The Power of the Priestly Cassock

by Fr. Moses Samaan One of the most disturbing ideas I’ve heard in the recent push to “modernize” the Coptic Orthodox Church and make it more “attractive” to people in today’s society is the idea of priests putting aside their priestly cassocks in favor of pants, shirts, and collars, like other western clergy. The general arguments in favor of abandoning the priestly cassock essentially argue that it is too traditional to the Read more…


Royal Inadequacies of the Royal Priesthood

by Fr. Sergei Sveshnikov One of my favorite writers, Fr. Sergei is the author of Imagine That: Mental Imagery in Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Private Devotion, and I recommend it to everyone, especially those discerning a priestly vocation. You can get it on Amazon HERE. “Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!”–Psalm 133:1 While there are many wonderful and holy pastors who labor in Christ’s Read more…


Christian Priesthood and Ecclesial Unity

Some Theological and Canonical Considerations by Professor Contantine Scouteris School of Theology of the University of Athens 1. The records of the early Christian tradition leave no doubt that Christian priesthood is not a "function" necessary for the institutional being of the Church. Nor is it an autonomous, isolated and self sufficient office belonging to the ordained individual. It is rather a ministry related and belonging Read more…


Survey Results: Observations and Advice for New Priests

We are coming up on graduation day for our seminaries, so I fielded a survey to gather the collective wisdom of priests to share with our new graduates and ordinands. These sets of “five things” are offered with thanks to the priests who answered the survey and prayers for all our clergy.  It's a beautiful and blessed - but often incredibly difficult - life. Five Things that Surprised Us in Parish Ministry Worldly Behavior. Read more…


A Plea for Pastoral Gentleness

Thoughts on the calling of the Holy Apostle and Evangelist Matthew Matthew was a tax collector.  When Jesus gave him the invitation to “follow me”, he responded with hospitality.  He opened his house to the Lord, his disciples, fellow tax collectors, and unspecified sinners.  Just to make sure everyone had a good time, this was all done within view of some local Pharisees.  The Pharisees spent their whole lives dedicated to Read more…


A case for wearing the cassock (or even the collar)

This documentary explains how Orthodoxy studies the world in order to understand and speak to it, but witnesses to it by remaining true to itself.  Abbot Tryphon makes the case for clerics wearing recognizable clerical garb because it allows them to image Christ to others (even if the best cultural referent people have is "wizard"!).  While this is a divisive issue within Orthodoxy, the logic he describes works for both the collar and Read more…


Gifts and Talents and the Road to Hell

"Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it Read more…