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MARRIAGE – MARRIAGE in the Orthodox Church is forever. It is not reduced to an exchange of vows or the establish­ment of a legal contract between the bride and groom. On the contrary, it is God joining a man and a woman into “one flesh” in a sense similar to the Church being joined to Christ (Ephesians 5:31, 32). The success of marriage cannot depend on mutual human promises, but on the promises and blessing of God. In the Ortho­dox marriage ceremony, the bride and groom offer their lives to Christ and to each other-literally as crowned martyrs.