Majesty Peter the Great, Emperor and Autocrat of All Russia, issued an ukas
(order) which was proclaimed in Moscow to all the people. It stated that in
cathedrals; monasteries and in parish churches during the singing of the Divine
Liturgy, the faithful should stand quietly and listen with great devotion to the
services. If anybody, during the
singing, started to talk and fidget, that person would be penalized by a fine in
the amount of one ruble (at that time a very stiff fine).
The fine was to be used for church needs...
(Reprinted from "Orthodox Wav," June 19, 1983)[_private/oabot.htm]