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Marriages in the Christian Church.

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Introduction

Marriages in the Christian Church. In a Christian marriage there are many different important wedding vows that will influence the couple. These parts of a wedding ceremony are set by the church but come from Jesus' teachings. In the Priests address it introduces the wedding. The Priest says that Christ blesses the marriage. He says about, 'Christ has consecrated you in baptism' and now he 'enriches and strengthens you by a special sacrament'. In this I think he is saying that you have entered into Gods family and now you are strengthening your bond with God receiving his sacrament of marriage. He then says marriage should have a 'mutual and lasting fidelity'. It talks about this because marriage is about a shared faithful relationship between you and your partner. The priest's address is about Christ's love for you and your love for the other person. The priest then asks the couple three questions: 'Are you ready freely and without reservation to give yourself to each other in marriage?' this is talking about the couple wanting to spend the rest of their lives together without wanting anything in return from the other person. ...read more.

Middle

In an Orthodox wedding the ceremony begins when the rings are blessed at the rear of the church, then the couple move into the church where the marriage takes place in the centre of the church on a table. There are then readings from the bible explaining the meaning of marriage. As these are read the couple hold candles as a symbol of the 'light' or guidance that Christians receive from Gods word. The priest then places crowns or circlets of flowers on the couples' heads. This symbolises the man and woman being the King and Queen of a new family. In the Russian Orthodox Church this has a special name, 'Crowning'. The Groom's crown displays an image of Jesus and the Brides crown has the Virgin Mary upon it. The couple then drink from a shared chalice of wine; this symbolises the shared life they will have together. Finally, holding hands, the couple, led by the priest, circle around the table three times. A circle is a symbol of the eternal love of God and also a symbol of the couple's hope for an unending marriage. ...read more.

Conclusion

By divorces being so acceptable to modern day society, people might feel encouraged to divorce should problems occur within their marriage. By discouraging divorce, the Catholic church encourages people to attempt to work through problems and to develop themselves as people as well as in a couple. It appears that divorces are very painful experiences for not only the individuals involved but also causes problems for families and friends of the couple. Divorces especially can affect children. My view is that the Catholic Church is right in its stance not to allow divorce apart from exceptional circumstances. It is right not to allow people to remarry in church because it would be hypocritical to view marriage as a life-long commitment and then to allow people to remarry. I can understand other churches such as Protestant churches allowing divorces and accepting second-marriages, because some marriages cannot be helped and cause great unhappiness to the people involved. When this view is dominant in society and there is an acceptance of divorce and remarriage, it lessons the importance of the commitment to marriage and can inadvertently encourage marital breakdown. The Catholic Church in my view may be seen as unsympathetic to people having marital problems, but is tremendously supportive to the value of marriage in society. James Morrison - 1- ...read more.

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