Church slams outdoor vows

The Holy Synod of the Church of Greece yesterday banned weddings and baptisms from taking place at private chapels in open-air venues, claiming that the services «lose their holiness» when they are conducted in this manner. «The guests are standing up, talking on their mobile phones, laughing, smoking and chewing gum,» said Bishop Anthimos of Alexandroupolis after the meeting. Recently, there has been a gradual move away from traditional weddings at Orthodox churches to more Westernized ceremonies conducted on private land. However, the Holy Synod struck out against this yesterday and sent a circular to all bishops informing them that marriages and baptisms cannot take place outside of Church grounds. Bishops admitted that it will be difficult to enforce the new rule.

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