Posted by admin on June 16, 2012
This is the heart of the wedding ceremony. This is the liturgical part where parties express their free consent and volition to take each other as husband and wife. And without this consent, there is no marriage.
The following marital rites are taken, officially, from the Roman Catholic Ritual.
Priest; Dearly beloved N and N, you are here today to seal your love with an eternal bond before the Church. I assure you of the prayers of the community that God pours his abundant blessing on your love and help you carry out the duties of the married state. (Addressing the congregation), dear brother and sisters, may I ask you to help them with your prayers and accept them as a new couple in our Christian community.
Priest; May I now ask you to answer truthfully the following questions. (To the bride), Did you come here of your own free will to bind yourself forever in love and the service of your husband?
Bride: Yes, Father
Priest: (To the groom), did you come here of your own free will to bind yourself for ever in the love and service of your wife?
Groom: Yes Father
Priest: Are you both ready to raise as good Christians the children whom God will give you?
Bride & Groom: Yes, Father
EXCHANGE OF CONSENT
Priest: N and N, since you wish to contract Holy Matrimony, please join your hands and express your intention before God and his Church.
Priest: (bride), do you take (groom) here present, for your lawful husband, according to the rite of our Holy Mother, the Church?
Bride: Yes, I do.
Priest: Do you give yourself to him as his wife?
Bride: Yes I do.
Priest: Do you accept him as your lawful husband?
Bride: Yes I do.
Priest: N (groom), do you take N (bride), here present, for lawful wife, according to the rite of our Holy Mother, the Church.
Groom: Yes, I do.
Priest: Do you give yourself to her as your husband?
Groom: Yes I do.
Priest: Do you accept her as your lawful wife?
Groom: Yes, I do.
Priest: Now please recite together this prayer
Bride & Groom: Grant us , O Lord, to be one heart and one soul, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part.
CONFIRMATION OF THE MARRIAGE BOND
Priest: And I, by authority of the Church, calling on all those present here as witness, confirm and bless, the bond of marriage which you have contracted. In the name of the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Under the doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church, this gives testament, that the spouses, indeed, are the “real ministers” of the Sacrament of Marriage. The priest’s role is just to assist in the ceremony and receives the consent of the spouses. In addition, the priest gives its blessing and recognition in behalf of the Roman Catholic Church.
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Historical knowledge is vital to bring back awareness to a once civilized ancient wedding tradition, uniquely Filipino in nature. Let it not be said that we are copycats in our wedding rites, as influenced by Spanish and American culture. But due to the Spanish legacy the happy wedding times of our ancestors is now a thing of the past.
The following illustrates once upon a time the beauty of our pre-Hispanic wedding ceremony for everyone to recall.
With the dowry agreed upon, presented and offered by both families of the bride and groom, the next step is setting the date of the wedding. The wedding ceremony takes three days every with every member of the clan involved in the preparation.
On the first day, the bride and the groom are carried separately in a procession moving towards the “babaylan’s” (a high priest) house where the wedding rites take place. The priest joins their hands on a plate of raw rice and blesses them. This is followed by the start of feasting until the next day.
On the next day, the groom and bride are again before the priest and this time a blood compact is performed. With a thorn at hand pricks their chest to draw a little blood. He later joins their hands and bade them declaring thrice their love for each other. He then feeds them cooked rice from the same plate and makes them drink from the wooden cup of the blood drawn from both, mixed with a little water.
Binding their hands and neck together with a cord, he declares,” This man is now one with the woman. Let all of you be witnesses to this union.” Like the exchange of rings in a Christian ceremony, the couple then gave each other a jewel. This ritual called “talingbuhol”, signaled the completion of the wedding and the start of yet another round of wedding feasts anywhere from one to two weeks or for as long as the grooms largesse held out.
On the last day of feasting the bride, ceremoniously bathed by her godmothers and decked again in her wedding finery, is solemnly and finally delivered to her husband in their new home.
To the new generation of young couples, take heed, the customs our ancestors once performed and practiced deserves fond memory. Keeping in mind what our national hero, Dr Jose P Rizal, once said: “it is necessary to open the book that tells the story of the past.” Knowing the past is akin to knowing our identity, as a Filipino.
