote:

          > When it comes time for the blessing before the reading of the
          > Prokeimenon and Epistle reading, the male tonsured Readers go into
          > the altar area to receive the blessing, and then then go back into
          > the Nave for the readings...
          >
          > ...when women do the reading they normally do not receive a blessing...

          That has been my experience at Holy Trinity Cathedral in San Francisco.

          I will add that a male reader will get a blessing in the altar whether or
          not he is tonsured.

          Also (tonsured or not), the male reader must be vested in Stikharion (that
          is, either he is already serving in the altar, or else he must enter the
          altar sometime earlier than the Trisagion in order to get a blessing to vest).

          The tonsured reader may stand on the Cathedra to read, but the untonsured
          may not.

          Regards.
          --

          Rdr. Philip Sokolov
        • Чтец Вn
          ... into ... into ... blessing... ... Francisco. ... whether or ... Stikharion (that ... enter the ... blessing to vest). ... untonsured ... As a variation on
          Message 4 of 16 , Jun 8, 2008
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            --- In orthodox-readers@yahoogroups.com, Philip Sokolov <sokolov@...>
            wrote:
            >
            > Art Danks wrote:
            >
            > > When it comes time for the blessing before the reading of the
            > > Prokeimenon and Epistle reading, the male tonsured Readers go
            into
            > > the altar area to receive the blessing, and then then go back
            into
            > > the Nave for the readings...
            > >
            > > ...when women do the reading they normally do not receive a
            blessing...
            >
            > That has been my experience at Holy Trinity Cathedral in San
            Francisco.
            >
            > I will add that a male reader will get a blessing in the altar
            whether or
            > not he is tonsured.
            >
            > Also (tonsured or not), the male reader must be vested in
            Stikharion (that
            > is, either he is already serving in the altar, or else he must
            enter the
            > altar sometime earlier than the Trisagion in order to get a
            blessing to vest).
            >
            > The tonsured reader may stand on the Cathedra to read, but the
            untonsured
            > may not.
            >
            > Regards.
            > --
            >
            > Rdr. Philip Sokolov
            >

            As a variation on a theme, we often have two people going to get a
            blessing to read the Epistle (one for English and one for Russian or
            Slavonic). At times where I was one reader and the other was female,
            I think I got the blessing from outside the altar so that the priest
            could give both blessings at once and because I figured it looks
            better when there is symmetry in the actions of the readers.
            However, this was always a last second decision upon realizing that
            we can't both go in the alter, and I have no idea if this is correct
            or if I should go in the alter. Probably not a big deal either way,
            but any thoughts?

            Rdr. Slavik
          • mskgz
            Hello all, I am a tonsured Reader, but also a bit of a trouble maker when warranted. I am now part of a wonderful parish, but which is the only parish I have
            Message 5 of 16 , Jun 9, 2008
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              Hello all,

              I am a tonsured Reader, but also a bit of a trouble maker when
              warranted. I am now part of a wonderful parish, but which is the
              only parish I have ever attended in my life that did not have women
              readers. (I decided that I won't wear a cossock until that is
              corrected.)

              I believe that the proper protocol is for the reader that is not
              allowed back behind the altar (which probably shoulod include me) to
              approach the front of the church and then receive the blessing from
              the priest.

              Interested in your thoughts.

              Michael

              --- In orthodox-readers@yahoogroups.com, "Art Danks" <artdanks1@...>
              wrote:
              >
              > Hi all,
              >
              > A question came up at our parish that I'm curious about. We have 4
              > different individuals that do the reading during the services at
              our
              > church. TWo of us are tonsured readers (both men of course), and
              the
              > other two are non-tonsured, and are both women.
              >
              > When it comes time for the blessing before the reading of the
              > Prokemeinon and Epistle reading, the male tonsured Readers go into
              > the altar area to receive the blessing, and then then go back into
              > the Nave for the readings. However, the women of course, only go up
              > to the foot of the stairs, and our Priest steps forward to give
              them
              > the blessing prior to the reading.
              >
              > This has been the practice of our parish for many years, but I have
              > recently heard that this actually is not proper protocol, and that
              > in fact when women do the reading they normally do not receive a
              > blessing, and that this is just a recent innovation and not a
              common
              > practice in other parishes.
              >
              > I'm curious to hear what the groups thoughts are, the practices of
              > your particular parish, and what you have heard on this matter.
              >
              > Thank you all.
              >
              > In His service,
              >
              > Reader John
              >
            • Philip Silouan Thompson
              ... Maybe your parish has enough men to read the services and Epistle, so they don t need to recruit women to read? Rdr Silouan
              Message 6 of 16 , Jun 9, 2008
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                mskgz wrote:
                > I am a tonsured Reader, but also a bit of a trouble maker when
                > warranted. I am now part of a wonderful parish, but which is the
                > only parish I have ever attended in my life that did not have women
                > readers.

