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AirKoryoTU-204
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« on: April 20, 2011, 10:10:24 PM »

May God's praise be upon all brothers and sisters,

Hi,  well I live in Australia and I've come to a stage were I am curious on how we Orthodox are to undertake marrige, I mean I don't feel that in Australia the proper Orthodox faith is taught for marrige.  My question is how and in what way can an Orthodox Male approach a female?  Is there any limitation on how we can do so?  Also would it be sin to talk to a female not of the Orthodox faith?

Thank you all.

God bless.  Smiley
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« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2011, 10:23:29 PM »

May God's praise be upon all brothers and sisters,

Hi,  well I live in Australia and I've come to a stage were I am curious on how we Orthodox are to undertake marrige, I mean I don't feel that in Australia the proper Orthodox faith is taught for marrige.  My question is how and in what way can an Orthodox Male approach a female?  Is there any limitation on how we can do so?  Also would it be sin to talk to a female not of the Orthodox faith?

Thank you all.

God bless.  Smiley

There are no particular rules of courtship for the Orthodox faithful. Obviously premarital sex is considered a sin, but I believe that teaching is pretty consistent with most Christian thought.

The Church very early on recognized that non-Christians would date and marry non-Christians, and the Church in her infinite wisdom is okay with this as long as they are not an Atheist.There are many examples in the Hagiography of the Church of saints who married non-Christians, and through their faith, led them to Christ. (St. Monica led both her husband and her son, St. Augustine to Christ, and through the prayers of St. Xenia of St. Petersburg, her husband achieved salvation after death.)

In order for a couple to be married in the Church, at least one party must be an Orthodox Christian, and it is recommended the other party to have been baptized in the name of the Trinity. If they are a non-Christian, well, you're going to have to work with your Spiritual Father and your Bishop on that one.

Obviously, the ideal would be to marry a practicing Orthodox Christian. Now, I don't know about Australia, but I'm in the US where Orthodox Christians make up only 2-4% of the population. So since there aren't a lot of Orthodox Christians to choose from, the next best thing is a practicing Christian who is accepting of your faith.

I hope this helps.
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« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2011, 10:45:38 PM »

I also live in Australia and I have to say the state of the faith amongst cradle Orthodox youth here is abysmal (do we even have any converts?). Almost all belong to the twice-a-year crowd and seem to believe Orthodoxy to be little more than Roman Catholicism with funnier hats.

I am the only male under 30 who attends liturgy every Sunday at my parish (apart from those serving at the altar). My church also happens to be the cathedral of the archdiocese.

After my long engagement to my ex (who was baptised but unbelieving) ended in betrayal, I've become more and more motivated to find a partner who shares a commitment to the faith and has similar values to my own. It is not an easy thing in this context.

God forbid I should ever seek to use the church as a place to "pick up", but I am a bit jealous of my Protestant friends, who seem to have no trouble meeting suitable partners at Christian fellowship groups and similar events. Knowing the Orthodox faith to be the true faith, I can't attend such things even just to form Christian friendships.

I've spoken to my father confessor about this dilemma and he told me that it is important to seek to find a person, not an embodiment of a list of criteria of acceptability. This seems to imply that it is okay to approach someone who is not Orthodox, as long as you hold fast to the faith and realise that there may be some heavy issues to work out before you both approach sacramental marriage.

This post is more empathy than advice for my part, but I hope my father confessor's wisdom helps you!
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« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2011, 01:11:36 AM »

There are no particular rules of courtship for the Orthodox faithful. Obviously premarital sex is considered a sin, but I believe that teaching is pretty consistent with most Christian thought.

The Church very early on recognized that non-Christians would date and marry non-Christians, and the Church in her infinite wisdom is okay with this as long as they are not an Atheist.There are many examples in the Hagiography of the Church of saints who married non-Christians, and through their faith, led them to Christ. (St. Monica led both her husband and her son, St. Augustine to Christ, and through the prayers of St. Xenia of St. Petersburg, her husband achieved salvation after death.)

In order for a couple to be married in the Church, at least one party must be an Orthodox Christian, and it is recommended the other party to have been baptized in the name of the Trinity. If they are a non-Christian, well, you're going to have to work with your Spiritual Father and your Bishop on that one.

Obviously, the ideal would be to marry a practicing Orthodox Christian. Now, I don't know about Australia, but I'm in the US where Orthodox Christians make up only 2-4% of the population. So since there aren't a lot of Orthodox Christians to choose from, the next best thing is a practicing Christian who is accepting of your faith.

I hope this helps.

