For those who haven’t been following this blog, let me introduce it a little. I am currently blogging my 21st novel that has the working title Daemon. The novel is about Aksinya, a sorceress, who, to save her family from the Bolsheviks, called and contracted the demon, Asmodeus. Her family was murdered anyway, and she fled with the demon from Russia to Austria.
Father Dobrushin and Aksinya have decided to marry so that they can be rid of the demon. We are continuing with the Orthodox marriage ceremony. Father Makar continues with the marriage prayers...
Dobrushin called, “Let us pray to the Lord.”
Ekaterina replied, “Lord, have mercy.”
Father Makar prayed again, “Holy God, who fashioned man from dust, and from his rib built up a woman and yoked her to him as a helper like himself, for it was not pleasing to your greatness for man to be alone on earth, do you, Master, now send forth your hand from your holy dwelling, and link…” He put Dobrushin’s right hand in Aksinya’s. She held it tightly while Father Makar continued to pray, “…your servant Dobrushin Sergeevich Lopuhin and your servant Princess Aksinya Georgovna Holstein-Gottorp-Romanov the Countess of Golitsyna, because it is by you that a wife is linked to her husband. Yoke them together in likeness of mind. Crown them into one flesh. Grant them fruit of the womb, enjoyment of fair offspring. For yours is the might, and yours the kingdom, the power and the glory, of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, now and for ever, and to the ages of ages.”
Father Makar took the two crowns from the altar. He lifted the silver one over Dobrushin’s head, “The servant of God, Dobrushin Sergeevich Lopuhin, takes as his crown the servant of God, Princess Aksinya Georgovna Holstein-Gottorp-Romanov the Countess of Golitsyna, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.” He lowered the crown on Dobrushin’s head while stating this three times. Then he made the sign of the cross three times on each of them.
Father Makar took the gold crown and held it over Aksinya’s head, “The servant of God, Princess Aksinya Georgovna Holstein-Gottorp-Romanov the Countess of Golitsyna, takes as her crown the servant of God, Dobrushin Sergeevich Lopuhin, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.” He said this three times as he slowly lowered the crown to her head. He made the sign of the cross three times on each of them again.
He chanted three times, “Lord our God, crown them with honor and glory.”
Now we get to the crowning. The crowning is the high point in an Orthodox wedding. The significance of the crowns is they represent the marriage of Christ with the church. The woman represents the church, her crown is silver, and the man represents Christ, his crown is gold. The man's crown is placed on the woman and the woman's crown on the man. The rings of betrothal then during their lives represent the crowns.
The point in this scene and in this novel is that marriage represents an important element in Christian thought. Aksinya was crowned before this through her reliance (you could say faith) in Christ. Do you remember whom she told the demon now owns her soul. The marriage directly represents this point of salvation. Further, now the crown of Christ is a crown that represents Dobrushin. The image isn't that Dobrushin is Christ or that Aksinya is the church, but rather that Christian faith and the imagery of the novel is being played out in this ceremony. That is the point. It will have more meaning in the context of what happens in the next chapter. Tomorrow, prayers following the crowning.