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#21 Anna Stickles

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Posted 07 March 2010 - 07:11 PM

Orthodox priests should keep their beards and stop making themselves look like roman priests with roman collars. Unfortunately western culture is more powerful than our tradition. sigh.


Kosta, Maybe there should be some effort to differentiate tradition from Tradition? Cultural traditions are one thing and I see no reason why one culture's traditions should be preferred over another. Tradition - All those things having to do with eternity, our salvation and our relationship with God are something else. Certainly beards has to do with the former not the latter.

#22 Anna Stickles

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Posted 07 March 2010 - 07:35 PM

Maybe I can expand a little further. We understand that the domination of one person by another is not a true expression of Christian love, but rather that God made us for freedom in him - and nowhere do you see this emphasized and portrayed as fully as in Orthodoxy.

Therefore as Orthodoxy tries to find it's place in western culture, the Orthodox, if they want to truly be a witness of Orthodoxy, cannot take the approach of one cultures domination by another. There has to be a sensitivity and love shown to the already established traditions here as long as they don't conflict with Tradition.

There is a fine line here. On the one hand beards may be common in Orthodox but not Roman priests - and this is simply a matter of cultural tradition. And yet on the other hand we certainly see in our modern American culture a tendency for dress to become an expression of our ego, and so to combat this guidelines for humble and appropriate dress and appearance are probably good.

#23 Christophoros

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Posted 07 March 2010 - 09:07 PM

Kosta, Maybe there should be some effort to differentiate tradition from Tradition? Cultural traditions are one thing and I see no reason why one culture's traditions should be preferred over another. Tradition - All those things having to do with eternity, our salvation and our relationship with God are something else. Certainly beards has to do with the former not the latter.


The whole notion of looking at Orthodoxy as a collection and "traditions" and "Traditions", and imagining that we have the grace-filled insight to differentiate between the two and cast aside the things that aren't convenient for us, is pure renovationism.

#24 Paul Cowan

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Posted 07 March 2010 - 09:32 PM

The whole notion of looking at Orthodoxy as a collection and "traditions" and "Traditions", and imagining that we have the grace-filled insight to differentiate between the two and cast aside the things that aren't convenient for us, is pure renovationism.


So Christophoros,

Are you saying if I shave my beard I risk my salvation because it is (t)radition or (T)radition?

#25 Christophoros

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Posted 08 March 2010 - 02:25 AM

So Christophoros,

Are you saying if I shave my beard I risk my salvation because it is (t)radition or (T)radition?


Not at all. I simply don't believe we should divide the beliefs and practices of Orthodoxy into those things which save, and those which don't. Is it an Orthodox dogma to make the sign of the cross? How about to prostrate? How about kissing the right hand of a priest? If these things do not save, then why do them? We do them because they are part of the totality of the Orthodox Church, the Body of Christ.

If we feel free to pick and choose which elements of Orthodoxy to practice (ala "cafeteria Christianity"), then we are more renovationist or Protestant than we are Orthodox in mindset.

#26 Grace Singh

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Posted 08 March 2010 - 02:35 AM

personally, i admire the beards of Orthodox clergy. they look dignified and appropriate, somehow.

regarding traditions, it is important to not do away with certain traditions simply because these traditions may seem "odd" or quaint to the surrounding, modern culture. the Church is supposed to transform and inform the world for Christ, rather than the world suggesting or dictating what traditions and beliefs the Church holds. the world will continue "moving on". that does not mean that the Orthodox Church should move with it at the expense of Orthodoxy and Orthopraxy.

#27 Alice

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Posted 08 March 2010 - 03:19 AM

I find this subject one that could possibly invite the type of fundamentalism of outward appearances that has nothing to do with the soul...this could tempt those persons who are so inclined to take it past clergy beards vs. no beards, to which *type* of clergy beard is more Orthodox.--a short one, a medium one, a long one, a trimmed one, a clean one, a scraggly one, etc.!!!! *wink* (and I have seen each category of beard on clergy at one time or another!!) :-)

In the case of married clergy, not only do they have societal, cultural and Orthodox sensibilites to worry about, but perhaps they also need to worry about and be sensitive to their wive's preferences? Just a thought....

