Marriage in the Eastern Orthodox Church

Marriage in the Eastern Orthodox Church is a holy mystery or sacrament in the Eastern Orthodox Church. The wedding itself is considered to be a rite of the church in which the marriage is blessed. Due to the practice of crowning the couple during the ceremony, the wedding is referred to as a "crowning" or "coronation", in reference to the wedding crown.

The Procession

After the Exchange of the rings the priest leads the couple in procession into the middle of the church. The priest chants Psalm 128, "Blessed is everyone who fears the Lord, who walks in His ways..." This psalm is one of the "Psalms of Ascent" sung by Jewish pilgrims on the way to the Jerusalem Temple. This point in the service most clearly reveals the "action" of the sacrament. The couple brings themselves, each other, their lives, and all that fills their lives, to the altar as an offering to God. As the couple enters into the midst of the Church, their relationship enters into the new reality of God's Kingdom.