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Official stance on "lay" celibacy

lovesupreme

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Is is true that in the Orthodox Church, there is no blessed path for someone who is celibate and not a monastic?
 

minasoliman

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I'd like to say "no", but such is extremely rare.  There is even a Coptic "brotherhood" in California, but they even take "monastic" vows.
 

lovesupreme

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As I figured.

I am very concerned about my future right now... :/
 

Minnesotan

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What about temporary celibacy? The Melanesian Brotherhood has something like this (temporary vows lasting 7-20 years). I've long found that group fascinating (despite not being from the area) and wondered whether they've ever considered entering the Orthodox fold (especially considering recent developments in first-world Anglicanism).

They seem to have a good understanding of iconography:

 

scamandrius

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Several years ago, i was at the DOWAMA Parish Life Conference in Dallas and tgere was a workshop on this very subject.  It was lead by hieromonk Jeremy Davis who is a priest in Oklahoma City (at least I think he is still there) and his talk was about how there must be a "third way" for those who are not called to marriage or the monastic life.  Most of the people were older and I was the youngest. Fr. Jeremy was very encouraging and said that there should not exist this dualism in Orthodoxy where you either marry or become a monk.  But he did encourage us to maintain ties with monastic communities, if that was possible.  I would recommend that maybe you contact him and maybe ask him about it.  I realuze that he is probably a busy man, but maybe he would advise you.  Fact is that the relationships we create have changed drastically iver the last 50 years and the old model of marry or become a monk is not entirely sufficient. I would think that there would be some oikonomia on this subject, but ask him about it.
 

biro

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Same here.

It's very lonely.

I am considering praying to saints who were monastic, even though I'm a layperson.
 

Minnesotan

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Deacon Lance said:
The Slav tradition has the poustinik(hermit) and strannik(pilgrim).
We really do need more poustiniks here in America.
 

lovesupreme

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NicholasMyra said:
I feel like I'm not really properly exploring the blessed avenues that are open to me. I don't go to monasteries and I don't really try to meet women.
 

DeniseDenise

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If this is an issue...there are a lot of us that are in trouble in the Church.
 

NicholasMyra

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lovesupreme said:
NicholasMyra said:
I feel like I'm not really properly exploring the blessed avenues that are open to me. I don't go to monasteries and I don't really try to meet women.
The lifelong-single Orthodox people I know live either live with roommates or with family. One friend of mine had their roommate move here from out of state to make such an arrangement.

That can be a blessed state of affairs as well and used to be much more common. Not speaking toward its difficulty or ease etc.
 

DeniseDenise

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Let's just say there are people out there who will be in for a shocker during the judgement for not honoring their parents. 
No specific names but if one goes to be a monastic knowing they have a parent honoring role later in life, I won't be shocked if that comes up in the 'performance review'



One is to live a life of service, whether this includes a tonsuring or not, is not really the issue.
 

biro

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DeniseDenise said:
Let's just say there are people out there who will be in for a shocker during the judgement for not honoring their parents. 
No specific names but if one goes to be a monastic knowing they have a parent honoring role later in life, I won't be shocked if that comes up in the 'performance review'



One is to live a life of service, whether this includes a tonsuring or not, is not really the issue.
I don't understand what you just said.

Who is not honoring their parents?
 

William T

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Monastic are lay people, it's just one particular vocation for a layman.  We didn't have a monastic tradition until St. Anthony.  I wonder if it would be useful to talk about what laity and clergy is....in the end we are all called to be priests.
 

biro

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William T said:
Monastic are lay people, it's just one particular vocation for a layman.  We didn't have a monastic tradition until St. Anthony.  I wonder if it would be useful to talk about what laity and clergy is....in the end we are all called to be priests.
People say that, but what does it mean?
 

William T

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biro said:
William T said:
Monastic are lay people, it's just one particular vocation for a layman.  We didn't have a monastic tradition until St. Anthony.  I wonder if it would be useful to talk about what laity and clergy is....in the end we are all called to be priests.
People say that, but what does it mean?
http://www.schmemann.org/byhim/clergyandlaityinthechurch.html


If you want, I can probably bring up other sources from Frs. Schmemmann, Meyendorff, and Hopko.
 

DeniseDenise

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biro said:
DeniseDenise said:
Let's just say there are people out there who will be in for a shocker during the judgement for not honoring their parents. 
No specific names but if one goes to be a monastic knowing they have a parent honoring role later in life, I won't be shocked if that comes up in the 'performance review'



One is to live a life of service, whether this includes a tonsuring or not, is not really the issue.
I don't understand what you just said.

Who is not honoring their parents?
My point is that there are a good many 'single' people who have a calling or task to care for their parents in their old age. If there are but two paths in orthodoxy and those not married are -obligated- to become monastics in order for their souls to be saved, then it is a problem of 'which precept do you believe?' 

Be a monastic and risk not being there like one should for their aging parents or be there for their parents at risk to their soul.

Maybe Orthodoxy tries to make people choose one, but God is pretty clear on which is best.

