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Questions & Answers: Marriage


Marriage

What are the wedding procedures?

The sacramental union of a man and a woman should be performed in the Orthodox Church according to the liturgical tradition, and blessed by a priest recognized as canonical by the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese.

The procedure for intended weddings is as follows:

There must be no impediment (regarding relationships) according to the Canons of the Church.

The priest must be given notice of at least one month before the intended date of marriage.

The parish priest will thereupon give directions as to the necessary documents, fees for the Archdiocese, as well as for the local Church.

In the case of mixed marriages, the non-Orthodox partner must be a person who belongs to a denomination which accepts the sacramental character of Holy Baptism. Having been baptized in the name of the Holy Trinity, he or she would declare responsibly that future children will be baptized according to the rites of the Eastern Orthodox Church and that they shall be raised in the Orthodox Faith.

Marriages with persons who belong to the Pentecostal Church, Baptist Church, Salvation Army, Christian Revival Crusades, Reborn Christians, Assembly of God, Church of Christ and other similar religious groups are prohibited.

A non-Orthodox Christian who marries an Orthodox Christian does not automatically become a member of the Orthodox Church, and is therefore not permitted to receive Holy Communion or other sacraments in the Orthodox Church.

In addition, Orthodox priests are not allowed to conduct wedding services with priests of other churches. The civil marriage cannot be conducted without the priest simultaneously performing the religious service.

Marriages are not permitted:

- From the 13th December until Christmas Day.

- On the 5th January, the eve of Epiphany.

- From Great Lent until Easter Sunday.

- From 1st to 15th August, the Dormition of Theotokos.

- On the 29th August, the Beheading of John the Baptist

- On the 14th September, Elevation of the Cross

What about divorce?

An ecclesiastical divorce may be granted after a civil Decree Absolute has been given. However, the parish priest must exert every effort to reconcile the couple and avert the divorce. Should the priest fail to bring about reconciliation, he will convey the petition of the party seeking ecclesiastical divorce to the Spiritual Court of the Archdiocese. A copy of the Decree Absolute must accompany this petition and the fees for the Archdiocese. Such ecclesiastical divorce is necessary in the case of a second or third marriage, which are tolerated by our Church.

Fees:

Granting of Ecclesiastical Divorce $350.00.

If both parties require Divorce, fee is $350.00 each.

Copy of Ecclesiastical Divorce $150.00.

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