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Author Topic: Could Orthodox make their own ashes at home?  (Read 1216 times) Average Rating: 0
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Delphine
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« on: February 23, 2012, 03:49:32 PM »

On the "Happy Ash Wednesday" thread, this conversation occurred:

I attended the local Catholic parish today and received ashes.

Probably not in the spirit of the thread, but this seems odd to me.  Why would you do this?

Because there are certain traditions of the West that I hold dear to my heart, and Ash Wednesday is one of those. If there were a local WRO parish, I would've went there instead, but unfortunately that is not the case.

If ashes are available in Western Rite churches, how would Orthodox feel about making their own ashes for the start of Lent? Meredith Gould describes this on pages 64 and 65 of The Catholic Home:

Quote from: The Catholic Home
Celebrating this ritual at church is encouraged but not required. You can - and may - do this at home; indeed, you may have the entire ceremony at home with family or friends (....) Invite everyone to make the sign of the Cross, then say a few opening words to create context, and read Psalm 90 or Isaiah 58:5-10. 

To create the ashes, remove last year's palm fronds from the cross in your bedroom, and burn them carefully in a well-ventilated place--these blessed palms produce wicked fumes. Next, lightly sprinkle with holy water, and mix ashes with a miniscule bit of oil so they'll stick.

To distribute the ashes, use your thumb to make the sign of the Cross as you recite "All come from dust, and to dust all return" (Ecclesiastes 3:20). Or "Turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel" (Mark 1:15). "

Does this look acceptable from an Orthodox viewpoint? Catholics, what do you think of the idea of celebrating Ash Wednesday at home?
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« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2012, 03:54:47 PM »

Now, why would you want to do this?

Did the Apostles give out ashes?

Is outrage!  Roll Eyes
« Last Edit: February 23, 2012, 03:55:43 PM by Maria » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2012, 04:34:09 PM »

Now, why would you want to do this?

Did the Apostles give out ashes?

Is outrage!  Roll Eyes
haha. Thanks, that made me smile.
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« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2012, 05:37:19 PM »

Now, why would you want to do this?

Did the Apostles give out ashes?

Is outrage!  Roll Eyes

Heh, does this mean that I'm overthinking this? I'm not sure what Orthodox typically do with their palms.
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« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2012, 05:46:00 PM »

Since Orthodox Lent doesn't begin with Ash Wednesday, but Clean Monday (after Forgiveness Sunday), we could get quite confused by Ash Wednesday.
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« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2012, 05:47:44 PM »

Normally, we would keep the blessed palms in our icon corner.

When they get dried and fragile, then we bury the blessed flowers, laurel leaves, and palms in the garden where no animals and humans will normally trod. Usually under a bush. This is an ask your priest question as some priests will burn these blessed items and then bury the ashes in the ground under a bush.
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« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2012, 05:48:33 PM »

Now, why would you want to do this?

Did the Apostles give out ashes?

Is outrage!  Roll Eyes

Heh, does this mean that I'm overthinking this? I'm not sure what Orthodox typically do with their palms.

I wonder if the Western Rite Orthodox have an Ash Wednesday?
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« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2012, 05:52:51 PM »

wiki says this

The Eastern Orthodox Church does not, in general, observe Ash Wednesday; instead, Orthodox Great Lent begins on Clean Monday. There are, however, a relatively small number of Orthodox Christians who follow the Western Rite; these do observe Ash Wednesday, although often on a different day from the previously mentioned denominations, as its date is determined from the Orthodox calculation of Pascha, which may be as much as a month later than the Western observance of Easter.
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« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2012, 05:53:00 PM »

Now, why would you want to do this?

Did the Apostles give out ashes?

Is outrage!  Roll Eyes

Heh, does this mean that I'm overthinking this? I'm not sure what Orthodox typically do with their palms.

I wonder if the Western Rite Orthodox have an Ash Wednesday?

Yes.  See here: http://www.stjohnbaptistorthodox.org/
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« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2012, 05:58:27 PM »

Now, why would you want to do this?

Did the Apostles give out ashes?

Is outrage!  Roll Eyes

Heh, does this mean that I'm overthinking this? I'm not sure what Orthodox typically do with their palms.

I remember one of more awesome members starting a thread about this . . .

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,35342.msg557155.html#msg557155
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« Reply #10 on: February 23, 2012, 06:02:04 PM »

Soap your head and wash your face. 
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« Reply #11 on: February 23, 2012, 06:03:52 PM »

Since Orthodox Lent doesn't begin with Ash Wednesday, but Clean Monday (after Forgiveness Sunday), we could get quite confused by Ash Wednesday.

