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Does your parish ban kissing icons due to COVID

BasilCan

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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We never hid the icons, covered them or prevented people from kissing the icons.
 

biro

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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

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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

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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

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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.
 
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