the rites or sanctions of a church.
formal marriage: living together withoutbenefit of clergy.
the privilege claimed by church authorities to try and punish, by an ecclesiastical court, any member of the clergy accused of a serious crime. The privilege was abolished in the U.S. in 1790 and in England in 1827.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
British Dictionary definitions for benefit of clergy
sanction by the church: marriage without benefit of clergy
(in the Middle Ages) a privilege that placed the clergy outside the jurisdiction of secular courts and entitled them to trial in ecclesiastical courts
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012