Monday, September 13, 2010


Last Tuesday, we new seminarians got to wear our podryasniki. For you non-Russians, a podryasnik is a (usually) black cassock that Orthodox clergy, monastics, and seminarians wear. In the Russian tradition, the podryasnik is a double-breasted, form-fitting garment. Seminarians at Jordanville wear the cassock with a black leather belt, just like the novice monks.

I‘d love to show you pictures of my cassock, but unfortunately, I am in want of a USB cord for my camera. Anyway, here are some tips for potential seminarians regarding the cassock, based on seven days of experience:
  • Any color will do, as long as it‘s black.
  • The novelty of wearing the podryasnik will wear off pretty quickly, especially if you‘re wearing a woolen cassock on a hot day.
  • Make sure to lift up the “skirt” when you go up stairs or make prostrations, so as not to step on your cassock and potentially cause yourself injury.
  • It might be a good idea to have two: one for summer (cotton) and one for winter (wool). I wear a wool cassock, which keeps me pretty warm on cool days. You can also get a cassock vest, if you want to look snazzy.
  • Don‘t fuss with it in church. It does not look good.
  • One of the novices here can sew. He might be able to adjust or repair your cassock, if he has time.
Above all, the podryasnik represents the new life of a seminarian. I pray that I wear it worthily.

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