Well, I think Ash Wednesday is technically called a day of ashes. Smiley It's always a Wednesday in the West, but couldn't you do it whenever you start the fast?
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« Reply #12 on: February 23, 2012, 06:05:30 PM »

Now, why would you want to do this?

Did the Apostles give out ashes?

Is outrage!  Roll Eyes

Heh, does this mean that I'm overthinking this? I'm not sure what Orthodox typically do with their palms.

I remember one of more awesome members starting a thread about this . . .

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,35342.msg557155.html#msg557155

Awesome thread, orthonorm! I love threads that talk about the different customs out there.
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« Reply #13 on: February 23, 2012, 06:06:51 PM »

Soap your head and wash your face. 

 Huh Huh
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« Reply #14 on: February 23, 2012, 06:08:56 PM »

Soap your head and wash your face. 

 Huh Huh

He's referring to the Ash Wednesday Gospel reading:
http://usccb.org/bible/readings/022212.cfm
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« Reply #15 on: February 23, 2012, 06:14:15 PM »


Thanks!

"Anoint" now means "soap"?  I think that's what confused me.  Doesn't take much anymore  Wink.
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« Reply #16 on: February 23, 2012, 06:18:19 PM »


Thanks!

"Anoint" now means "soap"?  I think that's what confused me.  Doesn't take much anymore  Wink.

You are lathering yourself in oil, so to speak.

EDIT: We can go round in circles with ash being used in making soap if you so choose.
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« Reply #17 on: February 23, 2012, 06:21:32 PM »


Thanks!

"Anoint" now means "soap"?  I think that's what confused me.  Doesn't take much anymore  Wink.

You are lathering yourself in oil, so to speak.

Never heard of nor thought of it in *those* terms.  Learn somethin' new every day  Wink.  Evokes an interesting picture.

No disrespect to FrHLL, but, what a strange post.
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« Reply #18 on: February 23, 2012, 06:23:08 PM »


Thanks!

"Anoint" now means "soap"?  I think that's what confused me.  Doesn't take much anymore  Wink.

You are lathering yourself in oil, so to speak.

EDIT: We can go round in circles with ash being used in making soap if you so choose.

This thread gets weirder and weirder.
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« Reply #19 on: February 23, 2012, 06:24:21 PM »


Thanks!

"Anoint" now means "soap"?  I think that's what confused me.  Doesn't take much anymore  Wink.

You are lathering yourself in oil, so to speak.

Never heard of nor thought of it in *those* terms.  Learn somethin' new every day  Wink.  Evokes an interesting picture.

No disrespect to FrHLL, but, what a strange post.

Olive oil soap can be purchased locally.
I think Trader Joe's sells it.
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« Reply #20 on: February 23, 2012, 06:26:45 PM »


Thanks!

"Anoint" now means "soap"?  I think that's what confused me.  Doesn't take much anymore  Wink.

You are lathering yourself in oil, so to speak.

Never heard of nor thought of it in *those* terms.  Learn somethin' new every day  Wink.  Evokes an interesting picture.

No disrespect to FrHLL, but, what a strange post.

That's alright.  You have 27 strange posts as I have counted, and 34 semi-strange posts.   police
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« Reply #21 on: February 23, 2012, 06:28:02 PM »


Thanks!

"Anoint" now means "soap"?  I think that's what confused me.  Doesn't take much anymore  Wink.

You are lathering yourself in oil, so to speak.

Never heard of nor thought of it in *those* terms.  Learn somethin' new every day  Wink.  Evokes an interesting picture.

No disrespect to FrHLL, but, what a strange post.

Olive oil soap can be purchased locally.
I think Trader Joe's sells it.

Right, what do these people think people washed with, or the purpose of Christ saying this?   Cry
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« Reply #22 on: February 23, 2012, 06:30:06 PM »


Thanks!

"Anoint" now means "soap"?  I think that's what confused me.  Doesn't take much anymore  Wink.

You are lathering yourself in oil, so to speak.

Never heard of nor thought of it in *those* terms.  Learn somethin' new every day  Wink.  Evokes an interesting picture.

No disrespect to FrHLL, but, what a strange post.

That's alright.  You have 27 strange posts as I have counted, and 34 semi-strange posts.   police

Trust a priest to count the strange posts  Grin Grin.  I think you might, however, have missed 786 of mine that are either strange, semi-strange, or just plain weird  Grin Grin.  Keep countin' Fahder  Grin.
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« Reply #23 on: February 23, 2012, 06:31:02 PM »


Thanks!

