While most Protestant churches have similar marriage ceremonies, each sect has its own practices and traditions. WeDo Services is quite familiar to denominational subtlties. From Baptist to Episcopalian - WeDo is equipped to go over the regulations of the church and / or denomination you choose. Some churches may have restrictions against certain music, the use of candles, or photography. And many churches will require both of you to attend pre-marital counseling sessions with a clergy. WeDo Services does offer its WeDo Pre-Maritial Study, should you desire.
Interfaith marriages are accepted in most denominations and sects, as long as one partner is a baptized member of that sect. In the case of divorced persons, a "church judgement" as well as civil divorce papers may be requested.
In Protestant wedding ceremonies the bride is typically escorted down the aisle and given away by her father or a gentleman elder of the family. If he is not available, a brother, relative or close friend may escort her, or she may choose to walk down the aisle alone. The marriage vows end with "till death do us part." And many go on to finish the wedding ceremony with the Lords' Prayer.
Marriage being one of the seven sacraments to our Roman Catholic brothers and sister, most parishes require pre-marital counseling so the couple can prepare for their life together. (WeDo Services offers a Pre-Maritial Study - upon request). The Church discourages weddings from taking place on Sunday or holy days and after 6 p.m. on Saturdays. They also require that traditional vows be said, although slight changes may be possible as longs as the meaning remains the same. The most traditional and religious wedding ceremony is one that takes place at high noon-a Nuptial Mass. You may also want to include one or both of the following symbolic rituals: the bride places the bouquet at the shrine or statue of Mary while a prayer is said, or you both light one larger unity candle from two smaller ones to signify your new life together.
In the case of an interfaith marriage, a priest will usually agree to co-officiate with a Protestant minister. WeDo Services has several ORDER OF SERVICE programs that the Bride and Groom can review.
The churches of the Eastern rite, including Russian and Greek Orthodox, are similar in many ways to the Catholic tradition. Interfaith marriages are allowed, providing the non-Orthodox party is baptized Christian. Remarriages are also acceptable if religious decrees of annulment have been received, followed by a civil divorce.
EASTERN ORTHODOX CEREMONY
The Orthodox ceremony is long and full of symbolism. It usually takes place in the afternoon or early evening, but not during seasons of fasting or certain holy days. The wedding ceremony begins with a betrothal ritual in which the rings are blessed, exchanged three times to signify the Holy Trinity and than placed on the bride's and groom's right hands. At the end of the betrothal ritual, two crowns are placed on the heads of the bride and groom and are exchanged three times. A Gospel is read; the couple drink from the same glass of wine three times. This signifies their everlasting love and commitment to share both the happy and sad times in marriage.
Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform are the three groups within the Jewish religion, with the Orthodox being the strictest in following the Jewish law. Conservative falls in the middle, while Reform is the most liberal of the three. The Jewish wedding may take place at any time, other than on the Sabbath, major festivals, or other holy days. It may not take place during the 49 days between Passover and Shavout, with the exception of the 33rd day.
The wedding ceremony ends with the reciting of the Seven Blessings (which by the way is a beautiful reading for any ceremony! The bride and groom drink the blessed wine from a glass; the glass is wrapped in a napkin, and then smashed beneath the groom's foot. "Mozeltoph!" is the yiddish word to bless this celebration by all - is one belief. However, there are different beliefs for the act of smashing the glass. One represents an expression of sadness over the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem in 70 A.D. This is to remind the bride and groom of their obligation to rebuild Zion, and that even in the midst of the festivities; they must not forget that life is not all happiness.
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