NEWS

Bishop bans popular wedding customs

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A bishop in northern Greece has banned a series of customs that have become popular at weddings, such as the showering of married couples with rice, saying “the time has come for restrictions.”

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

Those attending ceremonies in churches in the region will henceforth be obliged to arrive “appropriately dressed” and will be prohibited from throwing rice at the married couple and distributing sugared almonds or flowers during the ceremony.

The decoration of the church, both interior and exterior areas, will also be banned. In comments to the Athens-Macedonian News Agency, the bishop said the aim of the initiative was to “reset” the role of the Church and its relationship with the faithful.

Customs such as that of the bride stepping on the groom’s foot during the wedding service are “incomprehensible and unchristian,” he said.