Insightful New Book on Building an Orthodox Marriage

Building an Orthodox Marriage: A Practical Commentary on the Eastern Orthodox Marriage Rite by Bishop John Abdalah and Nicholas G. Mamey is a great resource for couples preparing to marry, newlyweds, and all those interested in strengthening their marriage. It is also an indispensable resource for pastors who help couples prepare for marriage.

The book offers wise advice that is both practical and grounded in the teaching of the Church, as found in Scripture, tradition, and the marriage service itself. Coauthors Bishop John Abdalah and Nicholas G. Mamey bring their knowledge and experience on the subject tothe aidof readers. Bishop John distills his insights from his many years of marriage and pastoral guidance, as well as from the teaching of Fr. Alexander Schmemann, and Mamey contributes his perspective as a newly married man. Together, they take readers on a journey that prepares them to understand marriage, the “great mystery” that is an icon of “Christ and his Church” (Ephesians 5:32).

The authors first establish the theological background needed to understand marriage in an accessible way. They then examine and explain the rich prayers and the liturgical actions of the wedding service, and conclude the book with pastoral guidance to help couples build their marriages securely on the Rock, the only foundation that cannot be shaken, our Lord Jesus Christ.

“As I read the book many sentences jumped off the page – off the page and into my heart. If an engaged couple, or married couple of many years, were to read only one book on Orthodox marriage, I would recommend this book. The book is replete with images from the Old Testament, the New Testament, and the rich Orthodox wedding service,” said Dr. Albert Rossi, clinical psychologist, retired Associate Professor of Psychology from Pace University, current Director of Counseling and Psychological Services at St. Vladimir’s Seminary, and author of Becoming a Healing Presence.

His Grace the Right Reverend John Abdalah, bishop of the Diocese of Worcester and New England of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North Americaholds a Doctor of Ministry degree in Pastoral Care from Pittsburgh Theological School, a Master of Divinity degree from St. Vladimir’s Seminary, and a Master’s equivalency certificate in Pastoral Counseling from Pittsburgh Pastoral Institute. He also is a clinical member of the American Association of Pastoral Counselors. He taught Pastoral Counseling in the graduate program at the St. John of Damascus Institute at the Balamand in Lebanon. He was married to Joanne Josephs for nearly thirty years, until her repose on May 27, 2008.

Nicholas Mamey holds a Master of Divinity and a Master of Theological Study from Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology. He married Christina Randol in 2016, shortly after completing work on this book.

The volume will be formally launched at the 53rd Biennial Antiochian Archdiocese Convention in Miami, July 23–30. Bishop John will be available at select times during the convention for book-signings at the SVS Press & Bookstore booth, located in the Great Hall Foyer of the Westin Diplomat Resort and Spa, Hollywood, FL, and also during St. Vladimir’s Seminary’s alumni event at that hotel on Wednesday evening, July 26.

Building an Orthodox Marriage is available online at the SVS Press & Bookstore website.


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