Maria wrote:It took me a while to appreciate Orthodox Christianity and to accept its traditions and praxis without question.
when one realizes the Muslim influence on the East, then one might recoil at the imposition of the Muslim long black dress (ryassa) and fez (klobouk) now worn by monastics of the East.
When was the ryassa changed? What did it look like before?
If I am not mistaken, Christians before advent of Mohammed used to wear tunics much like Christ wore. Our Lady the Theotokos wore long robes and a double veil as did the Jewish and Christian women of that time. There was an inner hair covering and then the long veil which was attached to the inner veil. However, with the conquest of Islam, the Christians were forced to wear black robes and veils much as they do today on certain Filipino islands.
We know that the early Christian clergy wore vestments because in the Acts of the Apostles, St. Peter prayed when an elderly woman died and she was resurrected. The women showed St. Peter the beautiful vestments that this woman had made.