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Posted By: searching east head covering women in East - 07/31/07 02:02 PM
Some debate whether in the Latin church the custom of women wearing head converings was menat to be lifted. It was never officially changed, but it was not reinstated in a certain release of canon law. So some debate what this means. I am nt interested in that here, though people may say what they want.
My question is about the Christian East. I do not think I see women in head coverings the times I have visited Orthodox Churches. Maybe I just did not notice. But was this a custom in the East? For how long? and when did it change and why? I do not think the Orthodox even have canon law, so I would be interested to know how this played out in their churches.
Posted By: Orthodox Catholic Re: head covering women in East - 07/31/07 02:36 PM
In the Russian Orthodox parishes we have visited, not only are all the women wearing head-scarves, if a woman dared enter without one, she would receive one at the door.

After we discussed this in religion class one year, all the girls showed up the next time wearing head-scarves!

Perhaps it is considered an "old-fashioned" thing of the "old country."

But it is entirely scriptural!

Feminine modesty was and always will be a most attractive gender trait!

Alex
Posted By: corsair Re: head covering women in East - 07/31/07 02:57 PM
Originally Posted by Orthodox Catholic
it is entirely scriptural!

Feminine modesty was and always will be a most attractive gender trait!


I totally agree Alex! I have been veiling for some time. I could never go back to the practice of unveiling.

Searching East,

If you look at the latest photo (Old Believer Church) you will notice the women appear to be veiled (or maybe I am wrong and this is some other practice?) There have been other pics posted here on the forum where the Orthodox women have been veiled (and pics showing Orthodox women not veiled). I recall some pics from US and some from Russia and the women were veiled. I think it was the pics from Russia where the head coverings came entirely around and underneath the face (did not cover the face).

I will try to do a search to find these BEAUTIFUL pics. If I find, I will post.
Posted By: Father Deacon Ed Re: head covering women in East - 07/31/07 03:58 PM
In my Melkite parish very few women wear head coverings (even though we supply them at the door). In the Latin Church it was always a custom (a discipline established by usage), and the discipline has fallen out of use.

Fr. Deacon Ed
Posted By: Laka Ya Rabb Re: head covering women in East - 07/31/07 06:29 PM
Women covering thier heads has been a custom in the Church for thousands of years. How widespread was it? I don't know. However, think of all the icons, both contemporary and ancient that depict women saints. Their heads are coved.

Women who want to cover their head should not be discouraged from the practice. If a church mandates it, women should follow the custom.

My girlfriend wears a head-covering whenever she attends paraliturgical service or the Divine Liturgy. Alternately, when we find ourselves at a Roman Liturgy, she affords that Church (it's Liturgy and other services) equal respect by wearing a head-covering.

Sadly, while we attended the Divine Litugy at the Melkite Convention, an older woman apporached her and thanked her for wearing a head-covering. The woman told us that in the old country, most of the women wore head coverings, but when she came to America, the women here chided her and belittled her for wearing a head-covering and she stopped this practice that she loved. Very sad in my opinion.
Posted By: Athanasius The L Re: head covering women in East - 07/31/07 06:53 PM
In all of OCA churches I have attended, some women cover their heads, and some do not. I never sensed any tension whatsoever between the two groups. Also, some of those who wear scarves do not wear them through the liturgy of the catechumens, but only during the liturgy of the faithful-or perhaps only during part of the liturgy of the faithful. At the Byzantine Catholic parish I now attend, a few of the women cover their heads, though most of them do not. Again, I sense no tension between the two groups. I've noticed that all of the women who wear scarves or some other head covering do so for the entire liturgy.

Ryan
Posted By: Laka Ya Rabb Re: head covering women in East - 07/31/07 06:58 PM
IMO, if a woman wears a head-covering, she should remove it whenever she goes up to stand "under" the Gospel (something we do in the Melkite Church when the Gospel is read) and when she recieves communion.

Just an opinion. I have only seen a few women who do this.
Posted By: Matta Re: head covering women in East - 07/31/07 08:53 PM
In the Antiochian Orthodox churches in Australia, scarves are available for women as they line up for communion. It depends on the inidividual priest whether this custom is up to the discretion of the individual woman or is enforced. The bishop, Paul Saliba (who served in the US), does not enforce it.

In our Melkite churches, some of the older ladies and a sprinkling of the younger generations wear scarves or mantillas (throughout the whole liturgy), but they would never make more than 25% of the congregation. The church makes no comment either way.

Here, ladies stopped wearing hats or mantillas in the Latin churches in the 60's, several years after the fashion changed in society in general. (That is, the Catholic women were more conservative.) Though the fashion has returned for weddings and very formal occasions here, never more than half the women would wear hats to a nuptial mass (Latin, obviously).

By the way, if you're referring to women in the Middle East, never say "veiled", if you mean a Christian woman is wearing a scarf, mantilla, or hat in church. That term is only used for a Muslim woman who has made the decision to cover herself according to the Hadiith.
Posted By: indigo Re: head covering women in East - 07/31/07 11:03 PM
Was the older Melkite woman discouraged from wearing a scarf because in the Middle East only uneducated or less westernized Christian women cover their heads, and when they get here it's discouraged?
Laka,I've heard the opposite, that women should be veiled while receiving communion. What's the rationale behind unveiling during communion and supporting the Gospel? I'm assuming all these women are veiling because of First Corinthians 11. If not, is it just custom?

Admittedly, orthodoxinfo can be a bit over the top sometimes, but this is the most convincing testimonial for headcovering I've ever read:
http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/praxis/headcoverings.aspx

This includes all women and not just fertile, married women, like some of the Catholic apologists for head covering like to place all their attention on (as if all women are fertile 22 year old newlyweds)
Some of the church fathers interpret Paul's words to mean that women should veil all the time. Until the 1960's a good portion of the world's cultures either required that women cover their heads or bind their hair in plaits or buns (Asians and Native Americans), mainly out of modesty. Now that we're such a sex saturated culture modesty is out of fashion,the power of sexuality is severely underrated, and women's hair is no longer recognized as sexually alluring.I'm not saying that women should return to full time headcovering, but with each year I see the wisdom in it.

