Re: [orthodox-synod] Re: How many have been to Russia?
- At 09:11 AM 10/2/2006, you wrote:
>GLORY TO JESUS CHRIST GLORY TO HIM FOREVERThat is a very unfair accusation. Form is part of our tradition.
>It has Nothing to do with ethnic traditions, because
>actually I love Russian tradition. What it has to do
>with is "tone" or attitude. The Russian churches seem
>to be pre-occupied with "form". Is this done "right"
>do you dress in a "proper" way. Are you doing all the
>"right" things, etc. If a kid comes into Church in a
>pair of jeans, especially a girl "O My Gosh, the sky
Proper dress is part of our tradition. It's wrong to take the
attitude that people who train others in how to act and dress for
church are out of line.
It's possible for the training to be done in a way that someone can
take offense, but that's not the fault of having a standard. Often a
person is offended because they think of themselves as an individual
(which doesn't exist in our Church) and do not want correction.
Maturity is needed for instruction to work. The trick is figuring out
who mature enough to listen and who is too adolescent to accept help.
People should dress for the Liturgy the way they dress for a wedding
feast. If a man wears a suit to work, he should not wear something
less to meet the King. (How would you dress if you were going to meet
the President?) If he has only jeans in his wardrobe, a man should
wear his best ones. Psychologically, people act differently in
different kinds of dress, and behavior is an expression of our inner
American dress, in general, have become ultra casual and super
sloppy. Teachers wear jeans on normal school days, mourners wear
shorts to heterodox funerals, and young ladies wear flip flops to
church. Yet in many black Protestant congregations in my town people
wear their Sunday best as a testimony to church being someplace
special. I remember wearing a church dress every Sunday (not a school
dress and *never* pants) and patent leather shoes every Sunday (for
church use only -- black for winter, white for summer.) My little
brothers wore polished leather shoes, a dress shirt, and a tie. We
weren't being abused. We were being taught that church is something
special. To not do this is to lose respect for God's house.
In summary, it's wrong for us to degrade our practice to slobbish
American standards. We show our level of respect by how we dress.
P.S. Everybody knows I'm not Russian, right?
- GLORY TO JESUS CHRIST GLORY TO HIM FOREVER
Thank you for the very thoughtful and carefully
thought out reply. My wife and I were talking about
this same subject today, and we remembered that the
priest at the Church that we attended for over 20 year
was a wonderful holy man (he is the priest that
Chrismated our family into the Orthodox Church from
the Byzantine Rite Catholic Church. He passed away
last month and we went to his funeral. We remembered
today in talking, that his Matushka (Kathleen) never
wore a scarf or hat and quite often wore slacks to
Church, yet she was probably one of the best priests
wives ever. I never encountered this clothing
"problem" until we began attending the local ROCOR
parish in Atlantic Mine. Then on this and other
groupes it was heavily debated. To me it is spending
energy on something that could be spent on something
else. I guess,if you want to enforce a dress code,
that is your choice, but don't be surprised if you
have nearly empty churches.
I wish all of the Churches that fret about what to
wear, all the best. I have other things to worry
The same for all of the old calendar churches in the
US. If you can get the other jurisdictions to go back,
great. I'll be a happy man. If not, good luck in
spreading the good news of Orthodoxy.
Love in Christ,
Sub-deacon Lawrence Most
--- George Edward Green III <kharaku@...> wrote:
> Larry Writes:__________________________________________________
> GLORY TO JESUS CHRIST GLORY TO HIM FOREVER
> Dear George,
> I sat on your reply for a couple of days so I could
> think about what you wrote.
> Here is my reply. If you are accustomed to the
> ways" of doing things at Church (and I am) then that
> is fine, but for folks who come to enqire, it is
> a different story.
> I respond:
> I think it can be a problem for new comers though I
> suspect we disagree on what that means. That said
> the first Orthodox church I went to, and was
> baptised into was fairly liberal on such things.
> They were also new calendar, had pews etc. Great
> church, and great folks there too.