Yes that is good to know thank you sister, God bless.  In Australia we also have roughly 4.5% of the nation as Orthodox although our 4.5% is hardly compared to the 4<5% in the U.S. as your population is 15 times the size of the Australian population!   Tongue

I have heard that if one marries another in an Orthodox Church that the other becomes part of the church? I doubt it but I'm not 100% sure on that.

I also live in Australia and I have to say the state of the faith amongst cradle Orthodox youth here is abysmal (do we even have any converts?). Almost all belong to the twice-a-year crowd and seem to believe Orthodoxy to be little more than Roman Catholicism with funnier hats.

I am the only male under 30 who attends liturgy every Sunday at my parish (apart from those serving at the altar). My church also happens to be the cathedral of the archdiocese.

After my long engagement to my ex (who was baptised but unbelieving) ended in betrayal, I've become more and more motivated to find a partner who shares a commitment to the faith and has similar values to my own. It is not an easy thing in this context.

God forbid I should ever seek to use the church as a place to "pick up", but I am a bit jealous of my Protestant friends, who seem to have no trouble meeting suitable partners at Christian fellowship groups and similar events. Knowing the Orthodox faith to be the true faith, I can't attend such things even just to form Christian friendships.

I've spoken to my father confessor about this dilemma and he told me that it is important to seek to find a person, not an embodiment of a list of criteria of acceptability. This seems to imply that it is okay to approach someone who is not Orthodox, as long as you hold fast to the faith and realise that there may be some heavy issues to work out before you both approach sacramental marriage.

This post is more empathy than advice for my part, but I hope my father confessor's wisdom helps you!

Brother I too see this, I attend Sunday service but not weekly, may God forgive me.  When I am there the overall population of the service will be over 30 years old minimum.  Besides the little children.  The problem with our youth is we are far too westernised and I actually makes me quite sad and angers me at the same time, we've lost our faith, simple.  What I like about the Muslims in Australia is they keep their faith, the greater majority of Orthodox brothers and sisters here just attend Pascha if that and usually attend church just to talk with fellow friends etc.  Great disrespect for their faith and to God himself.   

I'm only 17 years old, but I have become quite religous on my own.  At school 7 Orthodox brothers and I have organised daily prayers at our school where we will recite the daily readings etc.   It is the only form of Orthodoxy I have seen amongst our youth.

May God guide the miss-guided and deliver them from the perils and afflictions of evil. 

Amin.

Brother are you from Melbourne?
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« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2011, 01:37:52 AM »

You're 17 and you're worried about marriage?!  laugh

Finish High School, go to University, spend a few years working on your career, and maybe ten years from now start thinking about marriage.

Just so you know, as an Orthodox Christian, you don't have to shun everything Western. Remember, Western Civilization was founded upon the thinking of the Greek Philosophers (who are also esteemed amongst the Orthodox.)

You don't have to give up your friends are be afraid to associate with Christians of other faiths just because you're Orthodox. We are to be in the world, but not of the world. Wink
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AirKoryoTU-204
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« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2011, 01:52:00 AM »

You're 17 and you're worried about marriage?!  laugh

Finish High School, go to University, spend a few years working on your career, and maybe ten years from now start thinking about marriage.

Just so you know, as an Orthodox Christian, you don't have to shun everything Western. Remember, Western Civilization was founded upon the thinking of the Greek Philosophers (who are also esteemed amongst the Orthodox.)

You don't have to give up your friends are be afraid to associate with Christians of other faiths just because you're Orthodox. We are to be in the world, but not of the world. Wink

18 years is just around the corner, I prefer to marry at a younger age maybe 20  Smiley  I do worry because from what I see in Australia wants me to migrate overseas and return to the Orthodox nations.  Australia has proven to be polluted by all evil, I am not preaching hatred for the western, but extreme westernization is pure evil to the extent of Orthodox followers telling me that Catholicism and Orthodoxy are the same, only one is from Italy the other from Greece (yes that is an exact quote from a girl at my school)  Huh  Roll Eyes Huh  I really just wonder sometimes why people allow this extreme assimilation into Australian society, I mean we can integrate but still keep your faith.

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« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2011, 02:02:31 AM »

18 years is just around the corner, I prefer to marry at a younger age maybe 20  Smiley  I do worry because from what I see in Australia wants me to migrate overseas and return to the Orthodox nations.  Australia has proven to be polluted by all evil, I am not preaching hatred for the western, but extreme westernization is pure evil to the extent of Orthodox followers telling me that Catholicism and Orthodoxy are the same, only one is from Italy the other from Greece (yes that is an exact quote from a girl at my school)  Huh  Roll Eyes Huh  I really just wonder sometimes why people allow this extreme assimilation into Australian society, I mean we can integrate but still keep your faith.



