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Women using veils (difference between Slavic and Greek)

Menas17

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Is there a cultural reason why women in the Slavic Churches (I’m including Romania in this) seem to veil more than the Greek ones?

In America it seems the OCA/Serbian/ROCOR veil while Greeks and Antiochians do not. I noticed this abroad as well
 

hecma925

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Stinky

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I heard that it's up to each woman to decide for herself. Some places encourage it, some places don't mind, other places frown on it, and some places will discourage it. It can really be a dividing factor if people let it.
 

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My wife chooses to veil in our Antiochian parish, but she's usually the only one, or maybe one of two or three. At our previous Antiochian parish which was more ethnic, I'd say maybe 10 or 20 percent of women veiled there.
 

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I veil.
As a catechumen at a mission Antiochian church, I had been pulled aside and had a "talking to" by a seriously concerned male layperson.
"This is not the look we are going for here. Others came before you who wore the veil. They finally left and we were glad when they were gone."

This conversation was before we got a permanent priest whose wife veils and she is my God mother. I am left alone now.

If some only knew the spiritual warfare involved and the statement a veil on a woman makes in the heavenly places. If some knew the power on her head and the protection, they would not harass, belittle nor shun women who choose to exercise their right to choose for themselves under the protective freedom given by the Bishop.


I do not go around telling others they should veil. I sit in back of church by myself in a corner and try to make it the most boring blending into my hair and clothing that I can.

Why do some "cultural" churches encourage it and others don't? I dont have a clue. When did they stop wearing it? Maybe there's a clue there.
 

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That’s bizarre. I’m sorry that happened to you. 😕
 

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IME, the only places that frowned (most likely not scolding) on unveiled women is at a Russian churches. Even then, it'a not universal.

Metropolitan Anthony (Bloom) of Sourozh was a well known archpastor, preacher, spiritual guide and brilliant writer on prayer and the Christian life. He was, himself, a great man of prayer.
His sermon below is, most likely, the shortest ever recorded. Yet the impact of the same continues to reverberate as an exceptional spiritual reminder and guide to prayer. In fact, the answer to the question, ‘For whom must I pray?’​

“One Sunday Metropolitan Anthony Bloom gave a sermon as follows:
‘Last night a woman with a child came to this church. She was in trousers and with no headscarf. Someone scolded her. She left. I do not know who did that, but I am commanding that person to pray for her and her child to the end of his days to God for their salvation. Because of you she may never go to church again.’
He turned around, head down, and entered the Altar. That was the entire sermon.”​
 

Stinky

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IME, the only places that frowned (most likely not scolding) on unveiled women is at a Russian churches. Even then, it'a not universal.


I left.


I left and went home and cried so hard. I cried for a week. I didn't go back to that Mission for a year.

Now I'm back. And I just go in and get out.


 

Stinky

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This sermon by Metropolitan Anthony Bloom is so precious!
May we all be careful not to push people away. Who knows what I have done in word or deed in my life to discourage people from seeking God? Lord have mercy. I forgive the person who doesn't like the look of the veil in my church. I am Grateful we had a conversation of peace and forgiveness before my Chrismation this fall. I still feel gross with my veil but wear it anyway.
 

Stinky

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When as a catechumen I was told I wasn't portraying the desired Orthodox look, I went home and cried the hardest I ever cried. I cried for a week. Then I went and joined the Roman Catholics. But I couldn't shake what I knew at Orthodox. So after a year I came back. By then there was a permanent priest and he made a way for me. I try to keep to myself and be invisible to not make problems. Yippy for the veil. Sigh.
 

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My wife chooses to veil in our Antiochian parish, but she's usually the only one, or maybe one of two or three. At our previous Antiochian parish which was more ethnic, I'd say maybe 10 or 20 percent of women veiled there.
Wow, in the Middle East rather not a lot women put veils in Antiochiach parishes, some villages in Syria maybe a bit more (in Lebanon villages rather no, at least from my obvservations).

The question is based on cultura, historical and modern aspects plus personal choices.
 

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In Greece, outside Old Calendarist parishes, covering is not a thing, and it hasn't been for a long time, it's not a matter of 'modernity' or 'feminism', or whatever. (My grandmother, who lived in a village all her life, wore a headscarf daily - except at church on Sundays.)

