Marriage Ceremony

Excerpt from the book Our Macedonian Orthodox Church by Lubica Dimov Georgeff

Blessing of the Rings

The priest blesses the rings while making the sign of the cross above the bride and groom and saying "The servant of God (groom's name) is pledged to the servant of God (bride's name) in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit." After the Godfather exchanges the rings three times between the bride and groom, he finally places the ring on their fingers. This symbolizes the complete togetherness as they are made perfect in God's eyes.

The Candles

While candles (representing cleanliness and purity) are prepared at a specialty store or made by tying large bowls with steamers on the candles and attaching silk flowers on them. The bride and groom each hold a lighted candle throughout the ritual as a reminder of Christ, who is with them, shining brightly on their lives.

The Joining of Hands

The couple joins their right hands as the priest reads the prayers asking God to make them one in spirit and flesh and reward them with the joy of children.

The Crowning

The crowns are the sign of the glory and honor of God's kingdom. The bride and groom are to be respected as king and queen in their home and family. The Godfatherexchanges the crowns three times, representing the Holy trinity.

The Common Cup

After the crowning, the bride and groom share a common cup of wine, symbolizing of everything they will have in their life together—joys as well as sorrows—and that they will bear one another's burdens.

The Ceremonial Walk

The priest leads the bride and groom by walking around the table, on which the Gospel (containing the word of God) and the Cross (symbol of our redemption by Christ) are placed. The married couple, wrapped together in a white linen cloth, take their first walk as husband and wife, proclaiming God and the church's joy in their union. This expresses their Christian living to be pure, joined together in a perfect orbit around the center of life, who is Christ our Lord.

At the conclusion of the service, the bride and the groom are announced as husband and wife. Removing the crowns from their heads, the priest blesses them again. "Be magnified, O Bridegroom, as Abraham, and blessed as Isaac, and increased as Jacob, walking in peace, performing in righteousness the commandments of God." Then, looking at the bride, he says, "And you, O Bride, be magnified as was Sarah, and glad as Rebecca, and increased as Rachel, rejoicing in your husband, walking in the paths of the law; for so it is well pleasing unto God."

The church does not preform wedding services during days of fasting