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Re: Blessing vs. Tonsuring

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  • Reader John
    Dear Beverly Macrina Your introduction message has generated some controversy. Not because of anything you have done; I m sure you are pious and devoted to
    Message 1 of 22 , Sep 7, 2003
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      Dear Beverly Macrina

      Your introduction message has generated some controversy. Not
      because of anything you have done; I'm sure you are pious and devoted
      to the church. But you did write:

      "I am a brand new, not even official reader (at least yet)."

      Many of us are wondering if your church, a parish of the OCA, intends
      to have your bishop tonsure you a reader. If this is the case, it
      violates church canons, holy tradition, and the very exhortation of
      the bishop at tonsuring:

      "my son, the office of reader is the first step to the priesthood..."

      So again, Beverly, this not against you, but whether your church, the
      OCA, has modernized to the extent that it would tonsure a woman as a
      reader. Is that the case? Does your local bishop really intend to
      tonsure you? Would you wear a cassock? A sticharion? Serve in the
      altar?

      Lord have mercy upon us all.

      In Christ,
      Reader John


      --- In orthodox-readers@yahoogroups.com, andrew@c... wrote:
      > Bev. Cooke wrote:
      >
      > > As to what the difference is between a blessed reader adn a
      tonsured
      > > one, other than the gender, and the fact that the men have hair
      cut and
      > > women don't - I have no idea, because I've never seen someone
      either
      > > blessed or tonsured.
      >
      > My understanding runs something roughly like this:
      >
      > Any baptized Orthodox Christian may be blessed to do the reading
      (i.e.
      > chanting, epistle reading, etc.), and that blessing essentially
      holds for
      > that task on that day. It's a temporary, on-hand assignment,
      renewable
      > for each service.
      >
      > A man holding the office of Reader is tonsured into the position by
      the
      > bishop (or, in some traditions, an archimandrite or archpriest may
      do the
      > job, as well), addressed and communed as "the Reader So-and-so,"
      usually
      > wears at least a cassock in church, and is held to be one of the
      subclergy
      > in his parish. He is a member of one of the two minor orders (the
      other
      > being subdeacon). In terms of rank, a Reader would often be
      communed
      > before other laity.
      >
      > Someone who has simply been blessed to read on a particular day
      does not
      > hold any particular office, is not considered to be in orders,
      would not
      > wear a cassock, and would not be addressed or communed as "the
      Reader
      > So-and-so."
      >
      > That being said, just because someone does not happen to have been
      > tonsured a Reader and hold that office does not mean that his
      ministry in
      > the Church is lessened in any way. It simply means that they don't
      hold
      > the office of Reader.
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > In Christ,
      >
      > Rdr. Andrew
      >
      > --
      > -- andrew@c... -------- Andrew Stephen Damick ----------------|
      > Abba Isidore the priest said, "If you desire salvation, do
      everything --|
      > that leads you to it." ------|
    • Reader Michael J. Bishop
      The OCA does not tonsure women readers. The Antiochian Archdiocese does. But that does not mean that the woman reader will do anything other than probably
      Message 2 of 22 , Sep 7, 2003
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        The OCA does not tonsure women readers. The Antiochian Archdiocese
        does. But that does not mean that the woman reader will do anything
        other than probably read in church. In many parishes women read the
        Epistle and the Hours. In some cases, if not in most cases, this is
        because there are no males to do the job.

        Since I am not a church historian, theologian, nor a bishop, I cannot
        make much comment on the prayer of tonsuring a Reader. However, I do
        know that some Bishops do omit the clause, "the office of Reader is the
        first step to the Priesthood." I have witnessed it and I have actually
        seen the text where this is in parenthesis.

        Also, we need to remember that not every Reader will be ordained a
        Priest. In most parishes, there is only one Priest but there might be
        several Readers. Some people believe that the Choir Director should be
        a tonsured Reader and there are those who believe that church school
        Teachers should be tonsured Readers also, especially since one of the
        jobs of the early Reader was to teach the catechumens.

        There is also the question of steps toward the woman Deacon. Were they
        tonsured a Reader first and then ordained a Subdeacon and then ordained
        a Deacon? Were men always tonsured a Reader and ordained a Subdeacon
        before being ordained a Deacon? Were Priests always ordained a Deacon
        before being ordained a Priest?

        There is considerable question to whether or not the woman Deacon
        actually served in the altar. We do have documentation that she did
        receive the Eucharist at the altar and she was ordained at the altar,
        but she did not knell at the altar when ordained, but simply laid her
        head on the altar and the Bishop ordained here in a similiar fashion as
        to the male Deacon. Whether or not this was a universal practice, I do
        not know. I do remember reading this when working on my thesis for my
        MDiv degree.

        As far as wearing a cassock, nuns wear habits which are basically
        monastic cassocks. The woman Deacon did wear a sticharion and orarion,
        but I think that she wore it slightly differently than her male
        counterpart. Unfortunately today many Readers do not wear cassocks. I
        was a Reader at least six months before I owned my first cassock and
        that was a western style. I would jokingly tell people that my priest
        had it when he was a student at Immaculate Conception Orthodox
        Seminary. Unfortunately many people did not catch this. They believed
        every word of it.

        Finally, exactly what did Beverly Macrina mean by "official reader"?
        When I served my first Liturgy, I was not an official server. By the
        time I served my fifth Liturgy, I was an official server in the minds of
        my brothers and sisters at church, although nothing special was done to
        make me an official server. I knew that I was one when the Metropolitan
        of Prague was visiting our parish and we were discussing the upcoming
        Liturgy and one woman said to me, "Of course, you will be serving."

        Reader Michael



        Reader John wrote:

