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Author Topic: Orthodox Church's teachings on marriage, romance and sexuality?  (Read 2435 times) Average Rating: 0
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mike
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« Reply #45 on: April 06, 2013, 06:42:47 PM »

From the Matins canon of the feast of the Annunciation:

Childbirth comes from mutual love: such is the law that God has given to men. So replied she who is above reproach. I do not know at all the pleasure of marriage. How then do you say that I shall bear a child? I fear that you are speaking in guile. But behold, you cry out: All works of the Lord, bless the Lord.

That indeed got my attention when I heard it this year.
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« Reply #46 on: April 06, 2013, 11:02:51 PM »

...and I'm supposed to believe that an elderly man with a lifetime of prayer and ascesis behind him would instantly melt after touching a nun?

Uh yeah. It's different. Us average people are exposed to the opposite sex almost on a daily basis, so we're used to resisting it. But when you have some ascetic who's been living in isolation from the opposite sex for years, with years of hormonal tension building up, I wouldn't be surprised that he could finally snap at even the sight of a female nun.
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« Reply #47 on: April 07, 2013, 06:22:20 PM »

From the Matins canon of the feast of the Annunciation:

Childbirth comes from mutual love: such is the law that God has given to men. So replied she who is above reproach. I do not know at all the pleasure of marriage. How then do you say that I shall bear a child? I fear that you are speaking in guile. But behold, you cry out: All works of the Lord, bless the Lord.

That indeed got my attention when I heard it this year.
Can we get the original Greek on that?
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« Reply #48 on: April 07, 2013, 07:17:45 PM »

Hello everyone,

I have two somewhat separate, but related questions. I'm trying to get to the bottom of the Orthodox Church's teachings on (1) the purpose of marriage and (2) the place that romance and sexual relations have in the lives of married couples, and engaged couples. I would appreciate any and all references to specific quotes  by the Church Fathers, etc.
This article by +Hilarion will be of use

http://easternchristianinsights.blogspot.com/2013/04/metropolitan-hilarion-alfeyev-on.html

Just correcting:

Quote
I would say that kissing and hugging, and just being cozy is not a problem. Touching erotic parts of the body or near them is not ok
Fabio,

Can you tell me some non-erotic parts of the human body?
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« Reply #49 on: April 07, 2013, 07:32:30 PM »

From the Matins canon of the feast of the Annunciation:

Childbirth comes from mutual love: such is the law that God has given to men. So replied she who is above reproach. I do not know at all the pleasure of marriage. How then do you say that I shall bear a child? I fear that you are speaking in guile. But behold, you cry out: All works of the Lord, bless the Lord.

That indeed got my attention when I heard it this year.
Can we get the original Greek on that?

I think this is it:

Νόμος οὗτος θεόθεν βροτοῖς, ἡ ἄμεμπτος αὖθις φησί, Ξυνοῦ ἐξ ἔρωτος τόκον προέρχεσθαι. Οὐκ οἶδα συζύγου παντελῶς ἡδονήν. Πῶς οὖν λέγεις ὅτι τέξομαι; φοβοῦμαι μὴ ἀπάτῃ λαλῇς, ἀλλ᾽ ὅμως ἴδε βοᾷς· Εὐλογεῖτε, πάντα τὰ ἔργα Κυρίου τὸν Κύριον.

http://analogion.gr/glt/texts/Mar/25.uni.htm
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« Reply #50 on: April 07, 2013, 07:58:28 PM »

Why do you need all those rules just to have sex?..
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« Reply #51 on: April 07, 2013, 10:13:50 PM »

Why do you need all those rules just to have sex?..

Because in the Orthodox Church, they don't believe it is 'just' something you do. They believe it's part of a marriage. That's it.
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« Reply #52 on: April 08, 2013, 01:35:51 AM »

Why do you need all those rules just to have sex?..

Now I admit, some of these rules seem very odd, unnecessary and "taking it too far," but, I think the point is that we see sex as something more powerful and special than just a naturalistic function--as much as I may delude myself into thinking it is whenever I  get a burning in my loins--but something much more powerful that needs to be handled and directed in the right way.
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« Reply #53 on: April 08, 2013, 09:00:50 AM »

Hello everyone,

I have two somewhat separate, but related questions. I'm trying to get to the bottom of the Orthodox Church's teachings on (1) the purpose of marriage and (2) the place that romance and sexual relations have in the lives of married couples, and engaged couples. I would appreciate any and all references to specific quotes  by the Church Fathers, etc.
This article by +Hilarion will be of use

http://easternchristianinsights.blogspot.com/2013/04/metropolitan-hilarion-alfeyev-on.html


Met Hilarion makes a few assertions that are problematic from a patristic perspective.  See the short comments to this article by "Jason" at this link:

http://theinnerkingdom.wordpress.com/2008/11/21/orthodox-marriage-its-misunderstanding-by-bishop-hilarion-alfeyev/#comment-1641
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« Reply #54 on: April 08, 2013, 09:14:23 AM »

jah777, on further reflection, I don't think any of the fathers you have quoted are at odds with what St. John Chrysostom is saying….  This is especially true since most of the fathers you have quoted were really talking about sexual relations in general, including those outside of marriage, and their audience was monastics (the "Philokalia" texts in particular).  St. John is talking about sexual relations exclusively within marriage.

