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Aerial Toll-Houses

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{{cleanup|Needs a more balanced approach (much of the text assumes that this theory is universally held). Also needs a lot of style work.}}[[Image:tollhouses.jpg|right|thumb|350px|An Iconographic depiction of the Toll Houses]]. 
The teaching of '''Aerial Toll-Houses''' regards the soul's journey after its departure from the body, and is related to the [[w:particular judgment|particular judgment]]. In its most general form, it refers to the idea that after death, the demons attempt to find a basis for taking the soul to Hades, while the angels and the prayers of the living defend the soul if it can be defended. Whether the soul is finally seized by the demons, or taken to heaven depends on the state of the soul at death. In either case, the soul then experiences a foretaste of what it can expect after the [[w:final judgment|final judgment]]. According to Fr. Thomas Hopko, the teaching of the Toll Houses is found in virtually every Father of the Church .<ref>Fr. Thomas Hopko on the Toll-houses,</ref>
In both the Greek and Slavonic Euchologion, in the canon for the departure of the soul by St. Andrew , we find in Ode 7: "All holy angels of the Almighty God, have mercy upon me and save me from all the evil toll-houses."
Likewise, in the Canon of Supplication at the Parting of the Soul in ''The Great Book of Needs'' are the following references to the struggle of a soul passing through the toll-houses:
:"Count me worthy to pass, unhindered, by the persecutor, the prince of the air, the tyrant, him that stands guard in the dread pathways, and the false accusation of these, as I depart from earth." (Ode 4, p. 77).
:"Do thou count me worthy to escape the hordes of bodiless barbarians, and rise through the aerial depths and enter into Heaven…" (Ode 8, p. 81).
:"[W]hen I come to die, do thou banish far from me the commander of the bitter toll-gatherers and ruler of the earth…" (Ode 8, p. 81).
In the Octoechos, there are many references to the Toll Houses:
* The fourth is the toll-house of gluttony, which includes overeating, drunkenness, eating between meals, eating without prayer, not holding fasts, choosing tasty over plain food, eating when not hungry, and the like.
* The fifth is the toll-house of laziness, where the soul is held accountable for every day and hour spent in laziness, for neglecting to serve God and pray, for missing Church services, and also for not earning money through hard, honest labor, for not working as much as you are paid, and all similar sins.
* The sixth toll-house is the toll-house of [[theft]], which includes stealing and robbery, whether small, big, light, violent, public, or hidden.
* The seventh is the toll-house of covetousness, including love of riches and goods, failure to give to charity, and similar acts.
* The eight is the toll-house of usury, loan-sharking, overpricing, and similar sins.
*[ Death and the Toll-Houses] by Vladimir Moss
*[ Life After Death] by St. [[John Maximovitch]]
*[ On the Question of the "Toll-Houses": Our War is not Against Flesh and Blood] by Fr. [[Michael Pomazansky]]
*[ The Taxing of Souls] by Metropolitan Hierotheos (Vlachos)
*[ Answer to a Critic (Deacon Lev Puhalo), Appendix III from The Soul After Death] by Father Seraphim Rose of Platina
*[ Illumined Heart Podcast Interview of Fr. Thomas Hopko]
*[ Fr. Seraphim Rose in Greece (Postcards From Greece Podcast, by Fr. Peter Heers)]
*[ “To Sleep, Perchance to Dream”: The Middle State of Souls in Patristic and Byzantine Literature ] by Nicholas Constas*[ From Repose to Resurrection: The Intermediate State of Souls]by Jesse Dominick. This paper, written for St. Tikhon's Seminary, examines in part the teaching of the toll-houses, including modern Saints, elders, and theologians who have taught the toll-house doctrine and responses to several criticisms of the toll-house teaching.
[[ro:Vămile văzduhului]]

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