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How should clergy dress outside of liturgical functions?


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#21 Rdr Daniel (R.)

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Posted 11 June 2011 - 08:33 PM

I am in the Greek Orthodox Church (U.K.) and I have never seen my priest in anything other than priest cloths. Also the western dog collar look seems to be rare here even amongst the Church of Antioch.

#22 Rdr Daniel (R.)

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Posted 12 June 2011 - 09:14 PM

P.S. I was not criticizing priests who do where other cloths I was just saying what I had seen. Nor the Church of Antioch it is just they tend to do more less traditional things than the Greeks and especially the Russians.

In Christ.
Daniel,

#23 Evan

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 07:38 PM

I would be interested to know what any of the priests who have taken part in this discussion think of the requirements imposed by the U.S. Army upon military chaplains. In the course of my inquiries, I've come learn that they are to be clean-shaven (although this particular requirement may be on its way out), keep their hair short, and dress in uniform outside of the context of liturgical services. They are not permitted to wear visible crosses around their necks on top of their uniforms-- although a small cross appears on their breasts, indicating their status as chaplains.

Per Army regulations, chaplains are technically not soldiers but civilians. Would chaplaincy fall within the category of "secular employment" and thus give occasion for an exception to the general rule pertaining to the dress of ROCOR priests that's been variously stated here?

In Christ,
Evan

#24 Paul Cowan

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 08:38 PM

I don't know anything, but why would a ROCOR or any priest be enlisting in the military? Wouldn't it be the otherway around where a member of the military were to become a priest?

#25 Fr Raphael Vereshack

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 08:57 PM

I don't know anything, but why would a ROCOR or any priest be enlisting in the military? Wouldn't it be the otherway around where a member of the military were to become a priest?


We do have at least one US military chaplain that I know of in ROCOR. From what I recall the process was as you describe it- he was in the military first. Anyway- since the canons strictly forbid clergy from taking up arms I don't see how it could be any other way than this.

We're not even supposed to be hunting although I have been told quite a few times that fishing is permitted. :)

In Christ-
Fr Raphael

#26 Evan

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 09:42 PM

I should have added a necessary point of clarification:

Military chaplains do NOT take up arms. They are civilians. Chaplains' responsibilities consist primarily in facilitating access to materials/ceremonies of interest to people of all faiths, and ministering to the needs of those of their own faith. A priest who is a chaplain is a priest first, although he has additional duties related to the circumstances of his service. None of those duties involve shooting anything. Chaplains are not combat-trained.

I would also note that no priest/rabbi/imam/etc. is required to admit all comers to any ceremony, nor are they obliged to give counsel to anyone who asks. They must, however, refrain from "impeding" access to materials/ceremonies of different confessions, should soldiers seek such access.

The person currently in charge of the Army's chaplain recruitment is an Antiochian Orthodox priest. I'm basing what I've said here on my conversations with him, and also upon the Army's publicly available materials.

In Christ,
Evan

#27 Cyprian (Humphrey)

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 10:20 PM

Well, I don't know how the regulations work in the US, but in Canada a Chaplain is most definitely a member of the Armed Forces. He or she holds a Queen's Commission just like any other serving officer.

That being said, they do not do the same basic training as other officers, as they are not trained on the use of weapons, or tactics. These elements seem to be replaced with Chaplain specific modules of training.

But they are most definitely in the military and are *not* civilians. Their command authority however is specifically limited as the Queen's Regulations and Orders for the Canadian Forces specifically states that "no Chaplain may exercise authority over any officer or man" ("man" being the legal term for Non-Commissioned Member - equivalent to what the Americans call Enlisted personnel - in this context it is not a gender specific term). Basically, Chaplains cannot issue orders to anyone.

In the Canadian Forces, the only Chaplains that could have a beard (unless they had a skin condition that precludes shaving) would be in the Navy. Recently, Canada has commissioned the first Orthodox Chaplain since World War II. Fr Charles wasn't around when I was in the Forces, but as I recall Chaplains generally wore military uniforms with some small changes (ie. clerical collar with Service Dress as opposed to the shirt and tie everyone else wore), and a small cross above the name tag. When they wore Combats, the only thing that marked them as different was a small cross patch above their name tape, and the fact that their ammo pouches on their webbing were either empty or filled with munchies instead of ammo. :) But, often when they were in Garrison, they would go about their daily business in civvies rather than uniform. I don't know the rationale behind that. Maybe they felt that the rank insignia would intimidate someone lower in rank.

However, it would be interesting to see if they could get a CADPAT Rhiassa made. That'd be kinda cool.

http://orthodoxmilit...anadian-forces/

and

http://www.forces.ca...job/chaplain-55

#28 Evan

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 10:43 PM

Well, I don't know how the regulations work in the US, but in Canada a Chaplain is most definitely a member of the Armed Forces. He or she holds a Queen's Commission just like any other serving officer.