                Maybe your parish has enough men to read the services and Epistle, so
                they don't need to recruit women to read?

                Rdr Silouan
              • Steve Robinson
                Wellll.... why would you want to make the parish less wonderful by being a jerk? Sdn. Steven Paul. ... From: mskgz To: orthodox-readers@yahoogroups.com Sent:
                Message 7 of 16 , Jun 9, 2008
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                  Wellll.... why would you want to make the parish less "wonderful" by being a jerk?
                  Sdn. Steven Paul.

                  ----- Original Message -----
                  From: mskgz
                  To: orthodox-readers@yahoogroups.com
                  Sent: Monday, June 09, 2008 6:00 PM
                  Subject: [orthodox-readers] Re: Qustion about women "Readers"


                  Hello all,

                  I am a tonsured Reader, but also a bit of a trouble maker when warranted. ... (I decided that I won't wear a cossock until that is corrected.)
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                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • John M. Black
                  ... Points for honesty. :-) ... You sound like you re the authority of everything; in the sense that *you* (the individual, and not the Church as a whole in
                  Message 8 of 16 , Jun 10, 2008
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                    On Mon, Jun 9, 2008 at 9:00 PM, mskgz <mskgz@...> wrote:

                    > I am a tonsured Reader, but also a bit of a trouble maker when
                    > warranted.


                    Points for honesty. :-)



                    > I am now part of a wonderful parish, but which is the
                    > only parish I have ever attended in my life that did not have women
                    > readers. (I decided that I won't wear a cossock until that is
                    > corrected.)


                    You sound like you're the authority of everything; in the sense that *you*
                    (the individual, and not the Church as a whole in the person of its Pastor,)
                    will decide when something is "corrected" to your liking. Sounds Protestant
                    to me.


                    I believe that the proper protocol is for the reader that is not
                    > allowed back behind the altar (which probably shoulod include me) to
                    > approach the front of the church and then receive the blessing from
                    > the priest.


                    I believe the proper protocol is what your Bishop and Pastor decide is the
                    proper protocol. Sure you can have a discussion with your pastor and offer
                    your opinion, but in the end your obedience as a Reader is more urgent than
                    your own opinion.


                    -Rdr John


                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • polychrony
                    ... Anyone who is not ordained cannot serve as a Reader, per canon XIV of the 7th Oecumencial Synod. The commentary on this canon also indicates that those
                    Message 9 of 16 , Jun 20, 2008
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                      --- In orthodox-readers@yahoogroups.com, "mskgz" <mskgz@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > Hello all,
                      >
                      > I am a tonsured Reader, but also a bit of a trouble maker when
                      > warranted. I am now part of a wonderful parish, but which is the
                      > only parish I have ever attended in my life that did not have women
                      > readers. (I decided that I won't wear a cossock until that is
                      > corrected.)

                      Anyone who is not ordained cannot serve as a Reader, per canon XIV
                      of the 7th Oecumencial Synod. The commentary on this canon also
                      indicates that those who are not ordained cannot so serve even
                      with the license of the bishop. [To do so is an abuse of episcopal
                      authority.]

                      A note, the wearing on not wearing of ecclesial garb is not up
                      subject to your own discretion.

                      >
                      > I believe that the proper protocol is for the reader that is not
                      > allowed back behind the altar (which probably should include me) to
                      > approach the front of the church and then receive the blessing from
                      > the priest.

                      Here you happened to surmise correctly. The ecclesial orders are
                      divided into two groups, esobema and exobema, the Reader belongs
                      to the latter group.

                      Polychronios

                      >
                      > Interested in your thoughts.
                      >
                      > Michael
                      >
                      > --- In orthodox-readers@yahoogroups.com, "Art Danks" <artdanks1@>
                      > wrote:
                      > >
                      > > Hi all,
                      > >
                      > > A question came up at our parish that I'm curious about. We have 4
                      > > different individuals that do the reading during the services at
                      > our
                      > > church. TWo of us are tonsured readers (both men of course), and
                      > the
                      > > other two are non-tonsured, and are both women.
                      > >
                      > > When it comes time for the blessing before the reading of the
                      > > Prokemeinon and Epistle reading, the male tonsured Readers go into
                      > > the altar area to receive the blessing, and then then go back into
                      > > the Nave for the readings. However, the women of course, only go up
                      > > to the foot of the stairs, and our Priest steps forward to give
                      > them
                      > > the blessing prior to the reading.
                      > >
                      > > This has been the practice of our parish for many years, but I have
                      > > recently heard that this actually is not proper protocol, and that
                      > > in fact when women do the reading they normally do not receive a
                      > > blessing, and that this is just a recent innovation and not a
                      > common
                      > > practice in other parishes.
                      > >
                      > > I'm curious to hear what the groups thoughts are, the practices of
                      > > your particular parish, and what you have heard on this matter.
                      > >
                      > > Thank you all.
                      > >
                      > > In His service,
                      > >
                      > > Reader John
                      > >
                      >
                    • Art Danks
                      ... I don t see wherre you get this. I looked up Canon 14 at: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/11045a.htm It says: Canon 14: Tonsured persons not ordained
                      Message 10 of 16 , Jun 20, 2008
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                        You said:

