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Author Topic: Same-Sex Marriage Icon... or something else?  (Read 990 times) Average Rating: 0
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ignatius
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« on: January 08, 2012, 09:45:36 PM »

What is this icon really saying?

http://www.christianity-revealed.com/cr/files/whensamesexmarriagewasachristianrite.html
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« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2012, 09:48:35 PM »

This article's treatment of this icon is probably evidence more of modern culture's obsession with reading modern societal trends into ancient Christianity in an attempt to find justification for evil.
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« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2012, 09:49:26 PM »

This article's treatment of this icon is probably evidence more of modern culture's obsession with reading modern societal trends into ancient Christianity in an attempt to find justification for evil.

Is there anything that you can offer to me as to what the icon means?
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« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2012, 09:52:08 PM »

Perhaps the posts in this thread are relevant? Can't see the original pic so it's hard to tell for sure...
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« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2012, 09:57:36 PM »

The proponents of homosexual marriage are trying to force a homosexual meaning to an ancient encaustic icon of Sts Sergius and Bacchus. They are utterly mistaken in claiming that the motif of Christ in the icon represents some sort of "marriage facilitator". The motif of Christ in the upper border of an icon, or in an upper corner, is found in countless icons, of single saints (male or female), pairs or larger groups of saints, and even many festal icons, across all eras, styles and provenances. It simply expresses Christ's blessing and approval of the saint(s) depicted, and the bestowing of God's grace upon them.

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« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2012, 10:03:58 PM »

That's what I thought. I hadn't heard of the best man being included in a wedding icon.
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« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2012, 10:44:35 PM »

That SS. Sergius and Bacchus are Christ's saints. Nothing more.

There is nothing in the icon to suggest that they are married:all wedding icons I've seen (i.e. wedding at Cana) show the couple with their crowns (they were worn for a week). 

There are plenty of icons where a small icon of Christ hovers above, if not Christ, the Holy Theotokos and the Forerunner St. John in a deicis above.
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« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2012, 11:10:14 PM »

This article's treatment of this icon is probably evidence more of modern culture's obsession with reading modern societal trends into ancient Christianity in an attempt to find justification for evil.

Exactly that.
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« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2012, 11:14:52 PM »

There is also an assumption amongst many whose understanding is corrupt that would read romantic meanings into deep friendships, whether they be between men, women, or a man and a woman. People want to see themselves in as many kinds of situations as possible, even if it's a fabrication. It serves to justify their choices and lifestyles.
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« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2012, 07:27:13 PM »

Quote
Prof. John Boswell3, the late Chairman of Yale University’s history department, discovered that in addition to heterosexual marriage ceremonies in ancient Christian church liturgical documents, there were also ceremonies called the "Office of Same-Sex Union" (10th and 11th century), and the "Order for Uniting Two Men" (11th and 12th century).

These church rites had all the symbols of a heterosexual marriage: the whole community gathered in a church, a blessing of the couple before the altar was conducted with their right hands joined, holy vows were exchanged, a priest officiatied in the taking of the Eucharist and a wedding feast for the guests was celebrated afterwards. These elements all appear in contemporary illustrations of the holy union of the Byzantine Warrior-Emperor, Basil the First (867-886 CE) and his companion John.

Is any of this accurate?
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« Reply #10 on: January 09, 2012, 08:47:46 PM »

Is any of this accurate?

No.

The rite they're talking about is called Adelphopoiesis, literally "Brother making." It was a rite which made two men brothers, not sanctioned sinful relationships. It didn't have all the markings of a marriage (no crowns for one thing) but does have all the markings of a Christian ceremony. When people who are so far removed from the practice of Christianity look at many of our rites all they can see is "marriage" because that's the only Christian ceremony they're familiar with.

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« Reply #11 on: January 09, 2012, 09:04:52 PM »

No.

The rite they're talking about is called Adelphopoiesis, literally "Brother making." It was a rite which made two men brothers, not sanctioned sinful relationships. It didn't have all the markings of a marriage (no crowns for one thing) but does have all the markings of a Christian ceremony. When people who are so far removed from the practice of Christianity look at many of our rites all they can see is "marriage" because that's the only Christian ceremony they're familiar with.

Thank you for the informative reply! So does that mean, as per the article, that Basil the First and John underwent Adelphopoiesis? And is this rite still in practice today?

It is pretty interesting that atheist groups such as this, who are attempting to free religious people from their alleged bondage of ignorance, are just as ignorant, if not more than, as the average practitioners they're attempting to "save."
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« Reply #12 on: January 09, 2012, 09:43:13 PM »

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« Last Edit: January 09, 2012, 09:46:38 PM by Marc1152 » Logged

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« Reply #13 on: January 10, 2012, 04:13:14 AM »

Thank you for the informative reply! So does that mean, as per the article, that Basil the First and John underwent Adelphopoiesis? And is this rite still in practice today?

You know I honestly don't know. They might have. If they did go through the rite they were just made brothers, sort of an adoption of each other, definitely not married to one another.

It's not commonly practiced. As far as I know there's no rule against it - your priest could celebrate it if he wished - but there's not a lot of call for it.
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« Reply #14 on: January 10, 2012, 04:24:12 AM »

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And is this rite still in practice today?

I've yet to see it in any of the versions of the Book of Needs I've come across. Its absence cannot be accidental.
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« Reply #15 on: January 10, 2012, 04:49:04 AM »

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And is this rite still in practice today?

