Trad Memorial Service

JLibourel

Honors Member and King Fop
Today I attended a somewhat belated service for my mother-in-law who passed away last month. This is the fifth such event I have attended in a little over a year. Without wishing to appear as if I were blowing the horn for my wife's family, I will have to say that the male sartorial standards were far higher at this event than any of the others--virtually all the male attendees were wearing coats, and nearly all of them had ties on, which is saying something by Southern California standards. This is probably because the greater number of the attendees were fairly affluent individuals considerably my senior (and I am soon to turn 64).

Forum regulars may recall I have mentioned how "trad" my father-in-law is. He and his brother both attended Exeter and Harvard in the 1930s. Both attended this event wearing Brooks or Press sack suits, button-down collars and Brooks ties. The piece de resistance was the shoes my father-in-law was wearing--Brooks-Alden shell cordovan plain-toe bluchers. I mean, how "trad" can you get? A number of other men were quite "tradly" in appearance. I am rather under the thumb of the Trad these days. The patriarch of our family is a diehard trad, and my new boss is a trad through and through!

There was one very dapper fellow there. He was wearing a blue DB blazer with tan slacks, which struck me as a bit breezy for a memorial service, but, hey, its SoCal. He had a golden collar bar, a silken pocket square and blue enamel buttons on his 6x2 DB blazer. Unfortunately, he rather ruined the whole effect by leaving his DB blazer unbuttoned throughout the reception/lunch afterward.:(

One thing that rather appalled me was the fact that many otherwise well-turned out men wore the most egregious shoes imaginable--lug-soled ultra-casual affairs that looked like they would be more appropriate on a day hike than for a dressy affair. At least I didn't see any sneakers! Quite a few other men were in reasonably appropriate shoes that were egregiously maintained--badly scuffed, cracked and discolored. There was an Infantry Major there just back from training the new Iraqi army. He was a fine figure of a man who just ruined his otherwise impressive appearance by great, soft, clubby ultra-casual shoes. Sad! Remember, that this was a fairly upscale event, so think on this all ye who are appalled by the thought of captoe bluchers worn with a suit!

Many men (younger ones) wore their trousers too low, which invariably spoiled what might otherwise have been a decent outfit.

Quite disliked the liturgy--all in the modern English used by the Episcopal Church, which I left over doctrinal matters 29 years ago. Insofar as I have any religious leanings these days, I am a 1928 Prayer Book/King James man!

Anyway, hope this is of some interest.
 

Horace

Senior Member
Sir,

Horrible to hear about the unfastened DB coat.

Say, what news of your son -- I heard that he had strayed from the Trad fold or had no interest. Is it not imperative that we sort the young man out -- get him in button-downs before it's too late?
 

JLibourel

Honors Member and King Fop
quote:Originally posted by Horace

Sir,

Horrible to hear about the unfastened DB coat.

Say, what news of your son -- I heard that he had strayed from the Trad fold or had no interest. Is it not imperative that we sort the young man out -- get him in button-downs before it's too late?

There is hope for the lad (who is actually my stepson). I just checked out his wardrobe, and half his collared shirts are button-downs. He was actually one of the better turned out males there--midnight blue pinstripe suit, black A-E Hancocks, an ivory and blue Canali tie of mine he borrowed over my objections that it was too festive for a memorial service and the ivory matched poorly with his white cotton pique shirt. However, his ensemble was certainly not classically Trad, I fear. He is active in a fraternity, Kappa Sigma, that has strong Southern affiliations, so he may yet get into "Southern Trad." When I see packages from Ben Silver starting to arrive, I'll know what's happening!
 

Kav

Inactive user
It's sad to watch the church tear itself apart. My 3 years schooling gave me a good foundation and sanctuary after my parent's violent divorce. It provided an appreciation, but not the perceived snobbery of 'High Church' and if I didn't grasp doctrine the mysticism of ritual made up for those shortcomings. It's ironic, the liberal faction has given spiritual home to gays unwelcome in others and the conservatives lost something so long ago with the modern liturgy et al they really don't know how to handle this scism. I've been studying Eastern Orthodoxy since my romanian girlfriend looks like a keeper. Ironically I'm meeting all these former anglicans. It's fascinating both historically and culturally. An ex episcopalian priest became an orthodox monk and we have long talks passing for catechism.He says the Catholic Church kept it's mind but lost it's soul, while Orthodoxy lost it's mind but kept the soul. All I've accepted so far without reservation is the food is terrific, as were the russian and greek churches I attended in the past, the liturgy in a language I barely have a glimmer of understanding is like the old magic of latin and mystical invitation of the senses with incense, candles and icons is rich. AND THEY HAVE A DRESS CODE! It definitely beats my former california blonde bombshell with her born again, guitar abusing, Reader's Digest Bible thumping, you have demons possessing you but stay and help fold the chairs in our coffeeshop ministry moron pharisees. But I forgive them- the louts:D
 

