Posted by Jessa on March 24, 2000 at 21:47:50:
In Reply to: Re: Greek Wedding - HELP !!! posted by De on February 01, 2000 at 08:28:48:
Hello! I am also marrying a Greek, on the 20th of May 2001. I was raised in the Roman Catholic tradition, and we have hit quite a number of speedbumps in our quest to live in peace with our differences. I have to marry in the GO church, for otherwise he will loose his affiliation. As a Roman Catholic, all I must do is fill out paperwork given to me by my parish priest, which will ensure that our Orthodox ceremony is recognized by the Catholic church. I've also done quite a bit of reading, and I have enclosed a brief synopsis of the ceremony. If you have any further questions, feel free to e-mail me. I may have a few questions for you too! Best of Luck, Jessa
The Service of the Crowning
The Service of the Crowning is the wedding proper. It is highlighted by seven significant acts The Exchange of Rings The exchange of rings symbolizes the unbreakable bond of Christian Marriage. During the Betrothal, the rings are blessed over the heads of the bride and groom three times and then are places on the fourth finger of the right hand. The Betrothal ends with a prayer that the Lord might make strong their betrothal in faith, truth and love, and make them of one mind; and that He might grant the betrothal His heavenly blessings.
The Lighted Candles
The bride and groom are given lighted candles to hold, symbolizing the purity of their lives, which should shine with the light of virtue.
The Joining of Hands
During the Service of the Crowning, three long prayers are read asking God to grant the bride and groom a long and peaceful mutual love and understanding, happiness and health. The couple's right hands are then joined by the priest, who calls upon God to join them into one.
The priest raises the crown and makes the sign of the cross three times over the heads of the bride and groom, after which the crowns are placed on their heads. The crowning signifies that the newly married couple receives the grace of the Holy Spirit to be the founders of a new generation and are crowned with virtue and holiness to live their lives to the glory of almighty God.
The Bible Readings
Following the crowning, St. Paul's Epistle to the Ephesians (5:20-33) concerning the mystery and holiness of Christian Marriage and the duties and the responsibilities of the husband and wife to each other, chanted by the canter; and St. John's gospel on Christ's miracle at the Marriage at Cana (2:1-12) is chanted by the priest to show that our Lord Jesus Christ blessed the sacred institution of marriage.
The Common Cup
The drinking from "The Common Cup" symbolizes that the couple must share every joy and sorrow. The priest gives to the husband and wife a cup of wine from which each must drink 3 times.
The Circling of the Table
While three beautiful and joyous hymns are chanted, the priest takes the bride and groom by the hand and leads them around a small table three times. By circling the table, the couple signifies their oath to preserve their marriage bond forever. The circle symbolizes eternity; the triple circling honors the Holy Spirit
Finally, amid special words of blessing, the priest lifts the crowns from the heads of the newlyweds, thus ending the marriage ceremony.
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