*sigh*

That girl is not evil, she's ignorant.

Most people have no working knowledge of theology. Most people can't articulate what their own beliefs about God are, never mind the theological differences between the Orthodox and Catholic Churches.

Also, if you think Greece and Russia are these holy nations where everybody spends their time singing the hymns of the Church, think again. Also, take a closer look at the Book of Acts and St. Paul's letters. Read about how the early Christians dealt with living in a Pagan society.

They did not hide in the Upper Room. They went out, into the world, and preached the Gospel.

Now, I'm not saying you have to become a full time missionary; but reconsider your ideas about calling Australia "evil."

Was Australia not made by God? Were not the people of Australia made by God? Are they not icons of Christ?

The only thing that is intrinsically evil is the devil. Elder Paisios of the Holy Mountain believed with prayer, even the devil could be saved.

Do not give up on your home country my friend. Rather, pray, and give it to God.
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« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2011, 02:05:00 AM »

Also, it's very nice that you want to be married by 20. When does God want you to be married?

I thought I would be married by 24 with kids by 27.

Let's just say, God had other plans. Wink

Isaiah 55:8-9

“ For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD. “ For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts."
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AirKoryoTU-204
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« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2011, 02:12:54 AM »

*sigh*

That girl is not evil, she's ignorant.

Most people have no working knowledge of theology. Most people can't articulate what their own beliefs about God are, never mind the theological differences between the Orthodox and Catholic Churches.

Also, if you think Greece and Russia are these holy nations where everybody spends their time singing the hymns of the Church, think again. Also, take a closer look at the Book of Acts and St. Paul's letters. Read about how the early Christians dealt with living in a Pagan society.

They did not hide in the Upper Room. They went out, into the world, and preached the Gospel.

Now, I'm not saying you have to become a full time missionary; but reconsider your ideas about calling Australia "evil."

Was Australia not made by God? Were not the people of Australia made by God? Are they not icons of Christ?

The only thing that is intrinsically evil is the devil. Elder Paisios of the Holy Mountain believed with prayer, even the devil could be saved.

Do not give up on your home country my friend. Rather, pray, and give it to God.

I didn't mean she was evil, and I don't mean to say Australia is evil, God forgive me. What I was trying to say is they have been misguided by forces of evil and the afflictions of such evil. That girl was arguing with me because I stated that Orthodoxy and Catholicism were quite different in many ways, she said to me "You should research and read up on it"  Roll Eyes I found that smerk talk to be, honestly a usual occurrence in Australia and a misguided gesture none the less.

I pray for this nation to become Orthodox, I do.  I believe it is possible, I also believe that it will not happen if we do not become faithful.

God willing it will happen.

Also, it's very nice that you want to be married by 20. When does God want you to be married?

I thought I would be married by 24 with kids by 27.

Let's just say, God had other plans. Wink

Isaiah 55:8-9

“ For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD. “ For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts."


When does God want me to be married? When ever I marry is when God wills it I guess  Smiley

God has his path for us all sister,  God bless!

Amin.
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akimori makoto
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« Reply #9 on: April 21, 2011, 02:19:55 AM »

I also live in Australia and I have to say the state of the faith amongst cradle Orthodox youth here is abysmal (do we even have any converts?). Almost all belong to the twice-a-year crowd and seem to believe Orthodoxy to be little more than Roman Catholicism with funnier hats.

I am the only male under 30 who attends liturgy every Sunday at my parish (apart from those serving at the altar). My church also happens to be the cathedral of the archdiocese.

After my long engagement to my ex (who was baptised but unbelieving) ended in betrayal, I've become more and more motivated to find a partner who shares a commitment to the faith and has similar values to my own. It is not an easy thing in this context.

God forbid I should ever seek to use the church as a place to "pick up", but I am a bit jealous of my Protestant friends, who seem to have no trouble meeting suitable partners at Christian fellowship groups and similar events. Knowing the Orthodox faith to be the true faith, I can't attend such things even just to form Christian friendships.

I've spoken to my father confessor about this dilemma and he told me that it is important to seek to find a person, not an embodiment of a list of criteria of acceptability. This seems to imply that it is okay to approach someone who is not Orthodox, as long as you hold fast to the faith and realise that there may be some heavy issues to work out before you both approach sacramental marriage.

This post is more empathy than advice for my part, but I hope my father confessor's wisdom helps you!

