THE NATIVITY OF THE MOTHER OF GOD ORTHODOX CHURCH

БЛАГОСЛОВЕНИЕ КИЕВО-ПЕЧЕРСКОЙ ЛАВРЫ В КАНАДЕ

BLESSING OF KIEV-PECHERSK LAVRA IN CANADA

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WEDDING
A wedding is not just a sacrament of the Church in which God gives future spouses, while promising to be faithful to each other, the grace of pure unanimity for a Christian life together, giving birth and raising children. This is the first real step towards a happy family life, which without God, in our firm conviction, is impossible.
THOSE WISHING TO WED SHOULD:
1
Be Orthodox Christians (marriages in which one of the spouses may be of a non-Orthodox faith, but must be a Christian are permitted. Such marriages are concluded with the blessing (permission) of the ruling bishop.
2
Believe in the One to whom they come and in what is happening (it should be noted that the wedding according to tradition, or because: "everyone goes, so will I," will not bring the desired result. They come to God with faith and hope to receive what is asked for , and not according to tradition, and the words of the Lord must always be remembered: "By your faith be it unto you . " ).
3
Love one another (God is love, and it is love that always unites, therefore people get married: "two become one flesh.")
4
Remember that: "Love is long-suffering, and merciful ;love does not envy, love does not exalt, is not proud, does not act outrageously, does not seek its own, does not become irritated, does not think evil, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices in the truth; love covers everything, believes everything, hopes for everything, endures everything. Love never stops."
HOW TO PREPARE FOR THE SACRAMENT OF WEDDING
As you know, a well-laid start to business is 50% success. Marriage is not an exception to this, and therefore it should begin with proper spiritual preparation, which consists of the following:

1. Fasting-is abstinence in bodily life in order to exalt spiritual. Most of our time is devoted to the body and its "service". Fasting is designed to give priority to the spiritual: prayer, purity of thoughts, kindness of heart, and all that unites us with God. And this is achieved through not only abstinence in food and in love relations between the sexes (which themselves are unacceptable before marriage), but also by the combination of all ascetic means in the fight against passions, the most important of which is the curbing of one's own "I". This is the reason of all the evils originating from our hearts, which, as the prophet and psalmist King David said, "are countless." No good fasting is possible without the prayer and the sacraments of repentance and communion.

1.2. Prayer - is a means of our communication with God. Prayer may be voluminous, or it may be simple. The main thing is that it be sincere. In prayer, the main thing to remember is that you need to pray not with your tongue, but with your heart and mind. Prayer is work, and in order to facilitate this work, the Church gives us a model of clever and heartfelt prayer. Such samples for private use are placed in a prayer book - a book that contains prayers that have become a model in terms of the depth of its content. Using the prayer book unceasingly, we must give birth in our hearts to the model of heartfelt and deep prayer. For general use, prayers are combined in church services, without participation in which there will never be a complete spiritual life.

The purpose of prayer and fasting is to bring us closer to God and give us the opportunity to unite with Him, and this happens through our participation in the services and sacraments of the Church.

2. Confession. All those who take the sacrament of wedding seriously, must confess before the wedding. The confession, which is the final stage of repentance, means that a person, having repented of their sins, sincerely confesses them to God with the promise of correction and receives the forgiveness of these sins from God through the priest, and begins life from scratch. A repentant is required to repent one's sins, an intention to rectify one's life, faith in Christ, and hope for His mercy. Every confession should become, on the one hand, an eye on the past, and on the other hand, a program for the future deed, for struggle, for victory over oneself in the name of God and in the name of one's neighbor. We say: "Lord, I have come to open myself before You, to tell You about everything dark, unclean, gloomy, vicious that is in me; and I ask you to heal me. "Confession is the moment a person meets God, and the priest, as he himself tells people before confession, is only a witness.

3. Communion. Communion is the Sacrament in which the believer, under the guise of bread and wine, tastes the very Body and Blood of Christ for Eternal Life. He who partakes of the Body and Blood of Christ is intimately connected with Jesus Christ Himself and in Him becomes involved in Eternal Life. On the Sacrament of Communion in relation to Christian worship, it should be noted that this Sacrament is the main and essential part of Christian worship. Everyone who wishes to begin the Sacrament of Communion must test (open) his conscience before God and purify it by repentance of sins, which is facilitated by fasting and prayer. By tradition, the Communion is preceded by a 3-day fast.

FOR WEDDING IT IS NECESSARY TO HAVE
- The icon of the Savior and the icon of the Mother of God, with which during the Sacrament the bride and groom are blessed. Previously, these icons were taken from parental homes, and they were transferred as a home shrine from parents to children.
- Wedding rings. The ring is a sign of eternity and inextricability of the marriage.
- Two wedding candles. We recommend using wax candles for weddings.
- A set of wedding towels, embroidered towels. By tradition, this set consists of two towels and four patterned shawls.
- Red organic wine. During the sacrament of Wedding, young people drink a common cup, and therefore we recommend not to save on wine, because you have to drink it.
- Bread, salt.

You can purchase icons, candles, and a wedding set in the church shop located at the church if necessary.
ABOUT WEDDING WITNESSES
Witnesses (guarantors) at the sacrament of Wedding are optional and are invited at the request of the wedding couple.
Sureties must be Orthodox people. We draw attention to the fact that the role of witnesses, contrary to popular opinion, is necessary to select people who are not just married, but have created good and strong families, and will be able to help the newly created young family with good advice and good instruction.
OBSTACLES TO CHRISTIAN MARRIAGE
Often, those preparing for the wedding first register a civil marriage. The Orthodox Church considers a civil marriage devoid of grace, but recognizes it and does not consider it illegal prodigal cohabitation. Nevertheless, the conditions for marriage under civil law and church canons are different. However, not every civil marriage can be consecrated in the church.
1. The church does not allow marriage more than three times.
2. A marriage is not blessed if one of the spouses (and especially both of them) declares himself/herself an atheist and says that he/she came to the wedding only at the insistence of the spouse or parents.
3. A wedding is not permitted if at least one of the spouses is unbaptized and is not going to be baptized before the wedding.
4. A wedding is not possible if one of the future spouses is actually married to another person, regardless whether it is a common law marriage or church marriage .
5. If one of the spouses was previously married in church, then the next marriage is with the blessing (permission) of the ruling bishop.
6. Another obstacle to marriage is the consanguinity of the bride and groom, and spiritual kinship (the godparent and the godson (goddaughter) cannot be wedded, according to the established tradition, neither can godparents and parents.
WHEN THE WEDDING IS NOT PERFORMED
According to the canonical rules, it is not allowed to make a wedding:
- during all four fasts (Christmas fast from November 28 to January 6, Assumption fast from August 14 to August 27; Great Lent - dates change every year, Peter fast - dates change every year);
- in the Cheese-Fast week (Shrovetide, the week before the beginning of Lent);
- in the Easter week (the first week after Easter);
- during the period from Christmas to Epiphany (from January 7 to 19);
- on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday ;
- on the eve of the twelve (twelve major Orthodox holidays), great and temple holidays(for our temple, the temple feast is the feast of the Nativity of the Mother of God - September 21, which is also one of the twelve holy days).
- on the eve and on the Day of the Beheading of John the Baptist (September 10 and 11)
- on the eve and on the day of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross (September 26 and 27).