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06-Sep-2017 21:31

Unlike the wedding ceremonies in most non-Orthodox churches, marriage in the Orthodox Church is not a contract—a legal agreement with the exchange of vows or promises—between two people.Rather, marriage is the setting up, by two people, of a miniature church, a family church, wherein people may worship the true God and struggle to save their souls.It is a systematic pattern of coercive behaviors intended to punish, gain and maintain control of the victim.It frequently begins so subtly that victims may not realize what is happening. A wonderful time for family, friends, relaxing, and playing.It is also a family church that is in obedience to Christ's Church.As Saint Basil the Great says, it is natural to marry, but it must be more than natural; it must be a yoke, borne by two people under the Church …

While there is generally no exception to this rule, especially in the USA, you may wish to discuss your particular circumstance with your parish priest, who can offer specific guidance tailored to your individual situation.QUESTION: Thank you very much for your timely reply.