Russian Orthodox Church

Roosh

Cardinal
The Spokesman for the Orthodox Patriarchate of Moscow said that people who uphold ideas such as Joe Biden should be arrested.
"As for Biden's initiative that an eight-year-old has the right to change sex, I consider such a statement a blasphemy. I think people who promote such ideas should be imprisoned, because, in my view, this is a crime. To understand how all this happens, just go to the website of a clinic that offers such services and read how sex reassignment surgery works. Your hair will fall out from what you see or read there. Therefore, for an adult - Such an operation is nothing more than mutilation of a person. The submission of children to such operations is a crime, which must be followed by criminal punishment, as well as the propaganda of such operations." - Head of the Department for Foreign Relations of the Orthodox Patriarchate of Moscow, Orthodox Metropolitan of Volokolamsk Hillarion.
Do you have a link to that?
 

Muscovite

Robin
The Lord Has Entrusted Us With a Church That Has Existed for 1,000 Years. An interview by Kathimerini with Metropolitan Hilarion (Alfeyev). Part 1.


A Political Structure and an Unwanted Autocephaly. An interview by Kathimerini with Metropolitan Hilarion (Alfeyev). Part 2.

 

DanielH

Pelican
True chad, everyone is so silent and respectful, and the kids are very interested in what he has to say. The room is not full of commotion, everyone is focused on the patriarch.
This reminds me how much I miss coffee hour. My (Greek) priest went from "ignore the online registrations, just come to church anyway" less than 3 months ago to lowering Church capacity to less than 20% and then 10% when there are no state restrictions anymore. Rationing sacraments doesn't seem right to me.
 

Pelagius

Robin
Very strange question: does anyone know how the ROCOR/ROC at large views left handed people? I was in a Catholic Church this past week with a friend due to bereavement and he accidentally crossed himself with the left hand to the horror of a few elderly people that berated him after service. It got a little heated and it turned him away from the Church all together.

I attend an Orthodox church and this has never been a problem from what I know, but i'm wondering if this is something that exists in the wider ROCOR?
 

Posadskiy

Pigeon
Many babushki (old ladies) will chew you out for any infraction. It's equal opportunity—everyone will have many such stories—and forgiveness often comes as easily as the criticism did. And the babushki aren't always right. My 3-year-old was recently scolded for speaking English while entering the gate of a monastery in Russia, LOL, which of course was not a reflection on anyone other than the scolding babushka and was pretty hilarious. And we had a very interesting and warm conversation with her later that day. She just cares a lot about the faith and wants it taken seriously.

It is very incorrect to cross with the left hand—unless you don't have use of your right hand, which I saw for the first time in church a couple weeks ago. Making the sign of the Cross correctly was heavily emphasized by St. John Chrysostom, so it's not some picky innovation to focus on it, but ancient tradition.

Definitely be ready to accept criticism humbly when attending an Orthodox service. Orthodoxy makes us aware of our weaknesses and failings along with all the blessings we find there. Very much a good thing, but doesn't always feel great in the moment.

This answer takes into account both American ROCOR parishes and the Russian Church in Russia proper. In both I have found it to be much more a function of the particular people and the parish culture than the jurisdiction as a whole.

But be ready for anything!
 

nagareboshi

Sparrow
Left-handed vs right-handed symbolism, in general, is a very ancient and deep symbolism in many cultures. Even in modern psychology, we see different hand usage corresponds to different personality types and dispositions. I would hope your friend can be open-minded and investigate in detail why people may believe in such traditions.
 

Pelagius

Robin
Many babushki (old ladies) will chew you out for any infraction. It's equal opportunity—everyone will have many such stories—and forgiveness often comes as easily as the criticism did. And the babushki aren't always right. My 3-year-old was recently scolded for speaking English while entering the gate of a monastery in Russia, LOL, which of course was not a reflection on anyone other than the scolding babushka and was pretty hilarious. And we had a very interesting and warm conversation with her later that day. She just cares a lot about the faith and wants it taken seriously.

It is very incorrect to cross with the left hand—unless you don't have use of your right hand, which I saw for the first time in church a couple weeks ago. Making the sign of the Cross correctly was heavily emphasized by St. John Chrysostom, so it's not some picky innovation to focus on it, but ancient tradition.

Definitely be ready to accept criticism humbly when attending an Orthodox service. Orthodoxy makes us aware of our weaknesses and failings along with all the blessings we find there. Very much a good thing, but doesn't always feel great in the moment.

This answer takes into account both American ROCOR parishes and the Russian Church in Russia proper. In both I have found it to be much more a function of the particular people and the parish culture than the jurisdiction as a whole.

But be ready for anything!
Thanks for the answer!
 

Pelagius

Robin
Left-handed vs right-handed symbolism, in general, is a very ancient and deep symbolism in many cultures. Even in modern psychology, we see different hand usage corresponds to different personality types and dispositions. I would hope your friend can be open-minded and investigate in detail why people may believe in such traditions.
Yeah, when I noticed I did quietly correct him in church and he had no problem doing the rest of the service with the RH- it was the grief he got afterwards that turned him away (i.e why would I join this church if they believe i'm evil?).

