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Author Topic: Is my marriage HAS to be blessed in OC?  (Read 3441 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #45 on: December 14, 2011, 09:31:01 PM »

Well, the Metropolitan accepted mine, and I don't think the text is anywhere on my baptismal certificate.

If they want to do that, they should just declare all other baptisms invalid. Unless it is videotaped or the words explicitly written on the certificate, how are you supposed to know?


Victoria, I apologize. I must have mixed you up with another poster.

I read an article about the invalid RC baptisms a few years ago, where particular priests and parishes were investigated.
People were then notified that they needed to be baptized as their first one was not valid.
From the news article, people were stunned that it took so long to rectify this situation.
Apparently, few people questioned these changes in the Baptismal Rite as so many changes were taking place.
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« Reply #46 on: December 14, 2011, 09:50:00 PM »

Fortunately, I haven't been baptised yet but I was told by my priest that if someone wants to convert to OC and they have been baptised, they have to be baptised again

Which jurisdiction is this, Victoria? Of the US jurisdictions, I would only expect such strictness from ROCOR or perhaps the Serbs. (Even so, I would expect ROCOR to be more reasonable regarding the marriage issue).
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« Reply #47 on: December 14, 2011, 10:15:02 PM »

Fortunately, I haven't been baptised yet but I was told by my priest that if someone wants to convert to OC and they have been baptised, they have to be baptised again

Which jurisdiction is this, Victoria? Of the US jurisdictions, I would only expect such strictness from ROCOR or perhaps the Serbs. (Even so, I would expect ROCOR to be more reasonable regarding the marriage issue).
GOARCH.
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« Reply #48 on: December 14, 2011, 10:35:22 PM »

The idea that you are living in sin without having your marriage blessed in church is absurd.  We recognize the marriages of non-Orthodox people as legitimate. 

Uhhm.....no.

The GOA does hold that a marriage, even if done in a church, has not taken place unless it is done by an Orthodox priest that is in communion with the GOA. I know that the Slavic churches have a different understanding, but the GOA will insist that unless the marriage has been done by an Orthodox priest that no marriage has actually taken place.

Thank you Father Chris.  So does this mean that the GOA believes that everyone in the world who has not been married in the Church is in actuality unmarried and living in sin?  I am shocked by this.

I kind of am too. Maybe I just dont quite understand, but this is a little discouraging to me. I certainly wouldnt mind having my marriage blessed by the Church, but to say its not even  real is a little weird to me.

Orthodox sacramentology is discouraging?

Don't get me wrong, I get where you're coming from. But insisting that non-Orthodox marriages are sacramental compromises the Church's stance on its own role as the sole dispenser of the Mysteries. And I don't think that any good confessor would chastise people for having marital relations before their sacramental marriage if they honestly believed they were validly married.

I wonder if economy could be applied in the same way it is for heterodox baptism? I.e. maybe the OP's Baptism and Chrismation could retroactively grace her marriage.

Do forgive me everyone but the whole concept of one jurisdiction not recognizing a marriage while the others do, is ridiculous. I'm not trying to be rude to anyone here but this is very upsetting. Perhaps someone can answer this-how can my marriage be blessed if my spouse won't come to my church? what am I supposed to do then? My priest answer was "well, I'm sure he can be convinced to come in for brief ceremony". Yeah, right-I had to go through 1.5 years of arguing about why I had to come to OC(and he is still not happy) so there is no way that will happen. And yes, I was told I can't take communion if I'm "living in sin"
FYI-I haven't been baptised yet but planning on it next year
Did you tell your priest that your husband will absolutely refuse?

That's a tough situation. Sorry.  Sad
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« Reply #49 on: December 14, 2011, 11:50:52 PM »

Victoria,

You are certainly in my prayers.  I honestly can't imagine how painful and difficult this is for you.  There are some commandments of the Church that I don't quite understand and I wish I was in a better position to give you an answer that would set you at ease.  I'm sure the frustration and confusion is only compounded by the fact that the local Churches are not in agreement with this issue, although GOARCH appears to be most faithful to the Tradition in this regard.  Don't give up.  Speak to God about your concerns and pray that he brings clarification and peace.  I know without a doubt that the Orthodox Church is where you are supposed to be and God will make a way, but stay the course! 

