Author Topic: Second Marriages  (Read 6780 times)

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Offline Rosehip

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Second Marriages
« on: May 20, 2008, 09:06:17 PM »
This is a bit of an odd question.

In Orthodoxy, a second marriage ceremony  is always penitential and less joyful than a first marriage. Well, what if it is the first marriage for the bride but the second for the groom? Is it still penitential? Seems to me it wouldn't be fair for the bride, especially if she had long waited for this day and had lived a chaste life.

Just wondering.
+ Our dear sister Martha (Rosehip) passed away on Dec 20, 2010.  May her memory be eternal! +

Offline arimethea

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Re: Second Marriages
« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2008, 09:34:30 PM »
This is a pastoral decision. This is something that the priest should be talking with the couple about in the premarital counseling.
Joseph

Offline Fr. George

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Re: Second Marriages
« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2008, 10:10:03 PM »
This is a pastoral decision. This is something that the priest should be talking with the couple about in the premarital counseling.

And just to add to what you're saying (for the benefit of others), it's a decision which is made by the Bishop in consultation with the priest.  The standard practice in the GOA is to perform the full Marriage service if it is the first marriage for either person, second marriage if it is second for both (except in certain circumstances).
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Offline Rosehip

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Re: Second Marriages
« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2008, 10:47:35 AM »
Thanks for your replies! Would this policy be the same pretty much across the board, jurisdiction-wise?
+ Our dear sister Martha (Rosehip) passed away on Dec 20, 2010.  May her memory be eternal! +

Offline ialmisry

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Re: Second Marriages
« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2008, 10:52:17 AM »
Thanks for your replies! Would this policy be the same pretty much across the board, jurisdiction-wise?

As far as I know (and I've been around), yes.
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Offline Amdetsion

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Re: Second Marriages
« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2008, 01:00:18 PM »
Thanks for your replies! Would this policy be the same pretty much across the board, jurisdiction-wise?

Actually there is a difference among the eastren orthodox particulary the Coptic and Ethiopian communities.

In Ethiopia ONLY the 'virgin' recieves the full wedding right. The non-virgin (person who is marrying for the second time) only gets a blessing which is the marital element of the rite of Matrimony which completes the wedding of one person to the other. The non-virgin person is not crowned; only the 'virgin' is crowned. I have seen cases where even the 'robbing' is not performed for the non-virgin.

There is very little 'second marriages' within he Ethiopian Church community. VERY little. If ever.

Reason:

There is no divorce granted in the Ethiopian Church. In the odd few that it has it is only after years of penance and review of a case of adultery. Even in the odd chance that a divorce is granted by the Church for adultery most Ethiopian Orthodox Christians have no interest to re-marry but go into monastic life. Its is also largely common that if a person dies the remianing spouse although is free to re-marry goes into monastic life most times. If a person abandons the marraige by using outisde means like a 'western type court divorce system' or simply just leaves; such person is put on strict penance having no Holy Rites administered to them at all until they restore the marraige. It is not uncommon that people in this senario live out there lives in self imposed monasticism or simple celebacy for the rest of their lives if they decided not to restore the marraige. Of course then we have those who "re-marry" outside the church having never received a real divorce from the Holy Church. Persons in this case are "in rebellion" and are not permitted any Holy Rites at all until they restore themselves. People in this last case who refuses to relent simply go to "other Churches" (like there is such a thing) such as baptist, pentacostal or one of the myriad other groups.

So we do not see many 'second marriages' if at all.

Matrimony is very very serious matter in the Ethiopian Church and is treated with extremely conservative strictness to absolute orthodoxy. NO back sliding and 'placation' so that the "pictures can be nice" or that the "families can be happy".

I must admit that in the USA I have seen slanting to be "more liberal" in one particular case. Sadly the couple was talked about poorly in an un-christian like way by others and the clergy performing the service lost some credibility. Seems this shows that in the USA there is still a larger need to keep with the respected norm.

Marraige of man and women is the solid basis of the Christian faith. Christ asserted "I am the groom and the Church is My Bride".

It seems that more rides on the sancrament of marraige than the simple "I love you". It is a Holy Seal. The benchmark of the true faith in God; the symbol and sign post of the Holy Church on earth.

Thus marraige (if real) is not something that is jumped in and out of.

WE should be more careful.

