The Sacrament of Matrimony is the mystery of the unity of the Christian couple with God's blessing to lead a true marital life and with the purpose of procreation. This union between man and woman is likened to the spiritual relationship between Christ and His Church. Just as the union between Christ and the Church is based on love and fidelity, in the same way the married couples are united by the mutual love with the blessing of God.
The Sacrament of matrimony was established by God even in the Garden of Paradise, when the first man received the Divine blessing and command to multiply and fill the earth. In the New Testament we see that marriage is blessed and confirmed by Christ Himself when He by His presence sanctified the wedding of Cana of Galilee, where by His divine power He changed water into wine. Thus He blessed the marriage with a new blessing.
The central act of the marriage ceremony may be considered a part which is called The Crowning(psakadroutioun). It is here that the priest places crowns on the heads of the bride and groom. An image of a King and Queen comes to ones mind. Indeed, that is what behind the symbolism of Crowning. The bride and groom are now a newly crowned king and queen, heads of a new Christian kingdom, the family.
The prayer which is recited at this time recalls the entire biblical story of how God revealed His love for mankind through a succession of sacred couples: Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebecca, Jacob and Rachel, Joseph and Asenath, Zechariah and Elizabeth. At the end of this sacred least of names the priest also adds the bride and groom, praying that they receive the same blessings as their biblical predecessors.
While the priest recites this prayer the best man holds a hand-cross above the heads of the couple, a vivid reminder that the love between husband and wife is like Christ’s love for us, sacrificial and life-giving.
In our church, today the couple who are to be wed are required to contact the Church Office at least eight months prior to the date of a Wedding in order to ensure the availability of the Pastor and sanctuary, as well as to schedule pre-marital meetings with the Pastor.