Our idea of typical Christian we imagine a white gown with a beautiful veil, a white dress, tons of flowers, and cute flower girls. Right from the marriage attires to the bridal jewellery, Indian Christian weddings are quite distinct from what we imagine. Christian Weddings are such a lot quite glamorous gowns and a suitor waiting at the altar. Just like all other communities, Christian weddings even have a spread of pre and post-wedding rituals. The Christian marriage rituals are simple, yet elegant, and involve the exchange of the wedding vows by the bride and the groom.
Matchmaking is prevalent within the Indian Christian communities and a bit like the other community within the country. The major Christian population in India is concentrated in South India, North-East India and parts of Konkani coastal areas. In some cultures in South India, this moment is sealed with a discussion of dowry and presenting one another with Betel leaves and areca nut . The ceremony is known as ‘badalchen’.
The engagement is perhaps the most important pre-wedding event at a Christian wedding. After the formal proposal comes from the groom’s side, a date is about for the formal engagement ceremony. This ritual symbolizes the wedding of the girl to the groom. The groom also gifts his bride-to-be with other gifts like clothes, perfumes, handkerchiefs etc. The engagement is additionally announced at local churches and sometimes within the local newspapers.
Following the engagement, the bride’s relatives throw her a bridal shower. Mostly cousins and friends of the bride choose each day and take the bride out for a merry night. It is a practice for the bride to possess a pink cake served to her companions where she has hidden a silver thimble. The friend of the girl who is served the piece of cake with the thimble is believed to be subsequent one getting married. It is the day where the bride gets to do all her favourite things with her girlfriends.
A similar event to the bridal shower is arranged for the groom by his male friends and cousins. It generally takes place each day before the marriage . According to this tradition, it's the last party that's enjoyed by the groom as a bachelor before the wedding . A bachelor’s party begin by raising a toast within the name of the groom for his happy married life, prosperity, healthiness and cute sons and daughters too.
Among the Christians of western and southern India like within the state of Goa, coconut paste is applied on both the bride and therefore the groom rather than turmeric and sandalwood paste. This ceremony that takes place in a number of the Indian Christian communities like Goa or Konkan. The whole ceremony is followed by a roce prayer then dinner with drinks. The Haldaat ceremony of North India is understood as Roce.
Welcoming of the Bride
On the morning of the marriage day, female relatives of the groom visit the bride’s home together with her bridal outfits, some jewellery, trays of dry fruits, sweets and fruits. The priest is to bless the bridal dress before it's handed over to the bride. She is received at the church by the groom’s family and is escorted into the church by the groom’s groomsman . Later, the daddy of the bride escorts her down the aisle on the opposite side of which, her groom patiently awaits her. He hands over his daughter to the groom and showers his blessings.
The Wedding Mass
The wedding mass is one the mandatory Catholic Christian wedding ritual, which begins with the priest reciting hymns because the guests seek blessing for the couple. Following which the exchange of rings takes place and therefore the couple signs the wedding register, legalising their wedding ahead of God and accordance with the law.
The Wedding Vows
The bride and groom then are asked to utter the vows of marriage. In India, the vows are mostly decided by the priest and therefore the couple just utters them after him. They essentially promise one another that they're going to be by each other’s side through all phases of life till death do them part. The vows are messages of affection and respect that they need for every other.
Solemnizing of the Marriage
Among South Indians, there's a further custom where the groom ties a Thali round the bride’s neck. Thali is essentially the Mangalsutra. Next, the bride and groom are blessed by the priest and declared Husband and Wife. And then the couple seals the deal with a kiss and begin their married life on a romantic note. After the marriage ceremony, the bride tosses her wedding bouquet and every one the unmarried girls attempt to catch it. It is said that whoever does, gets married next.
After the marriage , a reception is held where the bride and therefore the groom perform a rehearsed ballroom dancing sequence. This is followed by a family dinner when the marriage cake is cut, and toasts are raised for the newly-wed couple.
Good food and wine are a part of the mix, with vibrant celebration amongst their close friends and family. After dinner, a toast is raised within the name of the newly-weds for his or her happy married life. With a live band and a particular song of the couple, the newly-weds take the lead with their first dance as a married couple. Following this, the next day the newly-married couple head off for their sweet honeymoon.
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