Once again we are honoured to have Fr. Vasiliy Vasileivich, official COROC* spokesman and parish priest, to answer our readers’ questions.
Dear Father Vasiliy,
I have noticed when waiting in line to venerate icons at my church, that some people make a little kissing “pip” noise when they kiss the icon, and some people do not. Is it necessary to make this noise?
Puckered in Paducah
What is this “necessary?” In Orthodoxy we do not worry about what is least we can get away with. This is Papo-Protestant Western thought pattern. In Orthodoxy we think, “What is beautiful? What gives glory to God? What makes heathens come to ethnic festival and spend money?” These are questions we ask in Orthodoxy.
Think about things we do in Orthodox service. We light candles — Can we still have service if we run out of candles? Of course! But this does not mean that we get rid of candles! Candles are not “necessary,” but they are part of fullness of Orthodox worship. If suddenly it was no more incense to be had in entire world, would we stop being Orthodox? No, of course not! Incense is not “necessary” but we do not for this reason get rid of incense. We use beautiful incense and give thanks to God!
Now you ask about making kissing “pip” noise. Is this “necessary,” you ask?
What kind of question is this? Pipping noise or not pipping noise, this is not what is important in Orthodoxy. You rather should to ask self, “Am I loving neighbor as myself? Am I fasting properly on fast days and before Liturgy? Am I helping Festival Committee get ready to milk heathens for money at annual festival?” These are questions you should to ask.
So in answer to question: Yes. Woe to him who does not make pipping noise! People who do not make pipping noise will be judged at tollbooth #271 in afterlife. You have been warned.
Father Vasiliy Vasileivich
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