> Larry continues:
> I have found the Church and I CAN
> live with all of that, but newcomers come, look ,
> LEAVE. If you like that it's fine. How do you know
> exactly how God wants you to dress and what if you
> idea of "correct" is different from others. By the
> way, I've never been to Russia, but I have seen
> of Church worship in Russia and I didn't see a lot
> "dressing up".
> I respond:
> What I said was that folks should dress respectfully
> when going to 'Gods House'. It's a straw man to ask
> 'how do you know what God wants'; everyone knows
> what clothes take them 10 minutes to throw on, and
> which they where to an important event to show
> respect. At work I can't wear jeans, flip flops, or
> shirts with holes in them. It doesn't take much to
> know that to show respect for God AT LEAST the same
> should standard should apply and yes it different
> for different folks. Either way it behooves the
> church to at least remind folks that there are some
> commandments regarding prayer and attire that they
> should ponder.
> In Russia at a monastary my wife was required to
> borrow a wrap around skirt and wear the head scarf
> she'd brought as my wife had worn dress pants,
> before they'd let her visit the church. I can see
> some debate as to whether the church should REQUIRE
> this, but I feel at a minimum it should encourage it
> by having a sign reminding folks of this, and having
> scarves and or skirts on hand to borrow for those
> unprepared but interested in following these
> That said young people in Russia are no
> encyclopedias of Church tradition. There are many
> who forget or are unaware of such things which I'm
> sure you've seen. I didn't see anyone dressing down
> when I went to church there though. I will say that
> there needs to be more of an effort there to infom
> folks of these tradtions and how one typically
> conducts themselves in church. Many young people
> were baptised post 1992 but know little about these
> things. (The proposed basic Orthodox Culture
> classes in Russia would probably do this).
> Larry writes:
> Maybe you know more than I do.
> There's nothing disrespectful about actually
> I beg your pardon, but the Church that we are going
> DOES celebrate the Feasts,and the Fasts and Holydays
> and Vespers. And they are not hung up on clothing.
> I respond:
> Frankly Holy Scripture is pretty clear on clothing,
> and didn't say much at all about Feasts, and basic
> respect is in play too. My freinds birthday is a
> celebration, and certainly there's a lot of partying
> but that doesn't mean I pick whatever off the floor
> to wear for that either. Further one should respect
> other at liturgy by not wearing something
> distracting. Some Gospel churchs ENJOY the liturgy
> too; they've turned it into an R&B concert. Frankly
> I find that disrespectful also.
> Larry writes:
> As far as the old calendar not working, you are
> It is hard to find 20 people north of BayCity, Mi
> have even heard of the old calendar. Let alone use
> The new calendar never should have gotten started
> here it is.
> It has NOTHING to do with a problem of "anyone"
> staring at us it has to do with celebrating days
> our families and friends. If you like the Old
> fine, but I tried it and it dosen't fit for me.
> The Church has done everything for me and I try to
> all that I can for the church.
> I just do the best that I can.
> Love in Christ,
> Sub-deacon Lawrence Most
> I respond:
> As I said I think its more about motivation with the
> calendar. I don't really see anything bad about
> having double the feastdays in the year, and often
> observe some twice (attending the local new calendar
> parish one day and the old calendar parish on the
> You're other post and this one seems very concered
> with new folks.
> I orginally attended a presbyterian church my
> parents still attend. I was never baptised but did
> go regurally as a child. Sunday school was a party
> but not real informative. Dress was casual. Heck
> pretty much everything was casual.
> If I'd have seen the same thing when I first went to
> an Orthodox parish I probably would have written off
> the church as just the same ol same ol.
> The protestants have made an art out of making
> church fun, and casual and it hasn't exactly worked
> out great for them.
> I can see areas where lenicny may not hurt if but if
> the rationale is making it easier for folks to come
> to the church by lessening what the church is that's
> dangerous thinking. Sooner or latter the baby gets
> thrown out with the bathwater.
> [Non-text portions of this message have been
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