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Marriage eternal?


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#1 Ben Johnson

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Posted 04 July 2013 - 05:00 PM

Hello

 

    I could not determine if this topic has already been covered, but I have been Orthodox for the past few years and will be attending an Orthodox wedding for the first time this weekend.  I surfed the Internet to try to see what happens at Orthodox weddings and read a line which says that the Orthodox consider marriage to be "eternal."  If that is true, how does one reconcile that with Matthew 22:23-33?  If this has already been covered, perhaps one could give me a link to follow?

Since the LORD at times transcends human logic, I wonder if it is possible to be both married and not married, as we understand it, in the next life?



#2 Kosta

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Posted 04 July 2013 - 07:55 PM

From my studies, I have to conclude this is an urban legend if you will. This teaching is believed by some but has no patristic support whatsoever, and is never alluded to in the Wedding service.

 

I think some interpret a verse in the crowning (going on memory) of a reference to the 'two shall become one' which leaves out the word 'flesh'. I think thats the breadth of their support.  Instead what is eternal is the entrance into the bridal chamber of Christ when he returns for His bride, the Church.



#3 Phoebe K.

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Posted 04 July 2013 - 08:10 PM

I am no expert in this, my understanding is that the ideal in Orthodoxy is that a person marries once or remains a virgin (monastic or in the community).  Second marriges are permitted in the case of the death of one person within the marriage, these however are not as joyful as the first marriage, divorce is also permitted by holy todition but is not encouraged and trodtion indicates that the people should then remain unmarried or be reconciled, although this may be relacsed by the decision of the bishop on a case by case bases.  one of the key passages in this is Matthew 19: 2-12.

 

A number of the Fathers of the church speek on this isue reiterating what Christ himself says on this matter and St Innocent is clear that marrige after a divorce is not permited unless one of the origanal couple has died, he indicates in the text i have (which is an extract of his writings) that the penance for this which the church of this time considered adultery was savear.  other writes from around this time indicate that devorce is only permited for adultery, even a differnce in faith is not an reason for devorce.

 

as far as i understand it Marage is veiwed as a once event which is ment to last for eternity even if death separates the couple for a time.  this is not always insisted  on as humans are only capable of living this way by the grace of God, as only his grace can allow us to live in this way as we were created to before the fall.

 

I am shore one of the more experence members of the forum will corect me if i have miss understood anything (i am still lurning)

 

Phoebe



#4 Kosta

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Posted 05 July 2013 - 12:08 AM

Phoebe is correct. Also to add- the Church allowing for divorce and remarriage while the spouse is still alive should not be taken as a change to the Tradition of the early church which did not allow it. The early church forbade remarriage after divorce because of the strong conviction that if the spouse is still alive there is always that tiny hope of reconciliation.  But even this view was not held as strictly as it seems. The canon of the Nicene council condemned the Puritans for their rigid stance on completely severing themselves from twice married divorced laity, the church took this stance to be too rigid (along with their belief that no repentance can be allowed in cases of apostacy to escape persecution ).

 

The eternal marriage thing will need to be explained by those who believe in it. Do they mean the, 'old ball and chain' is awaiting you on the other side? If so, if you remarried why would the church have allowed it, if marriage is eternal? Are they implying polygamy exists in paradise? What if one spouse was pious while the other abusive? Why is there no patristic or liturgical support for it?

 

On the other hand if they mean, when we die and reunite with our family, we will still recognize grandma and grandpa as grandma and grandpa, then this would not conflict with Orthodoxy. A son will still recognize his father as 'dad' who was or is married to 'mom'. The close filial relationship establlished on Earth would still be recognized.



#5 Lakis Papas

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Posted 05 July 2013 - 01:05 AM

Αll Christian links of love created on earth shall live in eternity in Christ. Likewise the marital bonds in Christ will remain for ever.

 

A bond in Christ between persons can never be broken - this is valid for all bonds as well as marriage. This is not about sex and carnal relations.



#6 Father David Moser

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Posted 05 July 2013 - 02:28 PM

To add maybe a spiritualized dimension to this question:

 

The eternal aspect of marriage is that marriage is an image (icon) of the Church.  Just as in marriage the two are united and become a unity of two in one in this life, so in the life to come the members of the Church are united in that many become one.  Just as in a marriage the unity does not result in the loss of personhood, but rather an enlargement of being - so also in the life to come personhood is not destroyed but rather the Church becomes one just as the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are one.  Thuis we can say that marriage is a foreshadowing  or a pre-taste of eternity for the Church on a small scale.  If marriage is (as is the purpose) between two Orthodox Christians who are from that time on working out their salvation together, then in eternity they will continue to be one as a part of the body of Christ.

 

Fr David Moser



#7 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 05 July 2013 - 02:33 PM

"For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven." - Matthew 22:30.






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