That portion of the Marriage Service in which the contracting parties answer "I will" to the questions, "N. wilt thou have this woman to thy wedded wife" and "N. wilt thou have this man to thy wedded husband." This seems to be the remains of the old form of espousals, which was different and distinct from the Office of Marriage, and which was often performed some weeks or months or perhaps years before. Something similar to what is now called "engagement," only that it had the blessing of Mother Church upon it. In the Greek Church at the present time there are still two different offices, viz.: the one of espousals and the other of marriage, which are now performed on the same day, although formerly on different days.

American Church Dictionary and Cyclopedia. — New York, Thomas Whittaker. . 1901.

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  • Espousal — Es*pous al, n. [OF. espousailles, pl., F. [ e]pousailles, L. sponsalia, fr. sponsalis belonging to betrothal or espousal. See {Espouse}, and cf. {Sponsal}, {Spousal}.] 1. The act of espousing or betrothing; especially, in the plural, betrothal;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • espousal — index adoption (acceptance), aid (help), alternative (option), defense, favor (sanction) …   Law dictionary

  • espousal — late 14c., from O.Fr. esposailles (pl.) act of betrothal (12c., Mod.Fr. époussailles), from L. sponsalia betrothal, espousal, neut. pl. of sponsalis of a betrothal, from sponsa spouse. For the e see ESPECIAL (Cf. especial) …   Etymology dictionary

  • espousal — *marriage, matrimony, nuptial, wedding, wedlock …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • espousal — ► NOUN ▪ the action of espousing …   English terms dictionary

  • espousal — [e spou′zəl, ispou′zəl] n. [ME espousaile < OFr espousailles ( pl.) < L sponsalia < sponsus (fem. sponsa): see SPOUSE] 1. [often pl.] a) a betrothal or betrothal ceremony b) a marriage or wedding 2. an espousing (of some cause, idea, etc …   English World dictionary

  • espousal — [[t]ɪspa͟ʊz(ə)l[/t]] N SING: usu poss N of n A government s or person s espousal of a particular policy, cause, or belief is their strong support of it. [FORMAL] ...the Slovene leadership s espousal of the popular causes of reform and nationalism …   English dictionary

  • espousal — noun Will s recent espousal of neo Nazism has distressed his family and perplexed his friends Syn: adoption, embracing, acceptance; support, championship, encouragement, defense; sponsorship, promotion, endorsement, advocacy, approval …   Thesaurus of popular words

  • espousal — noun Date: 14th century 1. a. betrothal b. wedding c. marriage 2. a taking up or adopting of a cause or belief …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • espousal — /i spow zeuhl, seuhl/, n. 1. adoption or advocacy, as of a cause or principle. 2. Sometimes, espousals. a. a marriage ceremony. b. an engagement or betrothal celebration. [1275 1325; ME espousaille < MF, OF espousailles < L sponsalia (n. use of… …   Universalium

  • espousal — noun a) A betrothal. b) A wedding ceremony. See Also: espouse, spouse, sponsor …   Wiktionary

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