"As the church is subject to Christ, so let wives also be subject in everything to their husbands. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her," (Ephesians 5:24-25)

Healthy relationships cannot exist without God. Therefore, God must help us when we are joined in marriage which is not simply a social or legal institution, but an eternal vocation that leads us to His Kingdom.

When planning a marriage in the Orthodox Church, we must approach this sacred event, not as an obligation or a simple ceremony but rather as an encounter with God that must be treated with utmost reverence and devotion as a holy sacrament of the Church.

For the union of a man and woman to be recognized as sacramentally valid by the Orthodox Church, the following conditions must be met:


  • The Sacrament of Matrimony must be celebrated by an Orthodox Priest of a canonical Orthodox jurisdiction, according to the liturgical tradition of the Orthodox Church, with the authorization of the local hierarch.


  • Before requesting permission from the Archbishop or his Metropolitan to perform the marriage, a Priest must verify that: ) neither of the parties in question are already married to other persons, either in this country or elsewhere. b.)the parties in question are not related to each other to a degree that would constitute an impediment; c.)if either or both parties are widowed, they have presented the death certificate(s) of the deceased spouse(s) d.) if either or both of the parties have been previously married in the Orthodox Church, they have obtained ecclesiastical as well as civil divorce(s); e.)the party or parties who are members of a parish other than the one in which the marriage is to be per formed have provided a certificate declaring them to be members in good standing with that parish for the current year; and f.)a civil marriage license has been obtained from civil authorities.


  • No person may marry more than three times in the Church, with permission for a third marriage granted only with extreme oikonomia.


  • In cases involving the marriage of Orthodox and non-Orthodox Christians, the latter must have been baptized, in water, in the Name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. The Church cannot bless the marriage of an Orthodox Christian to a non-Christian.


  • The Sponsor (koumbaros or koumbara) must provide a current certificate of membership proving him or her to be an Orthodox Christian in good standing with the Church. A person who does not belong to a parish, or who belongs to a parish under the jurisdiction of a bishop who is not in communion with the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese, or who, if married, has not had his or her marriage blessed by the Orthodox Church, or, if divorced, has not received an ecclesiastical divorce, cannot be a sponsor. Non-Orthodox persons may be members of the wedding party, but may not exchange the rings or crowns.


Days When Marriage Is Not Permitted

Marriages cannot performed on fast days or during fasting seasons or on the feasts of the Church as indicated: September 14 (Exaltation of the Holy Cross), December 13-25 (Nativity), January 5 and 6 (Theophany), Great Lent and Holy Week, Pascha (Easter), Pentecost, August 1-15 (Dormition Fast and Feast), and August 29 (Beheading of St. John the Baptist).


Exceptions can only be made with the permission of the respective hierarch.



It is a fact that, the more a couple has in common, the more likely they are to live together in peace and concord. The irony of life is that opposites attract! Thankfully, it’s shared faith and traditions that spare couples and their children, as well as their extended families, many serious problems, and help to strengthen the bonds between them. Even so, the Orthodox Church will bless marriages between Orthodox and non-Orthodox partners, provided that:


  • The non-Orthodox partner is a Christian who has been baptized, in water, in the Name of the Holy Trinity (i.e. the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit).


  • The couple should be willing to baptize their children in the Orthodox Church and raise and nurture them in accordance with the Orthodox Faith.


A baptized Orthodox Christian whose wedding has not been blessed by the Orthodox Church is no longer in good standing with the Church, and may not receive the Sacraments of the Church.


Many relationship and marriages now include a partner is either from another religious denomination, or has no religious background at all. This should be seen as an opportunity for outreach, and growth. It is a blessing to be among those who could potentially join the ranks of the Orthodox faith. However, please remember that it is not until we become Orthodox Christians that we can fully participate in the life of the Church. This includes receiving the Sacraments, serving on the Parish Council, and voting in parish assemblies or elections. To participate in the Church’s life, one must be received into the Church by the Sacrament of Baptism or, in the case of persons baptized with water in the Holy Trinity, following a period of instruction, by Chrismation.


Please ask your priest if you are in need of guidance in this area of your life. Also, more information about Inter-Faith marriage can be found at




For couples who are not stewards, we ask that a minimum contribution of $1,250 be given to Kimisis. This amount must be paid before the service as it contributes to expenses that are associated with our facilities, clergy, and other human resources.