Brother I too see this, I attend Sunday service but not weekly, may God forgive me.  When I am there the overall population of the service will be over 30 years old minimum.  Besides the little children.  The problem with our youth is we are far too westernised and I actually makes me quite sad and angers me at the same time, we've lost our faith, simple.  What I like about the Muslims in Australia is they keep their faith, the greater majority of Orthodox brothers and sisters here just attend Pascha if that and usually attend church just to talk with fellow friends etc.  Great disrespect for their faith and to God himself.   

I'm only 17 years old, but I have become quite religous on my own.  At school 7 Orthodox brothers and I have organised daily prayers at our school where we will recite the daily readings etc.   It is the only form of Orthodoxy I have seen amongst our youth.

May God guide the miss-guided and deliver them from the perils and afflictions of evil. 

Amin.

Brother are you from Melbourne?

It's an awesome thing (in both senses of the word) to be called brother by you, for we are indeed brothers in our Lord, God and Saviour.

I think it's laudable that you are worried about this issue, as forming abiding and healthy human relationships can contribute positively towards our salvation. This is especially true of a marriage. However, as Handmaiden says you're only 17 -- time is on your side! Don't stress too much about it now.

I have no doubt you'll cross paths with a girl who you will like a lot and who will like you a lot in the coming years. If she happens to be Orthodox, all the better! Just never stop running the race of your own salvation and you should be okay. You might get a broken heart on the way, as I have, but there's no other way to know if a girl is good for you than by giving her your heart and seeing what she does with it. The Lord will preserve you.

You seem to have a disdain for worldliness and lukewarm faith. If you've read the Desert Fathers, you would know that is a spiritually fruitful thing. I have personally struggled with letting my disdain for this world (over which our great enemy rules) turn into disdain for people. Please try not to let this happen to you! As Handmaiden says, although we are not of this world, we are called to work out our salvation from within it. All of us are broken and spiritually sick to one degree or another. Try to look past the spiritual illness to the person who is suffering it. Like my father confessor told me, we will never encounter ideals, only persons.

By the way, I'm 25 and live in Sydney.

I am sometimes in Melbourne -- what parish do you attend, if I may ask?

I'm really glad you've found some people at school to pray with. That is a powerful thing.

I really share your pain about not being able to share your faith with people your own age at church. I sometimes really despair about just how bad the situation is here. Just today on facebook, my cousin posted "[expletive beginning with the letter F omitted] getting up at church at 8:00 for communion -- back to bed". It is hurtful to see our Lord's Precious Body and Blood blasphemed in such a manner. I would rather my cousin not go to church at all than to partake of the holy mysteries with such an attitude. This Christianity-as-cultural-obligation is especially offensive to me, for some reason. I try not to judge, but it's really difficult when the disdain for spiritual things in our generation is so explicit and brazen. Lord, have mercy.
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« Reply #10 on: April 21, 2011, 03:00:19 AM »

I also live in Australia and I have to say the state of the faith amongst cradle Orthodox youth here is abysmal (do we even have any converts?). Almost all belong to the twice-a-year crowd and seem to believe Orthodoxy to be little more than Roman Catholicism with funnier hats.

I am the only male under 30 who attends liturgy every Sunday at my parish (apart from those serving at the altar). My church also happens to be the cathedral of the archdiocese.

After my long engagement to my ex (who was baptised but unbelieving) ended in betrayal, I've become more and more motivated to find a partner who shares a commitment to the faith and has similar values to my own. It is not an easy thing in this context.

God forbid I should ever seek to use the church as a place to "pick up", but I am a bit jealous of my Protestant friends, who seem to have no trouble meeting suitable partners at Christian fellowship groups and similar events. Knowing the Orthodox faith to be the true faith, I can't attend such things even just to form Christian friendships.

I've spoken to my father confessor about this dilemma and he told me that it is important to seek to find a person, not an embodiment of a list of criteria of acceptability. This seems to imply that it is okay to approach someone who is not Orthodox, as long as you hold fast to the faith and realise that there may be some heavy issues to work out before you both approach sacramental marriage.

This post is more empathy than advice for my part, but I hope my father confessor's wisdom helps you!

Brother I too see this, I attend Sunday service but not weekly, may God forgive me.  When I am there the overall population of the service will be over 30 years old minimum.  Besides the little children.  The problem with our youth is we are far too westernised and I actually makes me quite sad and angers me at the same time, we've lost our faith, simple.  What I like about the Muslims in Australia is they keep their faith, the greater majority of Orthodox brothers and sisters here just attend Pascha if that and usually attend church just to talk with fellow friends etc.  Great disrespect for their faith and to God himself.   