John
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« Reply #50 on: December 14, 2011, 11:59:05 PM »

Victoria,

You are certainly in my prayers.  I honestly can't imagine how painful and difficult this is for you.  There are some commandments of the Church that I don't quite understand and I wish I was in a better position to give you an answer that would set you at ease.  I'm sure the frustration and confusion is only compounded by the fact that the local Churches are not in agreement with this issue, although GOARCH appears to be most faithful to the Tradition in this regard.  Don't give up.  Speak to God about your concerns and pray that he brings clarification and peace.  I know without a doubt that the Orthodox Church is where you are supposed to be and God will make a way, but stay the course! 

John

Can you explain your basis for this statement? Just curious.
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« Reply #51 on: December 15, 2011, 12:04:34 AM »

Thank you everyone. I'm pretty much stuck with this church unless I want to try ROCOR mission which is the only other OC church in the area. By that, I mean if I want to to any other OC church, I have to catch a plane.
Also, does anyone know whether GOARCH recognize baptisms from other denominations? Fortunately, I haven't been baptised yet but I was told by my priest that if someone wants to convert to OC and they have been baptised, they have to be baptised again which frankly makes no sense to me either if this was trinitarian baptism. Combined with marriage issue, this doesn't make me want to go there at all. I think I'm going to need everyone's prayers Undecided
=
Please see http://www.denver.goarch.org/teleturgical_encyclicals/te-23.pdf -- this is from Metropolitan Isaiah of Denver just last year and page 2 lists the denominations the GOARCH (and the EP in general) normally receives through Chrismation (note his underlining "may not be baptized again"). It's the first one a google search turned up, but it matches multiple episcopal and synodal statements I've seen from both GOA and the EP over the years.


Interesting. I thought OO were received through a Profession of Faith.
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« Reply #52 on: December 15, 2011, 12:10:37 AM »

Do forgive me everyone but the whole concept of one jurisdiction not recognizing a marriage while the others do, is ridiculous.


Well no jurisdiction really recognizes your marriage in the sense I think you mean. Some bishops have chosen to apply economia in regards to those entering the Church, saying in a sense that what was lacking in your "marriage" is now filled and completed by your reception into the Church. Other bishops have chosen to require couples be married because properly speaking there are no sacraments outside the Church. In both cases the bishops in question, within the bounds of any synodal decisions, have the authority to do either.

What has me confused and where I think this priest may be in error is I've never heard of anyone being refused communion because their spouse refuses to convert or participate in a service.
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« Reply #53 on: December 15, 2011, 12:44:12 AM »

Well no jurisdiction really recognizes your marriage in the sense I think you mean. Some bishops have chosen to apply economia in regards to those entering the Church, saying in a sense that what was lacking in your "marriage" is now filled and completed by your reception into the Church.

I think you and previous poster are confusing much of the discussion and theology around the sacrament of reception (i.e., baptism) with the Church's understanding of marriage. So many posters were expressing surprise at the OP's account of her priest's words because if you check with any Antiochian or slavic-tradition priest, you will find that they do recognize her as *legally* married to her husband, both now and after her reception. Therefore her relations with her husband are not fornication (now or then) and are not a bar to Communion. (Most of) Those priests would agree that not having been performed/bless in an Orthodox Church, the marriage does not have a sacramental aspect--and indeed, most priests I have heard speak on the matter would say that so long as the husband remains outside the Church, it *cannot* have a sacramental aspect. But the idea that marriage only exists within the Church is rather odd--and anti-Scriptural. St. Paul's words that a pre-existing marriage to a non-believer is still binding have already been mentioned, but one could also simply mention the many examples of couples that Scripture identifies as husband and wife (e.g., Pilate and his wife) even though they obviously did not have a Christian, or even Jewish, marriage ceremony.
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« Reply #54 on: December 15, 2011, 12:45:08 AM »

I think everyone should take a minute to take a breath.

Victoria,

Contact your Bishop about this issue. Rather than listen to the speculation and commentary from us on the internet, get a firm answer from the Bishop.

He is your shepherd, and will take care of his flock.

