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RE: [orthodox-rocor] Re: Yekaterinburg archbishop urges women to cover heads.

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  • DDD
    To me, men wearing sneakers, no jackets, no ties, and perhaps even sweatshirts is as bad or worse than women wearing, for example, dress pants to church (not
    Message 1 of 21 , Feb 8, 2008
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      To me, men wearing sneakers, no jackets, no ties, and perhaps even sweatshirts is as bad or worse than women wearing, for example, dress pants to church (not that I’m condoning that, either).  My Dad always used to wear leather dress shoes, dress trousers, a shirt, tie and suitcoat to church, and a hat until he got inside.

                      One thing that doesn’t seem fair, though:  in the beginning, men wore robes and so did women, too.  Now, how was that not “dressing alike”?  There was some small difference in a man’s robe from a woman’s?  So, how is that not the same situation as “men’s trousers” and “women’s slacks (made specifically for women)”? 

      Bottom line:  how did it get to be OK for men to start wearing slacks but not women, eh?

       

      Dimitra Dwelley, a bit tongue-in-cheek (but with a dash of seriousness)

       

      From: orthodox-rocor@yahoogroups.com [mailto:orthodox-rocor@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Fr. John R. Shaw
      Sent: Friday, February 08, 2008 5:06 PM
      To: orthodox-rocor@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [orthodox-rocor] Re: Yekaterinburg archbishop urges women to cover heads.

       

      --- In orthodox-rocor@yahoogroups.com, "Meg Lark" <woolfolk3@...> wrote:

      > [ml] The "anti-hat" movement began
      > sometime during the late '50s or early '60s, and hats were pretty much
      > abandoned altogether when Catholics stopped wearing them to Mass. But
      > I was a young secretary in Manhattan in the mid-60s, and we never went
      > to work without hats and gloves. Men stopped wearing hats, as a
      > universal practice, sometime during the 1950s.

      JRS: The difference is that men are supposed to take their hats *off* on entering a church,
      whereas women wear them to church as religious attire.

      There has also been a change in the way people dress for church: men (including boys)
      used to wear suits and ties, but that gradually eroded over the years.

      Today, at least in our churches, I rarely see jackets and ties.

      In Christ
      Fr. John R. Shaw

    • Fr Anthony Bridges
      Dimitra, I grew up Southern Baptist in South Carolina in the 1950s, and I very fondly remember Sunday services where the men wore suits and the women wore
      Message 2 of 21 , Feb 8, 2008
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        Dimitra,
         
        I grew up Southern Baptist in South Carolina in the 1950s, and I very fondly remember Sunday services where the men wore suits and the women wore those beautiful hats with the netting, white gloves, and of course, all manner of knockout suits and dresses. One lady in our church had a fox stole with claws and glass beads for eyes. It was beautiful, of course, but as children we were more fascinated with those claws and eyes than anything else.
         
        I also remember my mother dressing up just to drive the two miles to our little town. We were not well off financially, but like many people in the 50s, you had to have some dress up clothes to go to church and other important places. The thought of just jumping into the car in your sweats to go shopping never entered anyone's mind in those days, especially since we never heard of anyone wearing sweats outside of a gym. Of course, if you were working you might go to the hardware store in your work clothes, but that was about it.
         
        You can't turn back the clock, but I am about ready to bring back the nice clothes and polite behavior. I am tired of the slobs in the stores, walking around in a daze in shorts and flip flops, talking on their cell phones. One of these guys dropped a ceiling fan on my foot because he didn't put down the phone while he took the fan off the shelf. That did it for me.
         
        Deacon Anthony Bridges
         
         
         
        ----- Original Message -----
        From: DDD
        Sent: Thursday, February 07, 2008 5:51 PM
        Subject: RE: [orthodox-rocor] Yekaterinburg archbishop urges women to cover heads.

        And, I remember when I was younger, at least through the ‘50’s and maybe even later, there were still plenty of women’s hats (women still wore hats) that had little transparent veils attached, sort of like fine netting… in America!

        --Dimitra Dwelley

        From: orthodox-rocor@ yahoogroups. com [mailto:orthodox- rocor@yahoogroup s.com] On Behalf Of ХристофорЪ | Hristofor Shashkin
        Sent: Thursday, February 07, 2008 10:33 PM
        To: orthodox-rocor@ yahoogroups. com
        Subject: Re: [orthodox-rocor] Yekaterinburg archbishop urges women to cover heads.

        Up until at least WWII (if not later), most women AND men didn't leave the house without their heads covered in the US.

        On Feb 7, 2008 10:50 AM, George <kharaku@mac. com> wrote:

        I thought women only had to cover their heads when praying... Is that not the case?

        Article:
        07 February 2008
        Interfax-Religion
        The Yekaterinburg archbishop urges Orthodox women to follow Muslim counterparts who are not afraid to wear kerchief in public

        Yekaterinburg, February 7, Interfax - Archbishop Vikenty of Yekaterinburg and Verkhniaya Tura considers it 'a retreat from the Lord's will' that the majority of Orthodox women refuse to wear kerchiefs in public places.