As for my church, no more than three women veil during services.I've talked to women who want to but they're afraid they'll be judged as trying to be holier-than-thou and. I really don't think anyone in my church would say anything negative to them. They're also worried about calling attention to themselves and that makes them feel self conscious. What think ye?
Posted By: corsair Re: head covering women in East - 08/01/07 01:08 AM
Originally Posted by indigo
As for my church, no more than three women veil during services.I've talked to women who want to but they're afraid they'll be judged as trying to be holier-than-thou and. I really don't think anyone in my church would say anything negative to them. They're also worried about calling attention to themselves and that makes them feel self conscious. What think ye?



Indigo -- Thanks for the article, it was wonderful!

I have to agree with the article on the final motivation for veiling. It was obedience. I read many articles and knew veiling was a good thing, but I didn't think it was necessary. During Divine Liturgy, I would pray for confirmation of the veiling issue. Is this something I need to do? I came to the point of saying, GOD if you want me to veil, help me to be obedient to you. Give me the strength and courage to follow you, even when I am uncomfortable. Your will not mine.

The issue of being judged as holier-than-thou was a huge concern for me at first. But over time I got over it. Funny thing, nobody really gets bothered. I think those in Church would be shocked to see me take my veil off! Since many women don't veil in Church these days, it is hard to be different. Whenever I was in doubt my husband supported me and would ask -- why do you veil? Of course, the reasons for veiling always override the thoughts -- what will they think?

I have been asked by the older women why I veil -- we don't have to do that any longer, why do you. That is not a question with a simple answer. If I were to answer the issues would be -- humility, respect, devotion, modesty, obedience, love, protection and many more. Veiling has a profound impact on my husband and me. You couldn't pay me enough to unveil, that is how much it means to me.

I would suggest to any woman considering veiling to pray and read and pray some more. The practice of veiling has changed me for the good. It has aided my relationship with GOD, my husband, my children, etc....Wives if you want your husband to look at you with the most tender love, were a veil. At least, I have found this to be true and it has been the most unexpected result. I do wonder at times, what results full time headcoving would bring if wearing a veil during Divine Liturgy has brought such a change. But I am not there yet. After reading the article Indigo suggested, I will give it more thought.

In my opinion, women have not gained freedom and liberty in taking off their veils. When we abandon our Traditions, we are on the loosing end.

I have found veiling is an outward sign of an inward reality.
Posted By: A Simple Sinner Re: head covering women in East - 08/01/07 02:09 AM
Originally Posted by indigo
As for my church, no more than three women veil during services.I've talked to women who want to but they're afraid they'll be judged as trying to be holier-than-thou and. I really don't think anyone in my church would say anything negative to them. They're also worried about calling attention to themselves and that makes them feel self conscious. What think ye?


A woman at my parish always wears a scarf on her head in the fashion of a bandanna. She once explained to me privately that she did not want to appear to make pretense of being "holier than though" but in wearing a scarf in such a way and dressing simply "People just think I am poor, which I am!"

Posted By: soxfan59 Re: head covering women in East - 08/02/07 03:40 PM
I also find it interesting that "head coverings" for woman are now making a come back in evangelical/charismatic churches as well. They are worn as a sign of obedience and submission to authority.
Posted By: indigo Re: head covering women in East - 08/02/07 07:03 PM
Corsair, I'm so glad you enjoyed the article. Sounds like you've really benefited from headcovering and I'm glad you decided to share your experience. I like your last line about the outer practice reflecting the inner reality.
Wearing a simple scarf is a way of avoiding attention or seeming holier-than-thou. That's a great idea. A screaming green chartreuse head scarf might be a bit attention-getting.

I've heard that headcovering was never abolished in the Roman Catholic church, but rather newsreporters misunderstood a Vatican representative during Vatican II and reported that head covers were no longer mandatory. In any case, there's nothing forbidding women from covering their heads. I've only seen headcovering in Tridentine Mass services. In fact, at the one I attended everyone dressed nicely and all females over 12 wore mantilla like scarves. Even some of the young girls wore scarves. Probably in imitation of their mothers and teenage sisters.
Other than a decree of some kind, does anyone think there will ever be a resurgence of headcovering in either the Eastern or Western churches in the Western countries?
Posted By: byzanTN Re: head covering women in East - 08/02/07 10:52 PM
In some of the Western Churches, I would love to see a return to the practice of covering one's near nakedness. wink
Posted By: Zenovia Re: head covering women in East - 08/02/07 11:17 PM
Quote
I've heard that headcovering was never abolished in the Roman Catholic church, but rather newsreporters misunderstood a Vatican representative during Vatican II and reported that head covers were no longer mandatory. In any case, there's nothing forbidding women from covering their heads.

Dear Indigo,

It's funny how the original intent, which is modesty as well as hair maybe being sexually enticing to men, tends to change in time. When I was young, girls in the RCC, would place a handkerchief on their head, and visitors such as I, would do so also as a sign of respect. No modesty in that what-so-ever. Of course when one see's the rediculous clothes some girls, and women, wear in church, crazy what matters hair as far as being sexually enticing is concerned.

In the Greek Orthodox Church, women do not wear head coverings. Considering the heat in the summer that could be understandable. Yet in the monasteries, one must wear headcoverings. I recall a time in Greece, when one must have their arms covered when entering a church. Today, they go into church in every which way. Tsk! Tsk! Tsk! frown Yet in the chauvanistic Greek society of the past, I recall widows wearing black outfits very close to what one would consider a burka, even in the summer. (Well, thank heaven they weren't expected to jump into the fire at their husbands funeral.) shocked

I know this discussion has been brought up before, and I did mention that in the Byzantine Empire, they probably wore face coverings. Now I came to that conclusion ever since I saw an ancient Greek statue of a girl from Asia Minor, and she had a veil drawn from one side of her face to the other, covering her mouth. Also when thinking about the cone hats of the Middle Ages, and knowing they originated in Cyprus, figured that the veil hanging from the top of the cone, must have come down on one side, and then been drawn across the face...or it might have been see through, and covered the whole face. (Hey, I was raised in an era, when women wore see through veils covering their face.) wink I have found out since then that my assumption was true. A well known Greek dance troup when performing, had the women from Asia Minor wearing a head covering with a veil hanging from one side, and drawn across to the other side, covering the mouth.

Since then I've noticed that many of the head gear that the women wore in the Middle ages, covered the neck. That might have been drawn up higher to also cover the mouth, as well as the 'horn' head gear, which in itself must have had a veil hanging from it. These coverings must have come into style with the returning crusaders.

