Author Topic: Intermarriage and holy communion  (Read 1759 times)

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Offline receiver

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Intermarriage and holy communion
« on: August 08, 2016, 06:44:41 AM »
Hi there, i suspect that in some cases, if someone marries outside of the Church or outside of the faith, he no longer can receive holy communion?
Especially if he gets married to a non-christian?

Can you confirm this and also where could i read in english the canons of some oriental church, especially the part related to excommunication following intermarriage. I wish to know the other causes for excommunication as well. Thanks for your reply!

Offline mike

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Re: Intermarriage and holy communion
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2016, 06:47:39 AM »
Hi there, i suspect that in some cases, if someone marries outside of the Church or outside of the faith, he no longer can receive holy communion?
Especially if he gets married to a non-christian?

Can you confirm this and also where could i read in english the canons of some oriental church, especially the part related to excommunication following intermarriage. I wish to know the other causes for excommunication as well. Thanks for your reply!


I've heard that here and on other places of Americainternetdoxy. The reason given that the Church insists of having mixed marriages conducted by itself.

It certainly does not happen here.
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Offline receiver

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Re: Intermarriage and holy communion
« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2016, 07:17:25 AM »
Mixed marriages conducted by itself? Do you mean Christian marriage or interreligious marriage conducted by the Church?

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Re: Intermarriage and holy communion
« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2016, 07:25:12 AM »
Mixed marriages conducted by itself? Do you mean Christian marriage or interreligious marriage conducted by the Church?

I mean the Church insist of conducting mixed marriages itself, not by other denominations.
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Offline augustin717

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Re: Intermarriage and holy communion
« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2016, 09:08:28 AM »
In my hometown an ortodox girl married a muslim man in the Orthodox Church with the usual ritual or at least those parts of it that didn't freak out the Muslim guy, because he wouldn't go through some of the motions.
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Offline Indocern

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Re: Intermarriage and holy communion
« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2016, 10:12:32 AM »
Hi there, i suspect that in some cases, if someone marries outside of the Church or outside of the faith, he no longer can receive holy communion?
Especially if he gets married to a non-christian?

Can you confirm this and also where could i read in english the canons of some oriental church, especially the part related to excommunication following intermarriage. I wish to know the other causes for excommunication as well. Thanks for your reply!

https://oca.org/holy-synod/encyclicals/on-marriage

According to canons you can't get married to non Orthodox Christian.

Offline Alpo

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Re: Intermarriage and holy communion
« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2016, 10:20:20 AM »
Hi there, i suspect that in some cases, if someone marries outside of the Church or outside of the faith, he no longer can receive holy communion?
Especially if he gets married to a non-christian?

Can you confirm this and also where could i read in english the canons of some oriental church, especially the part related to excommunication following intermarriage. I wish to know the other causes for excommunication as well. Thanks for your reply!


I've heard that here and on other places of Americainternetdoxy. The reason given that the Church insists of having mixed marriages conducted by itself.

It certainly does not happen here.

Nor here either. Men with non-Orthodox wives are not ordained  and non-Orthodox are not allowed to partake the Eucharist but mixed marriages are quite common and have no other effect.
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Leviticus 19:34

Offline Cognomen

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Re: Intermarriage and holy communion
« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2016, 10:46:56 AM »
Although I guess technically Americainternetdoxy, check out the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese website  (and probably OCA and Antiochian websites too). The GOA site explains almost everything you need to know, and it all seems to be consistent with the other jurisdictions.

In short, an Orthodox person having a wedding outside of the Church forfeits their ability to partake in the sacramental life of the Church. At least until that is rectified by having a wedding or blessing ceremony within the Church. And of course, the Church cannot conduct a wedding on a mixed faith couple.

But if you're searching for Americainterndoxy to reveal some gross negligence out there that sets a friendly precedent, I'm sure you can find something.

Augustin717 is usually a perfect source for this sort of thing, and he frequently implies that the negligence is more the norm and somehow more authentic.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2016, 10:58:46 AM by Cognomen »
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Offline Alpo

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Re: Intermarriage and holy communion
« Reply #8 on: August 08, 2016, 11:15:30 AM »
And of course, the Church cannot conduct a wedding on a mixed faith couple.

Yes she can and regularly does.
But the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.
Leviticus 19:34

Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re: Intermarriage and holy communion
« Reply #9 on: August 08, 2016, 11:54:07 AM »
Does the OP want an Oriental Orthodox perspective on this issue?  Or was s/he just interested in our canons as a tangential issue? 
How this relates to the coming Antichrist? I don't know...

