Author Topic: No "Til Death Do We Part" at Orthodox marriage service?  (Read 3030 times)

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Offline Shlomlokh

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No "Til Death Do We Part" at Orthodox marriage service?
« on: June 15, 2011, 11:20:10 PM »
The Spirit is descended!

The question above was recently posed to me on another forum I frequent. I don't ever remember getting an answer on the subject, because it never really came up before during my catechumenate and after. Other folks who commented on it (Heterodox, mind you) seemed to suggest that it was in some way analogous to "eternal marriage" in a Mormon sense, which I knew was wrong right off the bat. However, can anyone point me towards an Orthodox understanding of this absence in the Orthodox service? Most people that hear about this are aware of the significant difference in understanding between the Western sects and Orthodoxy, but they don't know what the difference is. Having not been exposed to an Orthodox wedding yet, I also do not understand what it means exactly.

Any help would be appreciated, be it quotes from the fathers, etc.

In Christ,
Andrew
"I will pour out my prayer unto the Lord, and to Him will I proclaim my grief; for with evils my soul is filled, and my life unto hades hath drawn nigh, and like Jonah I will pray: From corruption raise me up, O God." -Ode VI, Irmos of the Supplicatory Canon to the Theotokos

Offline bogdan

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Re: No "Til Death Do We Part" at Orthodox marriage service?
« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2011, 11:37:58 PM »
It is absent because as it developed, the Eastern wedding ceremony was not so much viewed as a legal contract like it did in the West. Thus we have no need for contractual language of that kind. It certainly would take a legal-oriented Western mindset to think that the absence of a termination clause implies the marriage is eternal!

Marriage is first and foremost a function of Christ, it is sacramental. Once the man and woman enter the Church and declare they are free to be married, they pledge their troth and the administration of the marital sacrament begins.

And as the Scripture says, in the Kingdom they are not given in marriage. I don't have anything from the Fathers to that point, but hopefully that at least helps with the "lack" of vows in the Eastern service.

If these people on the forum want to understand the Orthodox view of marriage, they need only read the text of the service: http://www.archive.org/stream/ServiceBookOfHolyOrthodoxChurchByHapgood/Service_Book_Orthodox_Church_Hapgood#page/n329/mode/2up
« Last Edit: June 15, 2011, 11:43:48 PM by bogdan »

Offline LizaSymonenko

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Re: No "Til Death Do We Part" at Orthodox marriage service?
« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2011, 12:05:17 AM »

...it's not said, because it's not true.  Death does not part the married couple.
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Offline NicholasMyra

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Re: No "Til Death Do We Part" at Orthodox marriage service?
« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2011, 01:17:36 AM »
I take Christ's words to mean that there won't be the copulation part of marriage in the Coming Age. Who knows, perhaps we'll all be united together with such a bond. "What God has joined together..."
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Offline Irish Hermit

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Re: No "Til Death Do We Part" at Orthodox marriage service?
« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2011, 03:38:18 AM »
In the marriage rite there are a few phrases which speak of it as life-long such as

O eternal God, who has brought into to unity those who were sundered, and hast ordained for them an indissoluble bond of love...

and later...

...preserve their union indissoluble...

But above and beyond that the service is suffused with sentiments which make it clear that the union is meant to be life-long.





Offline ilyazhito

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Re: No "Til Death Do We Part" at Orthodox marriage service?
« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2011, 10:31:51 PM »
Unfortunately, divorce occurs, but marriage is implicitly and explicitly intended to be lifelong.

Offline synLeszka

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Re: No "Til Death Do We Part" at Orthodox marriage service?
« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2011, 05:40:01 AM »
It is absent because as it developed, the Eastern wedding ceremony was not so much viewed as a legal contract like it did in the West. Thus we have no need for contractual language of that kind. It certainly would take a legal-oriented Western mindset to think that the absence of a termination clause implies the marriage is eternal!

Marriage is first and foremost a function of Christ, it is sacramental. Once the man and woman enter the Church and declare they are free to be married, they pledge their troth and the administration of the marital sacrament begins.

And as the Scripture says, in the Kingdom they are not given in marriage. I don't have anything from the Fathers to that point, but hopefully that at least helps with the "lack" of vows in the Eastern service.

