The biggest way our family encounters the sacred is through specific actions (you can call them rituals) associated with the ancient practice of the Eastern Orthodox church. We light incense and candles, we listen to Byzantine chant, we bow and prostrate ourselves before icons–all of these things serve to transform what could be an everyday activity into something outside our selves. By engaging our senses in the act, it propels our entire bodies into a more sacred frame of mind. I love how these things help me get out of my own head and engage our daughter in the prayers and life of the church.. . .
It’s been pretty easy to integrate these sorts of things into our life. I can’t imagine trying to explain the concept of God or church or prayer to a young child without these tangible helps provided by the Church.
But. There’s another one out there. Just for us ladies.
The head covering.
If you’re interested in the most turned to article about this in American Orthodoxy go here. If you think I’m crazy and spitting in the face of feminists everywhere, please feel free to leave a comment and I’ll post your opinion. That’s fair.
I still don’t know where I stand on this one so I’m open to both sides but the topic seems to keep coming up.
I read this article in Slate a couple of nights ago about how some Muslim women decide to put on and take off their head coverings, called hijabs. I know we’re not Muslim, but it was an interesting perspective because part of my hesitation has always been that once I start covering my head during the liturgy or prayers–it’s for good. And I’m young and impetuous.
So that’s one part of it. But on the other hand, I’m all about acknowledging that church isn’t just something to do on Sunday mornings to build business contacts and make sure our daughter learns morals. I believe we are worshiping a holy God and that we engage in something radically different than the secular world outside the church doors. If wearing a scarf over my head helps to enhance that differentiation for me (and someday my little girl) then perhaps I just need to get over myself.
. . .
(Note - if you have the time, please also read the articles she referenced and linked to.)