Christians believe that marriage is a gift from God. It’s a partnership of love that celebrates the union of the wife and husband-to-be, but also to bring honor and glory to God. Christians believe that if you made God as the center of your relationship, your marriage will be stronger and happier.
Every year, millions of Christians all over the world, solemnly vow before God and their families and friends. But before the couples finally say their “promises and I Do’s”, some things must be considered first in the preparation of the Christian wedding ceremony.
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The Christian Wedding Ceremony
Today, there are so many elements and styles being incorporated in modern wedding services. Wedding coordinators allow the couples to decide what they want to do in order to make their wedding ceremony more meaningful. But while there are different variations when it comes to Christian wedding ceremonies, couples opt to follow the basic wedding program. If you have an upcoming wedding, you might like to check this guideline to know what to expect on your big day.
The first part of a Christian wedding ceremony is the prelude. Special music is played while guests and other witnesses are arriving and taking their seats. This usually lasts between 10 and 20 minutes prior to the start of the actual wedding ceremony. The music may be live or recorded.
The next event after the prelude is the processional. This is where the wedding participants march along the aisle and take their respected seats. Generally, the bride and groom’s grandparents are seated first, followed by the groom’s parents and the bride’s mother. Then, the groom and minister/priest enter. If the groom’s men are not escorting the bridesmaids, they march together with the groom and minister. And as they take their place, the processional of bridesmaids and maid of honor begins, which is then followed by the ring bearer and flower girl. Finally, the bride walks down the aisle escorted by her dad. The processional is usually accompanied by a wedding song, which is chosen by the couple.
Minister Greetings and Introduction
After the wedding march is the introduction and a sermon delivered by the minister. The importance of marriage based on the Bible teachings is imparted. The minister also speaks something about what the Bible says about the role of a husband and a wife. He ends this with a prayer, asking for God’s blessings and presence.
Giving Away the Bride
Next comes the “giving away of the bride” portion of the ceremony. The minister will ask: “Who gives this woman to be married to this man?” The father or both the parents will either say “I do” or “We do”. Then, the father may give his daughter a quick kiss and the groom a handshake or hug. If the father or the parents of the bride and groom are not present, a close relative is invited to fill the role.
Groom and Bride Exchange
Then, it’s time for the bride and groom to exchange their pledges and vows. This is where the bride and groom say their “I Do’s” and promises to each other. The vow usually starts with, “In the name of Jesus, I ______, take you ________,” but it can also be personalized to make it more meaningful. After the exchange of vows is the exchange of wedding rings.
Lighting of a Unity Candle
This part is optional, but most Christian couples choose to add this invent as it symbolizes unity and love. In this section, the bride and groom go together to a candle station and light a unity candle, while a song is being played.
Typically, two taper candles are placed on the side of the unity candle. To start the lighting ceremony, the couple picks their individual candles and lights the large candle in the center of the station (the unity candle). The bride and groom may also pray quietly as a song is being played or a scripture is being read. Then, they blow out their candles as a sign of their permanent union.
Pronouncement of Marriage
After the candle is lit, the couple is then pronounced as husband and wife. Then, the minister asks everyone to bow their heads to give his closing prayer.
This is definitely one of the most anticipated parts in the wedding ceremony – the kiss! After the couple is pronounced husband and wife, the minister gives permission for the groom to kiss his bride. As the couple kisses, the guests applaud for the newly wed.
After the Christian wedding ceremony, it’s time to leave the church and go to the reception. As the bride and guests exit, a special music (typically chosen by the couple) is played.
This is the most basic Christian wedding ceremony guide. But remember, the Bible tells no specific instruction on how a wedding ceremony should be held, so you can always add your own preference to make it more meaningful, memorable, and fun.