Lord have mercy on us all.
"ETHIOPIA shall soon stretch out her hands unto God".....Psalm 68:vs 31

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Offline Rosehip

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Re: Second Marriages
« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2008, 01:10:22 PM »
I agree with, and appreciate this strictness of the Ethiopian Church, A. My former faith also forbid divorce and remarriage and I to this day struggle with and can hardly accept the teachings of the Orthodox church on this. It seems to go against the teachings of the NT. And I am surprised at the ease with which people seek out divorces, merely because they know divorce and remarriage are permitted.

Ideally, it  would be nice to marry another person who has never been married, but as one gets older, it is increasingly difficult to find such a man. (but I know with God all things are possible!)

It would seem to me terribly sad to be crowned while the groom isn't, though! But possibly it is better to be strict like you are.

But I have a question, what is "robbing"? Forgive my ignorance, but I'm not at all familiar with Ethiopian customs...
+ Our dear sister Martha (Rosehip) passed away on Dec 20, 2010.  May her memory be eternal! +

Offline Quinault

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Re: Second Marriages
« Reply #7 on: May 21, 2008, 01:15:20 PM »
One of our deacons was just wed to a woman in our parish. This was a second marraige for both of them. They had the crowing in their ceremony.

Offline Rosehip

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Re: Second Marriages
« Reply #8 on: May 21, 2008, 01:18:21 PM »
One of our deacons was just wed to a woman in our parish. This was a second marraige for both of them. They had the crowing in their ceremony.

Many years to them! But I find this very confusing as well... I thought deacons, just as priests, could only marry before they were ordained? And if a clergyman enters a second marriage, he must forfeit his office? Don't know, color me confused...
+ Our dear sister Martha (Rosehip) passed away on Dec 20, 2010.  May her memory be eternal! +

Offline Quinault

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Re: Second Marriages
« Reply #9 on: May 21, 2008, 01:21:37 PM »
His now wife was Chrismated during Nativity, and they became engaged shortly thereafter.  I think that the deacon might have been a widower before he wed this time. In any case our priest is a Dean of the Pacific NW and is in regular contact with our Bishop JOSEPH and would NEVER do anything without his approval.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2008, 01:30:04 PM by Quinault »

Offline Fr. George

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Re: Second Marriages
« Reply #10 on: May 21, 2008, 01:46:43 PM »
Many years to them! But I find this very confusing as well... I thought deacons, just as priests, could only marry before they were ordained? And if a clergyman enters a second marriage, he must forfeit his office? Don't know, color me confused...

You're not confused, you're just encountering a situation that is an exception to the rule.  To clarify what the standard is:

1. A clergyman may not marry after ordination (except in the Armenian tradition, where Deacons can marry if they have the permission of their Bishop before they're ordained); this includes Priest, Deacon, and Subdeacon (the part about subdeacons being restricted has been circumvented either through a subdeaconal "blessing" instead of ordination, or an outright change in the rule, by both the OCA and the Antiochian Archdiocese).

2. Theoretically, the rule isn't that "if a clergyman enters a second marriage, he must forfeit his office." It's that if he enters any marriage - first, second, or other - that he will be defrocked.  It is sometimes a challenge for a clergyman to not be defrocked for getting the divorce in the first place; normally the priest is sanctioned if the case is made that he's the reason for the divorce (rather than, say, infidelity by the wife, mental/emotional issues of the wife, or the desire of the wife to no longer be married to a clergyman, etc.) - defrocking will normally take place if he's unfaithful or abusive, etc.

3. The Bishop must sign off on all weddings before they happen, so he must have been aware of the situation and probably consulted with his brother bishops before performing this marriage.

4. Whether or not a crowning is done in the second wedding is a decision of the bishop.  The cases I've heard of where the crowning still happens usually involve the bride and groom being the injured parties in their original marriages/divorces, or involve the death of their first spouse.
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Offline Amdetsion

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Re: Second Marriages
« Reply #11 on: May 22, 2008, 02:41:28 PM »
Many years to them! But I find this very confusing as well... I thought deacons, just as priests, could only marry before they were ordained? And if a clergyman enters a second marriage, he must forfeit his office? Don't know, color me confused...

You are correct Rosehip according to the Canons of the Holy Church. In fact A deacon (if he is really a deacon) of any rank is defrocked if his marraige fails. This goes for priests as well. Sometimes a bishop may allow the deacon (or priest) to remian a 'deacon' (or priest) but not be allowed to serve at all if the situations permits such an extreme dispensation to avoid the horror of being defrocked.

