Thursday, May 19, 2011

Laodicea - Canon 9

The members of the Church are not allowed to meet in the cemeteries, nor attend the so-called martyries of any of the heretics, for prayer or service; but such as so do, if they be communicants, shall be excommunicated for a time; but if they repent and confess that they have sinned they shall be received.

Prayer services had begun to be held in cemeteries with the idea of petitioning God through the ones buried there in hopes of receiving fulfillment of their need.1 The congregating place mentioned here was where heretics were buried, therefore the church was forced to excommunicate them for seeking assistance from those who were recognized as  outside of orthodox doctrine.  Should they repent and confess, restoration was acceptable.

1 Here we see some of what would become prayer to/through the saints.  Being Protestant, I am predisposed to state that this seriously damages the practice altogether (first mention I find is in relation to heretics), but more study on the historical precedent for the practice would help form a proper understanding.

1 comment:

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Perhaps the Roman and Eastern Orthodox churches should read this stuff!