        >
        > Dear Beverly Macrina
        >
        > Your introduction message has generated some controversy. Not
        > because of anything you have done; I'm sure you are pious and devoted
        > to the church. But you did write:
        >
        > "I am a brand new, not even official reader (at least yet)."
        >
        > Many of us are wondering if your church, a parish of the OCA, intends
        > to have your bishop tonsure you a reader. If this is the case, it
        > violates church canons, holy tradition, and the very exhortation of
        > the bishop at tonsuring:
        >
        > "my son, the office of reader is the first step to the priesthood..."
        >
        > So again, Beverly, this not against you, but whether your church, the
        > OCA, has modernized to the extent that it would tonsure a woman as a
        > reader. Is that the case? Does your local bishop really intend to
        > tonsure you? Would you wear a cassock? A sticharion? Serve in the
        > altar?
        >
        > Lord have mercy upon us all.
        >
        > In Christ,
        > Reader John
        >
        >
        > --- In orthodox-readers@yahoogroups.com, andrew@c... wrote:
        > > Bev. Cooke wrote:
        > >
        > > > As to what the difference is between a blessed reader adn a
        > tonsured
        > > > one, other than the gender, and the fact that the men have hair
        > cut and
        > > > women don't - I have no idea, because I've never seen someone
        > either
        > > > blessed or tonsured.
        > >
        > > My understanding runs something roughly like this:
        > >
        > > Any baptized Orthodox Christian may be blessed to do the reading
        > (i.e.
        > > chanting, epistle reading, etc.), and that blessing essentially
        > holds for
        > > that task on that day. It's a temporary, on-hand assignment,
        > renewable
        > > for each service.
        > >
        > > A man holding the office of Reader is tonsured into the position by
        > the
        > > bishop (or, in some traditions, an archimandrite or archpriest may
        > do the
        > > job, as well), addressed and communed as "the Reader So-and-so,"
        > usually
        > > wears at least a cassock in church, and is held to be one of the
        > subclergy
        > > in his parish. He is a member of one of the two minor orders (the
        > other
        > > being subdeacon). In terms of rank, a Reader would often be
        > communed
        > > before other laity.
        > >
        > > Someone who has simply been blessed to read on a particular day
        > does not
        > > hold any particular office, is not considered to be in orders,
        > would not
        > > wear a cassock, and would not be addressed or communed as "the
        > Reader
        > > So-and-so."
        > >
        > > That being said, just because someone does not happen to have been
        > > tonsured a Reader and hold that office does not mean that his
        > ministry in
        > > the Church is lessened in any way. It simply means that they don't
        > hold
        > > the office of Reader.
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > In Christ,
        > >
        > > Rdr. Andrew
        > >
        > > --
        > > -- andrew@c... -------- Andrew Stephen Damick ----------------|
        > > Abba Isidore the priest said, "If you desire salvation, do
        > everything --|
        > > that leads you to it." ------|
        >
        >
        >
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        --
        Reader Michael J. Bishop
        570 St Mary St
        Baltimore MD 21201-1936
        410-225-7743 voice/fax/data
        410-395-1011 beeper

        Personal web site: http://www.Michael-Bishop.com and http://www.ReaderMichael.com

        Send all e-mail messages to: Reader@...


        =*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*
        Russian Festival ~ ~ ~ 17 - 19 October 2003
        Holy Trinity Russian Orthodox Church
        1723 East Fairmount Ave; Baltimore MD 21231
        410-276-6171




        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Chris Csernica
        ... And I m afraid *my* introduction message will involve slapping you with a trout. Metaphorically, of course. I m Theodore Csernica, a recently tonsured
        Message 3 of 22 , Sep 7, 2003
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          Reader John wrote:

          > Your introduction message has generated some controversy.

          And I'm afraid *my* introduction message will involve slapping you with
          a trout. Metaphorically, of course.

          I'm Theodore Csernica, a recently tonsured reader in the OCA's Diocese
          of the West.

          > Many of us are wondering if your church, a parish of the OCA, intends
          > to have your bishop tonsure you a reader. If this is the case, it
          > violates church canons, holy tradition, and the very exhortation of
          > the bishop at tonsuring:
          >
          > "my son, the office of reader is the first step to the priesthood..."
          >
          > So again, Beverly, this not against you, but whether your church, the
          > OCA, has modernized to the extent that it would tonsure a woman as a
          > reader. Is that the case? Does your local bishop really intend to
          > tonsure you? Would you wear a cassock? A sticharion? Serve in the
          > altar?

          I understood from the guidelines that jurisdictional issues were outside
          the bounds of this list. Yet here I am a subscriber for a little more
          than a month and a juristictional rant rears its ugly head on what has
          turned out to be otherwise a very low-traffic list. Rather than
          immediately exhale the fire rising from your belly, had you held your
          peace in charity and carefully read the rest of the thread, you would
          have discovered that Beverly is just mildly confused in her terminology
          and has no intention of seeking a tonsure. All it appears she's looking
          for is an episcopal *blessing* to read in church. That from a priest
          would be just as "official", but it never hurts to go right to the local
          source. She can hardly be faulted for that.

          Then from your initial mistaken impression you make a number of absurd
          deductions that are only reasonable for those who see modernism lurking
          beneath every bush, whether it's really there or not.

          For the record, (as if it needed to be on the record) the OCA does not,
          and has no desire to ever, tonsure women as Readers or ordain them to
          any clerical rank.

          I agree it was an odd use of "official" on Beverly's part, but again,
          had you patiently read further you would have discovered what she meant
          by it. A woman attending a mission parish who has just learned to read
          in the church and is a bit unsure of the correct words to use to
          describe her position is a very strange yardstick to use for measuring
          the fidelity of an entire jurisdiction.

          > Lord have mercy upon us all.

          Indeed.

          -- Theodore Csernica

          No trout were harmed in the writing of this post.
        • Glen Thurman
          On 9/7/03 7:58 PM, Reader Michael J. Bishop ... Reader Michael, I d like to request that you substantiate the claim that the
          Message 4 of 22 , Sep 7, 2003
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            On 9/7/03 7:58 PM, "Reader Michael J. Bishop" <Reader.Michael2@...>
            wrote:

            > The OCA does not tonsure women readers. The Antiochian Archdiocese
            > does. But that does not mean that the woman reader will do anything
            > other than probably read in church. In many parishes women read the
            > Epistle and the Hours. In some cases, if not in most cases, this is
            > because there are no males to do the job.


            Reader Michael,

            I'd like to request that you substantiate the claim that the Antiochian
            Archdiocese tonsures women readers. As an Antiochian for the last five
            years, I have never heard of this practice occurring anywhere within our
            Archdiocese.

            --Subdeacon Tikhon
          • andrew@chrysostom.org
            ... It does? Who? When? What bishop? This is assuredly news to me. I did hear about one Antiochian woman who called herself a tonsured reader, but it turns
            Message 5 of 22 , Sep 7, 2003
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              Reader Michael J. Bishop wrote:

              > The OCA does not tonsure women readers. The Antiochian Archdiocese
              > does.

              It does? Who? When? What bishop?

              This is assuredly news to me. I did hear about one Antiochian woman who
              called herself a tonsured reader, but it turns out that what had actually
              happened is that the bishop had given her a blessing to read on that day
              and that she apparently didn't know that "tonsure" refers to cutting hair.
              From what I understand, she was eventually informed that she ought to stop
              styling herself incorrectly.



