Divorce in the Orthodox Church
Holy Matrimony is an optional sacrament that enables a man and a woman to commit their lives to God. When they have children, they vow to commit their lives to God, as well. Even though it is optional, it doesn’t mean that the sacrament is valued any less. In order to get married in the church, a series of requirements need to be met. In fact, if the couple wants to remain “in good standing” in the church, they need to go through the process of getting married in the church. However, what happens when the couple no longer gets along and wishes to separate?
Visit With Your Priest
As soon as your marriage is in distress, you should start by consulting with your priest or spiritual father. This is important for several reasons. First of all, when a marriage is in trouble it can be a trying, stressful time. Your priest can give you advice from a spiritual standpoint. Since every case is different, it’s hard to know which direction to take. Also, not every marriage that is in distress will result in divorce. Your priest can help you through the whole process and also offer prayers and support. If the marriage isn’t salvageable, he can help by giving you counsel as you separate from your spouse.
Getting an Ecclesiastic Divorce
The Orthodox Church does allow for divorce. However, in order for it to be official, you not only need to file for divorce with your state or county, you also have to do so with the church. After your priest helps you make certain this is the right decision, he will help you through the process. However, before you can get officially divorced through the church, it actually needs to be an official divorce on the state level. While you’re waiting for the divorce to be finalized legally, you can still meet with your priest for emotional support. Once the divorce is finalized, you will need to file the paperwork through your diocese. Your priest can assist with that.
Fixing Your Marriage
Divorce isn’t the only answer for a marriage that is in distress. In many cases, it still is possible to reconcile. There are so many things that can go wrong in a marriage that the path to making the marriage healthy again is different for each couple. However, it is important to remember that in the eyes of the Orthodox Church, marriage is a Holy Sacrament where you and your spouse have committed your lives to God. Focus on honoring this commitment by attending church, reading scripture, and praying. If you focus on your own spiritual health, it will help improve the quality of your life, even if it doesn’t actually fix your marriage.
Even though Holy Matrimony is a sacrament, that doesn’t mean that each marriage should stay intact at all costs. This is such a big decision that it’s best to focus on building your relationship with God, praying, and ultimately making the best decision according to your situation.
Categorized in: Religion
This post was written by GreekBoston.com