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Re: Intermarriage and holy communion
« Reply #10 on: August 08, 2016, 12:53:26 PM »
In short, an Orthodox person having a wedding outside of the Church forfeits their ability to partake in the sacramental life of the Church. At least until that is rectified by having a wedding or blessing ceremony within the Church. And of course, the Church cannot conduct a wedding on a mixed faith couple.

The last two sentences are illogical.

Does the OP want an Oriental Orthodox perspective on this issue?  Or was s/he just interested in our canons as a tangential issue? 

My bad.
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Offline scamandrius

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Re: Intermarriage and holy communion
« Reply #11 on: August 08, 2016, 02:15:18 PM »
And of course, the Church cannot conduct a wedding on a mixed faith couple.

Yes she can and regularly does.

I believe there is a stipulation that for a mixed religion couple, the couple must be married in the Orthodox Church.  That was made very clear to me during my premarital counseling.
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Re: Intermarriage and holy communion
« Reply #12 on: August 08, 2016, 02:18:17 PM »
And of course, the Church cannot conduct a wedding on a mixed faith couple.

Yes she can and regularly does.

I believe there is a stipulation that for a mixed religion couple, the couple must be married in the Orthodox Church.  That was made very clear to me during my premarital counseling.

One rabbi says yes, the other rabbi says no.
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Offline receiver

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Re: Intermarriage and holy communion
« Reply #13 on: August 08, 2016, 02:20:48 PM »
Does the OP want an Oriental Orthodox perspective on this issue?  Or was s/he just interested in our canons as a tangential issue?

Yes i wish to know and also there may be similar other things which could prevent from receiving sacraments and i wonder which? For example polygamy,  adultery, divorce, remarriage,and other things which i may not know?

Offline Iconodule

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Re: Intermarriage and holy communion
« Reply #14 on: August 08, 2016, 02:21:54 PM »
And of course, the Church cannot conduct a wedding on a mixed faith couple.

Yes she can and regularly does.

Are you referring to marriage between a Christian and non-Christian?
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Offline scamandrius

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Re: Intermarriage and holy communion
« Reply #15 on: August 08, 2016, 02:26:52 PM »
And of course, the Church cannot conduct a wedding on a mixed faith couple.

Yes she can and regularly does.

I believe there is a stipulation that for a mixed religion couple, the couple must be married in the Orthodox Church.  That was made very clear to me during my premarital counseling.

One rabbi says yes, the other rabbi says no.

Priests are not rabbis.
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Offline Alpo

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Re: Intermarriage and holy communion
« Reply #16 on: August 08, 2016, 03:07:32 PM »
And of course, the Church cannot conduct a wedding on a mixed faith couple.

Yes she can and regularly does.

Are you referring to marriage between a Christian and non-Christian?

No, between an Orthodox Christian and non-Orthodox Christian. Most of the people here are Lutheran so there are lots of ecumenical families.

Also, I assume scamandrius is correct in that in these cases the couple must be married in an Orthodox church and children be baptized in the Church too. As for the latter though the reality has historically been rather different. Not ideal but life rarely is especially for minorities.

Anyway, I wouldn't be suprised if there were numerous mixed-religion couples in Japan ir in India. Or nominal conversions to Orthodoxy because of marriage. Strict rules tend not to apply on family lives.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2016, 03:12:04 PM by Alpo »
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Leviticus 19:34

Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re: Intermarriage and holy communion
« Reply #17 on: August 08, 2016, 03:07:41 PM »
Does the OP want an Oriental Orthodox perspective on this issue?  Or was s/he just interested in our canons as a tangential issue?

Yes i wish to know...

According to the Oriental Orthodox practice with which I am most aware (Syriac-India), if an Orthodox Christian marries outside of the Church/faith, s/he is considered to have left the Church, and so is not able to receive Holy Communion until s/he is reconciled with the Church. 

As for reading the Syriac canons in English, it will be difficult unless you can hunt down a copy of Arthur Voobus' The Synodikon in the West Syrian Tradition, but much of that material can be found elsewhere (e.g., Chalcedon 14, Laodicea 10).     

Quote
...and also there may be similar other things which could prevent from receiving sacraments and i wonder which? For example polygamy,  adultery, divorce, remarriage,and other things which i may not know?

That's rather broad.  What exactly is your interest in this subject? 
How this relates to the coming Antichrist? I don't know...

