Frequently Asked Questions

Can we go to our school parties such as prom and homecoming?

We should not participate in any dance because dancing involves bodily movements which are sexually suggestive and can be classified under the heading of "lasciviousness or lewdness" (Gal 5:19-21). Surely a Christian would not want to engage in that type of activity. The close body contact or the erotic movements that characterize so many of the rock-oriented dances would arouse the wrong feelings in both girl and boy. St. Paul urged the young St. Timothy to "keep yourself pure" (1 Tim 5:22). King Solomon warns us that "Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life" and "as one thinks in his heart, so is he" (Prov 4:23; 23:7). Our Lord Jesus Christ said that sexual sin is not only done with the body, but begins in the heart. One who "looks at a woman to lust after her has already committed adultery with her in his heart" (Mt 5:28). Surely a Christian young person would want to avoid activities which would be tempting in this way (Mt 6:13). Dancing parties and school proms might include activities that are damaging to one's character. We want to keep ourselves pure and let others know that we stand up for that which is pure. Since we are light to the world (Mt 5:14-16; Phil 2:15,16), we should guard our steps. Dancing will place a person with the wrong crowd; with those of impure thoughts and those who just like to party, and drink. Galatians 5:19-21 “Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” Some youth would argue that they don't think evil thoughts when they watch others dance. Even if this were true, what about others who are watching you or are snuggling up close to you? St Paul says, "Give no offense, either to the Jews or to the Greeks or to the church of God" (1 Cor 10:32). Don't be a stumbling block to someone else. If Christ were a high school or college student; what, do you think, would He do? Just ask yourself this question.

Dancing and the Church -What does Guayla have to do with our Faith?

The Holy Bible mentions two types of dancing. The first is that in which King David, Miriam the prophetess, and others performed; triumphant type of jumping, skipping, and promenading before the Lord (2 Sam 6:14; Ex 15:20). The second is that in which individuals engaged for pure pleasure. It was done either as a show for others as with Herodias' daughter (Mt 14:6) or with another motive for immoral purposes (Ex 32:19,25). Dancing caused a lustful king to make an oath which had cost St. John the Baptist his head (Mt 14:1-2; Mk 6:14-29; Lk 9:7-9). The New Testament speaks to this latter type of dancing in Romans 12:1-21; John 2:15-17; and Galatians 5:19-21. This type of activity is sensual, fleshly, and worldly. It does not belong to those who have given their bodies as a sacrifice to the Lord. As such, it belongs in the realm of sinful activities.

How come we can't dance? Didn't our father David/Dawit dance?

To be a Christian is to imitate the Lord Jesus Christ and follow His footsteps. In any situation we should learn to always ask ourselves 'What Would Jesus Do?" Our Lord said, "Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me" (Mt 11:29). Do you think if He were with us today would He dance? Dancing is a worldly way to express fun and joy. We, as Christians should not conform to this world but be transformed by renewing our mind (Rom 12:2) and as St. John taught us "Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world; the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life; is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever" (1 John 2:15-17). Unfortunately, many Christians justify dancing claiming that it is biblical, referring to David's dancing before the Ark of Covenant. This is completely different in motive, meaning and style from today's dancing. David's motive was to glorify God. He was playing religious music and singing psalms and hymns of thanksgiving praising the Lord "Then David and all the house of Israel played psalm before the LORD on all kinds of instruments of fir wood, on harps, on stringed instruments, on tambourines, on sistrums, and on cymbals" (2 Sam 6:5). David did not mean to dance for fun and earthly joy but it was a religious ceremony, a holy procession. "Then David danced before the LORD with all his might; and David was wearing a linen ephod. So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the LORD with shouting and with the sound of the trumpet" (2 Sam 6:14-15). His style of dancing was "leaping and whirling before the LORD" is this the type of dancing we are talking about today and is it before the Lord? When his wife criticized his action, David answered "It was before the LORD, who chose me instead of your father and all his house, to appoint me ruler over the people of the LORD, over Israel. Therefore, I will play music before the LORD. And I will be even more undignified than this, and will be humble in my own sight" (2 Sam 6:21-22). The fact that David led the dances in the presence of God is no sanction for faithful Christians to occupy seats in the public dancing. For David did not twist his limbs about in obscene movements.

In the Eritrean culture, dancing is an integral part of wedding celebrations. Is dancing in wedding receptions acceptable in the eyes of God and our Church?