              In XC,

              Rdr. Andrew (Antiochian)

              --
              -|- --IC-XC--NIKA-- Andrew Stephen Damick --andrew@...--
              --|-- "By the grace of God, I am a Christian, by my deeds a great sinner,
              \| and by my calling a homeless wanderer of humblest origin, roaming
              |\ from place to place." --The Way of a Pilgrim -----IC-XC--NIKA---
            • Fr. Daniel Swires
              Ok, let s set this straight. The OCA does not tonsure women readers. Macrina is talking about being blessed to read. There are many women who have been
              Message 6 of 22 , Sep 7, 2003
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                Ok, let's set this straight. The OCA does not tonsure women readers.
                Macrina is talking about being blessed to read. There are many women
                who have been trained and blessed to read. They do not wear the vestments
                of a Reader.
                Fr. Daniel Swires
                Priest-in-Charge, Holy Cross Orthodox Mission (OCA)
                Millersburg, OH

                ----- Original Message -----
                From: "Reader John" <rdrjohn2000@...>
                To: <orthodox-readers@yahoogroups.com>
                Sent: Sunday, September 07, 2003 4:24 PM
                Subject: [orthodox-readers] Re: Blessing vs. Tonsuring


                >
                > Dear Beverly Macrina
                >
                > Your introduction message has generated some controversy. Not
                > because of anything you have done; I'm sure you are pious and devoted
                > to the church. But you did write:
                >
                > "I am a brand new, not even official reader (at least yet)."
                >
                > Many of us are wondering if your church, a parish of the OCA, intends
                > to have your bishop tonsure you a reader. If this is the case, it
                > violates church canons, holy tradition, and the very exhortation of
                > the bishop at tonsuring:
                >
                > "my son, the office of reader is the first step to the priesthood..."
                >
                > So again, Beverly, this not against you, but whether your church, the
                > OCA, has modernized to the extent that it would tonsure a woman as a
                > reader. Is that the case? Does your local bishop really intend to
                > tonsure you? Would you wear a cassock? A sticharion? Serve in the
                > altar?
                >
                > Lord have mercy upon us all.
                >
                > In Christ,
                > Reader John
                >
                >
              • Fr. Daniel Swires
                Macrina, Please don t let the unkindness of one who wishes to foment jurisdictional disputes discourage you from reading. The mother of my godchildren has been
                Message 7 of 22 , Sep 7, 2003
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                  Macrina,
                  Please don't let the unkindness of one who wishes to foment jurisdictional
                  disputes discourage you from reading.
                  The mother of my godchildren has been blessed to read, and she does a
                  beautiful job!
                  Fr. Daniel

                  ----- Original Message -----
                  From: "Bev. Cooke" <bevcooke@...>
                  To: <orthodox-readers@yahoogroups.com>
                  Sent: Sunday, September 07, 2003 1:53 AM
                  Subject: Re: [orthodox-readers] Digest Number 130


                  > WEll, no, they're blessing them - and that's what I mean. I'm chanting
                  the readings in liturgy and vespers, but I haven't, becuase the bishop
                  hasn't visited since I've been trained, been actually made an official
                  reader. The "yet" is more hope than conviction. I'm hoping that when the
                  Bishop does make his annual visit, around about February, that Father will
                  think I'm worthy to be blessed as a reader, and Vladyka will give me his
                  blessing to read.
                  >
                  > As to what the difference is between a blessed reader adn a tonsured one,
                  other than the gender, and the fact that the men have hair cut and women
                  don't - I have no idea, because I've never seen someone either blessed or
                  tonsured.
                  >
                  > Hope this helps.
                  >
                  > Yours, Bev. Macrina
                  >
                  >
                  > ----- Original Message -----
                  > From: Joseph Lucas
                  > To: orthodox-readers@yahoogroups.com
                  > Sent: Saturday, September 06, 2003 8:15 PM
                  > Subject: Re: [orthodox-readers] Digest Number 130
                  >
                  >
                  > Macrina:
                  >
                  > Out of curiosity, what do you mean when you say you're not a reader
                  "yet"?
                  > Are they now tonsuring women as readers in the OCA?
                  >
                  > --Reader Joseph
                  >
                  > _________________________________________________________________
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                  > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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                  >
                • Bev. Cooke
                  REader John: Thank you for your generous words - I try to be faithful and pious. However, I suspect that our definitions of those words will differ,
                  Message 8 of 22 , Sep 7, 2003
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                    REader John:

                    Thank you for your generous words - I try to be faithful and pious. However, I suspect that our definitions of those words will differ, especially as regards tonsuring of women as readers.

                    But before you get all het up and hot under the cassock <g>: Bishop SERAPHIM does *not* tonsure women readers. As far as I know, he blesses them - so that they are given the "official nod" to fill the office of reader, but are not put through whatever ceremony the men are.

                    As far as I'm aware (which isn't really much, I'll have to ask my priest about this) the blessing qualifies the women to do *exactly* the same thing as the men, inso far as reading the lessons, teh epistle, and the other reading/chanting jobs that men do.

                    It does not qualify them (as far as I know) to serve in the altar. One of our readers is a server (a man), but that's by necessity - there aren't enough of us to fill the necessary jobs, so we double up wherever we can and is legitimate. (i.e. my son 13, serves as an "apprentice" server, and I read because the other more experienced readers (the server and a woman in the choir) are busy serving and singing.

                    Neither I, nor any of the other people who read (both men and women) wear anything in the way of robes or other garments specifically related to the clergy - cassocks or sticharions. We wear what we wear to church. The only other two Orthodox churches I've been in, which are also OCA are the same - nice street clothes, no robes, cassocks, sticharions etc.

                    As for going into the altar for the blessing before the epistile (I'll get this out of the way before someone menitons it) - in our church it's a moot point. The church we use is an Anglican chapel loaned to us, so there is a "symbolic" iconostasis - two easels, one with an icon of the Pantocrator and the other of the Theotokos on either side fo the chancel rail & steps. (we call the chancel steps the ambo casue we don't have a real one yet.) For the blessing before the reading, I approach the ambo and wait there until Father comes out and says the blessing, then turn around, walk five steps (around the analogion) stand in front of the analogion and chant the epistle. Even if we were sufficiently liberated to allow any reader into the altar, I wouldn't fit. Father barely fits, and with a second priest serving (if one happens to be visiting) it's a veritable ballet as they try to fit into the tiny area and maintain the decorum and dignity. To Father's credit, it's worked - I've seen as many as three priests and the bishop in there and it looks and moves just exactly as it should. A little more slowly than if there were more room, but the reverence and dignity are, if anyting, enhanced by the necessity to move carefully and slowly so you don't bump into each other or the altar.

                    ANyway, no, as far as I know, the OCA isn't tonsuring women, and I know that Bishop SERAPHIM isn't - a discussion I mean to have with him when he comes to visit.

                    Hope this answers the question, (it'll probably cause more controversy, though.)

                    Yours, Beverley Macrina.
                    ----- Original Message -----
                    From: Reader John
                    To: orthodox-readers@yahoogroups.com
                    Sent: Sunday, September 07, 2003 1:24 PM
                    Subject: [orthodox-readers] Re: Blessing vs. Tonsuring



                    Dear Beverly Macrina

                    Your introduction message has generated some controversy. Not
                    because of anything you have done; I'm sure you are pious and devoted
                    to the church. But you did write:

                    "I am a brand new, not even official reader (at least yet)."

