A brief description of many of the common Christian wedding traditions, the wedding ceremony, and aspects of the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony.
Lighted candles are a sign of faith in a Christ as the light of the world. The candles are the lamps of the five wise maidens of the bible. Who because they had enough oil in them, were able to receive the bridegroom Christ when he came in the darkness of the night. The candles symbolize the spiritual willingness of the couple to receive Christ who will bless them through his sacrament. Thus, we have chosen to light the Unity Candle.
Symbolizes the heavenly realm; River of God, sanctification, healing, life-giving, flow of the Holy Spirit. The color helps to open the lines of communication between the heart and the spoken word. It presents as a happy and friendly color enjoying life. It recharges our spirits during times of mental stress and tiredness, alleviating feelings of loneliness.
Symbolizes loyalty, creativity, gentleness, wise love, sensuality and generosity. Moves energy gently, awakening to wisdom within oneself. Coral is a very good color for depression.
Ivory symbolizes purity, holiness and virtue, as well as respect and reverence. It also symbolizes unification, quiet and pleasantness with a touch of luster.
Ephesians 5:23-32 reveals that earthly marriages are a picture of the church’s’ union with Christ. God initiated the relationship through Christ, who called and came for his bride, the church. Christ is the groom, who established the blood covenant first initiated by God. For this reason, the groom enters the church first.
The white wedding dress has a two-fold significance. It is a symbol of the wife’s purity in heart and in reverence to God. It’s also a picture of the righteousness of Christ described in Revelation 19:7-8. Christ clothes his bride, the church, in his own righteousness as a garment of “fine linen, bright and clean.”
Not only does the bridal veil show the modesty and purity of the bride and her reverence for God, it reminds us of the Temple veil which was torn in two when Christ died on the cross. Through marriage, the couple now has full access to one another. (1 Corinthians 7:4)
As seen in the blood covenant, the two individuals would join together the bleeding palms of their right hands. As their blood mixed, they would exchange a vow, forever promising all of their rights and resources to the other. In a wedding, as the bride and groom face one another to say their vows, they join right hands and publicly commit everything they are, and everything they possess, in a covenant relationship. They leave their families, forsake all others, and become one with their spouse.
While the wedding ring is an outward symbol of the couple’s inward bond, illustrating with an unending circle the eternal quality of love, it signifies so much more in light of the blood covenant. A ring was used as a seal of authority. When pressed into hot wax, the impression of the ring left an official seal on legal documents. Therefore, the couple wears a wedding ring, they demonstrate their submission to God’s authority over their marriage. The couple recognizes that God brought them together and that he is intricately involved in every part of their covenant relationship.
A ring also represents resources. When the couple exchanges wedding rings, it symbolizes the giving of all their resources-their wealth, possessions, talents and emotions-to the other in marriage. Remember, in the blood covenant, the two parties exchanged belts, which form a circle when worn. Thus, the exchanging of the ring is another sign of their covenant relationship. Similarly God chose a rainbow, which forms a circle, as a sign of his covenant with Noah. (Genesis 9:12-16)
The pronouncement officially declares that the bride and groom are now husband and wife. This moment establishes the exact beginning of their covenant. The two are now one in the eyes of God.
When the minister introduces the couple to the wedding guests, he is drawing attention to their new identity and the name change brought about through their marriage. Similarly, in the blood covenant, the two parties would exchange some part of their names. In Genesis 15, God gave Abram a new name, Abraham, by adding letters from his own name, Yahweh.
A ceremonial meal was often a part of the blood covenant. At a wedding reception, guests are invited to share with the couple in the blessings of the covenant.
The cutting of the cake is another picture of the cutting of the covenant. When the bride and groom take pieces if the cake and feed it to each other, once again, they are showing how they have given their all to one another, and will care for the other as one flesh. In this wedding, the cutting and feeding of the cake will be done joyfully, but lovingly and reverently, in a way that honors the covenant of our relationship.