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 turned and censed the sanctuary in the sign of the cross. He stepped through the doors and continued to cense in the shape of a cross at each step. Dobrushin stepped behind Father Makar and Aksinya still on his arm came with him. Behind them followed Ekaterina.
Father Makar continued onto the platform and to the altar. Dobrushin stopped just before the platform. After Father Makar censed the altar, he put the censer in its stand and returned to them. He turned to Aksinya, “Princess Aksinya Georgovna Holstein-Gottorp-Romanov the Countess of Golitsyna, do you wish to marry this man, Dobrushin Sergeevich Lopuhin?”
“I do wish to marry him.”
“Dobrushin Sergeevich Lopuhin, do you wish to marry this woman, Princess Aksinya Georgovna Holstein-Gottorp-Romanov the Countess of Golitsyna?”
“I do. Master, give the blessing.”
Father Makar’s brow rose in surprise that Dobrushin spoke the deacon’s part but he continued, “Blessed is our God, always, now and for ever, and to the ages of ages.”
Ekaterina pronounced, “Amen.”
Father Makar stated, “In peace, let us pray to the Lord.”
Ekaterina replied, “Lord, have mercy.”
Father Makar prayed, and after each petition, Ekaterina replied “Lord, have mercy.” He started, “For the peace from on high and for the salvation of our souls, let us pray to the Lord. For the peace of the whole world, for the welfare of the holy Churches of God, and for the union of all, let us pray to the Lord. For this holy house, and for those who enter it with faith, reverence and the fear of God, let us pray to the Lord. For Tikhon of Moscow 11th Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, for the honored order of presbyters, for the diaconate in Christ, for all the clergy and the people, let us pray to the Lord. For the servant of God Dobrushin Sergeevich Lopuhin and the servant of God Princess Aksinya Georgovna Holstein-Gottorp-Romanov the Countess of Golitsyna, who are now being betrothed to one another, and for their salvation, let us pray to the Lord. That they may be granted children for the continuation of the race and all their requests that are for their salvation, let us pray to the Lord. That there may sent down to them perfect and peaceful love and help, let us pray to the Lord. That they may be kept in concord and sure faith, let us pray to the Lord. That they may be blessed with concord and sure faith, let us pray to the Lord. That they may be preserved with a blameless manner and way of life, let us pray to the Lord. That the Lord, our God, may grant them honorable marriage and a bed without defilement, let us pray to the Lord. For our deliverance from all affliction, wrath, danger and constraint, let us pray to the Lord. Help us, save us, have mercy on us, and keep us, O God, by your grace. Commemorating our all-holy, pure, most blessed and glorious Lady, Mother of God and Ever-Virgin Mary, with all the Saints, let us entrust ourselves and one another and our whole life to Christ our God.”
Matushka Ekaterina replied, “To you, O Lord.”
Okay, here with go with the whole 9 yards. I did cut the prayers a little, as you will see, but in general, I give you it all. Now, an Orthodox marriage is like this. First there is a betrothal. The betrothal can go for a year or a minute before the actual marriage. You must have the betrothal. Then there is the marriage itself. The couple is not married at the end of the betrothal--they are at the end of the marriage.
After cleansing (censing) the altar, the first step is the declaration. This is the question of intent for the marriage (betrothal). The bride then the groom is asked. Dobrushin recites the deacon's part and surprises Father Makar. Ekaterina should not technically do the deacon's part, so Dobrushin is taking a burden from Makar and from Ekaterina. Then the prayers begin. Okay the prayers are long--that's why I condensed them a little. Tomorrow, more prayers.