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Orthodox vestments


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#1 James Scott

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Posted 13 November 2010 - 11:05 PM

I know the Orthodox Church has some Jewish patterns to it, since the Christian Faith came from the Jews.
Do the vestments of priests have Jewish roots in it?
I'm just wondering where the vestments came from.
Thanks!

#2 Cyprian (Humphrey)

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Posted 15 November 2010 - 04:10 PM

I believe there may be Jewish roots in some of the vestments. Not all though. A lot of them are simply stylizations of everyday "streetwear" of Apostolic times. Others elements (predominately the vestments unique to bishops) came from the Byzantine Imperial Court.

Part of the difficulty in determining this may be that, apart from some verbal descriptions in the Bible and Talmud, we're not 100% sure what Jewish priestly vestments looked like. That, and two thousand years of often turbulent history can "muddy" the waters a bit.

#3 Tom Denich

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Posted 15 November 2010 - 05:16 PM

The fringe on vestments is certainly a hold over from Jewish tradition.

#4 Dimitris

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Posted 15 November 2010 - 05:28 PM

Off Topic (but important): Christian faith did not come from the Jews, but from God.

#5 Cyprian (Humphrey)

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Posted 15 November 2010 - 05:36 PM

From God, through the Jews. Jesus was Jewish, as were most of the Apostles. Judaism is Christianity's context, if you will. Most of the New Testament doesn't make sense if you know nothing of the Old Testament.

Understanding the symbolism of Orthodox Christian vestments through their Jewish antecedents (where they exist) is entirely applicable.

#6 John Bennett

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Posted 15 November 2010 - 05:58 PM

Off Topic (but important): Christian faith did not come from the Jews, but from God.


The Christian faith may not have come from the Jewish people, but it did come through them.

#7 Anthony Stokes

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Posted 16 November 2010 - 05:42 AM

I believe they have roots more in the Roman society than Jewish. As Fr. Cyprian mentioned, it's more about the common clothing o the time period. The sticharion is the tunic, etc.

Sbdn. Anthony

#8 Richard A. Downing

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Posted 16 November 2010 - 09:48 AM

My priest said to me the other day that the reason his vestments were so large was so that Russian priests could get more clothes on underneath. :-)
Love,
Richard.

#9 Michael Astley

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Posted 16 November 2010 - 11:19 AM

My priest said to me the other day that the reason his vestments were so large was so that Russian priests could get more clothes on underneath. :-)
Love,
Richard.


Yes, I often tell people that when I put weight on.

M

#10 Rdr. Andrew

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Posted 23 June 2011 - 07:00 PM

Would there be anyone willing to discuss the correlation between the times of the year and the colors of the vestments? Specifically, the symbolism within each color. Thanks.

#11 Herman Blaydoe

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Posted 23 June 2011 - 07:30 PM

You can find some information on liturgical colors here:

Liturgical Colors.

Herman the colorful Pooh

#12 John Mitchell

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Posted 23 June 2011 - 10:18 PM

The cut of the gold/silk brocade was used in the Byzantine court, however obviously the inclusion of broad phlylactaries fringe tassels and jingely bells come from ancient Judiasm

#13 Sacha

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Posted 23 June 2011 - 10:52 PM

Did not Christ speak against adorning the outside? What evidence do we have that He and His disciples wore anything glittering at all? Didn't He break completely with the jewish tradition in his outward manner?

#14 Paul Cowan

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Posted 23 June 2011 - 11:07 PM

No He didn't. He talked about the flashyness of their robes for its own sake and washing the outside of the cup but not the inside. If the inside is also clean also then there is no problem.

#15 Sacha

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Posted 23 June 2011 - 11:11 PM

No He didn't. He talked about the flashyness of their robes for its own sake and washing the outside of the cup but not the inside. If the inside is also clean also then there is no problem.


Then why did He not wear such? And why do the earliest icons show his disciples, on earth, wearing none such?

#16 Paul Cowan

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Posted 23 June 2011 - 11:31 PM

He also didn't have a place to rest His head. So should we also today not live in houses? You're reading too literally into it.

#17 Herman Blaydoe

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Posted 24 June 2011 - 12:53 AM

Christ was concealing His Divinity in His humanity. We symbolize clothing our humanity with His Divinity. God was rather particular about the adornment of His Ark and His priests:

Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying: “See, I have called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. And I have filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship, to design artistic works, to work in gold, in silver, in bronze, in cutting jewels for setting, in carving wood, and to work in all manner of workmanship.

“And I, indeed I, have appointed with him Aholiab the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan; and I have put wisdom in the hearts of all the gifted artisans, that they may make all that I have commanded you: the tabernacle of meeting, the ark of the Testimony and the mercy seat that is on it, and all the furniture of the tabernacle—the table and its utensils, the puregold lampstand with all its utensils, the altar of incense, the altar of burnt offering with all its utensils, and the laver and its base—the garments of ministry, the holy garments for Aaron the priest and the garments of his sons, to minister as priests, and the anointing oil and sweet incense for the holy place.According to all that I have commanded you they shall do.” (
Exodus 31:1-11)


Symbols have meaning. God understands this. God does not need the symbols, God does not need the brocade. We do. How hard is that to understand?

Herman the symbolic Pooh

Edited by Herman Blaydoe, 24 June 2011 - 02:15 PM.


#18 Father David Moser

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Posted 24 June 2011 - 03:31 AM

To expand a bit on Herman's statement. When our Lord appeared to His disciples in the Transfiguration He was indeed clothed in heavenly raiment - so bright that they were unable to look at it. The vestments of the clergy are the icons of that heavenly raiment and glory. In the Church services we leave this earthly life and enter into the heavely worship. The vestments of the clergy simply serve to help us realize and remember that.

Fr David Moser

#19 John Bundstein

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Posted 24 June 2011 - 01:21 PM

I get rather tired of the folks that say well the bible doesn’t tell us that Our Lord did this or that. What we know from the scripture of how Our Lord dressed is that when he was baptized He wore sandals and that when, at least just before, He was crucified He had a robe, a cloak and a crown of thrones and oh yeah a cloth of some kind to rap around His privates. So I guess the rest of the time He must have gone about stark naked since we aren’t told what He wore, (Oh I forgot the swaddling clothe when He was in the manger.) He never used the side of the road and He never listened to music and He never stepped in any of the stuff on the road. Come on folks the entire point is that as a fully human being He lived in the world just like we do. He may have dressed to the nines, as they say, for all that we know but it wasn’t important as He was living in but not of the world

On His entrance into Jerusalem on what we refer to as “Palm Sunday” I suspect that He did wear His “Sunday go to meeting clothes” as He was trying to make a kingly point.

But all seriousness aside, at least the first installments of the AFR series The Opinionated Taylor has what seems to be a rather good over view of the history of liturgical dress. You might find it very interesting, I did.

#20 John Mitchell

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Posted 24 June 2011 - 01:46 PM

I dont think the San Hedron wore gold silk brocade, but it seems our Lord did warn agianst those who enjoyed making long prayers and making their phylacteries broad to recieve their reward before men.




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