Post # 1
We’re in a weird position. We are having a traditional Korean ceremony, a ceremony in Canada for my family, and an Orthodox church ceremony in Seoul (I’m a convert so neither my family or his are Orthodox). While it may seem like a huge hassle, getting married in front of our families in both countries is necessary for us, and having my marriage considered valid by my church is very important to me.
The Orthodox community in Seoul is large enough to fill a cathedral, but all ethnic and linguistic communities worship at the same place (we have English, Korean, and Slavonic services). Our English speaking priest is actually a US military chaplain who has been on a tour of duty in Korea for two years. I know him very well and he has been my spiritual father while he has been here, so it was an easy choice to have him conduct the ceremony. However, just this morning he emailed to say that the military has given him orders to leave Korea early, so he won’t be able to conduct our service in 3 months! The army might change it’s mind, but that possibility is unlikely. Obviously I’m really sad that a person who is very important to me will not be conducting our ceremony, but there is the additional problem of finding another priest to marry us. One option is the Metropolitan (head of the Korean church) who is Greek but speaks some English, but he is an extreemly busy man and traveling all the time, so I doubt he will be able to do the service on such short notice. Another option is the Korean priest, but I don’t know him at all.
This situation doesn’t put our timeline or marriage in jeopardy, but it causes a great deal of uncertainty and stress at a time that we don’t really need it (planning all these ceremonies is stressful enough.) Anyway, if you pray, please pray that we can find another priest easily, and that it doesn’t cause too much stress and turmoil in our planning. We would like this problem solved as quickly as possible, especially this soon before the wedding!
Post # 3
Have you thought of asking the military chaplain’s replacement?? Obviously, the one that is leaving will have a replacement and it would stand to reason that if you request for his replacement, the one that is leaving may give his take on what to say which may be more meaningful than a complete stranger
Post # 4
I know this is a silly question, but can you move the orthodox service up a few months? You’re not inviting many people to that one, is that correct?
I know that would put your korean and orthodox dates REALLYCLOSE together, which might be stressful, but possibly worth it.
Post # 5
@loveapril – There will be a replacement, but most likely he won’t be Orthodox. Our priest fills a ‘chaplain’ spot not an ‘Orthodox chaplain’ spot. I believe there’s something like 6 Orthodox priests in the whole army – maybe a few more in other parts of the military, but the likelihood of our church getting another English-speaking priest so soon is very low 🙁
@daydream We’ve thought about it…but the problem is this. In Korea the legal marriage and the ceremony are separate. You have to go to the local registry office to be legally married. Therefore, my church won’t let us get married in the church before we get married by the state (otherwise they could be blessing a marriage that ‘never actually happens).
However, we are having serious problems finding a house because the housing market here is horrible. We plan on getting legally married once we find a place to live, but we don’t really want to be married and unable to live together. I suppose if it really really came to that, we could get married asap…but that would be a little awkward (And it’s Lent, and in the Orthodox church you can not marry until after Lent which also complicates matters).
Post # 6
Sorry to hear about this. Don’t you hate how stressful it is when something like that comes up? I’ll send good thoughts your way!
Post # 7
Thanks for your good thoughts lilyfaith.^^
Post # 8
I was in the Army a long time ago, and I am asian. So I can understand trying to fulfill both sides, although the replacement chaplain may not be orthodox, he might have contacts as to if there is another one near the bases that is orthodox priest. Or better yet, ask the one that is leaving if he can point you to an orthodox priest before he leaves so that you can have your peace of mind? Or check with the secretary of the head of the Korean church to see if he/she have a listing of local orthodox and talk to a few of them to see if you feel comfortable with any of them. (I say to check with the secretary because if the head priest is that busy, by the time he can give you a list might be too late for you, whereas the secretary may be able to help you faster). Just some ideas and sorry you had to be stressed so close to your wedding.