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.