Gosh! It's so interesting! cool There are so many things that we don't know, or simply never realized. I also wonder if the over spiced foods eaten during the Middle Ages also came from the Middle East, as well as the Tudor houses. In Greece, the style of homes with wooden beams, and projecting themselves out into the street, are called Turkish houses.

God Bless,

Zenovia
Posted By: Orest Re: head covering women in East - 08/03/07 12:01 AM
Thanks for such a great answer Zenovia. The reasons for forcing women to have their heads covered seem to range from "obedience" to their husbands to cultural traditions.
It is always a shock to people like me who come from a Slavic Orthodox tradition to find out about about Greek Church customs.

No woman wears a hat or scarf in my parish in the summer. IT is just too hot without airconditioning in this era of global warming. What is important is what is in our hearts. As far as clothing dress does, our "Sunday best", clean clothes and modesty for both sexes.
Posted By: Our Lady's slave Re: head covering women in East - 08/03/07 07:38 AM
Originally Posted by byzanTN
In some of the Western Churches, I would love to see a return to the practice of covering one's near nakedness. wink


Hear hear !!

Though it's not as bad in the UK as in some places - but I can still be surprised at what counts for Sunday-Church-going-gear
Posted By: Penthaetria Re: head covering women in East - 08/03/07 11:50 AM
I'm going to be a grouchy grump and take what is likely to be a very unpopular stand.

I actually resent the "refugees" from the Roman Catholic church who attend our Melkite parish and insist on covering their heads. In the last 6 or 7 years, we have had an influx of young adults from a nearby extremely conservative college. They are lovely people, and they do contribute to the life of the parish.

But if I were to experience some sort of spiritual crisis and decide to return to a western parish, I would not expect to bring some of my more visible Melkite practices with me to Sunday liturgy. For example, I would not take a place in the front row and stand throughout the entire liturgy (except the homily); such behavior would strike me as disrespectful and would even seem like a form of protest. And can you imagine the response if I were to tell a parishioner in a Roman Catholic church that it's offensive to hold her hands behind her back or to cross his legs when seated during liturgy? Yet someone told the preteen daughter of one of deacons (!) that she "really needed to cover her hair during liturgy."

As a guest in another parish, I follow the practices of that parish; why would I choose to be become a part of a parish that does not embrace practices I deem essential? If I viewed covering my head as an important discipline of obedience, why would I want to be among people who are blatantly disobedient? (Yes, I know that we are all disobedient, but I'm being extreme to make a point.)

Yes, I have taken this to confession, because it clearly rouses uncharitable reactions. On a lighter note, I have been less annoyed ever since one of my dearest friends told me that she keeps wondering why such otherwise-modest young women insist on displaying their underwear. In the part of Europe where she grew up, the kind of lace most of these women wear on their heads is used exclusively for undergarments and is never intentionally shown to the public.

-- Pentha, grouchily, grumpily, and gigglingly wishing they would either leave their underwear at home or take it to the Tridentine mass down the road
Posted By: JonnNightwatcher Re: head covering women in East - 08/03/07 01:13 PM
Would an old fashioned Mexican style mantilla work instead?
Much Love,
Jonn
Posted By: indigo Re: head covering women in East - 08/03/07 10:36 PM
Everybody's comments are so interesting and I want to comment so pardon me if I'm all over the place.

Zenovia, that is a fascinating observation and I do think you're right that face coverings were worn in the non-Muslim world too.(What else would those medieval style horn things be for?! I read a post on another forum from an over-40 Orthodox priest and he said his mother always covered her head during Mass (I guess he was a convert) and during Lent she covered half her face. It's safe to make the generalization that face covering will never make a comeback in the West because it's too closely associated to Islam.

Orest, I get the impression that some women prefer covering their heads for privacy. But then,it must be so difficult for Christian Iraqi women who are being forced to cover their heads. Resentment would suck all the spiritual benefit out of it and it's like regulating what color undergarments one must wear; such a private and personal decision. Also, I'd think it would be equally difficult for a Christian woman to cover their heads in Europe now, especially England and France, since everyone's up in arms with the Muslim veiling. I mentioned earlier that when I get in a mood I wear a head scarf and I would hate for someone to 'make' me stop doing that.

Soxfan, mennonite and amish women have always worn bonnets and they make a clear link between sexuality, hair and covering the body.

I don't quite understand why wearing a scarf is too much in the heat, black women have been wearing scarves and hats for centuries, especially in the heat.As long as it isn't a dark color it works out fine.

The scanty clothes look has to go. I think that's really up to the priest to lay down the law. Why don't they? At least these women aren't wearing head coverings, because that makes a mockery of modesty ; like the muslims girls who veil but wear skin tight jeans.

Pentha,old grump, you have a good point. If a woman is going to cover her head in a church where it isn't custom she should do it and shut up about it. Inflicting the custom on others really is too much and it also turns the practice into a cultural custom rather than an act of personal submission to God. And, oh, we want them to keep their underwear! We just don't want to see them. So the Spanish mantilla lace is used for undergarments in Europe? What kind of lace are they wearing on their heads?
Posted By: Wondering Re: head covering women in East - 08/04/07 02:42 AM
Some interesting webpages on veiling:

http://www.scrollpublishing.com/store/head-covering-history.html

http://en.allexperts.com/q/Christianity-Church-History-2348/Head-Coverings.htm

http://www.angelfire.com/la/loavesandfishes/headcover01.html
Posted By: Laka Ya Rabb Re: head covering women in East - 08/04/07 08:12 PM
Indigo,

Great post, thanks!
Posted By: Zenovia Re: head covering women in East - 08/04/07 09:53 PM
Dear Wondering,

Thanks for the web pages. I think I'll give a few opinions of my own for whatever it is worth.

What a woman wears under normal circumstances should be left to their own discretion. Unfortunately though, seeing what we see in church nowadays, there has to be some Church guidelines. I have seen some highly shapely girls in church that can be very distracting to men. Now some, being young, might not be fully aware of how distracting they are, but there are other older women, that are fully aware. They should be ashamed of themselves, especially when receiving communion. shocked

In the same context, I find most men and women that gossip and criticize over what's someone wears in church, as being foolish. It seems they condemn and gossip about some young girls for wearing clothes that are modest in comparison to the clothes of other girls. It seems it's the personal attractiveness of the girl rather than what they are wearing that offends them. crazy

God Bless,

Zenovia
Posted By: Alice Re: head covering women in East - 08/05/07 10:25 AM
Indigo:
Quote
I don't quite understand why wearing a scarf is too much in the heat, black women have been wearing scarves and hats for centuries, especially in the heat.As long as it isn't a dark color it works out fine.

