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For this reason the Church is deeply concerned about each marriage and seeks to reconcile differences arising between husband and wife in the normal course of life.The Church also realistically recognizes that some marriages may become completely unworkable, causing more damage than good, and thus does allow for divorce.Nevertheless, we can identify shared traits of the practice concerning multiple marriages among the Orthodox Churches and trace its historical development, even though some details may differ from one Orthodox Church to another.Like the Western Christian tradition, the Eastern Christian tradition interprets the Lord’s imperative in Luke quite literally.There was increasing pressure for the Church to recognize divorce and remarriage according to civic and cultural norms.In some places in the East, the Church herself became the sole adjudicator of marriage and divorce for society.In some Orthodox Churches, such persons are then asked to undertake some penance for a period of time before receiving holy Communion.

There was never officially another option for them.Although a civil decree of divorce legally dissolves a marriage in the eyes of the civil authorities, it does not dissolve a marriage in the eyes of the Church if the marriage was blessed in the Orthodox Church.The Church is under no obligation to grant a divorce just because a civil court granted a civil divorce.It was in this context that the practice of is the concept that God’s loving husbandry or stewardship of the covenant he has established with his people sometimes requires an act of mercy that dispenses from the strict laws he himself established.Therefore, for various reasons, a divorced person who desires to remarry can have the second (or third) marriage blessed by the Church in a simple ritual outside of the Eucharistic liturgy.

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