Praying For The Wrong Person

January 27, 2012


The congregation that I was privileged to serve had many families of mixed religious marriages. This is common for most Orthodox Churches in the United States where we are very much a minority religion.  This is also very common among Ukrainians since a large number of Ukrainians, and the majority in America, are Ukrainian Catholics.  Four hundred plus years after the Union of Brest, which split the Church in Ukraine and created the Ukrainian Catholic Church, there are numerous religiously mixed families.


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Choosing a Spouse

A few years ago I read the following story in a Ukrainian satirical magazine.  A father believes that it is time for his son to marry.  He begins to name several young women from the village who are single and suitable wives for his son.  Andrew begins to reject each one with a different excuse – one is too tall, the other is too fat, and the third is too “well known” in the village.  The father starts to name several young women from neighboring villages – all quite acceptable in the father’s eyes as future wives for his son. Once again Andrew finds a reason why each of the women is unacceptable – including the excuse that one had teeth that were too big!  In his frustration the father implores his son” is there not anyone in all of Ukraine that you are interested in marrying?” Well, there is one person, Andrew says delicately.  Finally, the father says, “who is it?” Peter, from the next village, Andrew says.  Peter?  His father screams with great indignation and anger, Peter?  “Marry Peter? Never, he is a Russian!”


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