The Byzantine Forum
Newest Members
Wenura Ravindu, Leeno, San Nicolas, Skanderbeg, ClearwaterByz
5,844 Registered Users
Who's Online Now
0 members (), 115 guests, and 35 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Latest Photos
Holy Saturday from Kirkland Lake
Holy Saturday from Kirkland Lake
by Veronica.H, April 24
Byzantine Catholic Outreach of Iowa
Exterior of Holy Angels Byzantine Catholic Parish
Church of St Cyril of Turau & All Patron Saints of Belarus
Byzantine Nebraska
Byzantine Nebraska
by orthodoxsinner2, December 11
Forum Statistics
Forums26
Topics35,166
Posts414,953
Members5,844
Most Online3,380
Dec 29th, 2019
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Joined: Oct 2002
Posts: 1,240
A
Member
OP Offline
Member
A
Joined: Oct 2002
Posts: 1,240
I was reading an article about Orthodoxy in Russia, but with a grain of salt. The author seemed only marginally familiar with Orthodoxy.

https://www.rbth.com/lifestyle/334287-russian-priests-married-wife

"For a priest, marriage is not so much about personal happiness, since in his family life he also must first of all serve God. That is why he does not wear a wedding ring; first of all, the priest is “betrothed to the Church,” and not to his wife. Even if a man was already married before being ordained, when he becomes a priest his wedding ring is removed from his finger. This symbolizes that now he does not fully belong to himself or to his family, because the main mission of an Orthodox priest is to serve God and his flock."

Is this removal of the wedding ring practiced? Do married priests (and deacons) in the Russian tradition in the Americas also practice this?

Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 74
Member
Offline
Member
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 74
Hhmm...no one replied yet. Anyway, from what I know, the priest only removes his wedding ring during Liturgy or when he serves on the altar. Since I'm not under Russia, I'm not sure if it is different there, so Russian Orthodox might be able to answer this better...

Joined: Nov 2003
Posts: 526
Likes: 1
F
Member
Offline
Member
F
Joined: Nov 2003
Posts: 526
Likes: 1
I used to remove my ring before celebrating liturgy. The reasoning behind this was that a small particle of the Body of Christ might get lodged between the ring and the finger. Sadly, I developed a rash, so some years before my wife's death, I stopped wearing it altogether. Even sadder, I somehow misplaced it. I really haven't paid attention to what other clergy do. I'm supposed to have breakfast with an ACROD priest tomorrow. If I remember, I shall ask him the practice of his diocese.

Last edited by Fr. Al; 01/21/22 05:21 PM.
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 2,207
Likes: 11
ajk Offline
Member
Offline
Member
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 2,207
Likes: 11
Originally Posted by Andrew J. Rubis
Even if a man was already married before being ordained...
What other scenario is there? One wife before ordination, or what?

Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 1,423
Likes: 3
F
Member
Offline
Member
F
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 1,423
Likes: 3
My Priest does not remove his ring.

Joined: Oct 2002
Posts: 1,240
A
Member
OP Offline
Member
A
Joined: Oct 2002
Posts: 1,240
Thank you for your thoughts and observations.

Yes, this quote (above and below) was part of what led me to doubt the author's depth of understanding:

"Even if a man was already married before being ordained..."
What other scenario is there? One wife before ordination, or what?

We have witness from our Forum members to those who remove it and those who don't. So the practice, if carried out, seems to be on the level of personal piety. Removal of the ring prior to the Liturgy might help the celebrant focus on the prayers and the offering and not to remember the recent argument he had had with the wife over where to plant the carrots in the garden. In the same line, the vested clergyman is not going to lean over and give his wife a kiss on the cheek as he passes her during the Great Entrance.

I could see why a widowed priest might remove it on a permanent basis in that his earthly obligations to the wife are over. That would make sense. He now dedicates all of his efforts to his ministry, much in the same way we expect monastics and bishops to do.

Removing it permanently while still married seems like an insult. His good conduct in a marriage blessed by God is the first qualification of a married man who seeks ordination. Why, upon ordination, if he would completely discard the ring, he would give the impression that the marriage has taken a back seat to the ordained service, or even worse, that the ordained service has obliterated the marriage. It seems appropriate that when out in public with wife & children, family and friends, we would want our priests and deacons to model a God-sanctioned family life and not, in some way, lessen that first and foundational blessing of their ordained service.

Regarding the ring rash and other side-effects of the ring, such as calluses, I find it helpful to switch the ring to the left hand Monday through Thursday. My non-Orthodox neighbors, co-workers, etc. all can quickly see that I'm a married man. Friday through Sunday, when most of my contact with other Orthodox occurs, I have it back on the right hand where it belongs. The alternation helps avoid the adverse effects described and being forced to switch it warns me if I've put on excess weight.


Link Copied to Clipboard
The Byzantine Forum provides message boards for discussions focusing on Eastern Christianity (though discussions of other topics are welcome). The views expressed herein are those of the participants and may or may not reflect the teachings of the Byzantine Catholic or any other Church. The Byzantine Forum and the www.byzcath.org site exist to help build up the Church but are unofficial, have no connection with any Church entity, and should not be looked to as a source for official information for any Church. All posts become property of byzcath.org. Contents copyright - 1996-2022 (Forum 1998-2022). All rights reserved.
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.5