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Greek Wedding Ceremony

Holy Matrimony

Holy Matrimony is a sacrament of the Eastern Orthodox Church in which a man and a woman solemnly swear before Christ, the priest and the congregation to be true to other for life.
The marriage ceremony of the Greek Orthodox Church is steeped in ritual and symbolism. Each of the acts which you will observe solemnized on you wedding day has a special meaning.

The Rings

The rings are blessed by the priest who takes them in his hand and, making the sign of the cross over his head.
The best man then exchanges the rings three times, taking the bride's ring and placing it on the groom's finger and vice versa.
The exchange signifies that in married life the weakness of the one partner will be compensated for by the strength of the other, the imperfections of one by the perfections of the other. By themselves the newly-betrothed are incomplete; together they are made perfect.

The Candles

The wedding service begins immediately following the Betrothal Service. The bride and groom are handed candles which they hold throughout the server. The candle symbolizes willingness of the couple to receive Christ, who will bless the sacrament.

The Crowning

The office of the crowning is the climax of the wedding services. The crowns are signs of the glory and honor. The groom and the bride are crowned as the king and queens of their own little kingdom, the home, which they will rule with wisdom, justice and integrity.
The drinking of wine from the common cup serves to impress upon the couple that from that moment on they will share everything in life, joys as well as sorrows, and that they are to "bear one another's burdens."

The Ceremonial Walk

The priest then leads the bride and groom in a circle around the table on which are placed the Gospel and the Cross, the one containing the word of god, the other being the symbol of our redemption by Jesus. The husband and wife are taking their first steps as a married couple, and the church, in the person of the priest, leads them on the way they must walk.

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