Posted by admin on June 24, 2012
A brief description of an INK wedding: The groom stands in front of the altar and waits for the bride. The church choir sings in their white robes and the procession begins in the following order: the flower girl, the ring bearer, bridesmaids and best man, the sponsors and the last is the bride and her father or guardian. The sponsors are limited no more than five pairs. In fact, a pair is sufficient enough. Likewise, choosing a maid of honor from a different religion is tolerated.
Noticeably, the difference from the Catholic wedding are: only traditional wedding music can be played particularly the wedding march; there are no wedding symbols such as the arrhae, wedding cord and the lighting of the candle and the ceremony is very solemn taking only thirty (30) minutes to complete.
Since it’s a wedding ceremony, a bit of leniency is observed as compared to a “pagsamba”, namely the church service where the males are seated at one side and the females at the other side. In general, depending on the minister of the locale the preference of a dress attire rather than jeans or slack is the code observed strictly by women during a church service. But a little consideration from the minister is given during such matrimonial ceremony.
The bride and the groom sit in front of the minister. And the minister together with the congregation in attendance prays the profession of faith for the couple. He reads the church doctrines and delivers the sermon.
The sermon is the most solemn and important part of the service dealing with the importance of marriage in accordance with their doctrines and beliefs. The minister, also, reminds them of God’s word on the couple’s marriage duties and obligation to one another as husband and wife.
After which, the couple exchanges wedding vows and rings, and given the benediction. At the end of the ceremony, the sponsors sign the marriage contract.
The service for a wedding ceremony is free of charge and is conducted in Filipino.
The INC is conducted in a temple’s locale, the term referred to as the ecclesiastical district where either the bride or the grooms reside. But, it can also be conducted at the Central Temple, located along Commonwealth Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City.
But scheduling for a wedding date should be done at least a year to be accommodated. And a confirmation must be needed if such a slot or the wedding date can be granted to the couple.
Attending such wedding ceremony is a privilege if one is not a member. If one is invited by an Iglesia ni Cristo member, the solemnity of the atmosphere as well as the cleanliness of the temple both inside and out is something to be envious about.
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Under the Mosaic Law, the Almighty distinctly announced the dignity and obligation of the holy state of matrimony. Afterwards under the Christian law, our Divine Redeemer sanctified the state still more and from the natural and civil contract raised matrimony to the dignity of a sacrament.
And St Paul declared it to be a representation of that sacred union which Jesus Christ has formed with the Church, as spouse. The church is nothing other than the family of God. It is the community of life and love of a Christian family which constitutes the church in a particular home.
For Catholics, let it be known that the Sacrament of Matrimony has three (3) essential properties; unity, indissolubility and openness to life.
Unity. Unity or monogamy that a spouse cannot marry more than one person at the same time. Polygamy, the state of having more than one spouse, is contrary to conjugal love which is by nature undivided and exclusive. In St Mathew 19:5 states, “A man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife and the two shall become one flesh”.
Indissolubility. A marriage valid and consummated cannot be dissolved by any human authority but by death. In St Mathew 19:6 states: “What God has joined together, no human being must separate.” But, the present, between Christian spouses the church allows separation for very serious reasons but the state of divorce is forbidden.
Openness to Life. This gives sanctity to the conjugal act and sexual intimacy and not to the carnal desire to satisfy the needs of the flesh. This means that the spouses should procreate and educate children according to the will of God. Referring to a reading in Genesis 1:28,”Be fertile and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it,” is the essential end of marriage. Hence, no one should be without a family in this world. Children are the supreme gift of marriage and they contribute greatly to the good of the parents themselves. Spouses to whom God has not granted children can nevertheless still have a conjugal life full of meaning by engaging in charity, hospitality and sacrifice.
These are what make a couple as one in the mystical grace of matrimony. Granting inwardly of one heart and one mind, paying due honor to each other, united in love to the Lord Jesus Christ and to each other; living together in peace and holiness, as faithful members of the Catholic Church; denying ourselves and being a mutual help, comfort and support to each other all the days of marriage life.
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Marriage is a sacrament because the covenant between the spouses signifies the union of Christ and the Church. The Sacrament of Matrimony gives spouses the grace to love each other with the love with which Christ has loved his Church.
