Marriage or Crowning is one of the two Holy Mysteries of Service. Christ, through the Church, blesses the union of one man and one woman who come together in love and in fidelity to one another and create a domestic church, a Christian family.
Lessons from the Catechism of the Ukrainian Catholic Church
“God created human beings male and female: “By you, O God, a woman is joined to man as a helpmate and for the continuance of the human race…you blessed them, saying: ‘increase and multiply and rule the earth.’ Through wedlock you made the two of them one body.” In the Church, the marriage union is a Holy Mystery in which the man and woman manifest the new life in Christ. A Christian marriage is not only a natural relationship, a shared life and experience; it is an occasion of sanctification. Marriage is a Holy Mystery (Sacrament) in which by the grace of the Holy Spirit a man and a woman are united into one body and create a domestic church. The family union created by marriage is a community of persons, which, according to God’s plan, is an icon of the relationship of the Persons of the Most Holy Trinity.” (471)
“Marriage is based on the fact that the married couple mutually complements one another. The Church gives witness to this in a prayer of the Rite of Crowning: “Holy God, you created man from the dust and from his side fashioned a woman as a suitable helpmate for him, for such was the good pleasure of your majesty that man should not be alone on earth.” In their gender differentiation, a man and woman complete one another, creating an indissoluble union of one body.” (472)
Marriages at Our Parish
It is a great joy to have a man and a woman make a lifelong commitment to each other by getting married. When an engagement happens, the couple along with their families and friends begin a long planning process that culminates in one very important and meaningful day. Unfortunately, most couples think about and plan everything except the Church service first and then expect the Church to adjust to their plans.
It cannot be overstated that before deciding on a date or making arrangements with a hall, caterer, photographer, etc, the young couple MUST contact the Church first. The couple should contact the Parish Priest in order to set an appointment for the prenuptial investigation. The Church must first determine whether they man and woman are free to marry and if there are any other ecclesial issues that need to be worked out before the wedding can proceed. PLEASE CONTACT THE CHURCH FIRST!
One requirement for being married in the Ukrainian Catholic Church is marriage preparation. The Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Toronto and Eastern Canada has an Eparchial marriage preparation program which happens once a year (usually February) in the GTA. This program is required for all couples wanting to marry and may be supplemented with one or two sessions with the Parish Priest.
The Marriage service of the Ukrainian Catholic Church is beautiful. Below, you can find a description of the symbolic elements found in the Rite of Crowning.