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Engagement for Greek Orthodox Christians

Updated: Mar 14

The Christian Family Law of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem for the year 2023 established special provisions for engagement within Chapter One (Engagement) of Book One (Personal Status Law) of the law. The provisions of the law clarify the definition and types of engagement, the conditions for engagement for the Greek Orthodox sect, the register of engagement papers, the duration of the engagement, the cases of its annulment, the effects resulting from its annulment, and the compensation provisions arising from the annulment of the engagement for the Greek Orthodox sect.

To contact the team of lawyers:

Phone number of specialist lawyer Tarik Arida: 00962795759801

Office Phone: 0096265854376

Definition and types of engagement:

Article 5: A- Engagement: It is an agreement between a male and a female to contract the sacrament of holy marriage in the future.

B- There are two types of engagement:

1-    The ecclesiastical sermon: It is the one that takes place with the blessing and prayer of the deposit from the priest of the parish or region after obtaining the permission of the competent bishop, the patriarchal representative, or the patriarchal representative. It is carried out with religious ceremonies and reciting the appropriate verses and is recorded in its register.

2-    Non-church engagement: It is the one that takes place by a male and female agreeing to contract the sacrament of marriage in the future, with the blessing of the legal priest of the parish or area, without performing the prayer of deposit and without reciting the prayers for the church engagement.

Engagement conditions:

Article 6: The following are required for the engagement to take place:

A-       The suitors must have reached eighteen years of age.

B- Both suitors are divorced and not bound by engagement or marriage.

C-    The absence of any marriage obstacles outlined in this law.

D-     The express consent of the suitors, their guardian, or guardian, and the court’s permission for those under guardianship or guardianship.

Record the engagement papers

A -Every church must keep a paper or electronic record of the church sermon, recording the event of the sermon, its parties, and the priest who completed its ceremony.

B- A church engagement certificate was issued according to the data of this registry at the request of one of the suitors.

C- Every priest must notify in writing the competent marriage office of the engagement he has performed within a maximum of one week from the date of its engagement.


Obstacles to engagement:

Article 8: Anything that prevents marriage prevents engagement.


Engagement duration:


Article 9: If a date is not set for the sacrament of Holy Matrimony, it must be held within two years from the date of the engagement unless otherwise agreed upon.


Duties of fiancés:

Article 10: The engaged couple exchanges engagement rings as a token of love, mutual respect, and commitment to the promise between them. They must be honest with each other and not bear witness against each other during the engagement period.


Cases of annulment of engagement

Article 11: A church engagement shall be annulled in the following cases and according to a court decision:

A-  By death.

B- By agreement between the engaged parties.

C- One of the suitors withdraws from the engagement.

D-   The emergence of a legal impediment that prevents the completion of the marriage between them.

E- The passage of the specified or agreed-upon period to complete the marriage.

Effects of breaking or invalidating the engagement and compensation provisions

Article 12: Consequences of breaking off the engagement:

A - In the engagement, the person who caused the engagement to be annulled for an illegal reason is obligated to return the deposit and gifts, excluding the consumed ones, that were given to him by the other party, and he loses what the person who caused the annulment gave to the other suitor, and the provisions of this law apply to him, and the ecclesiastical courts have jurisdiction to hear the lawsuits arising from the annulment of the engagement or withdrawal from it.

B - The court may award compensation to the party causing the annulment or invalidation on its initiative, or at the request of the parties, provided that the compensation is estimated through expert knowledge of the court in light of the evidence and circumstances of the case. It is not permissible to award compensation if it is proven to the court that both parties to the case caused the annulment or invalidity. The engagement.

C-   The compensation claim shall not be heard after three months have passed since the engagement was annulled or invalidated.

To contact the team of lawyers:

Phone number of specialist lawyer Tarik Arida: 00962795759801

Office Phone: 0096265854376

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