If these people on the forum want to understand the Orthodox view of marriage, they need only read the text of the service: http://www.archive.org/stream/ServiceBookOfHolyOrthodoxChurchByHapgood/Service_Book_Orthodox_Church_Hapgood#page/n329/mode/2up

The Roman Catholic "legalist" conception is based on the Roman Law as codified by Justinian, the Eastern Roman Emperor and its interpretation by the school of Bologna interpretors. The fact is that the fall of the Constantinople destroyed the Byzantine Roman Law tradition; but the tradition of Justinian continued in the West up to today, being the basis of Western Canon Law and the modern Civil Law tradition.
The fact that the Orthodox, maintaining their Greek identity, deny their own Roman legal tradition as "legalism" is funny.

Offline Fr.Aidan

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Re: No "Til Death Do We Part" at Orthodox marriage service?
« Reply #7 on: June 20, 2011, 05:51:58 PM »
"Till death do us part" is indeed part of the Western Rite marriage service, as found in "Orthodox Prayers of Old England" and approved for liturgical usage within the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad. The Western Rite wedding is a service of profound theological depth and surpassing beauty rivalling the great dignity and beauty of the Eastern Rite marriage service. It is just as ancient, and in fact contains some elements which predate the modern Eastern Rite wedding service. Of course, both (Eastern and Western Rite) have the holding of candles, the crowning, the partaking of the common cup at the end, and the concept that the Mystery or Sacrament (sacramentum = Latin word for "mystery") is effected by the priestly prayer, rather than administered by the couple to one another by exchanging vows.

There is no theological difference between this approved Western Rite wedding service, and the normative service within the Orthodox Church.

Offline Shlomlokh

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Re: No "Til Death Do We Part" at Orthodox marriage service?
« Reply #8 on: June 20, 2011, 06:54:58 PM »
"Till death do us part" is indeed part of the Western Rite marriage service, as found in "Orthodox Prayers of Old England" and approved for liturgical usage within the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad. The Western Rite wedding is a service of profound theological depth and surpassing beauty rivalling the great dignity and beauty of the Eastern Rite marriage service. It is just as ancient, and in fact contains some elements which predate the modern Eastern Rite wedding service. Of course, both (Eastern and Western Rite) have the holding of candles, the crowning, the partaking of the common cup at the end, and the concept that the Mystery or Sacrament (sacramentum = Latin word for "mystery") is effected by the priestly prayer, rather than administered by the couple to one another by exchanging vows.

There is no theological difference between this approved Western Rite wedding service, and the normative service within the Orthodox Church.
Thank you for your input, Father. Since you have a good bit of experience in both liturgical traditions, would you be able to help reconcile the seeming contradiction between the inclusion of "till death do us part" and the Constaninopolitan absence and what that means?

Thank you.

In Christ,
Andrew
"I will pour out my prayer unto the Lord, and to Him will I proclaim my grief; for with evils my soul is filled, and my life unto hades hath drawn nigh, and like Jonah I will pray: From corruption raise me up, O God." -Ode VI, Irmos of the Supplicatory Canon to the Theotokos

Offline podkarpatska

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Re: No "Til Death Do We Part" at Orthodox marriage service?
« Reply #9 on: June 21, 2011, 09:44:14 AM »
It is absent because as it developed, the Eastern wedding ceremony was not so much viewed as a legal contract like it did in the West. Thus we have no need for contractual language of that kind. It certainly would take a legal-oriented Western mindset to think that the absence of a termination clause implies the marriage is eternal!

Marriage is first and foremost a function of Christ, it is sacramental. Once the man and woman enter the Church and declare they are free to be married, they pledge their troth and the administration of the marital sacrament begins.

And as the Scripture says, in the Kingdom they are not given in marriage. I don't have anything from the Fathers to that point, but hopefully that at least helps with the "lack" of vows in the Eastern service.

If these people on the forum want to understand the Orthodox view of marriage, they need only read the text of the service: http://www.archive.org/stream/ServiceBookOfHolyOrthodoxChurchByHapgood/Service_Book_Orthodox_Church_Hapgood#page/n329/mode/2up

The Roman Catholic "legalist" conception is based on the Roman Law as codified by Justinian, the Eastern Roman Emperor and its interpretation by the school of Bologna interpretors. The fact is that the fall of the Constantinople destroyed the Byzantine Roman Law tradition; but the tradition of Justinian continued in the West up to today, being the basis of Western Canon Law and the modern Civil Law tradition.
The fact that the Orthodox, maintaining their Greek identity, deny their own Roman legal tradition as "legalism" is funny.