The wedding date and rehearsal are made with the clergy through our church office. Upon setting the date, we will send you a wedding packet with additional information. Enclosed will be a stewardship card and a form that needs to be completed and submitted to our church office promptly.


An appointment to meet with our priest should be made shortly after setting the date of the wedding. You should bring a copy of your baptismal certificates, documents of previous marriage(s) (if applicable), and any other documents that the clergy may need to process your application for marriage. This will be the first of several meetings with the priests, who will discuss the Church's expectations of the couple and address additional concerns.


It should be brought to the priest's attention early, if the non-Orthodox partner wishes to become an Orthodox Christian.


Separate meetings will be held with the priests for proper catechism. Also, as the wedding day approaches, the Orthodox couple has the opportunity to meet for Confession. Marriage is the beginning of a new life. The sacrament of Confession can greatly initiate our new life in Christ as husband and wife. There are a few matters that a couple needs to be aware of: at the rehearsal, during the wedding and after the wedding, the utmost reverence must be observed; only music that is customarily played in the Orthodox Church is allowed unless permitted at the discretion of the presiding priest; visiting Orthodox clergyman must observe the necessary protocols with the respective Metropolitans involved and our own priest. These and other matters will be discussed during the couple's pre-marital meetings.


There are two licenses involved in marriage: the ecclesiastical (church) and civil. Within three months of your wedding you will complete and sign an "Affidavit for License to Marry." This is your church wedding application. It is signed and mailed by the priest and submitted to the Metropolis.


Within a month of the wedding, the Metropolis sends the priest the ecclesiastical wedding license. The priest will obtain the appropriate signatures the day of the wedding and will then send the signed copy to the Metropolis. Within a month, the couple will receive their formal Church wedding certificate.


As for the civil license: please know that the wedding service cannot take place unless this document is in the hands of the priest before the wedding. Within approximately one month of your wedding, you must obtain your civil license and submit it to the church immediately. It will be completed with your other wedding documents at the appropriate time.


On the day of the wedding, your civil license will be signed by both the priest and witnesses. One copy will be given to the couple and the remaining two will be mailed by the priest to the county clerk. The couple's copy will serve as their official civil wedding license.


The Bridal couple and Koumbaro (a)/ sponsor must be in good sacramental and financial standing with a canonical Orthodox Church. If not a parishioner of Kimisis, a letter from one's home parish should be sent to our church well in advance of the date stating their good standing.


The following is needed for the service to take place:


  •  Two Stephana (Crowns)
  •  Two Rings
  •  One Silver tray
  •  Two White Candles


The paperwork cannot be submitted to the Archdiocese without these items. Therefore, the wedding cannot take place without these items:


  • Baptismal/Chrismation Certificate for Bride
  • Baptismal/Chrismation Certificate for Groom
  • A completed and/or signed Ecclesiastical Affidavit to Marry
  • Verification of attendance of the Marriage Seminar
  • Letter of good standing for the Orthodox sponsor of the wedding from their home parish
  • Verification for those born outside of the United States prior to the age of 16 (if applicable)
  • Copy of divorce and/or death certificate regarding previous marriage (if applicable)
  • A Valid New York State Marriage License must be brought to the wedding rehearsal*

*A New York Marriage License can be obtained from any city or town clerk in New York. It must be obtained within 72 hours of the wedding, and is valid for 30 days.



The parish priest must exert every effort to reconcile the couple and avert a divorce. However, should he fail to bring about a reconciliation, and a civil divorce has been obtained, he will transmit the petition of the party seeking the ecclesiastical divorce, together with the decree of the civil divorce, to the Spiritual Court of the Direct Archdiocese District. The petition must include the names and surnames of the husband and wife, the wife’s surname prior to marriage, their addresses, the name of the priest who performed the wedding, and the date and place of the wedding. The petitioner must be a member of the parish through which he or she is petitioning for divorce. Orthodox Christians of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese who have obtained a civil divorce but not an ecclesiastical divorce may not participate in any sacraments of the Church or serve on the Parish Council, Archdiocesan District Council, Metropolis Council or Archdiocesan Council until they have been granted a divorce by the Church. (Source: Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America Yearbook)


The process for obtaining an ecclesiastical divorce begins by meeting with the priest, who will advise and counsel on how the divorce will proceed. If it is determined that ecclesiastical divorce should be sought, the following items must be submitted:


  • The ecclesiastical divorce petition (original)
  • A copy of your ecclesiastical marriage license (original)
  • A copy of your civil divorce decree (copy)
  • A money order paid to the “Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America” for $250