further to the fasting/wedding thing
- sorry, I meant to add that during the Orthodox wedding ceremony, the
couple are first betrothed in front of the Holy Doors to the Altar.
At this point they exchange rings, hold hands and are prayed over a
After a while (or nowadays in the same service) the couple stand in
front of the priest and the altar again, and there are some of the
church's LONGEST prayers said over them (I had no idea so many
people in the Old Testament got married - every one of them is
mentioned I'm sure) before they are crowned (crowns of martyrdom
BTW, made from olive leaves or honeysuckle and freesia in our case)
and then there are more prayers before they partake of the Common
Cup of wine (remembering the Wedding of Canaa)and take their first
steps as a married couple in a circle around the table holding the
Gospels (three times). bingo, you're married!
All of this highlights some significant differences and ones which I
think bear comparison with the western catholic practice: all of
this occurs in front of the altar, all of it is solemnized by the
priest, there are no vows to be taken and I don't know, I just think
it feels 'older'. Hmm.
BTW, have you checked out http://www.forest.gen.nz/Medieval where
Maggie Forest (sometime of this list?) has posted a ton of
information on her own beautiful and medieval wedding.