                    Many of us are wondering if your church, a parish of the OCA, intends
                    to have your bishop tonsure you a reader. If this is the case, it
                    violates church canons, holy tradition, and the very exhortation of
                    the bishop at tonsuring:

                    "my son, the office of reader is the first step to the priesthood..."

                    So again, Beverly, this not against you, but whether your church, the
                    OCA, has modernized to the extent that it would tonsure a woman as a
                    reader. Is that the case? Does your local bishop really intend to
                    tonsure you? Would you wear a cassock? A sticharion? Serve in the
                    altar?

                    Lord have mercy upon us all.

                    In Christ,
                    Reader John


                    --- In orthodox-readers@yahoogroups.com, andrew@c... wrote:
                    > Bev. Cooke wrote:
                    >
                    > > As to what the difference is between a blessed reader adn a
                    tonsured
                    > > one, other than the gender, and the fact that the men have hair
                    cut and
                    > > women don't - I have no idea, because I've never seen someone
                    either
                    > > blessed or tonsured.
                    >
                    > My understanding runs something roughly like this:
                    >
                    > Any baptized Orthodox Christian may be blessed to do the reading
                    (i.e.
                    > chanting, epistle reading, etc.), and that blessing essentially
                    holds for
                    > that task on that day. It's a temporary, on-hand assignment,
                    renewable
                    > for each service.
                    >
                    > A man holding the office of Reader is tonsured into the position by
                    the
                    > bishop (or, in some traditions, an archimandrite or archpriest may
                    do the
                    > job, as well), addressed and communed as "the Reader So-and-so,"
                    usually
                    > wears at least a cassock in church, and is held to be one of the
                    subclergy
                    > in his parish. He is a member of one of the two minor orders (the
                    other
                    > being subdeacon). In terms of rank, a Reader would often be
                    communed
                    > before other laity.
                    >
                    > Someone who has simply been blessed to read on a particular day
                    does not
                    > hold any particular office, is not considered to be in orders,
                    would not
                    > wear a cassock, and would not be addressed or communed as "the
                    Reader
                    > So-and-so."
                    >
                    > That being said, just because someone does not happen to have been
                    > tonsured a Reader and hold that office does not mean that his
                    ministry in
                    > the Church is lessened in any way. It simply means that they don't
                    hold
                    > the office of Reader.
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > In Christ,
                    >
                    > Rdr. Andrew
                    >
                    > --
                    > -- andrew@c... -------- Andrew Stephen Damick ----------------|
                    > Abba Isidore the priest said, "If you desire salvation, do
                    everything --|
                    > that leads you to it." ------|



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                  • Bev. Cooke
                    REader Michael: By official reader I meant simply taht the Bishop has not legitimized what I do - he hasn t blessed me to do it yet. I am official as far as
                    Message 9 of 22 , Sep 7, 2003
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                      REader Michael:

                      By "official reader" I meant simply taht the Bishop has not legitimized what I do - he hasn't blessed me to do it yet. I am official as far as my priest and most of the congregation is concerned (all of it, I think - if not I haven't heard anyting to the contrary). I just didn't want anyone on the list to think that I had been given the official title "Reader" when in fact, I haven't.

                      By calling and by love of what I do, and, I believe, by God's desire for me to read, and by the priests approval, I'm a reader.

                      Hope this clears up your confusion.
                      Yours, Bev Macrina.
                      ----- Original Message -----
                      From: Reader Michael J. Bishop
                      To: orthodox-readers@yahoogroups.com
                      Sent: Sunday, September 07, 2003 4:58 PM
                      Subject: Re: [orthodox-readers] Re: Blessing vs. Tonsuring


                      The OCA does not tonsure women readers. The Antiochian Archdiocese
                      does. But that does not mean that the woman reader will do anything
                      other than probably read in church. In many parishes women read the
                      Epistle and the Hours. In some cases, if not in most cases, this is
                      because there are no males to do the job.

                      Since I am not a church historian, theologian, nor a bishop, I cannot
                      make much comment on the prayer of tonsuring a Reader. However, I do
                      know that some Bishops do omit the clause, "the office of Reader is the
                      first step to the Priesthood." I have witnessed it and I have actually
                      seen the text where this is in parenthesis.

                      Also, we need to remember that not every Reader will be ordained a
                      Priest. In most parishes, there is only one Priest but there might be
                      several Readers. Some people believe that the Choir Director should be
                      a tonsured Reader and there are those who believe that church school
                      Teachers should be tonsured Readers also, especially since one of the
                      jobs of the early Reader was to teach the catechumens.

                      There is also the question of steps toward the woman Deacon. Were they
                      tonsured a Reader first and then ordained a Subdeacon and then ordained
                      a Deacon? Were men always tonsured a Reader and ordained a Subdeacon
                      before being ordained a Deacon? Were Priests always ordained a Deacon
                      before being ordained a Priest?

                      There is considerable question to whether or not the woman Deacon
                      actually served in the altar. We do have documentation that she did
                      receive the Eucharist at the altar and she was ordained at the altar,
                      but she did not knell at the altar when ordained, but simply laid her
                      head on the altar and the Bishop ordained here in a similiar fashion as
                      to the male Deacon. Whether or not this was a universal practice, I do
                      not know. I do remember reading this when working on my thesis for my
                      MDiv degree.

                      As far as wearing a cassock, nuns wear habits which are basically
                      monastic cassocks. The woman Deacon did wear a sticharion and orarion,
                      but I think that she wore it slightly differently than her male
                      counterpart. Unfortunately today many Readers do not wear cassocks. I
                      was a Reader at least six months before I owned my first cassock and
                      that was a western style. I would jokingly tell people that my priest
                      had it when he was a student at Immaculate Conception Orthodox
                      Seminary. Unfortunately many people did not catch this. They believed
                      every word of it.

                      Finally, exactly what did Beverly Macrina mean by "official reader"?
                      When I served my first Liturgy, I was not an official server. By the
                      time I served my fifth Liturgy, I was an official server in the minds of
                      my brothers and sisters at church, although nothing special was done to
                      make me an official server. I knew that I was one when the Metropolitan
                      of Prague was visiting our parish and we were discussing the upcoming
                      Liturgy and one woman said to me, "Of course, you will be serving."