                        > Anyone who is not ordained cannot serve as a Reader, per canon XIV
                        > of the 7th Oecumencial Synod. The commentary on this canon also
                        > indicates that those who are not ordained cannot so serve even
                        > with the license of the bishop. [To do so is an abuse of episcopal
                        > authority.]

                        I don't see wherre you get this. I looked up Canon 14 at:

                        http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/11045a.htm

                        It says:

                        "Canon 14: Tonsured persons not ordained lectors must not read the
                        Epistle or Gospel in the ambo. "

                        Sounds to me like it is dekineating WHERE the Reading is to be done
                        or not done, depending on whether it is an Ordained Reader or not.

                        Please explain where you got your information.

                        Reader John


                        --- In orthodox-readers@yahoogroups.com, "polychrony"
                        <Polychrony@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > --- In orthodox-readers@yahoogroups.com, "mskgz" <mskgz@> wrote:
                        > >
                        > > Hello all,
                        > >
                        > > I am a tonsured Reader, but also a bit of a trouble maker when
                        > > warranted. I am now part of a wonderful parish, but which is
                        the
                        > > only parish I have ever attended in my life that did not have
                        women
                        > > readers. (I decided that I won't wear a cossock until that is
                        > > corrected.)
                        >
                        > Anyone who is not ordained cannot serve as a Reader, per canon XIV
                        > of the 7th Oecumencial Synod. The commentary on this canon also
                        > indicates that those who are not ordained cannot so serve even
                        > with the license of the bishop. [To do so is an abuse of episcopal
                        > authority.]
                        >
                        > A note, the wearing on not wearing of ecclesial garb is not up
                        > subject to your own discretion.
                        >
                        > >
                        > > I believe that the proper protocol is for the reader that is not
                        > > allowed back behind the altar (which probably should include me)
                        to
                        > > approach the front of the church and then receive the blessing
                        from
                        > > the priest.
                        >
                        > Here you happened to surmise correctly. The ecclesial orders are
                        > divided into two groups, esobema and exobema, the Reader belongs
                        > to the latter group.
                        >
                        > Polychronios
                        >
                        > >
                        > > Interested in your thoughts.
                        > >
                        > > Michael
                        > >
                        > > --- In orthodox-readers@yahoogroups.com, "Art Danks"
                        <artdanks1@>
                        > > wrote:
                        > > >
                        > > > Hi all,
                        > > >
                        > > > A question came up at our parish that I'm curious about. We
                        have 4
                        > > > different individuals that do the reading during the services
                        at
                        > > our
                        > > > church. TWo of us are tonsured readers (both men of course),
                        and
                        > > the
                        > > > other two are non-tonsured, and are both women.
                        > > >
                        > > > When it comes time for the blessing before the reading of the
                        > > > Prokemeinon and Epistle reading, the male tonsured Readers go
                        into
                        > > > the altar area to receive the blessing, and then then go back
                        into
                        > > > the Nave for the readings. However, the women of course, only
                        go up
                        > > > to the foot of the stairs, and our Priest steps forward to
                        give
                        > > them
                        > > > the blessing prior to the reading.
                        > > >
                        > > > This has been the practice of our parish for many years, but I
                        have
                        > > > recently heard that this actually is not proper protocol, and
                        that
                        > > > in fact when women do the reading they normally do not receive
                        a
                        > > > blessing, and that this is just a recent innovation and not a
                        > > common
                        > > > practice in other parishes.
                        > > >
                        > > > I'm curious to hear what the groups thoughts are, the
                        practices of
                        > > > your particular parish, and what you have heard on this matter.
                        > > >
                        > > > Thank you all.
                        > > >
                        > > > In His service,
                        > > >
                        > > > Reader John
                        > > >
                        > >
                        >
                      • James Morgan
                        Why ask here? We are all just readers . Take the question to your priest, and if he can t answer, to your bishop. He is the ultimate authority. After all he
                        Message 11 of 16 , Jun 22, 2008
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                          Why ask here? We are all just 'readers'. Take the question to your
                          priest, and if he can't answer, to your bishop. He is the ultimate
                          authority. After all he tonsured you.

