March Newsletter
This Month 
Greek Customs and Traditions in America: Marriage Service (Part F)
What's New!!!!
Featured Destination: Ikaria Island
Saint Namedays in March.
March Recipe.
Suggestions & Comments.
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Shellfish in Phyllo ParcelsMarch Recipe:
Classic Greek Bean Soup
 Ingredients:
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 medium onions, halved and cut into thin slices
1 chili pepper, seeded and chopped
2 celery ribs, trimmed and chopped (with leaves)
2 large carrots, peeled, cut in half lengthwise, and then into 1/4-inch half-moon slices
1/2 lb. medium-sized white beans, such as cannellini, soaked overnight or according to package directions
6 cups water
1 large bay leaf
3 plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and coarsely chopped
1/3 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parslety
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
3 to
4 tlbs.
strained fresh lemon juice or sherry vinegar
Preparation:

Heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large soup pot and sauté the onions and chopped chili pepper over medium-low heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, until the onions begin to caramelize, 10 to 12 minutes. Add the celery and carrots and continue to cook for another 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2. Add the beans to the pot, toss to coat, and pour in the water and the bay leaf. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce flame, and simmer, partially covered, for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until the beans are completely soft.

3. About 1 hour after the beans begins to simmer; add the tomatoes. Ten minutes before removing from heat, add the parsley and season with salt and pepper. When the beans are done, pour in the remaining olive oil and lemon juice or vinegar. Serve hot.

Excerpts from: "The Greek Vegetarian"

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 Learn About Greek Customs and Traditions in America:
 Planning a Greek Wedding (Part F)

continued from February Newsletter...

Guidelines for Marriage in the Greek Orthodox Church
The following guidelines are expected from the Greek Orthodox
Archdiocese of America's
Yearbook 2003.3 If you have any questions, consult your priest.

Weddings
For the union of a man and woman to be recognized as sacramentally valid by the Orthodox Church, the following conditions must be met:

1. The Sacrament of Matrimony must be celebrated by an Orthodox Priest of a canonical Orthodox jurisdiction, according to the liturgical tradition of the Orthodox Church, in a canonical Orthodox Church, and with the authorization of the diocesan Bishop.

2.
Before requesting permission from his Bishop to perform the marriage, the Priest must verify that: a) neither of the parties in question are already married to other persons, either in this country or elsewhere; b) the parties in questions are not related to each other to a degree that would constitute an impediment; c) if either or both parties are widowed, they have presented the death certificates(s) of the deceased spouse(s); d) if either or both of the parties have been previously married in the Orthodox Church, they have obtained ecclesiastical as well as civil divorce(s); e) the party or parties who are members of a parish other than the one in which the marriage is to be performed have provided a certificate declaring them to be members in good standing with that parish for the current year; and f) a civil marriage license has been obtained from civil authorities.

3. No person may marry more than three times in the Church, with permission for a third marriage granted only with extreme
oikonomia.

4. In cases involving the marriage of Orthodox and non-Orthodox Christians, the latter must have been baptized, in water, in the Name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. The Church cannot bless the marriage of an Orthodox Christian to a
non-Christian.

5. The Sponsor (koumbaros or koumbara) must provide a current
certificate of membership proving him or her to be an Orthodox Christian in good standing with the Church. A person who does not belong to a parish, or who belongs to a parish under the jurisdiction of a bishop who is not in communion with the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese, or who, if married, has not had his or her marriage blessed by the Orthodox Church, if divorced, has not received an ecclesiastical divorce, cannot be a sponsor. Non-Orthodox persons may be members of the wedding party, but may not exchange the rings or crowns.

Days when marriage is not permitted
Marriages are not performed on fast days or during fasting seasons; these include the Great Lent and Holy Week, August 1-15, August 29 (Beheading of St. John the Baptist), September 14 (Exaltation of the Holy Cross), and December 13-25. Nor are marriages celebrated on the day before and the day of a Great Feast of the Lord, including Theophany (January 5 and 6), Pascha, Pentecost, and Christmas (December 24 and 25). Marriages may be performed on these days only by permission of the diocesan Bishop.

