• Christ is Risen!
  • Please remember: Pray for Ukraine in the Prayer forum; Share news in the Christian News section; Discuss religious implications in FFA: Religious Topics; Discuss political implications in Politics (and if you don't have access, PM me) Thank you! + Fr. George, Forum Administrator

Does your parish ban kissing icons due to COVID

BasilCan

Elder
Joined
Jan 16, 2005
Messages
252
Reaction score
17
Points
18
A year and a half after COVID hit our churches are finally opening across North America. My jaw dropped when a friend of mine told me his church BANs reverencing/kissing Icons regardless of whether you wear a mask or not. I can see not requiring one to physically reverence and Icon if you are nervous, but to ban it? Even when wearing a mask? Is this some betrayal of our faith? I would be interested to hear of others who's parish BANS the reverencing of Icons and your opinions for or against this directive.
 

Opus118

Protokentarchos
Site Supporter
Joined
Jun 18, 2005
Messages
4,410
Reaction score
169
Points
63
Age
70
Location
Oceanside, California
No touch kissing of icons has been a recommendation for maybe 30-50 years. I cannot remember. I think it was a lipstick issue which is not as serious as spreading Covid.
 

Asteriktos

Strategos
Joined
Oct 4, 2002
Messages
40,130
Reaction score
610
Points
113
Faith
-
Jurisdiction
-
I read in one of the books about Fr. Arseny that he was tied up and couldn't cross himself, so he made the sign of the cross in his heart. Now some of us must kiss the icons in a similar way.
 

Arachne

Matriarch
Staff member
Moderator
Site Supporter
Joined
Dec 22, 2012
Messages
12,940
Reaction score
584
Points
113
Age
50
Location
Camulodunum
Faith
Cradle Greek Orthodox. Cope.
Jurisdiction
Antiochian Archdiocese, UK
I've always been taught that crossing yourself and bowing is veneration enough. That's what women were told to do during our time of the month.
 

Dominika

Merarches
Staff member
Global Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Dec 23, 2011
Messages
8,208
Reaction score
544
Points
113
Age
30
Location
Poland
Website
www.youtube.com
Faith
Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction
Antiochian Patriarchate/POC
No banning kissing icons in Poland. There is one Orthodox parish in Warsaw that doesn't have now kissing the cross after Liturgy - the priest blesses heads by the cross. However, they kiss icons normally. And now after Transfiguration Liturgy if somebody wanted to kiss the cross, he/she could do it.

Well, even without covid, some icons in some churches are behind candles or lifted high - in such situations I just make cross in front of them or, if it's possible, I make sign of cross, kiss my hand and put the hand on the icon. There are various ways of icon veneration and I think it should be personal decision, especially in such circumstances. I mean, if somebody wants to venerate by kissing, he/she should be allowed to do it. If somebody doesn't want, and e.g just make sign of cross or say silent pray, it should be respected too. Espeically, taht for some people even coming to churhc is an act of bravery.
 

Christos3

Sr. Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2014
Messages
246
Reaction score
81
Points
28
Location
USA
Faith
Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction
OCA
We never hid the icons, covered them or prevented people from kissing the icons.
 

biro

Protostrator
Site Supporter
Joined
Aug 31, 2010
Messages
24,001
Reaction score
447
Points
83
Age
49
Website
archiveofourown.org
In my parish, we were given instructions to bow, make the sign of the cross, and make a ‘kissing gesture’ with our fingers. Just kiss your fingers, don’t touch anything.
 

Ainnir

Taxiarches
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Apr 29, 2015
Messages
7,871
Reaction score
1,010
Points
113
Faith
Orthodox
Jurisdiction
Antiochian
I'm not sure this was ever banned, per se. We were reminded that we could greet each other by bowing, as well as venerate the holy objects without kissing them, but no one ever said don't. I started fully venerating things again this spring, and no one's stopped me or pulled me aside. 🤷‍♀️
 

LizaSymonenko

Hoplitarches
Staff member
Global Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Nov 7, 2007
Messages
16,660
Reaction score
603
Points
113
Location
Detroit
Website
uocofusa.org
Faith
Orthodox
Jurisdiction
Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the U.S.A.
My parish has signs up and a plastic shield before the icons, to prevent anyone from actually kissing them. We just bow before them for now.

After the dismissal, our priest just gives a general blessing with the Cross, and nobody approaches to kiss it.

Times are surely different... but, this too shall pass.

While I miss all our regular traditions, I know that these are just outward displays of love for God... and that there exist many more vital things we ought to be doing in our lives to live as proper Christians, and to show true love to God and others.
 

Alpo2

High Elder
Joined
Jul 22, 2019
Messages
606
Reaction score
253
Points
43
Faith
Fenno-Ugric Orthodox
Jurisdiction
Finnish Orthodox Inside of Finland
IIRC the Finnish church instructed against it when the epidemics started. IMO a wise decision. Well resume normal practices once the vaccines are prevalent enough.
 
Top