How the sacrament of marriage in the Russian Orthodoxy is made? A betrothal of
the Church marriage which became after the Christianization of Kievan Rus` obligatory for princes and boyars for the simple people was established not at once. At the end of the 11th century the metropolitan Kiev Ioann noted that the people continue to adhere at the conclusion of marriages of pagan traditions. In the 17th century priests were recommended to crown nevenchanny spouses even if they had children.
From olden days before a marriage the groom and the bride applied to the local bishop for permission. The bishop issued the decree to the priest to make verification of obstacles to marriage. Long time for delivery “ banner “ this decree so was called, the duties cancelled only by Catherine II were collected.
After that all questions connected with a marriage turned into maintaining parsons who were obliged to declare the forthcoming wedding in the temple after a liturgy. If from parishioners to the priest data on any obstacles to marriage did not arrive, day of wedding was appointed.
Before the beginning of the 18th century the betrothal was carried out several weeks prior to wedding and was followed “ charge “ - the contract providing payment of a penalty in case of its cancellation. Peter I cancelled this order, having given the chance to the groom and the bride voluntarily to terminate a betrothal prior to wedding. In 1775 the Holy Synod made decisions on simultaneity of carrying out a betrothal and wedding. This order works until now.
The ceremony happens in church in the presence of the family and friends newly married. If the groom and the bride reached age of consent or already consist in official marriage, parental blessing on a betrothal is not required, but it is desirable. Entering church marriage (it can be both newly married after the REGISTRY OFFICE, and the people long ago living in an official or civil marriage) enter the temple and stop in an antechurch (the place behind an entrance to the temple). Exactly here the betrothal which consists of blessing, great an ektenia, iyereysky prayers, actually betrothals (an obmenivaniye rings) and a dismissal begins.
On a betrothal the bride has to be in a white dress, but the dress of blue, pink, beige or other light tones, except violet is allowed. The dress has to be below knees. If a dress without sleeves, then long gloves are put on. If the dress has deep cut or leaves open shoulders, then it is supplemented with a cape, a scarf or a veil. The head of the bride has to be covered with a veil, a hat or a cover. The groom arrives to a betrothal in a strict dark suit without headdress.
In a temple antechurch becoming engaged stand separately: the groom - on the right, the bride - at the left. The ceremony begins with the priest`s exit from an altar and carrying out of the Cross and the Gospel. The priest a stole (the wide embroidered tape which is put on in front over a cassock or a cassock) connects hands of the groom and the bride and puts young people nearby.
After that the priest blesses the groom and the bride three times, saying: “ For the sake of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit “. The groom and the bride on each blessing dawn on themselves a sign of the cross. Then the priest hands them the lit candles which symbolize sanctity of marriage. Candles are bought only in church in day of wedding. Candles have to burn on an extent of all ceremony of wedding, and then will be stored by spouses all life therefore they have to be the big size. Traditionally candles hold with the hand covered with a white scarf.
The Priest enters the groom and the bride with the lit candles in the temple where the betrothal will be actually made. According to initial rules, religious rite begins with great an ektenia - the prayer containing applications on rescue of the groom and the bride, on sending of perfect love by it about talent it children, etc. Then the corresponding prayers of the priest eulogizing God and asking him blessing for the marriage union follow.
After that the priest takes a ring of the groom and says three times: “ The Christian (name) the slave Bozhey (a name of the bride) " Becomes engaged; every time creating a sign of the cross over the groom`s head, also puts on to it a ring a ring finger of the right hand. Then takes a ring of the bride and says three times: “ Becomes engaged the God`s slave to the slave Bozhiyem (a name of the groom) “ dawning a sign of the cross on the bride`s head, also puts on it a ring. Then the groom and the bride meaning that from now on they are unseparable, change rings three times. Also the priest can make an exchange of rings.
The betrothal ceremony - a short prayer in which the priest asks blessing and the statement of a betrothal comes to the end with a dismissal. After this the wedding ceremony begins.]