For the Faithful
Frequently Asked Questions
I am planning a sacrament (ie: wedding, baptism). What do I need to do?
The first step in planning your sacrament is contacting your parish priest.
How/when/where may my sacrament take place? Are there dates on which sacraments cannot be celebrated?Speak to your parish priest prior to scheduling your sacrament or reception. The Church calendar contains dates on which sacraments are forbidden from taking place. See: Pastoral Guidelines
I lost my certificate (or, my certificate was destroyed), how do I obtain a replacement?
Contact the priest at the parish in which the sacrament took place. He will locate the record in his sacramental registry ledger, and produce a certified copy of the record. This certified copy, also known as a transcript or verification, is signed by the priest and hierarch, and may be used for the same ecclesiastical or legal purposes as the original. There is no charge to obtain these documents from parishes within the Metropolis of Pittsburgh.
My certificate contains an error, how do I have it corrected?
If the document was issued by the parish, contact the parish. If the document was issued by the Metropolis (such as a Certificate of Marriage or Ecclesiastical Divorce Decree), contact the Registrar at the Metropolis. It is important to correct errors as soon as possible.
My marriage certificate states the incorrect number of times I’ve been married, how is this number determined?The number refers to the number of times you’ve been married in the Orthodox Church.
We were married months ago, where is our Certificate of Marriage?
In preparation for marriage in the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, the couple obtains a civil marriage license (permission to marry, from the State), and an ecclesiastical marriage license (permission to marry, from the Church). After the wedding, a Certificate of Marriage is given to the couple as proof that they are legally married. The ecclesiastical marriage certificate is sent to the couple from the Metropolis several weeks after the wedding, and is used primarily for Church-related business (proof of marriage to serve as a godparent, etc.). The civil marriage certificate is sent from the County in which the marriage took place, and is used primarily for legal reasons (name change, banking, etc.). The civil marriage certificate will arrive sooner in most cases. If you have not received it, please contact the officiating priest immediately.
I am legally divorced, how do I obtain an ecclesiastical divorce (Church divorce)?
Please contact your parish priest, who will help you every step of the way. Be prepared to provide him with your original ecclesiastical marriage certificate, your civil divorce decree, and your former spouse’s mailing address. To learn more about the ecclesiastical divorce process, download this pamphlet.
Is there a fee to obtain an ecclesiastical divorce?
As of January 2016, there is no fee for obtaining an ecclesiastical divorce in the Metropolis of Pittsburgh.
I have more questions, is there someone I can speak with?
Yes, if your parish priest is unable to assist you, please contact the Registrar, Archdeacon Ryan Gzikowski, at the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Pittsburgh.