S+L logo

A Greek Orthodox wedding

September 8, 2009
greekorthodoxLast month, I attended my first wedding in a Greek Orthodox Church. My friend Teresa, a devout Roman Catholic, married Sean, a devout Greek Orthodox. I didn’t know what to expect from the ceremony aside from being surrounded by the distinctive architecture. It was certainly a sacred experience – simple and symbolic of the covenant that marriage is.
There were two moments in the wedding that stood out for me the most.
The first was the Betrothal Ceremony. The priest took the rings and, making the sign of the cross over the couple’s heads, blessing them, saying “The servant of God… is betrothed to the maid of God… in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”
In their wedding program, Sean and Teresa wrote:
In Scripture, as the prayer of betrothal indicates, rings were given as signs of commitment, authority, and forgiveness. After they are blessed by the priest, the rings are exchanged between bride and groom. The exchange signifies that in married life the weaknesses of one partner will be compensated for by the strengths of the other.
The second was the Crowning Ceremony, when the bride and groom were crowned as king and queen of their home, which they must rule with wisdom, justice, mercy, and integrity. This was a great reminder that a married couple needs to exercise dominion over themselves and over their children. “The crowns also symbolize martyrdom and sacrifice. Throughout marriage, the husband and wife must be willing to offer and sacrifice themselves in imitation of Christ.” Near the end of the Ceremony, the priest removed the crowns and prayed, remembering Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebecca, Jacob and Rachel. He then blessed the bride and groom and instructed them to go in peace, performing the commandments of God.
On this Feastday of Mary’s Birth, we can ask Mary to help us keep at the forefront of our lives, the deep meaning of our covenant of love. Some of us may be single, others married or in the religious life, but we are all called to love, and to see our lives in connection with the faithful who have gone before us
Related posts
Blessed Paul VI will be canonized later this year. Pope Francis made the announcement to the pastors of the Diocese of Rome during a question-and-answer session, that he had with the priests on Februa ...read more
Moriah, Tabor, Calvary: Darkness can be Radiant
Second Sunday of Lent, Year B – February 25th, 2018 Moriah. Sinai. Nebo. Carmel. Horeb. Gilboa. Gerizim. Mount of Beatitudes. Tabor. Hermon. Zion. Mount of Olives. Calvary. Golgotha. Mountains a ...read more
In today's episode of Perspectives Daily, we sit down and chat with the geniuses behind the Broadway musical hit, Come From Away. Canadian playwright Irene Sankoff and David Hein talk to Noel Ocol abo ...read more
Deacon-structing Lent: Our Baptismal Promise
When you think of Lent, what do you think of? Do you think of feasting or fasting? Do you think of partying or penance? It’s true that Lent is a penitential season, but do you know that the word ...read more
The Ways of the Desert
Reflection for First Sunday of Lent Year B by Fr. Thomas Rosica, CSB This lent, Salt and Light brings you Lenten Reflections from Fr. Thomas Rosica who is the CEO of Salt and Light Catholic Media Foun ...read more