Pastor Bob Tousey
Unity Candle, Wedding Traditions, Christian weddings
Now that you have given yourselves in marriage it is time to symbolize that Union by lighting the unity candle. Before this ceremony began your mother’s lit individual candles to symbolize your individual lives. You will now take these individual candles and light the unity candle to symbolize your new union. May your life be bright and may your life together be light, may this candle be a symbol of your love.
_____ and ______ , today you joined your separate lives together. The two separate bottles of sand symbolize your separate lives, separate families and separate set of friends. They represent all that you are as individuals. As these two containers of sand are poured into the third container, they are joined together as one. Just as you have been joined today.
CORD OF THREE STRINGS
Visit http://www.godsknot.com To order the cords for this closing tradition
The braiding of the three stands demonstrates how _________ and ___________ are joined by God in marriage. Each strand holds special meaning. The Gold Strand symbolizes that the Lord Jesus has been invited by __________ and ___________ to the position of authority in this marriage relationship. The Purple Strand represents the groom. It illustrates the majesty of God as head over the husband. As ___________ submits himself to the Lord, the Lord in turn will hold the marriage together through him. The White Strand represents the bride. It illustrates the purity of the bride of Christ. As each has received Jesus Christ as personal Savior and Lord, they are cleansed through Christ.
Ecclesiastes 4:12 reads, "Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken."
Today, _______ and _________ have been woven together by God as ONE in marriage!
Your gift to each other for your wedding today has been your wedding rings - which shall always be an outward demonstration of your vows of love and respect; and a public showing of your commitment to each other. You now have what remains the most honorable title which may exist between a man and a woman - the title of "husband" and "wife." For your first gift as husband and wife, that gift will be a single rose. In the past, the rose was considered a symbol of love and a single rose always meant only one thing - it meant the words "I love you." So it is appropriate that for your first gift - as husband and wife - that gift would be a single rose. Please exchange your first gift as husband and wife. In some ways it seems like you have not done anything at all. Just a moment ago you were holding one small rose - and now you are holding one small rose. In some ways, a marriage ceremony is like this. In some ways, tomorrow is going to seem no different than yesterday. But in fact today, just now, you both have given and received one of the most valuable and precious gifts of life - one I hope you always remember - the gift of true and abiding love within the devotion of marriage.
________ and _______, I would ask that where ever you make your home in the future - whether it be a large and elegant home - or a small and graceful one - that you both pick one very special location for roses; so that on each anniversary of this truly wonderful occasion you both may take a rose to that spot both as a recommitment to your marriage - and a recommitment that this will be a marriage based upon love.54 In every marriage there are times where it is difficult to find the right words. That rose says the words: "I still love you." The other should accept this rose for the words which cannot be found, and remember the love and hope that you both share today.
________ and ______, if there is anything you remember of this marriage ceremony, it is that it was love that brought you here today, it is only love which can make it a glorious union, and it is by love which your marriage shall endure."
JUMPING THE BROOM
The tradition of "Jumping the Broom" has both European and African roots. Early Celtics and West Africans practiced this tradition. It is still practiced in some parts of West Africia today. Enslaved Africans, as an affirmation of their cultural heritage practiced it during slavery in United States. This "leap" into a new life (marriage life) as husband and wife is performed in the presence of families and friends. The broom has both symbolic and spiritual importance in the African culture. A special ceremonial broom is used. More information on the ceremonial broom can be found at the link on the www.religiousweddings.org website. The couple holds the broom together and sweeps in a circle as the officiant or family member talks about the significance of the ritual. Then the broom is placed on the floor, the couple joins hands, everyone counts to three and the couple jumps.
________, please face _______ and hold his hands palms up, so that you may see the gift that they are. These are the hands of your best on your wedding day as he promises his love and commitment to you for all the days of his life. These are the hands that will work along side yours, as together you build your future, as you laugh and cry, as you share your innermost secrets and dreams. These are the hands that will passionately love you and cherish you through the years, for a 55 lifetime of happiness. These are the hands that will countless times wipe tears from your eyes; tears of sorrow and tears of joy. These are the hands that will comfort you in illness and lift your chin to look into his eyes that are filled completely with his overwhelming love and respect for you.
