How The Orthodox Church Relates To Civil Marriage

How The Orthodox Church Relates To Civil Marriage
How The Orthodox Church Relates To Civil Marriage

Video: How The Orthodox Church Relates To Civil Marriage

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Many believe that the Orthodox Church has a negative attitude towards civil marriage. But at the same time, the concept of “civil” marriage union is replaced. Registration of relations in the registry office and ordinary cohabitation are fundamentally different things. Christianity accepts only one of these paths of family unity.

How the Orthodox Church relates to civil marriage
How the Orthodox Church relates to civil marriage

First of all, it is necessary to define the concepts. A civil marriage is not just a joint cohabitation, but a certificate of the conclusion of marriage ties, supported by the legislation of the country. The difference is very important. Even in the days preceding the 1917 revolution, in Russia there was no concept of civil marriage as a joint life of two people and their bodily unity outside of official relations. It was considered then, and even now, a prodigal and therefore sinful cohabitation. Therefore, the attitude of the Church towards such a misunderstanding of civil marriage is negative.

A real marriage registered with the registry office is recognized and considered valid by the Christian Church. At the same time, Orthodoxy does not insist on the strict acceptance of the sacrament of the wedding, but informs about the general benefit of the latter and the need for correct and conscious preparation for it. A formalized marriage is the birth of a family in the civil state understanding. Christianity does not oppose the laws of the country (exceptions are cases of adoption of legislative acts that contradict moral values). Official marriage cannot and should not be considered a sin. A person begins to register his relations in the face of the state and the Church has no right to prevent him from doing so.

Some clergy even bless not to rush to the sacrament of the wedding, but to live quietly in a civil official marriage for several years until the couple comes to the realization of the need to testify their relationship not only to the state, but also to God. Such advice has a very reasonable basis and gives a clear indication that the Church respects real civil marriage and recognizes its legitimacy.

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