God bless you on your journey,

HandmaidenofGod
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« Reply #55 on: December 15, 2011, 12:48:00 AM »

Victoria,

It looks like the Serbian Diocese of the West (the Diocese I belong to, under his grace Bishop +Maxim) has a small mission on Oahu:

http://www.westsrbdio.org/info/showarticle.php?article=church_hawaii

And the OCA has an active mission on the Big Island.

http://stjuvenaly.org/
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« Reply #56 on: December 15, 2011, 12:58:36 AM »

This topic came up during discussion during an Orthodoxy 101 class at my church. My priest said that if a person didn't get married in OC, then their marriage is invalid and they would be considered living in sin. He said it didn't matter whether marriage took place in RC, Baptist, Evangelical, whatever-not valid. According to him, he has to bless the marriage in OC church otherwise you won't be able to take Eucharist or go to confession. This is a problem because there is NO way that my husband will be willing to come to OC for marriage ceremony. It took several years for him even to accept the fact that I started coming to OC's church. Is my priest correct in this info? My understanding was that RC does accepts marriages performed in other christian denominations. Tell me if I am wrong.
No. You are right.  If you embrace Orthodoxy, you do so as a married woman (you mentioned husband).  Consult I Corinthians 7.
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« Reply #57 on: December 15, 2011, 01:15:45 AM »

Yes, I'm sorry. That sounds awfully insensitive, actually, to just think that any non-believing spouse will just come in easily. I wouldn't want an Orthodox blessing of my marriage in those circumstances, if my spouse is furious, not supporting of my conversion, and having to stand there while the priest recites the blessing.

Yikes.

I know of some people who converted single, through the GOA, and they weren't forced to have the blessing (they were already married when the one spouse converted). I don't know about their status in terms of Holy Communion, so I can't say too much more on that.

Like I said, I feel like it becomes an issue when a couple that is converting refuses to go through with the blessing. THAT makes sense to me, although it was certainly hard for Mr. Ismi to swallow at first.

Lord, have mercy.
I might as well stick my suspicions here as well as anywhere else:this, and the "ecclesiastical divorce" of the GOA I conjecture stem from the powers that be refusing to recognize that is not Greece, where ONLY the Church can marry, there being no such thing as civil marriage (at least until recently, and not as Americans think of it).
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« Reply #58 on: December 15, 2011, 01:23:30 AM »

Do forgive me everyone but the whole concept of one jurisdiction not recognizing a marriage while the others do, is ridiculous. I'm not trying to be rude to anyone here but this is very upsetting. Perhaps someone can answer this-how can my marriage be blessed if my spouse won't come to my church? what am I supposed to do then? My priest answer was "well, I'm sure he can be convinced to come in for brief ceremony".

That comment demonstrated insensitive (or ignorant) pastoral understanding.  You are the one converting and are already yoked to the unbeliever (who is also blessed by your conversion whether or not your husband acknowledges that blessing in his life).  There is enough patristics on converting to Orthodox Christianity to make your Priest's position look insensitive.  Does your Priest think you are a serious convert and perhaps he is making ignorant comments to test your own devotion to becoming an Orthodox Christian?

Yeah, right-I had to go through 1.5 years of arguing about why I had to come to OC(and he is still not happy) so there is no way that will happen. And yes, I was told I can't take communion if I'm "living in sin"

I'd suggest that your Priest is testing how serious you are to becoming an Orthodox Christian and how you respond to such ignorance and insensitive pastoral comments.

FYI-I haven't been baptised yet but planning on it next year

I hope that you continue in your cathecumenate.  Lord have mercy.
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« Reply #59 on: December 15, 2011, 01:25:02 AM »

Quote
stem from the powers that be refusing to recognize that is not Greece, where ONLY the Church can marry, there being no such thing as civil marriage (at least until recently, and not as Americans think of it).

The Greek state gave full legal recognition in late 1985 to all marriages, church or civil, including those in non-Orthodox churches (such churches do exist in Greece, some, such as the RCC, for centuries). Recognition was also given to marriages between Orthodox couples not residing in Greece, but with family or cultural links there, conducted according to the legal requirements of their country of residence or citizenship.
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« Reply #60 on: December 15, 2011, 01:33:12 AM »

I might as well stick my suspicions here as well as anywhere else:this, and the "ecclesiastical divorce" of the GOA I conjecture stem from the powers that be refusing to recognize that is not Greece, where ONLY the Church can marry, there being no such thing as civil marriage (at least until recently, and not as Americans think of it).

Could it be the requirements that to serve on a Parish Council; a candidate has to be an Orthodox Christian in good standing?  I can't imagine the GOARCH making a distinction between Orthodox Christians baptized as infants vs. received as converts (especially if one was married in a non-Orthodox Church to a non-Christian person prior to conversion).  Last time I checked, lay Orthodox Christians remain one in the same.
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« Reply #61 on: December 15, 2011, 01:45:48 AM »

Well no jurisdiction really recognizes your marriage in the sense I think you mean. Some bishops have chosen to apply economia in regards to those entering the Church, saying in a sense that what was lacking in your "marriage" is now filled and completed by your reception into the Church.