I've yet to see it in any of the versions of the Book of Needs I've come across. Its absence cannot be accidental.

Why though? We don't stop doing something just because the pagans don't understand it, or think it's something other than what it is, and the Book of Needs goes back much farther than contemporary times when this ceremony would have started to be interpreted in this 'light'. It fell out of use ages and ages ago. Do you have any idea why? I've always kind of wondered. I'm legitimately asking too, I don't mean to be contentious.

Honestly, if it was brought back in the correct form it couldn't be used by the gay-'rights' activists as part of their propaganda anymore, which would be good, but at the same time I don't really see any practical use for it.
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« Reply #16 on: January 10, 2012, 05:28:18 AM »

Why though? We don't stop doing something just because the pagans don't understand it, or think it's something other than what it is, and the Book of Needs goes back much farther than contemporary times when this ceremony would have started to be interpreted in this 'light'. It fell out of use ages and ages ago. Do you have any idea why? I've always kind of wondered. I'm legitimately asking too, I don't mean to be contentious.

My conjecture:

Late Roman rulers and aristocrats were really into adopting useful people into their immediate families. Honorary sons/successors were a good way to insure that power and succession would be in good hands; generals, demagogues and the like who were part of your family/bound to you were, hopefully, less prone to shanking you in the bath-house or as you entered the senate. It was a big deal, probably involving legal documents and ring-seals and all sorts of cool stuff.

It would translate well to monastic orders, where becoming obedient to an Abbot and becoming a "brother" was a very intense commitment.

Perhaps this Adelphopoiesis was another example of the Eastern Roman obsession with assigning everything a complex ritual; they practically invented the courtly Christian marriage ritual, which, according to Fr. Hopko, was originally just "so-and-so and I will now be co-habitating and forming a family. Let's feast!"


A Byzantine ritual for successor/political adoption would hardly be necessary or coherent today, as the socio-political situation is nowhere near the same. We don't "consecrate widows" anymore, either.

« Last Edit: January 10, 2012, 05:36:22 AM by NicholasMyra » Logged

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« Reply #17 on: January 10, 2012, 08:36:13 AM »

Quote
And is this rite still in practice today?

I've yet to see it in any of the versions of the Book of Needs I've come across. Its absence cannot be accidental.

Prayer to reconcile the feuding

http://liturgia.cerkiew.pl/euch/pokutne/pogodzenie.pdf
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« Reply #18 on: January 10, 2012, 04:41:18 PM »

Thank you for the informative reply! So does that mean, as per the article, that Basil the First and John underwent Adelphopoiesis? And is this rite still in practice today?

You know I honestly don't know. They might have. If they did go through the rite they were just made brothers, sort of an adoption of each other, definitely not married to one another.

It's not commonly practiced. As far as I know there's no rule against it - your priest could celebrate it if he wished - but there's not a lot of call for it.

They weren't married to one another formally, but they probably slept with each other's wives if one believes the rumors.

EDIT--of course I may be mixing up emperors. IIRC, it was Michael and Basil I, and then Basil had Michael eliminated for political reasons.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2012, 04:42:28 PM by Shanghaiski » Logged

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« Reply #19 on: January 11, 2012, 12:14:25 AM »

If memory serves, brother-making has parallels with the concept of "blood-brotherhood". It was a way of sacramentalizing close friendships and ending disputes between political/social rivals, and strengthened interfamily/clan/tribal alliances. It created a relationship within the Church that was sufficient to bar marriages between members of the natural families of the "cross-brothers/sisters" joined in the brother making.

It is an ancient ceremony which is mentioned in the Rudder.

That said, it fell out of use in many places in relatively recent times precisely because it was being used too often as a cover for other types of otherwise unblessed relationships. It was…and from time to time, still is abused in this way.  Thus it has become rare and effectively extinct in several jurisdictions…one of those things, still permissible, but not really done much anymore.

Prohibitions: Brothermaking, as well as being a God parent was forbidden to monastics.

Anachronistic readings/interpretations of brother making.
Consider the ideation associated with the terms "making love, lovers" most people hear it today and instantly conceive of a sexual encounter.  But all it takes is a little late night TV to show how the term has been debased in the last generation or two.  Look at old episodes of I Love Lucy and from time to time you will hear Ethyl speak of her and Fred "making love".  We think sex…she meant sweet nothings exchanged on a park bench in the moonlight. Big difference.

Kissing…well up until relatively modern times kissing was a greeting, a near universal Christian greeting…one we still see in Europe and in the Church. Kisses on the lips were gestures of affection regardless of gender. Judas kissed Jesus…even as late as Shakespeare's time two men kissing in Merry Old England was just the greeting of friends…not that of potential sexual partners. 

Sleeping in the same bed: Again up until relatively recently sharing a big bed with several others, even in an inn was pretty common.  There was nothing sexual about it.

Sts. Sergius and Bacchus: It is worth noting that they were very close friends even before they became Christian. It was close enough, and intimate enough that the Romans in their efforts to humiliate them dressed and paraded them in women's clothing on their way to their martyrdom. This, however, need not have any scandals implication…such humiliations of Christian soldiers was practiced by Julian the Apostate.  The nature of their martyrdom has unfortunately fed the "romantic" speculations and applications of their lives to the subject of gay marriage.


So its easy to see that there has been a lot of casual misreading of the accounts of these ceremonies, perhaps out of ignorance…perhaps out of an agenda.
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