#28 Grace Singh

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Posted 08 March 2010 - 03:55 AM

I find this subject one that could possibly invite the type of fundamentalism of outward appearances that has nothing to do with the soul...this could tempt those persons who are so inclined to take it past clergy beards vs. no beards, to which *type* of clergy beard is more Orthodox.--a short one, a medium one, a long one, a trimmed one, a clean one, a scraggly one, etc.!!!!


while the potential is certainly there, as is the possibility of wrongly summing up a man's piety and Godliness by his beard length, beards for clergy are still a respected and meaningful tradition.

from the pov of Orthodoxy, Tradition interprets Scripture, and is considered holy. it is true that a Christian woman can be a pious and sincere Christian woman if she wears posh jewelery, short skirts, flashy shoes, and eye-catching make-up. but as a Christian woman, *should* she be wearing these things? or chosing to? do they point to modesty, humility, and a disregard for the things of the flesh, or in the opposite direction?

not saying it's a perfect analogy, but similar arguments could be made in this case. as a reflection of their respect for Tradition, is it better for Orthodox clergy to have a beard, or not?

#29 Father David Moser

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Posted 08 March 2010 - 04:03 AM

In the case of married clergy, not only do they have societal, cultural and Orthodox sensibilites to worry about, but perhaps they also need to worry about and be sensitive to their wive's preferences? Just a thought....


The wife is already "on board" as she has to be a part of the decision for ordination. She gets "her say" prior to the ordination, after that, she's already agreed.

Fr David Moser

#30 Kosta

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Posted 08 March 2010 - 05:21 AM

All the pious traditions of Orthodoxy can bbe vehicles of grace, if course with vastly different gradations. When one begins discarding various traditions through incrementally dismantling them, it becomes a domino effect, it starts with the traditions of the little 't' and ends up destroying the bigger ones bit by bit. Some heirarchs believe fasting needs to be dismantled and we see thru the study of the roman church when it is incrementally abolished. First it was made lax by replacing fasting with a custom of not eating meat only, then it was shortened to only include ash wednesday and Good Friday, then it was repackaged again that those days should be a custom of eating fish and not a day of abstinence, and as of late poultry has been added to the cuisine since the rules is to abstain from beef specifically and not neccearily meat.

In Orthodoxy here in America we see this, as more and more newly formed parishes are granted eikonomia so their churches dont have to face east. Originally this exception to the rule was only applied to urban areas now its based upon economic considerations, any former house of worship can be converted as long as the price is right. In GOARCH churches in NY all have musical organs, and no first generation greek is aware that musical instruments are not the norm for Orthodox churches. Greek-americans think the reason why the churches of Greece lack organs is because their too poor to afford them. They believe every jurisdiction in america uses organs, because theyve been told it enhances worship and the lack of musical instruments on old countries has nothing to do with Orthodox tradition or praxis or anything. Same with the sacrament of penance, its considered a tradition with the small 't' and not an essential sacrament. The laity thinks its to intrusive into their lives and the clergy are afraid they'll get sued if their spiritual advice is taken by the layman to be a way to control their personal lives.
It is this concept of dong away with everything increment by increment over many decades till we are striped barren of our ethos.

#31 Alice

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Posted 08 March 2010 - 01:35 PM

I am in agreement with you, Kosta, about confession. Fortunately, my GO parish has a priest who is very forthright about the importance of confession. So, I think that maybe with this newer generation of priests, we are seeing a change back to the traditional--or so I hope. (Lest, however, we be too judgemental, and to be fair, in Athens also, the newer generation of priests is trying slowly to get the masses who come to church to realize again its importance in the spiritual life. )
He has also taught us to do metanoies before receiving Holy Communion, full prostrations at St. Ephraim prayer during Lent, etc...some have left because they find him 'too strict' and are uncomfortable with the real ethos of Orthodox worship, but this has not detered him one bit.

As for music-- living, for the past two years, with one foot in Athens and another in NY, I don't think that it is something all that important. The hymns are the same, whether sung with an organ by a choir, by a psalti in Byzantine chant, or by psaltes in choral chant, a male psalti or a female one...I have heard all these.

Some psaltes are wonderful to listen to, others not (to say the least), and some choirs are wonderful to listen to, and others not, some psaltes sound more 'byzantine' than others, etc....the important thing is giving our best and most beautiful talent unto God for a beautiful worshipping experience.