                      Reader Michael



                      Reader John wrote:

                      >
                      > Dear Beverly Macrina
                      >
                      > Your introduction message has generated some controversy. Not
                      > because of anything you have done; I'm sure you are pious and devoted
                      > to the church. But you did write:
                      >
                      > "I am a brand new, not even official reader (at least yet)."
                      >
                      > Many of us are wondering if your church, a parish of the OCA, intends
                      > to have your bishop tonsure you a reader. If this is the case, it
                      > violates church canons, holy tradition, and the very exhortation of
                      > the bishop at tonsuring:
                      >
                      > "my son, the office of reader is the first step to the priesthood..."
                      >
                      > So again, Beverly, this not against you, but whether your church, the
                      > OCA, has modernized to the extent that it would tonsure a woman as a
                      > reader. Is that the case? Does your local bishop really intend to
                      > tonsure you? Would you wear a cassock? A sticharion? Serve in the
                      > altar?
                      >
                      > Lord have mercy upon us all.
                      >
                      > In Christ,
                      > Reader John
                      >
                      >
                      > --- In orthodox-readers@yahoogroups.com, andrew@c... wrote:
                      > > Bev. Cooke wrote:
                      > >
                      > > > As to what the difference is between a blessed reader adn a
                      > tonsured
                      > > > one, other than the gender, and the fact that the men have hair
                      > cut and
                      > > > women don't - I have no idea, because I've never seen someone
                      > either
                      > > > blessed or tonsured.
                      > >
                      > > My understanding runs something roughly like this:
                      > >
                      > > Any baptized Orthodox Christian may be blessed to do the reading
                      > (i.e.
                      > > chanting, epistle reading, etc.), and that blessing essentially
                      > holds for
                      > > that task on that day. It's a temporary, on-hand assignment,
                      > renewable
                      > > for each service.
                      > >
                      > > A man holding the office of Reader is tonsured into the position by
                      > the
                      > > bishop (or, in some traditions, an archimandrite or archpriest may
                      > do the
                      > > job, as well), addressed and communed as "the Reader So-and-so,"
                      > usually
                      > > wears at least a cassock in church, and is held to be one of the
                      > subclergy
                      > > in his parish. He is a member of one of the two minor orders (the
                      > other
                      > > being subdeacon). In terms of rank, a Reader would often be
                      > communed
                      > > before other laity.
                      > >
                      > > Someone who has simply been blessed to read on a particular day
                      > does not
                      > > hold any particular office, is not considered to be in orders,
                      > would not
                      > > wear a cassock, and would not be addressed or communed as "the
                      > Reader
                      > > So-and-so."
                      > >
                      > > That being said, just because someone does not happen to have been
                      > > tonsured a Reader and hold that office does not mean that his
                      > ministry in
                      > > the Church is lessened in any way. It simply means that they don't
                      > hold
                      > > the office of Reader.
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > In Christ,
                      > >
                      > > Rdr. Andrew
                      > >
                      > > --
                      > > -- andrew@c... -------- Andrew Stephen Damick ----------------|
                      > > Abba Isidore the priest said, "If you desire salvation, do
                      > everything --|
                      > > that leads you to it." ------|
                      >
                      >
                      >
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                      >
                      >
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                      --
                      Reader Michael J. Bishop
                      570 St Mary St
                      Baltimore MD 21201-1936
                      410-225-7743 voice/fax/data
                      410-395-1011 beeper

                      Personal web site: http://www.Michael-Bishop.com and http://www.ReaderMichael.com

                      Send all e-mail messages to: Reader@...


                      =*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*
                      Russian Festival ~ ~ ~ 17 - 19 October 2003
                      Holy Trinity Russian Orthodox Church
                      1723 East Fairmount Ave; Baltimore MD 21231
                      410-276-6171




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                    • Bev. Cooke
                      Theodore: Thank you for leaping to my defense! I do appreciate it - however, you have put words in my mouth when you say, I have no intention of seeking a
                      Message 10 of 22 , Sep 7, 2003
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                        Theodore:

                        Thank you for leaping to my defense! I do appreciate it - however, you have put words in my mouth when you say, "I have no intention of seeking a tonsure." Don't bet on it! I know the OCA doesn't, and I know my bishop wont' go against the decision of the entire OCA without an extremely good reason (and I don't for one moment figure I'm that good reason! <g>), but if I figured I had any chance at all, I'd fight for the tonsure.

                        Since I don't know all the reasons for & against, yet (one of the reasons I want to tackle Vladyka on it when he comes out in FEb.), I'm not gonna make a fuss, and I will with gratitude and thanskgiving accept whatever kind of ceremony/rite the bishop cares to use - if Fr. decides I should be blessed as a reader.

                        I thought that reader John's post was polite and respectful, by the way - he took care to point out that the controversy, while caused by me, was not directed at me, but rather my inaccurate and misleading ways of referring to what I do. I'm afraid that will continue. I seem to have a problem wtih labels - so please bear with me while I grope through this learning period for the correct terms and words. If I use something confusing, or misleading, use Occam's Razor and assume that I either dont' know the meaning of what I'm saying, or that I'm using one word that is similar to but doesn't mean the same thing as another, or that I just don't know how to describe, in proper Orthdox terms, what I'm trying to say.

                        And ask me, as REader John, and you did - and I'll do my best to explain.

                        I"m glad no trout were harmed in the writing of this post - in another world, I am the Duchess of Rainbow Trout!

                        Yours,
                        Bev. Macrina.

                        Trout were enhanced by this writing.


                        ----- Original Message -----
                        From: Chris Csernica
                        To: orthodox-readers@yahoogroups.com
                        Sent: Sunday, September 07, 2003 5:42 PM
                        Subject: Re: [orthodox-readers] Re: Blessing vs. Tonsuring


                        Reader John wrote:

                        > Your introduction message has generated some controversy.

                        And I'm afraid *my* introduction message will involve slapping you with
                        a trout. Metaphorically, of course.

                        I'm Theodore Csernica, a recently tonsured reader in the OCA's Diocese
                        of the West.

                        > Many of us are wondering if your church, a parish of the OCA, intends
                        > to have your bishop tonsure you a reader. If this is the case, it
                        > violates church canons, holy tradition, and the very exhortation of
                        > the bishop at tonsuring:
                        >
                        > "my son, the office of reader is the first step to the priesthood..."
                        >
                        > So again, Beverly, this not against you, but whether your church, the
                        > OCA, has modernized to the extent that it would tonsure a woman as a
                        > reader. Is that the case? Does your local bishop really intend to
                        > tonsure you? Would you wear a cassock? A sticharion? Serve in the
                        > altar?

                        I understood from the guidelines that jurisdictional issues were outside
                        the bounds of this list. Yet here I am a subscriber for a little more
                        than a month and a juristictional rant rears its ugly head on what has
                        turned out to be otherwise a very low-traffic list. Rather than
                        immediately exhale the fire rising from your belly, had you held your
                        peace in charity and carefully read the rest of the thread, you would
                        have discovered that Beverly is just mildly confused in her terminology
                        and has no intention of seeking a tonsure. All it appears she's looking
                        for is an episcopal *blessing* to read in church. That from a priest
                        would be just as "official", but it never hurts to go right to the local
                        source. She can hardly be faulted for that.

