Marriage is the union of two hearts, of the husband and wife, and their families with a commitment to share the love and happiness. The wedding ceremony differs among religions and cultures and the ceremony reflects the couple’s culture and beliefs. Christian wedding is very unique in terms of the customs which are based on the cultural beliefs they follow. Christian wedding is considered as a covenant relation. The word covenant means a formal or binding agreement which is made cutting an animal into 2 parts. This ancient tradition has a deep impact on the Christian wedding ceremony. The two parties entering into a covenant walk between the two halves of the animal and meet at the centre, considered as holy place.
Christian wedding traditions
- During Christian weddings, the family and friends of the two sides sit on opposite sides in the church. The bride and groom, as part of the pre wedding ceremony, walk from the centre aisle symbolizing the covenant’s true spirit.
- The white runner used in the marriages represents the holy ground where the hearts are united.
- The groom enters the church first, representing the Christ establishing the first covenant.
- The bride’s father escorts the bride in the wedding ceremony. This represents the father’s message that he is presenting his daughter as a pure bride and approving of the man who is marrying her. It also represents the blessings of the parents and transfer of the responsibility and care to the husband.
- The white wedding garment of the bride symbolizes her purity and of her heart.
Significant traditions representing the culture
Many other wedding traditions are followed during Christian weddings signifying the practices and beliefs of the Church, the Christ and the Bible.
- The husband and wife join their hands, speak out their vows and join their hands. This is a tradition followed from the ancient covenant relations where the two sides join their hands.
- The exchange of wedding rings signifies the couple’s submission of their marriage to the God, who has made the husband and wife together. It also is a modern version of the covenant’s practice to exchange belts, in circle shape, symbolizing the submission of all their wealth to the opposite party.
- The removal of the bridal veil which means the couple has full access to one another now.
- The pronouncement of the bride and groom as husband and wife signifies their exact beginning of being together.
- The reception after the marriage invites the wedding guests to share the blessings of the relation.
- The cutting and exchanging of the wedding cake showcases the love and care for each other and their readiness to share everything to their better half.
Wedding traditions symbolizing the beliefs
Christian weddings are broadly celebrated in a similar way across different nations. But certain minor differences are observed among different types of Christians. Since these different types differ due to the doctrine or church authority, their inherent beliefs vary resulting in the wedding ceremony differences.