Religious Wedding Ceremonies
There are different religions which are practiced by the folks worldwide and they follow certain religious customs and traditions when it comes to an important occasion such as a wedding. Religious wedding ceremonies differ from religion to religion and are conducted by the priest, officiant or the mullah; whoever is appropriate according to the religion in question. The basic difference between the other wedding ceremonies and the religious wedding ceremonies is that they are officiated by the religious authority.
Let's have a look at the various religious wedding ceremonies in brief:
Christian Wedding Ceremony:
A Christian wedding ceremony is presided over by the member of clergy. This ceremony typically consists of rituals such as the processional, the giving away of the bride, acceptance from the bride and the groom, the kiss and the recessional. Marriage is considered as one of the seven sacraments of the Christianity. Hence, it is officiated by a member of clergy and considered legal only if a church member presides over it.
Steps in Christian Wedding Ceremony:
- The processional
- Ring Ceremony
- The kiss
- Pronouncement as the husband and wife
- The Recessional
Hindu Wedding Ceremony:
A Hindu Wedding Ceremony is presided over by the priest among the religious chants in front of the sacred fire, which is considered as the holy witness of the ceremony. Marriage in the Hindu religion is considered as one of the sixteen sacraments. A Hindu wedding ceremony typically consists of the engagement, giving away of the bride, tying the sacred thread in her neck by the groom, encircling the sacred fire seven times to seal the marriage for the seven incarnations of the bride and the groom, sending the bride away and welcoming her to her new home by arranging a small worship function by her in-laws. A Hindu wedding is a union of two fami8lies rather than two individuals.
Steps in a Hindu Wedding Ceremony:
- Welcoming the groom
- Giving away the bride
- Sacred Fire
- Seven Circuits
- Seven Steps
- Tying the sacred thread
- Applying Vermilion
- Entering the new home
Islamic Wedding Ceremony:
The main part of this wedding ceremony is the signing of the marriage contract with the mullah or maulvi (holy man) as the witness. The celebration starts with the feast and ends with the acceptance from the bride and the groom.
Steps in an Islamic Wedding Ceremony:
- Walima (feast)
- Signing of the marriage contract
- Acceptance by the bride and the groom
Jewish Wedding Ceremony:
A Jewish wedding ceremony is heavily traditional. It typically consists of match-making by holy men, the engagement, signing the marriage contract, ring ceremony and seven blessings, which are a crucial part of this ceremony. They have a glass-breaking custom, which signifies the seriousness of the breaking of temple at Jerusalem and the tragedy that befell the Jewish folks after that.
Steps in a Jewish Wedding Ceremony:
- Signing of Marriage contract
- Ring Ceremony
- Seven Blessings
Buddhist Wedding Ceremony:
A Buddhist wedding ceremony is basically a worship to Lord Buddha and the declaration of the union by assuming Him as the prime witness. It is a personal function rather than a religious ceremony.
Steps in Buddhist Wedding Ceremony:
- The Proposal
- Exchanging Gifts
- Decorating the Altar
- Lighting the Candle in front of the idol of Lord Buddha
- Panchashila, Tisrana and Vandana (religious chants and prayers regarding the well-being of the couple and prayers of Lord Buddha)
- The Offerings
- The Water Blessing
However, a large number of couples opt for religious wedding ceremonies every year.