Here in the intense sun and heat of the Greek summer, a hat with one's hair up certainly helps diffuse the sun, (I personally like to wear a baseball cap on the beach) however, if one were to cover one's neck with a Muslim type of scarf, one would certainly suffer.

One day, walking in the 110 degree sun, in the center of the city, a Muslim woman walked by with full head scarf and long sleeves...a Greek man was overheard telling his wife in utter disbelief: "aren't they HOT with all that". Sweltering in the heat of the day, I couldn't have agreed more.

...this thought continues to something else Indigo said, especially in this part of the world--

Quote
Also, I'd think it would be equally difficult for a Christian woman to cover their heads in Europe now, especially England and France, since everyone's up in arms with the Muslim veiling.


Christian women *here* will probably NEVER wear anything that would remotely resemble Muslim clothing, even in church. On the other hand, I can see the Russian tradition of head scarves in church continuing, since their history and proximity to the Middle East is different--(not to mention, climate)-- than Greece's, and I respect that.

The headscarf has become a symbol of Islam, and after 400 years of Muslim occupation in this part of the world, and the resurgent fear of Islam, no one is voluntarily going to take up anything close to their garb. Even monasteries here do not require them. Only the Athonite monasteries in the U.S. do.

While I personally find that wearing them, while visiting those monasteries, takes one to a different spiritual level, a level of completely forgetting one's own vanity and sense of egotistical self, I also find them extremely uncomfortable. Wearing tight ones in the style of Islam renders me half deaf! I was once struggling so much with hearing my confessor, that he actually felt sorry for me!

On a lighter more trivial note: I just watched an interesting show highlighting life in Lebanon. They were on a beach, and ofcourse, the composition of Lebanon includes Muslims and Christians. Lebanon is very much like Greece...the summers are hot and the beautiful beaches are a part of everyday life. While the men are allowed to bathe in Western bathing trunks, the women must stay dressed. However, they *are* allowed to swim, and it showed them swimming in: trousers, long sleeved blouses and full covering head scarfs...all in the color black. (*EEK*) Another interesting tidbit is that the women on the beach were allowed to smoke the 'argile' or 'water pipe'...hmmmm.... wink

I find the the Islamic culture of the Middle East both fascinating and beautiful in tradition and respectfulness, while also being frightening and oppressive in practice.

Alice


Posted By: harmon3110 Re: head covering women in East - 08/05/07 11:37 AM
Originally Posted by Alice
I find the the Islamic culture of the Middle East both fascinating and beautiful in tradition and respectfulness, while also being frightening and oppressive in practice.

Indeed . . .

-- John
Posted By: Rufinus Re: head covering women in East - 08/05/07 07:24 PM
Originally Posted by Penthaetria
I'm going to be a grouchy grump and take what is likely to be a very unpopular stand...
I actually resent the "refugees" from the Roman Catholic church who attend our Melkite parish and insist on covering their heads.

Pentha,

The hardest I laughed all week. My latin rite friends think this a most funny term - "refugees".

What gets ME mad about women's head coverings is that their husbands never wear a suit and tie. Ughhhhhh! The trad men make "their woman" (read this in snotty fashion) do this practice as a mark of obedience but the guys do not show a similar degree of respect for God in their dress. mad mad

Other than this, I do like tasteful eccentricities in fashion and don't mind the head covering.
Posted By: Zenovia Re: head covering women in East - 08/06/07 10:25 PM
Quote
While the men are allowed to bathe in Western bathing trunks, the women must stay dressed. However, they *are* allowed to swim, and it showed them swimming in: trousers, long sleeved blouses and full covering head scarfs...all in the color black. (*EEK*) Another interesting tidbit is that the women on the beach were allowed to smoke the 'argile' or 'water pipe'...hmmmm.... ;\)

Dear Alice,

In my grandmother's time, I believe the men were allowed to swim freely, while women had to swim in bathing houses. They were houses that were built over the water so that one could bathe indiscreetly. As for the 'argile', (with the accent on the last e), I find that interesting too. Ha! biggrin What's a little smoke now and then? Is there hashish in them? confused

God Bless,

Zenovia
Posted By: indigo Re: head covering women in East - 08/07/07 03:43 AM
Today just before this awesome Divine Liturgy celebrating The Transfiguration everyone was waiting in anticipation and all of a sudden four sisters ages 4-13 old whipped out their fuschia shawls and covered their heads! My godmother had begun wearing a shawl and covering her head in July, and her 10 year old daughter began doing the same this weekend. She saw the four sisters and just grinned! It was absolutely hysterical (thugh no one laughed)!
Posted By: Annie_SFO Re: head covering women in East - 08/07/07 04:28 PM
In response to the original post (quoted below), I have worn head covering in Russian churches, where women wear longer, more modest dresses. They definitely are the uniform at the local ROCOR church. When in doubt, I say for women, wear more rather than less and carry a scarf. For men, dress it up rather than dress it down. (Lately, I'm seeing more immodest fashion boo boos on men than women.)

Several Serbian women I know are quick to point out that they don't like covering their heads and they like to wear dress trousers. They go to their church or to the OCA church, and they dress neatly and modestly in church, but you won't catch them praying with the Russians. One of my friends visited a Catholic monastery when she missed her church's Liturgy, rather than go pray at the ROCOR. And she's quite Orthodox and she dresses quite conservatively, but women in her experience are left to determine how they will appropriately dress.

When you have different churches and different nationalities, cultures, ethnicities, you get some variation going. I figure respect other people's practices when you are visiting their parish. So if you are visiting a church where it is the tradition to dress a particular way, try to do that. I agree with the comment in the thread, though, about the "refugees." If you are a traditional Roman Catholic roaming for a home, don't advertise being different by coming to an Eastern church and conducting yourself differently. That's not a good way to worship anyway. Try to fit in a little, don't give into to stubbornness and pride or whatever. Try to stand when others stand, sit when others sit, kneel when others kneel, Cross yourself when other Cross themselves, cover your head when others cover theirs and perhaps uncover your head when they don't, wear a suit if that's what other guys wear, whatever it takes to be a polite, respectful worshipper and not distract others.




