Here is one of a few promised wedding posts. I will put them in categories of how the day went. As some of you know, I married and was baptized as a Serbian Orthodox. My husbands family is from Serbia and I made the choice of having our wedding ceremony in Serbian tradition. Our ceremony mostly wasn’t in English, minus the parts in which the Priest spoke to me and I needed to respond. It was quite traditional and also very different from some more common wedding ceremonies. I had to make a large program for my guests with information on all the parts, as it is quite different.
Symbolizing the perpetual light of Christ, and remind the couple that from now on they must shine in virtue and purity with good deeds.
The rings are first blessed by the priest, who holds them in his right hand and makes the sign of the cross over the couple’s heads. The rings are then placed on the 4th finger of the right hands of the couple. The rings are then exchanged between the couple three times.
The priest places our rings on our pinkie fingers, then we place them on each-others right hand ring finger. After the ceremony, we both put our wedding bands on our left finger. This was our choice.
The Joining of the Right Hands
The right hand of the bride and groom are joined when the priest reads the prayer that beseeches God to “join these servants, unite them in one mind and one flesh.” The hands are kept joined throughout the service to symbolize the “oneness” of the couple.
The crowns are said to represent the martyrdom, sacrifice and unwavering devotion. The priest takes the stefana and makes the Sign of The Cross three times over the couple. The crown is then kissed by the groom before it is placed, then the same with his bride. Then the crowns are exchanged between the heads of the couple three times.
The couple will drink wine from a chalice to symbolize that they will be sharing the happiness and sorrows of life together. They do this three times.
The priest will then lead the bride and groom three times around the alter on their first steps as a married couple.
The two people that are walking behind us our the Kume and Kuma. This means Godfather and Godmother. Just like when you are baptized and have godparents, the same happens for a wedding. Usually they are also our bestman and maid of honour, but neither of our closest friends are Orthodox, so we had to ask a family member and our Kume was my husbands Kume from when he was born.
The couple return to their places and the priest, blessing the groom, says, “Be thou magnified, O bridegroom, as Abraham, and blessed as Isaac, and increased as Jacob, walking in peace and working in righteousness the commandments of God.” And blessing the bride he says, “And thou, O bride, be thou magnified as Sarah, and glad as Rebecca, and do thou increase like unto Rachael, rejoicing in thine own husband, fulfilling the conditions of the law; for so it is well pleasing unto God.”
Tying the Knot
Before leading the couple on their first walk together as husband and wife, following in the footsteps of Christ, the priest ties the right hands of the couple together while praying for their marriage, the act signifying their “Oneness” from now on.
It can be a lot for someone who isn’t accustomed to this type of ceremony. But it was very very special. If you are interested in more things regarding this type of ceremony, you could find it here.
And something totally unrelated that makes me smile on a whole different level.