Inter-Christian Marriages
It is a fact that the more a couple has in common; the more likely they are to live together in peace and concord. Shared faith and traditions spare couples and their children, as well as their extended families, many serious problems and help to strengthen the bonds between them. Even so, the Orthodox Church will bless marriages between Orthodox and non-Orthodox partners provided that:
1. The non-Orthodox partner is a Christian who has been baptized, in water, in the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
2. The couple should be willing to baptize their children in the Orthodox Church and raise and nurture them in accordance with the Orthodox Faith.
A baptized Orthodox Christian whose wedding has not been blessed by the Orthodox Church is no longer in good standing with the Church, and may not receive the Sacraments of the Church, including Holy Communion, or become a Sponsor of an Orthodox Marriage, Baptism or Chrismation.

A non-Orthodox Christian who marries an Orthodox Christian does not thereby become a member of the Orthodox Church, and may not receive the Sacraments, including Holy Communion, or be buried by the Church, serve on the Parish Council, or vote in parish assemblies or elections. To participate in the Church's life, one must be received into the Church by the Sacrament of Baptism or, in the case of persons baptized with water in the Holy Trinity, following a period of instruction, by Chrismation.

Inter-Religious Marriage
Canonical and theological reasons preclude the Orthodox Church from performing the Sacrament of Marriage for couples where one partner is Orthodox and the other partner is a non-Christian. As such, Orthodox Christians choosing to enter such marriages fall out of good standing with their Church and are unable to actively participate in the life of the Church. While this stance may seem confusing and rigid, it is guided by the Orthodox Church's love and concern for its member's religious and spiritual well-being.

 
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 Featured Destination: Ikaria Island

Photo of Delphi"Ikaria, a mountainous, thickly forested island, perpetuates the myth of lkarus and his fall into the sea near its shores after his bold attempt to reach the sun with his waxen wings. In antiquity the island was called Makri (Long) and Aeoliki because of its rectangular shape, and Ichthyoessa because of its abundant fish. The south coast of the island is barren with steep cliffs, while the north is somewhat more gentle. Its scenery is wild and rugged, with the Atheras mountain range (called Pramios in antiquity) running the length of the island, furrowed by lush ravines, gorges and gullies that descend all the way to the coast.

Agios Kirikos, the island's capital and chief port, is built on a hillside, the balconies of its houses almost invisible amongst their flowers. Though small, its archaeological museum, containing Neolithic, Geometric and Roman finds, is of considerable interest.

Southwest of the capital, the first village you come to is Therma Lefkadas, where mineral springs bubble up through its sands. Beyond it, there is a string of sheltered ports and hamlets with houses made of dry stone walls until the road ends in the wooded village of Hrissostomos.

Returning to Agios Kirikos and taking the road to the northeast this time, your first stop might be Therma, known since antiquity for its radioactive springs. There is little trace of the ancient settlement.

Continuing on in this direction, you next come to Evdilos, Ikaria's second port and its former capital. The little village of Kambos, 2.5 kilometres from Evdilos, is of interest thanks to its small archaeological museum with finds from the area. it occupies the site of ancient Oinoe, (Inoi), once renowned for its grapes and, according to some myths, the first place in Greece to cultivate the vine. All that remains of it today is the ancient walls, an aqueduct and a building known as Palatia (the Palaces).

In the mountain hamlet of Kossikia, the 10th century castle of Nikaria is a typical example of Byzantine architecture. Armenistis is the next stop, a region of thick pine forest with an abundance of fresh water and a superb beach. Hristos tis Rahis, a village jutting into the open sea like a stone balcony, is also picturesque. If you continue on, don't miss the 11th century Monastery of the Virgin of Mounte, which has frescoes and a panoramic view. Not far from Armenistis is the miniature port of Nas, once the site of one of antiquity's most celebrated sanctuaries dedicated to Artemis. Today nothing is left but traces of the quay and parts of the temple floor.

To visit Ikaria's other charming villages and beaches, particularly those on the south coast, you will have to take a caique from Agios Kirikos.

There is a yacht refuelling station at Agios Kirikos.

Get the travel guide to Ikaria here...
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 Saints' Namedays in March

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

Sunday

1
Eudokias / Tis Tyrofagou/ Marias Aigyptias  
2
Euthalias
3
Kleonikou 
4
 
5
Kononos 
6
 
 7
Laurentiou  
8
Theofulaktou
9
 
10
 
11
 
12
 
13
 
14
 
15
 
16
Xristodoulou
17
Alexiou  
18
Kurillou  
19
Xrysanthou  
20
 
21
Iakovou  
22
 
23 24
 
25
Euagelismos tis Theotokou 
26
 
27
Ilarionos 
28
 
29
 
30
 
31
Ypatiou 

 

 

 
 
 


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