With the help of God all the difficulties and misfortunes which are inevitable in life will be overcome, because what is impossible for man is possible for God. c. Circumstances surrounding previous marriages must be examined, and documents substantiating divorce must be presented. Because of this transforming power of love, all the difficulties and defects in family life can be overcome. Orthodox husbands and wives must discuss the prevention of conception in the light of the circumstances of their own personal lives, having in mind always the normal relationship between the divinely sanctified love of marriage and the begetting of children. 2. “Active participation” includes the wearing of vestments, the reading of prayers or Scripture, the giving of blessings and the preaching of a sermon. Facebook | 1. The Church can and does practice mercy and forgiveness, and sympathizes with couples who must consider the grave alternative of divorce in order to salvage their lives from the tragic circumstances of a broken marriage. Such an extreme circumstance is the definitely diagnosed danger to the life of the mother at childbirth. But pastoral concern must not be equated with human affection. Archbishop of New York Fleshly relations when separated from spiritual ones are depraved; they must be woven into the pure and total love between a man and a woman united in marriage. The mother must decide whether to lay down her own life for that of her unborn child. “As many as have been baptized into Christ, have put on Christ” (Galatians 3:28). the two shall become one flesh.” (Ephesians 5:31). Orthodox Christians must not allow themselves to be manipulated by the abstract calculations of statisticians regarding such matters as the population explosion and the need for birth control and family planning. The pastor should consult his diocesan bishop before taking any final action in cases involving Orthodox couples married outside the Orthodox Church. Pastors at the same time are reminded that converts to Orthodoxy are not to be remarried when they enter the Orthodox Church. Faithfulness and confidence must reign in marriage, for there can be no deception in love. They must freely consent to the marriage. We do not make this proclamation in the name of an outdated conservatism or because we consider our present society intrinsically more corrupt than the past generations. the marriage does not affect its validity. e. The marriage date must be set for those days and seasons approved by the Church for marriage. The love of God has been manifested in His loving creation of the world, and the divinely sanctified love of marriage -a love filled with the life-creating Spirit-brings forth the fruit of children, to be cared for by parents as the greatest of God’s gifts - the gift of life. Thus we pray: Give them offspring in number like unto full ears of grain, so that having enough of all things, they may abound in every work that is good and acceptable unto Thee. Sex has become an end in itself and is proclaimed as such in the philosophy of individualism and self-indulgence which daily bombards us. Even death cannot break the bond of perfect love. Marriages are not to be performed during the four fasting seasons, on the eves of Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, or on the eves of major holy days. Love which is partial, unsacrificial, non-committal and rooted in lust is really not love, for “God is love” (I John 5:8), and God has revealed Himself in the irrevocable, self-abandoning condescension of His Son, even to the humiliating death on the Cross, and the gracious and all-pervading outpouring of His Holy Spirit, who is “everywhere and filling all things.” The holy apostle Paul obviously has this divine manifestation of true love in mind when he writes: “Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude. The “Order of Second Marriage” as contained in the Service Book is to be used when both partners are entering a second marriage. 1:23). In all of the cases thus … T… Yet no vow or oath can possibly join a man and a woman together in the gracious and absolute way called for in Christian marriage. This view of marriage, opposed to all religious indifference, is the basis for the canons of the Church which forbid mixed marriages. . ecclesial and public discourse on sexuality and marriage and concludes with a plea for privacy concerning human sexuality in order to honour the human subjectivity and preserve the human dignity of individuals. The first effect of this decline is in the sacrament of baptism which has consequently declined some 40 … Pre-marital counseling is an essential pastoral responsibility. The Christian ideal of marriage and family, manhood and womanhood, is incomparably more exalted, balanced and fulfilling than those broken, one-sided or totally erroneous ideologies of today’s world which reduce the meaning of human life to the satisfaction of sexual appetites, material security, or to other such limited functions and desires. Contact | The final hierarchical decision, which may accept, reject, or modify the local pastor’s suggestions, will also give the reasons behind the decision. The Church is aware of the complexities which can arise in life due to social, medical and economic problems, but she still affirms that statistics do not reflect God’s loving and providential care and inconceivable manner of bringing about the salvation of the world. Temporary Administrator of the Church, + JOHN Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in the wrong, but rejoices in the right. The Church’s toleration of mixed marriages does not extend to those between Orthodox and non-Christians: Included in the category of “non-Christian” are: a. In the image of God who brings forth life in love, the Christian marriage, a unity in love established by God, brings forth holy and good life (1 Cor. All biological determinism has been shattered. St. Paul exalts our high calling as Christians with the following words: “You are the body of Christ, and individually members of it” (1 Corinthians 12:27). But marriage is an occasion of great joy and celebration and therefore should be performed only at those times when the entire Church can indeed celebrate. 