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Author Topic: Age, Engagement, and the Orthodoxy  (Read 4635 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: February 03, 2007, 10:07:52 PM »

Should age matter in whether or not a couple can get engaged?  Should the fact that they haven't completed their education, even though they will in a few years, be a serious condition for the Orthodox Christian, or is this a worldly concern coming from the secular idea of marriage, and one that Orthodoxy has little concern over?

This is of course speaking about engagement, not marriage.

God bless.

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« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2007, 10:59:13 PM »

The rite of engagement is no longer celebrated normally apart from marriage for the fact that many engagements end.  Hence, the kind of engagement from a social perspective is probably not the concern of the Church per se.

Long engagements can be hard on a relationship as well though so keep that in mind.

I waited until I was done with college but got married before going off to graduate school. It was hard in some regards.  I would have not done it differently though.

Ultimately, I say do what you think is best and not worry about what other people think. That is assuming you are both mature people.

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« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2007, 12:52:01 AM »

It really depends on the couple, their maturity level and what they think is best / right for them.  I'm 20 years old and engaged, and I wouldn't have wanted to do it any differently.  With school, the wedding is going to be about 2 years down the road which gives time for me to convert, get involved in the Church community, attend with my fiancee and her family, etc.

Best of luck with your decision and God bless.
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« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2007, 01:31:23 AM »

A question to consider is whether one's age and stage in education are legitimate reasons of objection to a couple's engagement by either one (or both) of their parents? I'm not sure about how other Orthodox Churches operate, but the Coptic Orthodox Church will not perform an engagement or marriage without the consent and blessing of both parents.
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« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2007, 02:02:57 AM »

Best of luck with your decision and God bless.

Thank you, although this question only comes out of a curious feeling, not for me personally Smiley

In addition to EA's question, does Orthodoxy ever found it necessary to find consent with the parents, and does the marriage of a couple necessarily mean "marrying two families"?

I wish you best of God's blessings for your conversion and eventual marriage though.

God bless.
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« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2007, 06:33:33 AM »

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Should age matter in whether or not a couple can get engaged?

From a traditional Orthodox perspective, such factors as age and maturity do not come into play. From ancient times most girls (including the Virgin Mary) would have been given away in marriage by their early teens. If you were 16 and were not engaged, you were probably either planning on being a monastic or your parents were having a hard time finding anyone to take you off their hands. Marriages could be arranged before the teeneage years, sometimes well in advance, but given the chance of death in those times, this was a bit of a gamble, and people usually couldn't afford to gamble with property as valuable as children.

Most societies gradually increased the age of consent as years went by*, and we obviously no longer marry our kids off at 13. Ok, we don't marry our kids off today period (though I do know a few Protestant fundamentalists who still do that). As far as present day considerations, maturity isn't really tied to age, so I think that's a different matter. Of course one might ask at what maturity people are ready for marriage... I'll leave that one alone, lol. So anyway, the only way that age itself should come into the picture these days is with the law of the land you find yourself in.

Quote
Should the fact that they haven't completed their education, even though they will in a few years, be a serious condition for the Orthodox Christian, or is this a worldly concern coming from the secular idea of marriage, and one that Orthodoxy has little concern over?

If you can hook someone good, go for it; if they're not perfect, don't worry about it. It's rare that a truly good, truly compatible person comes along. You probably won't have a second chance. This isn't about true love, but more about the inability of humans to get along with each other on an intimate, constant basis. And don't worry about your potentially secular ideas... they couldn't possibly by any more secular than the norm in most Orthodox societies throughout history. In fact, if you're into all that stuff about sex being a spiritual bond and such, then you're way ahead of the curve.


* Not that most parents bared about a child consenting, a reason I always found Orthodoxy's very overt insistence on asking the couple if they consented to be utterly silly. Sure, the kids had a right to say no... then they'd have either have fled to a monastery and been forced to live there the rest of their life, or been disowned, left homeless, and died of starvation.
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« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2007, 09:18:01 AM »

Most societies gradually increased the age of consent as years went by*, and we obviously no longer marry our kids off at 13.

