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Christian Marriage Rites


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Bridal shower: It is an informal party organized by the bride’s family or friends and consists of only women. Music, dance, merriment and feasting mark the event

Pre marriage rituals

{mosimage}Engagement:
The engagement is usually held at the brides’ residence. It is a family
affair where only close relatives attend the ceremony. The priest
offers a prayer while the girl and the boy exchange garlands, the Bible
and a ring as a mark of their engagement. The priest delivers a small
sermon followed by a feast for the invitees. On this day the date of
marriage and other details are discussed between the concerned
families.

Preparatory course:
The ritual marks the sharing of each other’s secrets by the prospective
bride and groom. They disclose the minutest details of their lives to
each other and swear by the Holy Bible that they have not concealed
anything about their lives. They are also required to provide evidence
that they have been baptized.


Bridal shower:

It is an informal party organized by the bride’s family or friends and
consists of only women. Music, dance, merriment and feasting mark the
event.


Bachelor’s party:

This is the celebration of groom’s last night as a bachelor, thereafter
he would be a married man. The would-be groom, with his friends, drinks
and enjoys himself. Prior to drinking, a toast is raised as a custom.
The ambience is of great festivity with music, dance and merry making
all night.


Marriage rituals


{mosimage}
Welcoming the bride:

Traditionally the groom reaches the church first and await his bride
there. The best man greets the bride with a kiss and her wedding
bouquet.


The procession:
The procession to the church can be in one of these ways:

The Priest may greet the couple at the door of the church, bless them, and lead them in


or

The bride may proceed up to her waiting bridegroom at the altar on her father’s arm


or

The bride may walk in alone to
her bridegroom at the altar, preceded by first the pageboys and flower
maids, the bridesmaid - best man pairs, and followed by a single
bridesmaid carrying her veil.

The priest then commences the procession of reading psalms from the Holy Bible.

Homily: The priest then delivers a sermon called Homily, which accentuates the sanctity of the wedlock.

Nuptials:
The Homily being over, the priest asks the bride and the groom some
customary questions which both of them have to answer in compliance.
The priest then seeks their consent for the marriage.

Solemn Promise: The bride and the groom then make the Solemn Promise to each other, stating that they will stay together in thick and thin.

Exchange of rings:
This is followed by the exchange of the wedding rings, which are first
blessed by the priest to instill in the couple an everlasting love, an
earnest faith and eternal peace.

Thanks giving: The couple then offers a thanksgiving prayer to the Almighty.

Nuptial blessings:
The priest then pronounces them man and wife. The ceremony comes to an
end with the priest giving the final blessing to the couple. The
gathering then showers their blessings on the newly wed.

The registration:
The last formality is the signing of the church register by the couple
and the priest. This is a documentary evidence that the wedding had
taken place in the church on the given date and time. A copy of the
signed page is also dispatched to the Registrar of Marriages.

Post marriage rituals


The departure:

The bride and the groom followed by the gathering walk out of the
church. On reaching the entrance and before heading for the awaiting
vehicle, the bride throws her bouquet behind her. It is believed that
the girl who catches the bouquet is the next to get married. The couple
then head for the awaiting vehicle that takes them to the groom’s house.

Reception:
This is a party thrown as a celebration of the wedding. The reception
has an ambience of fun and wild spree with the guests dancing to the
tunes of the band. The couple cut the wedding cake and exchanges a bite
of it. The cake is then distributed amongst the guests. The bride and
groom then waltz together followed by the groom’s parents and then by
all the guests. The dance is followed by the dinner, after which the
bride and the groom take their leave from the reception. If the bride
had not thrown her bouquet at the church, this is when the ritual takes
place.

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Responses to Christian Marriage Rites

  1. 1 Ruth Alana

    Thanks for posting this. It helped me with my homework.

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