I can only assume that the headscarf was something that women, especially rural ones, wore to keep their hair clean and tidy while working, and as a work tool, it was not considered appropriate when dressing up for church. Urban women, who didn't wear scarves daily, naturally didn't take to wearing them at church; not sure if hats were ever popular for the occasion, but their time was over by the 1960s anyway. The only exception was widows, who didn't take off their black scarves unless they remarried, a custom that lasted somewhat longer. These days it's rare to see one of those, as they are of very advanced age.

In my Antiochian parish in the UK, only two ladies cover consistently; one of them is Serbian and continues the tradition she grew up with, the other is elderly and opts for a knit hat for about half of the year. A couple more only cover when they go up for Communion, and another, when she's in the choir. We're a multinational gathering, so no one bats an eyelid either way.
 

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Cultural. Here in Canada only the Russians and some of the OCA do it. The former can be quite judgmental and aggressive towards women who don't wear one during services. I find the OCA tries very hard to emulate the "authenticity" of Russian services, and my old parish had a poster on the wall instructing women to wear a head covering.

It should be up to the individual.
 

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I find the OCA tries very hard to emulate the "authenticity" of Russian services
In the US OCA parishes I've attended, that is kind of a stretch for most of them.
 

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In the US OCA parishes I've attended, that is kind of a stretch for most of them.
Canadian Orthodoxy is decades behind America on assimilation. The OCA cathedral in Toronto holds most of its services in Russian. They struggle here because most cradle ethnics aren't interested in them for being so Anglophone and convert-heavy, and their convert clergy/laypeople want the "authentic" experience, case in point my former parish and their "do's and don'ts" poster.
 

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Canadian Orthodoxy is decades behind America on assimilation. The OCA cathedral in Toronto holds most of its services in Russian. They struggle here because most cradle ethnics aren't interested in them for being so Anglophone and convert-heavy, and their convert clergy/laypeople want the "authentic" experience, case in point my former parish and their "do's and don'ts" poster.
Wow. If I saw a poster like that at church I would walk away. Anyone trying to create a mood whether dry ice, electric guitars, and disco ball or by making women dress up like Russian nesting dolls has their priorities out of whack. Looking at the outside of the cup.
Simulating a Russian experience is selling that product.
 

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I would say about a third of the women in my Antiochian parish wear veils, and a lot of them are converts. The priest of my church greatly encourages tradition and proper attire in church.
I personally think the question of whether or not to wear a veil is of extreme unimportance.
 

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I would say about a third of the women in my Antiochian parish wear veils, and a lot of them are converts. The priest of my church greatly encourages tradition and proper attire in church.
I personally think the question of whether or not to wear a veil is of extreme unimportance.
Extreme unimportance, I agree.

Love God/Love neighbor = extreme importance.
 

LizaSymonenko

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My Ukrainian Parish is about 50/50... with the majority of new immigrant women covering, and US-born, not.

My mother always covered her head. My generation did not. When I am away from my home parish, I usually cover up... and love it.

At my home parish, I do not... because if I were to cover my head, it would be a great distraction and point of gossip to many there. So, for the same reason we dress modestly, do not talk, etc.... in order not to distract people from the true reason of being in church - worshipping God.... I choose not to cover.

Maybe one day I will get the courage to ignore all the gossiping... and do as I wish.
 

PorphyriosK

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Extreme unimportance, I agree.

Love God/Love neighbor = extreme importance.
You are both expressing your opinions, which should be respected, but other women may not consider it of extreme unimportance for their own outward expression of reverence in worship and piety. I don't think their views should be made to feel silly. After all this was the normative praxis for all Orthodox Christian women for 2 millennia until this past recent century.
 

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You are both expressing your opinions, which should be respected, but other women may not consider it of extreme unimportance for their own outward expression of reverence in worship and piety. I don't think their views should be made to feel silly. After all this was the normative praxis for all Orthodox Christian women for 2 millennia until this past recent century.
It is important. I should not have said it is "extreme unimportant."
I veil. Paul says in Corinthians that it's not an issue to fight over. I believe this act of covering myself honors God and is part of my worship. In that sense it is extremely important in that my worship is important.
But love is the utmost importance. Love is extremely important.
I don't know why veiling offends people. I don't know why people use it as a measure to judge. That judging happens on both sides.
 