                        Then from your initial mistaken impression you make a number of absurd
                        deductions that are only reasonable for those who see modernism lurking
                        beneath every bush, whether it's really there or not.

                        For the record, (as if it needed to be on the record) the OCA does not,
                        and has no desire to ever, tonsure women as Readers or ordain them to
                        any clerical rank.

                        I agree it was an odd use of "official" on Beverly's part, but again,
                        had you patiently read further you would have discovered what she meant
                        by it. A woman attending a mission parish who has just learned to read
                        in the church and is a bit unsure of the correct words to use to
                        describe her position is a very strange yardstick to use for measuring
                        the fidelity of an entire jurisdiction.

                        > Lord have mercy upon us all.

                        Indeed.

                        -- Theodore Csernica

                        No trout were harmed in the writing of this post.


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                      • Bev. Cooke
                        Fr. Daniel: Thank you so much! I very much appreciate your words, and believe me, the only thing that would stop me from reading is my priest or the Bishop
                        Message 11 of 22 , Sep 7, 2003
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                          Fr. Daniel:

                          Thank you so much! I very much appreciate your words, and believe me, the only thing that would stop me from reading is my priest or the Bishop telling me I couldn't. I love to read, it feels as though this is what, in the church, I am meant to be doing, and even when I get it wrong, or miss something, it still feels right (I light the church with my red face, but I figure we can use all the light we can get, even if it is more suitable for a darkroom than a church! <g>).

                          As for unkindness - well, I understand that people are slow to change and have their reasons for not wanting women tonsured, or for that matter, blessed as readers. And I didn't feel he was all that unkind - sharp, perhaps, and maybe a bit quick with the send key, but I've received a lot worse for a lot less important topics!

                          It's a sore point with many people, I know, espcially since I've now come out and said I'd like to be tonsured (but have also said I'm not gonna rock the boat over it except wtih my Bishop), and I have to say that coming from the Anglican church, I can deal with this issue a lot more easily than I can with the issues I was grappling with there!

                          But boy, does it feel weird to be considered a liberal, when I've spent so many years being a conservative!

                          Thank you again, Father.
                          Yours, Bev. Macrina.
                          ----- Original Message -----
                          From: Fr. Daniel Swires
                          To: orthodox-readers@yahoogroups.com
                          Sent: Sunday, September 07, 2003 9:42 PM
                          Subject: Re: [orthodox-readers] Digest Number 130


                          Macrina,
                          Please don't let the unkindness of one who wishes to foment jurisdictional
                          disputes discourage you from reading.
                          The mother of my godchildren has been blessed to read, and she does a
                          beautiful job!
                          Fr. Daniel


                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        • Priest Seraphim Holland
                          ... though.) Dear Beverly, your answer is not capable of GENERATING controversy, however, it can be USED by some to generate or maintain controversy. I
                          Message 12 of 22 , Sep 8, 2003
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                            Bev. Cooke wrote:
                            >Hope this answers the question, (it'll probably cause more controversy,
                            though.)

                            Dear Beverly, your answer is not capable of GENERATING controversy,
                            however, it can be USED by some to generate or maintain controversy. I
                            understood your remarks to be a bit imprecise, but with no ulterior
                            motives, as did most other people. Enjoy reading in the church. It is a
                            ministry, whether you are ordained or not. Everything we do in the church
                            and our daily lives is a ministry.

                            One comment from the peanut gallery. Women's voices are often much too
                            soft for church reading. All of them in my church read very well, but only
                            one projects her voice enough to be heard well in the altar. Project! Be
                            heard!

                            --
                            Priest Seraphim Holland - seraphim@... PHONE: 972/529-2754
                            MOBILE: 214 658-5433 ADDRESS:2102 Summit, McKinney, TX 75071
                            Sermons,Articles,Orthodox topics Q&A,Confession,Parish info,links,etc
                            http://www.orthodox.net
                          • Theophan
                            Regarding, ... a juristictional rant rears its ugly head..., and, ... the unkindness of one who wishes to foment jurisdictional disputes..., I think that
                            Message 13 of 22 , Sep 8, 2003
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                              Regarding,

                              "... a juristictional rant rears its ugly head...,"

                              and,

                              "... the unkindness of one who wishes to foment
                              jurisdictional disputes...,"

                              I think that beauty, and also unkindness, ugliness, etc., can be in the
                              eye of the beholder, and that it may be wise to count to 10, at least,
                              before casting stones, trying charitably to ponder whether, in the other
                              person's worldview, his words or actions might not have been what they
                              seemed from within your own, possibly quite different, worldview.

                              There are some Orthodox who understand that certain traditions are
                              "small 't' traditions," and that the Church should be "liberated" (in
                              the word of a recent post, here) from them, opening certain offices to
                              all. There are other Orthodox whose understanding is that these are
                              "big 'T' traditions" of Holy Tradition, and that it is startling, and
                              worse, to consider changing them.

                              It seems to me that well-reasoned arguments can be made on both sides,
                              and that it should not be impossible to discuss these issues without
                              being accused of being unkind, or ranting, or being ugly. I have
                              learned something, for example, in this discussion. I truly did not
                              realize that there are Orthodox Churches where women are officially
                              "blessed" to read in an apparently permanent "office," and where the
                              prevailing culture is one in which some see a possible hope to liberate
                              the Church, one day, from exclusion of women from the clergy.

                              I was in the Episcopal Church when I was a boy, and in many ways, I
                              loved the Anglican Church, and still feel some nostalgia when I hear the
                              old harmonies in English Church music. But it seems to me that
                              especially these days, the Episcopal Church in America has raised into
                              very sharp prominence this dichotomy between those who see the Church as
                              something to be "liberated" from old ways, and those who see the Church
                              as unchanging and timeless, and who greatly fear any "improvements" to
                              ancient ways.

                              I am most definitely in the latter camp, but I would hope that we could
                              all try to learn from each other without accusing each other of
                              unkindness or ugliness or ranting.

                              Theophan Dort

                              -----Original Message-----
                              From: Fr. Daniel Swires [mailto:dswires@...]
                              Sent: Monday, September 08, 2003 12:42 AM
                              To: orthodox-readers@yahoogroups.com
                              Subject: Re: [orthodox-readers] Digest Number 130

                              Macrina,
                              Please don't let the unkindness of one who wishes to foment
                              jurisdictional
                              disputes discourage you from reading.
                              The mother of my godchildren has been blessed to read, and she does a
                              beautiful job!
                              Fr. Daniel
                            • Bev. Cooke
                              Thank you Father! Being too quiet is, for me, not a problem! (both in volume and opinion! ) Our church is sufficiently tiny that a normal speaking voice
                              Message 14 of 22 , Sep 8, 2003
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                                Thank you Father! Being too quiet is, for me, not a problem! (both in volume and opinion! <g>)

                                Our church is sufficiently tiny that a normal speaking voice volume is sufficient for reading, but I can see that when (please God) we move into larger, more permanent quarters, projection will be important. Thank you for the reminder.

