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 come to the end of the Orthodox marriage ceremony. The prayers continue...
Ekaterina, “Lord, have mercy.”
Father Makar prayed, “God, our God, who were present in Cana of Galilee, and blessed the marriage there, bless these servants of yours also, who by your providence have been joined in the communion of marriage. Bless their goings out and their comings in. Fill their life with good things. Take up their crowns…” he took the crowns from their heads and placed them on the altar, “…in your Kingdom, unspotted and unblemished, and keep them without offence to the ages of ages.”
Father Makar, “Peace to all.”
Ekaterina, “And to your spirit.”
Dobrushin, “Bow your heads to the Lord.”
Ekaterina, “To you, O Lord.”
Father Makar prayed, “May Father, Son and Holy Spirit, the all-holy, consubstantial Trinity, origin of life, the one Godhead and Kingship, bless you and grant you long life, fair offspring, progress in life and faith, and fill you with every good thing on earth, and count you worthy of the promised good things of the enjoyment of heaven, at the prayers of the Mother of God and of all the Saints.”
Father Makar stated a loud voice, “Glory to you, Christ God, our hope, glory to you. Glory to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, both now and for ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.
“Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. Holy Father, give the blessing. May he who by his presence at Cana declared marriage honorable, Christ our true God, through the prayers of his all-pure Mother, of the holy, glorious and all-praised Apostles, of the holy Sovereigns crowned by God and Equals of the Apostles, Constantine and Helen, of the holy great Martyr Prokopios and all the Saints, have mercy on us and save us, for he is good and loves mankind. Through the prayers of our holy fathers Lord Jesus Christ our God have mercy on us.
We have reached the end of the Orthodox marriage ceremony. There is the final blessing and the final prayer. Father Makar pronounces them married then the final Amen.
Here is the secret in this. They are not really married in terms of either the church, the ancient world, the Jews, or almost any other religious agency or group. Marriage is only official at consummation. This is one of the points of the Book of Tobit and in the ancient world. The ceremony of the sacrament is a pleasant and important step, but until they become "one flesh," they are not married. Tomorrow, an important conversation.