Thursday, March 11, 2021

Again & Again: St. John of Shanghai and the ordinand

 From a favorite blog of mine Again & Again, a post entitled "Priest Vows."

Orthodox Tradition, a periodical of the Center for Traditionalist Orthodox Studies in Etna, California (Vol. XXXIV, No. 3, p34-35) published the following “examination” which St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco would give to potential candidates for ordination. Besides the personal information required, the candidate was to affirm the following statements:

  1. I have no physical infirmities which would be an impediment to my sacred service, nor do I have any contagious illness or incurable disease. I am of the Orthodox faith and have no relationship with schismatic or heretical groups.
  2. I am in a first marriage with [name], daughter of [parent’s names], a virgin of Orthodox faith, blameless and of virtuous conduct.
  3. I accept ordination to [rank of Priesthood] only for the glory of God and the salvation of souls, of my own free will, and with the sincere intention to serve the holy Church, and not for any profit.
  4. I accept the obligation to perform all liturgical services or prayers according to the rules of the Church, piously, contenting myself with the salary assigned to me and the freewill gifts of my parishioners, never extorting payment for special services. I promise always to perform divine services on Sundays and Holy Days, not only the Divine Liturgy, but also the other services prescribed by the rubrics.
  5. I promise to wear the dress proper to the clergy, not to cut my hair or beard, to observe the Fasts of the Orthodox Church, not to smoke, not to indulge in drunkenness or gambling, and in general to conduct myself as befits a clergyman, taking care not to compromise my high position, and not to scandalize the faithful by unbecoming behavior.
  6. I will direct my home life and raise my children as befits a servant of the Altar, according to the Christian faith and in the fear of God.
  7. I will celebrate the services connected with the Sacraments always with the necessary preparation, piously and with the fear of God. In the holy Altar and in the Church generally, I will conduct myself in accordance with the holiness of the place, instructing others as well to be respectful of this holiness.
  8. In my service I will never forget that a clergyman may do nothing without the sanction of his Bishop. I promise to be obedient to the ecclesiastical authorities and act according to the Canons of the Holy Apostles, of the Ecumenical and Local Councils and the teachings of the Holy Fathers.
  9. As a constant reminder of the high office that I am accepting and to kindle in me the gift of the Grace of Holy Orders, I promise to fill the time that I am free from services by reading the Holy Scriptures, the works of the Holy Fathers, and studying the “Typicon”.


  1. ...I am of the Orthodox faith and have no relationship with schismatic or heretical groups.

    This strikes me as more than a little ironic given the guys in Etna are, or were the last I heard, part of one of the myriad Greek Old Calendarist Synods in Resistance.

    1. Who considers them schismatic? Were the descendants of those who called St. John a schismatic!

  2. Considering Etna and the HSIR were part of ROCOR before most of the ROCOR bishops went to the MP, and only a few ROCOR bishops remained, I would think that the new union of ROCOR/MP are the ecumenist schismatitcs. Etna and the remaining ROCA under Metropolitan Argafangel held to the True Orthodoxy and thus are the TRUE CHURCH.

  3. Those who protest "We are the one true...." invariably do so because the train has left the station and they remain on a platform. Classically, we can't miss that they actually came to the station intending to board as well, but missed the train while picking up a newspaper or something to read on the journey, and now seek to make a virtue out of an error. Credit the good in trying to make lemonade out of lemons, but shouted protests of "Schismatics!" and "We are the one true whatever!" couldn't be more Monty Python-ish.