Originally Posted by searching east
Some debate whether in the Latin church the custom of women wearing head converings was menat to be lifted. It was never officially changed, but it was not reinstated in a certain release of canon law. So some debate what this means. I am nt interested in that here, though people may say what they want.
My question is about the Christian East. I do not think I see women in head coverings the times I have visited Orthodox Churches. Maybe I just did not notice. But was this a custom in the East? For how long? and when did it change and why? I do not think the Orthodox even have canon law, so I would be interested to know how this played out in their churches.
Posted By: tjm199 Re: head covering women in East - 08/07/07 04:37 PM
Refunis--you hit the nail on the head and one of my biggest pet peeves! When I go to church, I wear at least a pair of dress pants, a dress shirt and a tie. Sometimes a suit, but at least a tie. With dress shoes that I polish before I leave the house. I am so tired of going to church and seeing people in shorts, ripped and dirty t-shirts, sandals and torn jeans! It would have to be a bad day for me to show up in jeans. And my nine year old son is not allowed to dress in anything less than a pair of dress pants, dress shirt (or a polo shirt) and dress shoes. Tennis shoes are OUT!

What is worse is when I see altar servers wearing torn sneakers, sandals and jeans that have no heels. Clearly visible under their robes. I promise you, my son will never dress that way when he is a server! My mom and dad never permitted my brothers or I to wear jeans to church, even in the 1970's. I certainly won't do it now! How about a little respect for all that God has done for us?

Tim

Posted By: indigo Re: head covering women in East - 08/08/07 02:09 AM
Tim, you're the kind of guy I like to see in church. I don't think men realize just how wonderful they look when they dress up a little.

Annie, I wonder if the Serbian women are like the Greek women in that because of the bad relationship Serbs have had with Muslims they don't want to wear anything that remotely resembles Muslim dress.
No one considers the Theotokos who almost always veiled,albeit differently in the Roman and Orthodox churches, but rather muslims! Romans portray her sometimes with some hair showing or even unveiled but wearing a crown. But when she's veiled it seems to be in the style of jewish women of the time period.

Orthodox icons paint her with her head completely covered (under cap included)and, really, if her scarf covered the neck it would resemble a muslim hijab! Why is she painted in this manner in countries that do not wish to resemble muslim dress in any way, shape or form?

Posted By: Rufinus Re: head covering women in East - 08/08/07 11:26 PM
Tim -
Your a good Dad. One of my fondest childhood memories was the day my Dad taught me to tie a tie.

And for the record, I've had the blue jean/work boot rush to Church on a holy day day. It ain't pretty.
Rufinus
Posted By: tjm199 Re: head covering women in East - 08/09/07 05:08 PM
Thank you both for the compliments--but my parents are the ones who deserve credit for making sure I was dressed properly and not allowing my childish desires to override respect for a debt to Jesus that we can never repay!

I teach at the University level and it is amazing at how poorly kids dress. I don't expect three piece suits, but I'm amazed that occasionally we get a guy or girl who dresses nicely and how much the other students compliment them and even start flirting right away. It was the same person who wore jeans and sweats a couple of weeks ago, but now that they are wearing a dress or a pair of chino's and a button dress shirt (minus the tie), people think they are far more attractive.

Yet no one puts two and two together! Nice dress and cleanliness equals flirtation and dates, not to mention a whole new level of respect! Go figure. When my nine year old son gets older and starts to get interested in girls, the first bit of advice I'll give him is--hygiene and clean, nice, dress clothes! And I know the girls will come flocking. Oh, and no baseball caps inside a building--hats are for outside. And never wear a baseball cap backwards or sideways.


Tim

Posted By: AndreaW Re: head covering women in East - 08/09/07 05:19 PM
Originally Posted by tjm199
When my nine year old son gets older and starts to get interested in girls, the first bit of advice I'll give him is--hygiene and clean, nice, dress clothes! And I know the girls will come flocking.

Tim

We have tried telling our teenager this over and over! But does he believe us, no! frown So we get resentment because we make him dress nicely. I hope when he gets older he will understand why we did.
Posted By: Zenovia Re: head covering women in East - 08/09/07 06:47 PM
Quote
Several Serbian women I know are quick to point out that they don't like covering their heads and they like to wear dress trousers. They go to their church or to the OCA church, and they dress neatly and modestly in church, but you won't catch them praying with the Russians.

Dear Annie,

I have a bit of a problem with this. It's not that I have anything against women in trousers, but I believe they should have either a tunic covering their backside, or a long jacket. I feel the same about girls and women wearing flimsy fabrics, even though I realize that on some the clothes might not be suggestive. On others though they are, and one can't differentiate what one should wear and what the other can wear.

I think the priests should give church goers some guidelines as to what someone should be wearing....of course I'm asking a lot of them, considering what they have to put up with in so many of our parishes.

I recall many decades ago, how a teenager in my family, decided to wear a pants suit at Easter. The suit was something new at the time, and quite fashionable. She wore a jacket over it, so that there was nothing suggestive about it. Being devout, she made sure she was well covered but it scandalized the older women. Of course they were not scandalized at the other girls and women with the extreme mini skirts of the era. Had this teenager wore a mini skirt, it would have been perfectly okay...which comes to my point. Certain guide lines should be given such as covering one's backside, the thickness or thiness of fabrics, and the amount of leg that can be shown...as well as sleeveless and provacative dresses.

God Bless,

Zenovia
Posted By: Athanasius The L Re: head covering women in East - 08/09/07 08:09 PM
Originally Posted by tjm199
Refunis--you hit the nail on the head and one of my biggest pet peeves! When I go to church, I wear at least a pair of dress pants, a dress shirt and a tie. Sometimes a suit, but at least a tie. With dress shoes that I polish before I leave the house. I am so tired of going to church and seeing people in shorts, ripped and dirty t-shirts, sandals and torn jeans! It would have to be a bad day for me to show up in jeans. And my nine year old son is not allowed to dress in anything less than a pair of dress pants, dress shirt (or a polo shirt) and dress shoes. Tennis shoes are OUT!