If we make this out to be so important, then what is to be said of the beauty of the present Russian Orthodox musical tradition? Is it not Orthodox because it is not a Byzantine/Middle Eastern style chant? In no Greek church anywhere have I heard music applied in a disrespectful way (rock; rap; bouzouki; etc.) The organ is a beautiful Western instrument, and the West, despite being 'heteredox', has historically created some of the most spiritually touching music devoted to God. Is it possible to not be moved by Handel's Messiah, for instance?

Music is organic and it is also subjective.

If one knows not if he is in Heaven or on Earth, then, despite the 'style' music, the grace of the Holy Spirit is touching us.. .and whether we like it or not, there are many people who will never feel that way with Byzantine style chant.

Wishing you a most blessed remainder of Great and Holy Sarakosti,
Alice

Edited by Alice, 08 March 2010 - 02:05 PM.


#32 Jason Schrik

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Posted 27 March 2010 - 02:11 AM

The Rudder-

BISHOPS, PRIESTS AND DEACONS MUST BE BEARDED
Note that the present Canon censures the priests of the Latins who shave off their moustache and their beard and who look like very young men and handsome bridegrooms and have the face of women. For God forbids men of the laity in general to shave their beard, by saying: ““You shall not mar the appearance of your bearded chin”” (Leviticus 19:27). But He specially forbids those in Holy Orders to shave their beard, by saying to Moses to tell the sons of Aaron, or, in other words, the priests, not to shave the skin of their bearded chin (Leviticus 21:5, Not only did He forbid this in words, but He even appeared to Daniel with whiskers and beard as the Ancient of Days (Daniel 7:9); and the Son of God wore a beard while he was alive in the flesh. And our Forefathers and Patriarchs and Prophets and Apostles all wore beards, as is plainly evident from the most ancient pictures of them wherein they are painted with beards. But, more to the point, even the saints in Italy, like St. Ambrose, the father of monks Benedict, Gregory Dialogus, and the rest, all had beards, as they appear in their pictures painted in the church of St. Mark in Venice.
Why, even the judgment of right reason decides the shaving of the beard to be improper. For the beard is the difference which in respect of appearance distinguishes a woman from a man. That is why a certain philosopher when asked why he grew a beard and whiskers, replied that as often as he stroked his beard and whiskers he felt that he was a man, and not a woman. Those men who shave their beard are not possessors of a manly face, but of a womanly face. Hence it was that Epiphanios blamed the Massalians for cutting off their beard, which is the visage peculiar to man as distinguished from woman.

BEARDS ARE THE CORRECT APPEARANCE FOR A CHRISTIAN MAN
The Apostles in their Injunctions, Book I, Chapter 3 command that no one shall destroy the hair of his beard, and change the natural visage of the man into one that is unnatural. “For,” says he, “God the Creator made this to be becoming to women, but deemed it to be out of harmony with men.” The innovation of shaving the beard ensued in the Roman Church a little before Leo IX. Gregory VII even resorted to force in order to make bishops and clerics shave off their beard. What a most ugly and most disgusting sight it is to see the successor of St. Peter close-shaven, as the Greeks say, like a “fine bridegroom,” with this difference, however, that he wears a stole and a pallium, and sits in the chief seat among a large number of other men like him in a council called the college of cardinals, while he himself is styled the Pope. Yet bearded Popes did not become extinct after insane Gregory, a witness to this fact being Pope Gelasius growing a beard, as is stated in his biography. See the Dodecabiblus of Dositheos, pages 776-8. Meletios the Confessor (subject 7, concerning unleavened wafers) states that the king arrested a certain Pope by the name of Peter on account of his lascivious acts and one half of his beard was shaven off as a mark of dishonor. According to another authority, in other temples too there were princes, even on the clerical list, who had a beard, as in Leipzig they are to be seen painted after Martin Luther in the church called St. Paul’s and that called St. Thomas’s. I saw the same things also in Bardislabia.

#33 Father David Moser

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Posted 27 March 2010 - 06:09 PM

The exact reference to the Rudder wasn't cited so I can't be more exact myself, but it would appear that the above comments are not part of the Rudder (the compilation of the canons) but rather the commentary (most likely) of Apostolos Makrakis who put together this collection and whose own opinions appear as commentary on the canons.

