Is it mandatory to marry in church? I am oriental orthodox.

edited July 2016 in Faith Issues
Is it mandatory to marry in church? I am oriental orthodox.


  • In the Coptic orthodox Church, a crowning ceremony must be in a consecrated coptic church. I am not really sure about our sister churches restrictions. 
  • Let's address a question about "why would a marriage need to be consecrated in church"

    Firstly, if you intend to spend your life with someone, it does not matter where you make that commitment. But announcing so in church and obtaining the blessing of the sacrament would hold you accountable later. We are all human, humans change and make mistakes. Having a supportive church community is helpful in difficult times during the marriage. In a civil marriage, the government is happy to end "the contract" and issue you a divorce if both parties decide to do so. Your eternal life is not their concern.

    The purpose of a wedding ceremony I guess is to declare your unity with your partner in front of society. Many people get married in church just to carry on tradition, even though they do not have faith. Ask yourself what is my aim here and what do I believe in?

    The world has made it very easy to get married and remarried. Our church continues to take a stand, reflecting on the major decision that is to decide to get married as it is a big deal. A decision that should not be made lightly or impulsively.
  • The decision should not be taken lightly as the sacrament of marriage is as though God chose you and the two of you become icons of the church in God's blessing.

  • @mnc_hnn and @Joshuaa....I am not sure what are you too are implying by your comments. It's not about where the decision is being made that matter nor those who are is in attendance for the ceremony. You just need the couple, a priest, a deacon, and two witnesses (of which one can be the deacon and the other a congregation member). The couples go into church ready to get married. The decision has already been made and final and is only completed and consecrated by the Church. You don't come to church to "bless" the decision but to have the Holy Spirit come, as God, the Person of the Hole Spirit, to make the unification a reality. This is exactly like partaking of the Eucharist and Baptism. The Spirit comes in all the sacraments/mysteries to do "something".
  • Can you explain your last comment Mina , that it is not about where (which we are saying not to be taken lightly), but about like all the sacraments it is about doing something?
    I thought you make a good response to the question in your first response and that mnc_hnn and I were expanding on the importance of where.
  • Forgive me Mina also. This question has been on my mind today and I was thinking about marriage been an icon or an image of unity, or an image of "oneness."
    The church also represents oneness, so the Holy Spirit completes this oneness inside the church.
  • I guess i was specifically responding to mnc_hnn comment where it was said "a wedding ceremony I guess is to declare your unity with your partner in front of society" because that is not the reason. That may be part of the process, but it's not why the sacrament must be done in a church.

    When I said "The Spirit comes in all the sacraments/mysteries to do "something"." i was referring to the act of the Holy Spirit in every sacrament. For example, in the Eucharist, He comes to transform the bread and wine into Body and Blood; in Baptism He comes to dwell in the person for the first time; in a wedding He comes to unify the couple into one body, that's after their agreement to unite as it is the commandment of God.

    This is just what i have been thinking about for sometime too considering that I talk about alhan alot, and there is a teaching that keeps taking out the hymn Pi-epnevma and moving it within the ceremony rite. Their reasoning is that "the Holy Spirit doesn't dwell until after the crowning and the signing by the priest"...The problem with saying that is, it sound like the Spirit comes to dwell "into" the couple.....but that can't happened because they are already believers--they have the Spirit in them since their baptism. Then how does He come into them again during marriage?! The proper way is to think about it is that He comes to do a specific godly and mysterious act--here, it is the unification of the two bodies.
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