Color of Badrasheel

edited December 1969 in Random Issues
I just wanted to know if our church, H.H., HICS or the clerical college has mentioned anything concerning the color of the Deacon's Stole. I am referring to the more old fashioned ones which were more orange in color and were decorated with big crosses down the whole length. And then there is the more common on today which is the solid red on with the 3 crosses on it. This one is worn by the deacons during the liturgies at the catherdral in Egypt.

I ask because my former church in NY wore the solid red ones under the teaching of our Moalim who was a graduate of The Clerical College, and one of the "pope's deacons". Also one summer when HH came to visit our church, he brought with him a box full of the same stoles, all solid red, resembling those worn by the deacons in the Cathedral. But in my church in MD they are more accustomed to the orange one, so i just wanted to know which one is preferred. Sources and references would be awesome. Thanks in advance! GB.


  • Well i've never heard that there is a specific one or source that mentions how the badrashain should look, I myself have seen many many different styles of badrashein ranging from the colors to the design themselves. I've seen gold ones as well as red ones and black ones(black obviously worn during pascha, although i haven't seen many of those, generally its the dark blue) I've seen two common red designs, the two you mentioned, plus one more.
  • I would assume that since the red ones with the three crosses are worn in the Cathedral, then those would be the preferred kind...
  • r u surew they r orange?... (sorry for the stupid question)  they might be verry old red, wich fades throu time....
  • I have only seen the ones that jydeacon has, red, and black. I have may have seen orange once, but I am not sure. All of them are just as good as the other ones. And it shouldn't matter, as long as the badrasheel is blessed by God to wear, then it is a good one. All Badrasheels are fine!!!!
  • I have seen other colors of the rainbow.  Our Coptic Church does not ascribe significance specifically to colors like the Roman Catholic Church.  The only time an issue is specific is for the use of black or a deep midnight blue for the Holy Pascha Week.

    I think the use of the solid red derives from the inexpensive aspect fo making it relative to the others and the approach for uniformity.  When you look at the compendium of vestments, there are certain apparent facts:  the majority are not well kept and are not regularly cleaned, tears, one person wearing over one shoulder, another shoulder, or both shoulders.  Ranks wearing the stole when they are not supposed to do so (e.g., the psaltos=chanter).  The use of that particular stole [the velvet red], I believe from my discussions is specific towards establishing uniformity and a decreased discordance as is seen in the churches.  If you open most deacon's vestment closets in churches, they are a scary sight.  I won't go into details about some things that are probably growing in there.

    I believe the diaconate has lost track of a lot of things, including how the stole is worn relative to a particular rank, and for that matter the dignity of appearance when wearing it.

    To be specific, I am not aware of any Papal or Synodal Edicts for a specific answer.  If there are any, I would be interested for details.

    Afterall, it has symbolism including:  the wings of an angel, and the tie to service and ministry.

    Hail, to the Mother of God, and the Remembrance of Her Apparition in Zeitoun!  A SWEET MOTHER SHE TRULY IS!
  • I think this might have an answer in Anba Gregorious Rites books. does any one have them?

    what i think thoo is that it's supposed to be solid red (dark maroon), blue (or black), and 3 crosses. colors very basic, have meanings like the blue is used on hazaine days, mainly holy week, which goes with the decoration of the church itself.

    that new one that have the red, blue, gold, and silver is just an beasy way to make it of course it LOOKs fine to wear, but rather easy to make.
  • Thank you for all your replies, they have all been beneficial. And if anyone has the book minagir was referring to please post!

    My view is the velvet red with the three crosses. It is very simple and uniform but seems like it is being chosen as more correct. The way I also see it, is that the red velvet are pretty much the same as the red velvet of the curtain durring the whole year, while a black stole, goes along with the black curtains during passion week, as opposed to a dark blue.

    Also commenting on the reply by "ilovesaintmark"
    I agree, the deaconate needs to set some standards, along with regulations concerning the particulars. Although some may disagree and mention that it is all service to God, I agree but lets not forget

    Let all things be done decently and in order.
    1 Corinthians 14:40

    Lastly, I would like to mention a lesson given to me by my moalim. He said if one doesn't respect the clothes he wears for service, they shouldn't be worn at all. So this means we should all have our own tonias and badrasheels, have them clean and even ironed if possible. And when worn, they should fit us well and shouldn't be short or hanging off of us like we see some of the older men wearing.

    Thank you for your replies, more are welcome!

    God bless.
  • Hi ilovesaintmark,

    Sorry to hijack the thread but do you mind giving us further details as to the symbolism behind the stole and the other vestments if possible?

    [quote author=ilovesaintmark]Afterall, it has symbolism including:  the wings of an angel, and the tie to service and ministry.

