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Author Topic: Marriage question  (Read 8190 times) Average Rating: 0
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cristoforos
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« on: September 24, 2008, 07:35:08 PM »

Hi guys, I was wondering- if a married person becomes Orthodox how is their marriage viewed by the Church, especially if it was a civil wedding? Is it viewed as valid or is there some sort of process to go through as in the Catholic Church (convalidation)? Also, what if only one of the couple becomes Orthodox?

Thanks!
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GabrieltheCelt
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« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2008, 09:41:58 PM »

Hi Cristoforos,

First, I see you're fairly new here.  If I haven't welcomed you yet I apologize; welcome to the forum. Smiley

To answer your question re: the validity, I believe that if neither parties are Orthodox the question becomes a non-issue.  Once one (or both) of you become Orthodox, the couple will definately want to speak about this to their priest.  I'm sure one of our more learned brothers or sisters (or resident priests) can shed way more light than I have...

In Christ,

Gabriel
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« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2008, 09:47:29 PM »

Hi guys, I was wondering- if a married person becomes Orthodox how is their marriage viewed by the Church, especially if it was a civil wedding? Is it viewed as valid or is there some sort of process to go through as in the Catholic Church (convalidation)? Also, what if only one of the couple becomes Orthodox? Thanks! 

Hi Cristoforos,

I am married (just passed 24 years!) and was received into the Church 4 years ago, without my spouse.  My marriage is viewed as valid in the Orthodox Church.  It is possible to have your marriage blessed by your priest if your spouse is agreeable.  Not sure about the "civil" wedding view.  That's an "ask your priest" type of thing.

Hope this helps, Athanasia

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Thomas
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« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2008, 09:54:05 AM »

The various jurisdictions have differing approaches to the marital situation.  The Greek Orthodox expect  an Orthodox marriage within 12 months of conversion of a couple into Orthodoxy, according to my pastor when we converted in the late 1980s.  Some will only bless the prior marriage and others require a crowning service. Even in those jurisdictions that do blessings of prior marriages one may ask for a crowning and the priest is usuaklly more than happy to have the full service.

Bishop Basil of Wichita and Mid-America, recently has instituted a blessing service  recognizing those Orthodox Christians who have been married for many years (in our parish for those over 30 years of marriage) it consists of the couple wearing their crowns and being blessed by the priests with special prayers and blessings---it takes about 10 minutes but is a nice recognition of couples who have been faithful to their commitments at thier crowning.  An example to all that divorce does not need to become the norm in the Orthodox Church that it has become outside of the Church.

Thomas
« Last Edit: September 25, 2008, 09:54:37 AM by Thomas » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2008, 10:35:25 AM »

Hi Christophoros,

I've been married for 25 years; I was chrismated Orthodox only in February 2007, and my marriage (legalized in 1983 by a civil ceremony only) still waits to be blessed by the Church. However, I never heard from my priests that my marriage is "not valid." My spouse Lesya and I are wife and husband. The Church does not deny it. If I am not mistaken (let the knowledgeable people correct me if I am), even if my wife never agrees to the blessing of our marriage, - she is "technically" Orthodox but an agnostic and a "progressive-minded individual" who thinks that all these churches and blessings are utter nonsense Smiley , - the Church would still not treat the two of us as just "cohabitating."

Best wishes,

George
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« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2008, 04:46:09 PM »

From what I understand, from what I and friends have been told by my Greek Orthodox priest and another priest, the marriage is recognized because we weren't Orthodox at the time, but we can't take communion until our marriages have been blessed.  My friends are both Orthodox converts; I'm converting without my DH. 
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« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2008, 04:10:25 PM »

Forgive me? 

I am unclear about what is being suggested in the idea of a marriage by Priest's blessing?

Anyone who receives the Holy Mysteries has by virtue of that reception blessed their marriage.  The way I understand a marriage to be Holy is by one or both parties receiving the Holy Mystery of Christ in Communion.  It is only there that any marriage can be of one mind, one heart and one flesh. 

When one's spouse does not follow the other into the Church, it is the sanctified spouse who brings the blessing into the marriage.  It is they who bear the life giving body and blood of Christ into the marriage.  It is they who have to consciously take up their Cross and follow Christ in loving their spouse, especially if that spouse is hostile to the faith.  This also applies to those whose marriages are being broken on the stumbling stone of Christ and His Church.

Orthodox Marriage is a Mystery and/or Sacrament because two become one flesh in Christ.  There is a great mystery here which seems to lie in that area of knowlege which St. Paul described as improper for men to utter, but it sanctifies and makes Holy the children of broken marriages.

---------

1983?  Was it in early November?

Ah hh, autumn the begining of time, the beginning of our salvation...a good time for marriage.


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cristoforos
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« Reply #7 on: September 30, 2008, 08:26:21 AM »

Thanks for all your replies folks! God Bless!
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« Reply #8 on: September 30, 2008, 09:57:57 AM »

Forgive me? 

I am unclear about what is being suggested in the idea of a marriage by Priest's blessing?

Anyone who receives the Holy Mysteries has by virtue of that reception blessed their marriage.  The way I understand a marriage to be Holy is by one or both parties receiving the Holy Mystery of Christ in Communion.  It is only there that any marriage can be of one mind, one heart and one flesh. 

When one's spouse does not follow the other into the Church, it is the sanctified spouse who brings the blessing into the marriage.  It is they who bear the life giving body and blood of Christ into the marriage.  It is they who have to consciously take up their Cross and follow Christ in loving their spouse, especially if that spouse is hostile to the faith.  This also applies to those whose marriages are being broken on the stumbling stone of Christ and His Church.

Orthodox Marriage is a Mystery and/or Sacrament because two become one flesh in Christ.  There is a great mystery here which seems to lie in that area of knowlege which St. Paul described as improper for men to utter, but it sanctifies and makes Holy the children of broken marriages.


This is all correct, certainly, but there is also a Holy Mystery of Marriage per se (just like there exist the Holy Mysteries of Baptism, Chrismation, and other). For those who were married by a secular ceremony, or by a ceremony outside of the Orthodox Church, this Holy Mystery cannot be partaken in, because they are already married; however, there is a special rite of blessing of the marriage. Of course, when a couple comes to Church and is given the Eucharist, that by itself is a blessing of their marriage; still, that does not rule out the special ceremony of blessing of the marriage, AFAIK.
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« Reply #9 on: September 30, 2008, 01:06:23 PM »

"...but there is also a Holy Mystery of Marriage per se..."

To the extent that everything created by God is good, makes the statement seem agreeable.   Also, the commandment to not commit adultery and our Lord's words about marriage from the beginning would seem to support the statement.



   
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