What is worse is when I see altar servers wearing torn sneakers, sandals and jeans that have no heels. Clearly visible under their robes. I promise you, my son will never dress that way when he is a server! My mom and dad never permitted my brothers or I to wear jeans to church, even in the 1970's. I certainly won't do it now! How about a little respect for all that God has done for us?

Tim

There was a time when I thought much like this. I was raised in a Protestant, evangelical tradition where many people emphasized wearing your "Sunday best". However, my thought has changed a great deal about this, largely due to the two passages below from Holy Scripture. I believe the disposition of one's heart and mind has far more to do with respect and love for God than does clothing-and that clothing does not necessarily reflect that inner disposition. There is a family at my Church with six young children-all under the age of 11. The mother does not have a job outside of the home, so they are a single-income family. They typically wear jeans, and while sometimes the father wears slacks instead, I've never seen him wear a tie, and certainly not a suit-he may not even own a suit and I doubt, given their financial situation, that they can afford to make buying one a priority. However, he and his wife are among the most reverent people in the parish and they go to great efforts to teach their young children the same love of God they have. On the other hand, I've also known some people who are always nicely dressed who are so lacking in anything remotely resembling Christian charity that I find it impossible to believe that they have any love or respect for God.

Ryan

1 Samuel 16:6-7

And it came to pass, when they were come, that he looked on Eliab, and said, Surely the LORD's anointed is before him. But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.

James 2:2-4

For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment; and ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, �Sit thou here in a good place�; and say to the poor, �Stand thou there,� or �sit here under my footstool�; are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts?
Posted By: indigo Re: head covering women in East - 08/10/07 04:31 AM
Ryan, you have a point, but I guess because I come from a culture where even the poor are expected to wear their Sunday best in the House of God, I see little excuse for jeans in church unless one is third world poverty poor. One can always get to a thrift store and get clothes other than jeans. It isn't necessary to wear a different outfit every Sunday,one is enough especially if the budget is tight.Jeans and shorts strike me as the result of sloth or ignorance. It isn't about being fancy just dressing appropiately.
That said, of course, I don't assume the well dressed parishioners are automatically more virtuous than anyone else, nor do I disregard the virtuousness of those wearing jeans or even shorts to church.

I admit that this is such a strong cultural bias for me that I wouldn't even consider going to church with a date wearing jeans.To me that is on par with going out with a guy who wears a wifebeater as his primary shirt. Not gonna happen no matter how nice he is.
Posted By: Athanasius The L Re: head covering women in East - 08/10/07 07:05 AM
Indigo:

Well, according to you, I suppose my wife and I are either extremely lazy, ignorant, or both. I'll attempt not to take offense-though it won't be easy.

Ryan
Posted By: Yuhannon Re: head covering women in East - 08/10/07 07:30 AM
Originally Posted by Athanasius The L
Indigo:

Well, according to you, I suppose my wife and I are either extremely lazy, ignorant, or both. I'll attempt not to take offense-though it won't be easy.

Ryan

Shlomo Ryan,

I understand what Athanasius is saying. In my parish back in Minneapolis Perioduet sharbel would have in the bulletins that if you come to Church no shorts, no jeans, or any clothing that suggest that Church is a casual affair.

Poosh BaShlomo,
Yuhannon
Posted By: Athanasius The L Re: head covering women in East - 08/10/07 07:57 AM
The conclusion that the wearing of jeans suggests that Church is a casual affair is not an objective fact; rather, it is an opinion, that is, in my opinion, culturally conditioned. If I were in a situation where I believed that wearing jeans would offend the sensibilities of the community, I would not wear jeans, in spite of the fact that those are sensibilities I do not share. However, at my parish, there are a number of people who wear jeans on a regular basis. My wife and I do as well, though not always. To us, there is nothing casual about the DL. When we wear jeans, we are no less "serious" about DL than when we wear slacks.

Ryan
Posted By: Alice Re: head covering women in East - 08/10/07 08:06 AM
This is such a heated issue, and I would have to say that there are no clear cut rights or wrongs, as many different factors play into these conversations: traditions, cultures, sub-cultures, climates, ethnicities, age, etc.

I will relay to you what I see here in Athens, Greece and throughout Greece.

On Sunday mornings, the middle aged to older women generally wear skirts, however, there are also younger and middle aged women who wear pants. Middle aged to older men generally wear some kind of button down shirt and trouser.

It is very hot here, and suntans and little clothing are generally the norm on the streets--thus, arms are generally not covered and no one, not even in monasteries, winces. Also, because of the heat, no one winces at sandals, and sandals here are quite pretty and fashionable looking ones. Although not the majority, there are teens and young adults scattered in the congregations, both on Sunday and at Vespers/Salutation service, which are held nightly in the larger churches for the Dormition fast. They come in jeans, earrings, t-shirts, etc. No one seems to mind. The mere fact that they come in of their own volition, the mere fact that their dress says that they are part of the youth culture yet they still want to meet our Lord in their souls, and that they believe in Him, and in their Church speaks volumes. I rejoice when I see them, and I rejoice when I see them just as they are, because it tells me that they were not forced to come by their parents, or out of a sense of any other type of obligation or pretense. Ofcourse, this is a different culture, and it is acceptable here...ever since the newsworthy day about twenty years ago, when Archbishop Christodoulos publicly welcomed all youth to come to church in their jeans! (--for that was the time here when the Church was losing their generation completely).

Yesterday, I made a day pilgrimage to the island of Aegina to visit the Church and the monastery of St. Nektarios.
There was a busload of tourist pilgrims there from Russia...there were a few adult chaperones with headscarves, but most were teens...beautiful fresh faced, attractive, fair haired Russian teens and the females did not wear headscarves..It was just so wonderful to see these young people in Church, and the nuns don't mind as long as everyone tries to look decent. They offer a sign to that effect (of decency) at the entrance, and skirts for those who may need them. Every once in a while someone slips through the cracks--you may see a man in shorts which the sign does not allow, or a woman in something more scanty, but no one chases them out as long as their demeanor is respectful...As this has now become a tourist island as well, there are bound to be some tourists who are not prepared by their dress for the treasure they have come upon in this pilgrimage site...such as an independent young Russian couple I saw there, as well as an independent young Greek couple.