I'm only 17 years old, but I have become quite religous on my own.  At school 7 Orthodox brothers and I have organised daily prayers at our school where we will recite the daily readings etc.   It is the only form of Orthodoxy I have seen amongst our youth.

May God guide the miss-guided and deliver them from the perils and afflictions of evil. 

Amin.

Brother are you from Melbourne?

It's an awesome thing (in both senses of the word) to be called brother by you, for we are indeed brothers in our Lord, God and Saviour.

I think it's laudable that you are worried about this issue, as forming abiding and healthy human relationships can contribute positively towards our salvation. This is especially true of a marriage. However, as Handmaiden says you're only 17 -- time is on your side! Don't stress too much about it now.

I have no doubt you'll cross paths with a girl who you will like a lot and who will like you a lot in the coming years. If she happens to be Orthodox, all the better! Just never stop running the race of your own salvation and you should be okay. You might get a broken heart on the way, as I have, but there's no other way to know if a girl is good for you than by giving her your heart and seeing what she does with it. The Lord will preserve you.

You seem to have a disdain for worldliness and lukewarm faith. If you've read the Desert Fathers, you would know that is a spiritually fruitful thing. I have personally struggled with letting my disdain for this world (over which our great enemy rules) turn into disdain for people. Please try not to let this happen to you! As Handmaiden says, although we are not of this world, we are called to work out our salvation from within it. All of us are broken and spiritually sick to one degree or another. Try to look past the spiritual illness to the person who is suffering it. Like my father confessor told me, we will never encounter ideals, only persons.

By the way, I'm 25 and live in Sydney.

I am sometimes in Melbourne -- what parish do you attend, if I may ask?

I'm really glad you've found some people at school to pray with. That is a powerful thing.

I really share your pain about not being able to share your faith with people your own age at church. I sometimes really despair about just how bad the situation is here. Just today on facebook, my cousin posted "[expletive beginning with the letter F omitted] getting up at church at 8:00 for communion -- back to bed". It is hurtful to see our Lord's Precious Body and Blood blasphemed in such a manner. I would rather my cousin not go to church at all than to partake of the holy mysteries with such an attitude. This Christianity-as-cultural-obligation is especially offensive to me, for some reason. I try not to judge, but it's really difficult when the disdain for spiritual things in our generation is so explicit and brazen. Lord, have mercy.

I understand where you are coming from brother, and I agree.  We are all children of God, created by God and therefore brothers and sisters.  I agree with what our sister has also said, we are all correct to a ceratin extent.   If I am not correct in saying, if one resents attendig church or praying it is better for them not to pray or not to attend church at all.

I attend usually the closest Church to home which is in Thomastown (Greek), otherwise Brunsiwick Orthodox Church (Russian) also there is a great little church in the city which is Russian but preach in English and is attended by converts to Orthodoxy.  Next time you're in Melbourne give me a message brother. 

God willing you will be fine brother, let us pray for it.

God Bless!
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« Reply #11 on: May 01, 2011, 03:43:00 AM »

I've spoken to my father confessor about this dilemma and he told me that it is important to seek to find a person, not an embodiment of a list of criteria of acceptability.

At least your priest is supportive of your goal of marriage and struggles with dating. It is quite despairing when one lacks both institutional and personal support. My concerns were categorically dismissed when I even tried bringing the subject up. So it doesn't surprise me anymore that there are not young adults in our parishes. There's nothing there for them. This generation always gets condemned for abandoning the church, but as we struggle to get set up in our lives, with work and relationships, we find no support and no community within our parishes. Is it any wonder that people have left to look for it elsewhere? The teens and the college students are the lucky ones. They have ministries like youth groups, OCF, folk dancing, that encourage networking and fellowship with other Orthodox Christians. It's actually smart for those in their late teens/early 20s to be thinking about their future and finding a marriage partner young because it will only get harder as they get older.
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« Reply #12 on: May 01, 2011, 04:14:30 AM »

Christ is risen!

Yes, it is not easy being 20-something and single in Orthodox parishes in Australian and I don't expect the situation will ge any better in my 30s.

I wish there was more support for people wanting to start their own Orthodox families.
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« Reply #13 on: May 01, 2011, 04:29:40 AM »

Christ is risen!

Yes, it is not easy being 20-something and single in Orthodox parishes in Australian and I don't expect the situation will ge any better in my 30s.

I wish there was more support for people wanting to start their own Orthodox families.

100% right, nothing like this exists here in Australia. Although it won't be very hard to start a family God willing in a few years when I complete my schooling, because I think of it this way, God himself has already paved our paths for our lives.

God bless!
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"The first among all evils is ignorance; next comes lack of faith"
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