The Sacrament of Holy Matrimony or Marriage is the consecration of the union between a man and a woman for life in lawful marriage. By mutual accord of the man and the woman, they are united together with a spiritual bond to each other and to the Church.
“A man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.” (Gen. 2:24)
During the marriage ceremony the rings are blessed and the couple is crowned as king and queen of their small kingdom, which is their newly established family. They are called to faithfully love each other until the end of their lives and to rule their kingdom with faith and wisdom. The crowns are symbolic of the King and Queen of Armenia, Saints Trdat and Ashkhen, who, through Saint Gregory the Illuminator, proclaimed Christianity as the state religion in 301 A.D. The couple’s foreheads and right hands are joined together as a prayer is recited naming the Patriarchs of the Old Testament. The Godfather (Gnkahayr) holds a Cross over the crowns, symbolizing the Christian interpretation of the reflective processes in their decision to marry and their intellectual union.
The “Rite of Crowning” is followed by the “Blessing of the Common Cup”. A goblet of wine is given to the bride and groom, as well as the Godfather and Godmother (Best Man and Maid of Honor). The wine symbolizes the first miracle of Christ in Cana of Galilee where He transformed water into wine at a wedding so that it could be enjoyed by the guests. As the bride and groom drink from the cup they are called on to share everything in life from that moment on.
For the sacrament of Holy Matrimony to be performed in the Armenian Church, both the bride and the groom must have received a Christian Baptism and Chrismation. The major sacramental witness, the Godfather, should be a member of the Armenian Church.