That being said, they do not do the same basic training as other officers, as they are not trained on the use of weapons, or tactics. These elements seem to be replaced with Chaplain specific modules of training.

But they are most definitely in the military and are *not* civilians. Their command authority however is specifically limited as the Queen's Regulations and Orders for the Canadian Forces specifically states that "no Chaplain may exercise authority over any officer or man" ("man" being the legal term for Non-Commissioned Member - equivalent to what the Americans call Enlisted personnel - in this context it is not a gender specific term). Basically, Chaplains cannot issue orders to anyone.

In the Canadian Forces, the only Chaplains that could have a beard (unless they had a skin condition that precludes shaving) would be in the Navy. Recently, Canada has commissioned the first Orthodox Chaplain since World War II. Fr Charles wasn't around when I was in the Forces, but as I recall Chaplains generally wore military uniforms with some small changes (ie. clerical collar with Service Dress as opposed to the shirt and tie everyone else wore), and a small cross above the name tag. When they wore Combats, the only thing that marked them as different was a small cross patch above their name tape, and the fact that their ammo pouches on their webbing were either empty or filled with munchies instead of ammo. :) But, often when they were in Garrison, they would go about their daily business in civvies rather than uniform. I don't know the rationale behind that. Maybe they felt that the rank insignia would intimidate someone lower in rank.

However, it would be interesting to see if they could get a CADPAT Rhiassa made. That'd be kinda cool.

http://orthodoxmilit...anadian-forces/

and

http://www.forces.ca...job/chaplain-55



Fr. Cyprian,

Thank you for this necessary correction. The term is in fact "non-combatant." Chaplains are indeed members of the armed forces in the US-- they are commissioned officers. They are, however, not trained to fight.


Hope I didn't cause undue confusion. To the extent that I did, I'd like to alleviate it by posting information taken directly from the U.S. Army's website. It would seem that Canada and the US define the chaplain's role similarly and charge him with substantially identical responsibilities.


From GoArmy.com
http://www.goarmy.co...t/chaplain.html

As an Army chaplain you will have the responsibility of caring for the spiritual well-being of Soldiers and their Families. An Army chaplain's flock can consist of over 1,500 people. For this reason, the Army chaplain is crucial to the success of the Army's mission. Providing spiritual leadership for the Army Family requires a special person with a unique calling.

The Army Chaplaincy is a religiously diverse population reflecting the diversity of the Army, yet each chaplain ministers according to the tenets of his or her distinctive faith community. Army Chaplains oversee the spiritual care of their assigned units wherever they may train or deploy. They also assist with chapel-based care at their assigned posts, performing religious ceremonies, rituals, and rites in accordance with their respective faiths.

Unlike most officers in the Army, a chaplain begins serving as a staff officer immediately. As a member of the commander's special staff, the chaplain is responsible for providing advice in matters pertaining to religion, morals, and morale. The chaplain serves the Army with a chaplain assistant (56M) as part of a Unit Ministry Team (UMT). As a non-combatant, chaplains do not carry or use weapons. The chaplain assistant provides security for the UMT and assists with the administrative aspects of the UMT's ministry. Fully trained in the technical arena of religious support and Soldier-specific tasks, chaplain assistants are an integral part of the UMT's mission.

Other roles and responsibilities common to the chaplaincy:
  • Overseeing a full program of religious ministries, including workshops, counseling sessions, religious education and special events.
  • Officiate at official ceremonies such as military functions, funerals, and memorials.
  • Provide religious ministry to a variety of armed service personnel and civilians from the US, foreign nations, and agencies.
In Christ,
Evan

#29 Susanna

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Posted 14 June 2011 - 03:01 AM

Our priest, who always wears his podriasnik and riassa, was on a plane, I guess for a long flight, and the woman sitting next to him wanted to confess all her sins, even though she wasn't Orthodox! I wouldn't feel totally comfortable seeing a priest in secular clothes, although of course, for some activities one would expect him to wear work clothes, sport clothes, etc. And Father David is right about Russian woman dressing up! I love it. Out of respect, I wouldn't wear pants on any occasion where I might see a priest, not that I think it's wrong for women to wear pants, but I feel better being more formal around a priest, to show that I respect his role as a pastor of the Church.
(I always understood that Russian priests do not cut their hair or trim their beards 1.) to present the image of Christ, whose Gospel they preach, and 2) to be immune from the dictates of fashion.) When my godmother came to the US in the 1960's, she took a photo of hippies in NYC because she couldn't get over how much they looked like priests!