        'I wonder why Muslim women are neither afraid nor ashamed to do it, even the little and the young. They stand before God or Allah, as they say, and are afraid of Allah's punishment. And why we are not afraid of the Lord's punishment?' the archbishop stated in a live broadcast at the Soyuz TV channel and on air of the Voskreseniye radio.

        He reminded that covering one's head with a kerchief is 'God's instruction' as 'the Lord commanded that all women should wear kerchiefs.'

        'And if a woman doesn't want to wear it or finds it embarrassing saying that most women don't do it and she will show up, she is seriously mistaken because she shouldn't look at the others,' Archbishop Vikenty thinks.

        According to him, 'if everyone has the fear of the Lord and strives to fulfill his will, then little by little all will start wearing them (kerchiefs - IF) and there is nothing shameful in it.'

        The archbishop has recently urged women to give up cosmetics and strive to preserve natural beauty.

        'The Lord makes us beautiful, and we deform ourselves, we make freaks of ourselves. It is fraud and false understanding of beauty. It is just fashion. Look at eight or nine year-old girls. Why make them up? They are beautiful like angels! We spoil people with cosmetics,' Archbishop Vikenty stated.

        (Article Posted by George Green)




        --
        Christopher Shashkin
        Columbia U/CCSR
        212-678-5543 Voice
        212-678-5648 Fax
        516-987-4781 Mobile
        www.linkedin. com/in/shashkinc



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      • volotsky@aol.com
        I recall the protest from the Holy Mountain referred to the Pope wearing an Omophorion, not a Great Omophorion. This is a confusion.The pope was not wearing an
        Message 3 of 21 , Feb 8, 2008
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          I recall the protest from the Holy Mountain referred to the Pope wearing an Omophorion, not a Great Omophorion.
          This is a confusion.The pope was not wearing an omophor at all.


          The omophorion in the west is called a Pallium, it is always made
          with wool from lambs blessed by the pope on St. Agnes day, and then
          consecrated by being lowered onto the relics of St. Peter. It is
          always in the shape of the Great Omophorion, but over the centuries
          it got smaller and smaller until it was only a little over an inch
          wide and did not hand below the chest. In the west the Pallium is
          only worn by Archbishops (that is Metropolitans).


          Before Vatican II the pallium was only worn at somlemn pontifical mass (that is Liturgy with full hierarchical ceremony) when celebrated within the Archbishop's own metropolitan province. The pope, on the other hand could wear it at solemn mass anywhere in the world, a sign of his (as they believe), universal jurisdiction.  Since Vatican II Archbishops now can wear it at any Mass.


          What's new about Pope Benedict's Pallium-Omophorion, is that it has been restored to the shape it had in antiquity, that is like our Great Omophorion. The Pope would not wear a pallium unless he was the Celebrant of the Eucharist, and with all the other Vestments, that is over a chasuble (Phelonion), etc.

          Our Orthodox Small Omophorion, as we can tell from it's name is an
          abridgement (for practical reasons) of the Great Omophorion. One reason for this might be that our Omophoria went the opposite direction of the Latin's: instead of shrinking,they grew, not in length but in width, and often became stiffened. Our small Omophorion, by Coincidence, is shaped like a (very wide) version of
          the western stole/epitrikhelion, since the western stole is not joined or sewn together.

          The Pope appeared at the Patriarchal Liturgy in "choir dress", that is the formal clerical clothes of a non-serving cleric, sort of "fancy dress". As part of the Papal choir dress, the Pope wears a red embroidered priestly stole. These special red papal stoles, while in origin a liturgical vestment, are not worn when the pope is actually serving.

          This stole was thus not, as thought by many Orthodox, an omophorion
          or sign of liturgical concelebration.

          On the other hand, and also troubling,this element of papal choir dress, exists to show the Pope as the "source" of all priesthood, like his right to wear the Pallium anywhere in the world, it is a
          sign of his (alleged) universal jurisdiction.


          The Patriarch wears choir dress to Papal Masses, the Klobuk, Cassock, Ryassa, and Mandya. The Mandya is, of course, the hierarch's monastic cloak. Any Stavrophore Monk or Nun wears a mandya, sometimes even for it's practical purpose of keeping out the cold.  Of course, the hierarchs' mandyas are more "fancy dress, being
          colored, and decorated and often having a train.  The Mandya is often incorrectly thought to be a liturgical vestment, espescially by Roman Catholics, because it looks like a Cope, a western variant of the
          phelonion, in much the same way Orthodox mistook the popes garments for an omophorion. The west also has (or had) a non-liturgical clerical cape, somthing like a Mandya called a Cappa Magna, and one may be seen on the wiki link below under Cope. 

          All of this is in the interest of precision and clarity, not to make any apologia for these sort of events.