"Anoint" now means "soap"?  I think that's what confused me.  Doesn't take much anymore  Wink.

You are lathering yourself in oil, so to speak.

Never heard of nor thought of it in *those* terms.  Learn somethin' new every day  Wink.  Evokes an interesting picture.

No disrespect to FrHLL, but, what a strange post.

Olive oil soap can be purchased locally.
I think Trader Joe's sells it.

Right, what do these people think people washed with, or the purpose of Christ saying this?   Cry

Well, olive oil soap from Trader Joe's, of course.  What else???
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« Reply #24 on: February 23, 2012, 06:31:34 PM »

^FYI I do acknowledge the pre-schism Gregorian practice in any case, but obviously prefer the earlier practice   Wink  
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« Reply #25 on: February 23, 2012, 06:40:12 PM »

^FYI I do acknowledge the pre-schism Gregorian practice in any case, but obviously prefer the earlier practice   Wink  

Father, I tried looking up the earlier practice, but other than its existence, I couldn't find a description. What are the differences?
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« Reply #26 on: February 23, 2012, 07:14:56 PM »

Soap your head and wash your face. 

My husband couldn't believe that the "wash your face" verse was read on Ash Wednesday. Didn't anyone see the irony?

I know that some people rub the ashes off once Mass is over, in order to not proclaim that they're fasting. However,  I was taught that the ashes should wear off naturally, since they had been blessed. I was also taught that the ashes weren't meant to show off the wearer's personal piety, or how grueling their personal fast is, but to be a witness to the beginning of Lent - a fasting period observed by the entire Church. 

When I see people wearing ashes, I don't think that they are showing off their personal fasting practices - it reminds me of my own mortality, and how much I truly need Christ. I think about this every time I think of my own ashes, and every time I look in the mirror. So its practice is really significant for me. 
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« Reply #27 on: February 23, 2012, 07:21:37 PM »

Soap your head and wash your face.  

My husband couldn't believe that the "wash your face" verse was read on Ash Wednesday. Didn't anyone see the irony?

I know that some people rub the ashes off once Mass is over, in order to not proclaim that they're fasting. However,  I was taught that the ashes should wear off naturally, since they had been blessed. I was also taught that the ashes weren't meant to show off the wearer's personal piety, or how grueling their personal fast is, but to be a witness to the beginning of Lent - a fasting period observed by the entire Church.

When I see people wearing ashes, I don't think that they are showing off their personal fasting practices - it reminds me of my own mortality, and how much I truly need Christ. I think about this every time I think of my own ashes, and every time I look in the mirror. So its practice is really significant for me.

When I was in Catholic Elementary school, I remember one of the little boys asking the nun about "wash your face."
She took it as a sign of impudence and set him in a corner for time out.

Yes, it was always ironic to hear that verse.

Today, with the immodest dress and inappropriate conversations, wearing those ash spots can be more of a scandal.
Fasting in secret is a better idea.

Forgive me a sinner.
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« Reply #28 on: February 23, 2012, 07:40:31 PM »

When I was in Catholic Elementary school, I remember one of the little boys asking the nun about "wash your face."
She took it as a sign of impudence and set him in a corner for time out.

Sad That's very sad. Fortunately, I've been surrounded by people who are willing to indulge my questions.

Yes, it was always ironic to hear that verse.

Today, with the immodest dress and inappropriate conversations, wearing those ash spots can be more of a scandal.
Fasting in secret is a better idea.

Forgive me a sinner.

Then it seems they've forgotten their ashes already. Or they haven't, and they are really struggling. Or something else.

People with immodest dress and inappropriate conversations will also wear crosses around their necks, but I wouldn't take that away from them.
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« Reply #29 on: February 23, 2012, 08:50:30 PM »

When I was in Catholic Elementary school, I remember one of the little boys asking the nun about "wash your face."
She took it as a sign of impudence and set him in a corner for time out.

Sad That's very sad. Fortunately, I've been surrounded by people who are willing to indulge my questions.

Yes, it was always ironic to hear that verse.

Today, with the immodest dress and inappropriate conversations, wearing those ash spots can be more of a scandal.
Fasting in secret is a better idea.

Forgive me a sinner.

Then it seems they've forgotten their ashes already. Or they haven't, and they are really struggling. Or something else.

People with immodest dress and inappropriate conversations will also wear crosses around their necks, but I wouldn't take that away from them.

Several Orthodox Bishops have said that laypersons, both men and women, should not wear huge crosses as jewelry. Orthodox Bishops do wear the large pectoral crosses, but they have a heavy cross to bear in rightly dividing the word of the truth.
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« Reply #30 on: February 23, 2012, 09:17:46 PM »

Soap your head and wash your face. 

