Engagement


Engagement

An engagement is a promise to marry, and also refers to the time between proposal and marriage. During this period, a couple is said to be affianced, engaged to be married, or simply engaged.

The engagement period

The concept of an engagement period may have begun in 1215 at the Fourth Lateran Council, headed by Pope Innocent III, which decreed that "marriages are to be ... announced publicly in the churches by the priests during a suitable and fixed time, so that if legitimate impediments exist, they may be made known." [ [http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/basis/lateran4.html Medieval Sourcebook: Twelfth Ecumenical Council: Lateran IV 1215 ] ] [http://www.utunumsint.org/lateran%20iv.htm] Such a formal church announcement of the intent to marry is known as banns. In some jurisdictions, reading the banns may be part of one type of legal marriage.

Engagement rituals vary widely by culture. In in the Western provinces of India, a gosling is the traditional betrothal gift. In twelfth century China, the woman was expected to produce a suitable gift for the man within one week of the proposal, or the wedding could be invalidated. In the late nineteenth century, Cajun betrothals were initiated when the man placed a small piece of ice on the foot of his beloved.

The modern Western form of the practice of giving or exchanging engagement rings is traditionally thought to have begun in 1477 when Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor, gave Mary of Burgundy a diamond ring as an engagement present. [ [http://web.archive.org/web/20050316114519/http://can.adiamondisforever.com/F/f5b.htm The Diamond Engagement Ring Tradition - History of the Diamond Engagement Ring ] ] [ [http://www.royalfinejewelers.com/Articles/Article.aspx?id=52 The History of the Engagement Ring ] ] However, engagement rituals vary widely by culture.

Engagement rings

Engagement parties

Some, but not all, engagements are honored with an engagement party, often hosted by the bride's parents. It may be formal or informal, and is typically held between six months and a year before the wedding. Traditionally, engagement parties allowed the bride's parents to announce the impending marriage to friends and families. Today, such an event can either be an announcement or simply a celebration.

Related terms

Fiancé(e)

A man who is engaged to be married is called his partner's "fiancé"; a woman similarly engaged is called her partner's "fiancée". These words are pronounced identically in English; the separate feminine form exists because of the inflectional morphology of grammatical gender in French, where the term originated.

Proposal

The classic proposal position is 'down on one knee' shown in the picture to the right.Engagement is most often initiated by a "proposal of marriage", or simply a "proposal". The proposal often has a ritual quality, involving the presentation of the engagement ring and a formalized asking of a question such as "Will you marry me?" In a heterosexual relationship, the man traditionally proposes to the woman, but this is no longer universal. February 29th is said to be the one day (coming round only once every four years) when a woman can propose to her partner. [ [http://www.snopes.com/oldwives/february29.asp snopes.com: February 29 Proposal ] ]

Betrothal

Engagement is similar to betrothal, and the two terms are sometimes used interchangeably. However, betrothal often refers to agreements involving not only the couple but their families; the concept sometimes has a connotation of arranged marriage. Furthermore, betrothals can be broken, but often have binding legal implications lacking in engagements.

Breach of promise

In some jurisdictions, until the 20th century, it was possible for a woman (but almost never a man), to sue if an engagement was broken, based on denial of the chance to "establish herself" and possible damage to her reputation.

Notes


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  • Engagement — Engagement …   Deutsch Wörterbuch

  • ENGAGEMENT — L’engagement peut être entendu au sens de «conduite» ou au sens d’«acte de décision», selon qu’il désigne un mode d’existence dans et par lequel l’individu est impliqué activement dans le cours du monde, s’éprouve responsable de ce qui arrive,… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Engagement — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda El engagement, es un concepto que generalmente se considera como la dirección de un esfuerzo voluntario, esto es, cuando los trabajadores tienen oportunidades, actúan de una forma que va más allá de los intereses de… …   Wikipedia Español

  • engagement — ENGAGEMENT. s. masc. L action d engager, ou l effet de cette action. Tenir une terre par engagement. Ce n est qu un engagement, il n en a pas lapropriété. [b]f♛/b] On appelle Engagement, Une Seigneurie engagée, un Domaine engagé. Cette Terre est… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie Française 1798

  • engagement — en‧gage‧ment [ɪnˈgeɪdʒmənt] noun formal 1. [countable, uncountable] HUMAN RESOURCES when you arrange to employ someone or to pay someone to do something for you: • the engagement of supply teachers by schools ˌterms of enˈgagement [plural] …   Financial and business terms

  • Engagement — [ãgaʒəˈmãː] (frz. engagement ‚Verpflichtung, Einsatz‘) ist: Soziales Engagement, freiwilliges und ehrenamtliches soziales Handeln intensiver persönlicher Einsatz für eine Sache, ähnlich auch Anstrengung die vertragliche Verpflichtung eines… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • engagement — Engagement. subst. masc. v. L action d engager. Tenir une terre par engagement. ce n est qu un engagement, il n en a pas la proprieté. Il signifie fig. Une promesse, un attachement, une obligation qui est cause que l on n est plus en liberté de… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • Engagement — En*gage ment, n. [Cf. F. engagement.] 1. The act of engaging, pledging, enlisting, occupying, or entering into contest. [1913 Webster] 2. The state of being engaged, pledged or occupied; specif., a pledge to take some one as husband or wife.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • engagement — I (appointment) noun adventure, application, assignation, assurance, commitment, competition, contract, covenant, duty, encounter, enlistment, enterprise, interaction, interaffiliation, interplay, interview, involvement, meeting, obligation,… …   Law dictionary

  • engagement — 1 Engagement, appointment, rendezvous, tryst, assignation, date mean a promise or an agreement to be in an agreed place at a specified time, usually for a particular purpose. Engagement is the general term usable in place of any of the others {he …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • Engagement — Sn Einsatz, Anstellung erw. fremd. Erkennbar fremd (17. Jh.) Entlehnung. Entlehnt aus frz. engagement m., einer Ableitung von frz. engager verpflichten , eigentlich in Sold nehmen , zu frz. gage m. Pfand, Lohn und en . In der Bedeutung politische …   Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen sprache


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