          Deacon Yousuf Rassam
          Los Angeles
          HVM Cathedral, OCA
           
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omophorion
           http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pallium
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Papal_vestments#Vestments
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cope


          > -----Original Message-----
          > From: Reader Timothy Tadros <pravoslavney@...>
          > To: orthodox-rocor@yahoogroups.com
          > Sent: Tue, 5 Feb 2008 7:08 am
          > Subject: [orthodox-rocor] Re: The Unorthodox Patriarch: A review of
          a new book written by Patr. Bartholome
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >  SNIP
          >    It said in one article Pope Bendict had on the Great Omophor
          like
          > an Orthodox bishop but I did not see that in any pictures. He has
          the
          > Roman style omophore which is larger than previous pontiffs but
          > really can't be said it was in an Orthodox Style. Maybe he was
          given
          > an ornate Orthodox style Omophor as a gift by the EP and this is
          what
          > everyone is talking about?
          > As much as I hate this ecumenism lets get our facts straight and
          > not "judge falsely"!
          >
          >
          >

          More new features than ever. Check out the new AOL Mail!
        • Adamiak Family
          There is an interesting article about this: http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/praxis/headcoverings.aspx Another young woman I know started wearing a headcovering all
          Message 4 of 21 , Feb 8, 2008
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            There is an interesting article about this:


            http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/praxis/headcoverings.aspx
            Another young woman I know started wearing a
            headcovering all of the time and she asked her
            elder/confessor about it, he told her it was
            protection for her. I've known a couple of women that
            have worn head coverings full time because they felt
            it was "right" for them and they have been chastised
            by quite a few people, surprisingly. Aleksandra
            Adamiak

            - George <kharaku@...> wrote:

            > Although the hat styles of Americans is interesting
            > I think this is somewhat off topic; what interests
            > me is whether there is any Orthodox belief that
            > women should be always covered. Muslims believe
            > this, however as far as I know the only Christian
            > believe on this comes from Corinthians. The Russian
            > bishop suggests that orthodox Russian women should
            > fear God's punishment for not covering their heads
            > in public; this seems extreme and unbiblical. I
            > could understand if they were praying in public, or
            > simply enjoyed wearing head coverings but a blanket
            > statement suggesting that orthodox women need fear
            > the Lord's punishment for failing to wear head
            > covering in public in general? Is there any
            > Orthodox historical support for such a belief?
            >
            > Also I should hope that these American men and women
            > if they were Orthodox before WWII removed these hats
            > before praying.
            >
            > George Green
            >
            > On Thursday, February 07, 2008, at 10:31PM, "DDD"
            > <ochichernie2@...> wrote:
            > >And, I remember when I was younger, at least
            > through the ‘50’s and maybe even later, there
            > were still plenty of women’s hats (women still
            > wore hats) that had little transparent veils
            > attached, sort of like fine netting… in America!
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >--Dimitra Dwelley
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >From: orthodox-rocor@yahoogroups.com
            > [mailto:orthodox-rocor@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of
            > ХристофорЪ | Hristofor Shashkin
            > >Sent: Thursday, February 07, 2008 10:33 PM
            > >To: orthodox-rocor@yahoogroups.com
            > >Subject: Re: [orthodox-rocor] Yekaterinburg
            > archbishop urges women to cover heads.
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >Up until at least WWII (if not later), most women
            > AND men didn't leave the house without their heads
            > covered in the US.
            > >
            > >On Feb 7, 2008 10:50 AM, George <kharaku@...>
            > wrote:
            > >
            > >I thought women only had to cover their heads when
            > praying... Is that not the case?
            > >
            > >Article:
            > >07 February 2008
            > >Interfax-Religion
            > >The Yekaterinburg archbishop urges Orthodox women
            > to follow Muslim counterparts who are not afraid to
            > wear kerchief in public
            > >
            > >Yekaterinburg, February 7, Interfax - Archbishop
            > Vikenty of Yekaterinburg and Verkhniaya Tura
            > considers it 'a retreat from the Lord's will' that
            > the majority of Orthodox women refuse to wear
            > kerchiefs in public places.
            > >
            > >'I wonder why Muslim women are neither afraid nor
            > ashamed to do it, even the little and the young.
            > They stand before God or Allah, as they say, and are
            > afraid of Allah's punishment. And why we are not
            > afraid of the Lord's punishment?' the archbishop
            > stated in a live broadcast at the Soyuz TV channel
            > and on air of the Voskreseniye radio.
            > >
            > >He reminded that covering one's head with a
            > kerchief is 'God's instruction' as 'the Lord
            > commanded that all women should wear kerchiefs.'
            > >
            > >'And if a woman doesn't want to wear it or finds it
            > embarrassing saying that most women don't do it and
            > she will show up, she is seriously mistaken because
            > she shouldn't look at the others,' Archbishop
            > Vikenty thinks.
            > >
            > >According to him, 'if everyone has the fear of the
            > Lord and strives to fulfill his will, then little by
            > little all will start wearing them (kerchiefs - IF)
            > and there is nothing shameful in it.'
            > >
            > >The archbishop has recently urged women to give up
            > cosmetics and strive to preserve natural beauty.
            > >
            > >'The Lord makes us beautiful, and we deform
            > ourselves, we make freaks of ourselves. It is fraud
            > and false understanding of beauty. It is just
            > fashion. Look at eight or nine year-old girls. Why
            > make them up? They are beautiful like angels! We
            > spoil people with cosmetics,' Archbishop Vikenty
            > stated.
            > >
            > >(Article Posted by George Green)
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >--
            > >Christopher Shashkin
            > >Columbia U/CCSR
            > >212-678-5543 Voice
            > >212-678-5648 Fax
            > >516-987-4781 Mobile
            > >www.linkedin.com/in/shashkinc
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            >



