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Re: pews within the Church

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James
March 22, 2002 06:25PM
Well, Ron, you're going to receive several disapproving posts (I suspect). What will be said is this: you cannot equate posture with meaningless cultural vernacular... nor can you divide worship from posture. When we worship God, we use ALL of ourselves... body, mind and spirit. These disapprovers will argue that in order to properly worship with their entire selves, they require the space a "traditional" Orthodox temple affords. After all... one cannot do prostrations very easily if pews are in the way. And to a degree, I concur.

That said, I still do not believe it is essential to have pewless temples. Those times in which prostrations are called for are not as frequent as some would have us believe. And accommodations can be made: stepping out into the aisles... moving back or forward to open spaces...and so forth.

What I have observed is that this entire view is a darling of the convert and in particular the convert to the Russian Church (and ESPECIALLY the ROCOR). Along with this goes the beards, head coverings for women, women refraining from communing during their periods, olive oil votive lampadas, female infants being churched at the gates and not within the altar, separation of men and women (well.. some do not carry it this far... strange though that they are willing to make such accommodations when it suits them thusly) with men on the right and women on the left. In effect, they try to turn themselves into 19th century Russians but the changeover is a poor one indeed. The fact is, we are NOT 19th century Russians no matter how we try to make it thus. We are living in the 21st century and in a western culture. To make these "issues" ISSUES is wrong. My attitude is this: If you want to worship thusly and if you want to construct your life in such a fashion, well and good for you. But do NOT presume to tell me that I must do likewise... that only genuine Orthodox worship thusly and that to do less is to indicate that I'm part of a modernist, ecumenist, Sergianist wishy-washy Orthodoxy. THAT sort of legalistic attitude has caused more strife on the internet and driven more people away from the Church than anything else.. pews and beards notwithstanding.
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pews within the Church

Gregory January 12, 2002 05:56PM

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Ron March 22, 2002 02:56AM

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Re: pews within the Church

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