I did point out that no one would know you were LH if you just do everything in RH, they don't have some 'spawn of the devil' sensor.

We'll see where his journey towards Christ takes him.
 

Hermetic Seal

Kingfisher
Gold Member
I'm left-handed and pretty much intuited right from the start that you make the Sign of the Cross right-handed. As long as you do that correctly, I don't think anybody cares much if you're a lefty.

I will say, though, that as a lefty, standing on the right side of the room and looking to my left (toward the center) feels more natural than the other way around.
 

Aboulia

Woodpecker
Very strange question: does anyone know how the ROCOR/ROC at large views left handed people? I was in a Catholic Church this past week with a friend due to bereavement and he accidentally crossed himself with the left hand to the horror of a few elderly people that berated him after service. It got a little heated and it turned him away from the Church all together.

I attend an Orthodox church and this has never been a problem from what I know, but i'm wondering if this is something that exists in the wider ROCOR?

Can't comment on ROC/ROCOR, as i'm not part of it, but left handed and right handed have far more connotations than you might realize. It doesn't matter whether you're left or right handed, you should always cross yourself with the right hand. The elderly might just have chastised out of habit, from what you're telling me it seems like they overreacted emphasizing the importance on the outward action more than the reason behind it, which is not good.

but if you look at the icons, Christ is always blessing with the right hand, and the book, representing the law is always in his left hand. The right hand brings together, and the left hand pushes away. It's why we shake hands with the right hand, it's also why traditionally the sword was used in the right hand, for your intentions are open and honest wielding a sword in the right hand. The left hand, is the dagger hand, it's the hand you'd stab someone in the back with after embracing as you would family. Even in Islam, the left hand is reserved for certain actions.
 

Posadskiy

Pigeon
Even in Islam, the left hand is reserved for certain actions.
Yes. Specifically and mundanely, using toilet paper.

There is some amount of cultural awareness and even cultural reformatting necessary to grok Orthodoxy. Once you get into that a lot of things make a ton of sense, and a ton of things in American culture become puzzling and frustrating.
 

Pelagius

Robin
Can't comment on ROC/ROCOR, as i'm not part of it, but left handed and right handed have far more connotations than you might realize. It doesn't matter whether you're left or right handed, you should always cross yourself with the right hand. The elderly might just have chastised out of habit, from what you're telling me it seems like they overreacted emphasizing the importance on the outward action more than the reason behind it, which is not good.

but if you look at the icons, Christ is always blessing with the right hand, and the book, representing the law is always in his left hand. The right hand brings together, and the left hand pushes away. It's why we shake hands with the right hand, it's also why traditionally the sword was used in the right hand, for your intentions are open and honest wielding a sword in the right hand. The left hand, is the dagger hand, it's the hand you'd stab someone in the back with after embracing as you would family. Even in Islam, the left hand is reserved for certain actions.
Very good point.

My friend looked into it and found that left handed people do feature in a positive-albeit lesser light in the bible which I honestly hadn't noticed:

This does not carry any negative connotations for left-handed people. It is simply a matter of symbolism. Whenever the Bible mentions left-handed people, it does not present left-handedness as a weakness. Ehud, a judge of Israel and a mighty warrior, was left-handed (Judges 3:15-21). Judges 20:16 mentions 700 left-handed warriors who could “sling a stone at a hair and not miss.” First Chronicles 12:2 seems to reference bowmen who were ambidextrous. When the Bible refers to left-handed people, it speaks of left-handedness as an advantage, not a weakness.
Source

From basic research it looks like it plays more prominence in the Catholic Church and today it varies between the very rare "don't come if you've not learned to use your right hand only" and the more common "we don't care just cross yourself and take communion properly".

He doesn't seem overly deterred so I think that's a good sign, the main thing will be trying to nudge him from going down the path of creating his own digestible cocktail of Christianity - at least before he is able to discern for himself.
 

tractor

Robin
Russian Orthodox Christians celebrated Epiphany by plunging into the freezing water in various cities, villages, towns, etc. across Russia. The annual baptism is a long-lasting tradition of the Orthodox Church with thousands of Christians across Russia taking the icy dip to celebrate the baptism of Jesus.



It's a fun tradition of course but I'm not sure if it's a good idea that the Russian church supports this. For many people (especially men), this ice plunging and the Great Fast is all they have to do as Christians. My (allegedly) Orthodox father did just that. Ice bath in January, fasting in March-April and that's it. No church on Sunday, no communion, no prayer, no nothing.

I read an article on Russian Faith that's ice plunging has nothing to do with Orthodox Faith per se (can't find the link). It's not heresy by any means but it's more of a PR stunt than exercise in faith.

The reason why the Church may use ice baths for public relations is to appeal to the generations which grew up in the Soviet Union who Andrew Torba would call pagans :laughter: Sports and health (including cold showers and ice bathing) were very promiment and almost religion-like back then. So I'm convinced most of these "based Russian Christians" do this plunging for their bodies alone.
 
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