            ____________________________________________________________________________________
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          • ХристофорЪ | Hristofor Shashkin
            ... No, they actually hail from Croatia (from WIkepedia): The necktie can be traced back to the time of the Thirty Year
            Message 5 of 21 , Feb 8, 2008
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              On Feb 8, 2008 1:49 PM, John Billo <johnbillo@...> wrote:

              -
              >But aren't ties an american thing?

               

               

              No, they actually hail from Croatia (from WIkepedia):

              The necktie can be traced back to the time of the Thirty Year War (1618-1648) when Croatian mercenaries in French service, wearing their traditional small, knotted neckerchiefs, aroused the interest of the Parisians.[1] The new article of clothing started a fashion craze in Europe where both men and women wore pieces of fabric around their necks. In the late seventeenth century, the men wore lacecravats that took a large amount of time and effort to arrange. These cravats were often tied in place by cravat strings, arranged neatly and tied in a bow.

              The cravats weree then made smaller into ascots, ow ties and the modern tie as we know it.


              I recall reading St. John of San Francisco saying that altar servers shouldn't wear a tie because it is indicative of a noose, and he didn't allow them in the altar.
              Wouldn't the same be true in the rest of the church?








              Good question. Does anyone know the answer?
            • George
              ... maybe that is why the hair covering was as big a deal as it was... george green
              Message 6 of 21 , Feb 8, 2008
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                > One thing that doesn't seem fair, though: in the beginning,
                >men wore robes and so did women, too. Now, how was that not "dressing
                >alike"?

                maybe that is why the hair covering was as big a deal as it was...

                george green
              • George
                ... I think even just based on the modesty it s a fine practice to engage in my problem was more with the insinuation that women who don t cover their heads
                Message 7 of 21 , Feb 8, 2008
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                  \>
                  >http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/praxis/headcoverings.aspx
                  >Another young woman I know started wearing a
                  >headcovering all of the time and she asked her
                  >elder/confessor about it, he told her it was
                  >protection for her. I've known a couple of women that
                  >have worn head coverings full time because they felt
                  >it was "right" for them and they have been chastised
                  >by quite a few people, surprisingly. Aleksandra
                  >Adamiak

                  I think even just based on the modesty it's a fine practice to engage in my problem was more with the insinuation that women who don't cover their heads all the time in public are somehow sinning.

                  george green
                • Reader Timothy Tadros
                  Thank for the post it was very informative. I couldn t think of what the papists call their version of an omophor pallium . I don t believe he even wore this
                  Message 8 of 21 , Feb 9, 2008
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                    Thank for the post it was very informative. I couldn't think of
                    what the papists call their version of an omophor "pallium". I don't
                    believe he even wore this at the EP's liturgy but as you said Fr.
                    Deacon Yousuf the choir dress and stole. The pope did however sit on
                    the EP's throne on the right kliros which of course would be a
                    contention of argument.
                    I have notice lately that in the Antiochian Church they have
                    dispensed with the Great Omophorion and only wear the Small during
                    the Divine Liturgy anymore! This also is taking place in the Russian
                    Church only the senior hierarch wears the Great and any other
                    bishops wear the Small. I wonder where and why this new tradition is
                    being started? All bishops being equal. Is it because we don't have
                    enough trained servers in the altar to vest a bishiop with the Great
                    Omophor or just laziness?
                    I forgot to sign my post the last time
                    Rdr Timothy Tadros

