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Metropolitan Jonah had some rather pointed comments at Orientale Lumen about secular priests who dress like 16th century Athonite monks.

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In the present crisis of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America the new rebellion for the orthodox/traditionalist clergy is to stash the colored shirts and wear only black. Black, historically, was used for clerical dress to show that the priest was in mourning for the sins of the world which led our Lord to bear the cross.

Pastor Thomas:

Christ is in our midst!!

My earlier thread was not meant to be a digging into your pain. I was just giving our brother a little needling over his spelling. I'd have done it privately, but I couldn't access his pm account.

BOB


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. . . August with temps pushing 100 . . .


This reminds me of a Greek festival my wife and I attended a couple years ago. The food was great. We had to go into the church basement to get it, though, and the temperature was so hot that we were almost breathless until we got out to the tents outside to eat. The pastor was sitting in front of an open refrigerator filling it with sodas--in his heavy wool, two-cassock clericals and hat. We both remarked that it was a mercy that they had him sitting in front of the frig because of the oppressive heat in that space.

BOB

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You really haven't lived until you have celebrated Liturgy in an hermetically sealed, uncooled Catholic University chapel on a June day when the temperature outside is 102 degrees. I lost five pounds, and several Orthodox clergymen melted away like Burl Ives at the end of that Frosty the Snowman animated special. It makes you appreciate the genius of the Byzantine architects who figured out how to keep the insides of churches comfortable on hot Mediterranean summer days.

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Originally Posted by Administrator
I'd say dress as is appropriate to the circumstances. I'd prefer to see Eastern clergy dress as Eastern clergy. But, to be blunt, if it is the middle of August with temps pushing 100 and I drive past the priest's house and see him cutting his grass in a cassock rather than in a t-shirt and shorts I'm going to wonder about him. biggrin


Hehehe!

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Originally Posted by theophan
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In the present crisis of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America the new rebellion for the orthodox/traditionalist clergy is to stash the colored shirts and wear only black. Black, historically, was used for clerical dress to show that the priest was in mourning for the sins of the world which led our Lord to bear the cross.


My earlier thread was not meant to be a digging into your pain. I was just giving our brother a little needling over his spelling. I'd have done it privately, but I couldn't access his pm account.



No offense taken, believe me!

By the way, my formerly Hawaiian shirt-wearing colleague has now become one who wears black exclusively. Crisis changes many things.

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I like what Chtec wrote. The old immigrants weren't uptight about that and you see that generational divide today. Lots of older priests were/are clean-shaven and wear Western clergy suits. (Legend has it there's a picture of St Tikhon in a suit.) I've seen, at church gatherings apart from church services, older Greek priests dressed exactly like Anglican priests, black suit with white band round the neck, and older OCA priests in black shirts with the white tab in the collar just like Roman Catholic priests - a Russian friend thought they were RCs! (And younger OCA priests looking just like ROCOR priests.) Getting back to Chtec's point, at least accidentally it seems to harken to the Roman Catholic rules in America set by the Council of Baltimore in 1888: cassock and biretta on the church grounds, suit and collar elsewhere. (The Archdiocese of New York even required black fedoras when they were still in style.)

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The issue of confusing collar-wearing clergy for clergy of another denomination is not unique to the Orthodox. I once met a man on a college campus in a clerical shirt and I politely referred to him as "Father." He replied that he was not a "Father" but a "Pastor" as he was Lutheran. While we may refer to them as "Roman collars" or "Anglican collars" they are somewhat removed from those denominations today.

In Romania, I saw some priests wear black slacks, a white shirt, and a black cassock vest. While somewhat waiter-esque, it was recognizable as "clerical." smile

Dave

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I confess that in Romania I only saw priests in cassock, but then, I had little opportunity to see them out and about, meeting most in church or on church grounds.

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I can't speak for all of Romania (having been in only one area--in and around Cluj--for 3 weeks) but I did not see many of the married parish clergy wear cassocks on the street. They either wore "civilian" clothes or the shirt-and-vest combination. Churches and monasteries were a different story. It may just be a Transylvanian thing. Some suspected that it was a holdover from Communist days.

Dave

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Originally Posted by Chtec
The issue of confusing collar-wearing clergy for clergy of another denomination is not unique to the Orthodox. I once met a man on a college campus in a clerical shirt and I politely referred to him as "Father." He replied that he was not a "Father" but a "Pastor" as he was Lutheran.

Dave


That happens to me about once a month, and I do not argue or "explain myself", just accept the title in the gracious spirit by which it was offered.

In this day and age it is wonderful to hear respect for the pastoral office from any lips.

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Whoa boy, what a potentially "loaded" topic. Needless to say, it depends on how one and one's Church views the priesthood. I positively cringe at the sight of a clean shaven priest with a "dog collar". I would go so far as to politely attempt to avoid receiving a blessing from a priest so dressed. And as far as driving in a pedraznik, no problem. As a seminarian, I drove a hieromonk every Sunday morning from the Monastery in upstate New York to a mission church in Wilkes-Barre, always dressed in pedraznik, and I never once had any difficulty. The teaching that I recieved was that a priest should be in riassa when in Church or out in public, interacting with the community, i.e., shopping with the family whatever. If he is cutting the grass, or making hay, painting the barn etc.., a simple scufia would suffice, provided the rest of his civilian clothing was appropriately modest. A priest or deacon should never be seen in shorts or immodest clothing, lest he scandalize the faithful. The same goes for beards and hair, unless the priest is required to be employed secularly, the norm is for long hair and beards. Long does not necessarily mean dirty or unkempt. My own hair is better than 2 feet long, and I am fully bearded,and yet I manage to conduct myself in hospitals on a daily basis. This hair phobia is strictly a western phenomena, and has no basis in Orthodoxy.

Alexandr

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Why I don't necessary disagree with you, that Eastern Clergy should wear the traditional riassa, I don't think you should avoid receiving a blessing from a Priest who is dressed in a way we might disagree with with. They are still a Priest and regardless of what they wear we should ask their blessing. And I don't think terms like "Dog collar" is appropriate. We should encourage our Priests to dress traditionally but name calling and avoiding ones who don't do what we think is best won't get us anywhere but no where.

Peace and Blessing!


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Originally Posted by Nelson Chase
Why I don't necessary disagree with you, that Eastern Clergy should wear the traditional riassa, I don't think you should avoid receiving a blessing from a Priest who is dressed in a way we might disagree with with. They are still a Priest and regardless of what they wear we should ask their blessing. And I don't think terms like "Dog collar" is appropriate. We should encourage our Priests to dress traditionally but name calling and avoiding ones who don't do what we think is best won't get us anywhere but no where.

Peace and Blessing!



I agree. Sarcastic terms about those things which we disagree with or which are different from that which we espouse are not charitable at all.

In a country like the U.S. where so many of us are different, our clothing, our appearance, our hair, our weight, our choices of 'anything' outwards should not define us whether we are clergy or laity. That should be done by our spirit. Holiness and love come in many different packages.

Alice, Moderator

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A priest or deacon should never be seen in shorts or immodest clothing, lest he scandalize the faithful.


I've seen Orthodox and Greek Catholic bishops not only in shorts, but in bathing suits and sitting in a hot tob, to boot. I was bemused, but I wasn't scandalized.

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