                                Yours, Bev. Macrina.
                                ----- Original Message -----
                                From: Priest Seraphim Holland
                                To: orthodox-readers@yahoogroups.com
                                Sent: Monday, September 08, 2003 5:55 AM
                                Subject: Re: [orthodox-readers] Re: Blessing vs. Tonsuring




                                Bev. Cooke wrote:
                                >Hope this answers the question, (it'll probably cause more controversy,
                                though.)

                                Dear Beverly, your answer is not capable of GENERATING controversy,
                                however, it can be USED by some to generate or maintain controversy. I
                                understood your remarks to be a bit imprecise, but with no ulterior
                                motives, as did most other people. Enjoy reading in the church. It is a
                                ministry, whether you are ordained or not. Everything we do in the church
                                and our daily lives is a ministry.

                                One comment from the peanut gallery. Women's voices are often much too
                                soft for church reading. All of them in my church read very well, but only
                                one projects her voice enough to be heard well in the altar. Project! Be
                                heard!

                                --
                                Priest Seraphim Holland - seraphim@... PHONE: 972/529-2754
                                MOBILE: 214 658-5433 ADDRESS:2102 Summit, McKinney, TX 75071
                                Sermons,Articles,Orthodox topics Q&A,Confession,Parish info,links,etc
                                http://www.orthodox.net



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                                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                              • Bev. Cooke
                                ... and that it should not be impossible to discuss these issues without being accused of being unkind, or ranting, or being ugly. I have learned something,
                                Message 15 of 22 , Sep 8, 2003
                                • 0 Attachment
                                  >>>>>It seems to me that well-reasoned arguments can be made on both sides,
                                  and that it should not be impossible to discuss these issues without
                                  being accused of being unkind, or ranting, or being ugly. I have
                                  learned something, for example, in this discussion. I truly did not
                                  realize that there are Orthodox Churches where women are officially
                                  "blessed" to read in an apparently permanent "office," and where the
                                  prevailing culture is one in which some see a possible hope to liberate
                                  the Church, one day, from exclusion of women from the clergy.

                                  Let's not go too far, please! While I feel that the minor clerical office of reader should be open to both men & women equally, with the same - and here I get into terminology I'm not sure of - ceremony ? - for both, I'm not necessarily in favour of opening up the rest of the clerical orders to women! Definitely not priests and deacons (although I'd like to see a discussion of the revival of deaconess in the Orthodox church), and subdeacon I've hardly thought about, so have no opinion on yet. (it's a given that eventually I'll have an opinion on *everything*, and am not usually reticient about experessing it.


                                  >>>>>>I was in the Episcopal Church when I was a boy, and in many ways, I
                                  loved the Anglican Church, and still feel some nostalgia when I hear the
                                  old harmonies in English Church music. But it seems to me that
                                  especially these days, the Episcopal Church in America has raised into
                                  very sharp prominence this dichotomy between those who see the Church as
                                  something to be "liberated" from old ways, and those who see the Church
                                  as unchanging and timeless, and who greatly fear any "improvements" to
                                  ancient ways.<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

                                  I too came from that tradition, and in its most pure and traditional form, still love it deeply. It felt, on hindsight, as though it had some of the depth and reverence that the Orthodox liturgies had - when it was celebrated by priests with the proper training, and who had a deep and thoughtful understanding of what they were doing - and much of the music was an act of worship in its own right. As much as I love Orthodoxy and as right as it is for me to be here, I still sometimes miss the Anglican services and hymns.


                                  Yours, Bev



                                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                • John Congdon
                                  ... too ... but only ... Project! Be ... This can be a problem regardless of the sex of the person reading. I ve known operatic tenors, assets to the choir,
                                  Message 16 of 22 , Sep 8, 2003
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                                    --- In orthodox-readers@yahoogroups.com, Priest Seraphim Holland
                                    <seraphim@c...> wrote:
                                    >
                                    > One comment from the peanut gallery. Women's voices are often much
                                    too
                                    > soft for church reading. All of them in my church read very well,
                                    but only
                                    > one projects her voice enough to be heard well in the altar.
                                    Project! Be
                                    > heard!
                                    >

                                    This can be a problem regardless of the sex of the person reading.
                                    I've known operatic tenors, assets to the choir, who couldn't read
                                    the hours for beans. Anyone who reads in church needs to focus on
                                    projection, clarity, meaning, and phrasing, otherwise you get an
                                    inaudible mumble which enlightens no-one.

                                    And, since I'm on a practical note, in the Liturgy, even a tonsured
                                    reader receives the blessing from the celebrant before reading the
                                    scriptures in a particular service. If we have been given the
                                    blessing to do anything in the Liturgy (either permanently or pro
                                    tem), we have to do it to the service of the Church and its people
                                    and then disappear. If you've been given the blessing, go for it.
                                    If you haven't, accept it in humility and move on.

                                    Personally, I believe that whether I'm communicated as "the servant
                                    of God, John", "the Reader, John", "the Subdeacon, John", or (as I
                                    got once) "the Reverend Subdeacon, John" it totally insignificant
                                    compared to whether or not I love God before all else and whether or
                                    not I love my neighbor as myself.
                                  • Chris Csernica
                                    ... Much as I appreciate the imputation of gallantry, my primary motive was to defend the practices of the OCA, not you personally -- as nice a person as you
                                    Message 17 of 22 , Sep 8, 2003
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                                      --- In orthodox-readers@yahoogroups.com, "Bev. Cooke" <bevcooke@s...>
                                      wrote:

                                      > Thank you for leaping to my defense!

                                      Much as I appreciate the imputation of gallantry, my primary motive
                                      was to defend the practices of the OCA, not you personally -- as nice
                                      a person as you obviously are!

                                      > I do appreciate it - however, you have put words in my mouth when
                                      you say, "I have no intention of seeking a tonsure."

                                      You're right. I ought to have said, "...has expressed no intention of
                                      seeking a tonsure", which would have been correct at the time.

                                      You *can*, of course, receive a tonsure if you like even as things
                                      stand. You'd not be a reader then, but a nun. Perhaps not quite what
                                      you were looking for...

                                      > I know my bishop wont' go against the decision of the entire OCA
                                      without an extremely good reason (and I don't for one moment figure
                                      I'm that good reason! <g>), but if I figured I had any chance at all,
                                      I'd fight for the tonsure.

