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Abouna forces me to kiss his hand
  • Hi

    This non Coptic priest (he's French Orthodox) has this habit of forcing others (including myself) to kiss his hand.

    He insists that you should kiss the cross, the Bible, and his hand.

    Why??

    Isn't that a bit odd?

    I'm actually repulsed.

    Is it an obligation to kiss his hand???
  • [quote author=✞SuperMAN✞(BAM)✞ link=topic=14575.msg165628#msg165628 date=1376314301]
    no
    [/quote]

    How should I tell him that I hate this behaviour of forcing others to kiss his hand??
  • maybe he wants you to bless his ministry
    or maybe he wants to bless you so there is spiritual revival
    he wants you to make his sacrifice for your sakes worthwhile
    for he thinks you will find no one else as commited and guided by the Holy Spirit as him
    give him a chance
    maybe he thinks Protestants paint the image of Coptic priests being extremists and blind who can not lead others and if you are orthodox he wants you to support him if you have benefited by him

    Submit to your elders for they watch out for you as those who must give account

    Why do you keep coming on a Coptic forum and think people are going to support you they believe Coptic priests are their means for salvation
    If you do not kiss his hand it means you judge him
    Abouna must not accept praise from his idolatrous and disobedient congregation for St Paul was glad that he baptised none or few lest they should say he baptised in his own name. A priest should not think he is God's gift to man and his congregation try to give praise to man instead of God

    Or maybe he is a tyrant and wants to scare you that you are going to hell if you are not sinless because he hates Protestants

    I am of course assuming you have so much free time to go to church or that you finish your homework fast because you are talented and have free time

    He should fear falling in lust if he makes women kiss his hand
  • Thanks Mike,

    Is there anyone else here that would like to answer?
    Is there anyone else that would be SO put off by a priest forcing u to kiss his hand??

    This is awful.
  • Not at all. Kissing the hand of a priest is a symbol of bowing to his priesthood and not him. Kissing the hand of a priest is not less than kissing a cross! Since in both acts, you do reverence to the God who has blessed the cross and the priesthood. When I kiss the cross, I do not kiss wood or metal, but I kiss the honor which Christ has bestowed on those materials. When I kiss the hand of a priest, I do not kiss the hand of a man, but I kiss the honor of priesthood with which that man is vested.

    If I were a priest, I would allow for kissing my hand. Not for pride or a desire to have saliva washed all around my hands, but because I too respect the honor of priesthood. That priest whom you have a problem with may have such a great respect for the priesthood. Too great to allow its respect to go unnoticed even at the risk of looking arrogant while he may be extremely humble.

    Ray
  • [quote author=ReturnOrthodoxy link=topic=14575.msg165637#msg165637 date=1376326242]
    Not at all. Kissing the hand of a priest is a symbol of bowing to his priesthood and not him. Kissing the hand of a priest is not less than kissing a cross! Since in both acts, you do reverence to the God who has blessed the cross and the priesthood. When I kiss the cross, I do not kiss wood or metal, but I kiss the honor which Christ has bestowed on those materials. When I kiss the hand of a priest, I do not kiss the hand of a man, but I kiss the honor of priesthood with which that man is vested.

    If I were a priest, I would allow for kissing my hand. Not for pride or a desire to have saliva washed all around my hands, but because I too respect the honor of priesthood. That priest whom you have a problem with may have such a great respect for the priesthood. Too great to allow its respect to go unnoticed even at the risk of looking arrogant while he may be extremely humble.

    Ray
    [/quote]

    Thanks Ray.
    I liked your answer so much.
    It gave me much much peace.

    I usually do kiss a priest's hand, but NEVER has a priest ever told me to kiss it. That's just odd. It will take me some time to figure out why I'm bothered about it
  • So what's making you uncomfortable isn't the act of kissing Abouna's hand, but the fact that he's asking for you to do it?  It seems a little strange to me.  Whenever I meet a priest, the default thing for me to do is to salute his hand.  Usually, the Coptic Abounas pull their hand away out of humility as the people bow to kiss it.  It's hard to know what to make of this story.  Two questions that come to mind are:

    1.) Why does Abouna have to ask you to kiss his hand?  Shouldn't that be automatic for you when you meet an Orthodox priest?

    2.) Are there some special circumstances that are prompting him to insist upon it?  Do you salute the hands of the other priests in his presence but bypass him?  Is there something about the situation that is making you uncomfortable?
  • [quote author=AntoniousNikolas link=topic=14575.msg165639#msg165639 date=1376329230]
    So what's making you uncomfortable isn't the act of kissing Abouna's hand, but the fact that he's asking for you to do it?  It seems a little strange to me.  Whenever I meet a priest, the default thing for me to do is to salute his hand.  Usually, the Coptic Abounas pull their hand away out of humility as the people bow to kiss it.  It's hard to know what to make of this story.  Two questions that come to mind are:

    1.) Why does Abouna have to ask you to kiss his hand?  Shouldn't that be automatic for you when you meet an Orthodox priest?