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Dearest Daddy and Mommy,
It is this chapter of my life that I shall value years from now. Being far away from home has its advantages as well as disadvantages. But in the long run, it seems that the former overcomes the latter. I have experienced what is to be alone and what loneliness really means. Yet, I am now more independent and take pride in this. Away from home, I have been able to look life from another perspective. On the whole, I have learned to be more pragmatic and realistic about certain things.
At this point, entering into the married life, it is too early to tell what I shall do a year from now, where I shall be, or what shall happen. But whatever happens, I feel confident of myself. This confidence stems basically from everything I have experienced. The happiness as well as pain and most importantly, from my experience living with you as my parents.
I remember my childhood, adolescence and early stages of adulthood with you, and of all these have enriched me as a person. The times when as a family we would go off to Baguio, Tagaytay, etc. But now, as I look back, I treasure these memories. The times when Daddy would put us up on the horses in Baguio and you, Mom and Dad would patiently watch us go riding for hours. The times when we went shipping, shopping, biking. The times when Mommy had to cook for all our parties, and when Daddy would go downstairs at night to watch the full moon at the front yard only to find out we’re all following him to also wonder about the moon’s beautiful shape. When you both played Santa Claus and I caught you, but never let on that we knew. These are memories I shall always cherish, look back to and find strength in, when things get rough along the way.
I also think back and note all the big and small things you have done for us, the trials you have gone through to make us happy, and all the pain you have endured because of us. As I look back with tears in my eyes, and heaviness in my heart due to guilt as well as homesickness, I want to thank you and say, I am truly sorry for every pain and heartache you have had to endure because of us.
Yet yours is a true example of parenthood. It is unselfishness, coupled with understanding, or at least trying to understand which counts so much to a child when she looks back.
I hope years from now, I can emulate these values as a parent for the sake of my children. Thank you Mom, Dad, for molding me as a good person…
I love you and will miss you,
Your daughter Isabel
For parents, it pains to see one’s daughter about to be betrothed than a son. The anxiety of a daughter marrying someone considered as an alien to a family. So, to ease the pain it will perhaps be splendid for a daughter to write a personal letter expressing affection to parents before the wedding day.
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The present, the age of technology has stamped out writing letters to a friend, or relatives, most especially to your children. The unique standards of writing a letter on stationery, the feel of textured paper, personally handwritten, and your own penmanship cannot be duplicated by the present electronic mails.
But as a parent, a father and mother at that, seeing the value of writing a letter to a daughter about to be given away for marriage, cannot pass up the chance to write one using the old fashion art of communication.
My dearest Isabel,
You are about to unfold and enter into an important stage of your adult life. The decision to enter a union that is most sacred and most serious. By tomorrow it is in your midst with your conscious awaiting.
Choosing a married life which you are about to undertake is a task difficult at the start. For you, this is a voyage to the unknown, a voyage far more difficult than probably the voyage, we have undertaken by the intrepid adventures of the past that sailed into the unchartered seas with nothing but the courage and faith to guide us by.
Yes, life is an adventure, the most exciting and the most perilous of them all. You can win it or you can lose it, but how well you can come out of it depends entirely upon you… Your character, formed and nurtured by us, your family shall be your tools that you will need to cope with life. The rest is up to you, in the quality of your choice in decision making, your common sense, and your zest for overcoming great barriers. The adventures of life, that is.
Having said that you can now look forward to a life of marriage. Also, I now give you my advice as guide posts to your new adventure.
First, begin deciding now how you will fulfill your long life. Because of the boundless freedom of current society, it is important to decide now what you value most in life. And you must begin to draw the pattern of your life accordingly. Having this pattern, you can anticipate trouble before it arises, and decide how you are going to handle it.
Secondly, decide on your values. You must try to examine yourself now and find what it is you’re most ardent wish to be done in creating and sustaining a blissful family life.
If it is a career in combination with your married life you want, then now is the right time to decide and schedule your next years with your goal in mind.
Thirdly, there are few past times more pleasant than building castles in the air. It is normal with the young but you must have in preparation for life, to build on something less airy and substantial. In other words, have a plan. Plan for your career and family wisely… Plan for your future… And don’t forget to pray…
Best wishes, my unica hija…
Your loving parents,
Daddy and Mommy