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Death as a Spiritual Marriage: Individual and Ecclesial Eschatology

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image of Vigiliae Christianae

Beginning with Osee, Yahweh's relationship with Israel is described in terms of marriage. The basic, underlying theme is the love of the husband that overcomes the infidelities of his spouse, his covenanted people.1 This marriage theme of love later finds many nuanced expressions in the Old Testament.2 The Church, as the Spouse of Christ, is the continuation and fulfillment of the Old Testament theme.3 "Since the Church of the New Testament succeeds the Synagogue of the Old Testament, it naturally takes over not only the general idea of the People of God, but also the metaphorical language of bridal mysticism in the prophetic books; God unites himself with Redeemed mankind with the tenderness and constancy of a lover."4


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