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Re: Intermarriage and holy communion
« Reply #18 on: August 08, 2016, 03:16:05 PM »
I -love- (not really) how this thread has one post that is the type of opinion that the poster asked for....

the rest is the majority talking over and for the minority ......


shockingly like race relations in America....where people get talked over and told they dont count by the majority.
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Offline Alpo

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Re: Intermarriage and holy communion
« Reply #19 on: August 08, 2016, 03:17:41 PM »
I -love- (not really) how this thread has one post that is the type of opinion that the poster asked for....

the rest is the majority talking over and for the minority ......


shockingly like race relations in America....where people get talked over and told they dont count by the majority.

Welcome to internets.
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Leviticus 19:34

Offline Antonis

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Re: Intermarriage and holy communion
« Reply #20 on: August 08, 2016, 03:18:20 PM »
I -love- (not really) how this thread has one post that is the type of opinion that the poster asked for....

the rest is the majority talking over and for the minority ......
And race relations.
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Offline Cognomen

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Re: Intermarriage and holy communion
« Reply #21 on: August 08, 2016, 05:29:04 PM »
In short, an Orthodox person having a wedding outside of the Church forfeits their ability to partake in the sacramental life of the Church. At least until that is rectified by having a wedding or blessing ceremony within the Church. And of course, the Church cannot conduct a wedding on a mixed faith couple.

The last two sentences are illogical.


Nope, they actually aren't. But logic ain't usually the Church's guideline for teaching.

Either way, that's the Church's position here. Read up before spouting off, fella.
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Offline mike

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Re: Intermarriage and holy communion
« Reply #22 on: August 08, 2016, 05:31:01 PM »
In short, an Orthodox person having a wedding outside of the Church forfeits their ability to partake in the sacramental life of the Church. At least until that is rectified by having a wedding or blessing ceremony within the Church. And of course, the Church cannot conduct a wedding on a mixed faith couple.

The last two sentences are illogical.


Nope, they actually aren't. But logic ain't usually the Church's guideline for teaching.

Either way, that's the Church's position here. Read up before spouting off, fella.

So accordingly to you the Church' position is not to let the Orthodox spouse to partake in sacraments without the Church marriage but the Church won't give that person Church marriage?
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Offline Cognomen

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Re: Intermarriage and holy communion
« Reply #23 on: August 08, 2016, 05:32:28 PM »
And of course, the Church cannot conduct a wedding on a mixed faith couple.

Yes she can and regularly does.

I was referring to an interfaith marriage between a Christian and non-Christian, as referenced in the OP.

Similarly, I was discussing what the Church teaches in America (I assumed as much from the OP as well). And the Church does not regularly marry people of different faiths in the States.

But yes, you are absolutely correct regarding mixed marriages of Orthodox and non-Orthodox. Hope that clarifies what I was talking about a little more.
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Offline Cognomen

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Re: Intermarriage and holy communion
« Reply #24 on: August 08, 2016, 05:46:25 PM »
In short, an Orthodox person having a wedding outside of the Church forfeits their ability to partake in the sacramental life of the Church. At least until that is rectified by having a wedding or blessing ceremony within the Church. And of course, the Church cannot conduct a wedding on a mixed faith couple.

The last two sentences are illogical.


Nope, they actually aren't. But logic ain't usually the Church's guideline for teaching.

Either way, that's the Church's position here. Read up before spouting off, fella.

So accordingly to you the Church' position is not to let the Orthodox spouse to partake in sacraments without the Church marriage but the Church won't give that person Church marriage?

Correct, although it is not my position. It's from what I read (have you read what I linked to?). At least until the non-Orthodox spouse becomes Orthodox (or some form of Trinitarian Christian) and they marry within the Church. That's how the GOARCH and other sites explained it.

I think I understand the confusion and "logic" comment. Basically, that one can't partake in a sacrament until they partake in a sacrament. I think they're more specifically referring to communion, burial, etc. I guess the sacrament of marriage would still be open [explained in post below]. So, I think I get what you were saying, but it seems to be a measure of oeconomia to give people an opportunity to return to full communion.

[Redacted, as the below posts explains it better].

As Fr. Meyendorff writes, this whole confusion could be eliminated by returning the sacrament of marriage to that of the Eucharistic service, which was apparently how it originated. 
« Last Edit: August 08, 2016, 06:08:50 PM by Cognomen »
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Re: Intermarriage and holy communion
« Reply #25 on: August 08, 2016, 05:53:47 PM »
From the GOARCH website:

If an Orthodox Christian chooses to marry a non-Christian outside of the Orthodox Church he/she falls out of good standing and can no longer participate in the sacramental life of the Church. For example, sacraments like Holy Communion and Holy Unction are not available to him/her. In an effort to get back into good standing, the Orthodox partner must receive the Sacrament of Marriage in the Orthodox Church.