I think you and previous poster are confusing much of the discussion and theology around the sacrament of reception (i.e., baptism) with the Church's understanding of marriage. So many posters were expressing surprise at the OP's account of her priest's words because if you check with any Antiochian or slavic-tradition priest, you will find that they do recognize her as *legally* married to her husband, both now and after her reception. Therefore her relations with her husband are not fornication (now or then) and are not a bar to Communion. (Most of) Those priests would agree that not having been performed/bless in an Orthodox Church, the marriage does not have a sacramental aspect--and indeed, most priests I have heard speak on the matter would say that so long as the husband remains outside the Church, it *cannot* have a sacramental aspect. But the idea that marriage only exists within the Church is rather odd--and anti-Scriptural. St. Paul's words that a pre-existing marriage to a non-believer is still binding have already been mentioned, but one could also simply mention the many examples of couples that Scripture identifies as husband and wife (e.g., Pilate and his wife) even though they obviously did not have a Christian, or even Jewish, marriage ceremony.

So there is a distinction between legal marriage and sacramental marriage, and marital relations in either are not sinful. Did I get that right?

But if sex is only appropriate within the context of marriage, what exactly about a non-sacramental marriage gives the context any significant meaning?
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« Reply #62 on: December 15, 2011, 03:25:47 AM »

So there is a distinction between legal marriage and sacramental marriage, and marital relations in either are not sinful. Did I get that right?

But if sex is only appropriate within the context of marriage, what exactly about a non-sacramental marriage gives the context any significant meaning?

I'm not sure I understand your question. The thing is, marriage is a defined human relationship predates not only the Church but the Law as well--it goes all the way back to the Garden. Prior to Pentecost, all marriages were 'non-sacramental' simply because there were no sacraments; yet the Old Testament makes a clear distinction between adultery and fornication (sex outside the institution of marriage) and married life. Within the context of the Church, and the action of the Holy Spirit within the Church since Pentecost, marriage can receive grace that is not available to those outside the Church, but the coming of Christ (or the descent of the Holy Spirit) did not involve an abolition of marriage as practiced by all humanity since the creation of Eve.
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« Reply #63 on: December 15, 2011, 07:52:09 AM »

Now you know first hand why Henry the VIII told Rome and the Orthodox Church's to go pound salt.  
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« Reply #64 on: December 15, 2011, 08:15:13 AM »

Now you know first hand why Henry the VIII told Rome and the Orthodox Church's to go pound salt.  

That's an insanely rude comparison. Neither Victoria nor her situation resemble Henry VIII at all.
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« Reply #65 on: December 15, 2011, 08:42:02 AM »

Now you know first hand why Henry the VIII told Rome and the Orthodox Church's to go pound salt.  

That's an insanely rude comparison. Neither Victoria nor her situation resemble Henry VIII at all.
I beg to differ it is the same situation the Church trying to force it's hand on who and what marriage is and is clearly an abuse of power. I would also say that many agree with Henry on this as well look at the Number of Evangelical christians
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« Reply #66 on: December 15, 2011, 09:14:52 AM »

Now you know first hand why Henry the VIII told Rome and the Orthodox Church's to go pound salt.  

That's an insanely rude comparison. Neither Victoria nor her situation resemble Henry VIII at all.
I beg to differ it is the same situation the Church trying to force it's hand on who and what marriage is and is clearly an abuse of power. I would also say that many agree with Henry on this as well look at the Number of Evangelical christians

Henry VIII wanted to divorce Catherine of Aragon not because of her lack of faith (quite the opposite, she was a very pious woman) but because she didn't produce a male heir. Unfortunately human chromosomes hadn't been discovered yet, and Henry foolishly blamed the women in his life, when it was his genes at fault.

Furthermore, it was only a few years prior that Henry had received the title "Defender of the Faith" from the Pope because of his deposition defending the Catholic Church against the Lutheran heresy.

Henry broke ties with Rome because of his own ego problems; not because there was a problem with Rome's position on marriage. The Pope was right not to want to grant Henry a divorce from Catherine, as there was no reasonable explanation for it. Catherine was a faithful wife who had performed her marital duties in earnest. She had no say in the gender of her child and shouldn't have been blamed for it.

