Thursday, June 3, 2010

Are Tonsure and Burial Mysteries?

Q & A with Fr Job:
Question: How did the teaching concerning the Mysteries arise? Why is tonsure a Mystery, but burial not? Why do certain priests say: “Everything in the Church, it’s all a Mystery"?

Answer: According to the teaching of the Orthodox Church, a Mystery is a sacred act in which, under a visible form, the invisible grace of the Holy Spirit is given. They were established by the Savior and the Holy Apostles. The ritual aspect was formed gradually.

Monastic tonsure is not a Mystery, Burial is the prayerful commemoration and rite of forgiveness with the departed children of the Church. A Mystery may be performed only on the living. He upon whom a Mystery is performed must prayerfully participate in it.

4 comments:

Edward Wolff said...

But isn´t the Tonsure "a sacred act in which, under a visible form, the invisible grace of the Holy Spirit is given"?

In Christ,
Edward

SubDn. Lucas said...

Is Fr. Job's working definition *the* definition? From what I understand, different fathers gave differing definitions/criteria of what constitutes a Mystery, and therefore came up with widely varying numbers (when they bothered to number them at all).

jfr said...

Tonsuring is a Holy Mystery, precisely because it is a sacred act in which the Holy Spirit is given, and can only be performed by a Priest or a Bishop. Even though it is not considered one of the seven main mysteries, its a Latin error to insist there are only 7 mysteries (or sacraments).

Felix Culpa said...

Fr Job, as can be gathered from elsewhere in the book, is working with the classical "Seven Sacrament" schemata.