Orthodox Canada - A Journal of Orthodox Christianity

Home Page

From the Journal

Download Journal

Orthodox Life

From the Parish


Contact Us

Recent Changes

Vol. 3 No. 5 - Feast of St. Nicholas 2008

In Praise of Temperance

Transcriber's Note: In 1907, Bishop Innocent (Pustynsky) of Alaska compiled a general report on the condition of the Alaskan Vicariate of the American Orthodox mission for the year 1906. In section VII, under the heading "Church Organizations" (p.34), Bishop Innocent made the following comments about the publication of the Orthodox Temperance Society pamphlet to promote sobriety among its members,

"For the constant remembrance of the promise to maintain sobriety, the members of the Temperance Society, in the past year, have compiled a special Temperance pamphlet, with a summary of principal testimonies, from the Holy Scriptures and Holy Fathers, against drunkenness. This pamphlet was compiled in Unalaska, translated into the Aleut language and printed on our Diocesan press on the highest quality paper, with ornamentation and an icon of Christ the Saviour, in a quantity of 1200 copies. Following the example of the Unalaskans, this pamphlet was taken by the inhabitants of Tatitlak, who printed it in the Kolosh (Tlingit) and English languages in the same quantity. Following them, the inhabitants of Kodiak, and finally, those of Afognak, printed it in the English and Kodiak (Alutiiq) languages".

At present, it has not been possible to locate the Tlingit, Alutiiq and English translations of the Temperance pamphlet, referenced by Bishop Innocent (Pustynsky) above.

A new English translation (2008) of the Temperance pamphlet is provided below:

• Be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess. (Ephesians 5:18)

• Take heed to yourselves, lest at anytime your hearts be overcharged with overeating and drunkenness, and so that day come upon you unawares. (St. Luke 21:34)

• Therefore let us not sleep, as do others, but let us watch and be sober. (1 Thessalonians 5:6)

• Woe to them that rise up in the morning, and follow strong drink; who wait at it till evening: for the wine shall inflame them. (Isaiah 5:11)

• Who has woe? who trouble? who has quarrels? and who vexations and disputes? whose eyes are livid? Are not those of them that stay long at wine? are not those of them that haunt the places where banquets are? (Proverbs 23:29)

• Drunkards shall not inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Corinthians 6:10)

• Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour. (1 Peter 5:8)

• A drunkard likens himself to irrational beasts. (St. John Chrysostom)

• Nothing is as pleasing to the devil as drunkenness. (St. John Chrysostom)

• On account of drunkenness, one's Guardian Angel weeps, while the demons make glad and rejoice over drunkards.

• Happy is the home where sobriety dwells: there abides the blessing of God.

• The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. (Romans 13:12)

The English text of the "Orthodox Temperance Society Pamphlet" (1906) from Unalaska, Alaska. Archpriest Paul Merculief (originally from the Pribilof Islands, now living in Anchorage, who has helped immensely with the Aleut section of the "Alaskan Orthodox texts" project), helped with the original proof-reading of the original Aleut-language portion of the Pamphlet.

Thanks to God, the 1906 Pamphlet is now available on-line in its entirety (the 43th Alaskan Orthodox text)

Orthodox Canada, (Feast of St. Nicholas, 2008)

© All Saints of North America Orthodox Church
Orthodox Church in America, 2008.