Victoria's situation is quite different, and it is unfair to compare hers to that of Henry's. Furthermore, until she receives final word from the Bishop, most of this conversation is mere speculation.
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« Reply #67 on: December 15, 2011, 10:53:25 AM »

I want to quote this:

The GOA does hold that a marriage, even if done in a church, has not taken place unless it is done by an Orthodox priest that is in communion with the GOA. I know that the Slavic churches have a different understanding, but the GOA will insist that unless the marriage has been done by an Orthodox priest that no marriage has actually taken place.

Because it seems that most people in this thread are piling on the priest. As Fr Chris points out, this is the policy of the GOA and priests must be obedient to their bishop. It is not fair to accuse the priest when he is practicing obedience to his authorities.

That said, this is a situation that makes me sad. I hope that something can be worked out, as this seems like precisely the type of situation where economy could be extended. I also would suggest contacting the bishop, or otherwise visiting the ROCOR parish that was mentioned (you don't have to obligate yourself to a particular parish before you convert, after all).

Lord have mercy.
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« Reply #68 on: December 15, 2011, 11:00:54 AM »

Quote
The GOA does hold that a marriage, even if done in a church, has not taken place unless it is done by an Orthodox priest that is in communion with the GOA. I know that the Slavic churches have a different understanding, but the GOA will insist that unless the marriage has been done by an Orthodox priest that no marriage has actually taken place.

To my mind, this refers to marriages between one or both who are already Orthodox, and who might be contemplating marriage in a non-Orthodox church, or a wedding conducted by a secular marriage celebrant in a setting which is not a church, such as a park, a beach, or a hotel function room.

I cannot see how this directive can apply to someone seeking Orthodoxy but already married.
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« Reply #69 on: December 15, 2011, 11:09:36 AM »

I have married couples who have converted to Orthodoxy, but the sacrament of marriage does not deny, as far as I can see, the human relationship of marriage which was created in the beginning by God.

I have celebrated the sacrament of marriage with couples but would never consider for a moment that they were not already married, and absolutely never that they were living in sin.
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« Reply #70 on: December 15, 2011, 11:22:31 AM »

Now you know first hand why Henry the VIII told Rome and the Orthodox Church's to go pound salt.  

That's an insanely rude comparison. Neither Victoria nor her situation resemble Henry VIII at all.
I beg to differ it is the same situation the Church trying to force it's hand on who and what marriage is and is clearly an abuse of power. I would also say that many agree with Henry on this as well look at the Number of Evangelical christians
Oh, please, with that strain of Judaism that treats ALL marriages between Jews and gentiles as adultery. Shegetz and Shiksa are not terms of endearment.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shegetz
And most rabbis will not marry anyone but two Jews.  Throw in the question "Who is a Jew?", and it makes for quite the mess.

More to the point, in the usual EO marriage ceremony, there is actually two parts:the betrothal in the back of the Church, and the blessing in the center.  The betrothal is actually the incorporation of the civil ceremony/legal aspect.

The Church has full authority to define marriage.  I don't think the GOA, however, in this case is exercising it correctly. In fact, I know its not:it is akin to the Muslims, whose law requires that a woman who converts, if her husband does not, she must divorce him (in fact, in Egypt recently there was a case where the religious authorities declared a man an apostate and his wife divorced from him, all without her knowledge or consent).
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« Reply #71 on: December 15, 2011, 11:29:38 AM »

So there is a distinction between legal marriage and sacramental marriage, and marital relations in either are not sinful. Did I get that right?

But if sex is only appropriate within the context of marriage, what exactly about a non-sacramental marriage gives the context any significant meaning?

I'm not sure I understand your question. The thing is, marriage is a defined human relationship predates not only the Church but the Law as well--it goes all the way back to the Garden. Prior to Pentecost, all marriages were 'non-sacramental' simply because there were no sacraments; yet the Old Testament makes a clear distinction between adultery and fornication (sex outside the institution of marriage) and married life. Within the context of the Church, and the action of the Holy Spirit within the Church since Pentecost, marriage can receive grace that is not available to those outside the Church, but the coming of Christ (or the descent of the Holy Spirit) did not involve an abolition of marriage as practiced by all humanity since the creation of Eve.

Okay, but the rationale I've always heard for fornication being sinful is that the context of marriage is proper because it has sacramental grace. If that ain't the case, what about marriage is it that makes sex appropriate?
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« Reply #72 on: December 15, 2011, 11:34:09 AM »

Now you know first hand why Henry the VIII told Rome and the Orthodox Church's to go pound salt. 

