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Author Topic: Smoking in Greek Churches?  (Read 802 times) Average Rating: 0
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Robb
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« on: April 19, 2013, 11:33:58 PM »

Can anybody tell me if its true that some Greek Orthodox parishes
Used to allow some parishioner's to smoke in the church during the DL, andeven had ash trays layed out in the pews for them?
« Last Edit: April 19, 2013, 11:35:31 PM by Robb » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2013, 11:37:55 PM »

I've seen folks smoke outside the church (of whatever ethnicity/jurisdiction) many a time over the past 50 years, but never have I come across smoking within a church, let alone ashtrays provided.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2013, 11:38:11 PM by LBK » Logged
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« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2013, 07:05:12 AM »

I wonder if it happened in the church hall, after liturgy. I've never seen it in a church itself, and I'm sure they're non-smoking now. I can't imagine allowing that during the liturgy.
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« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2013, 11:23:46 AM »

I've seen it in my current church within the social hall in the basement. But I seriously doubt they'd allow smoking in the nave, ever, even 50-70 years ago...
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« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2013, 08:04:34 PM »

Over a half century of being in the East, I've never yet seen an Eastern or Oriental temple, Orthodox or Catholic, where smoking wasn't rampant - often conducted immediately outside the exterior doors, even during Divine Liturgy, but I have never seen one in which it was allowed inside, other than in a downstairs parish hall.

Many years,

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« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2013, 08:36:09 PM »

The only thing I can think of is smoking marijuana before morning liturgy to induce a religious experience.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2013, 08:36:30 PM by WPM » Logged
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« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2013, 08:48:10 PM »

Can anybody tell me if its true that some Greek Orthodox parishes
Used to allow some parishioner's to smoke in the church during the DL, andeven had ash trays layed out in the pews for them?

If you do not mind, I would be very much interested to know the source for this.
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« Reply #7 on: April 20, 2013, 11:12:01 PM »

Can anybody tell me if its true that some Greek Orthodox parishes
Used to allow some parishioner's to smoke in the church during the DL, andeven had ash trays layed out in the pews for them?

If you do not mind, I would be very much interested to know the source for this.

I would also like to know the source as this sounds like disinformation.

p.s. Wesley, please obtain some oil from the shrine of St. Nectarios. He has healed many.
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« Reply #8 on: April 20, 2013, 11:36:19 PM »

The website of one local Orthodox Church states that all would-be communicants must fast from smoking, as well as food and drink, prior to DL. From a such a perspective (aside from the health issues), smoking during DL would be as unthinkable as consuming food and drink in church prior to communing.

No one at my Orthodox parish smokes that I know of, but I've seen plenty of people in non-Orthodox churches light up as soon as they are out the church doors.  I've never heard of people smoking in a church though, of any Christian tradition.
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« Reply #9 on: April 21, 2013, 03:14:03 AM »

So anyone got a source yet? This is important to know, seeing as I may be taking up the art of cigar smoking when I turn 18 in a year.
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« Reply #10 on: April 21, 2013, 05:41:18 AM »

Can anybody tell me if its true that some Greek Orthodox parishes
Used to allow some parishioner's to smoke in the church during the DL, andeven had ash trays layed out in the pews for them?

I know a few Serbs who told me it was not uncommon for men to smoke in the church back in the day. I've never heard of it happening in a Greek church though (just outside is another thing). The idea of ashtrays being laid out in the pews sounds a bit far fetched though.
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« Reply #11 on: April 21, 2013, 06:28:46 AM »

So anyone got a source yet? This is important to know, seeing as I may be taking up the art of cigar smoking when I turn 18 in a year.

Why is it important to know whether some churches used to allow smoking ages ago or not? They don't allow it now. (And in Greece, they never did.) End of story.
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« Reply #12 on: April 21, 2013, 07:13:00 AM »

Roman Catholicism used to allow it.

To the OP:
I know a few Serbs who told me it was not uncommon for men to smoke in the church back in the day.


"In" or "in froont of"?
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« Reply #13 on: April 22, 2013, 05:01:25 PM »

Can anybody tell me if its true that some Greek Orthodox parishes
Used to allow some parishioner's to smoke in the church during the DL, andeven had ash trays layed out in the pews for them?

If you do not mind, I would be very much interested to know the source for this.

I would also like to know the source as this sounds like disinformation.

p.s. Wesley, please obtain some oil from the shrine of St. Nectarios. He has healed many.

We don't have a St. Nectarios shrine in the area/vicinity. But thanks! <wave>
« Last Edit: April 22, 2013, 05:03:04 PM by WPM » Logged
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« Reply #14 on: April 22, 2013, 05:24:59 PM »

I have never seen this nor have heard of it in Istanbul, Turkey, or in any of the US cities that I have lived/visited that had an Orthodox Church.
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« Reply #15 on: April 22, 2013, 05:57:30 PM »

The only thing I can think of is smoking marijuana before morning liturgy to induce a religious experience.

