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#21 Reader Nektarios

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Posted 10 February 2011 - 07:08 AM

The picture of the female reader is now by chance my theology teacher at St. Katherine College.
She said that the tonsuring of female readers and is not scandalous and that people are not familiar with the histories
Of this. I myself do find this wrong because reader from my understanding is the first degree of the priesthood. I would like the historical
Practice of this if any one knows. I would love to hear from our knowledgeable clergy.

#22 John Konstantin

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Posted 10 February 2011 - 11:32 AM

I would love to hear from our knowledgeable clergy.


You have already from the Priest David. Scroll back :)

#23 Rdr. Andrew

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Posted 19 June 2011 - 12:54 AM

A brief question: is it the case that the office of the reader is the first step toward the priesthood, or is it the case that tonsure is the first step toward the priesthood?
Jeremy


While I am not sure I can speak about the connection between the wearing of cassocks of priests and readers, I can make this statement in response to the question Mr. Troy asked.

According to the prayer read by the Bishop while tonsuring a reader, after placing the stikharion upon the newly-tonsured reader and the reader has read from the Epistle, the bishop prays, "My son, the first degree in the Priesthood is that of Reader. It behooveth thee therefore to peruse the divine Scripture daily, to the end that the hearers, regarding thee may receive edification;" It continues from there. That came from the Hapgood Service Book.

Also, according to the Russian tradition, the Bishop will bring a small phelonion to place upon the newly-tonsured reader to further indicate its connection to the priesthood.

Have mercy on me if I have spoken in error.

In Christ,

Andrew

#24 Gregorios Dunn

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Posted 02 August 2011 - 06:59 PM

For me, I asked my priest/spiritual Father if I could have his blessing to request the tonsure, he said yes and when I met with my Bishop, I asked if he would tonsure me as a Reader, which he did. He did emphasize to me that this is the first step in a long road to the priesthood, which is why I was meeting with him anyway, to discuss my calling.

#25 Reader Nektarios

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 05:40 AM

I don't think I'll be tonsured and I am not looking for it either. I'm not worthy of the office. I'll just keep to serving the altar as an acolyte.

In Christ
Nektarios

#26 Ilya Zhitomirskiy

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 04:57 PM

I met with the cathedral deacon to discuss ordination to reader this year. I also met with Met. Jonah to discuss potential ordination to the diaconate and disclose my plans. Hopefully it goes through, and I find out that I have a true vocation.

#27 Michael Astley

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Posted 15 May 2012 - 09:59 PM

A brief question: is it the case that the office of the reader is the first step toward the priesthood, or is it the case that tonsure is the first step toward the priesthood?


I realise that this is being answered over a year late but it is still worth clarifying.

Firstly, you are right to draw a distinction between being tonsured and being set apart as a reader for, while they are related, they are not the same thing. However, you later express some confusion between different types of tonsure.

Therefore, for the sake of clarity, in the Church we have three main types of tonsure: baptismal, monastic, and clerical. All of us are tonsured at our baptism. Tonsure is also performed at some point during entry into the monastic state. This is separate from the baptismal tonsure. Again separate from both of the above is the clerical tonsure. The last of these is part of the process by which a man enters the ranks of the clergy, and is unrelated to the monastic tonsure, so your question about nuns being tonsured is moot as far as any discussion of priesthood goes.

However, it is not technically correct to say that a man is tonsured a reader, as one often hears. This is just a widespread shorthand that has risen to general acceptability. The actual means whereby a man is made a reader is a form of ordination (cheirothesia), and this happens immediately after the clerical tonsure. In fact, they occur within the same rite, for the obvious reason that no bishop will give someone the clerical tonsure without then entering him into some office of the clergy - it would make no sense. Therefore, although they are distinct actions, they are closely bound to each other, hence the conflation of the two in people's minds. Once a man is tonsured as a cleric, he is numbered among the clergy once for all, and any subsequent ordinations do not involve a repetition of the tonsure (which is why, while it is understandable to refer to someone being tonsured a reader because of the temporal relationship between the two, it is absolutely wrong to talk about someone being tonsured a subdeacon, for no such tonsuring takes place when a subdeacon is ordained - indeed, why would it? The man being ordained is already among the minor clergy).

Therefore, to come to your question, the tonsuring brings a man into the ranks of the clergy but the laying on of hands with prayer (cheirothesia) confers the office of reader, which the Trebnik tells is is the first degree of priesthood.

M

#28 Michael 'Anthony' Cornett

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 08:16 PM

In the case in which more than one person will be receiving the ordination into the minor orders, as reader, what is the standard (if any) protocol? Does the act of ordination happen amidst the Divine Liturgy, so that the Epistle read is the very selection of that day's celebration, or does it occur as a separate service? How would a handful of ordained candidates be able to perform the task of reading the Epistle if there is but one selection of the daily Epistle?

These are probably very basic and practical concerns, but they are the type of concerns that boggle my mind the most. I haven't seen such an ordination, but hear of them as being commonplace, particularly in parishes that don't receive a regular visit from the Bishop.

