Reverend Father Nikolaos Tambakis, a Greek Orthodox wedding officiant at the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church of Thunder Bay, Ontario, explain the ins and outs of a Greek Orthodox wedding ceremony.
Q: Do all of our guests have to be Greek Orthodox?
A: Just like other services in the Orthodox Church, anyone can attend. During the ceremony, anyone can participate with the priest’s permission.
Q: Is it a problem if the bride or the groom isn’t Greek Orthodox?
A: That’s not a problem, as long as both are Christian and have been baptized. An example: the bride can be Greek Orthodox while the groom is Catholic.
Q: Does the Church require pre-marriage counseling?
A: Yes, pre-marriage counseling is required. To participate, at least one of you must be Christian and baptized in the trinity (Greek Orthodox Church). We also offer counseling for interfaith and interethnic relationships to help you understand your cultural differences. Talk to your local priest for details.
Q: Any other requirements to be aware of?
A: The church requires a Koumbaro or Koumbara. This person is the couple’s sponsor and acts as spiritual advisor for day-to-day counseling. He or she should be a member of the Greek Orthodox Church.