Open Access

The Mystery of Marriage: Mystery of Human Love Crowned in Glory and Honour. An Orthodox Perspective


The Mystery of Marriage has always been understood by the Eastern Orthodox as a divinely mandated holy act, in which the grace of the Holy Spirit is communicated to the affianced man and woman, whose natural bond of love becomes thus elevated to the state of representation of the all-encompassing spiritual union between Christ and His Church. According to the patristic tradition, the service of the Mystery of Marriage invariably took place during the Liturgy and within the Eucharistic context. It was through the blessing of the bishop that the espousal love merged with the love of Christ–the true source and power of all human affection, and only then could the two become one single being, one single “flesh”, the body of Christ. The intent of the present article is by no means to cover all aspects of the marriage ritual in the Orthodox Church, as this is a vast topic that begs for further theological research and ample multi-angled analysis, but rather to examine the patristic view on the Mystery of Marriage and on its evolution, and to revisit the exegesis of its liturgical expression.

English, German
Publication timeframe:
3 times per year
Journal Subjects:
Theology and Religion, General Topics and Biblical Reception