Good Folks, it Friday, January 27, 2017, the last Friday in January. Below are snippets of cultural wedding traditions that I hope you find of interest.
You may have heard of “jumping the broom.” It is a tradition stemming back to the days of slavery when slaves were forbidden from marrying. They created this ritual to represent the beginning of their new life together. African Culture
Traditionally the groom’s family pays for the wedding and the grandparents act as the primary witnesses or sponsors. The bride’s gown is often custom made and both the bride and groom wear white. It is bad luck for the bride to try on her dress before the wedding day and to wear pearl jewelry, which is considered a bad omen. The groom wears a sheer, long-sleeve button-up shirt (barong tagalog) that is worn un-tucked over black pants with a white t-shirt underneath… Filipino Culture
Before the wedding takes place, a bride must participate in a traditional introduction ceremony where she is accepted into the groom’s family. Ducks and geese are animals that are known to mate for life and so in the olden days, the groom would give his mother-in-law a live goose to represent his fidelity, but now the live goose has been replaced by a wooden one. In Korean culture, these animals are the perfect symbols of fidelity and are incorporated into weddings.
Hispanic/Spanish culture is filled with rich traditions. Historically, the night before the wedding, hand lanterns were used to light the way from the groom’s home to the bride’s home. The groom is not allowed to see his bride before the wedding, the groom escorts his mother down the aisle. The flower girl and the ring bearer traditionally dress as miniature versions of the bride and groom. One important part of the ceremony is the arras (gold coins). These are 13 gold coins that represent Jesus and his 12 apostles, which are blessed by the priest and are given to the bride with the groom’s promise to care for and support his wife. The wedding is paid for by different “sponsors” or god-parents who are all recognized in different parts of the ceremony. They are the ones who will carry the arras or the rope (Lasso) into the church. The rope or rosary is another tradition where it is placed over the bride and groom to ensure protection of the union.
The picture is something called “Handfasting.” I have been asked to do a wedding that will incorporate this particular element in the ceremony. Allow me to quote from the website where I found this: The term, handfasting, is from late medieval times, deriving from Old Norse: hand-festa, which means to strike a bargain by joining hands. The notion of a handshake comes from the old tradition of handfasting; and even today, let’s shake on it, can represent a vow of sorts. Similarly, handfasting, represents a commitment in context to a more intimate partnership for a limited time or for a lifetime.
Many can remember when a handshake would “seal the deal.” Now, “sign on the dotted line.” We greet one another with a handshake, hug or both, or a simple greeting with “hello.” The culture of hospitality is invaluable in the church. Welcoming is what we should always be about.
I believe that wedding traditions, as different and diverse as they are, end with an “intimate partnership” that can last a lifetime. God wants the same and calls us to that reality.
Sunday’s sermon will be from Matthew 5, the Beatitudes.
Blessings from Duncanville, Pastor Frank