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Document Details :
Title: Experiences from an Anglican Parish
Subtitle: The Case for Betrothal
Author(s): HARCUS, A.R.
Journal: Marriage, Families & Spirituality
Volume: 7 Issue: 2 Date: 2001
In his recent article “Becoming Married in the Catholic Church” (see INTAMS review 7/1 , 37-54), US theologian Michael G. Lawler suggested that the Church revise its attitude towards prenuptial cohabitation and develop a betrothal ceremony which would confer on the couple the status of committed spouses, with all the rights that the Church grants to married spouses.
Rev. Canon A.R. Harcus, Vicar of the Anglican parish of Bolney in the diocese of Chichester in the UK, reports that some years ago his parish introduced an optional betrothal ceremony at the time of the first reading of the banns. The couple publicly state their intention, the parents give their approval, and the congregation acknowledges the role of the community. Experience shows that this betrothal ceremony responds to a real psychological need in the natural process towards marriage and helps the couple better understand the Christian meaning of marriage.