                    -- In orthodox-rocor@yahoogroups.com, volotsky@... wrote:
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > I recall the protest from the Holy Mountain referred to the Pope
                    wearing an Omophorion, not a Great Omophorion.
                    > This is a confusion.The pope was not wearing an omophor at all.
                    >
                    >
                    > The omophorion in the west is called a Pallium, it is always made
                    > with wool from lambs blessed by the pope on St. Agnes day, and then
                    > consecrated by being lowered onto the relics of St. Peter. It is
                    > always in the shape of the Great Omophorion, but over the centuries
                    > it got smaller and smaller until it was only a little over an inch
                    > wide and did not hand below the chest. In the west the Pallium is
                    > only worn by Archbishops (that is Metropolitans).
                    >
                    >
                    > Before Vatican II the pallium was only worn at somlemn pontifical?
                    mass (that is Liturgy with full hierarchical ceremony) when
                    celebrated within the Archbishop's own metropolitan province. The
                    pope, on the other hand could wear it at solemn mass anywhere in the
                    world, a sign of his (as they believe), universal jurisdiction.?
                    Since Vatican II Archbishops now can wear it at any Mass.
                    >
                    >
                    > What's new about Pope Benedict's Pallium-Omophorion, is that it has?
                    been restored to the shape it had in antiquity, that is like our
                    Great Omophorion. The Pope would not wear a pallium unless he was the
                    Celebrant of the Eucharist, and with all the other Vestments, that is
                    over a chasuble (Phelonion), etc.
                    >
                    > Our Orthodox Small Omophorion, as we can tell from it's name is an
                    > abridgement (for practical reasons) of the Great Omophorion. One
                    reason for this might be that our Omophoria went the opposite
                    direction of the Latin's: instead of shrinking,they grew, not in
                    length but in width, and often became stiffened. Our small
                    Omophorion, by Coincidence, is shaped like a (very wide) version of
                    > the western stole/epitrikhelion, since the western stole is not
                    joined or sewn together.
                    >
                    > The Pope appeared at the Patriarchal Liturgy in "choir dress", that
                    is the formal clerical clothes of a non-serving cleric, sort
                    of "fancy dress". As part of the Papal choir dress, the Pope wears a
                    red embroidered priestly stole. These special red papal stoles, while
                    in?origin a liturgical vestment, are not worn when the pope is
                    actually serving.
                    >
                    > This stole was thus not, as thought by many Orthodox, an omophorion
                    > or sign of liturgical concelebration.
                    >
                    > On the other hand, and also troubling,this element of papal choir
                    dress, exists to show the Pope as the "source" of all priesthood,
                    like his right to wear the Pallium anywhere in the world, it is a
                    > sign of his (alleged) universal jurisdiction.
                    >
                    >
                    > The Patriarch wears choir dress to Papal Masses, the Klobuk,
                    Cassock, Ryassa, and Mandya. The Mandya is, of course, the hierarch's
                    monastic cloak. Any Stavrophore Monk or Nun wears a mandya, sometimes
                    even for it's practical purpose of keeping out the cold.? Of course,
                    the hierarchs' mandyas are more "fancy dress, being
                    > colored, and decorated and often having a train.? The Mandya is
                    often incorrectly thought to be a liturgical vestment, espescially by
                    Roman Catholics, because it looks like a Cope, a western variant of
                    the
                    > phelonion, in much the same way Orthodox mistook the popes garments
                    for an omophorion. The west also has (or had) a non-liturgical
                    clerical cape,?somthing like a Mandya called a Cappa Magna, and one
                    may be seen on the wiki link below under Cope.?
                    >
                    > All of this is in the interest of precision and clarity, not to
                    make any apologia for these sort of events.
                    >
                    > Deacon Yousuf Rassam
                    > Los Angeles
                    > HVM Cathedral, OCA
                    > ?
                    > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omophorion
                    > ?http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pallium
                    > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Papal_vestments#Vestments
                    > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cope
                    >
                    >
                    > > -----Original Message-----
                    > > From: Reader Timothy Tadros <pravoslavney@...>
                    > > To: orthodox-rocor@yahoogroups.com
                    > > Sent: Tue, 5 Feb 2008 7:08 am
                    > > Subject: [orthodox-rocor] Re: The Unorthodox Patriarch: A review
                    of
                    > a new book written by Patr. Bartholome
                    > >
                    > >
                    > >
                    > >
                    > >? SNIP
                    > >??? It said in one article Pope Bendict had on the Great Omophor
                    > like
                    > > an Orthodox bishop but I did not see that in any pictures. He has
                    > the
                    > > Roman style omophore which is larger than previous pontiffs but
                    > > really can't be said it was in an Orthodox Style. Maybe he was
                    > given
                    > > an ornate Orthodox style Omophor as a gift by the EP and this is
                    > what
                    > > everyone is talking about?
                    > > As much as I hate this ecumenism lets get our facts straight and
                    > > not "judge falsely"!
                    > >
                    > >
                    > >
                    >
                    >
                    ______________________________________________________________________
                    __
                    > More new features than ever. Check out the new AOL Mail ! -
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                  • James Baglien
                    ... very fondly ... all manner ... From an Orthodox practical standpoint, however, such attire would truly be *Sunday* (and Paschaltide) best -- I ve made
                    Message 9 of 21 , Feb 9, 2008
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                      --- In orthodox-rocor@yahoogroups.com, "Fr Anthony Bridges"
                      <franthony@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > I grew up Southern Baptist in South Carolina in the 1950s, and I
                      very fondly
                      > remember Sunday services where the men wore suits and the women wore
                      > those beautiful hats with the netting, white gloves, and of course,
                      all manner
                      > of knockout suits and dresses.

