Are there any "rules" forbidding the taking of photos during Divine Liturgy?
I've always taken photos. I try to be discreet and not interfere, but, when that Kodak moment happens, I wish to capture and share it.
So, today we had a substitute priest, as ours was away for the weekend, and I decided to take a photo of him. This priest has never been to our church and I thought he might like to have a photo to remember our parish.
I was at Liturgy at the very beginning, then had to run to the kitchen to start getting the food ready for the lunch after church. Had I been there, I would have taken a photo when he was reading the Gospel. However, I missed it. So, the next best opportunity was when he came out for Holy Communion. I tried to snap a photo when he appeared to give the blessing, but, by the time I raised the camera, he was gone.
So, when he came out with the Chalice, I took a couple of photos....as I often do. I've even taken photos of the kids talking Holy Communion when the bishop is visiting. It's never been a problem.
So, in the church hall, after Liturgy....after I've served most everyone, and am bringing a tray full of food out to one of the tables, an elderly lady grabs my hand and starts reprimanding me. She told me she was livid with me, and next time she will beat me up, right there in the middle of the church. I was taken aback. I had no idea what I had done to warrant such anger from her.
It appears she was mad that I took photos while the priest was on the Ambo with the Chalice. She was squeezing my hand and yelling at me. I had no idea that she had already made the rounds to all the tables and been explaining to everyone what a menace Liza is, and how dare she be taking photos....and she's amazed God didn't strike me down....etc, etc. The whole place was whispering about me, and people were giving me sideways glances. So, as she's yelling at me.....I am amazed, hurt and a bit lost as to what to do.
So, I grab her hand and start to pull her towards our visiting priest. She tries to wiggle out of it....but, I kind of drag her along to his side....and ask him right then and there if it is wrong to take photos during Holy Communion.
I may be completely mistaken....I've never thought anything was wrong with it. Parents are always running up to snap photos of their kids.
Father replies that he sees nothing wrong with it. That he is on the outside of the altar, among the public so there's really nothing really wrong with it. She mumbles that "we" never allowed such things before. It's not allowed. ...and he kind of waves her off and says it's okay....at which point I extricate my hand from hers and go back to the kitchen.
This woman absolutely devastated me. To threaten to beat me up in the middle of the church.....I was floored. I hadn't thought I deserved such a reaction.
The only time I have been told "not" to take photos is at some churches in Ukraine.....and even those allowed photos after I gave them a "donation".
However, I have always asked at each church and monastery I entered whether photos were permitted. Outside of Ukraine, nobody has ever told me not to take photos, but, rather encouraged them.
My understanding is that Christ came among us.....openly. We saw him. We draw/paint icons of him, therefore, why would we not be able to take a photo of "Him" (Holy Mysteries)?
Are there rules against photo taking at your parishes?