“Bless this marriage, and grant to these Thy servants… a peaceful life, length of days, chastity, mutual love in the bond of peace, long-lived offspring, gratitude from their children, a crown of glory that does not fade away. Graciously grant that they may see their children’s children. Preserve their bed unassailed, and give them of the dew of heaven from on high, and of the fatness of the earth. Fill their houses with wheat, wine, and oil, and with every good thing, so that they may give in turn to those in need; and grant also to those here present with them all those petitions which are for their salvation.” – from the Orthodox Marriage Service
“O Lord our God, crown them with glory and honor.”
Many years to all the couples who have been crowned Kings and Queens of their households and are bearing witness to Christ’s presence in their lives! The Orthodox Sacrament of Marriage is beautiful and sacred. In a world that is ever-changing, there are still many young men and women who have chosen to uphold a Godly and traditional way of life. As St. John Chrysostom says, “The love of husband and wife is the force that welds society together.” Let us pray that these marriages remain strong, and that they will see their grandchildren grow up in the Faith! Please enjoy these beautiful wedding photos from friends all over the country. (If you have never been to an Orthodox wedding, notice the modesty and grandeur, the crowns, candles, and icons that are all an important part of this Sacrament.)
That He will preserve them in oneness of mind, and in steadfast faith, let us pray to the Lord.
Special Words for a Special Day
Orthodox Wedding Service – Full text of the Orthodox wedding service.
(Eph. 5:20-33) “Brethren, give thanks always for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God the Father. Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives, be subject to your husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is head of the church, His body, and is Himself its Savior. As the church is subject to Christ, so let wives also be subject in everything to their husbands. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her, that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that the church might be presented before Him in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. Even so husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no man ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, as Christ does the church, because we are members of His body. “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one.” This is a great mystery, and I take it to mean Christ and the church; however let each one of you love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.” – Epistle Reading from the Wedding Service
Wedding Service Program – Explanation of each part of the Orthodox wedding service.
“Marriage is an eternal relationship that begins in this world and is perfected in God’s Kingdom. In Christ, marriage is restored to its original perfection through the sacrament and becomes an eternal life of joy in union with Him. Christ destroyed death by His Cross and Resurrection; therefore, death has no power to separate the marriage.” …What beauty!
(Trivia: Did you know that children are mentioned 14 times during the service?)
What does an Orthodox Wedding look like?
- Evgeniy and Katia
2. Sarah and John (password: k2)
” In the theology of the Orthodox Church man is made in the Image of the Most-holy Trinity, and, except in certain special cases (such as monasticism, for example), he is not intended by God to live alone, but in a family situation. Just as God blessed the first humans, Adam and Eve, to live as a family, to be fruitful and multiply, so too the Church blesses the union of a man and a woman. Marriage, however, is not a state of nature, but is rather a state of grace, and married life is a special vocation (no less than the special calling of monasticism), requiring a gift or charism from the Holy Spirit this gift being conferred in the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony.
That Holy Matrimony has divine sanction comes no less from the words of the Lord Himself, Who says: Have you not read that He Who made them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’ [Gen. 2:24]. So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder (Matt. 19:5-6).
The Holy Apostle Paul sees this mystical union of husband and wife as reflecting the mystical union of Christ with His Church: Wives, be subject to your husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the Church, His body…. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the Church and gave Himself up for her…. Even so husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no man ever hates his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, as Christ does the Church, because we are members of His body…. This mystery is a profound one, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the Church… (Eph. 5:22-25, 28-30, 32).
The Sacrament of Holy Matrimony consists of two parts: Betrothal and Crowning. The Betrothal is, in some way, the civil act, sanctified by the blessing of the Church. It sanctifies the intention of two persons to enter into the martial union and reflects Old Testament customs, when on those who had expressed their intentions to marry, rings were placed. This exchange of rings in the Office of Betrothal is an outward token that the two partners join in marriage of their own free will and consent, for without free consent on both sides there can be no Sacrament of Christian marriage.
The Office of Crowning also contains an Old Testament element in the crowning itself, which reflects the ancient practice of placing crowns on the heads of the betrothed. This is the outward and visible sign of the Sacrament, signifying the special grace of the Holy Spirit received by the couple. These crowns are crowns of joy and martyrdom joy for the new union and martyrdom since every true marriage involves immeasurable self-sacrifice on both sides.
In the Greek Churches, the crowns are usually made of leaves and flowers, while in the Russian Church they are usually made of silver or gold. Customarily in the Russian Church the crowns are held over the couples’ heads by the best man and maid of honor, but in many places (as in Romania, for example) they are actually worn by the bride and groom.
The Gospel for the day contains the account of the Wedding in Cana in Galilee (John 2:1-11). The blessing, given by God to man in Paradise was renewed by Christ in the New Testament, when, at the beginning of His ministry, He performed the miracle of changing water into wine. Thus, at the end of the Marriage Service the newly-married couple drink from the same cup of wine, which recalls this miracle of Our Lord. The common cup here is also a symbol that henceforth they will share a common life with one another.” – These Truths We Hold – The Holy Orthodox Church: Her Life and Teachings
Thinking of getting married?
Orthodoxweddingcrowns.com – wedding crowns, candles, and all other wedding accessories.