Thank you,
Anthony

#29 Father David Moser

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 09:05 PM

In the case in which more than one person will be receiving the ordination into the minor orders, as reader, what is the standard (if any) protocol? Does the act of ordination happen amidst the Divine Liturgy,


No, the tonsure for readers and ordination for sub-deacons does not take place in the context of the divine liturgy. It is prescribed to be done during the hours. The reading is selected at random by the bishop and may or may not correspond to any pertinent selection (may not even be a full epistle reading - the purpose here is not to edify the faithful with the content of the reading but to demonstrate the ability of the reader to read).

When there is more than one reader to be tonsured, they are all done at the same time and are given to read random selections one after the other.

Fr David

#30 Michael 'Anthony' Cornett

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 09:08 PM

No, the tonsure for readers and ordination for sub-deacons does not take place in the context of the divine liturgy. It is prescribed to be done during the hours. The reading is selected at random by the bishop and may or may not correspond to any pertinent selection (may not even be a full epistle reading - the purpose here is not to edify the faithful with the content of the reading but to demonstrate the ability of the reader to read).

When there is more than one reader to be tonsured, they are all done at the same time and are given to read random selections one after the other.

Fr David


Your blessings Father. Thank you for clarification. I am still baffled over the use of 'tonsure for readers' and 'ordination for [role of clergy member]'. Is it not that tonsuring is separate from the 'elevation' or 'ordination'? Tonsured into the 'Priesthood' so to speak, but the role given to the person is the ordination through laying on of hands?

#31 Father Stephanos

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Posted 04 August 2012 - 12:13 AM

Your blessings Father. Thank you for clarification. I am still baffled over the use of 'tonsure for readers' and 'ordination for [role of clergy member]'. Is it not that tonsuring is separate from the 'elevation' or 'ordination'? Tonsured into the 'Priesthood' so to speak, but the role given to the person is the ordination through laying on of hands?


Simply put, over the centuries, the term ordination has had more than one meaning, and some still use those various meanings today.

With one definition and custom: any clerical office (Priest, Deacon, Subdeacon, Reader, Psaltis, etc.), where the candidate is admitted to the sacred and ecclesiastical office through the laying on of hands of a Bishop, is considered an ordination.

With another definition and custom: Bishops, Priests, Deacons, and Subdeacons are often grouped as being ordained as after they are ordained they cannot marry and also can keep their office, except for a Subdeacon who indicates by name a specific Orthodox woman he will be marrying, whom he usually is already betrothed to, and not just that he wants/plans to marry someone in general; although, I do not currently remember which Holy Canon or interpretation thereof this one exception is specified in.

With still another definition and custom: Bishops, Priests, and Deacons alone are sometimes grouped as being ordained since they are ordained inside the Holy Sanctuary rather than outside the Holy Sanctuary.

I hope this helps!

With agape in our Lord Jesus Christ,
+ Father Stephanos

#32 Moses Anthony

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Posted 04 August 2012 - 06:22 AM

When my first priest (and my friend) spoke to me about joining him in forming a Study Group, in reply to my query aas to my involvement he said, "Have you ever thought of being a deacon." I answered "No!" That was before I even began investigating Orthodoxy. About two years after our chrismation, I was surprised when the bishop tonsured me a reader, and shortly afterwards subdeacon.

Being tonsured reader is the initial step of entering clerical orders. My first priest also said that, "If God wants you to be a deacon, you'll be a deacon." It's not necessarily a matter of what we're after, but what God wills.

the sinful and unworthy servant,

#33 Michael 'Anthony' Cornett

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Posted 04 August 2012 - 11:09 PM

In my search for some photo/video of such a service in the GOA, I happened upon this latest endeavor in Chicago: http://chicago.goarc...ary_mn/15856445

It looks like the females are wearing choir robes, rather than an anteri or exorasson.

#34 Reader Nektarios

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Posted 25 August 2015 - 10:08 PM

Well, if you've been following the thread years ago I started this thread. I moved out of state and started attending a new parish. My new Priest decided that I'm going to be tonsured and now I feel a heavy weight on my shoulders because I don't feel like I'm worthy of the office, because I am by no means a perfect Orthodox Christian. On the other hand years ago some monks on Mount Athos said it should be tonsured as it will help me stay on the straight an narrow path. Any advice? 



#35 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 25 August 2015 - 11:16 PM

No one is 'a perfect Orthodox Christian'. I have found that serving as a Reader (and also as server and chanter - we are very few) helped me to understand the service texts much more and to feel more engaged with the services.



#36 Father David Moser

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Posted 26 August 2015 - 02:19 PM

Nektarios,

 

I can only share with you what a friend once said after he was tonsured a reader.  "What was once my privilege (reading), is now my duty."  Do all that you do to the glory of God and that is all He asks of us.

 

Fr David



#37 Reader Nektarios

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Posted 28 August 2015 - 02:09 AM

Father David, 

 

That is a very helpful point to keep in mind. Thanks. 

 

In Christ

Nektarios






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