Don't confuse us with the facts.  :) Actually, the Civil Law systems of 'Orthodox' Europe, i.e. Russia, Ukraine, Serbia, Romania (and I would be Greece as well)  are derived from Roman civil law. Only us Yanks and the Brits follow the Anglo influenced common law (at least to some degree) which is distinct from Roman based civil law.

Offline ialmisry

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Re: No "Til Death Do We Part" at Orthodox marriage service?
« Reply #10 on: June 21, 2011, 10:30:33 AM »
It is absent because as it developed, the Eastern wedding ceremony was not so much viewed as a legal contract like it did in the West. Thus we have no need for contractual language of that kind. It certainly would take a legal-oriented Western mindset to think that the absence of a termination clause implies the marriage is eternal!

Marriage is first and foremost a function of Christ, it is sacramental. Once the man and woman enter the Church and declare they are free to be married, they pledge their troth and the administration of the marital sacrament begins.

And as the Scripture says, in the Kingdom they are not given in marriage. I don't have anything from the Fathers to that point, but hopefully that at least helps with the "lack" of vows in the Eastern service.

If these people on the forum want to understand the Orthodox view of marriage, they need only read the text of the service: http://www.archive.org/stream/ServiceBookOfHolyOrthodoxChurchByHapgood/Service_Book_Orthodox_Church_Hapgood#page/n329/mode/2up

The Roman Catholic "legalist" conception is based on the Roman Law as codified by Justinian, the Eastern Roman Emperor and its interpretation by the school of Bologna interpretors. The fact is that the fall of the Constantinople destroyed the Byzantine Roman Law tradition; but the tradition of Justinian continued in the West up to today, being the basis of Western Canon Law and the modern Civil Law tradition.
The fact that the Orthodox, maintaining their Greek identity, deny their own Roman legal tradition as "legalism" is funny.
After he codified the pagan Law, Justinian began the process of the reinterpretation in the light of the higher Law of Christ.  That process was completed by the Basilika, and passed on and lives on in the Nomocanons.  Even after the fall of New Rome, it still remained the law of the Rum Millet, as the Slave version, the Zakonopravilo of St. Sava remained the law of Ottoman occupied Serbia, Bulgaria and Romania, as implemented by the Code of Dushan. With independence, they became the basis of the Constitutions of the new nation-states.

What is funny is that the Ultramontanists, clinging to the pagan notions of Caesar, think that is theology.
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Offline akimori makoto

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Re: No "Til Death Do We Part" at Orthodox marriage service?
« Reply #11 on: June 21, 2011, 07:38:53 PM »
(at least to some degree)

podkarpatska, I like you more with every post.
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Offline MCE

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Re: No "Til Death Do We Part" at Orthodox marriage service?
« Reply #12 on: October 30, 2011, 04:04:22 PM »

...it's not said, because it's not true.  Death does not part the married couple.

That is not what the Apostolic Deposit says, St. Paul is very clear
that death does part them. St. John Chrysostom, in denouncing
those who opposed second marriages after a death, said that
such thought themselves better than St. Paul.

Offline Gorazd

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Re: No "Til Death Do We Part" at Orthodox marriage service?
« Reply #13 on: October 30, 2011, 06:09:55 PM »

...it's not said, because it's not true.  Death does not part the married couple.

That is not what the Apostolic Deposit says, St. Paul is very clear
that death does part them. St. John Chrysostom, in denouncing
those who opposed second marriages after a death, said that
such thought themselves better than St. Paul.

Can you give the sources, please?

Offline MCE

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Re: No "Til Death Do We Part" at Orthodox marriage service?
« Reply #14 on: October 30, 2011, 06:54:22 PM »

...it's not said, because it's not true.  Death does not part the married couple.

That is not what the Apostolic Deposit says, St. Paul is very clear
that death does part them. St. John Chrysostom, in denouncing
those who opposed second marriages after a death, said that
such thought themselves better than St. Paul.

Can you give the sources, please?

I Corinthians 7:39  Romans 7:2,3 I timothy 5:14
the chrysostom quote i stumbled on somewhere on line and
I am looking for it again.