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, “Let us pray to the Lord.”
“Lord, have mercy.”
Father Makar prayed, “Blessed are you, Lord our God, sacred Celebrant of the mystical and most pure marriage, Lawgiver of bodily marriage, Guardian of incorruption, loving Steward of our livelihood. In the beginning, Master, you fashioned man and established him as king of creation, and said, ‘It is not good for man to be alone on the earth. Let us make him a helper like himself.’ And taking one of his ribs you fashioned a woman. When Adam saw her he said, ‘Now this is bone from my bones and flesh from my flesh. She will be called ‘woman’ because she was taken from her man. For this reason a man will leave behind his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’. And ‘Those whom God has joined together, let no human separate’. Now, Master, Lord our God, send down your heavenly grace also on these servants of yours, Dobrushin Sergeevich Lopuhin and Princess Aksinya Georgovna Holstein-Gottorp-Romanov the Countess of Golitsyna, and grant that this handmaid of yours may be subject in all things to her husband and that this servant of yours may be the head of his wife, so that they may live in accordance with your will. Bless them, Lord our God, as you blessed Abraham and Sara. Bless them, Lord our God, as you blessed Isaac and Rebecca. Bless them, Lord our God, as you blessed Jacob and all the Patriarchs. Bless them, Lord our God, as you blessed Joseph and Aseneth. Bless them, Lord our God, as you blessed Moses and Sepphora. Bless them, Lord our God, as you blessed Joachim and Anna. Bless them, Lord our God, as you blessed Zachary and Elisabeth. Preserve them, Lord our God, as you preserved Noë in the Ark. Preserve them, Lord our God, as you preserved Jonas in the belly of the whale. Preserve them, Lord our God, as you preserved the three holy Youths from the fire, by sending down on them dew from heaven. And let the joy come upon them that the blessed Helen had when she found the precious Cross. Remember them, Lord our God, as you remembered Enoch, Sem and Elias. Remember them, Lord our God, as you remembered the holy Forty Martyrs, sending down on them crowns from heaven. Remember also, Lord our God, the parents who have brought them up, for the prayers of parents make firm the foundations of households. Remember, Lord our God, your servants, who have come together to share this joy. Remember, Lord our God, your servant Dobrushin Sergeevich Lopuhin and your servant Princess Aksinya Georgovna Holstein-Gottorp-Romanov the Countess of Golitsyna, and bless them. Give them the fruit of the womb, fair offspring, concord of soul and body. Exalt them like the cedars of Lebanon, like a well-cultured vine. Grant then rich harvest, so that, having all sufficiency for themselves, they may overflow into every good work that is also well-pleasing to you, and that they may see their children’s children like newly planted olive trees all around their table. And, having been well pleasing to you, may they shine like beacons in heaven, in you our Lord, to whom belong all glory might, honor and worship, now and for ever, and to the ages of ages.”
I know these are long prayers and the ceremony is long, but I already made the point that this applies to the entire scope of the novel. Just as the book of Tobit is very important to the plot and theme, likewise, the concept of marriage as a covenant and contract is critical to the theme. You will soon see how it fits into the plot as well.
This prayer is another great blessing and prayer of preservation. It is important to note, this ceremony is the one that united Tzars and Tzarinas and common men and women alike. It is the foundation of an orthodox wedding. Tomorrow, the yoking.