* Not that most parents bared about a child consenting, a reason I always found Orthodoxy's very overt insistence on asking the couple if they consented to be utterly silly. Sure, the kids had a right to say no... then they'd have either have fled to a monastery and been forced to live there the rest of their life, or been disowned, left homeless, and died of starvation.

Actually that's a more recent innovation, in the Orthodox tradition consent is not required for marriage. Yeah, it's a nice extra but ultimately the only consent needed is the consent of the Chruch. Though Eloping was looked down on for obvious social reasons...marriage was a social contract between two families and therefore was part of the rights associated with the pater familias...as Canon 30 of Basil states, there's nothing the Church can do in that instance. Concerning an abduction and forced marriage, it's still technically a marriage though the Church allows for divorce and in either case has traditionally required a severe penance of the abductor; however, if I recall properly, I believe imperial law gave a death sentence for this offence, which I guess would make a divorce unnecessary: since the woman faired better under imperial law when her husband died than when there was a divorce she might as well just wait for the axe to fall.

Quote
As far as present day considerations, maturity isn't really tied to age, so I think that's a different matter. Of course one might ask at what maturity people are ready for marriage... I'll leave that one alone, lol. So anyway, the only way that age itself should come into the picture these days is with the law of the land you find yourself in.

Yes it's tied to an age, sure there's a degree of individuality, but statistics can tell us some things. From the studies I've read on the matter, using the law of diminishing returns over the entire age spectrum 45 is the ideal age to marry for reasons of and stability. If longevity is also taken into account and much the spectrum above the age of 45 for stability is thrown out as statistic outliers then the ideal age becomes 28. So take your pick.
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« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2007, 12:38:13 PM »

Yes it's tied to an age, sure there's a degree of individuality, but statistics can tell us some things. From the studies I've read on the matter, using the law of diminishing returns over the entire age spectrum 45 is the ideal age to marry for reasons of and stability. If longevity is also taken into account and much the spectrum above the age of 45 for stability is thrown out as statistic outliers then the ideal age becomes 28. So take your pick.

Of course, 45 is a poor marrying age for childrearing... IIRC there is a higher rate of complications the later the woman waits to have her first child, and of course the "biological clock" is almost run out.
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« Reply #8 on: February 04, 2007, 01:53:32 PM »

Of course, 45 is a poor marrying age for childrearing... IIRC there is a higher rate of complications the later the woman waits to have her first child, and of course the "biological clock" is almost run out.

Ah, perhaps we have discovered the secret to a successful marriage...no children Grin
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« Reply #9 on: February 04, 2007, 03:59:40 PM »

GIC

I think you just like contradicting me Wink
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« Reply #10 on: February 04, 2007, 04:16:46 PM »

GiC,

When you find your fantasy world, where a female Patriarch of Constantinople rules your Church with a Synod of female Bishops; where an EO emperor of Constantinople has eradicated all traces of Islam through propaganda and violent force; where the official language of the world is koine Greek; where people walk around in togas philosophising in the streets, discussing Plato and Plotinus and the like; where childless 45+ year old married couples represent half of the population (the other half being less-than-45 year old persons awaiting to be part of a 45+ year old childless marital relationship); where alcohol flows readily from the taps of one’s household sinks; where the outcasts of society are those who did not succeed in maths at school; please notify me so I can wake you up! Cheesy Grin Roll Eyes
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« Reply #11 on: February 04, 2007, 04:19:29 PM »

GIC

I think you just like contradicting me Wink

No I dont.