The Holy Bible teaches us, "We ought to obey God rather than men" (Acts 5:29). It amazes me how after attending the beautiful Crowning Ceremony, witnessing the Holy Spirit come upon the couple to unite them to become one flesh and participating in all the prayers to the Lord to bless the couple, Christians turn around and forget all about God; and as soon as they are out of church, they start dancing disrespecting God and themselves. James 3:10- “Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so. Does a spring send forth fresh water and bitter from the same opening? …”. Oftentimes during guayla ceremony wedding the singer (derafay) will sing “Lallo ye Lallo…” what do you think that means? Who do you think Lallo is? According to monks from Gedam Abune Bxue-Amlak lallo is Satan. Which means you are happily inviting the devil, because it is from Satan we should abstain ourselves from guayla. 1 Corinthians 10:20-21 “… I do not want you to have fellowship with demons. You can’t drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you can’t partake of the Lord’s table and of the table of demons.” Everyone needs to answer the question, 'What would Jesus do if He were at this wedding? Would He dance or even attend a reception where there is this dancing?' Another question 'If our Lord Jesus Christ is physically present at this reception, would the guests dare dance in His presence?' Our Lord is Omnipresent, let us remember His presence among us at all times and behave accordingly; putting His will first before the will of man. James 5:13- “Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is there anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms.”

What did Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ do in the wedding in Cana of Galilee? Did HE dance?

If you read John 2:1-11 in the bible it states "on the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there; 2 and both Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding. 3 When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus *said to Him, “They have no wine.” ….Jesus *said to them, “Fill the water pots with water.”....And He *said to them, “Draw some out now and take it to the [c] headwaiter.” So they took it to him. 9 When the headwaiter tasted the water which had become wine." This was one of Jesus Christ first miracles, It manifested the glory of Christ, part of which glory is his power to change the worse into the better, the simpler glory of Christ that he can transform sinners into his own likeness-- 1 John 3:2 ; 1 Corinthians 15:42-44 ; Philippians 3:20 Philippians 3:21 ]; and his disciples believed on him. No!! Jesus Christ did not dance! This question lacks the basic knowledge of God. If God condemn dancing in the Holy Bible- how could He go against His word. There is no mention of Our Lord Christ dancing at the wedding of Cana of Galilee. People claim saying there was Guayla in the wedding at Cana, No reference or evidence in the holy scripture or any church writings for the claim.

What is our Church Fathers view on Dancing?

St. Ephrem, one of the oldest Fathers of the Church, said this: “Who invented the dances and balls? Was it St. Peter? Was it St. John or some of the Saints? Certainly not, but rather the Devil, the enemy of souls.” Further, he adds, “Where there are balls, the angels are sad and the devils are jubilant.” And also, “It is not possible to jump and dance here and enjoy eternal happiness afterwards because the Lord told us ‘Woe to you that now laugh: for you shall mourn and weep.’(Lk 6:25)” St. Basil describes dances as a “shameful showroom of obscenities.” St. John Chrysostom calls them the “school of impure passions.” St. Ambrose declares them “choirs of iniquity, destroyers of innocence and sepulchers of purity.” And he exclaims, “The daughters of infamous mothers may go to dances and balls to become like them, but those who are chaste must avoid dances if they do not want to perish.”

How come Aboy keshi doesn’t dance? But they tell us it’s okay to dance? /How come the keshis leave right before the Guayla starst?/Can deacons dance?

The answer to this question is simple as our scholar father John Chrysostom said "The Law of the King [Fitha Negest] - A Christian must not go to a wedding {nuptial banquet] to clap his hand rhythmically or to dance with his feet; rather he shall eat in a quiet way as is proper to saint. Chapter 11. or 446 “The Holy Scriptures were not given to us that we should enclose them in books, but that we should engrave them upon our hearts.” ― St. John Chrysostom

What is the meaning of Fasika?

The Jews used the blood of the Calf and the curse of the death of the first born "passed over" them. Exodus 12 explains in more detail but I will put some verses from there here: "For I will pass through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the Lord. 13 Now the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you; and the plague shall not be on you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt."- Exodus 12: 12&13 God instructed them to put lamb's blood over their door post to be saved from the judgement. PASSOVER= PASCHA= FASIKA in Geeez God "passed over" them and did not judge them because of what? because of the blood of the lamb For us CHRIST IS THE LAMB- He is the the official sacrifice and His Holy Blood over us causes God's judgement to also "passover" us Not because we are Holy but because He is merciful and covers us with His blood. He is the new lamb and the last sacrifice. So when we partake of Holy Communion or Christ's Holy flesh and Blood, He sees His sacrifice and His blood and forgives us, not because we are good or Holy but because of His own blood. Thats why we celebrate Fasika or Easter I like to say Fasika more because it has a deep meaning.

Why do we kiss a priest's hand?

We kiss the hands of bishops and priests because in the context of the Divine Liturgy, the hands hold and distribute the holy Body and Blood of our Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ! This is an enduring and centuries old tradition in the Eastern Christendom that has a purely metaphorical connotation; of course, this is not to leave out an underpinning element of paternal respect and affection as well. Kissing of the hands is also done amongst clergy. The blessing of the priest has a marvelous efficacy as being an exercise of the mysterious power with which he is entrusted. Through the prayers offered by the priest, the Holy spirit changes bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ. The priest bestows special sanctity upon Christians and upon the objects. The hand of a priest is, therefore, an instrument for imparting Divine Grace. For this reason Orthodox Christians throughout the centuries customarily kiss the hand of their priest.