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In What Way does Ordination Affect a Matushka?


Does their husband’s priesthood oblige her to change her way of life, such as by keeping to a particular dress code or changing her lifestyle?
Matushka Mary: I should qualify my answer by mentioning that my father is also an Orthodox priest, so this life feels very natural to me. Even so, I think that for most priests’ wives, the external aspects of life, such as dress and lifestyle, are not changed so greatly by ordination.  There is no dress code except the general wish to dress modestly. Many aspects of life in a clergy family – such as attending more church services, fasting, preparing for Liturgy on Saturdays and other evenings, etc. – are things that, as Christians, we all strive to do as well as we are able. For a new matushka, they become, perhaps, more important in her life than they had been. It can be a big adjustment suddenly to find that we are in the spotlight.  It takes time and grace to learn not to be self-conscious, not to wonder what people think of this or that.
Also, I did sense a real change as regards the interior aspects of life, my spiritual struggles.  Husband and wife are united sacramentally; they are one flesh. So in some intangible way, the ordination of her husband does affect the matushka as well. I sensed an additional gift of grace and an added spiritual burden, though I cannot describe it very concretely. As a matushka, I feel that I, too, am called to serve, to pray for the people in our church, especially the children, and to live in accordance with the Gospel as best I can. After my husband’s ordination, there was also a real change in the level of spiritual struggle for both of us.  Spiritual warfare is very real, not just something in books, and the devil hates priests. We feel this most acutely during fasting periods, on Saturdays as we try to prepare for the Sunday Liturgy, and on the days leading up to the Great Feasts.
Matushka Katherine: I am so glad you asked this question! When Fr. Eugene was being ordained, I was very happy and excited for him, but I did not think that my life would change very much. After all, my husband had been serving in the altar all these years anyway, and the ordination was the Holy Spirit coming down upon my husband, not me. However, on the day of his ordination, I realized that a husband and wife are indeed one, and that the Holy Spirit was within me too. I felt as if we relived our wedding that day.

I do not have a special dress code outside of church, and I don’t believe my lifestyle has changed. Perhaps my life would have been very different if we did not live so much within the Church – but, honestly, I wouldn’t have it any other way. Although I sometimes wistfully look at those around me who are not so tied down to their parish, I would not trade my life for anything. Of course, when your husband is a member of the clergy, you have to remember who you are and what you represent. We are all human, but I believe a lot of laypeople hold clergy and their families to a different standard. 
Full article from the following source: http://www.pravmir.com/clergy-wives-on-sharing-the-grace-and-cross-of-ordination/

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