 Cheesy

Is there anyone I don't like contradicting? Wink
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« Reply #12 on: February 04, 2007, 04:29:42 PM »

GiC,

When you find your fantasy world, where a female Patriarch of Constantinople rules your Church with a Synod of female Bishops;

I wouldn't mind there being a representative portion of female bishops in a synod, but to have all female bishops would be just as bad as having all male bishops Wink

Quote
where an EO emperor of Constantinople has eradicated all traces of Islam through propaganda and violent force;

Despite my fondness for the past Empire I have no desire to see any monarchy ever again instituted on this earth. Unless, of course, the monarch is myself...not that I would even trust myself with absolute power, but it could still be fun Grin Though yea, the I'm all for the eradication of islam by all necessary means thing.

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where the official language of the world is koine Greek;

No thanks, I'd prefer Ancient Greek, koine was mutilated by the poor attempts of foreigners at speaking it.

Quote
where people walk around in togas philosophising in the streets, discussing Plato and Plotinus and the like;

Actually I'd be happy if people just read plato and plotinus and objectively evaluated their place in the history of ancient thought, philosophy, and religion.

Quote
where childless 45+ year old married couples represent half of the population (the other half being less-than-45 year old persons awaiting to be part of a 45+ year old childless marital relationship);

Ah, well that is to be the future anyway...this is not fantasy. As science evolves and advances we will be able to ensure that every child is free of genetic imperfections and benifits from the science of the day...it will no doubt become a crime, yea a sin, to have a child by natural means and, in doing so, condemn him to a life of genetic disability.

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where alcohol flows readily from the taps of one’s household sinks;

We already have that, it's called a kegerator. Roll Eyes Wink

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where the outcasts of society are those who did not succeed in maths at school; please notify me so I can wake you up! Cheesy Grin Roll Eyes

Isn't that already the case? Cheesy
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« Reply #13 on: February 04, 2007, 04:30:55 PM »

GiC,

When you find your fantasy world, where a female Patriarch of Constantinople rules your Church with a Synod of female Bishops; where an EO emperor of Constantinople has eradicated all traces of Islam through propaganda and violent force; where the official language of the world is koine Greek; where people walk around in togas philosophising in the streets, discussing Plato and Plotinus and the like; where childless 45+ year old married couples represent half of the population (the other half being less-than-45 year old persons awaiting to be part of a 45+ year old childless marital relationship); where alcohol flows readily from the taps of one’s household sinks; where the outcasts of society are those who did not succeed in maths at school; please notify me so I can wake you up! Cheesy Grin Roll Eyes

Now, this equates to a fantasy world that is worth the fantasising. Except, of course, the outcasts of society should be those who did not succeed in English grammar at school.  Tongue
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« Reply #14 on: February 04, 2007, 04:32:41 PM »

GIC

I think you just like contradicting me Wink

You're right in that I probably take issue with your posts more so than many other people's...though I believe that is because your posts tend to have some rational substance and thus be subject to rational discussion and dispute. Whereas the posts of many people here tend to be based on religious opinions and personal spirituality, thus lacking any substance to actually engage.
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« Reply #15 on: February 04, 2007, 04:35:37 PM »

Now, this equates to a fantasy world that is worth the fantasising. Except, of course, the outcasts of society should be those who did not succeed in English grammar at school.  Tongue

You're going to get any complaints from me...linguistics has always been one of my hobbies. If you can't tell me the difference between strong and weak verbs in west Germanic dialects, you have no business speaking English Grin
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« Reply #16 on: February 04, 2007, 04:40:46 PM »

You're going to get any complaints from me...linguistics has always been one of my hobbies. If you can't tell me the difference between strong and weak verbs in west Germanic dialects, you have no business speaking English Grin

Oh no! This sounds like it could lead onto the thing I hated most about studying German! Those dreaded irregular and regular verbs. Why do we have to worry about weak declensions and ambiguous inflections??!! UGH!!!!
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« Reply #17 on: February 04, 2007, 04:47:54 PM »

Oh no! This sounds like it could lead onto the thing I hated most about studying German! Those dreaded irregular and regular verbs. Why do we have to worry about weak declensions and ambiguous inflections??!! UGH!!!!