That's an insanely rude comparison. Neither Victoria nor her situation resemble Henry VIII at all.
I beg to differ it is the same situation the Church trying to force it's hand on who and what marriage is and is clearly an abuse of power.

Not even close. The Church, as the source of sacramental marriage, has every right to define it.

Quote
I would also say that many agree with Henry on this as well look at the Number of Evangelical christians

Maybe Muslims would agree with that tyrannical murderer as their Shariah law also allows for divorce in the case of the absence of male heirs. I can't really imagine any Evangelical Christian with any idea what they're talking about supporting him, though.

Your comparison is really naive and superficial. And I'm genuinely surprised to find out that there are really people in this world who think that what Henry VIII did was somehow okay.
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« Reply #73 on: December 15, 2011, 11:35:53 AM »

Most marriages in human history have never been sacramental, and yet it was God who defined marriage in the Garden of Eden. Did he make a mistake by not making natural marriage sacramental? What of the Church, since it did not conduct marriages for the early centuries.

Marriage is blessed of God because even in human relations it represents at best the union of a man and woman for the prevention of sin, for the fruitfulness of the human race, and for mutual support. Even outside of the sacrament it offers a vocation of grace.

The sacrament of marriage transforms this proper and blessed human relation and invites the couple to find their marital focus in Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit. It becomes a relation which acts as the means of becoming truly Christian. But this does not mean that the underlying human relation is sinful. It is not. It is created by God. And sexual relations in a non-sacramental marriage can be selfless and wholesome, just as those in a sacramental marriage can be selfish and destructive. The fault is found in ourselves not the grace of God.
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« Reply #74 on: December 15, 2011, 11:49:38 AM »

What is it, then, that makes two people married?

What is it about a Vegas Elvis impersonator, for example, that allows him to unite people in the non-sacramental 'proper and blessed human relation'? What makes the union he creates superior to the relationship between two people who fornicate who are in a committed relationship?

If it is civil recognition, what exactly about civil recognition is conducive to the union's prevention of sin, fruition of the human race, and mutual support?
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« Reply #75 on: December 15, 2011, 11:52:30 AM »

I cannot see how this directive can apply to someone seeking Orthodoxy but already married.


Well, I am sorry that you do not see 'how this can apply to someone seeking Orthodoxy but already married', but I have already told you:

-This was what my wife and I had to follow when we came into Orthodoxy even though we had been married in a church prior to our chrismations; and
-This is what has been done by me before with couples that have been in similar circumstances.
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« Reply #76 on: December 15, 2011, 12:01:07 PM »

Marriage is not about what actually happens on the day so much as what continues to take place between those who are married.

There are those who are properly married, even perhaps (at the margins) in Las Vegas, while there are those who are not properly married by a priest. There are those who enter the relationship with thought and mutual respect in a non-sacramental manner and those who enter it with lack of respect and haste, or even undue pressure on one partner, in a sacramental manner.

This is not to doubt the transforming power of sacramental marriage in the case of those who enter into the sacrament with faith and love. But the simple participation in the outward form of the sacrament can be without the inner grace.

Two people in a committed relationship, if they are not married have not made a commitment at all. They just happen to be living together. The human meaning of marriage is indeed that commitment of one person to another, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer. The human meaning of marriage is indeed that exclusive sexual relationship with only that one partner.

It is not surprising that marriages fail, but this is what marriage means, almost universally.

The sacrament takes this natural good to another level, but only if those participating are truly married, and not just living together for their own selfish benefit. In such a case the sacrament is not operative, or rather the grace is offered but is rejected and neglected.

My own parents are entirely a model of a Christian non-sacramental marriage. The idea that they are living in sin is offensive.
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« Reply #77 on: December 15, 2011, 12:38:10 PM »

I never heard anything from my priest about having to redo my marriage when I converted. I guess it is up to the individual bishop of that area to practice economia or not in any given situation. Oh, and I converted and was chrismated in the GOA.
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« Reply #78 on: December 15, 2011, 01:20:48 PM »

I cannot see how this directive can apply to someone seeking Orthodoxy but already married.


Well, I am sorry that you do not see 'how this can apply to someone seeking Orthodoxy but already married', but I have already told you:

-This was what my wife and I had to follow when we came into Orthodoxy even though we had been married in a church prior to our chrismations; and
-This is what has been done by me before with couples that have been in similar circumstances.

