Wedding Traditions From Around The World Explained
By Nathan T. Lynch
Many nationalities have their own wedding traditions. The people of Ireland have their own distinct traditions that make it easy to distinguish an Irish wedding from weddings of other cultures. The traditions include Claddagh rings, superstitions, a special toast, as well as kilts and bagpipes.
One of the most important aspect of a Catholic wedding is the location. Many couples may wish to be married in an outdoor ceremony but it is important to realize that an outdoor wedding would not be recognized by the Catholic Church. The purpose of holding your wedding ceremony is to demonstrate that you are seeking God’s blessing and influence in your marriage.
For this reason the Catholic Church does not recognize any marriage ceremonies that are held outside of a church. While you will still be legally married in accordance with all state guidelines your marriage will not be recognized by the church.
Traditional Irish weddings also adhere to several unusual superstitions in an attempt to ward off bad luck. A rain or overcast day might be cause for concern at a traditional Irish wedding. This is because one of the strange superstitions is that the sun must shine directly on the bride to ensure that the couple will be blessed with good luck. Birds also factor into some of the traditional Irish superstitions. Hearing a cuckoo bird or seeing three magpies are also considered to be signs of luck for the couple.
Another Catholic wedding tradition requires that previous marriages receive an annulment before the couple can be married in the church. Even if the previous marriage was not held in the church or recognized by the church, they still require an annulment before they will perform a marriage ceremony. In this situation a divorce decree is not enough. The previously married party will have to seek an annulment that verifies that the previous marriage was not valid.
The music of a Catholic wedding also holds quite a bit of tradition. While religious music is encouraged, many churches will allow secular music as long as it is approved by the priest prior to the wedding. Although there are many beautiful love songs that have been written over time, it is important to understand that since a Catholic wedding takes place inside of God’s domain, many priests are hesitant to allow any music that might be offensive. They take extra precautions to ensure that the music will be appropriate and that guests will not be offended. The easiest way to avoid this problem is to not include secular music in a Catholic wedding.
The guests then respond to the toast with the following answer: “On this special day, our wish to you, the goodness of the old, the best of the new. God bless you both who drink this mead, may it always fill your every need.” “Friends and relatives, so fond and dear, ’tis our greatest pleasure to have you here. When many years this day has passed, fondest memories will always last. So we drink a cup of Irish mead and ask God’s blessing in your hour of need.” The guests respond: “On this special day, our wish to you, the goodness of the old, the best of the new. God bless you both who drink this mead, may it always fill your every need.”
Both parties do not have to be Catholic in order to have their wedding recognized by the Catholic Church. It is required, however, that at least one member of the couple be an active member of a Catholic Church. The non-Catholic party, however, is required to participate in the required pre-marital counseling in order to ensure that the church will recognize the union. Additionally, if either party was married previously, they would have to seek an annulment before they could be married in the church.
In order for a marriage to be recognized by the Catholic Church it is important to adhere to certain traditions. These traditions include location, music selections, seeking annulments for previous marriages and participating in church sanctioned counseling sessions.
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