And really, I am fairly sure God doesn't work like that. He works by looking at the situation and saying 'you did the best you could with this'

Otherwise we are pointlessly and endlessly asking Him for mercy that he doesn't have. 
 

biro

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I don't think that's what I meant. Perhaps I was confusing.

But I don't want to go off on a tangent.

I will be there for my parents. I don't intend on joining a monastery.
 

DeniseDenise

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I was not speaking specifically to you.

So that's good. ;) :p
 

TheTrisagion

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Some people aren't suited or have no desire for married. That doesn't mean that they need to get shipped off to a monastery. Obviously you need people to have children to keep the Church alive, but that doesn't mean every person has a mandate to crank out children.
 

DeniseDenise

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TheTrisagion said:
Some people aren't suited or have no desire for married. That doesn't mean that they need to get shipped off to a monastery. Obviously you need people to have children to keep the Church alive, but that doesn't mean every person has a mandate to crank out children.

thank you, oh cranker outter of the childrens!

and not everyone meets the right person, whether they had wished life to be different or not....again this is not -necessarily- a ticket to a monastery.


There are married people living far less 'service filled' lives than some who are neither monastic nor married. 
 

minasoliman

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lovesupreme said:
As I figured.

I am very concerned about my future right now... :/
It's better to do things on a community basis.  If you have people in your area who are also desiring "lay celibacy", it wouldn't be such a lonely endeavor.  That's why monasticism is very popular for celibates.  That is not to say "lay celibacy" is impossible, but it is better not to be alone doing it I think.
 

primuspilus

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TheTrisagion said:
Some people aren't suited or have no desire for married. That doesn't mean that they need to get shipped off to a monastery. Obviously you need people to have children to keep the Church alive, but that doesn't mean every person has a mandate to crank out children.
I understand that, but I see this alot on the Netodox places, esp. from converts, as if somehow sex and children are bad things.

PP
 

Minnesotan

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The other thing is that Orthodox monasteries aren't often as service-oriented as Catholic ones; and they tend to be more isolated from the outside world. (This is a huge generalization, but isn't it the case overall?)
 

NicholasMyra

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primuspilus said:
IMO which isnt worth very much, unless you have a problem
A lot of people have dispositions and/or situations of one sort or another that put married life and monasticism off the table. We're just really used to ignoring them because they're inconvenient to 21st century Americans.

That said the kooks on the net who want 'lay celibacy' out of some misguided purity ideal are obviously wrong.
 

NicholasMyra

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Minnesotan said:
The other thing is that Orthodox monasteries aren't often as service-oriented as Catholic ones; and they tend to be more isolated from the outside world. (This is a huge generalization, but isn't it the case overall?)
  That's my impression.
 

Iconodule

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Life-long bachelorhood seems to have been a respectable choice for men in the upper classes in Byzantine society. Three examples that come to my mind are St. Photius (before his fast-track elevation to patriarch at 38), the Emperor Basil II, and Gemistus Pletho.
 

Agabus

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Minnesotan said:
The other thing is that Orthodox monasteries aren't often as service-oriented as Catholic ones; and they tend to be more isolated from the outside world. (This is a huge generalization, but isn't it the case overall?)
And we don't have the equivalent of Catholic Worker houses.
 

biro

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People ask for prayer and help, and get called kooks.

Okay.

Obviously, this is a waste of time.
 

NicholasMyra

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biro said:
People ask for prayer and help, and get called kooks.

Okay.

Obviously, this is a waste of time.
If that's what you took away from my post, you did not read it. Are you considering lay celibacy because you think other paths are defiled? Probably not.
 

IXOYE

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biro said:
Same here.

It's very lonely.

I am considering praying to saints who were monastic, even though I'm a layperson.
It certainly can be.

 

hecma925

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DeniseDenise said:
biro said:
DeniseDenise said:
Let's just say there are people out there who will be in for a shocker during the judgement for not honoring their parents. 
No specific names but if one goes to be a monastic knowing they have a parent honoring role later in life, I won't be shocked if that comes up in the 'performance review'

One is to live a life of service, whether this includes a tonsuring or not, is not really the issue.
I don't understand what you just said.

Who is not honoring their parents?
My point is that there are a good many 'single' people who have a calling or task to care for their parents in their old age. If there are but two paths in orthodoxy and those not married are -obligated- to become monastics in order for their souls to be saved, then it is a problem of 'which precept do you believe?' 

Be a monastic and risk not being there like one should for their aging parents or be there for their parents at risk to their soul.

Maybe Orthodoxy tries to make people choose one, but God is pretty clear on which is best.

And really, I am fairly sure God doesn't work like that. He works by looking at the situation and saying 'you did the best you could with this'

Otherwise we are pointlessly and endlessly asking Him for mercy that he doesn't have.
Which is specifically a commandment?  Isn't it "Honor your father and mother"?  That trumps being told, "Well, you're single, so...... become a monk."


Minnesotan said:
The other thing is that Orthodox monasteries aren't often as service-oriented as Catholic ones; and they tend to be more isolated from the outside world. (This is a huge generalization, but isn't it the case overall?)
 

So?
 
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