Christians believe that the commitment of love and marriage must be taken in a rather religious setting. Christian matrimony involves the mutual acceptance of the couple in the church amongst friends and family. The wedding celebration is elaborate and follows a general set of protocols.
Explained here is a brief order of marriage practised during a Christian wedding.
The music maybe rendered live or in recorded form. It is a practice that it is used on the set of the wedding celebrations. In some events candles are lit throughout the venue during the prelude.
Procession- Arriving at the venue
The procession indicates the arrival of the couple and important guests at the venue. The minister who is presiding over the wedding enters first. The groom arrives with his best men to the altar from a side door followed by the bridesmaids and ushers. The bride is then escorted down the aisle by her father to the altar where the groom is already waiting. The flower girls and the ring bearer follow the bride.
Greetings and Introduction
When the members of the event have settled in their respective seats, the minister welcomes the guests and states the purpose of the gathering. He briefly introduces the bride and the groom and goes on to talk about the sanctity of marriage and the importance of the vows. He offers a short prayer to God and gives the sermon.
The Pledge is typically a way of assuring that the couple, their parents, their children if any from previous marriages are in support of this union. The minister seeks the consent of every guest in the hall and they reply in chorus saying “We do”.
Exchanging the vows
This event in the Christian matrimony is of utmost importance where the bride and the groom face each other and promise to love and support one another in front of God and the other witnesses present in the hall. While there is a standard set of vows, most couples choose to read out their own.
Exchanging of rings
The promise of the couple to stay with each other through all phases of life is symbolized by the exchanging of rings. The ring is believed to be an outward expression of their eternal commitment to their partner.
Announcement of marriage
The minister now declares that the bride and the groom are a lawfully wedded couple and the wedding venue fills in with happiness. The bride and the groom share their first kiss as the man and wife thus marking the official start of their life together.
The Unity Candle
The couple now seeks the blessings of God by lighting the central candle together. They chant their prayers and seek the holy blessing for a lifetime of happiness and togetherness.
The Holy Communion
Some couples prefer having the Holy Communion as their first act together after marriage. It refers to the act of giving thanks to God and worshiping him as one whole body.
The minister offers the closing prayers to God on behalf of the couple and their families.
The couple, their family and other guests leave the wedding hall in an orderly fashion. The ushers at the wedding help guests exit one row after the other.
Christians believe that marriage is the highest domain of honor and love. A few changes in the order of the marriage may differ from one wedding to another, however the sanctity and the charm of a traditional Christian wedding remains untouched.