While this guideline appears to provide an easy fix for Orthodox who marry non-Christians, in reality it is a very complex because the non-Christian partner must convert to the Christian faith in order for the couple to receive the Sacrament of Marriage. In most cases, this is not a viable option, since such a step requires the non-Christian partner to reject their non-Christian background.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2016, 05:54:23 PM by Cognomen »
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Offline augustin717

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Re: Intermarriage and holy communion
« Reply #26 on: August 08, 2016, 06:15:09 PM »
Although I guess technically Americainternetdoxy, check out the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese website  (and probably OCA and Antiochian websites too). The GOA site explains almost everything you need to know, and it all seems to be consistent with the other jurisdictions.

In short, an Orthodox person having a wedding outside of the Church forfeits their ability to partake in the sacramental life of the Church. At least until that is rectified by having a wedding or blessing ceremony within the Church. And of course, the Church cannot conduct a wedding on a mixed faith couple.

But if you're searching for Americainterndoxy to reveal some gross negligence out there that sets a friendly precedent, I'm sure you can find something.

Augustin717 is usually a perfect source for this sort of thing, and he frequently implies that the negligence is more the norm and somehow more authentic.
I don't imply anything . It's not like anybody was scandalized or rushed to dust off their Pedalion though.  They were amused .  Even the idea of a church marriage was pretty alien to many of the older generations. Peasants oftentimes didn't even bother with s church marriage unless they were forced to when trying to get their first child baptized.
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Is not the porch of spirits lingering.
It is the grave of Jesus, where he lay.”
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Offline Aram

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Re: Intermarriage and holy communion
« Reply #27 on: August 09, 2016, 02:28:48 PM »
From the GOARCH website:

If an Orthodox Christian chooses to marry a non-Christian outside of the Orthodox Church he/she falls out of good standing and can no longer participate in the sacramental life of the Church. For example, sacraments like Holy Communion and Holy Unction are not available to him/her. In an effort to get back into good standing, the Orthodox partner must receive the Sacrament of Marriage in the Orthodox Church.

While this guideline appears to provide an easy fix for Orthodox who marry non-Christians, in reality it is a very complex because the non-Christian partner must convert to the Christian faith in order for the couple to receive the Sacrament of Marriage. In most cases, this is not a viable option, since such a step requires the non-Christian partner to reject their non-Christian background.

GOARCH: Not an authority on the practices of the Oriental Orthodox Churches.

Why is it a staple of OC.net that the OO threads turn into "let's post links and information from EO sources to answer questions about the OO" as if everything is interchangeable? I'm not saying the GOARCH teaching doesn't align with how the OO may see the same issue, but, really. We're different churches.

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Re: Intermarriage and holy communion
« Reply #28 on: August 09, 2016, 08:57:31 PM »
From the GOARCH website:

If an Orthodox Christian chooses to marry a non-Christian outside of the Orthodox Church he/she falls out of good standing and can no longer participate in the sacramental life of the Church. For example, sacraments like Holy Communion and Holy Unction are not available to him/her. In an effort to get back into good standing, the Orthodox partner must receive the Sacrament of Marriage in the Orthodox Church.

While this guideline appears to provide an easy fix for Orthodox who marry non-Christians, in reality it is a very complex because the non-Christian partner must convert to the Christian faith in order for the couple to receive the Sacrament of Marriage. In most cases, this is not a viable option, since such a step requires the non-Christian partner to reject their non-Christian background.

GOARCH: Not an authority on the practices of the Oriental Orthodox Churches.

Why is it a staple of OC.net that the OO threads turn into "let's post links and information from EO sources to answer questions about the OO" as if everything is interchangeable? I'm not saying the GOARCH teaching doesn't align with how the OO may see the same issue, but, really. We're different churches.

I can actually answer that, in reference to my posts. I mistakenly just read the thread title and didn't catch Mor's ever-so-subtle hints that this was the OO section. My apologies to the OP (and to others for answering the wrong question), as I have no idea what the specific OO teachings on this are.

You're right, Aram, but don't read anything into it other than careless internetting on my part.

That said, there sure have been a lot of OO parishioners at the EO parishes I've attended (urban, plenty of options). As you wrote, we're different churches.  ;)

« Last Edit: August 09, 2016, 09:02:26 PM by Cognomen »
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