                      From an Orthodox practical standpoint, however, such attire would
                      truly be "*Sunday* (and Paschaltide) best" -- I've made prostrations
                      in a suit, and it's not what I'd choose to wear to church on a weekday
                      . . .

                      in IC XC,

                      Priest James Baglien
                    • Seraphim Larsen
                      From http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/praxis/headcoverings.aspx *On Account of the Angels: Why I Cover My Head, By Elisabet* At first reading of this verse I
                      Message 10 of 21 , Feb 10, 2008
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                        From http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/praxis/headcoverings.aspx


                        On Account of the Angels: Why I Cover My Head, By Elisabet

                        At first reading of this verse I thought, "Good grief, that, at least, can't have anything to do with women today." I was a new convert to Christianity and making a valiant effort to read the Bible "as if it were true." St. Paul was hard to swallow, and so were angels—along with fairies and trolls! My grudging acceptance of Christianity was based on honest doubt rather than conviction. No one had proved to me that it was true, but neither could I prove it false. On that flimsy hope I chose to make what Kierkegaard called "a leap of faith over the abyss of the absurd." It was a desperate act. I was at the end of my rope, at a loss to explain the painful contradiction between my good intentions and the reality of my life. I was no longer able to pretend success as a wife, mother of four, or writer (even though my book had been sold on first submission to a leading publisher). In truth I didn't even know who I was, although I loudly proclaimed my manifesto as atheist, humanist, and feminist, with strong opinions on most issues. I had spent most of my young life trying to define myself by "proving" I could do anything a man could do, only better. (What man could bear children!) But inside was a black hole and I was about to fall in.

                        Somehow I "happened" across a Bible and read that God (whoever He or It was) created "man in our image, male and female created He them." I read of Moses encountering a burning bush which was not consumed—and a God who identified Himself as I AM. That caught my attention. If there was a great I AM from whom all small "I ams" received their identity, there was hope of discovering myself and what it meant to be a woman. One night, under a canopy of stars in the desert, I cried out: "God, if you are there, I want to find You!" But my mind refused to accept the Bible stories of sacrificial lambs and Christ crucified and resurrected. Descartes said, "I think, therefore I am," and I agreed. My ability to reason was my life! With a heavy heart I gave up on the "mindless" Christian solution. But when all seemed lost, a quiet little thought lodged in my head: "If it were true—would you accept it? And can you prove that it is not?" The question would not let go. In fear and trembling I chose to "sacrifice" my reason, accept the incomprehensible in hopes it would prove true, and live the rest of my life as if it were. It felt as if I were dying, but I saw no other way.

                        The proof of the pudding, of course, was in the eating. The truth of the Bible could only be tested through obedience. I determined to do whatever "leapt at me" in the daily reading of Scripture. I disagreed with St. Paul's view of women, but he did say, "there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus" (Gal. 3:28). Clearly we were equal in salvation and worthiness—then why different rules? Were they only cultural, not applicable to us today? Then one day I prayed, "God, You made me a woman; I want to live the fullness of womanhood as you meant it—spiritually, emotionally, every way, even if it means doing as St. Paul says!"

                        Soon after that, during morning prayer, I Corinthians 11:10 leapt at me. It seemed silly, but I got up from my knees, found a kerchief to put over my head, and went on with prayers. Somehow it felt right. One day I wore the scarf in my Southern Baptist church. There were glances, but no comments. Gradually it became more of a habit, both during prayers at home and in church. As the only woman with a head-covering, I felt conspicuous at times, but could not bring myself to take it off. I decided I would rather err on the side of obedience than against it. And there were the angels to consider. By now I believed in them, but why they should care about my head was still a mystery.

                        After I had been a Christian for thirteen years, a desire for the sacraments drew me to the Episcopal Church. It was 1979, and three-fourths of the women in the congregation wore head-coverings. I rejoiced. During the Eucharist the priest, standing before the altar, chanted: "Therefore, with angels and archangels, and with all the company of heaven, we laud and magnify Thy glorious Name, evermore praising Thee, and saying, "Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of hosts: heaven and earth are full of Thy glory…' " The glory hit me: We were worshipping God in the company of a heavenly host! Was St. Paul alluding to that?

                        When I learned of the Jesus Prayer and adopted a rule of prayer, it seemed appropriate to wear something on my head at all times. I sewed matching dresses and scarves which my friends accepted as my "style"—artistic and a bit eccentric. That was fine with me (and I hoped, with the angels!)  I was saddened when other women in our parish stopped wearing a head- covering. They though it unnecessary and outdated, and some saw it as a sign of inferiority. Women and men were equal, and—according to current unisex fashions in clothing, life and hairstyles—practically alike and interchangeable. For nearly two thousand years Christian women had covered their heads in church, and usually elsewhere—but now we were "liberated" from that.

                        In 1995 I was chrismated Orthodox and was surprised to find myself again the only woman wearing a head-covering in my parish. An Orthodox sister told me, with a nod to my scarf, "We don't have to wear that anymore." I smiled and said, "I know, but I want to." St. Paul had said "ought," not "must." It was my voluntary obedience, even if I didn't understand the "why's." By now I had no intention of giving up the benefits. I felt blessed and protected, feminine, and, paradoxically, confident and free—in the presence of guardian and ministering angels.

