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Re: Altar Girls #89311
10/04/04 11:53 PM
10/04/04 11:53 PM
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 1,103
Metropolitan Detroit, MI
Sub-Deacon Ghazaros Offline
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Sub-Deacon Ghazaros  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 1,103
Metropolitan Detroit, MI
Dear Friends,

For the record, I have always been against altar girls and still would never let my daughters perform such a function. In addition, I teach my two daughters the reasons why our family does not support such a role for girls. For proof of this, I'd be glad to post the recent letter I wrote to my pastor about the news that our parish will be incorporating girls in some fashion in the Service. But in this thread I've been taking the role of the skeptic for the sake of conversation.

I'm still not convinced it is forbidden that girls can play a special part in the Services. I am not convinced that everyone who would like to see their girls play a part (or women for that matter) are screaming Nazi feminists (as most have implied or flat out stated). I think a lot of people in our day have a different attitude about women than in times past and this is not necessarily an evil thing (as these people try to stigmatize it). I think a lot of people (even on this thread) should beware that they do not become guilty of the opposite by over-reacting as a result of their disdain for radical feminists. Some do this to the point that they become unreasonably and uncompormisingly against anything which seeks to take a moderate view of women's role in the Church changing in some form.

The Canon which was given is a start of what I asked for. It wasn't the knock-out punch I was looking for, but its something to consider. I would like to see how this Canon was historically understood, on what level it was received and whether it has any history in my Church at all. (Its a long standing custom in my historic Church that girls fulfill the role of boys when there was a lack of boys.) Finally, those on this thread who have written about Altar Boys as if they have been a part of our Church from the time of the Apostles, I think are over-stating their arguments. Using boys in the Liturgy is a man-made institution, not a Divine one. As such it carries no dogmatic or canonical consequences to it. Those who argue Altar Boys ARE subdeacons, are again, over-stating (unless they are ordained to minor orders -which most are not).

Trusting in Christ's Light,
Wm. Ghazar Der-Ghazarian

Re: Altar Girls #89312
10/05/04 12:20 AM
10/05/04 12:20 AM
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 1,310
Church Militant
Gaudior Offline
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Gaudior  Offline
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Posts: 1,310
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No, no, Ghazar!

You misunderstand...Altar boys are not Sub-deacons, and never were, but in some parishes sub-deacons act as altar servers where needed...

And, I state firmly that as long as the minor orders are canonically restricted to men, then I will oppose those who tonsure or innovate, by using women or girls before a Council is called to allow it.

And, I think that long before that OK is given, if it ever is, on a Patriarchal level, that people need to think long and hard about why it is that a woman cannot perform charity work and teach in her church without a title.

I would seriously question the desire to perform this work, if what is stopping them now is a title. And, yes, I have seen women who sigh and say they would love to be deaconnesses...but oddly I have not seen them teaching Sunday School "I've done my time" or at parish charitable meetings.

Now, I am not speaking of all those who are out there, but I am far more "impressed" with the piety of those who shoulder the tasks that were historically those of the deaconesses, without ever once wanting titles or even public recognition of their work.

If the order is restored, to its historical sense, by a Council, then i will support the right of these women to be there, as deaconesses. Until then, no support.

And Orthoman, that means no support for inventing a position (handmaiden) that userps the function of the altar boys in any form. Period. We have a designated person to perform this function. Sharing the job between that person (the altar boy) and a girl, to make the girl feel included, is absurd.

Gaudior, who dislikes the sort of change that involves any feel-good measure that is completely unnecessary.

Re: Altar Girls #89313
10/05/04 12:30 AM
10/05/04 12:30 AM
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 1,103
Metropolitan Detroit, MI
Sub-Deacon Ghazaros Offline
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Sub-Deacon Ghazaros  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 1,103
Metropolitan Detroit, MI
Dear Gaudior,

Maybe you just don't like change? I don't either, but I try to fight my own pig-headedness when it is just a matter of asserting my own will and being closed minded (something I struggle with).

