The traditional Christian marriage puts a lot of emphasis on creating the ideal Christian family, which honours God the Father, Jesus Christ the Son and the Holy Spirit, and will raise children who will be ideal Christians. As such, a Christian marriage is considered a sacrament, and a covenant (promise) between Man, Woman, and God. Readings from the Bible, singing of hymns by the Church choir and the priest’s sermon form an important part of the traditional Christian wedding.
1) The traditional Christian marriageis an intricate affair, with precise rituals. It is generally conducted in the church, and presided by the priest of that church
2) The traditional marriage begins with the priest welcoming the family members, parish members and guests to the wedding ceremony. He gives a short speech about the importance of marriage and reminds everyone present that marriage is a covenant between God, Man and Woman.
3) He then asks the couple if either of them is being forced to marry. Once they say no to this question and confirm their willingness to be married, the priest asks who will be giving away the bride. Generally, it is the parents of the bride or another close relative who does this. After this person confirms his/her role, the ceremony continues.
4) Stressing once again on the importance of marriage, the priest reads from the 13th chapter of Corinthians. The priest then asks the couple to make the traditional pledges to each other, followed by exchanging the rings. He then blesses the couple and introduces them to the gathering for the first time as husband and wife.
5) The traditional ceremony can also include a Wedding Mass, which is first act of joint prayer by the couple.
In contrast, the modern Christian wedding is slightly less formal. Even though it is religious in nature, it avoids excessive rituals.
1) The modern Christian marriage can happen in any venue. The priest or an ordained minister conducts the wedding ceremony.
2) As in the traditional wedding ceremony, the officiant begins by welcoming the guests and declaring the purpose of the ceremony. He also leads a prayer, invoking God’s blessings upon those present. He then explains the importance of marriage and its respective duties to the couple
3) The couple then say their pledges. These can be traditional pledges or a simplified form of them. Some couples even choose to write their own pledges, but most will stick to the known format. They then exchange rings.
4) In a modern Christian marriage, there is generally no closing prayer. The officiant declares that the couple is married and presents them to the gathering
With changing times, Christian marriages have been transformed to suit the changing tastes and preferences of people. However, the constant theme is that it is God who has brought the couple together to serve the almighty as a married couple
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