Leon

Senior Member
Kav,

Have you read The Orthodox Way, and The Orthodox Church by Timothy/ Kallistos Ware?

Both are a marvellous education in Orthodoxy.

Leon
 

Kav

Inactive user
"The Dragon is the cosmopolitan of impossibilities" I discovered G.K. in the Alameda California Public Library, a marveous old granite and polished staircased tomb with an eternal light for the WW1 dead and an entryway display of Lilian Gish with a autographed ' love to you all' photo. The librarian looked as dried out as some of the vellum bound collections with pinc nez glasses. When I asked for something different she pointed upstairs and said G.K. Chesterton, but no sliding down the bannisters afterwards. 4 hours later I did slide down the bannister with 5 of his works- all first editions.She looked up and said " they all do that." I replied "angels can fly , because they take things lightly." :D
 

Kav

Inactive user
Leon, I have Ware's books on order from a monastery! It seemed more apropos than going to Borders with some fusion jazz guitarist trying to hard in the coffeeshop and kids screaming for Harry Potter. Not that I don't like Harry and good jazz[8D]
 

Acct2000

Connoisseur - Moderator
Sorry about the funeral, Jan, but at least the people attending were willing to show their respect and thought more about the occaision than their own comfort.
 

Trimmer

Super Member
quote:Originally posted by Leon

Kav,

Have you read The Orthodox Way, and The Orthodox Church by Timothy/ Kallistos Ware?

Both are a marvellous education in Orthodoxy.

Leon

If you do not already know it you might also want to look out for the work of Metropolitan Antony Bloom on prayer.

Trimmer
 

Joe Frances

Super Member
Memorial services aside, and this one sounds as if it were very interesting, in ways other than the sartorial, how does one with a serious taste in clothes survive in SoCal?

Joe
 

JLibourel

Honors Member and King Fop
quote:Originally posted by Joe Frances

Memorial services aside, and this one sounds as if it were very interesting, in ways other than the sartorial, how does one with a serious taste in clothes survive in SoCal?

Joe

By being willing to stand out boldly!:D
 

Hugh Morrison

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
A shame about the 'cornish pasty' shoes worn with formal outfits. I think nowadays most men distinguish only between trainers and all other shoes. I quite often see things like heavy waxed boots worn with dinner jackets, for example.

Some years ago through work I met HRH the Duke of Gloucester, who is about as 'trad' as you can get, and he was wearing a nice DB grey pinstripe suit, but with some bizarre looking chunky rubber soled pasty shoes. Bizarrely, he or his batman had 'bulled up' the toes, army style, to a high, cracked gloss...!

'The casual idea is the triumph of misguided egalitarianism. By playing to the desire to seem non-judgmental, the Slob has succeeded in forcing his tastes on the world at large (because to object to inappropriate dress would be judgmental)'- Patrick07690
 

ChubbyTiger

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
quote:He says the Catholic Church kept it's mind but lost it's soul, while Orthodoxy lost it's mind but kept the soul.

I think there's a nugget of truth in there. I have some hopes that the schism of 1054 can be fixed. Hopefully that would fix more problems than in the would create.

Either way, it's nice to hear that some people take respect seriously, especially at a funeral.

CT
 

JLibourel

Honors Member and King Fop
quote:Originally posted by Hugh Morrison

A shame about the 'cornish pasty' shoes worn with formal outfits. I think nowadays most men distinguish only between trainers and all other shoes. I quite often see things like heavy waxed boots worn with dinner jackets, for example.

"Heavy waxed boots worn with dinner jackets...??!! And to think that most of us would regard a pair of highly polished captoe bals as being horribly subpar in that role!