If you are dead-set against change you should throw out the novel idea of using boys in the Liturgy at all. Just because you weren't there when this was invented shouldn't exempt it from your no-innovation without a Council rule.

Finally, I am still studying the question, remaining open until I see something conclusive. I have found that "the Armenian Church has also included in its Book of Canons the acts of the Councils of... Laodicea (365)." -Armenian Church Historical Studies, by Archbhp. Tiran Nersoyan. Therefore the Canon mentioend is relative to my Church. I will continue to look into this and share any further info., I discover.

p.s. I'm not for feel-good religion either but nor am I for pig-headed sectarian Traditionalist religion either.

Re: Altar Girls #89314
10/05/04 12:51 AM
10/05/04 12:51 AM
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 1,310
Church Militant
Gaudior Offline
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Gaudior  Offline
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Posts: 1,310
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Ghazar, I do not like change that is made without adhering to the procedure set by the Fathers for that change.

If you ask me about changing the carpeting, using this setting over that one for music, painting the walls, etc...I do not mind it in the slightest.

However, just like one singal state in the United States cannot decide it chooses to disobey Federal Law, one diocese, or even one jurisdiction cannot decide to disregard the Canons.

I will remain firm about the need to uphold them, whether the Canon concerns women in altar, or the date of Pascha!

Gaudior, who resists only one-sided changes

Re: Altar Girls #89315
10/05/04 12:57 AM
10/05/04 12:57 AM
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 657
Philadelphia, PA
OrthoMan Offline
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OrthoMan  Offline
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Posts: 657
Philadelphia, PA
[The Canon which was given is a start of what I asked for. It wasn't the knock-out punch I was looking for, but its something to consider.]
===========
Only Canons I could come up with are -

Synod Of Laodicea A.D. 343-381

CANON XLIV.

Women may not go to the Altar

Ancient Epitome of Canon XLIV.

The Altar must not be approached by women

OrthoMan

Re: Altar Girls #89316
10/05/04 01:01 AM
10/05/04 01:01 AM
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 657
Philadelphia, PA
OrthoMan Offline
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OrthoMan  Offline
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Philadelphia, PA
[I will remain firm about the need to uphold them, whether the Canon concerns women in altar, or the date of Pascha!]

But we are not talking about WOMEN IN THE ALTAR! We are talking about women in the Nave. I don't think there is anyone here would disagree with a restriction of women in the Sanctuary.

OrthoMan

Re: Altar Girls #89317
10/05/04 01:08 AM
10/05/04 01:08 AM
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 1,252
New Mexico USA
paromer Offline
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paromer  Offline
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Posts: 1,252
New Mexico USA
Dera Friends,

If I were in the Eastern Church I would "Just say no" to women in the Holy Place.

In the West we have women in the sanctuary, e.g., readers, extraordinary ministers of the eucharist, and altar servers.

The Eastern and Western Churches compliment each other. Let them do just that.

A scripture I like for theology and liturgy is this; "...Every scribe who is learned in the reign of God is like the head of the household who can bring from his storeroom both the new and the old." (Matt 13:52b).

Peace to you in Christ Jesus.

Paul

Re: Altar Girls #89318
10/05/04 01:11 AM
10/05/04 01:11 AM
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 1,310
Church Militant
Gaudior Offline
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Gaudior  Offline
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Posts: 1,310
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Dear Orthoman!

Answer me why you feel that altar boys should have any part of their job taken from them by girls?

Gaudior, who knows YOU don't want women in altar, but who points out that that is where the Latin Catholics have them, after allowing for innovations.

Re: Altar Girls #89319
10/05/04 01:54 AM
10/05/04 01:54 AM
Joined: Oct 2002
Posts: 4,225
San Buenaventura, California
Jakub. Offline
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Jakub.  Offline
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Posts: 4,225
San Buenaventura, California
Not really wanting to stir the pot, but I feel that the change in the Latin Church was made to appease a certain faction, as in the Anglian Church and has led to many divisions.

