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...
Matushka Ekaterina replied, “Glory to you, our God, glory to you.”
She continued the same reply following Father Makar’s petitions, “Who walk in his ways. Glory to you, our God, glory to you. You will eat the fruits of your labors. Glory to you, our God, glory to you. Blessed are you, and it will be well with you. Glory to you, our God, glory to you. You wife like a fruitful vine on the sides of your house. Glory to you, our God, glory to you. Your children like newly planted olive trees all around your table. Glory to you, our God, glory to you. See, this is how one who fears the Lord will be blessed. Glory to you, our God, glory to you. May the Lord bless you from
Zion, and may you see the good things of all the days of your life. Glory to you, our God, glory to you. And may you see your children’s children. Peace upon Jerusalem . Glory to you, our God, glory to you.” Israel
Dobrushin stated, “Master, give the blessing.”
Father Makar faced toward the east and lifted up the Gospel book, “Blessed is the Kingdom of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, now and for ever, and to the ages of ages.”
They replied, “Amen.”
Father Makar stated, “In peace, let us pray to the Lord.”
Matushka Ekaterina called, “Lord, have mercy.”
Father Makar prayed, and in response to each petition, Ekaterina replied, “Lord have mercy.”
“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 servants of God Dobrushin Sergeevich Lopuhin and Princess Aksinya Georgovna Holstein-Gottorp-Romanov the Countess of Golitsyna, who are now being joined with one another in the communion of marriage, and for their salvation, let us pray to the Lord. For this marriage to be blessed like that in Cana of Galilee let us pray to the Lord. For them to be granted chastity and the fruit of the womb as may be expedient for them, let us pray to the Lord. For them to be given the joy of seeing sons and daughters, let us pray to the Lord. For them to be granted the delight of the blessing of children and a life without accusation, let us pray to the Lord. For us and them to be given every request that is for salvation, let us pray to the Lord. For their and 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.”
I want my readers to get the full experience of an Orthodox wedding. I'd like to give it to you in Russian or Greek, but lack of comprehension would miss the point of understanding the full power of the meaning in the context of this novel.
The first part is the glory to God. The second is the blessings. The importance of these are their richness in the cultural context and the metaphor of marriage in the novel.