7:14). The Mission of The Orthodox Church in America, the local autocephalous Orthodox Christian Church, is to be faithful in fulfilling the commandment of Christ to “Go into all the world and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…”, Founded in 1794 — Granted Autocephaly in 1970. 2. Search, Fellowship of Orthodox Christians in America. Archbishop Francesco Coccopalmerio President of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. All rights reserved. 5:19-20). b. Many - Orthodox, non-Orthodox, and even non-Christians - admire our beautiful Marriage Service. 3. For this reason the Orthodox Marriage Service is devoid of any oaths or marriage vows on the part of the couple. Twitter | He can conduct retreats and gatherings for married couples as well as provide individual counseling. 14:40). Husband and wife must strive to learn more about the Faith and to accept its teachings as the law of their life. His headship is a service of love and sacrifice. Conception control of any sort motivated by selfishness or lack of trust in God’s providential care certainly cannot be condoned. All sacraments - marriage among them - are performed in, by and for the whole Church. The crowning which takes place in the Marriage Service reveals the bridegroom and the bride to be a new community in Christ. Let them see their children’s children, like olive shoots around their table, so that finding favor in Thy sight, they may shine like stars of heaven, in Thee our God. The wife is the helpmate of her husband, his beloved companion for life, his source of joy and wellbeing. Each couple must seek the blessing, guidance and advice of’ their pastor in planning and preparing for their marriage. Hopko, Fr. He must state clearly his analysis of the situation and make concrete suggestions for action by the bishop. On this basis the Church permits remarriage and bestows on it an appropriate blessing. The same relationship is expressed in all three of the great prayers of the Service. The moral foundations of society are collapsing. Be faithful to the Christian ideal of marriage and family. Such a view of sex and love is degrading and inadequate to the human being as created in the image and likeness of God. Others search for a pastoral solution, but not in the meaning of marriage itself. A pastor sometimes discovers that communicant members of his parish have not been married in the Orthodox Church. Pennsylvania 18459. This is the very opposite of the works of the flesh, which St. Paul identifies as: “immorality, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, anger, selfishness, dissension, party spirit, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and the like” (Gal. His headship is not a power over his wife and family, but a divinely-given responsibility, to be discharged after the image of Christ, the perfect man. Archbishop of Philadelphia and Pennsylvania Yet certain difficult cases do arise in which parents are opposed to the marriage of their children. Couples should plan their weddings for seasons, times and days which are permitted by the Church for marriage. The “open marriage” in particular gives full vent to the fallen search for self-gratification and propels couples on an endless quest for new sexual partners, thereby depriving marriage of its fundamental uniqueness. In such painful situations the Church offers the opportunity for repentance and forgiveness and the possibility for a new beginning, with final judgment resting in the hands of the Lord. The Marriage Service establishes an inseparable link between marriage and the begetting of children. Pastors must counsel not only those preparing for marriage, but also those having difficulty within marriage as well. The greatest miracle and blessing of the divinely sanctified love of marriage is the procreation of children, and to avoid this by the practice of birth control (or, more accurately, the prevention of conception) is against God’s will for marriage. . At least one of them must be a member of the Orthodox Church, and the other be a baptized Christian. Marriage. Abortion is condemned as a form of murder. Marriage has … Instead, they appeal to moral theology and the realm of conscience to alleviate the plight of the invalidly remarried, skirting th… Let our Christian families be united in mutual love and concern. In Eve, the mother of life, the fullness of life was revealed, for without her Adam was alone and had no companion fit for him (Genesis 2:18). He sanctifies and purifies their total relationship. 1. Husband and wife must live not for purely individual gratification, but for each other, for such is the meaning of true love. True love never ceases, whether in this world or in the age to come. As an individual strives to discern and deepen a call to lay ecclesial ministry, a spiritual director or … The teaching of the Church and her pastors must make concrete suggestions for by... The Service bishop before taking any final action in cases involving Orthodox couples married outside the Orthodox Church considers marriage. 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