I protest...there is no such thing as an 'irregular' verb...if you go back far enough and are capable of watching the word evolved, it will without doubt have evolved in a reasonable manner in accordance with the rules of the given branch of languages. We only call them 'irregular' because we are not sufficiently knowledgeable to see and put together the whole picture.
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« Reply #18 on: February 04, 2007, 04:54:24 PM »

I protest...there is no such thing as an 'irregular' verb...if you go back far enough and are capable of watching the word evolved, it will without doubt have evolved in a reasonable manner in accordance with the rules of the given branch of languages. We only call them 'irregular' because we are not sufficiently knowledgeable to see and put together the whole picture.

Yeah..... whatever!!!!  Wink

I had devised a system for remembering them - well, those that are in common useage, anyway. But these days I seem to have reached an age where I have trouble remembering what I had for breakfast, let alone remembering what my system for remembering irregular German verbs was! It's all downhill from here, I think.  Grin
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« Reply #19 on: February 04, 2007, 04:58:20 PM »

A question to consider is whether one's age and stage in education are legitimate reasons of objection to a couple's engagement by either one (or both) of their parents?

That's really up to the parents, isn't it? In legal and societal settings where parental permission is considered necessary, there is usually little (if any) concern for "legitimate reasons." If I'm the parent or legal guardian, I can stop a marriage/not approve of it for completely arbitrary reasons. I don't have to justify myself to anyone or anything. As long as I don't say "yes," nothing is gonna happen.

Quote
I'm not sure about how other Orthodox Churches operate, but the Coptic Orthodox Church will not perform an engagement or marriage without the consent and blessing of both parents.

1) The EO Churches no longer perform the engagement ceremony when a couple gets engaged, since, according to our canon law, an ecclesiastical engagement is tantamount to marriage. If a couple were to have the engagement ceremony celebrated, but then later decide to call the wedding off, they would need to obtain an ecclesiastical divorce. To avoid this situation, EO Churches celebrate both services -- the engagement and the marriage proper -- at the same time, i.e. on the day of the wedding. This has been the case for quite some time now.

Some priest's service books have a special "blessing of the rings" service that they perform in people's home when they get engaged. It's not an actual engagement, but some newly engaged couples like to have some sort of priestly blessing.

2) Consent of parents is not canonically required in the EO Church, i.e. if one or both sets of parents disapprove, such would not constitute a canonical impediment (but it probably would have been a de facto impediment in most Orthodox lands until recently...in fact, I know many Orthodox elders/spiritual fathers still will not give a blessing for a marriage to occur without parental assent). However, there are many things that do constitute canonical impediments to marriage, and, since the time of Leo the Wise (893), the Bishop must issue permission for the marriage to take place.

3) I wonder if the Coptic traditions regarding these things are recorded in actual canon law, and, if so, from which Synods. As you probably know, sacramental marriage within the Church is something that came about long after Chalcedon. I'm always surprised by the similarities between Coptic and EO marriage traditions, given the fact that some of these traditions date to 9th century Byzantine law -- or later.
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« Reply #20 on: February 04, 2007, 05:16:12 PM »

where the outcasts of society are those who did not succeed in maths at school
Unfortunately, these people are a good percentage of our population!  I read a survey, from several years ago, which stated that about 25% of the US population lacks the basic math skills to perform simple calculations, such as balancing a check book!

GiC,
A book you might find very interesting is In Defense of Elitism by William A. Henry.
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« Reply #21 on: February 04, 2007, 05:44:13 PM »

GiC,
A book you might find very interesting is In Defense of Elitism by William A. Henry.

