Are Weddings No Longer Sacred?
- Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Another symbol of unity would be the joining of hands in prayer. You might invite the entire congregation to join hands in prayer asking God to unite you in oneness of mind and heart.
Of course, candles are often used to symbolize Christ, “the light of the world,” and the gift of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost that should burn in the hearts of the bride and groom to light and guide their path throughout life. Consider lighting a unity candle or incorporating candles into your ceremony.
Crowns have significance throughout history. They have been symbols of honor and glory. In the Greek Orthodox Church the bride and groom wear crowns that are attached to each other by a white ribbon symbolizing the marital unity being entered into. They are to represent the “crowns of righteousness” that the apostle Paul spoke of in his Second Letter to Timothy, given on the Day of Judgment to those who are faithful. They represent the responsibility of love and wisdom, sacrifice and martyrdom. Throughout marriage, husband and wife must be willing to sacrifice themselves for one another in imitation of Christ sacrificing Himself for us.
Another tradition in the Greek Orthodox wedding ceremony is the common cup. The bride and groom drink from a cup of wine given to them by the priest in remembrance of Christ’s miracle of changing water into wine at the wedding of Cana, symbolizing their sharing in the cup of life together with all its joys and sorrows.
Eating together is a common component of covenant-making. (Genesis 31:54). Receptions today follow the tradition of covenant meals of biblical times. Eating together showed that the new covenant partners were related in a new way. However, Jesus should be the most-honored guest. Therefore, all events of the day should be pleasing in His sight.
Ken Essau, teacher of Old Testament, marriage, and family courses at Columbia College in Abbotsford, B.C. says, “The joy should come from the event and not from the extravagance of the flowers, location or reception, though all these can add to the enjoyment. Ideally guests should remember the strength and maturity of the couple as they committed themselves to one another and praised the awesome God who brought them together. Simplicity is more likely to keep the focus of the celebration on people and God rather than on the less important.” [i]
Ultimately, a Christian wedding should be characterized by joy, worship, simplicity, community, love and dignity. There certainly is room for creativity and personalization, but each guest should leave with an unmistakable impression that the newlywed couple has made a mature covenant with each other before God. As you think about personalizing the design of your wedding focus on allowing it to be an expression of worship. Let your primary goal remain simple: let the central component of your ceremony be your solemn, eternal covenant with each other and God. Let your wedding service be a testimony of your life and your faith in Christ
[i] For more information, visit: http://www.mbconf.ca/believe/pamphlets/weddings.en.html.
Sharon Hanby-Robie is the resident home décor expert for QVC, Inc., an author, speaker, and television personality. It is Sharon’s goal to “help people discover their own personal style, and to give them the confidence to move forward with making choices that make sense for their families and lifestyle.” She has been an interior designer and member of the American Society of Interior Designers for more than thirty years. Her new book series, The Spirit of Simple Living™, is published by GuidepostsBooks.
*This article originally posted on April 24, 2007
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