Religious in Costco

I live in Colorado Springs, and the other day I was in Costco and saw some religious (I don’t know if they were brothers or priests) in all black garments, they had tall black hats (mitres? probably not), and one wore a large gold cross. They had long beards. I was wondering what rite they might belong to. Anyone know? Sad to say I’m completely ignorant of Catholic rites outside of Roman Catholic. I probably need to educate myself. Is there a book, or some other media someone might suggest to learn more about other rites?

Edit: I see there is an active thread on other rites I can read, I will also search around here on CAF.

Could have been Eastern Catholic or Orthodox monks. I’m not sure if there is any way of identifying specific church or rite affiliation.

Did they look anything like this?

Pretty similar. Their hats were taller without a “rim” or “veil” down the back, and their sleeves were fitted. Also their “cassocks” were shorter than ankle length. I don’t know the correct terms so I just used quotes, in case I’m using incorrect names

I have same family friends who are Orthodox and live down in the Springs so I am betting they were Orthodox religious that you saw because as far as I know there are no Eastern Catholics in that part of the state.

Not having seen them I can only guess, we don’t really know who they were but if we go on the assumption that they were Orthodox for argument sake we can discuss it a bit. It is interesting.

I think most cassock type garments are called riassa, there may be other specific names for different styles, I don’t know.

It sounds from the description like they might have been wearing inner cassocks (perfectly acceptable for street wear). This could account for the narrow sleeves.

I think that novices usually are only allowed to wear the inner cassock but all others may wear it too, and it would be under the billowy ones in the pictures.

Black generally indicates monastics, celibates. Married clergy wear similar clothing in white or even other colors, but avoid black because of the symbolism.

The individual with the pectoral cross on a chain would be a priest. If it is embroidered on, and really large, it could mean an advanced monk, like a schema monk (but I doubt it).

The hats with the rim on top (as in picture above) are common in Greek use, so these would not be Greek. Perhaps a Russian tradition, or Serbian.

These were not soft hats, I take it, but stiff and cyindrical, right? The hats really puzzle me, because they are taller hats it sounds like you are describing something like a fez and I don’t know what to think. If they are soft and crushable they would be something like a skoufia, if they are cylindrical stiff with a flat top I think that could be a komilavka.

Serb monks walking, wearing inner cassocks…

After doing a little checking, there is a Russian Orthodox monastery for men at Buena Vista.

Dormition Skete. I should have remembered this, the place famously has published a few items, including a New Testament I carry around with me and was reading just yesterday.

There is a monastery at Lake George but it is a women’s facility.

Yes the hats were tall, stiff cylindrical. The link to the inner cassocks looks similar to the cassocks they were wearing.

Yeah, I think they must be Russian Orthodox.

The cross in this pic looks identical to the one that the man was wearing in Costco, and the shape of the hat looks the same too-- but no veil or cross. The cathedral is gorgeous. I wonder if they give tours on the iconography. I’d love to take my kids.

And Greek priests don’t wear pectoral crosses. I never noticed this before hearing Fr. Hopko say this in his Worship in Spirit and Truth podcast series on the Divine Liturgy in #7 of seven podcasts on Vesting for Liturgy, “about crosses, hats, and crowns”. According to Fr Tom only high ranking priests in the Greek, Antiochian, Serbian tradition are given a pectoral cross and those are highly decorated crosses. In Russia an Empress asked a clergyman for his blessing but it turned out he was a deacon so could not give her a blessing. So the Empress then required that priests would be given a pectoral cross so people could recognize priests from deacons.

We don’t currently have any deacons at the Greek Orthodox Cathedrals SF and Oakland, the two I frequent and I know by sight the priests there so I never thought about them not wearing pectoral crosses. :slight_smile:

Very interesting. I never knew that either (until now). :slight_smile:

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