Yes, you are right to point out the importance of the audience and overall context of these quotes from the Fathers, and to point out that there is a difference between speaking of sexual relations in a general way as to the overall purpose of such relations, and speaking specifically about what is proper regarding sexual relations within marriage.  While some of the quotes I provided were from the Philokalia, some of these quotes were addressed to laity specifically on the subject of sexual relations within marriage.  For instance:

Quote
St. Clement of Rome
The Recognitions, Book VI, Chapter XII – Importance of Chastity

http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf08.vi.iii.viii.xii.html
But this kind of chastity is also to be observed, that sexual intercourse must not take place heedlessly and for the sake of mere pleasure, but for the sake of begetting children.  And since this observance is found even amongst some of the lower animals, it were a shame if it be not observed by men, reasonable, and worshipping God.

St. Leo the Great
The Book of Pastoral Rule

Chapter XXVII
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf212.iii.iv.iv.xxviii.html
Husbands and wives are to be admonished to remember that they are joined together for the sake of producing offspring; and, when, giving themselves to immoderate intercourse, they transfer the occasion of procreation to the service of pleasure, to consider that, though they go not outside wedlock yet in wedlock itself they exceed the just dues of wedlock.  Whence it is needful that by frequent supplications they do away their having fouled with the admixture of pleasure the fair form of conjugal union.

Lactantius (AD 260 – 330)
Book V, Chapter VIII

http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf07.iii.ii.v.viii.html
There would be no adulteries, and debaucheries, and prostitution of women, if it were known to all, that whatever is sought beyond the desire of procreation is condemned by God.

I provide these quotes just by way of example.  I think several other quotes I provided also address the subject of sexual relations within marriage and are not written or spoken for a monastic audience.
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« Reply #55 on: April 08, 2013, 01:11:53 PM »

I'm referring to the ones that, once touched, most easily cause sexual excitement or a sensation of abuse if the touch was not permitted.

Although some people feel sexual excitement in non erotic parts of the body, I doubt any judge would consider touching a shoulder with a hand without permission a kind of sexual abuse.

Let's not expand so much the meaning of things to the point they loose all meaning.

Hello everyone,

I have two somewhat separate, but related questions. I'm trying to get to the bottom of the Orthodox Church's teachings on (1) the purpose of marriage and (2) the place that romance and sexual relations have in the lives of married couples, and engaged couples. I would appreciate any and all references to specific quotes  by the Church Fathers, etc.
This article by +Hilarion will be of use

http://easternchristianinsights.blogspot.com/2013/04/metropolitan-hilarion-alfeyev-on.html

Just correcting:

Quote
I would say that kissing and hugging, and just being cozy is not a problem. Touching erotic parts of the body or near them is not ok
Fabio,

Can you tell me some non-erotic parts of the human body?
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« Reply #56 on: April 08, 2013, 03:15:15 PM »

Hello everyone,

I have two somewhat separate, but related questions. I'm trying to get to the bottom of the Orthodox Church's teachings on (1) the purpose of marriage and (2) the place that romance and sexual relations have in the lives of married couples, and engaged couples. I would appreciate any and all references to specific quotes  by the Church Fathers, etc.
This article by +Hilarion will be of use

http://easternchristianinsights.blogspot.com/2013/04/metropolitan-hilarion-alfeyev-on.html


Met Hilarion makes a few assertions that are problematic from a patristic perspective.  See the short comments to this article by "Jason" at this link:

http://theinnerkingdom.wordpress.com/2008/11/21/orthodox-marriage-its-misunderstanding-by-bishop-hilarion-alfeyev/#comment-1641
Is it a bunch of snippets of patristic quotes with disjointed commentary?

Edit: Yep.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2013, 03:16:21 PM by NicholasMyra » Logged

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« Reply #57 on: April 09, 2013, 08:01:50 AM »

Hello everyone,

I have two somewhat separate, but related questions. I'm trying to get to the bottom of the Orthodox Church's teachings on (1) the purpose of marriage and (2) the place that romance and sexual relations have in the lives of married couples, and engaged couples. I would appreciate any and all references to specific quotes  by the Church Fathers, etc.
This article by +Hilarion will be of use

http://easternchristianinsights.blogspot.com/2013/04/metropolitan-hilarion-alfeyev-on.html


Met Hilarion makes a few assertions that are problematic from a patristic perspective.  See the short comments to this article by "Jason" at this link:

http://theinnerkingdom.wordpress.com/2008/11/21/orthodox-marriage-its-misunderstanding-by-bishop-hilarion-alfeyev/#comment-1641
Is it a bunch of snippets of patristic quotes with disjointed commentary?

Edit: Yep.

And?  Do these "snippets" of patristic quotes, or any other patristic quotes (aside from a few by St. John Chrysostom that have been presented in this thread) support Met Hilarion's assertions?  He directly contradicts St. John of Damascus, St. Leo the Great, and others.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2013, 08:03:29 AM by jah777 » Logged
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