Father-you say 'when we came into Orthodoxy' and 'couples... in similar circumstances'. I don't think anyone is questioning that when a *couple* converts, it is right and proper that they have their marriage blessed in the Church. Or that when an Orthodox person gets married, it needs to be in the Church. What people are having trouble with is the different circumstance described by Victoria--where her existing husband has no interest in the Church and she seems to be being placed in the situation of either going without Communion or ending the marriage.
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« Reply #79 on: December 15, 2011, 01:32:30 PM »

Victoria,

Earlier I posted a list of a couple of other Orthodox parishes in Hawaii.  After Father Peter posted I checked to see if there was a Coptic parish there as well:

http://www.lacopts.org/parishes/st-mark-coptic-orthodox-church-honolulu

So there is the Greek parish you have been in contact with, a ROCOR parish, a Serbian mission parish, and a Coptic parish, all in Honolulu, as well as an OCA parish on the Big Island.

I will keep you in my prayers as you continue towards Orthodoxy!
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« Reply #80 on: December 15, 2011, 03:03:20 PM »

for anyone who is wondering, here is what my priest told me, exactly"if you were married in protestant church, they don't have the sacraments that we do ergo marriage there would be considered invalid by OC. (He didn't actually say GOARCH.)  Normally, the other spouse would come in and I would perform a ceremony again. 98 % of people didn't have any issues with this at all and the other 2%even became OC."
I think at that point I asked him about communion and from my best recollection, his anwer went like this"if marriage is not valid and couple is considered living in sin, its not proper for them to take communion".
FYI, I'm not so much really angry at priest since its clear that he is following GOARCH directives but I do think its ridiculous. I will see what happens after I talk to ROCOR priest in town.
thanks everyone for your thoughts
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« Reply #81 on: December 15, 2011, 03:28:00 PM »

May the Lord guide you and watch over you Victoria.
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« Reply #82 on: December 15, 2011, 03:51:03 PM »

for anyone who is wondering, here is what my priest told me, exactly"if you were married in protestant church, they don't have the sacraments that we do ergo marriage there would be considered invalid by OC. (He didn't actually say GOARCH.)  Normally, the other spouse would come in and I would perform a ceremony again. 98 % of people didn't have any issues with this at all and the other 2%even became OC."
I think at that point I asked him about communion and from my best recollection, his anwer went like this"if marriage is not valid and couple is considered living in sin, its not proper for them to take communion".
FYI, I'm not so much really angry at priest since its clear that he is following GOARCH directives but I do think its ridiculous. I will see what happens after I talk to ROCOR priest in town.
thanks everyone for your thoughts
So I take it they would have to turn away any convert whose spouse wasn't Christian, let alone not Orthodox, and wasn't willing to get baptized and convert.

Lord have mercy when those responsible will have to render account for tearing asunder whom God has joined, or for turning away those whom the Lord had given the grace to be called.
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« Reply #83 on: December 15, 2011, 03:52:34 PM »

May the Lord guide you and watch over you Victoria.
St. Monica keep you (and your husband) in her prayers!
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« Reply #84 on: December 15, 2011, 04:23:44 PM »

for anyone who is wondering, here is what my priest told me, exactly"if you were married in protestant church, they don't have the sacraments that we do ergo marriage there would be considered invalid by OC. (He didn't actually say GOARCH.)  Normally, the other spouse would come in and I would perform a ceremony again. 98 % of people didn't have any issues with this at all and the other 2%even became OC."
I think at that point I asked him about communion and from my best recollection, his anwer went like this"if marriage is not valid and couple is considered living in sin, its not proper for them to take communion".
FYI, I'm not so much really angry at priest since its clear that he is following GOARCH directives but I do think its ridiculous. I will see what happens after I talk to ROCOR priest in town.
thanks everyone for your thoughts
So I take it they would have to turn away any convert whose spouse wasn't Christian, let alone not Orthodox, and wasn't willing to get baptized and convert.

Lord have mercy when those responsible will have to render account for tearing asunder whom God has joined, or for turning away those whom the Lord had given the grace to be called.

I know one couple where lady is OC and husband is Baptist who is not willing to covert either. They had to go through “blessing of the marriage”, I think but husband was willing to come.
As for the other scenario, I haven’t witnessed him turning away people but that what is sounds like to me
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« Reply #85 on: December 15, 2011, 04:39:30 PM »

Dear Victoria,

How wonderful that you are becoming Orthodox.  It is blessedness. 

I do not think what you are describing is the teaching of the GOARCH.  It certainly was not my experience.  I was already married by a civil ceremony and this was no barrier to entry into the Church.  Several years later, we were (great joy!) married in the Church.   

