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Author Topic: Re: Engagement in Orthodox Churches  (Read 3813 times) Average Rating: 0
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Amdetsion
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« on: April 04, 2008, 03:58:57 PM »

Hmm...I hadn't thought about that, but I don't see why it wouldn't.  Don't forget that icons aren't the only things you can have blessed.  Before I proposed, Father placed my fiancee's engagement ring on the altar during Liturgy with the icons to be blessed that day.  Father has also made everyone go outside and open their car doors, then walked around and made sure to get holy water inside everyone's car!

Very beautiful!

Did he bless your engagement ring as well?

I assume yes.

Maybe your traditon is 'no' engagement ring for the man although the women has to wear one? I am asking since I do not want to assume what your tradition is.

In Ethiopia Engagement is a huge affair with a full Engagement service (not Liturgy). There is a huge reception after. Western guests at my Engagement thought they were at the 'Wedding'. The man and women both recieve blessed engagement rings. Thus many Ethiopian and Coptic Orthodox men have two rings on the left hand after marriage.

Many times the Engagement ceromony is also combined with the Marital ceromony in cases which did not permit or if the couple chooses.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2008, 04:14:11 PM by Amdetsion » Logged

"ETHIOPIA shall soon stretch out her hands unto God".....Psalm 68:vs 31

"Are ye not as children of the ETHIOPIANS unto me, O children of Israel"?....Amos 9: vs 7
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« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2008, 04:23:00 PM »

Interesting, Am. Is Engagement an elaborate affair in Ethiopia because of its roots in the ancient tradition of Betrothal? I'm curious. Because in ancient times, betrothal would actually be marriage-just not a consummated one. Later on there would be a feast and the bride would move in to her husband's family's home. I  would imagine the Ethiopians to maintain the traditional ways longer than many other cultures. Very interesting!
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ytterbiumanalyst
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« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2008, 04:50:34 PM »

Very beautiful!

Did he bless your engagement ring as well?

I assume yes.

Maybe your traditon is 'no' engagement ring for the man although the women has to wear one? I am asking since I do not want to assume what your tradition is.

In Ethiopia Engagement is a huge affair with a full Engagement service (not Liturgy). There is a huge reception after. Western guests at my Engagement thought they were at the 'Wedding'. The man and women both recieve blessed engagement rings. Thus many Ethiopian and Coptic Orthodox men have two rings on the left hand after marriage.

Many times the Engagement ceromony is also combined with the Marital ceromony in cases which did not permit or if the couple chooses.
Typically in American culture, an engagement is not a marriage, and no ceremony is involved. It consists of the man presenting a ring to the woman and formally asking if she will marry him. If she responds positively, the couple are engaged, and the woman wears a ring. The man typically does not. The couple are not bound to each other yet, spiritually or legally, and can end the engagement at will. When the wedding takes place, the man and woman each receive a new ring (the woman's is sometimes simply an extra band around the engagement ring) and they are bound to each other, legally and spiritually, and a divorce or the death of one spouse is required for the relationship to end.

This is just a generalization based on typical American practice. Veniamin will have to tell you any particulars about his situation.

Hope that helps.
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« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2008, 08:44:31 PM »

Typically in American culture, an engagement is not a marriage, and no ceremony is involved. It consists of the man presenting a ring to the woman and formally asking if she will marry him. If she responds positively, the couple are engaged, and the woman wears a ring. The man typically does not. The couple are not bound to each other yet, spiritually or legally, and can end the engagement at will. When the wedding takes place, the man and woman each receive a new ring (the woman's is sometimes simply an extra band around the engagement ring) and they are bound to each other, legally and spiritually, and a divorce or the death of one spouse is required for the relationship to end.

This is just a generalization based on typical American practice. Veniamin will have to tell you any particulars about his situation.

Hope that helps.

Sarah and I both being fairly typical Americans, she did not give me an engagement ring.  Y got the details right.
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Amdetsion
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« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2008, 05:10:02 PM »

Typically in American culture, an engagement is not a marriage, and no ceremony is involved. It consists of the man presenting a ring to the woman and formally asking if she will marry him. If she responds positively, the couple are engaged, and the woman wears a ring. The man typically does not. The couple are not bound to each other yet, spiritually or legally, and can end the engagement at will. When the wedding takes place, the man and woman each receive a new ring (the woman's is sometimes simply an extra band around the engagement ring) and they are bound to each other, legally and spiritually, and a divorce or the death of one spouse is required for the relationship to end.

This is just a generalization based on typical American practice. Veniamin will have to tell you any particulars about his situation.

Hope that helps.

I am familiar with this; thanks.

