The Rite of Betrothal is the first of the two services comprising the Orthodox marriage ceremony, the second being the Sacrament of Crowning. Please note that services in the Orthodox Church are almost wholly chanted or sung, so that therefore the lines marked Choir are actually mostly sung by the entire congregation, with the choir leading.

The Order of Betrothal



After the Divine Liturgy, while the Priest is in the Sanctuary, the Bride and the Groom enter and stand at the doors of the Narthex (vestibule): the Groom on the right and the Bride to his left. In the center of the Nave, before the Royal Doors, have been placed on a table the Holy Gospel, the Holy Cross, the rings, candles, the Crowns, and the Common Cup containing wine. The priest together with the Deacon goes to the entrance of the Narthex. He blesses the Bride and Groom and leads them into the Narthex.

Deacon Bless, Master.

Priest Blessed be our God always, now and ever, and unto ages of ages.

Choir Amen.

Deacon In peace let us pray to the Lord.

Choir Lord, have mercy.

Deacon For the peace from above, and for the salvation of our souls, let us pray to the Lord.

Choir Lord, have mercy.

Deacon For the peace of the whole world, for the welfare of the holy churches of God, and for the union of all, let us pray to the Lord.

Choir Lord, have mercy.

Deacon For this holy house, and for those who enter it with faith, reverence and the fear of God, let us pray to the Lord.

Choir Lord, have mercy.

Deacon For the Holy Orthodox Patriarchs, for our Metropolitan N., for our Bishop N., for the honorable Priesthood, for the Diaconate in Christ, for all the clergy and the people, let us pray to the Lord.

Choir Lord, have mercy.

Deacon For the President of these United States, for those in authority, and for all godloving people, let us pray to the Lord.

Choir Lord, have mercy.

Deacon For the servant of God, N., and for the handmaid of God, N., who are now being betrothed to one another, and for their salvation, let us pray to the Lord.

Choir Lord, have mercy.

Deacon That they may be granted children for the continuation of their generation, and all their petitions which may be for their salvation, let us pray to the Lord.

Choir Lord, have mercy.

Deacon That He will send down upon them perfect and peaceful love, and help, let us pray to the Lord.

Choir Lord, have mercy.

Deacon That He will preserve them in oneness of mind, and in steadfastness of faith, let us pray to the Lord.

Choir Lord, have mercy.

Deacon That He will bless them with a blameless life, let us pray to the Lord.

Choir Lord, have mercy.

Deacon That the Lord our God will grant them an honorable and pure marriage, let us pray to the Lord.

Choir Lord, have mercy.

Deacon For our deliverence from all affliction, wrath, danger and necessity, let us pray to the Lord.

Choir Lord, have mercy.

Deacon Help us, save us, have mercy upon us, and keep us, O God, by Thy Grace.

Choir Lord, have mercy.

Deacon Commemorating our most holy, most pure, most blessed and glorious Lady, Theotokos and ever-Virgin Mary, with all the Saints, let us commend ourselves and each other, and all our life unto Christ our God.

Choir To Thee, O Lord.

Priest For unto Thee are due all glory, honor, and worship, to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto ages of ages.

Choir Amen.

Priest O Eternal God, who brought into unity those who were seperated, ordaining for them an unbreakable bond of love, who blessed Isaac and Rebecca making them heirs of Thy Promise; do Thou Thyself bless these Thy servants, N. and N., guiding them in every good work. For Thou art a merciful God, who loves mankind, and unto Thee we ascribe glory, to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto ages of ages.

Choir Amen.

Priest Peace be unto all.

Choir And with thy spirit.

Deacon Bow your heads unto the Lord.

Choir To Thee, O Lord.

Priest O Lord, our God, who espoused the Church as a pure Virgin from among the nations: bless this betrothal, and unite and keep these Thy servants in peace and oneness of mind. For to Thee are due all glory, honor, and worship, to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto ages of ages.

The Priest takes the Groom's ring and making the Sign of the Cross with it, places it on the ring finger of his right hand.

Priest The servant of God, N., is betrothed to the handmaid of God, N., in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. (Thrice)

The Priest takes the Bride's ring and making the Sign of the Cross with it, places it on the ring finger of her right hand.

Priest The handmaid of God, N., is betrothed to the servant of God, N., in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. (Thrice)

Priest O Lord our God, who went with the servant of the Patriarch Abraham into Mesopotamia when we was sent to seek a wife for his master Isaac and, by the means of drawing of water at the well, revealed to him that he should betroth Rebecca, do Thou Thyself bless the betrothal of these Thy servants, N. and N., and confirm the word they have spoken. Strengthen them in the holy union which is from Thee. For Thou, in the beginning, made them male and female, and by Thee is the woman joined to the man as a helpmate and for the continuation of the human race.
  Therefore, O Lord our God, who has sent forth Thy truth to Thine inheritance, and Thy covenant unto Thy servants our fathers, even Thine elect from generation to generation, look Thou upon Thy servant N., and upon Thy handmaid N., and establish and confirm their betrothal in faith, in oneness of mind, in truth, and in love.
  Thou, O Lord, declared that a pledge should be given and confirmed in all things. By a ring was power given unto Joseph in Egypt; by a ring was Daniel exalted in the land of Babylon; by a ring was Tamar's integrity revealed. By a ring did our heavenly Father show compassion on His son; for He said, put a ring on his right hand, and kill the fatted calf, and let us eat and rejoice. Thine own right hand, O Lord, armed Moses in the Red Sea. By Thy true word the heavens were established, and the foundations of the earth were made firm. By Thy mighty word and Thine uplifted arm, the right hands of Thy servants shall be blessed. Therefore, O Master, do Thou now Thyself bless this putting on of rings with Thy heavenly benediction; and let Thine Angel go before them all the days of their life.
  For Thou are He who blesses and sanctifies all things, and unto Thee do we ascribe glory, to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto ages of ages.

Choir Amen.

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