My husband couldn't believe that the "wash your face" verse was read on Ash Wednesday. Didn't anyone see the irony?

I know that some people rub the ashes off once Mass is over, in order to not proclaim that they're fasting. However,  I was taught that the ashes should wear off naturally, since they had been blessed. I was also taught that the ashes weren't meant to show off the wearer's personal piety, or how grueling their personal fast is, but to be a witness to the beginning of Lent - a fasting period observed by the entire Church. 

When I see people wearing ashes, I don't think that they are showing off their personal fasting practices - it reminds me of my own mortality, and how much I truly need Christ. I think about this every time I think of my own ashes, and every time I look in the mirror. So its practice is really significant for me. 

It would make more sense to smear the ashes the day before and wipe them off the day of if you are going to do it.  Many doubt that it originated with St. Gregory, but it was widespread in the west before the schism ensued.  Prior to this, anointing with oil on Sunday evening (i.e. the evening belonging liturgically to Clean Monday) and washing with a sponge (also reminding one of chrismation) was performed.  Some say that there is no evidence that there were not ashes mixed in with the oil.  While this is true, there is no reason to believe that there was, especially since the ash practice and the move from Monday to Wednesday was clearly a "change" that the west had made from its earlier practice which was not solidified until the 11th century. 
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« Reply #31 on: February 23, 2012, 10:03:42 PM »

Well, I think that it would matter who's ashes one used.
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« Reply #32 on: February 23, 2012, 10:10:50 PM »


Thanks!

"Anoint" now means "soap"?  I think that's what confused me.  Doesn't take much anymore  Wink.

You are lathering yourself in oil, so to speak.

Never heard of nor thought of it in *those* terms.  Learn somethin' new every day  Wink.  Evokes an interesting picture.

No disrespect to FrHLL, but, what a strange post.

That's alright.  You have 27 strange posts as I have counted, and 34 semi-strange posts.   police

Trust a priest to count the strange posts  Grin Grin.  I think you might, however, have missed 786 of mine that are either strange, semi-strange, or just plain weird  Grin Grin.  Keep countin' Fahder  Grin.

Sounds like a good start to Lent my friend.  Stay humble and be well! 
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« Reply #33 on: February 23, 2012, 10:11:32 PM »

Well, I think that it would matter who's ashes one used.

Good point, but don't give anyone any ideas...   
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« Reply #34 on: February 23, 2012, 10:25:05 PM »


Thanks!

"Anoint" now means "soap"?  I think that's what confused me.  Doesn't take much anymore  Wink.

You are lathering yourself in oil, so to speak.

Never heard of nor thought of it in *those* terms.  Learn somethin' new every day  Wink.  Evokes an interesting picture.

No disrespect to FrHLL, but, what a strange post.

I don't get what's strange about FatherHLL's post.  Huh
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« Reply #35 on: February 23, 2012, 10:26:58 PM »

On the "Happy Ash Wednesday" thread, this conversation occurred:

I attended the local Catholic parish today and received ashes.

Probably not in the spirit of the thread, but this seems odd to me.  Why would you do this?

Because there are certain traditions of the West that I hold dear to my heart, and Ash Wednesday is one of those. If there were a local WRO parish, I would've went there instead, but unfortunately that is not the case.

If ashes are available in Western Rite churches, how would Orthodox feel about making their own ashes for the start of Lent? Meredith Gould describes this on pages 64 and 65 of The Catholic Home:

Quote from: The Catholic Home
Celebrating this ritual at church is encouraged but not required. You can - and may - do this at home; indeed, you may have the entire ceremony at home with family or friends (....) Invite everyone to make the sign of the Cross, then say a few opening words to create context, and read Psalm 90 or Isaiah 58:5-10. 

To create the ashes, remove last year's palm fronds from the cross in your bedroom, and burn them carefully in a well-ventilated place--these blessed palms produce wicked fumes. Next, lightly sprinkle with holy water, and mix ashes with a miniscule bit of oil so they'll stick.

To distribute the ashes, use your thumb to make the sign of the Cross as you recite "All come from dust, and to dust all return" (Ecclesiastes 3:20). Or "Turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel" (Mark 1:15). "

Does this look acceptable from an Orthodox viewpoint? Catholics, what do you think of the idea of celebrating Ash Wednesday at home?

This is the first time I've heard of that practice.
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« Reply #36 on: February 23, 2012, 11:32:28 PM »

Soap your head and wash your face. 

