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Region: England, Wales and Northern Ireland

RE:QUEST

A space for resources to help RE teachers and their students explore the Christian faith

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Rites of Passage: Weddings

What happens at a Christian wedding ceremony?

The bride walks to the front of the church with her father and her bridesmaids. She is wearing white as a symbol of purity.
The bride's father gives her over to the groom. This is because the Bible speaks about the couple leaving their parents in order to join together in marriage (Matthew 19:5).
The couple make promises to each other in the "wedding vows". "Will you take (this woman) to be your wife? Will you love her, comfort her, honour and protect her, and forsaking all others be faithful to her for as long as you both shall live?" "I will."
They give each other a wedding ring. The unbroken circle of the ring is to remind them that their wedding vows should also never be broken.
The Minister prays for the couple and ends by saying, "What God has joined together, let man not separate." What do you think this means?
There is a reading from the Bible about marriage, which may be explained in a short talk by the Minister.
Christian songs are sung about God's love.
The marriage register is signed by the Minister, couple and witnesses. This is a legal document, and a copy of the marriage certificate is given to the couple.
For Catholic Christians, marriage is a sacrament. They will now share in the Mass - the first thing that the couple do together at the start of their married life. Why do you think they do this?
The church bells may be joyfully rung as the couple leave the church together under a cloud of confetti.
There is usually a wedding reception where the meal is followed by traditional speeches and the wedding cake is cut and shared.