Ancient Jewish Wedding Customs and Torah
Do you know that the Ancient Jewish Wedding customs are governed by the Torah or…
Christian wedding traditions may be termed as the oldest existing customs of the cultured world. Christian Marriages are considered to be an institution ordained by God and the relationship between a husband and a wife is held sacred. It is believed that the primary purpose of the institution of marriage was to glorify God by demonstrating his love to the world. The Christian wedding as a result, is complex and elaborate, and there are many customs practiced.
Christian wedding traditions start with bridal shower and the bachelor party. Often, before the wedding, the bride’s close friends and loved ones throw her a bridal shower. This involves a fun-filled informal party with entertainment. This is to symbolize the parting of the bride and in honor of the new life that lies before her.
The guests give the bride gifts and their blessings for a happily married life. The bride also serves the guests with a pink cake. Inside the cake a thimble is hidden. Whoever gets the thimble is believed to be the one who will get married next.
You will be interested to note that the groom also has a similar party according to Christian wedding traditions. The bachelor party is in celebration of the groom’s last days as a single man. The party is usually an informal get together of the groom’s friends.
The Christian wedding always takes place in a church where the man and woman are joined in holy matrimony, by the priest. Before the beginning of the Christina marriage ceremony, the guests are seated in the church. Often, a prelude is played. That is, before the entrance of the bride, at least five minutes of music is played.
The lighting of the candles or the candelabra is often considered an important part of the ceremony. They are usually lit before the guests arrive or otherwise, during the prelude, the candles are lit. In case, the bride and the groom opt for a unity candle to signify their joining, then another ritual is followed. The parents or the mothers of the bride and groom light two separate candles, and then the bride and groom light the unity candle from them. Don’t you think this is an interesting custom?
In Christian wedding traditions, before the bridal procession begins, the custom of seating of the grandparents and parents takes place. First, the grandparents of the groom are seated, followed by the grandparents of the bride. Then the groom’s parents are seated. Finally the bride’s mother is seated.
The Christian wedding ceremony begins with the entrance of the minister and the groom. In case the groomsmen aren’t walking down the aisle with the bridesmaids, then they enter along with the groom. Then, the bridesmaids enter, one after another. After this, the maid or matron of honor is accompanied by the best man down the aisle. Finally, the flower girl and the ring bearer enter.
Finally, the bride will enter with her father. Sometimes the mother of the bride stands, thus indicating that the guests should rise. Sometimes, the priest declares “All stand for the bride”. The bride walks down the aisle following the wedding march.
The priest begins the ceremony with a call to worship. The words “Dearly Beloved” which is often used indicate that the guests should join them in the union of the bride and groom, which is considered to be a form of worship of god. This is followed by an opening prayer, which is an invocation to god requesting his presence and his blessings. After this, the congregation is asked to sit.
The minister who will be performing the wedding ceremony charges the bride and groom, following this, reminding the couple of their individual duties and roles in marriage, and to prepare them for the exchange of oaths. The bride and groom then pledge to the gathering that they have come of their own free will to be joined in matrimony.
After this, the bride and groom exchange vows, in the presence of god and the witnesses. As you know, the vows are the central focus of the wedding. The couple then exchange rings symbolizing eternity and faithfulness. The couple then lights the unity candle, signifying that they have now become one. Finally, the groom and the bride are declared as man and wife. Often, after the kiss, a closing prayer is made. This can be done by the minister or by a loved one.
The wedding party then leaves the church, with the bride and groom in the lead. After the wedding, many people have receptions, as you may know. Wedding cake is often cut and consumed. The best man proposes a toast in favor of the bride and groom. There may also be music and dancing.