A mystery and a type of a mighty thing

IT is not permissible for anyone to avoid the bonds of marriage, whether he concludes a mystical marriage by devoting himself to God, or whether he concludes a sacramental one with a spouse. […]

An unmarried person is like someone trying to live permanently in a hallway: he doesn’t seem to know what the rooms are for.

Elder Aimilianos of Simonopetra (Pravoslavie).


A wedding in a Russian Orthodox Church

A wedding in a Russian Orthodox Church


MARRIAGE is honourable, and the marriage-bed undefiled; for on a time Christ blessed both, when in the flesh he ate, and, at the wedding at Cana, consummated water as wine: displaying his first wonder, that thou, my O soul, shouldst be transformed.

Great Canon of St Andrew of Crete, Thursday of Great Lent, Irmos 9.


WHAT? is marriage a theater? It is a mystery and a type of a mighty thing; and even if thou reverence not it, reverence that whose type it is.

“This mystery,” saith he, “is great, but I speak in regard of Christ and of the Church.” (Eph 5:32.) […]

Shall I tell how marriage is also a mystery of the Church?

As Christ came into the Church, and she was made of him, and he united with her in a spiritual intercourse, “for,” saith one, “I have espoused you to one husband, a pure virgin.” (2 Cor 11:2.)

And that we are of Him, he saith, of His members, “and of His flesh.”

Thinking then on all these things, let us not cast shame upon so great a mystery.

St John Chrysostom, Homily XII on Colossians. (CCEL)


O LORD our God, who in thy saving dispensation didst vouchsafe by thy presence in Cana of Galilee to declare marriage honourable, do thou thyself also now preserve in peace and concord thy servants N. and M., who have been joined to each other, as hath been well-pleasing to thee.

Declare their marriage honourable; keep their marriage bed undefiled; may it be well-pleasing unto thee that their life together should endure without blemish; and vouchsafe that they may attain to a ripe old age, performing thy commandments with a pure heart.

For thou art our God, a God that hath mercy and a God that saveth, and unto thee we ascribe the glory, together with thy Father who has no beginning, and thine all-holy, good, and life-giving Spirit, now and for ever, and to the ages of ages.

Crowning (Orthodox Marriage service). My non-specialist translation, from Analogion.


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