Greek Bishop Tries to Ban Popular Wedding and Baptism Customs

Bishop Damaskinos of Didymoteicho, Orestiada and Soufli created a list of terms and conditions for weddings and christenings and distributed a circular distributed to dozens of area churches.

Regarding weddings, Damaskinos believes that throwing rice, flowers and candied almonds (koufeta) at the wedded couple has nothing to do with the Orthodox Church and they are customs that show ignorance. Also, the Bishop considers decorating the churches with flowers and turning them into photography studios is not appropriate.

“Ignorance” or joy? I agree with the “photo studio” comment, but seriously, no flowers at a wedding? Every Latin parish I’m familiar with has long since abolished throwing anything, however, either inside or outside. No balloons, either.

I don’t know what the customs are in Greece, and maybe the Bishop was reacting to customs he thought were too Western for his taste.

It could also be he wanted to get people’s minds off the expensive beautifications of the setting and more into the sacramentality of the occasion.


I have met co-habitating couples from Mexico who plan not to marry until they have the money to “do it right” back in their home towns. In the meantime, they are in mortal sin and having children… so the social aspect has, for them, overwhelmed the sacramental.

Maybe it is this which the Greek bishop is against. One oughtn’t feel a need to spend a year’s salary *or more *on a wedding!


Especially when in the NA-orbit, the bills from the wedding have been known to last longer than the marriage!!


He’s right about not talking or joking during the ceremony and dressing respectfully. Don’t think I mind throwing rice though.

Rice is so 1900s :):slight_smile:

Everyplace I know, it has been replaced in weddings by bubble soap. Apparently, rice is harmful to the birds…


He’d have an aneurism if he saw some Greek weddings in the States. I nearly do every time I chant for one.

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