St Paul under Ephesians verse 22-33 states: Let women be subject to their husbands, as to the Lord; because man is the head of the woman, as Christ is Head of the Church: Himself is Savior of His Body. But as the Church is subject to Christ, so also women to their husbands in all things. Husbands love your wives, as Christ also hath loved the Church and delivered Himself up for it that He might sanctify it, cleansing it with the laver of water in the word of life, that He Himself might present to himself a glorious Church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that it may be holy and without blemish. So also the men ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He, who loveth his wife, loves himself. For no man ever hated his own flesh but he nourishes and cherishes it, as also Christ the Church; for we are members of His body, of his flesh and of his bones. For this cause man shall leave his father and mother and shall cleave to his wife and they two shall be one flesh. This mystery is great, but I say I Christ and in the Church. Nevertheless, let you also severally each love his wife and he loves himself and let the wife fear her husband.
It is exactly for this Bible passage that the real ministers and primary characters of the Sacrament of Marriage are the spouses. The priest only assists in administering the rites. The priest simply receives the consent of the spouses and bestows the blessing in the name of the church, which Christ has loved.
Likewise, the writings of St Paul strongly inculcated these duties to those entering marriage to have only worthy and holy motives for each other. Further emphasizing, that couples to frequently reflect on the duties and obligations as imposed in the word of God.
The holy sacrament of matrimony was instituted by Almighty God in the beginning of the world and under the law of nature had a particular blessing annexed to it. Marriage is such a sublime sacrament that it signifies the eternal life in paradise. A paradise analogous to the earthly paradise to be initially experience on, till death do us part.
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This is a do it yourself or “DIY” design to save on cost and to be able to create one of a kind personal wedding invitation. With a computer, printer and available resources in the market an invitation need not be expensive to come up.
An engraved invitation is in the best taste, however its cost can be prohibitive.
For stationery, choose the best quality paper stock available. The price difference over next best is small compared to the net effect. Paper in white, ivory or eggshell kid-finish (or any un-shiny surface) is best, with watermark, makes an even happier choice.
Parchment type paper is fine too. Pastels have a sentimental appeal such as, yellow, pink, baby pink, light yellow or any color that could be able to make it light.
The traditional format of an invitation is 8 3/8” x 11 1/4.
The typeface of letters can be done by your computer. Only script type is considered appropriate for traditional wedding invitations. Script type stands in for handwriting, as originally, invitations were handwritten.
Extra care should be taken in proofreading the invitation as final proof. Any typographical error that appears on the printed is something that is unforgivable, especially the spelling of a person’s name. The wordings may be ornate or direct according to the couple’s taste.
Whether written in English or Filipino is one’s option, as long as the message of invitation is clearly conveyed to the guests.
RSVP (French for “please reply) is usually for regrets only. It’s a thoughtful gesture to advice whether one will be attending. The host couples need to know how many of the invited guests will actually turn up.
Other novel forms can be devised by couples, either by original or non-traditional wordings. As a reminder, care should be taken that no ambiguity creeps in while departing from the conventional in the wordings of your invitation.
As experienced writers say, “KISS”, keep it simple but smart.
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The wedding entourage refers to the auxiliaries at the ceremony, those who precede the bride in the processional form from the church door to the altar.
They are the principal sponsors, the maid of honor, the secondary sponsors, the bridesmaids, the ushers, flower girl(s) and ring and coin bearer(s).
The maid of honor is an honorary role reserved for the bride’s sister, the groom’s sister or the bride’s best friend. Her role is to attend to the bride, particularly, arranging the train of the bride’s gown at the church’s aisle towards the altar and at the recessional.
The veil sponsors role is to drape a veil to cover the bride’s head and the groom’s shoulder. After the veil has been placed, the cord sponsors lay a cord in the form of the figure (8) eight over the shoulders of the bride and groom. Lastly, the candle sponsors, light the (2) two candles beside the bride and the groom.
It is a charming sight to view the children taking part in the solemn ritual, also all dressed up for the occasion. The tots are girls for carrying the flower, so named as flower girls and boys carrying either the ring or coin and both, so named as bearers.