________, please hold ________ hands, palms up, so that you may see the gift that they are to you. These are the hands of your best friend, young and carefree, that are holding yours on you wedding day, as she pledges her love and commitment to you, all the days of her life. These are the hands that will give you strength and encouragement to help fulfill your dreams. Together as a team, everything you wish for can be realized. These are the hands that will hold you tight and support you as you struggle through difficult times. These are the hand that will comfort you when you are sick, and console you when you are grieving. They are the hands that will passionately love you and cherish you through the years, for a lifetime of happiness. God blesses these hands that you see before you this day. May they always be held by one another. Give them the strength to hold on during the storms of stress and the dark of disillusionment. Keep them tender and gentle as they nurture each other in wondrous love. Help these hands to continue building a relationship founded in your grace, rich in caring and devoted to reach for your perfections.
May _________ and ________ see their four hands together as a healer, protector, shelter and guide.
Release of Doves
For many centuries, the White Dove has been an emblem of the Spirit, Peace, Love and New Beginnings. The releasing of doves raises our eyes up, and fills our hearts with joy, peace and remembrance. _______ and _______, our wish for you is that your life together will be everlasting, rich and rewarding. May your marriage carry with it all the wonderful qualities that the White Doves represent.
Watering A Unity Plant
"Gardenia flowers mean secret love, purity and joy. Beauty and lovely too are words associated with this flower. Prized for its sweet smell, gardenia flowers are also used in wedding celebrations as wedding symbols, because marriage symbolizes love and purity." And just like the gardenia they are watering, marriage requires constant nurturing and nourishment. As they provide the sun, soil, and water for this gardinia, they will provide the encouragement, trust, and love needed on a daily basis to consciously nurture and nourish their connection to each other.
ETHNIC AND CULTURAL TRADITIONS
Filipino Wedding Traditions
The Priest/Minister then drops 13 pieces of coins (silver or gold) called arras into the Groom's waiting hands, who in turn drops it into the Bride's hands. The Bride then puts her hand above the Groom's then drops the arras into his hands again. The Groom allows the coins to then be dropped into a plate held by an acolyte. The metal tinkling of the coins being passed from one pair of hands to the other, is a distinctive reminder of the groom's promise to take care of his wife materially. The bride in return, by giving back the coins to his hands, convey that what they both earn become part of each other's. The trickling sound also signifies abundance and success in the couple's joint efforts. The husband gives his material earnings to his wife who manages, saves and invests the money wisely, as basic Filipino tradition dictates.
In the Catholic ceremony, the Priest continues with the nuptial mass until the "Sanctus". When the bell for the Sanctus rings, it is also a signal for the veil sponsors to come up to the altar. In Protestant ceremonies, the Minister explains the veil ceremony to the congregation and this constitutes as the cue for the veil sponsors. Together, they pin a veil from the groom's shoulders, extending it to cover the bride's head and shoulders. This is symbolic of the groom pledging his strength and protection to his bride - the wife who he promises to take care of, from this day forward.
The Common Cup
The crowning is followed by a reading of the Gospel, which tells of the marriage of Cana at Galilee. It was at this wedding that Jesus performed his first miracle, changing water into wine, which was then given to the married couple. Wine is given to the couple and they each drink from it three times.
The Ceremonial Walk
The priest the leads the couple, who are still wearing their "stefana", three times around the altar on their first steps as a married couple. The "Koumbaro" follows close behind the couple holding the "stefana" place. The Removal of the Crowns When the Ceremonial Walk has ended, the priest blesses the couple, the crowns are removed and he then separates their previously joined hands with the bible, reminding them that only God can break the union which they have just entered into.