According to Orthodox teaching, the cutting of the beard is a serious sin and a transgression. It is strictly prohibited by the Old Testament (Leviticus, 19:27; 2nd Kings, 10:1; 1st Chronicles, 19:4). It is also prohibited by the 96th canon of the 6th Ecumenical Council, by St. Epiphanios, bishop of Cyprus, St. Cyril, archbishop of Alexandria, blessed Theodoret of Antioch and St. Isidore the Pelusiot. See also the Pandects, word 37, and the Penitentiary, canon 174. The holy fathers hold it that those who cut their beards express discontentment with their appearance...
Hooks or znamena are the symbols used by Russia’s Church in place of notes for inscribing hymns. Znamena (or, standards) derive from the notations used in the early Byzantine (Roman) Empire. Each hook (or, kryuk) denotes a sequence of relative tonalities. In the 17th century, cinnabaric (red) ticks above the hooks came into use to denote the exact pitch level. Hooks are still used by old-believers, whereas the mainstream Russian Orthodox Church abandoned them in the 17th - 18th centuries.
The question of proper Christian dress has deep literary roots. Many of the apostolic and holy fathers, commenting on the garb befitting a Christian, have assigned this seemingly private issue public significance. According to the 81st Canon of the Sixth Ecumenical Council, if one dons unseemly robes or dresses contrary to custom, one is to be anathematized.
Worship bows are a manifestation of our adoration for God, our Lord, of His Holy Mother and of His saints. Old-believer devotion knows three kinds of bows, as they existed in Russia’s Church before the 17th century schism. You will find a reference to bows in, Son of the Church, a 17th century instruction to neophytes. The first, ordinary bow is a slight inclination of the head to the breast; the second, intermediate bow is made to the waist; the last, or deepest bow is a prostration.