Please pass Bacchus the ring, Jesus

Personally, being able to get married is not on my wish list, much as I recognise it’s a human right to be able to honour those we love, regardless of their gender.

That’s partly because of the sexist, homophobic and racist history of marriage in the western world at least, but mostly it’s not on my wish list because I don’t feel I need state, Church or other institutional approval for wanting to love someone else. My longest relationship to date lasted ten years, survived familial disapproval (threats from her parents to try and remove her children based on our relationship), enjoyed huge social support (when we broke up, many of our friends were devastated) and would not have been one bit stronger, for me, if we had chosen to mark it with some kind of ceremony.

So with all those qualifiers in place and being clear I respect that others make different decisions which are wonderful for them, I found this article about 4th century Christian men, St Serge and St Bacchus, enjoying some love of the marital kind endorsed by no less than Jesus Christ pretty smile-worthy.

Severus of Antioch in the sixth century explained that “we should not separate in speech [Serge and Bacchus] who were joined in life.” More bluntly, in the definitive 10th century Greek account of their lives, Saint Serge is described as the “sweet companion and lover (erastai)” of St. Bacchus.

Legend says that Bacchus appeared to the dying Sergius as an angel, telling him to be brave because they would soon be reunited in heaven.

Even if none of the same-sex marriages the article references are between women, it still makes “traditional” marriage just a little more interesting.


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