I find myself agreeing with Gaudior, with no offence meant or implied to our sisters in Christ.

james

Re: Altar Girls #89320
10/05/04 02:10 AM
10/05/04 02:10 AM
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 657
Philadelphia, PA
OrthoMan Offline
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OrthoMan  Offline
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Posts: 657
Philadelphia, PA
[Answer me why you feel that altar boys should have any part of their job taken from them by girls?]

Gaudior:

And what Canon or Church Rule book assigned Altar Boys the responsibility of holding the cloth underneath a communicant OUTSIDE OF THE SANCTUARY (ALTAR) area? Until you can produce such evidence on just who is responsible to perform this function you cannot prove it is a responsibility of only an Altar Boy. It may be the norm but that doesn't make it etched in stone.

Since women are supposed to remain quiet in Church are we now to kick them all out of the choir? Since women aren't allowed to teach within the church are we now to get rid of all the female Sunday School teachers?

OrthoMan

Re: Altar Girls #89321
10/05/04 02:17 AM
10/05/04 02:17 AM
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 1,252
New Mexico USA
paromer Offline
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paromer  Offline
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Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 1,252
New Mexico USA
Dear James,

If it were the Roman curia that made the decision to allow female altar servers, I would agree about appeasement.

However it was the Holy Father who made the call to allow female altar servers in the Latin Church (with the local bishop's approval).

I was an altar server coordinator at the time and I watched the process closely.

Christ is our peace.

Paul (finis)

Re: Altar Girls #89322
10/05/04 02:25 AM
10/05/04 02:25 AM
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 1,310
Church Militant
Gaudior Offline
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Gaudior  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 1,310
Church Militant
Dear Orthoman:

Find me a canon that concerns the Communion cloth at ALL!

And, yes, I would indeed prefer it if men taught Sunday School, and the choirs were all male.

Clearly, this won't happen any time soon! Do not forget that Sunday School is an early 20th century phenomenon, and that historically catechesis was one of the functions of the deaconesses...not to teach men, but to teach women. There is a precedent for women to instruct, but not to teach/preach in church! And, no, I am not splitting hairs, but stating fact.

Where, exactly, are the men when it comes to teaching?

Gaudior, who also believes that somewhere in the 19th century, "religion" as a concept became the job of women; men have abandoned many of their roles in the Church.

Re: Altar Girls #89323
10/05/04 02:43 AM
10/05/04 02:43 AM
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 287
Abington, PA USA
JoeS Offline
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JoeS  Offline
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Posts: 287
Abington, PA USA
Wow, according to some, women should not even be in the Nave. Maybe they should be relegated to the Narthex. Im not a feminist, but I am starting to have some sympathy here. Come on now, we all know that some of these duties outside the Iconostatsis have been done by women in special cases. The operative word is special here. Hey, what about the womem monasterys where nuns have to tend to the altar. They have permission from the bishop to do this. Any problem with this?

JoeS

Re: Altar Girls #89324
10/05/04 02:58 AM
10/05/04 02:58 AM
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 2,502
West Coast
Stephanos I Offline
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Stephanos I  Offline
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Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 2,502
West Coast
Let me say this! The full ministry needs to be utilized in every parish, From Pryesbyter down to Acolyte. And they should be permanent ministries, not some passing whim that one will take up and lay down when the fancy strikes them. It is called fedelity.
Stephanos I

Re: Altar Girls #89325
10/05/04 03:07 AM
10/05/04 03:07 AM
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 976
Crestwood, NY
T
Tony Offline
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Tony  Offline
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T

Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 976
Crestwood, NY
Quote
Originally posted by Gaudior:

If the order is restored, to its historical sense, by a Council, then i will support the right of these women to be there, as deaconesses. Until then, no support.
Why on earth will a Council need to restore something that was not suppressed by a Council?

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