Once again Father Vasiliy Vasileivich, pastor of Saints Vladimir and Olga and Boris and Gleb Russian Orthodox Church in Sydney, Australia, and four-time winner in the Mr. Australia Lip Balm Makers World Cup, has condescended to answer a question from an Onion Dome reader. Welcome, Father Vasiliy!
Dear Father Vasiliy,
My girlfriend and I have been arguing about this and we need a man of the cloth to settle our argument once and for all. She says that it’s okay to use regular ChapStick before divine liturgy, but fruit-flavored ChapStick, having fruit flavor, is food, and therefore one cannot use it during the liturgical fast. I pointed out that it’s not real fruit, it’s artificial flavors, but she countered that you always say margarine isn’t real butter, but it’s not nice to try to fool your guardian angels. Which makes sense, I guess, but I want to get it from the source. Is it okay to use fruit-flavored ChapStick before liturgy?
Signed, Chapped in Chattanooga.
Always with the margarine question. Can we fool angels with fake butter? But you are wise person and are knowing that if we fool angels, they will not be able to speak for us when we are judged for eating butter during Lent at Tollhouse 423. (If readers note this number is different from number I am using before, please understand that I am having received further information from non-disclosable source.)
So yes, this is possibly of parallel. Is not real fruit flavour (which would probably chap lip more, although I am not dermatologist), this is true. But what if it were real fruit? This would be against fast and subject to judgment at Tollhouse 717, “Accidentally Ingesting Real Fruit Flavoured Lip Balm Before Liturgy.” And if guardian angels do not realize is fake flavour? What then? How can they defend us? Is bad idea.
But this is all beside point. I am telling you point now. What are you doing kissing icons with goop on lips? Is outrage! Was it greasing of lips before kissing of icons in 19th Century Russia? No it was not! Greasy icon kissing is judged at early tollbooth, somewhere in high 40’s or low 50’s. Do not do it! Keep lips dry and chapped before liturgy so you may kiss icons without leaving smudgy lip-prints that eat into egg tempera paint, or smudge up glass, or get all over — well, who cares what happens to so-to-call-them icons made from photographs and Varathane? Smudge all you are wanting.
Only thing worse than lip balm is this so-to-call-it lipstick, made from whale blubber and dead beetles. Better to salute icon like Boy Scout than to get lipstick on it.
But I am digress. No, you may not wear ChapStick or other lip goop before Liturgy. Unless you are babushka, then you may do anything you are wanting. This I am sure is true, because my wife is having told me.
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