Please note that poster cleveland is not wrong really; but not exactly correct. The information you seek for absolute clarity must be from the language of the Church canon and not from mine or anyone elses mind. We may help with this issue but so many dispensations, special treatments, placations and so on has happened all around the Church with Matrimony what I say may not agree exactly with what the next person says on this matter. The rule is as it stand by the fathers is not confusing at all. Please reference the Didascalia and the Didache and the Patristics (or teachings of the fathers) to get the firmest wording on this issue which is the last word on what the Church teaches.

For now if I may bare on the subject my experience and understanding with this issue:

Deacons may marry once for the first and last time accoding to Holy Church canon. A priest can not marry at all.

If the deaocn becomes a priests before he marries than he must vow monk-hood.

The wedding between a deacon and his new bride to be is very Holy since the women at the same time is not only becoming one flesh she is also becoming by extension a servant of the church through her new husband. We have a name for women in such situations in our language. Thus there is no dancing or drinking or hooplah of any kind. It is very cheerful and happy time for all but it is a time for many clergy to gather around and as such the spirit of the festivities are in line with the clergy being the guests.

A deacon is never married twice...never!

If this does happen the marriage is un-orthodox and invalid. The language in the Dadiscalia and the Didache must be referenced on this point to avoid any daught of the point I am making.

It does not surprise me that such things may occur. We orthodox today are so placative. WE are becoming more concerned with 'giving the people what they want' instead of what the Holy Church is commissioned to do which is to ONLY provide for the needs of the faithful.

St. Paul teaches " and daecons are to be sober in all there ways, holy and virtuous; being the husband of 'one' wife...."

How can a deaocn then marry for a 'second' time?

The scripture only allowed for "one" wife. Thus if that fails than that is the last chance. NO SECONDS!

WE must pray Rosehip for each other since we are all weak in the flesh.

I also struggle with these things....

It is difficult but it is the faith of the true Church! 

I know that the Orthodox Church is very difficult in many ways and sometimes when the fullness of the faith is revealed it can make us uncomfortable or angry even.

I felt very bad after my original post becuase I know that too much has happened over the years in the Holy Church that falls away from the absolute teachings that we confess to believe, keep, love and follow; especially regarding Matrimony. I did not want to offend anyone who is used to a more relaxed treatment of " matrimony" as we find being administered in the Holy Church thoughout the world today.

I pray that you find a good Orthodox man who will love you as Christ loves His Church. I believe that you are closer to that possibilty than it seems.

WE must wait on God!

Pray for the One Holy Universal Apostolic Church; Orthodox in the Lord.

Selaam
« Last Edit: May 22, 2008, 03:17:16 PM by Amdetsion »
"ETHIOPIA shall soon stretch out her hands unto God".....Psalm 68:vs 31

"Are ye not as children of the ETHIOPIANS unto me, O children of Israel"?....Amos 9: vs 7

Offline Amdetsion

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Re: Second Marriages
« Reply #12 on: May 22, 2008, 04:12:53 PM »
If a wife to a deacon or priest passes away the deacon may marry again under strict direction of a synod of bishops. One bishop can not make this decision. An archbishop can make this decision but typically will not unless he first get the blessing of his patriarch. This is followed in the Ethiopian Church.

But it is rare if ever that a widowed deacon will be permitted to re-marry in the Ethiopian tradition. This not to disregard the rule and rite of the Holy Church that the widowed deacon may (after a council of bishops) re-marry but to  protect and maintain the healthy integrity of the deacons service to God over worldly matters since the deacon is first Gods servant to His Holy Church before all else. It is realised that the reputation of the deacon in the future may be questioned long after people have forgot how he became remarried. Of course if he is questioned he can prove the matter out that the remarriage was legal and canonical. But a deacon like a priest must be blameless, having the respect of the faithful in all matters. We all know that it is normal for people to create rumor about people. It is just the way it is for some people. Such may tarnish the 'image' of the deacon even though the rumor is not true; even after the rumor has been put to shame by the truth. The resulting 'image' may linger over the deacon for who knows how long and though things are resolved who knows when it can happen again. Such is enough to render him unable to serve with dignity with a clear conscience. He may always fear the next time he will be confronted especially by those who do not know him.

So make no daught that re-marrying of a widowed deacon is very rare if ever. Conditons that permit such an occurnace are extraordinary but to my knowledge does not brake any canon or rule. This has to be verified for absolute accurracy.

If a priest wife dies than he can not re-marry. Period.