Fr David Moser

#34 Fr Raphael Vereshack

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Posted 27 March 2010 - 07:53 PM

The exact reference to the Rudder wasn't cited so I can't be more exact myself, but it would appear that the above comments are not part of the Rudder (the compilation of the canons) but rather the commentary (most likely) of Apostolos Makrakis who put together this collection and whose own opinions appear as commentary on the canons.

Fr David Moser


The Rudder was originally compiled and commented upon by St Nikodemos the Agiorite. However the edition that Fr David refers to and that is commonly available in an English translation was further commented upon by Apostolos Makrakis. It's a shame then that this edition doesn't clearly differentiate between the two- although at times the more in depth comments and Patristic analysis is by St Nikodemus I think.

In Christ- Fr Raphael

#35 Archimandrite Irenei

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Posted 27 March 2010 - 07:56 PM

Best not to read it in any case.... unless one particularly has a blessing from a bishop to do so (e.g. a priest, laypeople in specific circumstances). The canons are pastoral guides, to be applied in obedience. Extracted from this relationship, they are temptations.

#36 Herman Blaydoe

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Posted 27 March 2010 - 08:42 PM

So, does this mean that native Americans who don't generally have facial to begin with are barred from being clergy?

Just askin'

Herman the part Choctaw Pooh (but who does have a hairy face)

#37 Ryan

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Posted 27 March 2010 - 10:03 PM

The injunction seems to be more against the act of shaving than against beardlessness per se. Obviously people who are not physically capable of growing beards won't be violating this canon.

#38 Aidan Kimel

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Posted 27 March 2010 - 10:09 PM

Alas, while I can grow a moustache (given sufficient time), I am unable to grow a decent beard, thanks to genetics. My father complained about his inability to grow a beard. My sons complain about this inability. Are we cursed? Is it a symptom of the Western original sin? ;)

#39 Jason Schrik

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Posted 28 March 2010 - 11:54 AM

The Rudder-

BISHOPS, PRIESTS AND DEACONS MUST BE BEARDED
Note that the present Canon censures the priests of the Latins who shave off their moustache and their beard and who look like very young men and handsome bridegrooms and have the face of women. For God forbids men of the laity in general to shave their beard, by saying: ““You shall not mar the appearance of your bearded chin”” (Leviticus 19:27). But He specially forbids those in Holy Orders to shave their beard, by saying to Moses to tell the sons of Aaron, or, in other words, the priests, not to shave the skin of their bearded chin (Leviticus 21:5, Not only did He forbid this in words, but He even appeared to Daniel with whiskers and beard as the Ancient of Days (Daniel 7:9); and the Son of God wore a beard while he was alive in the flesh. And our Forefathers and Patriarchs and Prophets and Apostles all wore beards, as is plainly evident from the most ancient pictures of them wherein they are painted with beards. But, more to the point, even the saints in Italy, like St. Ambrose, the father of monks Benedict, Gregory Dialogus, and the rest, all had beards, as they appear in their pictures painted in the church of St. Mark in Venice.
Why, even the judgment of right reason decides the shaving of the beard to be improper. For the beard is the difference which in respect of appearance distinguishes a woman from a man. That is why a certain philosopher when asked why he grew a beard and whiskers, replied that as often as he stroked his beard and whiskers he felt that he was a man, and not a woman. Those men who shave their beard are not possessors of a manly face, but of a womanly face. Hence it was that Epiphanios blamed the Massalians for cutting off their beard, which is the visage peculiar to man as distinguished from woman.