                          Rdr. James
                          olympia, WA

                          --- In orthodox-readers@yahoogroups.com, "polychrony" <Polychrony@...>
                          wrote:
                          >
                          > --- In orthodox-readers@yahoogroups.com, "mskgz" <mskgz@> wrote:
                          > >
                          > > Hello all,
                          > >
                          > > I am a tonsured Reader, but also a bit of a trouble maker when
                          > > warranted. I am now part of a wonderful parish, but which is the
                          > > only parish I have ever attended in my life that did not have
                          women readers. (I decided that I won't wear a cossock until that is
                          > > corrected.)
                          >
                          > Anyone who is not ordained cannot serve as a Reader, per canon XIV
                          > of the 7th Oecumencial Synod. The commentary on this canon also
                          > indicates that those who are not ordained cannot so serve even
                          > with the license of the bishop. [To do so is an abuse of episcopal
                          > authority.]
                          >
                          > A note, the wearing on not wearing of ecclesial garb is not up
                          > subject to your own discretion.
                          >
                          > >
                          > > I believe that the proper protocol is for the reader that is not
                          > > allowed back behind the altar (which probably should include me)
                          to approach the front of the church and then receive the blessing from
                          the priest.
                          >
                          > Here you happened to surmise correctly. The ecclesial orders are
                          > divided into two groups, esobema and exobema, the Reader belongs
                          > to the latter group.
                          >
                          > Polychronios
                          >
                        • polychrony
                          The whole canon follows: http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Nicene_and_Post-Nicene_Fathers:_Series_II/Volume_XIV/The_Seventh_Ecumenical_Council/Canons/Canon_XIV
                          Message 12 of 16 , Jun 23, 2008
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                            The whole canon follows:

                            http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Nicene_and_Post-Nicene_Fathers:_Series_II/Volume_XIV/The_Seventh_Ecumenical_Council/Canons/Canon_XIV

                            Canon XIV.

                            That no one without ordination ought to read in the ambo during the
                            synaxis.

                            That there is a certain order established in the priesthood is very
                            evident to all, and to guard diligently the promotions of the
                            priesthood is well pleasing to God. Since therefore we see certain
                            youths who have received the clerical tonsure, but who have not yet
                            received ordination from the bishop, reading in the ambo during the
                            Synaxis, and in doing this violating the canons, we forbid this to be
                            done (from henceforth,) and let this prohibition be observed also
                            amongst the monks. It is permitted to each hegumenos in his own
                            monastery to ordain a reader, if he himself had received the laying on
                            of hands by a bishop to the dignity of hegumenos, and is known to be a
                            presbyter. Chorepiscopi may likewise, according to ancient custom and
                            with the bishop's authorization, appoint readers.[1]

                            Notes.

                            Ancient Epitome of Canon XIV.

                            No one shall read from the ambon unless he has been ordained by the
                            bishop. And this shall be in force also among monks. The superior of
                            a monastery, if he has been ordained by the bishop, may ordain a
                            lector but only in his own monastery. A chorepiscopus also can make a
                            lector.
                            --------

                            The mention of the "ambon"--the only place where readings would
                            be done--and the "synaxis" is added to emphasizes the liturgical
                            nature of the office. One cannot imagine that if someone, not
                            canonically ordained, need merely step off the ambon to read, then
                            the injunction on diligently guarding the grades of the priesthood
                            no longer applies.

                            Note too that this canon clarifies that the monastic tonsure is
                            insufficient to qualify someone to serve as a Reader, but he must
                            receive ordination to this effect.