Mercurius1

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In Greece, outside Old Calendarist parishes, covering is not a thing, and it hasn't been for a long time, it's not a matter of 'modernity' or 'feminism', or whatever. (My grandmother, who lived in a village all her life, wore a headscarf daily - except at church on Sundays.)

I can only assume that the headscarf was something that women, especially rural ones, wore to keep their hair clean and tidy while working, and as a work tool, it was not considered appropriate when dressing up for church. Urban women, who didn't wear scarves daily, naturally didn't take to wearing them at church; not sure if hats were ever popular for the occasion, but their time was over by the 1960s anyway. The only exception was widows, who didn't take off their black scarves unless they remarried, a custom that lasted somewhat longer. These days it's rare to see one of those, as they are of very advanced age.

In my Antiochian parish in the UK, only two ladies cover consistently; one of them is Serbian and continues the tradition she grew up with, the other is elderly and opts for a knit hat for about half of the year. A couple more only cover when they go up for Communion, and another, when she's in the choir. We're a multinational gathering, so no one bats an eyelid either way.
Was veiling ever a thing in Greece, or has it always been this way?

Was curious if it had to do with cultural reasons, or, if it was because of "modernity" like the lack of wearing veils in Roman Catholicism nowadays. My local Greek parish (America) has quite a few women who veil
 

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Was veiling ever a thing in Greece, or has it always been this way?

Was curious if it had to do with cultural reasons, or, if it was because of "modernity" like the lack of wearing veils in Roman Catholicism nowadays. My local Greek parish (America) has quite a few women who veil
Local custom might be different in other areas. My memory goes back to the 1970s, and I never remember headscarves in church being a thing, either in the city or (our part of) the countryside.
 

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In Cyprus, the only women I have ever seen wear a veil in church are from a Slavic country (or Romania). It is extremely rare for me to see Cypriot women veil, and when I do see them they are always very old women from a village.
I personally do not wear a veil, even though I would truly love to. As LizaSymonenko said previously, covering my head in church would be a massive distraction for other people, so I would never do it. I have asked my spiritual father about what he thinks I should do, and he said that it isn't necessary for me to wear it.
I think it's just a matter of culture.
 

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Veiling is based, speaking against it is cringe.
 

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I guess no one reads I Corinthians anymore. 😝
You mean like "Does not the very nature of things teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a disgrace to him" (1 Cor. 11:14)? :cool:
 

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That clerical burn.
 

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St. Paul said something about how veiling for the woman is a sign of the unity between her and her husband. She covers her head, and her husband is (according to the then-priest at my parish) supposed to 'cover his life with righteous deeds.'

Something to think about.

(Also, I'm not married.) 😐
 

Addai Gaspar

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in my parish the greek women, mostly elderly, repugnate the use of veil, wich almost caused conflict between them and three convert girls that use veils frequently, one of them is actually an artisan and produces her own veils for sale on the internet, she offered to have some of her products displayed at the Church entrance free for any woman that wishes to use it, and the Greeks were furious demanding that she put it away from view, the Priest had to instruct her to not press on the matter because its a cultural thing.
 

LizaSymonenko

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in my parish the greek women, mostly elderly, repugnate the use of veil, wich almost caused conflict between them and three convert girls that use veils frequently, one of them is actually an artisan and produces her own veils for sale on the internet, she offered to have some of her products displayed at the Church entrance free for any woman that wishes to use it, and the Greeks were furious demanding that she put it away from view, the Priest had to instruct her to not press on the matter because its a cultural thing.
Wear or don't wear... but, do not stop others from covering up.
 
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It's all about the culture. Frankly, it should be up to the individual lady themselves whether they veil or not.
ROCOR encourages it, but I've seen a parish or two that didn't enforce it on visitors or non-Orthodox (smart). I've never seen an ethnic Greek lady in either US coast or Japan veil. The only time I've seen Antiochians veil is if it was an ethnically Arab, but more importantly traditional, parish or if it had a sizable Slavic population. OCA is hit or miss. One Jerusalem Vicariate parish just asked that women veil as they approach the chalice for Communion and would even set up a basket of loaners for Communion.

I've heard just as many stories of women being ridiculed for wearing a veil as I have heard for them not wearing a veil. I even heard of stories of some women switching parishes or leaving Orthodoxy altogether because other women criticize them for wearing a veil (something along the lines of, "she thinks she's so humble and perfect")

It's ridiculous. We have more important things to worry about.
 
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