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        Roman Catholic Marriage
Roman Catholic Marriage
Roman Catholic Marriage
Marriage
can be broadly defined as a social union or legal contract between people that creates affinity. It is an establishment. in which interpersonal relationships, usually intimate and sexual, are acknowledged in a variety of ways, depending on the culture or subculture in which it is found. Such a union, often formalized via wedding ceremony, may also be called matrimony. Marriage is a natural institution, common to all mankind. In the most basic level, marriage is a union between a man and a woman for the purpose of procreation and mutual support, or love. Each spouse in a marriage gives up some rights over his or her life in exchange for rights over the life of the other spouse
. In the Catholic Church, however, marriage is more than a natural establishment; it was elevated by Christ Himself, in His participation in the wedding at Cana, to be one of the sacraments. A marriage between two Christians, therefore, has a supernatural element as well as a natural one. While few Christians outside of the Catholic and Orthodox Churches regard marriage as a sacrament, the Catholic Church insists that marriage between any two baptized Christians, as long as it is entered into with the intention to contract a true marriage, is a sacrament.
Roman Catholic Rituals before wedding:
The pre-wedding rituals of a Catholic Wedding ceremony are listed below.
Roman Catholic Engagement:
Initially the groom and his family visit the bride's house. The bride and the groom exchange engagement rings blessed by the priest which only indicates the beginning of a period during which the boy and girl get to know each other. The marriage can be done after few months.
Roman Catholic Preparatory Course :
The bride and groom attend a Marriage Preparatory Course and they can choose between a one-day and a three-day course. They are required to fill in a form declaring details of their lives and take an oath on the Holy Bible that they have not withheld any information. They must also produce their baptism certificates. The priest declares the decision of the boy and girl to marry for three consecutive sundays. In case one of the parties has hidden some information, anyone can let it be made public during this period. The couple may marry only after the culmination of the three-week period.
Biblical Reading
The ceremony consists, of three biblical reading, now a days at least one biblical reading it should be must in before wedding date.
Bridal Shower :
The Bridal Shower ceremony is to be performed by the bride's family. The Bridal Shower is basically the last party the bride gives as a maiden to her female friends and relatives. This is given as a token of appreciation for all the bridesmaids. During this ceremony, the bride gives gifts to the bridesmaids and serves a pink cake with a thimble hidden inside. Legend goes that the girl, who gets the piece of cake with the thimble, will be the next to marry.
The Bachelor Party:
The Bachelor Party is a stag party hosted by the bridegroom on the eve of the wedding. The groom enjoys his last night as a bachelor.
At the Church :
On the wedding day, the bridegroom reaches the church first .As the bride arrives at the church, the best man - from the bridegroom's party - greets her with a kiss and her wedding bouquet. The couple is then lead into the Church by the priest. In the church, the choir welcomes the bride and the groom with a special song. Two decorated chairs are placed in front for the bridal couple.
The Wedding Mass:
The priest begins the ceremony. He welcomes them into the Church and offers them his good wishes. The wedding mass begins with hymns and selected readings from the Bible. The couple and their close relatives come up to the podium and read previously selected passages from the Holy Bible. Then the priest deliver a lecture with an emphasis on the sanctity of marriage
. Roman Catholic Wedding Rituals
The wedding rituals followed in Catholic Wedding ceremony are listed below.
The Nuptials :
This takes place in front of at least two witnesses. Here the priest asks a few questions that the couple must answer honestly. He asks them if they have come of their own free will to give themselves to the other in marriage. They must also answer in the affirmative when asked if they will honor and love each other as husband and wife for the rest of their lives, if they will accept children from God lovingly and bring them up according to the law of Christ and His Church
. The Solemn Promise :
The bride and the groom are asked to join their right hands (symbolic of union). Then they individually declare their intention to take each other as man and wife with the famous lines "I, x (name), take you, y (name), to be my lawfully wedded wife. I promise to be true to you in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health, till death do us part". The bride repeats the phrases with certain changes. The priest blesses them and tells them that "What God has joined, man must not divide"
. Ring Exchange :
The priest blesses the joined hands with the Holy Water and also the rings so that the couple that wears them will have deep faith in each other, do the Lord's will and always live together in peace, good will and love. Then the couple put them on each other's fingers with these words - With this ring I thee wed, in the name of the father and of the son and of the holy spirit, Amen". At this point, the priest pronounces them man and wife. The groom may now kiss his new bride
. Prayers :
The couple brings offerings like The Bible and rosaries; a house made of thermocol, candles, and flowers, fruits that are symbolic of a happy married life. The priest blesses them and he then gives them bread and wine which stand for the body and blood of Jesus Christ. The congregation jointly recites the, Our Father, a Biblical prayer and then congregation receives Holy Communion
. Nuptial Blessing and The Recessional :
The mass ends with the signing of the register, which serves as a valid legal document of marriage. The copy of this document is sent to the Registrar of Marriages. The couple poses for photos . Nuptial masses are accompanied by a choir, which sings specially chosen joyful hymns.
Post -Wedding Reception
A reception is held to celebrate the wedding.A grand feast is organised. The couple cut the wedding cake and feed each a bite of the first slice. The Toastmaster proposes a toast in honor of the newly-weds. The bride and groom get the evening going with their first dance'. Their dance is followed by the bride and her father / groom and the bride's mother, the bride and the best man/ the groom and the maid of honor, the bride and the grooms father / the groom and his mother. After dinner is over, the couple leaves the reception. At this juncture the bride must throw her posy of flowers behind her and the girl who catches it will be the first to marry, according to popular belief.