                            Polychronios





                            --- In orthodox-readers@yahoogroups.com, "Art Danks" <artdanks1@...>
                            wrote:
                            >
                            > You said:
                            >
                            > > Anyone who is not ordained cannot serve as a Reader, per canon XIV
                            > > of the 7th Oecumenical Synod. The commentary on this canon also
                            > > indicates that those who are not ordained cannot so serve even
                            > > with the license of the bishop. [To do so is an abuse of episcopal
                            > > authority.]
                            >
                            > I don't see where you get this. I looked up Canon 14 at:
                            >
                            > http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/11045a.htm
                            >
                            > It says:
                            >
                            > "Canon 14: Tonsured persons not ordained lectors must not read the
                            > Epistle or Gospel in the ambo. "
                            >
                            > Sounds to me like it is dekineating WHERE the Reading is to be done
                            > or not done, depending on whether it is an Ordained Reader or not.
                            >
                            > Please explain where you got your information.
                            >
                            > Reader John
                            >
                            >
                            > --- In orthodox-readers@yahoogroups.com, "polychrony"
                            > <Polychrony@> wrote:
                            > >
                            > > --- In orthodox-readers@yahoogroups.com, "mskgz" <mskgz@> wrote:
                            > > >
                            > > > Hello all,
                            > > >
                            > > > I am a tonsured Reader, but also a bit of a trouble maker when
                            > > > warranted. I am now part of a wonderful parish, but which is
                            > the
                            > > > only parish I have ever attended in my life that did not have
                            > women
                            > > > readers. (I decided that I won't wear a cossock until that is
                            > > > corrected.)
                            > >
                            > > Anyone who is not ordained cannot serve as a Reader, per canon XIV
                            > > of the 7th Oecumencial Synod. The commentary on this canon also
                            > > indicates that those who are not ordained cannot so serve even
                            > > with the license of the bishop. [To do so is an abuse of episcopal
                            > > authority.]
                            > >
                            > > A note, the wearing on not wearing of ecclesial garb is not up
                            > > subject to your own discretion.
                            > >
                            > > >
                            > > > I believe that the proper protocol is for the reader that is not
                            > > > allowed back behind the altar (which probably should include me)
                            > to
                            > > > approach the front of the church and then receive the blessing
                            > from
                            > > > the priest.
                            > >
                            > > Here you happened to surmise correctly. The ecclesial orders are
                            > > divided into two groups, esobema and exobema, the Reader belongs
                            > > to the latter group.
                            > >
                            > > Polychronios
                            > >
                            > > >
                            > > > Interested in your thoughts.
                            > > >
                            > > > Michael
                            > > >
                            > > > --- In orthodox-readers@yahoogroups.com, "Art Danks"
                            > <artdanks1@>
                            > > > wrote:
                            > > > >
                            > > > > Hi all,
                            > > > >
                            > > > > A question came up at our parish that I'm curious about. We
                            > have 4
                            > > > > different individuals that do the reading during the services
                            > at
                            > > > our
                            > > > > church. TWo of us are tonsured readers (both men of course),
                            > and
                            > > > the
                            > > > > other two are non-tonsured, and are both women.
                            > > > >
                            > > > > When it comes time for the blessing before the reading of the
                            > > > > Prokemeinon and Epistle reading, the male tonsured Readers go
                            > into
                            > > > > the altar area to receive the blessing, and then then go back
                            > into
                            > > > > the Nave for the readings. However, the women of course, only
                            > go up
                            > > > > to the foot of the stairs, and our Priest steps forward to
                            > give
                            > > > them
                            > > > > the blessing prior to the reading.
                            > > > >
                            > > > > This has been the practice of our parish for many years, but I
                            > have
                            > > > > recently heard that this actually is not proper protocol, and
                            > that
                            > > > > in fact when women do the reading they normally do not receive
                            > a
                            > > > > blessing, and that this is just a recent innovation and not a
                            > > > common
                            > > > > practice in other parishes.
                            > > > >
                            > > > > I'm curious to hear what the groups thoughts are, the
                            > practices of
                            > > > > your particular parish, and what you have heard on this matter.
                            > > > >
                            > > > > Thank you all.
                            > > > >
                            > > > > In His service,
                            > > > >
                            > > > > Reader John
                            > > > >
                            > > >
                            > >
                            >
                          • Чтец Вn
                            ... Nicene_Fathers:_Series_II/Volume_XIV/The_Seventh_Ecumenical_Council/Ca nons/Canon_XIV ... be ... on ... be a ... and ... of ... make a ... Polychronios,
                            Message 13 of 16 , Jun 23, 2008
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                              --- In orthodox-readers@yahoogroups.com, "polychrony"
                              <Polychrony@...> wrote:
                              >
                              > The whole canon follows:
                              >
                              > http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Nicene_and_Post-
                              Nicene_Fathers:_Series_II/Volume_XIV/The_Seventh_Ecumenical_Council/Ca
                              nons/Canon_XIV
                              >
                              > Canon XIV.
                              >
                              > That no one without ordination ought to read in the ambo during the
                              > synaxis.
                              >
                              > That there is a certain order established in the priesthood is very
                              > evident to all, and to guard diligently the promotions of the
                              > priesthood is well pleasing to God. Since therefore we see certain
                              > youths who have received the clerical tonsure, but who have not yet
                              > received ordination from the bishop, reading in the ambo during the
                              > Synaxis, and in doing this violating the canons, we forbid this to
                              be
                              > done (from henceforth,) and let this prohibition be observed also
                              > amongst the monks. It is permitted to each hegumenos in his own
                              > monastery to ordain a reader, if he himself had received the laying
                              on
                              > of hands by a bishop to the dignity of hegumenos, and is known to
                              be a
                              > presbyter. Chorepiscopi may likewise, according to ancient custom
                              and
                              > with the bishop's authorization, appoint readers.[1]
                              >
                              > Notes.
                              >
                              > Ancient Epitome of Canon XIV.
                              >
                              > No one shall read from the ambon unless he has been ordained by the
                              > bishop. And this shall be in force also among monks. The superior
                              of
                              > a monastery, if he has been ordained by the bishop, may ordain a
                              > lector but only in his own monastery. A chorepiscopus also can
                              make a
                              > lector.
                              > --------
                              >
                              > The mention of the "ambon"--the only place where readings would
                              > be done--and the "synaxis" is added to emphasizes the liturgical
                              > nature of the office. One cannot imagine that if someone, not
                              > canonically ordained, need merely step off the ambon to read, then
                              > the injunction on diligently guarding the grades of the priesthood
                              > no longer applies.
                              >
                              > Note too that this canon clarifies that the monastic tonsure is
                              > insufficient to qualify someone to serve as a Reader, but he must
                              > receive ordination to this effect.
                              >
                              > Polychronios
                              >