The widowed priest is entitled to re-marry since the rule is "till death do ye part". But for him to excercise this rite he must relinquish his priesthood and become a layman first than he may recieve the rite of matrimony again. He will never be permitted to recieve the rite of ordination again. Thus he wil stay a layman for life. In Ethiopia more than 99 percent of such cases the priest enters the monastic life. It is very very rare for an Ethiopian married priest to give up the priesthood to re-marry.

I must say that in Ethiopia the Holy Sacraments are extremely Holy and pure in the mind of the faithful...the gift of God in Christ. There is a ferver, fear, extreme respect for them. NO one lay or clergy wants to disgrace himself by treating any of the Holy Seven Scaraments lightly. These Seven gifts to man or the keys to a life with God in the second birth. This is the life we are looking to be in.

Of course we all share this endeavor for eternal life. Each of us is entitled to make the best effort we can to meet that end (or start).
"ETHIOPIA shall soon stretch out her hands unto God".....Psalm 68:vs 31

"Are ye not as children of the ETHIOPIANS unto me, O children of Israel"?....Amos 9: vs 7

Offline Amdetsion

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Re: Second Marriages
« Reply #13 on: May 22, 2008, 04:26:39 PM »
Rosehip

The "Robing" is a very important and power stage of the wedding service. It symbolized thta the couple is now "one flesh". The Robe has couple of significant meanings as well.

In Ethiopia married people wear the robe (we call it 'Kabah') even after the marriage ceromony (if the couple can afford to own a set) to special functions like the baptism day of their children, wedding anniversaries and other very special church functions during the course of our lives.

"ETHIOPIA shall soon stretch out her hands unto God".....Psalm 68:vs 31

"Are ye not as children of the ETHIOPIANS unto me, O children of Israel"?....Amos 9: vs 7

Offline Quinault

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Re: Second Marriages
« Reply #14 on: May 22, 2008, 04:30:38 PM »
I would say over 99% of our parish are later life converts. And I am almost 100% positive that our deacon wed his first wife before they were ever Orthodox.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2008, 04:30:58 PM by Quinault »

Offline Punch

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Re: Second Marriages
« Reply #15 on: May 22, 2008, 06:58:44 PM »
I would say over 99% of our parish are later life converts. And I am almost 100% positive that our deacon wed his first wife before they were ever Orthodox.

I have heard it said that since baptism washes away all sin and the person becomes a new man, what happened before baptism does not count.  I have mixed feelings about this.  Sounds like a loophole.  But then again, if one really believes that baptism washes away the old man, there is some basis.
I would be happy to agree with you, but then both of us would be wrong.

Offline Rosehip

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Re: Second Marriages
« Reply #16 on: May 22, 2008, 09:00:24 PM »
Thanks Amdetsion, for your kind words and lengthy explanations. Thanks for the photo of the newly married couple in their robes. That's  interesting and beautiful, and something very new for me. You gave me much food for thought.

Punch, I've had similar mixed feelings about this idea that what happens before baptism doesn't matter.
+ Our dear sister Martha (Rosehip) passed away on Dec 20, 2010.  May her memory be eternal! +

Offline Amdetsion

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Re: Second Marriages
« Reply #17 on: May 23, 2008, 01:48:23 PM »
I have heard it said that since baptism washes away all sin and the person becomes a new man, what happened before baptism does not count.  I have mixed feelings about this.  Sounds like a loophole.  But then again, if one really believes that baptism washes away the old man, there is some basis.

If the person was remarried outside the Holy Church for the second time than was baptised into the Holy Church and later ordained a deacon than this is canonical and his ordination is valid assuming that the wife he had just before his baptism is also baptised into the holy church as well.

Ethiopia follows the above but also reqiures that all "couples" who are converted receive not only the sacarments of baptism, confirmation and holy communion but also the sacrament of Holy Matrimony. This must be done in all cases so that the couple may be one in Christ and the His Church; but especailly if the man is called to be ordained to the diaconate at some future date.

"ETHIOPIA shall soon stretch out her hands unto God".....Psalm 68:vs 31

"Are ye not as children of the ETHIOPIANS unto me, O children of Israel"?....Amos 9: vs 7

Offline calligraphqueen

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Re: Second Marriages
« Reply #18 on: June 03, 2008, 05:47:38 PM »
we were just married in the ORthodox church a few years back, and until this post I had never seen 'robing' mentioned at all!

