My wife was very good about taking notes during the seminar, so I am posting a few of those notes, as well as my thoughts about the themes brought up during the retreat. I will have more to say later this week.
On Friday night, Fr. Theodore laid out the theological foundation of marriage as an imitation of and invitation into the life of the Holy Trinity. Marriage as community icons out the perfect community of love between the three Persons of the Trinity. We studied the Epistle reading read at every Orthodox marriage service (Eph 5:21-33). Fr Theodore talked about the paradox of marriage being both a structure with hierarchy, but at the same time a life of equality. Within marriage each partner has different functions but the same human nature.
Just as Christ submits to the Father, the Church submits to Christ, the wife submits to the husband. The husband in turn is to live out his life in the same self-sacrificial way that Christ lived for the Church. The dance of love is complete.
Pretty basic stuff for the most part, but a good refresher to get in the right mindset.
On Saturday we went on to talk about the Church Father's teaching on the virtues and how marriage is an arena in which to acquire them. Community (and the conflict that naturally arises) become an ESSENTIAL aspect of the path to holiness. We are saved together, but we fall alone.
Father Theodore also outlined the virtues of courage, discernment, self-control, and justice and how different facets of marriage help us achieve these.
I'll go into more detail about that (and much more from the retreat) tomorrow.