See the images from two relevant pages out of the book Kissing Christians:
origin of kissing and hugging in vespers for Sunday of Forgiveness?
Posted 19 March 2016 - 01:54 PM
And if it is of recent origin, and has widespread acceptance, what of it? Are you saying that the Church cannot accommodate new customs?
No, I'm not saying that. I would regard any "harmless" innovation with grave skepticism. It seems to me that contemporary man (and especially contemporary western man) is nearly infallible in his ability to harm things by "improving" them.
Posted 19 March 2016 - 02:12 PM
Daniel and Peter, thank you for your thoughts and texts. I can't believe I forgot about the Life of St. Mary of Egypt! How many times have I read that?
I came across another text that is at least tangentially related to the point at hand:
"the kiss of peace. This fraternal greeting, an original member of the primitive shape, has since the 11th century been exchanged only by the clergy."
(from How Liturgies Grow: The Evolution of the Byzantine "Divine Liturgy" by Robert Taft)
It looks, then, as though the kiss of peace in general amongst the laity has not been in use for a thousand years. I would be surprised if during that thousand years it survived during the vespers of the Sunday of Forgiveness.
I also came across this from Archpriest Lawrence R. Farley: "In the earliest times, it would seem that the Kiss was given indiscriminately, between all Christians, of whatever gender. Each would greet their neighbours standing around them, bidding them the Peace of Christ, saying “Christ is in our midst!” (or some other greeting). In Chrysostom’s day, in Antioch, the Kiss was given on the lips. (Perhaps this is why it was soon changed!) Anyway, by 200 A.D. (long before Chrysostom), men and women were segregated in their giving of the Kiss and when it was exchanged with those standing on either side, it was then exchanged only among those of the same gender. Indeed, during Chrysostom’s time, men and women stood on opposite sides of the church. Thus, clergy in the altar exchanged the Peace with fellow-clergy, men in the nave exchanged it with men, and women with women."
I'm starting to get this as a general picture regarding the kiss of peace:
1. In the first two centuries, the kiss of peace was given indiscriminately between the genders.
2. From circa A. D. 200 to circa A. D. 1000, the kiss of peace was not exchanged between the genders. Men kissed men, and women kissed women.
3. From circa A. D. 1000 to the present, the kiss of peace was no longer exchanged amongst the laity. Only the clergy exchanged the kiss of peace.
Posted 19 March 2016 - 02:34 PM
Geoffrey, re your post #43: we must be careful to note that the Holy Spirit continues to be active as He is the Soul of the Church, and so whilst Holy Tradition remains apostolic, the way we live out our faith can grow and has done so, and practices and customs can develop and gain acceptance. I do not say this in relation to this particular issue but as a general comment on what you say.
Posted 20 March 2016 - 06:18 AM
No. If I ever do talk to him about it, it will be only after I get some idea of what I'm talking about.
So you have formed an opinion on this matter yourself, without seeing the need to consult your priest who is doubtless more experienced, more knowledgeable, and far better able to inform you and guide you?
Posted 20 March 2016 - 02:54 PM
Olga, I have been quietly overlooking various of your posts because some of your posts strike me as confrontational. I assume that is not your intention. I am not saying you are trying to be confrontational. I am describing only my impression of some of your posts. (For all I know, some of my own posts might strike others as confrontational, even though that is not my intention.)
I do not wish to enter into polemics that might tempt to anger.
Edited by Geoffrey McKinney, 20 March 2016 - 02:55 PM.
Posted 20 March 2016 - 03:48 PM
Geoffrey, I accept that you do not intend to be provocative but a few of your comments are somewhat acerbic. You seem inclined against the prevailing opinion here, and you have avoided responding to some points. Above all, it is a basic characteristic of the Orthodox way that we do not form our opinions for ourselves in relation to matters that have to do with the Church. I think it is right to say that something which moves you to such strength of feeling is something you ought to discuss with your priest.
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