I always thought (assumed) that this is what "Americans" called "proposing"??

If this is not the common "American" ritual of "proposing" but actually the engagement being performed by the couple upon themselves than what is proposing?

Considering that Marriage is a holy sacrament in the Holy Orthodox Church having nothing to do with any particular societies common practices American or otherwise; how does two Orthodox Christians get engaged to each other without the blessing of the priest?

I thought (assumed) all Orthodox saw or see 'proposing' as a formal 'intent' to wed between the couple and the families envolved. As such it is not binding.

Here is my understanding with regards to Holy Orthodoxy:

The 'intent' is confirmed with ritual engagement by an Orthodox priest. This is a prayer which is performed to 'bind' or "engage" the couple to the 'comittment' of marriage - to marry. The rings appear on both people after this prayer and blessing is compeleted since 'both' are 'engaged' to the same promise. This prayer and blessing is not a liturgy so it may be performed in appropriate venues such as a hotel banquet hall, house and so on as approved by the priest.Thus the engaged couple is now bound ('committed') but NOT ONE FLESH. So to back out at this stage is thus still possible but is spiritually devestating and is handled by the Church only.

Then finally the wedding nuptuals which must take place in a consecrated Orthodox Church only not in a hotel or on the beach and so on such as with 'engagement'. It is administered by the Holy Church over the engaged ('committed') couple to seal them in a permanent, blessed and Holy Matrimony which is consumated in the blood and body of Christ making them no lonegr two but ONE FLESH IN CHRIST. St. Paul says "this is a mystery". Matrimony is irreverseable just like all 7 sacraments. In the cases that are considered the Church must find cause and peform the desolution publically. Adultry is the only cause for such a hearing. Special situations are rare. Desolution is extremely devastating of course. The union is counselled a long time before being granted this unfortunate nightmarish action.

This holy process leaves ALL aspects of the sacrament in the God's grace. Man takes NO part at all other than benefiting from the mystery or corrupting himself in or with it

This is my understanding.

Sorry for the side track everyone.

« Last Edit: April 07, 2008, 05:13:31 PM by Amdetsion » Logged

"ETHIOPIA shall soon stretch out her hands unto God".....Psalm 68:vs 31

"Are ye not as children of the ETHIOPIANS unto me, O children of Israel"?....Amos 9: vs 7
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« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2008, 09:58:06 PM »

Yes, the proposal begins the engagement as the wedding begins the marriage.

I'm sorry if this was overly simplistic; I didn't want to assume that you had more contact with Americans and knowledge of our customs than is actually the case.

When I proposed to my wife, we already had the informal blessing of our priest, but we didn't get the formal blessing until the day of the wedding. So I guess according to the Church, we were "engaged" or "committed" for a couple of hours.
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Amdetsion
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« Reply #6 on: April 09, 2008, 10:44:50 AM »

Yes, the proposal begins the engagement as the wedding begins the marriage.

I'm sorry if this was overly simplistic; I didn't want to assume that you had more contact with Americans and knowledge of our customs than is actually the case.

When I proposed to my wife, we already had the informal blessing of our priest, but we didn't get the formal blessing until the day of the wedding. So I guess according to the Church, we were "engaged" or "committed" for a couple of hours.

Like I said earlier. Some situations have the engagement and the nuptuals the same today. So people who talke this route are really not "engaged" until a certain point during the wedding ceremony. I think that is what you are saying. But this goes right into the marraige rite.

I have noticed that men in this case will wear one ring. Some men also in this case will put on the engagement ring later on to be more 'in-line' with the men who wear two rings having had the engagement performed seperately form the marriage rite; which is perfectly correct to do.

I am pretty accustomed to what is done in American culture. Thanks for your consideration.

However; I am not always sure of why things are done the way they are done. It is baffeling to me that I have seen orthodox christians who will not even visit a protestant service but will bend over backward to 'behave' like protestants in all aspects under the guise of "American traditon" without a slight question to the actions. I have been told that "this is America tradition". OK. But where does "American" tradition end and 'Orthodox tradition' begin?

I am not criticizing. I am happy to be  a part of Americas diverse cultural fabric. That is what is best about her. But I beleive we are to be Orthodox Christians first thus "orthodoxy" is our most ultimate and most intimate discription of who we are.

Not and easy "act to follow" I know.

Thanks.

Again sorry for the side track.

 
« Last Edit: April 09, 2008, 11:06:52 AM by Amdetsion » Logged

"ETHIOPIA shall soon stretch out her hands unto God".....Psalm 68:vs 31

"Are ye not as children of the ETHIOPIANS unto me, O children of Israel"?....Amos 9: vs 7
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