Cretinism and breaking an Eucharistic fast.
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« Reply #16 on: April 22, 2013, 06:00:51 PM »

An Armenian priest smoking hookah in Jerusalem:

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« Reply #17 on: April 22, 2013, 06:10:08 PM »

An Armenian priest smoking hookah in Jerusalem:



With fez and djellaba? Is he wearing civilian clothes or did all Armenian clergy used to wear like that?
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« Reply #18 on: April 22, 2013, 06:38:30 PM »

Can anybody tell me if its true that some Greek Orthodox parishes
Used to allow some parishioner's to smoke in the church during the DL, andeven had ash trays layed out in the pews for them?

I know a few Serbs who told me it was not uncommon for men to smoke in the church back in the day. I've never heard of it happening in a Greek church though (just outside is another thing). The idea of ashtrays being laid out in the pews sounds a bit far fetched though.
I honestly doubt that to be the case...I know priests that smoke but never in the church.  I know of Orthodox monk who would equate smoking to idolatry. I think that he is not far away from the truth...
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« Reply #19 on: April 22, 2013, 06:48:29 PM »

An Armenian priest smoking hookah in Jerusalem:



With fez and djellaba? Is he wearing civilian clothes or did all Armenian clergy used to wear like that?

According to Wikipedia, he is an Armenian priest from the Armenian Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem. Maybe his cassock is under his Jellabiya?
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« Reply #20 on: April 22, 2013, 08:28:59 PM »

The only thing I can think of is smoking marijuana before morning liturgy to induce a religious experience.

Cretinism and breaking an Eucharistic fast.

B/c we don't know about the fasting  instructions for food recipes.
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« Reply #21 on: April 23, 2013, 12:41:49 AM »

So anyone got a source yet? This is important to know, seeing as I may be taking up the art of cigar smoking when I turn 18 in a year.

Keep in mind that cigars and pipes are still REALLY BAD for your health.
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« Reply #22 on: April 23, 2013, 05:14:41 PM »

I heard that Mtrpolitan Anthony Bashir of the Antiochean Church was know for his smoking cigars! Seems possible that bishops and priests may have taken a puff or two before the Divine Liturgy. Seems pretty normal for priests in Italy.
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« Reply #23 on: April 23, 2013, 05:26:57 PM »

Seems possible that bishops and priests may have taken a puff or two before the Divine Liturgy.

Not possible.
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« Reply #24 on: April 26, 2013, 12:04:52 AM »

I have never seen this nor have heard of it in Istanbul, Turkey, or in any of the US cities that I have lived/visited that had an Orthodox Church.

I have not seen it in many OCA churches, seminary or otherwise.
I've never seen it in any monasteries - including on Athos
I've never seen it in any convents.
I've never seen it in any Greek Orthodox Churches
I've never seen it in any ROCOR churches
I've never seen it an any ROC churches

The only times I've seen Orthodox Christians smoking is on their own leisure or outside, but never before liturgy.
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« Reply #25 on: April 26, 2013, 08:26:41 AM »

"In" or "in froont of"?

In, though I'm not suggesting it was widespread (I think it was more in the villages), nor that it still happens today. It's just what Serbian friends have told me.
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« Reply #26 on: April 26, 2013, 08:35:42 AM »

With fez and djellaba? Is he wearing civilian clothes or did all Armenian clergy used to wear like that?
Looks like normal civilian clothing in the Ottoman Empire.
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« Reply #27 on: April 26, 2013, 10:47:50 AM »

There is a folklore tradition in Bukovyna (an area inhabited by Orthodox Ukrainians and Romanians)in the Carpathians that smoking (the smoke) was associated with dragons, symbols of the demon so smoking was not allowed on church property including cemeteries.
Also any tobacco imported in the old days usually came from Turkey, another bad association for the Orthodox.
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« Reply #28 on: April 26, 2013, 11:00:02 AM »

St. Nicodemus, in his Handbook of Spiritual Counsel, has a rather humorous section about why clergy shouldn't smoke. You can read it here
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« Reply #29 on: May 07, 2013, 07:25:58 PM »

That would also be looking for the recipe for THC-marijuana brownies and cookies.
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« Reply #30 on: May 07, 2013, 08:04:11 PM »

I've seen folks smoke outside the church (of whatever ethnicity/jurisdiction) many a time over the past 50 years, but never have I come across smoking within a church, let alone ashtrays provided.

They must have missed being whacked by babushki.

According to the holy canons, you can only smoke in church on days on which you can bring your cocktail from the social club bar into the sanctuary. Apparently, such days are connected to end times prophecies, for when hell is supposed to freeze over.
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« Reply #31 on: May 07, 2013, 08:10:27 PM »

"In" or "in froont of"?

In, though I'm not suggesting it was widespread (I think it was more in the villages), nor that it still happens today. It's just what Serbian friends have told me.

Seems they were following Nadab and Abihu.
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« Reply #32 on: May 08, 2013, 04:18:25 AM »


According to the holy canons, you can only smoke in church on days on which you can bring your cocktail from the social club bar into the sanctuary. Apparently, such days are connected to end times prophecies, for when hell is supposed to freeze over.

Unadulterated brilliance!  laugh laugh
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« Reply #33 on: May 08, 2013, 04:27:00 AM »

St. Nicodemus, in his Handbook of Spiritual Counsel, has a rather humorous section about why clergy shouldn't smoke. You can read it here

 laugh

that's great.
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