Agenda Marriage and Clerical Orders Marriages Issues Wedding Receptions Digamy Polygamy Concubines
Marriage and Clerical Orders Constitution of the Holy Apostles–Canons 17, 18, 19 17. He who has been twice married after his baptism, or has had a concubine, cannot be made a bishop, or presbyter, or deacon, or indeed any one of the sacerdotal catalogue. 18. He who has taken a widow, or a divorced woman, or an harlot, or a servant, or one belonging to the theatre, cannot be either a bishop, priest, or deacon, or indeed any one of the sacerdotal catalogue. 19. He who has married two sisters, or his brother’s or sister’s daughter, cannot be a clergyman.”
Marriage and Clerical Orders Constitution of the Holy Apostles–Book 6:17 “We have already said, that a bishop, a presbyter, and a deacon, when they are constituted, must be but once married, whether their wives be alive or whether they be dead; and that it is not lawful for them, if they are unmarried when they are ordained, to be married afterwards; or if they be then married, to marry a second time, but to be content with that wife which they had when they came to ordination. We also appoint that the ministers, and singers, and readers, and porters, shall be only once married.
Marriage and Clerical Orders Constitution of the Holy Apostles–Book 6:17 …But if they entered into the clergy before they were married, we permit them to marry, if they have an inclination thereto, lest they sin and incur punishment. But we do not permit any one of the clergy to take to wife either a courtesan, or a servant, or a widow, or one that is divorced, as also the law says. Let the deaconess be a pure virgin; or, at the least, a widow who has been but once married, faithful, and well esteemed.”
Marriage and Clerical Orders A reader or singer can marry again if he’s a widower, but can not serve in the altar. −Any service to the altar must be monogamous. If he is a laymen, and married twice, he can’t be ordained Psaltos (singer).
Marriage and Clerical Orders Neocæsarea– canon 8 If a wife of a laymen has committed adultery and been clearly convicted, her husband cannot enter the ministry. If a wife commits adultery after a clergy’s ordination, he must put her away. But if he retains her, he can’t have any part in the service.
Marriage and Clerical Orders Canons of St. Basil: 27 - As for the priest that is engaged, through ignorance, in an unlawful marriage, I have decreed, that he retain the honor of the chair; but forbear all sacred operations, and not give the blessing either in private, or public, nor distribute the Body of Christ to another, nor perform any liturgy; but let him bewail himself to the Lord, and to men, that his sin of ignorance may be pardoned. −Basically he’s still ordained, but can’t function!
Marriage Issues: Adultry Canons of St. Basil: 77-79 - He that divorces his wife, and marries another, is an adulterer; and according to the canons of the Fathers, he shall be a mourner one year, a hearer two years, a prostrater three years, a co-stander one year, if they repent with tears. So shall he who successively marries two sisters. So shall he who madly loves his mother-in-law, or sister.
Marriage Issues: Incest Neocæsarea (315 AD) Canon 2 If a woman shall have married two brothers, let her be cast out [i.e. of communion] until her death. Nevertheless, at the hour of death she may, as an act of mercy, be received to penance, provided she declare that she will break the marriage, should she recover. But if the woman in such a marriage, or the man, die, penance for the survivor shall be very difficult −We have no way to know if she has truly repented
Marriage Issues: Incest St Basil Canon 23 – incest – wife and mother, or mother & daughter – 15 yrs penance: 6 years weeping, 4 years hearer, 5 years standing. St Basil Canon 75-76 −He that commits incest with a half-sister, shall be a mourner three years, a hearer three years, a co-stander two years. −And so shall he be who takes in marriage his son’s wife.
Marriage Issues: Deaconess St Basil Canon 24 - A widow put into the catalogue of widows, that is, a deaconess being sixty years old, and marrying, is not to be admitted to communion of the Good Thing, till she cease from her uncleanness; but to a widower that marries no penance is appointed, but that of digamy. St Basil Canon 44 - The deaconess that has committed lewdness with a pagan is not to be received to communion, but shall be admitted to the oblation, in the seventh year—that is, if she lives in chastity.
Wedding Receptions Synod of Laodicea (343-381 A.D.) Canon 53 −“Christians, when they attend weddings, must not join in wanton dances, but modestly dine or breakfast, as is becoming to Christians.” Canon 54 −“Members of the priesthood and of the clergy must not witness the plays at weddings or banquets; but, before the players enter, they must rise and depart.”
Digamous Marriages Digamy: Remarriage after the death or divorce of one's first husband or wife. Didascalia Apostolorum – chapter 14, iii, 2 −“But let not young widows be appointed to the widows’ order: yet let them be taken care of and helped, lest by reason of their being in want they be minded to marry a second time, and some harmful matter ensue. For this you know, that she who marries one husband may lawfully marry also a second; but she who goes beyond this is a harlot.”
Digamous Marriages Ancyra – Canon 19 −“If any persons who profess virginity shall disregard their profession, let them fulfill the term of digamists. And, moreover, we prohibit women who are virgins from living with men as sisters.” Council of Laodicea – Canon 1 −“It is right, according to the ecclesiastical Canon, that the Communion should by indulgence be given to those who have freely and lawfully joined in second marriages, not having previously made a secret marriage; after a short space, which is to be spent by them in prayer and fasting.” −A digamist not secretly married, after devoting himself for a short time to praying shall be held blameless afterwards.
Digamous Marriages Neocæsarea– canon 7- −“A presbyter shall not be a guest at the nuptials of persons contracting a second marriage; for, since the digamist is worthy of penance, what kind of a presbyter shall he be, who, by being present at the feast, sanctioned the marriage?” −A presbyter shall not attend the wedding feast (reception) of a second marriage. It is an “absolution”, not a celebration.
Polygamy St. Basil (Greek order) – Canon 80 −“The Fathers say nothing of polygamy as being beastly, and a thing un-agreeable to human nature. To us it appears a greater sin than fornication: Let therefore such [as are guilty of it] be liable to the canons: after they have been mourners one year – let them be prostrators three years—and then be received.” St. Athanasius – Canon 8 −“Is it not shameful when it is heard that one of the eagles that are gathered about the Savior is married to two wives? For the eagle that is without understanding hath but one mate; how then can he that hath understanding dwell with two wives? Is not such an one a lover of the pleasures of the world?”
Concubines Apostolic Tradition of Hippolytus – Part II, 16 −“If a man have a wife or a woman a husband, let them be taught the man to be contented with his wife and the woman to be contented with her husband. A man who is unmarried let him be taught not to commit fornication but either to marry lawfully or to abide [steadfast].” −“If a man’s concubine be a slave, let her hear on condition that she have reared her children, and if she consorts with him alone. But if not, let her be rejected. If a man have a concubine, let him desist and marry legally; and if he will not, let him be rejected. And if a baptized woman cannot consort with a slave, either let her desist or let her be rejected…”
Concubines Pope Gabriel ibn Turaik – Canon 21 −“It has reached my feebleness that certain people have rejected the Laws of God and have separated themselves from their wives, and have taken unto them women and concubines. He who acts thus and continues to do so, shall have no part with the people of God until he repent and desist from his error and detest his deed. He who persists in his passion and his opinion, both he and the woman who is with him, and he who has joined her to him are under the sentence of excommunication, and they shall not receive absolution or permission. Every priest who learns of their condition and does not report their case to their bishop that he may pass judgment upon them, is a participant and an associate with them in their guilt; and if the bishop neglects this after he has been informed about them, he also is a participant with them.”