On October 11, 2003 Jeremy and I were married in the Orthodox Church. One of the elements of the service involves “crowning” in which the bride and groom receive crowns united by ribbon, representing their union in Christ. The priest says “Crown them with Glory and Honor.” The crowns also symbolize the heavenly crowns we receive when we enter paradise. They are a reminder that marriage involves “dying of self” in the same way that we die to self so that Christ can live in us. After the marriage ceremony, the crowns are typically displayed in a case above the bed as a constant reminder of the holy state of marriage.
When a spouse leaves this earthly world for their heavenly home, it is traditional for the ribbon uniting the marriage crowns to be cut with the crown being buried with the beloved, representing the heavenly crown that person has received. The symbolism is beautiful. To learn more about this, you can read here:
On Tuesday morning, I said morning prayers with Jeremy one last time. These are and were very meaningful to him, a ritual he insisted on doing every day in the hospital even after he lost his ability to talk. There were two prayers that we especially loved praying together:
Traditional prayer for a married couple
O Merciful God, we beseech Thee ever to remind us that the married state is holy, and that we must keep it so; Grant us Thy grace, that we may continue in faithfulness and love; Increase in us the spirit of mutual understanding and trust, that no quarrel or strife may come between us; Grant us Thy blessings, that we may stand before our fellows and in Thy sight as an ideal family; And finally, by Thy mercy, account us worthy of everlasting life: For Thou art our sanctification, and to Thee we ascribe glory, to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.
Orthodox Prayers of Parents for their Children:
O God, our heavenly Father, who lovest mankind and art most merciful and compassionate, have mercy upon Thy servants, Eliana Lysette, Nehemiah David and Anelise Caryn, for whom we humbly pray Thee and commend to Thy gracious care and protection.
Be Thou, O God, their guide and guardian in all their endeavors, lead them in the path of Thy truth, and draw them nearer to Thee, that they may lead a godly and righteous life in Thy love and fear, doing Thy will in all things.
Give them grace that they may be temperate, industrious, diligent, devout, and charitable.
Defend them against the assaults of the enemy, and grant them wisdom and strength to resist all temptation and corruption of this life, and direct them in the way of salvation:
Through the merits of Thy Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and the intercessions of His Most-Holy Mother and of all Thy blessed Saints. Amen.
As you have received your crown of glory my beloved, I will continue to pray these prayers with you. Thank you for wanting me, pursing me, marrying me and constantly “dying to self” throughout our 10 years of marriage. You are my king, my hero, the greatest blessing I have ever received from God.