                              Polychronios, I'm not saying that you're interpretation of the canon
                              is incorrect (it may be spot on for all I know, I just don't know
                              myself), but your interpretation definitely does not follow from the
                              canon itself or from the notes that follow. When read in a vacuum,
                              the canon is certainly says what it says (at least in this
                              translation, I don't know about the original), i.e. that no one
                              without ordination OUGHT to read IN THE AMBON DURING THE SYNAXIS

                              There are several issues that are not answered by the text of the
                              canon or the explanitory notes.

                              For example, why would they have included the word "ambon" when they
                              could have just as easily said "no one without ordination shall read
                              during the synaxis"?

                              This may just be a translation issue, but the canon says "ought"
                              instead of "shall" which implies permissibility or desirability.

                              Finally, it is easy to think of a reason why the canon may have been
                              intended simply to keep non-ordained people simply from reading from
                              the ambon, but not from reading in general. For instance, just
                              preventing non-ordained people from reading in the ambon helps "guard
                              diligently the promotions of the priesthood" for the simple fact that
                              non-ordained people will be reading from a different place, namely a
                              place that is not such a focus of people's attention.

                              Also, the canon explains that the youths who were tonsured but not
                              ordained were reading from the ambon in violation of the canons.
                              This implies that there are other canons at play which should be used
                              to guide interpretation.

                              Rdr. Vyacheslav
                            • polychrony
                              Dear Rdr. Vyacheslav, Prefixed to the canons are epitomes ; these are ancient. They capsulate the canon, and frequently are the `short-hand by which the
                              Message 14 of 16 , Jun 24, 2008
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                                Dear Rdr. Vyacheslav,

                                Prefixed to the canons are "epitomes"; these are ancient. They
                                capsulate the canon, and frequently are the `short-hand' by which
                                the whole of the canon is cited. In the text as provided below,
                                the "ancient epitome" is given following the canon (it properly
                                prefaces the canon). I am not certain regarding the following,
                                but I think it correct: the prefacing sentence here, which
                                includes the `ought' term, is not part of the canon at all, but
                                I surmise it is the gloss of one Dr. John Johnson, whose work was
                                used by the editors of the NPNF series. So it is not even a
                                question of translation, since that statement is not present in
                                the canon at all.

                                With regard to why the holy fathers included in the phrase `from
                                the ambon' in the text, this emphasis of text is not unusual.
                                If it is said, for example, that those excommunicated "dare not
                                approach the holy table to receive the divine mysteries," does
                                that mean to say that it permissible for them to commune, as long
                                as the minister brings the mysteries out to them, so they need
                                not "approach the holy table"? It is emphatic text to help clarify
                                the point.

                                Also, indicating this phrase as emphatic is that in the
                                ancient church the `ambon' was the only designated place for the
                                reading of the holy scriptures. Where else would one go to read
                                them? Non-ambonic readings would have made no sense. Even a
                                hyper-legalistic reading cannot support this as a prerequisite.

                                In reference to our own times, in current ecclesiastical
                                architecture is this no longer an ambon along the ancient usage,
                                the closest being the `pulpit', which tends to be used only by
                                presbyters/bishops, making it more of an exobema structure than
                                a reader's ambon. In fact, I do not recall if I have ~ever~
                                witnessed the epistle being read from the pulpit—typically it is
                                read from the center of the church where the ambon ~used to be~,
                                or from the psalterion/solea. So is the thrust of the canon now
                                gutted because we no longer have that exact church furnishing?
                                Is that the message what the Fathers were trying to convey?

                                Lastly, in the interpretation of this canon as provided in ~The
                                Rudder~, the following extract is worthy of note:

                                "Since some person have been consecrated from infancy to God,
                                and have donned garments befitting clerics, and have also
                                received the tonsure at the hands of their own parents, in
                                accordance with a certain custom, on the pretext that they have
                                been and are, allegedly, consecrated, and these same children on
                                coming to age have had the temerity to read the divine books to
                                the laity perhaps trusting to that tonsure received in their
                                infancy) without having had the requisite imposition of hands and
                                without having received the requisite seal and tonsure of an
                                Anagnost from a prelate; therefore the present Canon commands that
                                such a thing be not done, on the ground that it is disorderly and
                                uncanonical. Not only are laymen forbidden to act as Readers
                                without a bishop's seal, but so are monks, too."