Having contemplated this thread, and having immersed myself into a different cultural mindset, I would have to say that, although I always understood the point of the posters who say it is nice to try to dress nicely at Church, that I also understand the point of our younger posters like Ryan/Athanasius the Lesser.

From what I can ascertain, I think that worldwide Christianity is at a point where the two mindsets will always intermingle, and that neither should condemn the other, but rejoice in the communion of worshipping together.

Alice, Moderator
Posted By: byzanTN Re: head covering women in East - 08/10/07 09:26 AM
I fail to see how denim is any more casual or less virtuous than, say corduroy. Modesty and decency seem to be more important than the type of fabric worn. I don't wear jeans to church unless it's a daily mass and I am there to meet the organ repairman after mass and expect to get a bit dirty. However, where does this idea of certain fabrics being more appropriate or holy come from?
Posted By: Yuhannon Re: head covering women in East - 08/10/07 09:38 AM
Shlomo Lkhoolkhoon,

For those of us who are Middle Eastern our belief goes back to how one should dress for synagogue or Temple. To wear "work" clothes to worship to us shows that one is just going through the motions and one does not truly respect God nor ones self. Now if one is wearing demim that is purely for worship, and not for play and other "everyday" activities then that is different, but if one wears their street clothes to Church, then that is disrespectful.

Poosh BaShlomo Lkhoolkhoon,
Yuhannon
Posted By: Our Lady's slave Re: head covering women in East - 08/10/07 09:41 AM
I was brought up during war years - you were lucky to have more than one set of clothes - so the custom of having Sunday best died out - you grew out of them before they were worn out.

Since then I think most families here just have decent clothes that will go anywhere [ excluding teenagers of course ]

My own personal feeling is that you should wear neat , decent, clean clothes to Church.

This of course is where your own view of modesty comes in. Me - I think I dress appropriately - sleeves to at least my elbow , no plunging neckline and skirt a respectable length.

This is my normal style anyway.

Head covering - well it depends where I am - normally no - but if I'm visiting anywhere new I ask .

Now teenagers - that can be a different thing - they do enjoy showing their own style ideas - problems can arise - and negotiation has to take place in the family situation. As we all know - parents are old 'fuddie duddies ' and know nothing biggrin
Posted By: Zan Re: head covering women in East - 08/10/07 02:58 PM
Originally Posted by Rufinus
Tim -
Your a good Dad. One of my fondest childhood memories was the day my Dad taught me to tie a tie.

And for the record, I've had the blue jean/work boot rush to Church on a holy day day. It ain't pretty.
Rufinus

My girlfriend had to teach me how to tie a tie, is that pathetic or what? frown
Posted By: Alice Re: head covering women in East - 08/10/07 03:32 PM
Originally Posted by Yuhannon
Shlomo Lkhoolkhoon,

For those of us who are Middle Eastern our belief goes back to how one should dress for synagogue or Temple. To wear "work" clothes to worship to us shows that one is just going through the motions and one does not truly respect God nor ones self. Now if one is wearing demim that is purely for worship, and not for play and other "everyday" activities then that is different, but if one wears their street clothes to Church, then that is disrespectful.

Poosh BaShlomo Lkhoolkhoon,
Yuhannon

Dear Yuhannon,

This is exactly how the Greeks were and how the Greeks always thought, and how Greek Americans such as myself who have grown up with the same old fashioned values you mention, have always thought. I always dress on Sundays as have my husband and children.

However, times have changed across Europe, and rather than have our churches graced by nothing more than little old ladies, which seemed to be the direction it was going, (despite operating churches on practically every corner), the Archbishop of Athens, Christodoulos, had the enlightened foresight to tell young people to just COME into Church--wherever they are and however they are dressed at the moment.

Another thing that has changed in recent years is the long beard, the kalimavki/stove top hat, and long hair (tied into a bun) that priests always donned here. It seems that young men were not able to get married with that particular look in these more modern times, and thus, were not happy with that particular rule and tradition. Again, for a while, the Church here seemed doomed to have only older white haired men within its clerical ranks...atleast at face value.

So the Archbishop, again in an enlightened move, said that they can have clipped beards and short hair, and now I see many, many young married priests (not a single white hair on them, so they must be young-LOL) walking around the city in rasso, but with short hair, short beard and no kalimavki. Infact, I saw a young priest with his wife and child just the other day at the supermarket parking lot, getting into their car. Now for Greece, *THAT* is progress! smile

In Christ,
Alice

Posted By: tjm199 Re: head covering women in East - 08/11/07 01:41 AM
Jeans--that's a word that seems to be sparking lots of thought and comments. When I mentioned not wearing jeans to church I meant the kind that hang down to yout butt and have been worn away to nothing but threads on the heels. Clean jeans are acceptable in my opinion. I have my own standards and would not expect others to follow them. But I will compromise with my son when he becomes a teenager, as any parents knows---pick your battles. I have worn clean jeans to church once in the last several years--and it was because of time and health problems. But they were clean, neat and not full of holes. Its a sign of respect. I would rather see someone in church dressed in just about anything rather than not in church in a three piece suit.

Please don't take offense at this, but there does seem to me a correlation between the type of dress one uses at Church and how one views Divine Liturgy. Again, I don't expect three piece suits or dresses to the ankles and wrists. But what's wrong with a clean shirt or a clean pair of pants? Even jeans.

Tim
Posted By: MarkosC Re: head covering women in East - 08/11/07 04:02 AM
Originally Posted by Alice
So the Archbishop, again in an enlightened move, said that they can have clipped beards and short hair, and now I see many, many young married priests (not a single white hair on them, so they must be young-LOL) walking around the city in rasso, but with short hair, short beard and no kalimavki. Infact, I saw a young priest with his wife and child just the other day at the supermarket parking lot, getting into their car. Now for Greece, *THAT* is progress! smile

Perhaps moving off-topic a bit....... but what would people say about a clergyman with no beard, i.e. short hair, clean shaven, but wearing a cassock and kalimvaki? wink I've seen it before here in the US, but I can't imagine it in Greece.

Markos
Posted By: indigo Re: head covering women in East - 08/11/07 08:43 PM
The jeans thing is cultural and I come from a culture that condones it. That's the way I see the world, I have no problem with it, and if others see it differently, cool, but in my world it's a no-no and that's not going to change for me.
I have the right to see that way just as y'all and Archbishops etc have the right to see jeans or shorts, tatoos, slinky dresses etc as being appropiate.
Maybe this isn't your particular cultural bias, but I'm willing to bet every poster here also carries a few cultural biases that will never change whether they move to South Africa, Tahiti or Europe...and why should they? I'm willing to agree to disagree on this one, my friends. Moving on...

