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Select one of the Christian rites of passage and explain the differing ways it is celebrated in Christianity

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RE GCSE Coursework Question One Select one of the Christian rites of passage and explain the differing ways it is celebrated in Christianity Marriage The Orthodox Marriage is not seen to unite a man and woman. Rather, it is seen as a sign that God has already begun to work in the couple's lives. It signifies that 'as long as the union remains within the reality of this world, it will be subject to sin, pain, and death.' In the Orthodox service, there is no exchanging of vows, nor is the phrase ''till death do us part' mentioned at any time. If you make the commitment of marriage in this world, the Orthodox Christians believe that it will continue for all eternity in God's Kingdom, even after death. They believe that Christ has destroyed death by His Cross and Resurrection; therefore, the union of man and woman in Christ is eternal. The Orthodox Sacrament of Marriage actually consists of two parts: The Exchange of Rings and The Crowning. The first part of the service takes part in the entrance of the church because this area is seen as the closest part, in a church, to the outside. The couple are prayed for, and the relationship is blessed as one which began 'in the world'. After the blessing, rings are exchanged and are placed onto the right hand (the hand which is normally used for making oaths). The rings symbolise betrothal, agreement, authority and stewardship, and the exchange can be seen to symbolise the compliments which the bride and groom will be giving each other for the rest of their lives. ...read more.


Guests also sign the certificate. This is usually done after the ceremony. Quakers have always seen marriage as a religious commitment, rather than just a legal contract. In 1669, George Fox (1624-1691) described the Quaker view of marriage: "The right joining in marriage is the work of the Lord only, and not the priest's or magistrate's; for it is God's ordinance and not man's ... we marry none; it is the Lord's work, and we are but witnesses." A Quaker wedding is a simple meeting for worship. The couple make a commitment to each other in the presence of God and their friends and family. During the meeting for worship the couple take each other freely and equally as life-long partners, committing themselves to joining their lives together in loving companionship and asking God's blessing on their union. There is no priest to lead them as they make their promises. The wedding will be very informal compared with weddings from other traditions. The bride and groom may already be at the meetinghouse together to greet the guests, and then may quietly slip into the meeting room along with their friends or they may come in when everybody else is seated. In the past, everyone stood as the couple entered but this is less common now. The meetinghouse would look much the same as usual, though it will probably have more chairs and flowers. Near the couple will be a table with the Quaker wedding certificate and a pen. The couple will be dressed simply. Clothing is totally different in a Quaker service to that worn in an Orthodox wedding. ...read more.


Even though in the vows it says 'till death do us part', the belief is that the love will last forever, as in the Orthodox beliefs. The vicar now proclaims that the couple are married and are legally, and in God's eyes, husband and wife. The husband 'may now kiss the bride'. The couple are then blessed and it is prayed that no man should break the bond of the marriage, which has been made before the eyes of God. The congregation then sings as the couple leave them to sign the register in the back room. The register does not have so much religious meaning as it is a legal requirement. Two witnesses must also sign the register as well as the vicar. The couple then returns to the front of the church and another hymn is sung. The vicar speaks the final prayer and then the husband and wife leave the church, followed by the bridesmaid's best man, parents and the rest of the congregation. After the service the Bride is to throw her bouquet behind her, and the person to catch it is, according to tradition, going to be next to find true love and get married. Each of the services has their different characteristics, and each differs to the others. Orthodox is very like the Church of England, but in my opinion, I think that it has more symbolism in it than the C of E. The Quaker ceremony is very different to both. The service is free and unrestricted. Even though it lacks the symbolism and the traditions of the C of E and Orthodox ceremonies, I think that the freedom of speech in it makes the service very special, and every wedding different. Lucy Crabb RE Summer Term ...read more.

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