Perhaps I'll take a look at it sometime, I'm not opposed to the notion of elitism, or perhaps more accurately meritocracy. Give everyone an equal opportunity up front, level the playing field, dismiss irrelevant factors such as race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, family ties, etc....but if someone fails to perform, by all means discriminate against them, it is not socially beneficial to make the stupid person the equal of the intelligent person; though intellectual capability should be the only class distinction.
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« Reply #22 on: February 04, 2007, 06:16:47 PM »

Give everyone an equal opportunity up front, level the playing field, dismiss irrelevant factors such as race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, family ties, etc....but if someone fails to perform, by all means discriminate against them, it is not socially beneficial to make the stupid person the equal of the intelligent person; though intellectual capability should be the only class distinction.

One of the saddest things I have seen happen within the local school system is the placing of "self-esteem" over actual achievement.

The other day, a friend was cheerfully explaining to me that her daughter had passed all her subjects... even though she hadn't. It seems that after spending between $80,000 and $100,000 on a private education, the end result for my friend is that her daughter walks away from school with a piece of paper that gives the false impression of success. In every key subject, she was well below average; some she had actually failed miserably. However, it is damaging to one's pysche to be told that one is a failure, so she received an obfuscating certificate which, from outward appearances, seems worthy of framing and hanging in a prominent postion. Bring out the Champagne! 

Whilst I'm pleased that my friend is content; I would have, myself, wished to have seen much more for my hard-earned dollars.

Sorry, Mina - this is off topic.


 

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« Reply #23 on: February 05, 2007, 10:43:55 PM »

Quote
Some priest's service books have a special "blessing of the rings" service that they perform in people's home when they get engaged. It's not an actual engagement, but some newly engaged couples like to have some sort of priestly blessing.

If I'm not mistaken, this seems to be the "engagement" in the Coptic Church, which is not even a sacrament or ecclesiastical necessity.  I think in very rare cases, engagement has been skipped since it is unnecessary.

There was a time however where there was something called a "Partial Matrimony" which seems to reflect EO engagement, but this service isn't done anymore (or at least not separately) since that would be basically an inability to separate.

http://www.copticchurch.net/topics/thecopticchurch/sacraments/6_matrimony.html

God bless.

Mina
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« Reply #24 on: February 15, 2007, 02:46:17 PM »

GiC,

When you find your fantasy world, where a female Patriarch of Constantinople rules your Church with a Synod of female Bishops; where an EO emperor of Constantinople has eradicated all traces of Islam through propaganda and violent force; where the official language of the world is koine Greek; where people walk around in togas philosophising in the streets, discussing Plato and Plotinus and the like; where childless 45+ year old married couples represent half of the population (the other half being less-than-45 year old persons awaiting to be part of a 45+ year old childless marital relationship); where alcohol flows readily from the taps of one’s household sinks; where the outcasts of society are those who did not succeed in maths at school; please notify me so I can wake you up! Cheesy Grin Roll Eyes

ROTFLM@?O!

However, for most of life's more casual situations (and perhaps not so casual), I really would prefer it if we went back to the toga.  A much simpler, more natural garment.  The hooch taps sound pretty good too.

I think the marriage issue is larger than most people are willing to admit.  It is not simply a private contract between the "spouses-to-be."  This is why rulers (whether they were simply desert sheiks or shamanic chieftans, or seated upon the Imperial Throne) have always taken an interest in them.  It's only because of the contranatural madness of this present era, a madness only possible for apostates.  We have made it such a personal, even sentimental affair, that we even ignore nature and think sodomites should be wedded (when will the pedophiles, zoophiles, and necrophiles get their turns?!)  Well, that'd makes sense, were it simply "society's rubber stamp on our luv".  However, that is not the case.

The other virtues can help make up for an immediate lack of wisdom - and if yearned for sincerely, can definately make up for a want of "mere" experience...or better put, allow one the opportunity to grow themselves in a healthy way, as a well tended plant.  Humility and good will can act as the supports unto good personal growth, which can be less necessary with time, as the tree will support itself like a strong trunk on a mature tree.  It will be what it ought to be, and as such, God-pleasing.

