Marriage is a holy Sacrament, a journey towards the Kingdom of God. Those who are married are called upon to love unselfishly, to put the needs of their spouse before theirs, to communicate. If God has a very central part in our life, this will help us in many ways, including in our marriage. Being cultivated spiritually will help us to be humble, forgiving, to try and see things from the other’s perspective, and this will all guard our marriage and lead it to greater heights.
If you want to organise your marriage you need to meet with your Parish Priest. The date of your marriage could be booked at that initial meeting.
MARRIAGE PREPARATION SEMINARS
Couples are encouraged to attend a marriage preparation seminar. Topics covered include theological and spiritual aspects, roles within marriage, legal aspects, medical aspects, communication, and money matters. Those who wish to attend can book with the Greek Welfare Centre on 9516 2188 or register on line on http://gwccservices.org/marriage-seminars/ or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The paperwork for a marriage needs to be completed a month or more prior to the wedding. To enable your priest to do the paperwork you will each need to get to him the following:
- Birth Certificate (if you were not born in Australia and do not have your overseas birth certificate, a passport, old or current, will do)
- Baptism certificate. (if you cannot find this, you can obtain a copy from the Church where you were baptised- the copy costs $70)
- If you have never been married and are Orthodox, you will need a Celibacy certificate (see below). If you have never been married and are non-Orthodox, the above 2 documents suffice. If you have been previously married, you will need your civil divorce papers, and if you are Orthodox, you will also need to bring Ecclesiastical divorce papers. An Ecclesiastical divorce can be organised by your Parish Priest. If your spouse has deceased, you will need to bring the death certificate
Needs to be completed prior to your wedding if you are Orthodox and never before been married.
Needs to be with your Parish Priest, depending on where you live.
Need to meet with your Priest and bring your Baptism certificate and 2 witnesses who know you.
The Priest, yourself, and the 2 witnesses sign that you have never been married.
The couple need to pay the Archdiocese fee for the marriage certificate of $300. The celibacy certificate costs $70 per spouse, and an Ecclesiastical divorce costs $350 per spouse. The couple also pay the priest $100 for the civil marriage certificate. On the day of the wedding the fees vary according to Parish, at St Ioannis the best man or maiden of honour pays the Parish $350 ($250 parish fees and the rest are gratuities for chanter and neokoro).
1. Once Priest has the above mentioned documents, forms are filled out carefully by the Priest
2. The Celibacy certificate needs to be completed by your Parish Priest, depending on where you live, and this is given to you
3.Typically 1-6 months prior to wedding, you both meet the Priest, bring the celibacy certificate/s, the money required, check that there are no spelling mistakes on the forms, and then sign, once for the Church, and once for the state, that you want to marry each other
4.Priest takes the signed forms to Archdiocese, pays, and obtains an official Church Marriage Certificate
5.Priest then completes all the remaining forms
6.Immediately after the service, both of you , your best man or maiden or honour, and one other witness, sign various forms
7.Priest gives you the official Church wedding certificate
8.Priest submits to ‘Births Deaths and Marriages’ the other forms
9.After about 10 days you can apply with ‘Births Deaths and Marriages’ for an official state marriage certificate- you can apply in person, by mail, or online at https://onlineforms.bdm.nsw.gov.au/application/marriage_details
If one of you is not a baptised Orthodox Christian, and sincerely wants to be received into the Orthodox Church, then this holy process and journey can be initiated, but it will take at least 6 months. You will need to get to know your Parish Priest, and write to the bishop, explaining why you want to be accepted into the Orthodox Church. Your letter to the bishop should start:
Your name and address
Bishop Seraphim of Apollonia
GREEK ORTHODOX ARCHDIOCESE OF AUSTRALIA
242 Cleveland St, REDFERN 2016
Your blessings. [Your reasons for wanting to become Orthodox]
The bishop will likely recommend that you attend talks on the Orthodox Church that are held regularly for just this purpose, for those wishing to enter the Orthodox Church.
Marriage is permitted between an Orthodox and a Christian who has been baptized in the name of the Holy Trinity: those belonging to the Roman Catholic, Anglican (Church of England), Uniting, or Presbyterian Churches. Marriage is also permitted with Oriental Orthodox (Coptic, Armenian Orthodox, Syrian Orthodox, Indian Orthodox etc), and with those belonging to the Assyrian Church of the East. The baptism of someone baptized after 1967 in the Macedonian Orthodox Church can only be accepted after such a person receives Chrismation from a canonical Orthodox priest.
DATES ON WHICH MARRIAGES ARE NOT PERMITTED:
- from 13th December until Christmas day
- on the 5th January, the eve of Epiphany
- Great Lent until Easter Sunday (these dates vary from year to year)
- from 1st to 15th August, the Dormition of the Theotokos
- on the 29th August, the Beheading of St John the Baptist
- on the 14th September, the Elevation of the Holy Cross