Quinisext Council, Canon 76.previous | next
That within the sacred precincts no tavern or showcase for the display of perfumes or of other kinds of merchandise must be set up; for the respectability of the Church must be preserved, seeing that our Savior and God, instructing us by His conduct while living in the flesh, bade us not to make His Father’s house a house of merchandise (John 2:16). He even poured out the coins of the money-changers, and drove them all out of the temple who were making it a market place. If, therefore, anybody be caught in doing what is here prohibited, let him be excommunicated.
The Lord told the Jews (19:46): “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer’ (Isa. 56:7); but ye have made it a ‘robbers’ cave” (Jer. 7:11). Hence, in order to avoid having these fearful words said to the faithful, the Fathers prohibited by means of this Canon the establishment of a tavern, or, in other words, the sale of wine, or of raki, or even of other kinds of comestibles, according to Zonaras, or of perfumes, according to Balsamon or of other kinds of merchandise within the sacred precincts, or, in other words, within the confines of the vestibule and the grounds of the divine Temples and Churches, in order to keep up respect for them. For even the Lord admonished us and said for us not to make the house of his Father a house of merchandise, and He even dumped out the money of the money-changers, or, more explicitly speaking, he scattered their small coins; and turning upon those who were making the temple a common house, he drove them away with a scourge of cords. As for anyone that may do this, let him be excommunicated.  Read also c. LXXIV for the same 6th.
 Instead of the word perfumes (which in Greek is aromata), others have the word edibles (which in the Greek is bromata), as Zonaras has interpreted it too.
 St. Basil the Great (Definitions in Extenso, No. 40) in addition discountenances sales and purchases carried on in the churches of the Martyrs and Saints during their festivals, saying that Christians have no other reason for congregating in temples and the grounds of temples than to pray, and to recall the resistance and struggle unto death which the Saints showed for the sake of piety, and in order to afford themselves an incentive to a like display of zeal, and not in order to make their festival and temple a market and a lot of merchandise. He adds this observation too, that God is made so sorely wroth by those who buy and sell things in temples, or in the yard surrounding temples, that Jesus Christ, who was always and everywhere meek and humble-hearted, yet lifted up a scourge to strike those alone who were buying and selling in the temple, because their merchandise was converting the house of prayer into a cave of robbers and thieves. And note that the Lord called the sellers and merchants in general robbers and thieves on account on the injustice and mendacity they practice in their barterings.
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