Prayers for your fortitude and patience.

love, elephant. 
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« Reply #86 on: December 15, 2011, 04:48:16 PM »

Now you know first hand why Henry the VIII told Rome and the Orthodox Church's to go pound salt.  

That's an insanely rude comparison. Neither Victoria nor her situation resemble Henry VIII at all.
I beg to differ it is the same situation the Church trying to force it's hand on who and what marriage is and is clearly an abuse of power. I would also say that many agree with Henry on this as well look at the Number of Evangelical christians
I never said Judaism didn't have this issue and that is one of the reasons I haven't stepped foot inside a shul in over 10 yrs but last time I checked Victoria wasn't converting to Judaism.
Oh, please, with that strain of Judaism that treats ALL marriages between Jews and gentiles as adultery. Shegetz and Shiksa are not terms of endearment.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shegetz
And most rabbis will not marry anyone but two Jews.  Throw in the question "Who is a Jew?", and it makes for quite the mess.


I never said Judaism didn't have this issue and that is one of the reasons I haven't stepped foot inside a shul in over 10 yrs but last time I checked Victoria wasn't converting to Judaism.
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« Reply #87 on: December 15, 2011, 05:52:27 PM »

Dear Victoria,

How wonderful that you are becoming Orthodox.  It is blessedness. 

I do not think what you are describing is the teaching of the GOARCH.  It certainly was not my experience.  I was already married by a civil ceremony and this was no barrier to entry into the Church.  Several years later, we were (great joy!) married in the Church.   

Prayers for your fortitude and patience.

love, elephant. 

I didn’t say it was an inpediment to me becoming Orthodox because I can be baptized. However, it was confirmed to me that my marriage would be considered invalid by GOARCH. As you said yourself, you had a civil ceremony and then after becoming Orthodox were married in your chuch. My hubby won’t go for that. I thank you for good wishes and hope it will be resolved
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« Reply #88 on: December 15, 2011, 06:47:55 PM »

I recently had a similar problem, and I share in your frustration. I came to the Church married to an unbeliever a few years ago, and have moved to several different cities since then, receiving communion (following confession) without a problem. Here in my new location, I ran into problems at the Greek parish, where I was told I couldn't commune until my wife became an Orthodox Christian. Through sheer persistence (I think), I was allowed to commune once at the Greek Church, which I really came to prefer, but under the 'condition' that I bring my agnostic, unbaptized wife to church with me as much as possible with the aim of her becoming Christian... soon. This just isn't going to happen. I have had to begin looking at two other jurisdictions in town. I see I am fortunate to even have that option.

I know this is probably not that helpful for you, Victoria, but yes, from my experience and discussions I have had with priests from various jurisdictions on the matter, the Greek jurisdiction (here in Canada, at least) tends to be less accommodating than others regarding mixed or non-Orthodox marital arrangements. I hope that you can come to a satisfying agreement with the priest in your location. I suggest you ask him about getting a dispensation. I was told by the Greek priest here that this could be arranged under certain circumstances (although I am not sure what they are, exactly). I understand how frustrating matters like this can be and wish you all the best.
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« Reply #89 on: December 15, 2011, 07:36:59 PM »

I recently had a similar problem, and I share in your frustration. I came to the Church married to an unbeliever a few years ago, and have moved to several different cities since then, receiving communion (following confession) without a problem. Here in my new location, I ran into problems at the Greek parish, where I was told I couldn't commune until my wife became an Orthodox Christian. Through sheer persistence (I think), I was allowed to commune once at the Greek Church, which I really came to prefer, but under the 'condition' that I bring my agnostic, unbaptized wife to church with me as much as possible with the aim of her becoming Christian... soon. This just isn't going to happen. I have had to begin looking at two other jurisdictions in town. I see I am fortunate to even have that option.

I know this is probably not that helpful for you, Victoria, but yes, from my experience and discussions I have had with priests from various jurisdictions on the matter, the Greek jurisdiction (here in Canada, at least) tends to be less accommodating than others regarding mixed or non-Orthodox marital arrangements. I hope that you can come to a satisfying agreement with the priest in your location. I suggest you ask him about getting a dispensation. I was told by the Greek priest here that this could be arranged under certain circumstances (although I am not sure what they are, exactly). I understand how frustrating matters like this can be and wish you all the best.
Thank you Stavros, glad to know someone understands my frustration
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