Five Religions and a Wedding

Five Religions and a Wedding

Table of Contents
1. Introduction
2. Christian Wedding
3. Judaist Wedding
4. Hindus Wedding
5. Buddhist Wedding
6. Islamic Wedding
7. Conclusion
8. Works cited

Introduction
Traditionally, wedding played an important role in social and religious life of people representing various cultures and having different religious beliefs. It is necessary to underline that, basically, wedding ceremonies may vary considerably but their essence remains similar. In this respect, it should be pointed out that historically, the wedding ceremony was closely related to religion. Naturally, different societies have different religious beliefs, cultural norms, traditions, which actually make the wedding ceremony a unique ceremony typical for the particular community due to the uniqueness of its traditions and beliefs. Nevertheless, it is necessary to underline that, regardless the variations in the details of the ceremony, its essence, its public message remains similar for different societies.
In this respect, it is possible to refer to the major religions which are the most widely spread in the modern world, such as Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam. Obviously, these five religions are very different and often some of their beliefs are quite contradicting to those of other religions but, nevertheless, they preserve some ideological unity in relation to wedding. In fact, this unity and similarity of wedding ceremonies are basically determined by the deep rooted traditions and beliefs which originate from the epoch prior to the appearance of the five major religions and which reveal the unity of mankind and similar way of thinking and perception of reality of different people.
Christian Wedding
Speaking about wedding ceremonies in different religious communities, it would be logical to start with the Christian ceremony since, nowadays, this is one of the most widely spread religions which is typical for practically all representatives of the Western civilization. It should be pointed out that Christian wedding, to a significant extent have similar principles that other religions have. To put it more precisely, it is possible to single out the idea of pre-wedding engagement, the use of veil in the wedding ceremony, the close connection of the wedding to the deity, or God in Christianity, the public recognition of the ceremony, the role of parents, the unity of groom and bride, blessings and greetings.
Naturally, Christian wedding ceremony is really unique in its practical realization but its principles may be viewed as universal. First of all, it should be said that the traditional Christian wedding starts with the engagement which may be viewed as a pre-wedding ritual, which originates from the 13th century tradition initiated by the Pope Innocent III (). Initially, the engagement was introduced as a chance for a couple to have some time to think over their decision to get married before the wedding ceremony which in the past was perceived as an irrevocable decision of two individuals to link their lives forever. Nowadays, the engagement is often viewed as an ordinary ritual prior to the wedding.
As for the wedding ceremony itself, it should be said that there are some attributes which are used not only in Christianity but in other religions as well. For instance, the use of veil may be interpreted in different ways but traditionally it is used a symbol of “sanctity and exclusiveness of the marriage covenant and reminds the couple and the witnesses that the physical relationship is to be entered into only after the vows are completed” (). It is worthy of mention that unveiling may vary since it may be done either by one of the parents of the bride or by the groom that is also quite symbolic since it also implies the purity of the bride and the unveiling may be viewed as a sort of initiation.
By the way, it is worthy of mention that parents actually play a special role in the wedding since they are always honored and highly respected that is supported by numerous symbols and acts in the ceremony. Along with the unveiling, it is possible to name special seating for parents.
Furthermore, as in many other religions, the wedding is viewed not only as a civil but also as a sacred process in Christianity. What is meant here is the fact that the wedding is not simply accompanied by religious attributes but it is also based on the holy ground since the wedding implies not only a public recognition of the marriage but mainly the divine recognition of the unity of two individuals. In this respect, a white aisle runner may be viewed as a symbol of walking on holy ground.
Also, it should be said that Christianity, as well as other religions, views the wedding and marriage as the process of uniting a bride and a groom. In fact, there are a lot of symbols that emphasize such a unity. For instance, there is a traditional ring exchange, or sharing of a cup of wine, or breaking of bread, and others. In such a way, a bride and a groom acts together sharing their responsibility, happiness, love being practically inseparable parts of the same unit, the family. At the same time, the wedding ceremony also symbolizes the change of the official status of a bride and a groom when they are officially proclaimed a husband and a wife.
Finally, the Christian wedding ends with blessings and greetings which are supposed to be a kind of basis of the future life of the couple. These blessings and greetings are supposed to bring happiness and strength to the unit of the couple.