    2.) Are there some special circumstances that are prompting him to insist upon it?  Do you salute the hands of the other priests in his presence but bypass him?  Is there something about the situation that is making you uncomfortable?
    [/quote]

    Hi

    1.) He held the Bible, the cross at the end of the liturgy. He then went around telling everyone to kiss the Bible, then the cross, then his hand.

    Then, when he is not in liturgy-mode, he gives you his hand to kiss it.

    2.) I don't like to kiss a priest's hand that often. I don't know why. Sure, I'll kiss it, but to be honest with you, I would prefer to kiss it if he removed it.
  • [quote author=dthoxsasiPhilanethrope link=topic=14575.msg165638#msg165638 date=1376327620]
    [quote author=ReturnOrthodoxy link=topic=14575.msg165637#msg165637 date=1376326242]
    Not at all. Kissing the hand of a priest is a symbol of bowing to his priesthood and not him. Kissing the hand of a priest is not less than kissing a cross! Since in both acts, you do reverence to the God who has blessed the cross and the priesthood. When I kiss the cross, I do not kiss wood or metal, but I kiss the honor which Christ has bestowed on those materials. When I kiss the hand of a priest, I do not kiss the hand of a man, but I kiss the honor of priesthood with which that man is vested.

    If I were a priest, I would allow for kissing my hand. Not for pride or a desire to have saliva washed all around my hands, but because I too respect the honor of priesthood. That priest whom you have a problem with may have such a great respect for the priesthood. Too great to allow its respect to go unnoticed even at the risk of looking arrogant while he may be extremely humble.

    Ray
    [/quote]

    Thanks Ray.
    I liked your answer so much.
    It gave me much much peace.

    I usually do kiss a priest's hand, but NEVER has a priest ever told me to kiss it. That's just odd. It will take me some time to figure out why I'm bothered about it
    [/quote]

    No problem dthoxa!! Glad I could be of help. I also understand your initial unsettling response to the priests request. Good bless you.

    Ray
  • [quote author=dthoxsasiPhilanethrope link=topic=14575.msg165643#msg165643 date=1376333880]

    Hi

    1.) He held the Bible, the cross at the end of the liturgy. He then went around telling everyone to kiss the Bible, then the cross, then his hand.

    Then, when he is not in liturgy-mode, he gives you his hand to kiss it.

    2.) I don't like to kiss a priest's hand that often. I don't know why. Sure, I'll kiss it, but to be honest with you, I would prefer to kiss it if he removed it.
    [/quote]

    Maybe this is a cultural issue?  I've seen Byzantine and Roman Catholic priests extend their hands in a manner similar to what you're describing.  To be honest, I'm not that familiar with the French Orthodox Church.  Maybe this is their tradition?
  • this is 100% culture, then people copticized it and gave it a "meaning". when you cant kiss the priest's hand, which you have all right not to, just pull your hand and kiss it, as to take blessing, but not kiss the hand, I personally do that, and I do it to some bishops also. that way you will not hurt their feelings or upset them.
  • I don't agree with the idea that the act of kissing the priest's hand is 100% cultural and that people later created reasons to justify it.  It does have a theological underpinning, as Ray has articulated.  Also, it cuts across dozens if not hundreds of cultures that hold to an Apostolic Church (EO, OO, RC, EC, etc.), so we cant say it's something peculiar to the Copts.

    That said, I wonder if the act of the priest insisting upon the veneration of his hand - which seems to be predominant in the European churches while our Coptic and Ethiopian Fathers never insist and often pull away out of humility - has to do with the culture of the Imperial Church, something we weren't a part of after Chalcedon.  I could be way off, just thinking out loud.
  • The best way to answer this question is to ask the priest directly: "Your reverence, why are you insisting I kiss your hand?"

    There is no need for us to speculate. Please share his response, if it isn't something private.
  • I don't agree with the idea that the act of kissing the priest's hand is 100% cultural and that people later created reasons to justify it.  It does have a theological underpinning, as Ray has articulated.  Also, it cuts across dozens if not hundreds of cultures that hold to an Apostolic Church (EO, OO, RC, EC, etc.), so we cant say it's something peculiar to the Copts.


    this is something that even the late Pope Shenouda said through questions and answers in one of his late sermons, when asked about prostration to a Bishop, and why we call him "sayedna" (our Master)
  • [quote author=✞SuperMAN✞(BAM)✞ link=topic=14575.msg166050#msg166050 date=1379956880]
    I don't agree with the idea that the act of kissing the priest's hand is 100% cultural and that people later created reasons to justify it.  It does have a theological underpinning, as Ray has articulated.  Also, it cuts across dozens if not hundreds of cultures that hold to an Apostolic Church (EO, OO, RC, EC, etc.), so we cant say it's something peculiar to the Copts.


    this is something that even the late Pope Shenouda said through questions and answers in one of his late sermons, when asked about prostration to a Bishop, and why we call him "sayedna" (our Master)
    [/quote]

    Could you provide a link to this sermon please so that we may see it in context?  If His Holiness said this, I'm sure he must not have mean cultural in an exclusively Egyptian sense, as this kind of reverence cuts across all of the Orthodox communities of the world.  In any event, the act of prostration and calling a hierarch master is different then reverencing the hand that touches the Body of Christ.


Memorial for HH Pope Shenouda

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