Sunday, April 20, 2008

Christ the Bridegroom

This evening was the first of the three Bridegroom Services that will be held this week, the remaining two being Monday and Tuesday nights. The icon of Christ the Bridegroom is brought out on this night, to remain in the front of the chancel for several days, for the faithful to venerate. It looks like this.



Or, like this.



A propos of previous posts about "bridal mysticism", especially this one, here is an icon bearing the same title by a Catholic monk.



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7 comments:

Josephus Flavius said...

FYI, you were nominated for an Eastern Christian Blog Award. The voting should start shortly.

http://ecawards.blogspot.com/

Anastasia Theodoridis said...

Really? How embarrassing!

This blog isn't even to be compared with others I know. Please. please, give the award to Fr. Stephen Freeman!

orrologion said...

The Bridegroom Matins services were the theme of our Church School retreat this past Saturday complete with a wedding reception to kick it off with all the guests (the kids) introduced as "friends of the Bridegroom", the Bridegroom icon processed in by the priest singing the appropriate hymn and placed at the head of the table; we made toasts to the Bridegroom and had a lenten wedding cake. My group helped clean lampadi in the sanctuary making a connection between the 10 virgins and their lamps with the physical lamps in front of the iconostasis and with the lamp of our hearts- all of which must be kept clean, full of oil and trimmed. I never saw kids so excited to be cleaning.

JTKlopcic said...

I don't know if you have read The Church Impotent by Leon Podles. FMG reviewed his work a while back. Podles is a Roman Catholic, but he outlines very clearly the history and dangers of "Bridal Mysticism", which do exist in Christianity today. Unfortunately, so much has been lost that attempts to replace Bridal Mysticism with a revived masculinity ring hollow -- the churches have forgotten what to do with their men.

orrologion said...

Bridal mysticism is dangerous when it does what all heresies and errors do: sets itself up as preeminent. There is a conciliarity of theology and metaphor that is meant to dovetail with conciliarity in ecclesiology. One over emphasizes penal, accounting or juridical metaphors, another overemphasizes bridal mysticism or ascetical excercises or aesthetics, another over does it with obedience, akrivia, economia or prerogatives. We are called to the royal way, the middle way of the consensus of the Fathers and the lex orandi of the Church.

Anastasia Theodoridis said...

Christopher, while I agree with you, I have another take on that. Which is, there's bridal mysticism and then there's bridal mysticism. There's the right kind and then there's the thinly-veiled sexual kind.

In the case of the last icon depicted in this post, it frankly strikes me not only as sexual, but even homosexual in its implications.

JTKlopcic said...

Another hidden danger, which I alluded to above, is what happens when the pendulum swings back? In place of Bridal Mysticism, many churches adopt a Christian Machismo which is just as damaging, if not more so. I've seen both -- I'm not really fond of either.