Saturday, April 30, 2011

A write-up on Christian wedding as flashed on the f.b. on April 30,2011.

Remove PostBishwa Nath Singh

A Christian wedding ceremony incorporates traditional Christian elements and Scriptural readings. An ordained priest performs the ceremony reading.
(Photo of Prince William presenting wedding ring to his spouse Kate Middleton)
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Bishwa Nath Singh:

Among the main pre wedding rituals there are functions like bridal shower, which is an informal party hosted by the bride's female friends. It is mainly a female get together to celebrate the occasion. It is a fun filled function where game...s are played, they sing and dance the whole night. The friends and relatives shower gifts upon the bride. The bride serves a pink cake with a thimble hidden inside. Just like the bridal shower, which is an all girl's party a bachelor's party is also celebrated by the groom and his male friends. It is called a stag party hosted by the groom on the eve of his wedding or a couple of days earlier. Usually this is a wild party, and the groom is expected to enjoy his last night as a bachelor. It is customary to raise a toast before the drinking begins in earnest. It is mostly celebrated to have fun and enjoyment with his close fiends. The church announces the name of the bride and the groom three weeks prior to the date of the marriage. Thus initiates a Christian Wedding. On the wedding day the church is decorated and a group of choir singers accompany the entire wedding proceedings. A prayer is said in the respective houses of the bride and the groom before they leave for the church. The ceremony begins with a procession of the celebrant (priest), the wedding attendants, and the bride and groom. The priest greets the community and invokes God's blessings upon the couple, those gathered and the event. The bride's wedding dress is usually the traditional white gown or a brocade Sari. The bride in her white veil is accompanied by two little girls holding flower baskets and her close friends. Whereas, the groom comes in a suit along with his "best man". An Anglo Christian bride traditionally wears a white gown in western style and the groom wears a suit. The couple walks down the corridor slowly but gracefully till they reach where the priest stands, who welcomes them and offers his best wishes. The priest delivers readings from the Bible as selected by the couple. Like in all Indian matrimonial rituals, this community too, has an interesting lecture with an emphasis on the sanctity of marriage given by the priest. Then, the bride and the groom hold each other's right hand and make the Solemn Promise of lifelong loyalty stating that they will stay together through thick and thin. In the name of God the couple takes the oath of life-long loyalty to each other. The groom's family gifts a ring and a "mangalsutra" - the auspicious wedding dollar and a cross - to the bride. In the church the couple stands in front of the altar along with the priest who is responsible for conducting the wedding. Then the priest declares them "Man and Wife" after they exchange wedding rings. He also presents the couple with a "rosary" to solemnize the occasion. The Bride and Groom pledge their love and allegiance to one another. The rings are blessed by the priest and exchanged by the Bride and Groom as a symbol of their new bond. The groom may also present the bride with a mangalsutra. Another common feature of the Indian community that has been extended to the Christian community matrimonial alliance is the Mangalsutra. The priest concludes the ceremony with a lecture on marriage and the union of the bride and groom. The final segment of the service includes blessings of the community to the new couple, a dismissal, and a final recessional from the church. Guests are free to exit once the couple, the wedding party, and the priest have recessed. After the ceremony, the guests are escorted to a reception where they give their blessings to the newlyweds. They cut the wedding cake and feed each a bite of the first slice. The Toastmaster proposes a toast in honor of the couple. The reception is mostly celebrated with dance and dinner party. In many functions, a live band performs and everybody dances to the tune of the band.


April 30,2011


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