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Describe the main features of a marriage service

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Introduction

Part (a) Describe the main features of a marriage service The traditional Christian marriage ceremony takes place in a church, as it is seen as the House of God, so this symbolizes that you are making promises in the presence of god. To begin the ceremony, the bride's friends and family are seated on the left-hand side pews of the church, and the grooms friends and family are seated on the right. The groom stands at the front of the church by the altar. The altar is an important internal feature in a marriage service and on it a white cloth is placed on top to represent the purity and also Jesus' Turin shroud. Also there are usually some flowers, which represent fertility, purity and eternal love, candles which represent two lives joining to become one and a bible. After everyone is seated and in place, the bride enters the church traditionally with her father leading her down the aisle, an organ is the typical instrument used throughout a marriage ceremony. ...read more.

Middle

,this will be followed by the priest asking the congregation if there are any objections to the marriage. If a reason is presented it must be serious one, for example one of the couple is underage (you must at least 16 with your parents permission otherwise you wait till your 18). A hymn or bible reading may take place after depending on the couple's choice of service. Then the priest will ask both of the couple if they will take their partner to be their husband/wife to live together in the covenant of marriage. 'Will you love her/him, comfort....'The priest then asks the congregation to witness these promises and to do everything in their power to help them uphold them, there must be at least two witness present to make the marriage legal. Then the vows take place, which are made while the couple join their right hands together, as it traditionally believed the right hand is the hand of good faith and the left of bad. Traditionally the Christian vows contained a promise that the bride would always obey her husband (Wives submit to your husbands as to the lord.....Ephesians 5.22), but now the vows have been modernised to show the equality of the couple. ...read more.

Conclusion

The rings are placed on the fingers saying 'I give you this ring as a symbol of my love, and with all that I am, and all that I have, I honour you, in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy spirit and of the Holy Spirit.' Next comes the blessing, the priest asks the couple to kneel and he blesses them, giving them God's grace. Christians believe that God offers the gift of grace to make the marriage work. The priest then pronounces them Husband and wife and they sign the register in the vestry registering their marriage, making it legal (marriage certificate on next page). The bride and groom then leave the church together. They arrive separately and leave together. Marriage services can vary from denominations, for instance Orthodox services exchange rings at the engagement, and instead the couple wear wedding crowns which are joined together by a ribbon which represent the unity of the couple and the presence of Christ who blesses and joins the couple. Also Orthodox couples take their first walk as a married couple around the church in a circle. The represents Christians living in a perfect orbit around Jesus. ...read more.

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