                        In Orthodox worship the angels were even more in evidence. The Divine Liturgy is full of references to the various ranks of angels, emphasizing our participation with them in the joyous worship of the Holy Trinity. St. John Chrysostom (d. A.D. 407), in a sermon at the Feast of the Ascension, spoke both of angels and the veiling of women: "The angels are present here…Open the eyes of faith and look upon this sight. For if the very air is filled with angels, how much more so the Church! ...Hear the Apostle teaching this, when he bids the women to cover their heads with a veil because of the presence of the angels."   Origen, another early Church Father, said, "There are angels in the midst of our assembly…we have here a twofold Church, one of men, the other of angels…And since there are angels present…women, when they pray, are ordered to have a covering upon their heads because of those angels. They assist the saints and rejoice in the Church."  Instructions for catechumens in The Apostolic Tradition, probably written in the second century by St. Hippolytus of Rome, include this: "Moreover, let all the women have their heads veiled with a scarf…" And St. Cyril of Alexandria, commenting on I Corinthians, wrote: "The angels find it extremely hard to bear if this law [that women cover their heads] is disregarded."

                        The Church taught that it mattered to the angels whether women cover their heads. But why? Was the covering "a sign of submission to her husband," as some commentaries say, or "a cultural statement of inferiority," as one woman told me in explaining why she would not wear a veil? A friend and former dean of a Lutheran seminary in Norway, Håkon Haus, pointed to another possible reason. He looked up I Corinthians 11:10 in Greek: "Therefore the woman shall have exousia [right, power, authority] on her head for the sake of the angels." The word exousia, said Håkon, also occurs in John 1:12: "As many as received Him, to them He gave exousia to become children of God, to those who believe in His name." I felt a light go on. Was St. Paul saying that the head-covering was an outward sign of my "authority, right, power" as a female child of God, recognized by the angels? It rang excitingly true! God asks voluntary submission and obedience of His children. I chose to wear the sign of my feminine—as distinguished from masculine—authority. But why should the angels care?

                        In her book, The Holy angels, Mother Alexandra writes: "The Celestial hierarchies are the…spiritual reality of ordered creation, the stable patterns in which disruption is unknown…"  Obedience is characteristic of the angelic realm. Dionysius the Areopagite, influential since the fifth century, wrote of nine orders or hierarchies of celestial beings, arranged in three choirs. Seraphim and cherubim are in the first, archangels and angels in the third choir, closest to us. Without obedience there is chaos and disorder. St. John Chrysostom, in a sermon on I Corinthians, speaks of how distinction in male and female dress— and particularly the veiling of women—"ministers effectively to good order among mankind." Taking off the veil was "no small error," said St. John; "…it is disobedience." It "disturbs all things and betrays the gifts of God, and casts to the ground the honor bestowed…For to [the woman] it is the greatest of honor to preserve her own rank." To some who argued that a woman, by taking off her covering, "mounts up to the glory of man," Chrysostom answers: "She doth not mount up, but rather falls from her own proper honor…Since not to abide within our own limits and the laws of God, but to go beyond, is not an addition, but a diminution…"  Always emphasizing the equality between man and woman, Chrysostom admonishes the man "not to dishonor her who governs next to thyself."  The issue was order, not superiority or inferiority. At Matins for Orthodoxy Sunday, we sing, "Come and let us celebrate a day of joy: Now heaven makes glad! Earth with all the hosts of angels and the companies of mortal men, each in their varied order, keeps the feast."

                        The answer to my prayer nearly thirty years ago, that I might know what it means to be a woman, and to live it as God wills for me, is becoming clearer in obedience—often in little things, like putting on a scarf. The mystery of womanhood is still incomprehensible, but now I think, so it must be. I don't have to understand fully what it means to be a woman in order to know that I am a woman and to live it. God knows the meaning and I trust Him. I don't have to fight for my place or my right; it is given me in the glorious ranks of angels and mortals.

                        Fr. Basil Rhodes wrote in his Master of Divinity thesis in 1977 on The veiling of women in I Cor. 11, "Man is the head of the woman, according to Genesis and to St. Paul who compares the relationship of man and woman with that of the Son to the Father: 'And the head of Christ is God' (I Cor. 2:3). It would be a grave error to say that Christ is inferior to His Father. The veiling of the woman, for St. Paul, is an outward sign of the acceptance of God's order, and His divine purpose in creation. The veil is the woman's 'yes' to God, a physical, visual 'Amen'."   St. John Chrysostom thought that Paul, in admonishing women to wear a covering "because of the angels," meant it "not at the time of prayer only, but also continually, she ought to be covered." Fr. Rhodes agrees: "The veil can be the constant symbol of the true woman of God…a way of life…a testimony of faith and of the salvation of God, not only before men, but angels as well."   Timothy McFadden, who is working on his doctoral thesis at Oxford on the subject of "man/woman—God/Christgod," writes: "Members of the Godhead—and His image—are not interchangeable. As God Father and Son are equal and One in nature, so also they are unique and not interchangeable. Similarly, though equal in nature, man is not woman, woman is not man. They are distinguishable."