The problem nowdays is simply that people (even those who call themselves "Christians") are not serious about very much, even really crucial things.  Saying simply "well, it takes longer for people now to grow up."  That's not the whole truth - what is closer to the bone is that all of us are kept quite infantile for far too long, even those of us who are allowed to vote, drive cars, drink alcohol and go fight wars (indeed, even some of us far more advanced in years than this.)  That's not just a crime of the youth - they're simply this age's first obvious victims.  It would seem that being 25 or 30 doesn't help people's marriages a lot...not according to the divorce stats at least; and when they're not getting formally divorced, how many of those not counted as divorced may as well be with their sham marriages - for those same staticians tell us that of both men and women, an even higher percentage than the number whose relationships end in divorce admit to adultery.  The women are not wives to their husbands, and the men are scarcely husbands at all (or even "males" for that matter) to their wives.  Being middle aged doesn't seem to help that very much.

So besides being obviously weird (esp. if the recommendation is for the espoused woman to ideally be near menopausal!), the recommendation that people wait to be over the hill before getting married is just unneccesarry, solving none of the really important problems.  And guess what's not included in that list of "problems" that I refer to?  Money.  Two cars (or even one car) , a house, degrees, etc.  Should we be prudent about practical things?  Of course, especially on the male end of the equation - he has the primary moral obligation before God to provide for his family (if your wife helps you, you're deeply in her debt.)  But those matters are more fluid than people imagine.  Playing things too safe isn't the same as being God-fearing.

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« Reply #25 on: February 15, 2007, 05:01:02 PM »

Actually, there is a "blessing of the rings" that can be done before a couple is ready for engagement, I think it's a fairly new thing but I could be wrong.  The engagement, or betrothal, is a serious thing, and breaking it is a serious thing (but it's not a sacramental union, so it can be done).  To my knowledge the blessing of the rings is more commonly done in Egypt where just dating is still less accepted.  The engagement is min 45 days before the wedding, recommended to be min 6 months before wedding, and recommended to be not more than a year before the wedding.  Sometimes skipping the engagement is done though  (not sure if it's canonically wrong or just not the normal practice, but then we're not as strict about following cannons as EO's anyways...).

The Coptic church requires parental consent if the female is less than 16, or the male is less than 18.  Parental consent should be sought in all cases, and if they refuse the marriage should at least be postponed to try to find peace, but if the couple set on it they can go ahead.  It is generally recommended for the guy to be done school, and the woman to be at least near done school, but this isn't a hard rule.  It's recommended for children to be had before the woman is 30.  Normally the guy is older by a few years, and the older the couple is the less the difference.  Again, not hard rules, after Lent I'll be engaged to someone a couple months older than me God-willing (both 25).

If I'm not mistaken, this seems to be the "engagement" in the Coptic Church, which is not even a sacrament or ecclesiastical necessity.  I think in very rare cases, engagement has been skipped since it is unnecessary.

There was a time however where there was something called a "Partial Matrimony" which seems to reflect EO engagement, but this service isn't done anymore (or at least not separately) since that would be basically an inability to separate.

http://www.copticchurch.net/topics/thecopticchurch/sacraments/6_matrimony.html

God bless.

Mina
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« Reply #26 on: February 15, 2007, 11:00:33 PM »

(when will the...necrophiles get their turns?!)

Now that could make the inheritance laws interesting. Wink

So besides being obviously weird (esp. if the recommendation is for the espoused woman to ideally be near menopausal!), the recommendation that people wait to be over the hill before getting married is just unneccesarry, solving none of the really important problems.  And guess what's not included in that list of "problems" that I refer to?  Money.  Two cars (or even one car) , a house, degrees, etc.  Should we be prudent about practical things?  Of course, especially on the male end of the equation - he has the primary moral obligation before God to provide for his family (if your wife helps you, you're deeply in her debt.)  But those matters are more fluid than people imagine.  Playing things too safe isn't the same as being God-fearing.