In this culture it seems a beardless priest wouldn't raise eyes because it doesn't mean anything to Americans, but in Greece and possibly other countries it does seem to be important. But are priestly beards part of Church tradition or biblically inspired? What about men with long hair, is that frowned upon? I ask because with the headcoverings some defend them on biblical ground but clearly, most cultures have moved a way from it. At the same time, according to Paul, it seems that men (I don't know about Church tradition)are not to wear long hair, but they do. It seems that headcoverings, bearded priests, and longhaired men are all cultural issues now.
Posted By: indigo Re: head covering women in East - 08/11/07 08:44 PM
Oh, and what is a kalimvaki?
Posted By: Our Lady's slave Re: head covering women in East - 08/11/07 08:56 PM
Here you go smile Hats [nikitatailor.com]
Posted By: indigo Re: head covering women in East - 08/11/07 09:12 PM
Thanks for the visual explanation. Who wears red kamilavki? I've seen priests wearing the black, but then I've not seen the number of byzantine catholic or orthodox priests that y'all have. Not that it's important, but they look cool! I know priests who where their rassos aliturgically but not the kamilavki.
Posted By: indigo Re: head covering women in East - 08/12/07 06:30 PM
I've found more proof backing up Zenovia's contention that Christian women used to veil completely.St.Jerome states in his letter(Ancille Domini:Demetrias)that when pious women absolutely must leave the home (he really preferred they stay home) their necks,throats, and breasts should be covered as well as their faces. "leaving scarcely an opening for one eye-and that only from the need to find her way."
Makes you wonder if the Muslim women's veil was copied from the Christians!
Posted By: Zenovia Re: head covering women in East - 08/12/07 06:46 PM
Quote
I've found more proof backing up Zenovia's contention that Christian women used to veil completely.St.Jerome states in his letter(Ancille Domini:Demetrias)that when pious women absolutely must leave the home (he really preferred they stay home) their necks,throats, and breasts should be covered as well as their faces. "leaving scarcely an opening for one eye-and that only from the need to find her way."
Makes you wonder if the Muslim women's ve

Dear Indigo,

Actually, these things probably pre-date Christianity in that part of the world. The reason I realized it, was because I saw an ancient Greek statue from Asia Minor, (now called Turkey), probably dating four centuries or more before Christ. Had it been later than that, it would have been a classical Greek statue or a Hellenic Greek one. The girl's face was partially covered. The covering hung from one side, and was drawn to the other side, leaning on the shoulder. It did not come from the top of the head down.

God Bless,

Zenovia
Posted By: bergschlawiner Re: head covering women in East - 08/13/07 12:50 AM
Quote
Perhaps moving off-topic a bit....... but what would people say about a clergyman with no beard, i.e. short hair, clean shaven, but wearing a cassock and kalimvaki? wink

Not at all unheard off. Look at photos of the Ukrainian Catholic bishops in the old days, how about some Romanian, Antiochian, etc. bishops? I once saw a video on TV of a Ukrainian Greek Cath young monk at an altar with no beard, short hair, and a kamilavka.
Posted By: Michelle,SFO Re: head covering women in East - 08/13/07 02:44 AM
O.k., I can't resist...I have been surfing in and out of this thread for some time and I have something to say...

Today I visited a beautiful Melkite parish. Wonderful. First time for me, and it won't be the last. I absolutely LOVED IT. Now for the topic. Half wore head wraps, half did not. I did not, simply because I don't normally do it and because I was not sure what the custom of this parish was. I don't have a problem if someone wants to do that, that is fine. What pestered me about it was a young lady who sat directly in front of me during the liturgy and fussed with it the entire time, moving around, rocking back and forth with her kid, nursing, ect... It kept slipping off, it was BRIGHT, and it really irritated me because it was distracting. I suppose that totally defeats the purpose of it if I am not mistaken. Nursing is fine. Rocking is fine. Fixing ones head gear is fine. Leaving and coming back ten times is fine too. Our Lord does not mind. But perhaps the motion in the back row would have been more charitable to weak minds like me. Sorry to vent, but if the whole point is "modesty", we should be modest inwardly and exteriourly in our postures and clothing, whether you want to wear a head wrap or not. Her hair would not have distracted me or anyone else. All the fuss did. The issue goes deeper than a little mantilla or a scarf. Modesty of the heart, the inward man, the attitude toward ones neighbor, must be and interior reality. Quite frankly, that is the real issue. If you've got that together, the other stuff falls into place. You are going to dress decently in order to present yourself before the Lord. That is what it's all about I think.

Jesus had long hair by the way. Gee, maybe we should start a thread for that one. laugh
Posted By: Perpetua Re: head covering women in East - 08/13/07 03:11 AM
Dear Michelle,

The little ones are so unpredictable! A mother can hardly prepare for all possibilities, and this is certain if there are many children. Today for instance we had a baby spitting up, and a tired/restless toddler, and an older boy with a tummy ache! Everyone else in the family was o.k. We were in and out like a revolving door! I always feel terrible for the distractions and minimize these wherever I can. It's worse with a head covering because the little ones are always knocking it out of place. When I wore a veil, I switched to a hat for that reason. Now I attend the DL at a Ukrainian Rite church and there are almost no headcoverings. So, I do not wear one in order to conform.

Have you ever tried to find a seat in the back row? I think that the back row is the first row that fills up. Maybe if you sit more closely to the front it will minimize this problem.

Anyway, perhaps the lady was just conforming to custom and juggling the duties of her state in life, her vocation as a mother, as best as she was able while fulfilling the desire of her heart to be there on Sunday.

I think that your comment about modesty of heart, and the attitude of charity regarding ones neighbour really does get to the center of the matter. You are right on there!

Posted By: AndreaW Re: head covering women in East - 08/13/07 03:54 PM
What beautiful vestments on that site!
Posted By: Michelle,SFO Re: head covering women in East - 08/13/07 06:35 PM
Understandable. Been there, done that. My point was about the headcovering. If it will just end up as one more distraction to ones neighbor then it is defeating the purpose entirely. wink
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