The love of husband and wife is the force that welds society together.
Men will take up arms and even sacrifice their lives for the sake of this love.
St. Paul would not speak so earnestly about this subject without serious reason;
why else would he say, "Wives, be subject to your husbands, as to the Lord?"
Because when harmony prevails, the children are raised well,
the household is kept in order, and neighbors, friends,
and relatives praise the result. Great benefits, both of families and states,
are thus produced. When it is otherwise, however, everything
is thrown into confusion and turned upside-down.
+St. John Crysostom, Homily 20
Below are the procedures and guidelines when considering marriage in the Eastern Orthodox Church.
If you have any questions please feel free to contact Fr. James Robinson at 339-204-3074 or at email@example.com
- The Orthodox Church does not perform the Sacrament of Marriage for two non-Orthodox Christians or for an unbaptized person.
- An Orthodox Christian must be married in the Orthodox Church by an Orthodox priest and according to the Orthodox service in order to be in proper canonical and spiritual standing.
- The Sponsoring witness(es) at an Orthodox marriage (Best Man and/or Maid of Honor) must be an Orthodox Christian.
- By application of the principle of oikonomia (economy) the Orthodox Sacrament of Marriage between an Orthodox and a Christian baptized in the name of the Holy Trinity, known as a mixed marriage, may be performed in the manner prescribed in the Service Book. The non-Orthodox is requested to present a Certificate of Baptism well in advance of the wedding.
- Should the parties in a mixed marriage request the presence of a non-Orthodox clergyman, the following procedure is ordered subject to the approval of the bishop. The Orthodox pastor will issue an invitation to the guest clergyman who may be seated on the Solea during the marriage service. The pastor will also issue an invitation to any Orthodox clergy whom you wish to invite.
- Marriages cannot (without the Metropolitan Archbishop's permission) take place on the eves of Wednesday or Friday, Great Lent, Advent, Dromition Fast, or other fast days.
- During the service proper, only Orthodox Hymns prescribed by the Church are permitted. Appropriate music performed by an organ and/or a soloist (per Archdiocese policy) may be sung before or after the wedding service. It is your responsibility to arrange this, although the pastor may be able to offer some recommendations.
- The photographer and/or video person must meet with the pastor prior to the service.In the event this is a second marriage of either party (Orthodox or not), permission from the Metropolitan Archbishop is needed via the pastor and the service used will be according to the liturgical guide. Please consult with the pastor immediately if this is the case.
- A marriage license from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts must be secured before the ceremony and must be presented to the pastor beforehand.
- Plan on meeting with the pastor 4-6 weeks prior to the wedding date for premarital counseling. In addition, the rehearsal should be scheduled well in advance of the wedding so that a mutually convenient time can be arranged. In thanksgiving to God, an offering to the church should be made; the miniumum suggested donation for weddings at St. Mark are as follows: Members $250 (Priest $150/Choir Director $50/Church $50) and Non-Members $350 (Priest $150/Choir Director $50/Church $150).
- All Orthodox parties (Bride/Groom, Best Man, Maid of Honor, etc.) are strongly encouraged and urged to receive confession and communion at the Sunday closest to the wedding date.
Here are four wonderful books about the Orthodox Marriage and Child-Rearing
from the Ancient Faith Store on Ancient Faith Radio:
"On Marriage and Family" by St. John Chrysostom
"One Flesh: Salvation through Marriage in the Orthodox Church" by Father Lawrence Farley
"Two Become One: An Orthodox Guide to Engagement and Marriage" by Anthonios Kaldos & Ireni Attia
"Parenting Toward the Kingdom: Orthodox Christian Principles of Child-Rearing" Philip Mamalakis, PhD