  • andrewtanios,

    To start with, the deacon is symbolic of the angelic presence that is to minister to the Almighty.  They are an extension of the levitical system of minor ministers in the Temple service as mentioned in the Old Testament, specifically as expounded in the Torah.  The Levitical function is further mentioned directly and indirectly in the Books of Ezekial and Nehemiah and a long list in the Old Testament.

    The Very Rev. Hegumen Fr. Tadros Malaty states that the early Christians used to wear elaborate white clothing similar in concept to the vestment system.  This is actually still carried out in the form of the worship in the Abyssinian Rites:  Ethiopia and Eritrea.  If one is in a parish where there are worshippers from these traditions, you will observe that they come to Church dressed in white linen attire almost to the level of looking like the deacon's tonia (tunic)--both male and female.  As a matter of fact, the deacons (Ethiopian and Eritrean Rites) do not need to change into "separate" vestments but carry forward directly in this white dedicated attire.

    In the other churches (eastern and western) things have evolved to identify vestments and tunics specific for service in the Liturgical Movements.  This requires going to a vestry and changing into vestments.

    The symbolism is quite obvious in that the white of the tunic (tonia) is for purity of being and purity of service.  This tunic should fully cover the body and any garments beneath.  The crosses are the badges of our Faith and the symbol of the "weapons" we are girded with to fight the enemy (Satan).

    The commission to service in the diaconate is represented in the stole.  It is reserved for those of the rank of Sub-Deacon and higher.  This is a controversial statement, because in practice this is far from being.  It seems everyone just throws on a stole when they are ordained to whatever rank.  It is almost a dress up exercise rather than the full regard for its purpose and symbolism.  It is no different than the military insignias that are used to identify rank and in effect the responsibilities that go with that rank.  It is to quietly let those around understand the hierarchy involved which includes protocol issue.  For example, when Holy Communion commences, the distribution of the Sacred Mystery is done by rank order and by seniority.  It is not by who gets on line first.  In terms of delineating readings and other practices in the Liturgy it is supposed to help make those decisions without having to ask someone their rank.  Then again, most deacons do not know their rank, when they were ordained, who ordained them, what name they were given, and for that matter what altar they were commissioned to care for.  This is truly the majority not some pondering on my part.  If you do not believe it, take a poll and see for yourselves.

    Getting back to the angelic theme, the stole reminds one of that theme as a symbolic remembrance of the wings that the angels have to show their deep respect for their presence before the Almighty:  (two with which to fly, two with which to cover their eyes, and two to cover their feet).  The aspects are to identify:  an awe of the Hallowedness of Our God (covering of the eyes), to carry out ministry (the flight aspect), and to cover the flaws in our humanity (covering of the feet).

    It is interesting to note that the "sidriya" that the priest wears is actually an extension of the same that the deacon wears.  If you recall what I mentioned previously that each rank has its twist and knot to drape over the shoulders, when one reaches the rank of priest it drapes over both sides.  There are priests that still maintain that tradition of maintaining the split down the central portion of the "sidriya".  Noteably, is The Very Rev. Hegumen Fr. Morcos Morcos in Toronto--Canada.  He is the first priest for service in Canada and North America.  If you look at the collections that are in the Coptic Museum, you will find "sidriya(s)" with this exact distinction in sartorial (tailored) representation.

    The draping over the shoulders and the knots identify that we are tied to the service of the Church, inclusive of:  the Liturgical Rites, the People, and thus to God Himself (directly and indirectly) through the initial two mentions.
  • Ilovesaintmark, I agree with everything except one point, the Stoles aren't to be worn just by the subdeacon and higher but by the Reader and higher(Aghnostos), Epsaltos was not originally part of the deaconate and therefore wasn't even supposed to wear a tunic, this changed and were given tunics(this change was not that recent) but were not given badrashein, so the only rank not able to wear the stole is the Psaltos

    God Bless and Pray for me and my weakness
  • In the old tonias, there was only one cross the the front, none on the side and especially the back.
  • Thanks a lot for the info, ilovesaintmark. God bless.

    minagir - Very interesting. However, I don't necessarily see it as a bad thing to be completely covered by the crosses as we are now.

    Great stuff fellas.

  • [quote author=andrewtanios link=topic=6432.msg85092#msg85092 date=1207271173]
    minagir - Very interesting. However, I don't necessarily see it as a bad thing to be completely covered by the crosses as we are now.

    the meaning is that as a deacon, you only carry your own cross, which is in the front.
  • I think what minagir is saying that it would be more appropriate to only have one cross to show that you carry your own and not everyone's ya3ni, but its just a symbolism, there is nothing wrong the one that has crosses all over
  • [quote author=jydeacon link=topic=6432.msg85097#msg85097 date=1207282553]
    I think what minagir is saying that it would be more appropriate to only have one cross to show that you carry your own and not everyone's ya3ni, but its just a symbolism, there is nothing wrong the one that has crosses all over

    of course not. it's never wrong. i was just explaining the way it was. but i guess things develop to be come more "looking better"
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