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. The betrothal is first...
Dobrushin announced, “Let us pray to the Lord.”
Ekaterina, “Lord, have mercy.”
Father Makar prayed, “Lord our God, you journeyed with the servant of the Patriarch Abraham in Mesopotamia when he was sent to obtain a wife for his lord Isaac, and by means of drawing water you revealed that he should betroth Rebecca. Bless the betrothal of your servants Dobrushin Sergeevich Lopuhin and Princess Aksinya Georgovna Holstein-Gottorp-Romanov the Countess of Golitsyna and make firm the word that they have spoken. Confirm them with the holy unity that comes from you. For it was you who in the beginning created male and female, and it is by you that woman is linked to man as a helper and for the continuation of the human race. Therefore, Lord our God, who sent truth out to your inheritance and your promise to your servants, our fathers, your elect in every generation, look on your servant Dobrushin Sergeevich Lopuhin and your servant Princess Aksinya Georgovna Holstein-Gottorp-Romanov the Countess of Golitsyna, and make firm their betrothal in faith and concord and truth and love. For it is you, Lord, who declared that times a pledge is to be given and made firm in everything. By a ring authority was given to Joseph in
. By a ring Daniel was glorified in the country of Egypt . By a ring the truth of Thamar was revealed. By a ring our heavenly Father showed compassion to the prodigal son. For he said, ‘Put a ring on his hand and bring out and slay the fatted calf, and let us eat and be joyful’. It was your right hand, Lord, that armed Moses at the Babylon Red Sea, for through your true word the heavens were made firm and the earth set on its foundations. And the right hand of your servants will be blessed by your mighty word and by your upraised arm. Therefore, Master, with your heavenly blessing now bless also this putting-on of rings. And may an Angel of the Lord go before them all the days of their lives. For you are the One who blesses and sanctifies all things, and to you we give glory, to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and for ever, and to the ages of ages.
They said, “Amen.”
Father Makar announced, “The betrothal is complete. Now we can begin the crowning and marriage.” He continued, “Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep. Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one's youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate. Blessed are those who fear the Lord.”
The entire betrothal and marriage is a metaphor for this entire novel. Do not forget that Aksinya and the demon are contracted. Aksinya has declared her new allegiance, but she is still bound to the demon. A marriage is a contract, a covenant. Aksinya and Dobrushin are making a contract and the rings are their surety. The rings represent themselves. They are betrothed.
This is a metaphor through the entire novel, that is, marriage is the picture of Aksinya's relationship with the demon, with Dobrushin, with Christ, and with God. The imagery of Rebbecca and Issac continues.
The imagery of the rings is brought out in the prayer. Then the betrothal is complete and the marriage begins. This begins with the preface prayer. Tomorrow, the marriage continues.