#30 Tony Jiang

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 02:57 PM

I am curious how often do the Orthodox clergy wear the collar that Roman Catholic and Anglican priests seem to always wear, because most of the ones ive seen wear black cossacks out side of liturgy, but ive also seen Orthodox priests wear the black collar,so how often is the collar worn

#31 Herman Blaydoe

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 04:39 PM

It depends on the jurisdiction. Some jurisdictions do not allow them at all, others "tolerate" them and I believe the Antiochians in America require them outside of services.

#32 Tony Jiang

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 05:10 PM

that seems so sad! why does the Antioch church "require" its clergy to wear that collar,I personally find it well kinda ugly can anyone from the church of ANtioch confirm or deny this?

#33 Herman Blaydoe

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 05:47 PM

For whatever it is worth: Archpastoral Directive of the Self-Ruled Antiochian Archdiocese of North America. You will need to scroll down to Regarding the Appropriate Attire for the Clergy of this Archdiocese

#34 Father David Moser

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 05:48 PM

I believe the Antiochians in America require them outside of services.


No, not universally. Metropolitan Philip prefers this, however, Archbishop Joseph of LA expects his clergy to wear the riassa when acting as a priest (that is for all clerical functions). I don't know that I've ever seen the local Antiochian priest in a shirt and collar - he is always dressed in a cassock when in his role as a priest (like at parish picnics or cookouts or clergy meetings or even when just going to lunch or coffee with other priests).

Fr David Moser

#35 Tony Jiang

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 09:42 PM

well for some reason i really dont like that look with the black shirt and collar made famous by the Catholic Priests...... I thinks its because I dont think it looks very "priestly" so to say....

#36 Reader Luke

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 09:47 PM

I remember listening to a program, I think it was an interview with an Orthodox Bishop, where he said that he believes that there was a time and place when Orthodox Priests shouldn't have worn cassocks & collars outside of the temple, and when they should have kept their beards shorter. But he also said that he believes that time is past and it should now be okay or normative for Priests to wear their cassocks and grow longer beards out in public. That it isn't so much about standing out as it is about witnessing to other people, using it as a tool to engage others. He's said that he's had many people who weren't Orthodox come up to him seeking advice for their lives, and he was able to do so only because they recognized him as a Church authority.

(now that I think, I can't remember if it was a Bishop or a Priest or Monk...)

#37 Fr Michael Monos

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 10:52 PM

For whatever it is worth: Archpastoral Directive of the Self-Ruled Antiochian Archdiocese of North America. You will need to scroll down to Regarding the Appropriate Attire for the Clergy of this Archdiocese



I had never read this document, so I found it interesting. Especially this:


If we are to have a mission to America, we must relate to America, including the way our clergy dress.



Thus concluding what? That wearing a cassock (zwstiko / anteri) would prevent a priest from "relating" to Americans? I would be quite interested to learn why Americans cannot "relate" to an Orthodox priest who wears a cassock. Since "American" encompasses a innumerable variety of ethnic / national varieties, I am surprised to learn that they can be so easily grouped in such a way.


My experience has been the exact opposite of what is implied by the Metropolitan's directive. I wear a cassock whenever I am in public, and have found a joyful receptiveness to "traditional" Orthodox clerical dress. It would seem to me that "standing out" has more benefits as a witness of our beautiful tradition than "blending in." In fact I have never been derided for wearing a cassock - except by fellow Orthodox priests (and bishops) who wished I would conform to their preference for a roman collar and suit.


Fr. Michael

#38 Niko Barounis

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 01:27 AM

Wow, i very suprised~~i thought priests were required to wear priestly clothes, always!?

I understand that in the usa they can wear the westen style blk suit and dog coller.

I never knew priests can go "undercover"!

i read somewhere that monks must always wear the robes....it prevents them from going into places...not respectable, or maybe just makes them less likely to go into a tempting place like a bar or a strip club while wearing rassa.

I just assumed it was the same for priests.

BTW: im speaking of Goa, i have never seen a priest i knew not in priest cloths. except for when i went to have dinner with him and his family, at his home.

#39 Reader Nektarios

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Posted 27 December 2015 - 05:23 AM

When visiting an Orthodox country say Greece for example, would a reader be required to wear the cassock at all time like the rest of the clergy? I figure while on Mount Athos this would be a yes.

#40 Olga

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Posted 27 December 2015 - 11:26 AM

When visiting an Orthodox country say Greece for example, would a reader be required to wear the cassock at all time like the rest of the clergy? I figure while on Mount Athos this would be a yes.

 

My understanding is that a reader would not be required to wear a cassock outside of his liturgical duties, as readers are of a lesser clerical order than deacons, priests and bishops. In my direct experience, including in at least one country where Orthodoxy is the predominant faith, only deacons, priests, bishops and monks wore cassocks outside of liturgical situations.






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