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Greek Wedding Ceremony
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 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 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 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.