                                      Two things about this. First, the OCA has made no "decision" as far as
                                      I know regarding tonsuring women as readers. It simply obeys the
                                      traditions handed down to it as to who may be set aside for clerical
                                      orders and who may not. To have to "decide" to follow a millennia-old
                                      tradition would be an odd procedure indeed, and would lead one to
                                      suspect that some different decision might follow. But it's not
                                      happening either way. Second, I think it improper to *fight* for a
                                      tonsure, ordination, or any such thing. No one, male or female, has a
                                      "right" to orders. They are God-given gifts, of which anyone who
                                      receives them is unworthy. The cry of "Axios" at ordination to major
                                      orders, as Bishop Tikhon has repeatedly taught, is not a declaration
                                      that the candidate is worthy of the ordination, but an acknowledgement
                                      that the grace of the Holy Spirit has "heal[ed] the infirm and
                                      supplie[d] what [was] lacking". It's something we must live up to, not
                                      something we deserve. It's certainly not something any of us are in a
                                      position to demand.

                                      > I thought that reader John's post was polite and respectful, by the
                                      way - he took care to point out that the controversy, while caused by
                                      me, was not directed at me, but rather my inaccurate and misleading
                                      ways of referring to what I do.

                                      Perhaps I'm jaded from having seen too many jurisdictional disputes on
                                      other lists. But *I* knew what you meant, anyway.

                                      I'm going to respond to your "Seeking Enlightenment" thread here so as
                                      to not make more posts than necessary. My views on this subject are
                                      essentially identical to Fr. John's, and for the same reasons. Just so
                                      you know, there is no service or ceremony for blessing a reader and
                                      it's not something you need the bishop to do. If you're reading in the
                                      church, you've been tacitly blessed to do so and that's pretty much
                                      it. It's more proper to ask for an explicit blessing to read before
                                      each service. That's as official as it gets.

                                      -- Theodore Csernica
                                    • Reader Michael J. Bishop
                                      Dear Subdeacon Tikhon, I no longer remember her last name, but her first name is Joy and her husband is Fr. Symeon (Brian is his secular name). This might had
                                      Message 18 of 22 , Sep 8, 2003
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                                        Dear Subdeacon Tikhon,

                                        I no longer remember her last name, but her first name is Joy and her
                                        husband is Fr. Symeon (Brian is his secular name). This might had
                                        happened before your time. I knew them for only a relatively short
                                        period of time, unfortunately. They are wonderful people and I do hope
                                        that you will have an opportunity to meet them. They spent a summer at
                                        my former parish and that is how I was fortunate to meet them.

                                        I think that I have also heard that another woman was tonsured, but I
                                        cannot verify this, not even in my own mind. I do not remember whether
                                        Joy herself told me that she was tonsured a reader or somebody else told
                                        me. It does not matter.

                                        Also, it does not matter to me whether or not a bishop or a jurisdiction
                                        does in fact tonsure female readers. This is a pastoral decision based
                                        on their needs and understanding of Tradition and the canons and who am
                                        I to second guess them?

                                        Reader Michael


                                        Glen Thurman wrote:

                                        > On 9/7/03 7:58 PM, "Reader Michael J. Bishop"
                                        > <Reader.Michael2@...>
                                        > wrote:
                                        >
                                        > > The OCA does not tonsure women readers. The Antiochian Archdiocese
                                        > > does. But that does not mean that the woman reader will do anything
                                        > > other than probably read in church. In many parishes women read the
                                        > > Epistle and the Hours. In some cases, if not in most cases, this is
                                        > > because there are no males to do the job.
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > Reader Michael,
                                        >
                                        > I'd like to request that you substantiate the claim that the Antiochian
                                        > Archdiocese tonsures women readers. As an Antiochian for the last five
                                        > years, I have never heard of this practice occurring anywhere within our
                                        > Archdiocese.
                                        >
                                        > --Subdeacon Tikhon
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                                        > orthodox-readers-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                                        >
                                        > To learn more about reader services, see:
                                        > http://pages.prodigy.net/frjohnwhiteford/horologion.htm
                                        >
                                        > To access this lists archives, go to:
                                        > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/orthodox-readers
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of Service
                                        > <http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/>.


                                        --
                                        Reader Michael J. Bishop
                                        570 St Mary St
                                        Baltimore MD 21201-1936
                                        410-225-7743 voice/fax/data
                                        410-395-1011 beeper

                                        Personal web site: http://www.Michael-Bishop.com and http://www.ReaderMichael.com

                                        Send all e-mail messages to: Reader@...


                                        =*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*
                                        Russian Festival ~ ~ ~ 17 - 19 October 2003
                                        Holy Trinity Russian Orthodox Church
                                        1723 East Fairmount Ave; Baltimore MD 21231
                                        410-276-6171




                                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                      • Lisa Ann Lovell
                                        ... What I ve observed is that most folks who chant in higher registers are more difficult to understand. Even though I sing soprano, when I m reading I chant
                                        Message 19 of 22 , Sep 8, 2003
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                                          John Congdon wrote:

                                          > --- In orthodox-readers@yahoogroups.com, Priest Seraphim Holland
                                          > <seraphim@c...> wrote:
                                          > >
                                          > > One comment from the peanut gallery. Women's voices are often much
                                          > too
                                          > > soft for church reading. All of them in my church read very well,
                                          > but only
                                          > > one projects her voice enough to be heard well in the altar.
                                          > Project! Be
                                          > > heard!
                                          > >
                                          >
                                          > This can be a problem regardless of the sex of the person reading.
                                          > I've known operatic tenors, assets to the choir, who couldn't read
                                          > the hours for beans. Anyone who reads in church needs to focus on
                                          > projection, clarity, meaning, and phrasing, otherwise you get an
                                          > inaudible mumble which enlightens no-one.


                                          What I've observed is that most folks who chant in higher registers are
                                          more difficult to understand. Even though I sing soprano, when I'm
                                          reading I chant down in the alto range. The vowels aren't so "tin-y"
                                          and it sounds much fuller and richer.

                                          I try very hard not to put my own interpretation into the verses I'm
                                          reading. I view myself as a temporary conduit for God's word. I should
                                          simply be His tool. This is very hard to do (at least for me...).

                                          > And, since I'm on a practical note, in the Liturgy, even a tonsured
                                          > reader receives the blessing from the celebrant before reading the
                                          > scriptures in a particular service.

                                          Of course, sometimes the "blessing" is nothing more than the priest
                                          saying "I need someone to read the Epistle. You do it". There were a
                                          few services, eight or nine years ago, where I was the entire choir and
                                          the only reader available (usually a midweek service). This made me
                                          "reader for a day" once in a while. However, my calling is to sing.

                                          ~Ann Lovell
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