Wedding ceremonies around the world are varied and really interesting. Through these weeks, we will be learning about the different rituals, customs and traditions of different weddings ceremonies such as the Muslim, Indian, Japanese, Chinese and others. Today, let’s talk about Orthodox wedding ceremonies.
The Orthodox ceremony is very meaningful rite that has been celebrated for centuries. It is full of symbolism which marriage. For instance, love, mutual respect, equality and sacrifice. Everything that happens on it has a special meaning, especially the repetition of most ritual three times to represent and invoke the presence of Father, Son and Holy Spirit, the Holy Trinity.
The rings used in the ceremony are blessed by the priest beforehand. Then, he will hold the rings while pressing three times the forehead of the groom and bride. Once done, the rings are exchanged and placed on the third finger of the right hand.
After the rings are exchanged, the priest gives the couple lit candles that represent the couple’s purification and their willingness to receive God in their lives. Then, comes the crowning which is the main ritual of Orthodox weddings. The crowns represent the couples as they are the kings of their new home. The crowns are swapped in their heads three times.
When the crowning has ended, the couple is guided by the priest in circles around the altar together with the godparents that will guide them through the marriage steps. The will walk three times around the altar with the Bible and the Cross.
Finally, the priest gives his blessing for the couple to have a long, happy and fruitful life together. The rest of the celebration such as the entrance to the church, the party and the dress code is very similar to a catholic wedding.