SolEX01, my first post was primarily directed at arimethea. I don't play the "what if" game. No priest will fill out a marriage license after just the betrothal ceremony. The marriage has not been preformed, to suggest otherwise is ridiculous.
It is an engagement ceremony which happens to carry more ecclesiastical responsibility, not civil. If my husband had died before the wedding, I wouldn't be legally entitled to anything, even if I were a widow in the eyes of the Church.
What if another widow didn't agree with you and felt that she was married after the Betrothal service was complete?
Why do you think other Orthodox Jurisdictions make do without separating the Betrothal from the Crowning?
If a widow disagreed she would be, imo, mistaken. If she wanted the civil benefits of marriage, then get a quickie civil "marriage" before pursuing marriage within the Church.
Some people don't want to be married in a courthouse or by a Justice of the Peace. The Betrothal is equivalent to legal marriage as long as the Priest signs the marriage certificate and the couple files the certificate with the country clerk. In MD, in the divorce documents I've seen, one statement in a divorce reads "the parties were married in a religious ceremony." The Betrothal counts as a religious ceremony.
If they don't want to be married by the JoP, then they can be married in the Church. I don't understand why you have an issue with that. The fact remains that a betrothal IS NOT a marriage. It isn't. End of story. A widow who has not been crowned cannot claim the civil benefits from her late husband unless they had previously had a civil marriage. I feel we're talking past each other, because I don't see where this can be debated.
Also, by that logic, a double baptism could marry two people. It is, in fact, a "religious ceremony," is it not?
The facts are facts, betrothal =/= marriage. If it did, all of the trappings of marriage would go along with it. I could not only engage in marital conversations with the man I was betrothed to, but bear children. It would also pose a problem with the fact that the Panagia was NOT married to Joseph of Nazareth, they were betrothed.
In the eyes of the law at that time, St. Joseph was legally her husband.[/quote]
They were not married, however. Again, civil law and ecclesiastic law are not tied today. You have to seek both out independently from the other. So I'm kind of missing your point here. Can you clarify?
I don't see a problem with having the two together, I never took that stance. I just shared my experience because it was relevant.
The OCA doesn't bless engagements like the GOA. I've been to these "blessings of engagements" where the couple stands before an icon of Christ and a patron saint of the couple and the Priest blesses the engagement. In Greek, this is called αρραβώνα (ar-ra-BO-na = engagement).
I've seen plenty, I lived in Greece for a time and was a member of the GOA. I'm well versed in the multitude of services and differences between the Russians and Greeks. Does my user name look very slavic?
also, the "β" is the equivalent of an english "V" if you needed an english "B" u would write "μπ".