Monday, September 1, 2014

Why get married?

Why does the Holy Church place such importance on marriage?
It does so because marriage is a recipe for happiness in a sorrowful, fallen world:

Being connected by the ties of marriage we substitute for each other both hands and ears and legs. Marriage makes a weak one twice stronger, gives great joy to well-wishers and grief to ill-wishers. The common cares of the spouses make their griefs easier; common joys are more delightful for both of them. For the unanimous spouses riches are more pleasant, and in scarcity unanimity itself is more pleasant for them than riches. The ties of marriage serve them as the key to chastity and desire, as the seal of necessary affection. They drink from one source of their home, from which strangers do not drink and which flows nowhere and from nowhere. Being one flesh they have also one soul and with mutual love they equally motivate each other to be diligent to please God. Because marriage does not remove from God, but on the contrary it ties more to Him, because it has more motivations for it.
Saint Gregory the Theologian (4th century)

marriage-4.jpgIs the great Mystery of marriage still relevant today?
Society tells us it is not - claiming that living de-facto is “just as good”, and that “there is no hurry to marry”, indeed “what’s all the fuss about?”
The Holy Church has a different view. It sees marriage as a path to the Kingdom of Heaven. A path that is exalted, sober, and profound - completely different to secular, unbelieving modern life.
Surprisingly, even from a secular perspective, marriage appears advantageous, especially when a couple has children. Although the couple themselves may feel their love is firm and beautiful, it is illegal by God’s law…In essence, the couple are saying to God: “We don’t need You! We have enough with each other! What we have is beautiful, and You have no place with us. We do not require your blessing.”

Under the conditions of modern life, filled with vulgarity and moral decadence, a person must learn how to guard his spiritual health and develop an “antidote” against all kinds of fornication. Bishop Alexander of Mileant: Celibacy, Marriage or “free love”… Which way to choose?

A conscientious adult Orthodox Christian is obliged to be fruitful and committed through marriage, if he has not chosen to serve God as a monastic. For centuries, indeed, ever since the fall of Adam, the world is attacking God-pleasing practice mainly through the temptation of lust and lawlessness. We must be aware of this warfare, and prepare our response.
For an Orthodox Christian, the Sacrament of Marriage is all that is necessary to make the union of man and woman blessed before God. The wedding feast typically celebrated after the service is the optional part of getting married! Celebrations do not contribute in any way to the happiness or validity of the marriage… Not infrequently throughout the ages, couples found that no celebration were practically possible. This happened in times of war, poverty, famine, persecutions, or political unrest. Often the party celebration was completely omitted, to no detriment to the marriage (or the bank account!).
Ironically, today, many spend $50000-100000 on this non-essential part of the marriage, often postponing the crucial part (the solemn Mystery) indefinitely due to financial constraints! All the while, the poor couple often continues to sin before God, harming their potentially blessed and happy marriage relationship, and allowing their children to grow up in an atmosphere of sin…
If we are not willing to live according to the strict, but loving standards of the Church on this key point - then how can we claim to be Orthodox Christians?


Metropolitan Agafangel
First Hierarch of the Russian
Orthodox Church Abroad

Bishop John of Melbourne
Vicar bishop of Australia

Church calendar for today

Divine Services - Archangel Michael Sobor in Odessa

Divine services channel is updated every Church feast day



Melbourne, VIC
Contact: Bishop John
Telephone: 0422556968

Sydney, NSW
Parish of St John of Kronstadt.



Contact: Bishop John

Dandenong, VIC
Community of the Tabinsk Mother of God Icon


[*]Visits by Bishop John[/list]

Annunciation of the Mother of God Women’s Monastic Community


Contact: Bishop John
Telephone: 0422556968

[b]Brisbane, QLD

Canberra, ACT

Admin area