The Sacrament of Holy Matrimony

Nicholas Adam Yeates And Susan Helen Gouel

July 5th, 2008

The Sacrament of Holy Matrimony

Prelude: Ave Maria,Shubert

       The Prayer, Foster/Sager
       Con Te Partiro, Sartori

Bridal Party Procession: Air on a G String, Bach

Bridal Processional: Trumpet Voluntary, Clarke

The Betrothal and Exchange of Rings

The Joinging of Hands

The Crowning

The Lord’s Prayer

The Common Cup

The Ceremonial Walk

The Benediction

Recessional: Ode to Joy, Beethoven


The Very Reverend George Rados The Very Reverend H.H. Weichmann

The Wedding Party

Parents of the Bride Mr. Roland Gouel and Mrs. Marguerite Gouel

Parents of the Groom Mr. James Yeates and Mrs. Mary Yeates

Maid of Honor Miss Rachel Harrison

Best Man Mr. Hendrik Perdana

Bride’s Attendants Miss Judy Fixell Miss Kerri Maczis Miss Barbara Yeates

Flower Girl Miss Emily Sakai

Groom’s Attendants Mr. Monty Patel Mr. Jon Armitage Mr. Michael Gouel

Ring Bearer Mr. Luke Bahan

Organ Mr. Kenneth Sanchez

Trumpet Mr. Steve Matera

Soloist Miss Elizabeth Naccache

The Sacrament of Holy Matrimony

Holy Matrimony is a sacrament of the Eastern Orthodox Church in which a man and a woman are joined together by God. Christ and His Church bless the union. God’s grace is imparted unto the couple to live together in His Love, mutually fulfilling and perfecting one another as Christian man and woman. The marriage service in the Eastern Orthodox Church traces its present form to the 5th century. All marriage services in the Christian Church at that time were the same as witnessed here today.

The service consists of two parts, the Service of the Betrothal and the Service of the Crowning. The symbolism in the marriage services is steeped in Judaic and Apostolic tradition.

The Lighted Candles

The Lighted Candles given to the bride and groom at the beginning of the service symbolize the purity of their lives. The light of the candles shines with the “light of virtue” (John 3:20-21). The lighted candles also remind us of the five virgins who with sufficient oil in their lamps received the Bridegroom Christ when He came to them in the darkness of the night (Matthew 25:1-13).

The Betrothal and Exchange of Rings

The first part of the services is the “Office of the Betrothal” at which time the exchanging of rings takes place. Rings are given to denote the Seal of Love between the couple being united. The priest blesses he rings. The sign of the cross is made three times over the head of the groom, saying, “The servant of God, Nicholas, is betrothed to the handmaid of God, Susan, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”

The Joining of Hands

During the service of the Crowning, three prayers are read asking God to grant the bride and groom a long and peaceful life, mutual love and wisdom, and happiness and health. The priest joins the couple’s hands. He calls upon God to unite them in one mind, one heart, and one flesh.

The Crowning

The crowns are signs of the glory and honor with which God crowns the couple during the sacrament. The bride and groom are crowned as king and queen of their home, which they will rule with wisdom, justice, and integrity. The crowns also remind us of the crowns of the victorious martyrs of the church, who sacrificed their lives for Christ. Marriage also demands sacrifice on the part of the husband and wife.

When the Crowning takes place, the priest takes the crowns and holds them above the couple, saying, “The servant of God, Nicholas, is crowned unto the handmaid of God, Susan, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.”

The Common Cup

Following the Crowning, St. Paul’s Epistle to the Ephesians (5:20-23) is chanted. This reading concerns the mystery and holiness of Christian marriage and the duties and responsibilities of the husband and wife to each other. St. John (2:1-12) is read describing the marriage at Cana of Gailee, which was attended and blessed by Christ and for which He reserved his first miracle. He converted the water into wine and gave it to the wedded couple. In remembrance of the blessing, wine is given to the couple. This is the “common cup” of life denoting the mutual sharing of joy and sorrow, the token of a life of harmony.

The Ceremonial Walk

The priest then leads the bride and groom in a circle around the table on which are placed the Gospel and the Cross, the one containing the word of God, the other being the symbol of our redemption by Jesus. The husband and wife are taking their first steps as a married couple, and the Church, in the person of the clergy, leads them in the way they must walk. This way is symbolized by the circle, which is centered on the Gospel and Cross of our Lord.

During this walk, three hymns are sung. The first hymn celebrates the Incarnation of Emmanuel and praises the Mother of God. In the second, the crowned martyrs are besought to pray for the salvation of our souls, as a sign to the new couples that they may walk through life in holiness and overcome all temptations. The third hymn glorifies Christ, the Apostles’ boast and martyrs’ joy, at the same time indicating to the couple that Christ should be their glory in times of joy and affliction.

The Benediction

After walking, the couple returns to their places before the altar. The bridegroom is exhorted to live a blessed life. The bride is exhorted to live like the women saints of the Old Testament, fulfilling the conditions of the law of marriage.

Three Benediction prayers follow, revealing the blessing of the Lord upon the couple, making them one in the sight of God, the sight of the law, and the sight of society. Blessings for a full life are revealed for total joy and happiness, the bringing forth of children, and the protective enlightening blessing of the Savior, Jesus Christ.

End page

On this blessed day, the bride and groom wish to remember those who are celebrating with us in everlasting life



We wish to give special thanks to our families for making this day possible. To our friends sharing in our Joy, may your days be as beautiful and happy as ours is today.

This is my commandment: love one another as I love you John 15: 12

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