Post # 1
My priest just sent me a description of what each aspect of our wedding ceremony will symbolize so we can include it in our program. For those of you who don’t know, the Greek Orthodox marriage ceremony has TONS of symbolism in it. One thing jumped out at me as especially cool that I thought I would share. When we drink from the same glass of wine, it symbolizes that from now on, all of our sorrows will be halved, and all of our joys will be doubled. I loved that.
Do your ceremonies have special moments of symbolism that you love? What are they?
Post # 3
I think that is very cool. We on the other hand are struggling to infuse meaning from our otherwise fragmented religious and ethnic traditions to put together a coherent and meaningful ceremony. Yours sounds like it comes with all that we seek in ours!
Post # 4
monalisa – I’m Russian Orthodox! Our priest also gave us a copy of the full mass for our programs that explained the betrothal service as well as the crowning service. I couldn’t wait for all of my friends to see our unique ceremony!
I think my favorite is the crowning. This is what our priest gave us as the explanation:
Crowns have been used in Christian marriage ceremonies since antiquity. They have several meanings. They are the crowns of victory, for they show that the couple desire their marriage to be in Christ, rather than according to the conventions this world offers. They are the crowns of king and queen, for marriage in Christ is a sharing in His Kingship, in His ultimate Victory over sin and death. They are the crowns of martyrdom (meaning "witness "), for those married in Christ witness to His presence in this world. They witness by dying to their egotistical selves, i.e. by giving their lives to each other in love, and through each other to Christ Himself.
It’s so exciting to find another Orthodox on this board!!!
Post # 5
@ Doctorgirl- What religious and ethnic traditions are you trying to blend? It would be really cool to find symbolism from each and not only incorporate them into your ceremony, but also provide a description for your guests!
@ mlkeysock- Yes, that IS exciting!! I really like that the Orthodox ceremonies are so symbolic. I was pretty surprised that no one responded to this for awhile but I guess it goes to show that not a lot of services have such deep symbolism, or at least, people don’t know what it is if it’s there!
Here is our crowning description:
The crowning of the Bride and Groom signifies the triumphal recognition that the couple will be king and queen of their new household, with the royal dignity of a Christian family life and symbolizes a crown of pride, glory, and honor in each other. The priest takes and makes the sign of the Cross with the crowns three times over the head of Groom and then of Bride, reciting, “The servant of God, (Groom’s name) is crowned to the handmaid of God, (Bride’s name) in the name of the Father, and the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” The priest then places the crowns upon the heads of the couple. The Koumbaro exchanges the crowns from one to the other three times.
And our exchange of rings description:
The Koumbara (if it’s a woman) Koumbaro (If it’s a man) exchanges the rings three times taking Bride’s ring and placing it on Groom’s finger and vice versa. The exchange of the rings by the Koumbara signifies that in married life, the strengths of one partner will complement the weaknesses in the other; there will be mutual support and common strength in the new family.
Do you do everything three times too? I have never been to a Russian Orthodox ceremony, I imagine it is quite similar? Do you walk around the table three times too?