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Ask An Eastern Orthodox Christian: Disposing of Vestments


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What would you like to know about the Eastern Orthodox Christian faith? Submit your question.

By Nick Damascus

Is there a proper way to dispose of old, worn vestments?

The Lord first told Moses to construct a tabernacle and establish the priesthood.  The priests were sanctified with holy oil and were instructed to produce holy garments (vestments) for the honor and glory of God when used in worship rituals.

In Isaiah 6 and Revelation 1, one gets a glimpse of God being worshiped in Heaven.  Clergy attire is part of this “foreshadow” of Heaven and the spiritual edification of the church.  The vestments serve a spiritual function of helping to bring the faithful into the atmosphere of understanding.   Vestments are iconic representations of our Lord and the angels, serving at the one altar of God.

(See Exodus 28: 2–39)

The answer to your question is because they are holy garments used in the representation and worship of God, they are to be regarded and treated with reverence and respect.  They are to be burned then the ashes are put out where they are unlikely to be walked upon.  Just as you would burn an American flag if it was soiled or damaged or just if you want to dispose of it you would do so by burning it, giving reverence and honor to those who sacrificed their lives for its representation.

Nicholas Damascus
Nicholas Damascus
As an infant, I was baptized as an Eastern Orthodox Christian. However, I would say that becoming a Christian is a work in progress, and I often wonder would there be enough evidence to convict me of becoming a Christian. The Orthodox Church is the ancient Church that Christ and the Apostles established. It is not a religion but rather a way of life. It is not about rules and regulations but rather guide posts to make choices to transition to what we were designed to become. Becoming Orthodox is not a conversion but more so a transformation of self. It’s not about being right: it is about “right being.” In John 14:6, Christ says I am the Way (to love and serve one another), the Truth (there is only one reality), and the Life (that life source is love). I invite you to submit any topics or questions to “Ask An Eastern Orthodox Christian” on the website. Join me in finding our way back home to the original teachings of the Church. When you change the way you look at things, things change the way they look.


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