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Question 123

Pader morning can I ask I was married in a registry office in the eyes of the church am I married been married 41 years thank you       

 

Answer to Question 123

 

How does an Orthodox marriage differ from other marriages?  The civil marriage is nothing more than a contract between two people promising to live together as husband and wife. Then there is the western church marriage which, similar to the civil marriage, involves an exchange of marital vows and promises and where the couple are said to marry one another. In other words they marry themselves by saying: "I Christopher take you Katherine to be my lawful wedded wife…" and then the priest blesses their action.  Then we have the Orthodox marriage which is regarded as a sacrament because the priest commands God to marry the bride and groom. In our Orthodox Marriage service the priest addresses God directly saying “Do Thou Thyself now O Lord and Master, stretch forth Thy hand from Thy Holy dwelling place, and join together this Thy servant, Christopher, and this Thy handmaiden Katherine, for by Thee is a wife joined to her husband. Unite them together in oneness of mind; crown them together as one flesh, grant unto them the fruit of the womb and the pleasure of well-favoured children…” Thus, the meaning of marriage between the Orthodox Church and western practices is from the very onset very different. For the west it is a contract between two people promising to live together through good and bad times until death separates them. In the Church no contract is exchanged, but the union is mystical, where God joins two bodies into one flesh.  Thus the answer to your question is that the church recognizes that you have a contract to live with your partner as husband and wife, but this union has still to be mystically united by God.  But why don’t you ask to be married in Church? You don’t have to have all the lavish set up young people believe is important for their wedding, just simply have the service without all the trimmings. You can see it as a renewal of your marriage vows even though vows are not mentioned in the Orthodox Marriage.