This is the 21st century, a wife bumming off her husband is no more respectable than a husband bumming off his wife. Everyone has a responsible to become educated and productive members of society. (And by productive, I'm not refering to mating...we have enough of that).
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« Reply #27 on: February 16, 2007, 02:48:12 PM »

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This is the 21st century, a wife bumming off her husband is no more respectable than a husband bumming off his wife. Everyone has a responsible to become educated and productive members of society. (And by productive, I'm not refering to mating...we have enough of that).

Well said, my good man!  Women need to understand that work just isn't valuable unless it comes with a paycheck and a W-2.

Funny that "21st century" ideals have made life so much easier for irresponsible men, isn't it?  Surely a coincidence!  Grin
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« Reply #28 on: February 16, 2007, 03:32:09 PM »

Funny that "21st century" ideals have made life so much easier for irresponsible men, isn't it?  Surely a coincidence!  Grin

Oh, I think I made it quite clear that everyone, regardless of gender, has a responsibility to be a productive member of society. Everyone talks about wanting more procreation and increases in population (despite the fact that our country is WAY overpopulated). Well, if everyone would just work that would mean more national productivity without the social, economic, and environmental impacts of overpopulation.
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« Reply #29 on: February 24, 2007, 08:49:16 AM »

Now that could make the inheritance laws interesting. Wink

This is the 21st century, a wife bumming off her husband is no more respectable than a husband bumming off his wife. Everyone has a responsible to become educated and productive members of society. (And by productive, I'm not refering to mating...we have enough of that).

Please define precisely what you mean by "everyone", "educated", and "productive".

Also, what do you consider to be the optimal population density, since you seem to be such an authority on it? [Didn't you say you were trained in mathematics, not demography?]

I appreciate your attention to these questions GiC, and look forward to your thoughts.

In Christ,
Brian
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« Reply #30 on: February 24, 2007, 11:59:21 AM »

Please define precisely what you mean by...

Shouldn't a dictionary be able to do that for you?

Quote
"everyone",

Well, by everyone I am of course refering only to citizens of our Republic...the manner in which foreigners conduct themselves to the success or demise of their state is their own concern...provided they embrace our egalitarian values, otherwise there state is a direct threat to the well being of our Republic.

Quote
"educated"

Well, I would say a college degree would probably fulfill this requirement...or at the very least being a skilled tradesman...we can hire unskilled labour from south of the border.

Quote
"productive".

Well, by this I mean positively contributing to the advancement of knowedge, culture, or our economy. I'm not one to dismiss the arts and I believe the advancement of knowledge to be the ultimate good.

Quote
Also, what do you consider to be the optimal population density, since you seem to be such an authority on it?

Siberia or Northern Alaska. j/k...I could even tolerate a country with a population density as high as the state of Wyoming or Montana.

But seriously my experience comes from life and not formal education on the matter. I know from living in multiple places back east and out west that nearly everywhere in the east, with the possible exceptions of northern Maine and the eastern tip of Tennessee are way over populated. The majority if the land should be public as it is in the west, cities should be small and far between...in this electronic age there is minimal need for them, the only real advantage is a centralized transportation system. As the population of this country has grown our freedoms have, out of necessity, become restricted. For example, while a hand full of people may be able to use our natural resources freely and without any noticable impact, when hundreds of millions of people attempt to do the same, the environmental impact can be devastating. For this reason while I agree with the goals of most reasonable enviromentalists, I too want to see the enviroment preserved, but I do not believe the solution is restricting our freedoms, I believe the solution to be the decreasing of demand.

This country, while better off than much of the world, is way over populated. And as technology and especially computers, improve the need for massive labour forces diminishes, reducing any real benifit to excessive population. I would place our ideal population somewhere around what it was at the turn of the 20th Century, 75 million.

Quote
[Didn't you say you were trained in mathematics, not demography?]

Well, as Pythagoras said, 'all is number,' so I'm an expert in everything Wink
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« Reply #31 on: March 30, 2007, 11:49:23 AM »



   In such issues only love matters. I married a 17 year old girl when I was 26.
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