The Bridegroom’s gift is an imperishable crown

An icon of Christ the Bridegroom

Christ the Bridegroom

DO not hold aloof from the Church; for nothing is stronger than the Church. The Church is thy hope, thy salvation, thy refuge. It is higher than the heaven, it is wider than the earth. It never waxes old, but is always in full vigour. […]

She is called a virgin, albeit formerly she was an harlot: for this is the miracle wrought by the Bridegroom, that He took her who was an harlot and hath made her a virgin. Oh! what a new and strange event! With us marriage destroys virginity, but with God marriage hath restored it. With us she who is a virgin, when married, is a virgin no longer: with Christ she who is an harlot, when married, becomes a virgin.

St John Chrysostom (?347-407). Homily II On Eutropius §6.

LET us love the Bridegroom, brethren, let us prepare our own lamps with care, shining out in the virtues and in upright faith; so that, like the wise virgins of the Lord, we may enter prepared into the marriage feast together with him. For the Bridegroom holds out as very God a gift to all: the imperishable crown.

Kathisma at Orthros for Great Tuesday.