When planning a Christian wedding we can freely put our imagination up to the hilt for the Scriptures do not closer specify almost any limitations. Yet there are some suggestions that can be proposed in order to put a few essential biblical analogies behind certain sections of the wedding program.
In best case scenario all the wedding preparations should be done at least 15 minutes before actual start of a ceremony. In most weddings family and friends of the bride and the groom sit on the opposite sites of the church. Unknowingly this is also a practice which roots can be traced back to the Old Testament (Gen. 15:9-10) when Abraham split animals into half arranging their heads opposite to each other leaving space in the middle1. In a similar way many participants made many sacrifices to make this day possible, supporting the couple until this point. Next the center aisle symbolizes the holy ground on which two lives come together2. Now when the actual ceremony is about to start the entire pre-ritual program such as preludes and songs should end about five minutes before. When everything is ready the first item on the list is seating the parents who in the old times had responsibility of discerning whether the choice of the spouse is Gods will or not. By seating them into eminent positions everyone can see their blessing over the soon united couple. Also the following first coming of a Groom denotes Christ coming for his bride, for the church here on the earth. When the wedding march begins and Father escorts his daughter he is together with his wife proclaiming that they proudly present their daughter and they entrust her now to the hands of this man with all the care and responsibility over her3; after this the congregation is seated and minister can start the sermon. At some point minister will ask couple to join their right hands which indicates leaving their families behind and becoming one with their spouse4. After wedding vows are done exchanging of rings holds numerous resemblances, yet the most important is the outer declaration of the inner bond made before God, while the pronouncement of husband and wife points at the exact moment of beginning of this covenant. At last throwing the rise can be equated to throwing of a seed which represents fruitful life that freshly married couple is called to live in order to honor and serve God. Congratulations! 🙂
(This rough guide through the wedding ceremony has a likely scriptural ground, however this is to be taken prudently because majority of these similarities do not spring out of elaborated theology but rather simple apparent similitude.)
1 In Genesis 15:9-10, the blood covenant began with the sacrifice of animals. After splitting them precisely in half, the animal halves were arranged opposite each other on the ground, leaving a pathway between them.
2 The two parties making the covenant would walk from either end of the path, meeting in the middle.
The meeting ground between the animal pieces was regarded as holy ground (Gen. 15:9-10).
3 This tradition rather than from scriptures originates from a Jewish tradition.
4 The tradition showed that the two individuals would cut the palms of their right hands and then join these hands together as they mutually pledged a vow, promising all of their rights, possessions, and benefits to the other. Next, the two would exchange their belt and outer coat, and in so doing, take some part of the other person’s name. (Gen. 15:9-10)
written by Peter Makoviíni