|The Nymphios (Bridegroom)|
In the Eastern Rites, these three days-Holy Monday, Holy Tuesday, and Holy Wednesday-are the three days of the Bridegroom. They are the titular days of this blog on the Byzantine calendar. On these days the cry comes:
The Bridegroom comes to sacrifice Himself to the Father that the Father might use Him to sanctify His Bride the Church. He refuses to act on His own, even when everyone at His trial and at Calvary is calling out to Him to act, but instead gives everything to the Father that the Father might act through Him to care for His Beloved. This is the model for all spouses. This is the model on which all marriage is based. The more a marriage mirrors Christ's self-sacrifice for His Bride, the healthier the marriage. The less it mirrors Christ, the more unhealthy the marriage. Marriage is a sacrifice, not a contract. It is not an agreement between the spouses, it is a self-sacrifice for the sake of each other. Sexual union is the pinnacle and symbol of this entire life of self-sacrifice for each other. If the spouses don't give themselves to God for the sake of each other, then they aren't married. Marriage is a sacrament, and as such involves a giving of self to God. No giving of self to God, no sacrament, no marriage. There are many false notions of marriage out there. Let us take care not to be deceived by them.