The sacrament of marriage is one of the most beautiful and joyous sacraments of the Church. It has been taking place for 20 centuries, starting from the apostolic times, and consists of two parts - the rite of betrothal and the succession of the wedding. However, over the past ten centuries, it has undergone significant changes and has become much shorter.
It is interesting that earlier the betrothal was not a church act, but a civil act, which was performed in a solemn atmosphere and with a large crowd of people. The rite of the sacrament itself also changed significantly, and only in the 16th century. finally rooted in the form in which it is known today.
Preparing for the wedding
The wedding is accompanied by certain preparations and not even so much household ones. First of all, this concerns the catechism conversations that the priest must conduct with those entering into marriage. It is often believed that this communication is formal, but its function is quite different: to warn young people about the possible dangers and pitfalls that may await them in marriage. Thanks to such conversations, you can once again, as if from the outside, look at the relationship and your chosen one, and think how balanced the decision to unite in marriage is.
If, after conversations with the priest, there is no hesitation left, the bride and groom must agree with him about the day of the wedding.
In addition, those who are getting married need to receive the blessing of their parents, fasting and communion on the eve of the sacrament.
When planning a wedding, it is important to know that it is not held during Great, Christmas, Dormition Lent, on the eve of Wednesday and Friday throughout the year, as well as on some other days.
How is the sacrament of the wedding going on and how long does it last?
The sacrament of marriage begins with betrothal. It takes place at the very entrance to the temple or in its vestibule. The priest blesses the bride and groom with lighted candles, which he then gives to them; then prayers are read. After that, the priest brings from the altar the rings consecrated on the throne: one is worn by the groom, and the second - by the bride, saying: "The servant of God (name) is engaged to the servant of God (name) …" and vice versa. In total, the rings are changed three times, after which special prayers are read again and the wedding begins.
Standing in front of the analogue, the priest tells the newlyweds about the essence and meaning of Christian marriage, and always clarifies whether the desire to enter into it is mutual. And the question “Did you not promise to another (to another?)” Implies not only a direct promise given to someone by one of the newlyweds, but also other moral obligations that can make a wedding impossible.
When mutual consent is obtained, the priest performs a wedding, consisting of reading prayers, laying crowns, drinking from a common thicket.
In ancient times, crowns were removed only on the 8th day. At the same time, the crowns, of course, were not made of metal, but of wood that did not fade for a long time, so that they were comfortable to wear.
At the end of the wedding ceremony, the young people are presented with a cup, from which each one in turn drinks three times.
When the bride and groom drink from the cup, the priest joins their right hands and leads the newlyweds around the lectern three times. Then he takes off the crowns and says the first and, perhaps, the most important parting word in their family life, united not only before people, but also before God.
In each church, the sacrament of the wedding takes place in a different way and on average lasts about 45 minutes. If the young people are crowned by a well-known priest, the sermon may take a little longer - then the wedding will last about 1 hour.
A wedding is not only one of the most amazing sacraments, but also deeply symbolic, where every detail has a special meaning. For example, the crowns that are placed on the heads of newlyweds symbolize not only the attributes of royal power and dignity, but also martyrdom and self-denial. After all, every marriage (no matter how happy it is) is, first of all, a feat.