So is this just an issue if you are part of the clergy or divorced?  I should think that two Orthodox people that are both widowed would be allowed to remarry with permission with less strife or trouble. If they lived a chaste life as married partners before??
Just wondering.

Offline Amdetsion

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Re: Second Marriages
« Reply #19 on: June 05, 2008, 02:32:59 PM »
we were just married in the ORthodox church a few years back, and until this post I had never seen 'robing' mentioned at all!

So is this just an issue if you are part of the clergy or divorced?  I should think that two Orthodox people that are both widowed would be allowed to remarry with permission with less strife or trouble. If they lived a chaste life as married partners before??
Just wondering.


Absolutely!

The marriage rite recieved is adjusted to account for the fact that you are no longer virgins ( I think we all do this); but beside that there would be no difference than if you were married for the first time. This is the position in the Ethiopian Church tradition.

The robes are used for any couple getting the full marriage rite meaning niether person was married before.

The robes may be used in a case like yours when the couples are not virgins but meaning they were married before but never divorced; meaning that the former spouses of each person has passed away. This assumes that both people are canonically baptised in the orthodox church prior to the wedding.

I do not believe that all orthodox tradition use the "robing" albiet the 'rite' they represent are performed. I know in the OO traditions we all use the robes. I know that the Russian, Greek, Bulgarian use the robes. For all other orthodox traditions I do not know.

God keep you and stregnthen you+++
"ETHIOPIA shall soon stretch out her hands unto God".....Psalm 68:vs 31

"Are ye not as children of the ETHIOPIANS unto me, O children of Israel"?....Amos 9: vs 7

Offline Marc1152

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Re: Second Marriages
« Reply #20 on: June 05, 2008, 10:18:14 PM »
What if it is the second marrige for him and the third for her and they havent been chaste?

opps...too much information?
Your idea has been debunked 1000 times already.. Maybe 1001 will be the charm

Offline Amdetsion

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Re: Second Marriages
« Reply #21 on: June 06, 2008, 12:10:16 PM »
What if it is the second marrige for him and the third for her and they havent been chaste?

opps...too much information?

I am not sure of what you are asking....

But orthodox Church canon law forbids divorce. This law is to be held to the fullest extent without dispensation (or no "bending" of the rule). Although; as you may know; many couples are married today in circumstances that are in violation of the canon. May peole today are also so-called divorced but actually are not and have also "married" in civil ceromonies but in actuallity within the church they are not married and are fornicators; and have violated church canon by going to a civil court and getting a 'civil' divorces aand "marriages". Many of these people even take communion and hold positions of authority in the church in various administrative capacities.

This is outright rebellion agianst the holy sacraments. But this is where we are today.

I have seen and heard of all kinds of what I feel are 'kangaroo marriages" performed in the holy church. Like a Greek Orthodox priest on the grooms side and a Catholic priest on the brides side.

This and all the other 'creative', sorta orthodox methods are comical on one end and sad oin the other. But it sems to make the church member 'happy' so then .....

I have witnessed a protestant be married to an orthodox. The priests were orthodox and service was done in an orthodox church sancturary. I am not sure if what this was about or how it was done canonically. But I watched it with my own eyes. The non-christian (or protestant) person was not crowned only the orthodox person was. Of course no communion was performed. I was wondering how that would have worked since one person was not a baptised Christian (but a protestant presumably baptised according to some standard but may not have been at all since some protestants do not believe in baptism).

Many church fathers around the world either "turn a blind eye" or use some sort of dispensation or something to manage this trend while congregants who commit such violations maintain full communion in the holy church regardless and thus get remarried in the church two maybe three times, take communion, hold church offices etc. A real "have your cake and eat it to" deal.

Of course many of our fathers stick to the teachings of God. I have seen and heard the ridicule heaped on the fathers by the congregants if they are strong in the orthodox life. Some congragants today want "what they want".

I have never heard of a third marriage in the orthodox church. I cannot and donot want to imagine what kind of circumstances would bring about such a thing. But it seems that the way things have relaxed this may be realised soon if not already.

King Henry VIII of England was probably living in the wrong time period. It seems if he lived today and lived the way he lived then much of the divisions and "churches" created by his rebellion against the holy church may not be here today.
« Last Edit: June 06, 2008, 01:02:55 PM by Amdetsion »
"ETHIOPIA shall soon stretch out her hands unto God".....Psalm 68:vs 31

"Are ye not as children of the ETHIOPIANS unto me, O children of Israel"?....Amos 9: vs 7