That hybrid looks reminds me of the "grub" nights at my prep school (public school to our friends across the Pond), which was a ranch school in the middle of nowhere. Every evening for chapel and dinner we had to dress decently--coat and tie, decent shoes and slacks. However, when it rained, it turned the campus into a sea of mud, whereupon a "grub night" was proclaimed. You still had to wear coat and tie, but you could mate them with jeans (or khakis, in my case) and boots to negotiate the mud!
 

winn

New Member
I've been studying Eastern Orthodoxy since my romanian girlfriend looks like a keeper. Ironically I'm meeting all these former anglicans. (kav, 22 January 2006)

My exposure to Orthodoxy has been through my godsons and their parents, whose faith journey been: evangelical church -> Episcopal church -> Orthodox church (OCA - Orthodox Church of America). It's not for me and where I am at spiritually (still quite at home in the Episcopal church), but I respect and can understand why they have gone this way.

Writings on Orthodoxy to check out: Frederica Matthewes-Greene, and Franky Schaeffer (son of theologian Francis Schaeffer - the latter being one of my favorite theologians.)

Note: Whenever I see them, I say to my buddy: "You have an awesome responsibility. You are the father of my godsons."

Cheers,
Winn
 

Gurdon

Moderator
My late father-in-law was an Episcopalian priest and theologian. He was quite interested in Orthodox liturgy.

Other serious Episcopalians of my acquaintence have been similarly interested in the eastern church. It seems to offer a spiritual engagement or dimension apparently somewhat lacking in the Episcopal Church. It must be said, however, that other serious Episcopalians of my acquaintence have found spiritual homes among the evangelicals and charismatics, for, I believe, similar reasons.

I read William James's Varieties of Religious Experience a few years ago and found it very informative. I think, from what I've read in this thread, others might find it interesting. Likewise, Hostaedtler's(sp) works on the Amish and Mennonites would, I think, be of interest to some who have posted here. (The Amish loose members who are attracted by the fervor of their spirituality to evangelical denominations.)

I think the contrast between Mardi Gras revelry and Shrove Tuesday pancake suppers in the rectory might also shed some light on the appeal to Episcopalians of religions that have some spirit to them.

As a culturally Episcopalian non-believer, I find familiar ritual, and incense, suffecient. Religious fervor makes me uncomfortable. And, I do like pancakes.

Regards,
Gurdon
 

Hugh Morrison

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
a culturally Episcopalian non-believer

Nice turn of phrase. We're known as 'tribal Anglicans' in England, what few of us are left!

'The casual idea is the triumph of misguided egalitarianism. By playing to the desire to seem non-judgmental, the Slob has succeeded in forcing his tastes on the world at large (because to object to inappropriate dress would be judgmental)'- Patrick07690
 

JLibourel

Honors Member and King Fop
A term I have heard and thought apt for "culturally Episcopalian non-believers" or "tribal Anglicans" is "Shinto Episcopalians"--people who practice Episcopaliantity because it is or, more accurately, was the religion of their ancestors and an elegant, graceful, easygoing way to pay one's respects to the Almighty even if one did not fully accept the Athanasian Creed and whatnot. My wife's parents were Episcopalians of that stripe.

However, the contemporary Episcopal Church in the USA has been so infected with a lust for "modernity" and social activist radicalism, has jettisoned its beautiful and traditional liturgy and embraced (in large measure) the dubious contemporary enthusiasm for feminism and homophilia. Thus, there is little left for those who want to pay respects to the gracious faith of their forefathers.

The "Continuing Anglican" movement, with which I was intimately involved for many years is not a terribly attractive alternative-- Rigid, sectarian, fissiparous and all too often led by amateurish, ill-trained priests presiding over diminutive, aging congregations worshiping in the chapels of funeral parlors and the like.

Sometimes I think I would like to go back to regular practice of some form of historic Christianity. There has been a lot of discussion of Eastern Orthodoxy in this thread. I have considered Orthodoxy at various times in my life. Not being a Greek, Russian, Syrian or whatever, it has always seemed rather too "tribal" for my taste. I realize there are a few "non-ethnic" Orthodox congregations here and there. I still dislike the repudiation of the whole Western Christian heritage post-1054 as well as repudiating all the sacraments I ever received as an Anglican.
 
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