Monday, August 6, 2012

Spiritual elements of a wedding

Spiritual elements of a wedding

It's interesting:
"Linda is beautiful. She’s intelligent. She’s funny. She can cook like Nigella Lawson and she’s got the patience of a saint. Paul, I can say with my hand on my heart that you’re one of the luckiest men alive. And she writes a cracking Best Man speech as well."

Spiritual elements lend weddings a deeper meaning and solemnity. Whether religious or non-religious, denominational or non-denominational, spiritual elements are evident in marriage rituals in varying degrees of simplicity and elaborateness. Even interfaith or inter-denominational nuptials usually display a combination of the different rituals, prayers and elements from the bride and groom's backgrounds. Non-religious weddings incorporate spiritual elements as well, as reflected in such rituals as the lighting of a unity candle.

  1. Jewish Wedding

    • A Jewish wedding is composed of two parts: "kiddushin," the sanctification or betrothal of two individual souls with one another and with God, and "nisuin" or nuptial ceremony, which starts with the "sheva b'rachot" -- seven blessings -- and concludes with "yichud" -- seclusion. These are spiritual elements accompanied by prayers to worship God and to ask his blessings for the newly married couple as well as for the whole community in which they will start a new life.

    Chinese Wedding

    • Chinese weddings have many spiritual elements, with elaborate rituals from the preparation to the post-wedding days. On the wedding day, for example, the bride and groom pay homage to heaven and earth, the family ancestors and the kitchen god Tsao-Chü-n at the family altar. On the wedding night, dragon and phoenix candles are lit in the nuptial chamber to drive away evil spirits. Even the bridal attendants are carefully chosen so that their birth signs and years are compatible with the bridegroom's sign and birth year to avoid bad luck.

    Christian Wedding

    • Spiritual elements in a Christian wedding are demonstrated in the exchange of vows, blessing of the married couple by the marriage officiant and the offering of prayers by the witnesses or the whole congregation for the couple. In Christian wedding vows, the couple not only makes a covenant to each other, but to God as well, sealing their marriage union with a profound gravity.

    Additional Christian Rituals

    • Christian wedding rites in some countries also involve the blessing of not just the rings, but also of arrhaes or "arras" -- unity coins used to symbolize the man's promise to provide for his wife and family, and in some cases, the Bible -- used to signify the couple's vow to constantly seek the word of God as their primary source of guidance and blessing in their marriage and family life.


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