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Holy Marriage 2017-07-23T15:26:31+00:00

“And the two shall become one flesh. So, they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”

Mark 10:8-12

Holy Marriage

Marriage (or Matrimony) is one of the sacraments and holy mysteries of the Orthodox Church. Holy Marriage eternally unites a man and a woman before God. The purpose of this holy union is to help each other in following Christ and raising a faithful and holy family.

To be in proper canonical and spiritual standing, an Orthodox Christian must be married in the Orthodox Church. Note the following information and requirements before a wedding is performed:

  • All couples preparing to marry in the Cathedral are required to attend 4-5 premarital sessions with one of the priests. This is offered as a forum to address various aspects and challenges of Orthodox Christian marriage and family life. The priest will assist the couple during one of the sessions to complete the necessary ecclesiastical forms for the application of the marriage license, as well as direct them on how to obtain their civil marriage license. No wedding invitations should be printed until the date of the wedding has been cleared with the priest and the parish office.
  • If the bride or groom is under 18 years of age, a letter of consent from the parents must be presented at the time they apply for the ecclesiastical marriage license.
  • If the bride and/or groom have come from Greece after their 18th birthday, when applying for a church license, must present a Certificate of Eligibility for Marriage from the Bishop of their own town or province in Greece.

The following are necessary for the Holy Marriage ceremony: 

  • Rings for the bride and groom.
  • Stefana (crowns).
  • Two candles.
  • Marriage license from the County – to be signed by the Priest on the wedding day.

Marriages are not performed on the following days:

  • Epiphany, Great Lent, Saturday of Lazarus, Palm Sunday, Holy Week, Easter Sunday and Pentectost.
  • From August 1-15.
  • August 29 (Beheading of St. John the Forerunner).
  • September 14 (Elevation of the Holy Cross).
  • From December 13-25 (including Christmas Day).

The Best Man (Koumbaros/Koumbara): 

  • Must be an Orthodox Christian.
  • Must be a pledging member of the church.
  • If from another community, prior to the wedding he/she must present a letter from his/her parish Priest stating that he/she is a member in good standing.
  • If married, his or her marriage must have been blessed in the Orthodox Church.

Divorced persons wanting to remarry: 

  • If the previous marriage was the result of a civil service, a civil divorce paper must be presented.
  • If the previous marriage was blessed in the Orthodox Church, that marriage has to be officially dissolved by an Orthodox Church Court.
  • The original document attesting to a Church Divorce must be presented at the time of application for a church marriage license.

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