My husband couldn't believe that the "wash your face" verse was read on Ash Wednesday. Didn't anyone see the irony?

I know that some people rub the ashes off once Mass is over, in order to not proclaim that they're fasting. However,  I was taught that the ashes should wear off naturally, since they had been blessed. I was also taught that the ashes weren't meant to show off the wearer's personal piety, or how grueling their personal fast is, but to be a witness to the beginning of Lent - a fasting period observed by the entire Church. 

When I see people wearing ashes, I don't think that they are showing off their personal fasting practices - it reminds me of my own mortality, and how much I truly need Christ. I think about this every time I think of my own ashes, and every time I look in the mirror. So its practice is really significant for me. 

It would make more sense to smear the ashes the day before and wipe them off the day of if you are going to do it.  Many doubt that it originated with St. Gregory, but it was widespread in the west before the schism ensued.  Prior to this, anointing with oil on Sunday evening (i.e. the evening belonging liturgically to Clean Monday) and washing with a sponge (also reminding one of chrismation) was performed.  Some say that there is no evidence that there were not ashes mixed in with the oil.  While this is true, there is no reason to believe that there was, especially since the ash practice and the move from Monday to Wednesday was clearly a "change" that the west had made from its earlier practice which was not solidified until the 11th century. 

Thank you for this information, Father.
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« Reply #37 on: February 23, 2012, 11:40:17 PM »

When I was in Catholic Elementary school, I remember one of the little boys asking the nun about "wash your face."
She took it as a sign of impudence and set him in a corner for time out.

Sad That's very sad. Fortunately, I've been surrounded by people who are willing to indulge my questions.

Yes, it was always ironic to hear that verse.

Today, with the immodest dress and inappropriate conversations, wearing those ash spots can be more of a scandal.
Fasting in secret is a better idea.

Forgive me a sinner.

Then it seems they've forgotten their ashes already. Or they haven't, and they are really struggling. Or something else.

People with immodest dress and inappropriate conversations will also wear crosses around their necks, but I wouldn't take that away from them.

Several Orthodox Bishops have said that laypersons, both men and women, should not wear huge crosses as jewelry. Orthodox Bishops do wear the large pectoral crosses, but they have a heavy cross to bear in rightly dividing the word of the truth.

My gut reaction to this was, "Of course laypeople shouldn't wear huge crosses!" Whoops. I guess this goes to show that the manner the cross is displayed is important. Smiley

Although if a person was new or inexperienced in the faith, I wouldn't fault them for trying to wear a large cross. At least they're trying.
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« Reply #38 on: February 23, 2012, 11:56:39 PM »

FYI, this year's Orthodox Ash Wednesday for the Western Rite will be on February 29th, because of our different calculation of Pascha.
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« Reply #39 on: February 24, 2012, 12:05:17 AM »

FYI, this year's Orthodox Ash Wednesday for the Western Rite will be on February 29th, because of our different calculation of Pascha.


Thank you! 
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« Reply #40 on: February 24, 2012, 12:37:48 AM »

You mean like do it yourself cremation?
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« Reply #41 on: February 24, 2012, 03:59:36 AM »

You mean like do it yourself cremation?

Shhhhh! Do not give anyone any ideas.

~~~~~

Oh, true story:

A dear Greek Orthodox lady came running up the stairs to the choir loft exclaiming:
My daughter-in-law was just cremated.
We looked at her in horror, and then someone said:

I think you meant to say that she was chrismated, didn't you?
She smiled, and none of us could suppress a laugh.
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« Reply #42 on: February 24, 2012, 10:54:14 AM »

You mean like do it yourself cremation?

Shhhhh! Do not give anyone any ideas.

~~~~~

Oh, true story:

A dear Greek Orthodox lady came running up the stairs to the choir loft exclaiming:
My daughter-in-law was just cremated.
We looked at her in horror, and then someone said:

I think you meant to say that she was chrismated, didn't you?
She smiled, and none of us could suppress a laugh.

 laugh laugh laugh laugh laugh **breathes**  laugh laugh laugh laugh laugh
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« Reply #43 on: February 24, 2012, 12:48:23 PM »

Now, why would you want to do this?

Did the Apostles give out ashes?

Is outrage!  Roll Eyes

Apostles only gave out Willows, palms, ESS OUTRAGE
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« Reply #44 on: February 24, 2012, 12:57:26 PM »

Now, why would you want to do this?

Did the Apostles give out ashes?

Is outrage!  Roll Eyes

Did the Apostles use prayer ropes or chotkis made by monks on Mt. Athos?

Is outrage  Grin  Roll Eyes!
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