                                One can see from all the above how the position of reader is an
                                office in the Church, and the canons diligently guard its
                                promotion. The late-20th, early 21st century innovative practice
                                by presbyters and bishops of having non-ordained layman or women
                                read the holy scriptures to the laity is clearly misguided. So
                                much so that Michael ("mskgz") is going out on a cassock strike in
                                order to promote this un-Orthodox practice.

                                In Christ,

                                Polychronios


                                --- In orthodox-readers@yahoogroups.com, "mskgz" <mskgz@...> wrote:
                                >
                                > Hello all,
                                >
                                > I am a tonsured Reader, but also a bit of a trouble maker when
                                > warranted. I am now part of a wonderful parish, but which is the
                                > only parish I have ever attended in my life that did not have women
                                > readers. (I decided that I won't wear a cossock until that is
                                > corrected.)
                                >
                                > I believe that the proper protocol is for the reader that is not
                                > allowed back behind the altar (which probably shoulod include me) to
                                > approach the front of the church and then receive the blessing from
                                > the priest.
                                >
                                > Interested in your thoughts.
                                >
                                > Michael
                                >
                                > --- In orthodox-readers@yahoogroups.com, "Art Danks" <artdanks1@>
                                > wrote:
                                > >
                                > > Hi all,
                                > >
                                > > A question came up at our parish that I'm curious about. We have 4
                                > > different individuals that do the reading during the services at
                                > our
                                > > church. TWo of us are tonsured readers (both men of course), and
                                > the
                                > > other two are non-tonsured, and are both women.
                                > >
                                > > When it comes time for the blessing before the reading of the
                                > > Prokemeinon and Epistle reading, the male tonsured Readers go into
                                > > the altar area to receive the blessing, and then then go back into
                                > > the Nave for the readings. However, the women of course, only go up
                                > > to the foot of the stairs, and our Priest steps forward to give
                                > them
                                > > the blessing prior to the reading.
                                > >
                                > > This has been the practice of our parish for many years, but I have
                                > > recently heard that this actually is not proper protocol, and that
                                > > in fact when women do the reading they normally do not receive a
                                > > blessing, and that this is just a recent innovation and not a
                                > common
                                > > practice in other parishes.
                                > >
                                > > I'm curious to hear what the groups thoughts are, the practices of
                                > > your particular parish, and what you have heard on this matter.
                                > >
                                > > Thank you all.
                                > >
                                > > In His service,
                                > >
                                > > Reader John
                                > >
                                >
                              • mskgz
                                I read this with a mixture of amusement and consternation. It is exactly this kind of thinking that makes Orthodoxy almost irrelevant in the eyes of America.
                                Message 15 of 16 , Jun 24, 2008
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                                  I read this with a mixture of amusement and consternation. It is
                                  exactly this kind of thinking that makes Orthodoxy almost irrelevant
                                  in the eyes of America. We will never be able to spread the word of
                                  Christ if we Orthodox insist on looking to ancient texts and forget
                                  the one ancient text that has the most importance to our faith.
                                  (That being the Bible, in case you were not sure of my meaning.)

                                  As to the comment about my "un-Orthodox practices", my bishop doesn't
                                  think I am being un-Orthodox, so I don't really care what you think.

                                  I stand by my view that readers in the church can include men and
                                  women that have not been tonsured. That is the practice in most of
                                  the churches I know and have attended since my youth, and is not
                                  inconsistent with Church Canons based on the discussions I have had
                                  with theologians of much greater significance. On a personal note, I
                                  do believe that Churches that fail to include lay people in their
                                  services risk being left with no one in their congregations.

                                  How about we talk about the need to use only English in our services?

                                  Michael


                                  --- In orthodox-readers@yahoogroups.com, "polychrony"
                                  <Polychrony@...> wrote:
                                  >
                                  > Dear Rdr. Vyacheslav,
                                  >
                                  > Prefixed to the canons are "epitomes"; these are ancient. They
                                  > capsulate the canon, and frequently are the `short-hand' by which
                                  > the whole of the canon is cited. In the text as provided below,
                                  > the "ancient epitome" is given following the canon (it properly
                                  > prefaces the canon). I am not certain regarding the following,
                                  > but I think it correct: the prefacing sentence here, which
                                  > includes the `ought' term, is not part of the canon at all, but
                                  > I surmise it is the gloss of one Dr. John Johnson, whose work was
                                  > used by the editors of the NPNF series. So it is not even a
                                  > question of translation, since that statement is not present in
                                  > the canon at all.
                                  > >
                                  <SNIP>
                                • polychrony
                                  ... Have we learnt nothing from the tragic experiences of the RC s, the Anglicans, et.al., in their search for relevance ? Since the 1960 s, when this view
                                  Message 16 of 16 , Jun 26, 2008
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                                    --- In orthodox-readers@yahoogroups.com, "mskgz" <mskgz@...> wrote:
                                    >
                                    > I read this with a mixture of amusement and consternation. It is
                                    > exactly this kind of thinking that makes Orthodoxy almost
                                    > irrelevant in the eyes of America.

