The wedding bending with the Greek Orthodox service is an ancient and beautiful ceremony.
The wedding ceremony is full of symbolism it is surely quite different from other weddings in Western Europe.
Bride and groom do not make vows to each other, their presence together in the church means that they are serious about getting married.
The groom waits for the bride at the entrance to the church holding her floral bouquet. He hands it to her as they meet and they then go inside together followed by the guests.
Usually guests wait too with the groom outside the church until the bride arrives.
The wedding ceremony is in two parts: the Service of Betrothal and the Ceremony of the Sacrament of Marriage.
The exchanging of rings is the main part of the Service of Betrothal. The priest blesses the rings by holding them in his right hand and making the sign of the cross over the heads of the bride and groom. The rings are then placed on the third fingers of their right hands. The "Koumbaro," the coupleís religious sponsor, then swaps the rings over between the bride and groomís fingers, three times. A number of rituals in the ceremony are repeated three times and this symbolizes the Holy Trinity: God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
The Ceremony of the Sacrament of Marriage consists of several parts. First, some prayers and then, the priest joins the right hands of the bride and groom. Their hands remain joined until the end of the wedding ceremony, which symbolizes the coupleís union.
Then bride and groom are crowned with thin crowns, or "stefana," which are joined by a white ribbon and have been blessed by the priest. The crowns symbolize the glory and honor that is being bestowed on them by God, and the ribbon symbolizes their unity. The "Koumbaro" then exchanges the crowns between the heads of the couple, three times.
A reading of the Gospel follows the crowning then wine is given to the couple and they each drink from it three times.
The priest then leads the couple, which are still wearing their stefana, three times around the altar on their first steps as a married couple. The "Koumbaro" follows close behind the couple holding the "stefana" place. At this point the couple is usually showered with rice.
When the Ceremonial Walk ends, the priest blesses the couple, the crowns are removed and he then separates their previously joined hands with the bible, reminding them that only God can break the union which they have just entered into.
Italian Lakes Wedding can help you arrange all types of weddings: a valid civil wedding, religious wedding, catholic or protestant, symbolic or orthodox ceremonies or a simple blessing.
There are necessary papers to be drawn up and presented to the local authorities. These documents vary according to the type of ceremony and the nationalities of the bride and groom.
Italian Lakes Wedding has long experience in working with these documents and can guide you smoothly through the process.
For more information please contact us.
The insider's guide to wedding on the Italian Lakes - Destination weddings Italy - P.I. 01144000039