BEARDS ARE THE CORRECT APPEARANCE FOR A CHRISTIAN MAN
The Apostles in their Injunctions, Book I, Chapter 3 command that no one shall destroy the hair of his beard, and change the natural visage of the man into one that is unnatural. “For,” says he, “God the Creator made this to be becoming to women, but deemed it to be out of harmony with men.” The innovation of shaving the beard ensued in the Roman Church a little before Leo IX. Gregory VII even resorted to force in order to make bishops and clerics shave off their beard. What a most ugly and most disgusting sight it is to see the successor of St. Peter close-shaven, as the Greeks say, like a “fine bridegroom,” with this difference, however, that he wears a stole and a pallium, and sits in the chief seat among a large number of other men like him in a council called the college of cardinals, while he himself is styled the Pope. Yet bearded Popes did not become extinct after insane Gregory, a witness to this fact being Pope Gelasius growing a beard, as is stated in his biography. See the Dodecabiblus of Dositheos, pages 776-8. Meletios the Confessor (subject 7, concerning unleavened wafers) states that the king arrested a certain Pope by the name of Peter on account of his lascivious acts and one half of his beard was shaven off as a mark of dishonor. According to another authority, in other temples too there were princes, even on the clerical list, who had a beard, as in Leipzig they are to be seen painted after Martin Luther in the church called St. Paul’s and that called St. Thomas’s. I saw the same things also in Bardislabia.


these actually come from page 785 of the electronic version. Here is the beginning of "the commentary" that you suppose that it is.

That quote is part of the footnotes of an ecumenical council! Not commentary

FOOTNOTES TO THE HOLY AND ECUMENICAL
FIFTH-SIXTH OR SIXTH SYNOD 1. PROOF THAT THIS IS A TRUE ECUMENICAL SYNOD
For many reasons, the present Synod is called and is an Ecumenical Synod:
1. Because in the salutatory address that it makes to Justinian, as well as in its third Canon, it labels itself Ecumenical.
2. Because the Seventh Ecumenical Synod in its Act 8 in its first Canon also calls it an Ecumenical Synod. In addition, Adrian I, the Pope of Rome, in his letter to Tarasius, recorded in Act 2 of the 7th Ecumenical Synod (page 748 of the Collection of the Synods), counts this among the Ecumenical Synods.
3. ECUMENICAL IN CHARACTER
Because in its Canons it lays down legislation and pronounces decrees relating, not to any one part of the inhabited earth, but to the whole inhabited portion of the globe, to both Eastern and Western churches; and it specifically refers to Rome, and to Africa, and to Armenia, to the provinces in Barbary – as appears in Canons XII, XIII XVIII, XXIX, XXXV, and XXXVI. It would be ridiculous, of course, for it to lay down legislation for so many and so widely distributed provinces, and especially to improve upon Canons of many local and regional Synods and Synods, were it not in reality an Ecumenical Synod, and had it not in reality the dignity and office of an Ecumenical Synod. As concerning this see the Footnote to its Canon II.
4. ALL PATRIARCHS INCLUDING POPE OF ROME ATTENDED
Because all of the four Patriarchs of the inhabited earth attended it, and so did the Pope of Rome through his legates (or lieutenants, or proxies, or deputies); and the churches everywhere on the face of the earth recognized it and accepted it – a fact which serves as an essential mark of identification and a constitutive characteristic, or constituent feature of Ecumenical Synods.

#40 Father David Moser

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Posted 28 March 2010 - 02:03 PM

these actually come from page 785 of the electronic version. Here is the beginning of "the commentary" that you suppose that it is.

That quote is part of the footnotes of an ecumenical council! Not commentary


The footnotes are not part of the text of the canons of the councils at all but the explanatory comments of one of the editors along the way - perhaps Agapius and Nicodemus (the orginal compilers), or the original redactor Dorotheus, or perhaps one of the members of the Patriarchal oversight committee, or perhaps the translator D. Cummings. In any case these footnotes are not part of the text of the canons of the council, in fact they are footnotes explaining the introductory remarks to the section which describe the council, not footnotes on an actual canon. So yes, they are, at best, "commentary" and commentary from an unknown source which cannot be evaluated (although I will grant that they are likely not the comments of A. Makrakis, but of some lesser figure). Thus these comments are not authoritative proclamations of an ecumenical council and do not bear any ecclesiastical weight whatsoever other than that given them by one's own local ruling bishop.

I did, in fact scan the entire 102 canons of the Quinisext council (pp287-412 in the printed version) which the above post seems to indicate is the source of these footnotes. I did not notice the comments concerning beards - but then it was a very quick scan. It would be helpful to specify to which of the 102 canons of the Quinisext council these comments refer.

Fr David Moser

Edited by Father David Moser, 28 March 2010 - 02:16 PM.
add last para





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