                        In my pre-Christian days, when I sought to understand myself in light of the doctrines of feminism, I believed that men and women shared male and female characteristics, which made us pretty much interchangeable. (And if we were interchangeable, we didn't really need each other except to conceive babies!) Today some say we have both a masculine and a feminine self that must be lived out. But how do women live out their "masculine self," and men their "feminine self"? That presents an identity problem (another modern notion) for both men and women (not to mention adolescent boys and girls!). No doubt it also adds to the chaos and gender confusion of our times.  I no longer believe we are a mixture of masculine and feminine characteristics and selves. As God in Trinity is One in essence and three Persons in function, so man and woman, created in God's image, share a human nature, yet are distinct personal selves with different functions.  As Christians we both have exousia—power, right, and authority—as children of God, but woman's authority is distinctly feminine, as man's is distinctly masculine. Hers does not contradict or usurp his, but complements it. And as the Trinity would not be complete with one of the Three missing, so man and woman are both essential to each other and to the whole.  Being in the holy order of God's creation as lived in Orthodoxy calms the troubled waters of my soul. I don't understand the mystery of Trinity—nor the mystery of man and woman – but I know I am woman, and I both want and love to live it.   St. Paul wrote, "woman is the glory of man" (I Cor. 11:7), a hard verse to take for some of us. McFadden suggests that "all women may somehow participate in the glory of the Theotokos."

                        Woman's unique and God-given capacity to give birth made the Incarnation possible. The woman Theotokos is indeed the glory of all mankind, "our solitary boast," as one writer called her. Eve, our first mother, contributed to the fall of man by choosing to disobey. Mary, the mother of our Lord—and of the Church which is His Body— made our salvation possible by obeying God's will. If she whom we hymn as "more honorable than the cherubim and more glorious beyond compare than the seraphim" is always seen in icons wearing her head-covering, it certainly cannot be a sign of "inferiority to men"!  McFadden calls the veil a "badge of authority" between equals, perceived by the angels who maintain order among themselves. Why head-coverings matter to the angels may be unclear, but that they matter seems evident. Fr. Rhodes says, "The angels watch what we do and rejoice when we obey." A scarf may be a small matter, but obedience often hinges on small things, small choices. My scarf is seen by men, but to me it signifies obedience to God, a way of living my womanhood. It is my feminine "I am" reflected outwardly. In putting on my head-covering I mean to say to God, "Behold your handmaiden, be it unto me according to Your word—Your will, not mine." For twelve years I have worn a scarf at all times. I now perceive that it has been—and continues to be—essential for the pilgrim journey and salvation of my soul. The bottom line for me—and a growing number of my sisters—remains obedience. And with it comes a sense of being in our rightful place in God's ordered universe, rejoicing with the angels. Now I gratefully say, "I am!" in the presence of the great I AM—at prayer and in church, surrounded by the angelic host, worshipping our Lord and King. To God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, be the glory, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen!

                        From the Spring 1997 issue of The Handmaiden, Conciliar Press



                        Seraphim Larsen

                        Florence, AZ




                        On Feb 7, 2008 8:50 AM, George <kharaku@...> wrote:

                        I thought women only had to cover their heads when praying... Is that not the case?

                        Article:
                        07 February 2008
                        Interfax-Religion
                        The Yekaterinburg archbishop urges Orthodox women to follow Muslim counterparts who are not afraid to wear kerchief in public

                        Yekaterinburg, February 7, Interfax - Archbishop Vikenty of Yekaterinburg and Verkhniaya Tura considers it 'a retreat from the Lord's will' that the majority of Orthodox women refuse to wear kerchiefs in public places.

                        'I wonder why Muslim women are neither afraid nor ashamed to do it, even the little and the young. They stand before God or Allah, as they say, and are afraid of Allah's punishment. And why we are not afraid of the Lord's punishment?' the archbishop stated in a live broadcast at the Soyuz TV channel and on air of the Voskreseniye radio.

                        He reminded that covering one's head with a kerchief is 'God's instruction' as 'the Lord commanded that all women should wear kerchiefs.'

                        'And if a woman doesn't want to wear it or finds it embarrassing saying that most women don't do it and she will show up, she is seriously mistaken because she shouldn't look at the others,' Archbishop Vikenty thinks.

                        According to him, 'if everyone has the fear of the Lord and strives to fulfill his will, then little by little all will start wearing them (kerchiefs - IF) and there is nothing shameful in it.'

                        The archbishop has recently urged women to give up cosmetics and strive to preserve natural beauty.

                        'The Lord makes us beautiful, and we deform ourselves, we make freaks of ourselves. It is fraud and false understanding of beauty. It is just fashion. Look at eight or nine year-old girls. Why make them up? They are beautiful like angels! We spoil people with cosmetics,' Archbishop Vikenty stated.

                        (Article Posted by George Green)


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