The Orthodox Pages

email: pater@christopherklitou.com 

 ASK AN ORTHODOX PRIEST

Homepage

 

   Back                     

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Question 163

Does the Greek orthodox church approve of gay marriage?

 

Answer to Question 163

 

In our present day societies, homosexuality has been accepted as an “alternative lifestyle” with many countries even legalizing homosexual marriages and accepting them on a legal par with the traditional heterosexual, monogamous marriages. But these marriages are civil marriages which are nothing more than legal binding contracts between two people to live together. Something should also be said on traditional marriages in the Anglican Church. The wedding service is similar to a civil wedding because again it is a contract between two people. They exchange marital vows and promises and in fact the couple marry themselves by saying: "I Christopher take you Katherine to be my lawful wedded wife…" and then the priest blesses their action.  In the Orthodox Church, marriage 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 east and west is 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 east no contract is exchanged, but the union is mystical, where God joins two bodies into one flesh.  Having said all this, the Orthodox Church cannot give her blessing to an act which the Bible clearly condemns as unnatural and is referred to as an abomination in the sight of God and would never offend God by asking him to mystically join together such a union even if all the other churches and religions in the world were to agree to do so.