                                    Have we learnt nothing from the tragic experiences of the RC's,
                                    the Anglicans, et.al., in their search for "relevance"? Since
                                    the 1960's, when this view first emerged in force, we saw such
                                    developments as:

                                    folk guitar masses
                                    'Christian' rock music
                                    gender-neutral language
                                    altar girls
                                    women priests
                                    homosexual ministers
                                    open-communion, et. al.

                                    All these misguided efforts in the vain pursuit of making the
                                    "faith once delivered to the saints" ~relevant~ to American
                                    culture.

                                    > We will never be able to spread the word of
                                    > Christ if we Orthodox insist on looking to ancient texts and
                                    > forget the one ancient text that has the most importance to our
                                    > faith.(That being the Bible, in case you were not sure of my
                                    > meaning.)

                                    Is the "word of Christ" as spread by the Orthodox the same as that
                                    spread by the Protestants? If not, then perhaps it is because these
                                    ancient texts inform our understanding of Scripture?

                                    Rather than opposing the Holy Scriptures against other ancient
                                    Christian writings (e.g., the Apostolic Fathers, the holy canons,
                                    the lives of the saints, etc.) perhaps it would be worthwhile to
                                    look to how these represent a consistent, living tradition? 20
                                    centuries of unbroken tradition should be looked to for guidance
                                    in what it means to live piously, reverently, and just perhaps,
                                    it may be American culture that needs some revision.

                                    > As to the comment about my "un-Orthodox practices", my bishop
                                    > doesn't think I am being un-Orthodox, so I don't really care what
                                    > you think.

                                    And, evidently, what the Seven Oecumenical Councils think, either.

                                    > I stand by my view that readers in the church can include men and
                                    > women that have not been tonsured. That is the practice in most of
                                    > the churches I know and have attended since my youth, and is not
                                    > inconsistent with Church Canons based on the discussions I have had
                                    > with theologians of much greater significance.

                                    Perhaps you have misunderstood them. I am certain that if their
                                    positions are carefully vetted, you will find them in concordance
                                    with holy tradition.

                                    > On a personal note, I
                                    > do believe that Churches that fail to include lay people in their
                                    > services risk being left with no one in their congregations.

                                    Lay people are included in every service, as "the faithful", the
                                    "oi pistoi". Ironically, if everyone served in some fashion as
                                    a cleric, then there would be no congregations!

                                    "Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers
                                    of miracles?" 1 Cor 12:29.

                                    [snip]

                                    In Christ,

                                    Polychronios


                                    --- In orthodox-readers@yahoogroups.com, "mskgz" <mskgz@...> wrote:
                                    >
                                    > I read this with a mixture of amusement and consternation. It is
                                    > exactly this kind of thinking that makes Orthodoxy almost irrelevant
                                    > in the eyes of America. We will never be able to spread the word of
                                    > Christ if we Orthodox insist on looking to ancient texts and forget
                                    > the one ancient text that has the most importance to our faith.
                                    > (That being the Bible, in case you were not sure of my meaning.)
                                    >
                                    > As to the comment about my "un-Orthodox practices", my bishop doesn't
                                    > think I am being un-Orthodox, so I don't really care what you think.
                                    >
                                    > I stand by my view that readers in the church can include men and
                                    > women that have not been tonsured. That is the practice in most of
                                    > the churches I know and have attended since my youth, and is not
                                    > inconsistent with Church Canons based on the discussions I have had
                                    > with theologians of much greater significance. On a personal note, I
                                    > do believe that Churches that fail to include lay people in their
                                    > services risk being left with no one in their congregations.
                                    >
                                    > How about we talk about the need to use only English in our services?
                                    >
                                    > Michael
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > --- In orthodox-readers@yahoogroups.com, "polychrony"
                                    > <Polychrony@> wrote:
                                    > >
                                    > > Dear Rdr. Vyacheslav,
                                    > >
                                    > > Prefixed to the canons are "epitomes"; these are ancient. They
                                    > > capsulate the canon, and frequently are the `short-hand' by which
                                    > > the whole of the canon is cited. In the text as provided below,
                                    > > the "ancient epitome" is given following the canon (it properly
                                    > > prefaces the canon). I am not certain regarding the following,
                                    > > but I think it correct: the prefacing sentence here, which
                                    > > includes the `ought' term, is not part of the canon at all, but
                                    > > I surmise it is the gloss of one Dr. John Johnson, whose work was
                                    > > used by the editors of the NPNF series. So it is not even a
                                    > > question of translation, since that statement is not present in
                                    > > the canon at all.
                                    > > >
                                    > <SNIP>
                                    >
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