- 3 years ago
- Wedding: November 2014
I love learning new things about new religions and cultures. I’m Coptic Orthodox (Egyptian) so here’s a little about our wedding traditions. During engagement, both the bride and groom where the wedding band on the right hand. During the engagement, the bride and groom put the rings on each other to symbolise a breakable bond, it is not binding and it’s okay in the eyes of God to call it off.
Our wedding ceremonies go for half hour or longer depending on the hymns they wish to pray. The groom waits for the bride at the door of the church to symbolise his creation first (Adam), then Eve was created for him. Here the priest asks them both three times each if this is the person they want to marry. Then they proceed down the aisle together.
The bride and groom are made to wear beautiful half robes, for the man it signifies that he is the king of their new home and the bride is the Queen.
The couple then wear the rings, I’m not sure if the priest puts the rings on first or the couple does (sorry!) but I’ll be sure to let you know once I go through it! During the wedding, the couple places the ring halfway on the finger to signify that this is the person they have chosen to marry out of their own free will, the priest then puts the ring on the other half way to signify God in the relationship, that the bond is now unbreakable and has been formed in the eyes of God.
The bride and groom are annointed with olive oil. Then crowns put on their heads where they kneel before the Altar of God. The priest then joins their hands together and asks God to make them one. After this point, it is taken that they are husband and wife. A few more things happen but that’s about it.
At some point, not sure where (but at the start I’m pretty sure) our vows are different, they’re read to you from the Bible and you don’t respond, it’s more like a command Lol. They read the passage:
Marriage—Christ and the Church
22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. 24 Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives beto their own husbands in everything.25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her,26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or rinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. 28 So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. 30 For we are members of His body,[a] of His flesh and of His bones. 31 “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respectsher husband.’
Some women don’t like this and think it’s oppressive but I think it describes beautifully the nature of men and women, this is what men and women want, whether they realise it or not.
It really is beautiful, but can be boring for anyone who is not interested in the Orthodox type of ceremony (if anyone has seen one of our masses they’ll know). We don’t have a ‘you may now kiss the bride’ or anything like that, but to be honest, I wouldn’t have it any other way, there is so much meaning and symbolism in everything that is done.
How about you? Tell me about your traditions?