There are variations on the traditional processions and they are based sometimes on church rules. If a couple prefers a variation in the processional sequence, seek approval from the church before the wedding day. Not on the day itself, to avoid confusion and arguments with the church traffic director.
Years ago, the groom does not walk down the aisle towards the altar. But times have changed that leading off in the processional is the groom, accompanied by the parents. The best man does not join the processional but stands beside the groom by the altar and steps aside when the groom takes the bride’s hand from her father’s.
Thereafter, the sequence is as follows: in single file the ring and coin bearers, the flower girls; the bridesmaids as escorted by the same number of ushers, the pairs of secondary sponsors; the pairs of principal sponsors and finally the maid of honor.
Lastly, the bride walks down the aisle accompanied by her father on the right and by her mother on the left hand. Before reaching the altar, the father kisses the bride and gives her hand to the groom who is waiting at the end of the aisle. After paying due respect to the bride’s parents, the couple will proceed to their special place before the altar.
As a general rule, the bridal entourage is normally drawn in equal numbers from the side of the bride and groom. But, decisions based on preferences and circumstances, is still the rule of the thumb in determining the numbers to be part of the wedding entourage.
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The following images with its symbolisms are not descriptions of divinity in which the institutions of the church and the religious had built the wedding culture. As a new generation is born, the ideals presented are products of one’s imagination on the present reality of how these images look.
Marriage Rites Symbolism
THE BRIDAL PROCESSION - signifies the handing over of the bride to the groom for the purpose of forming a new family and the transitional phase of maidenhood to motherhood of the bride.
THE WEDDING GOWN AND VEIL - this symbolize purity and innocence of thought of a woman in giving her free will in accepting the man’s offer of marriage. In today’s trend it is a fact that virginity is no longer a requisite for a man to ask the hand of the woman for marriage.
THE BOUQUET - this symbolizes womanhood. Born a natural woman. A creation of a Universal Being with a definite role and function in humankind. After the wedding reception, nowadays, it is for this reason that the bouquet is tossed to the maids to wish them, too, good luck for their future marriages.
THE JOINING OF THE HANDS – during the exchange of the marriage consent, the spouses join their hands to signify their total commitment to one another.
THE WEDDING RINGS - symbolize the everlasting love and fidelity of the spouses. The circular shape represents the circle of love that has no beginning or end.
THE ARRHAE - the coins that the groom place on the hands of the bride symbolize the sufficiency and equity of material possessions that spouses should provide for the material needs of the family.
THE UNITY CANDLES - two lighted candles on both sides of the couple symbolize the light to guide their path into their married life.
THE MARRIAGE VEIL – by covering her head, the bride reserves her beauty exclusively for her husband alone.
THE CORD – which is placed in 8-shaped around the couple’s shoulders, symbolizes that the responsibilities of married life should be carried together; moreover, it signifies the unity and indissolubility of marriage.
THE SHOWER OF RICE AND CONFETTI - as the newly married couple leaves the church, the wedding guest’s shower on them rice and confetti to wish them prosperity in life.
THE GARTERS - were introduced as a symbol of modesty. Nowadays, after the wedding, the groom will toss the garter to all single men for good luck. The catcher then places the garter on the leg of the maid who caught her bouquet.
THE WEDDING CAKE - symbolizes prosperity and fortune.
THE WHITE DOVES - as it is set free symbolizes purity and innocence as well as a sign of peace to the whole world.
The foregoing symbols give form and life bearing in mind the meaning and significance of the ritual, the absence of which tends to take matters as a wedding for granted.
It is with hope that placing meanings to the symbols will keep the matrimonial ceremony engaged and excited to all couples bound for the altar and take to heart the sum and substance of it.
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God parenting at a marriage requires a base of established kinships or friendship of long standing, one presupposing mutual care and concern and not one necessitated on a personal or family interest as called for by occasion.
The bride and the groom to be, usually consult their respective parents in drawing up the list of sponsors. They might be close elders such as a favorite aunt, uncle or close family friends. Most of the time this is where involvement of parents sometimes leads to a clash with their son’s and daughter’s as to their preference or choice of sponsors. There will be arguments when parents insist that a certain person be included in the list of sponsors. One need to compromise to severe misunderstandings, so make sure your choice is justified.
As sponsors, the “ninong” and “ninang”, Filipino words attached to terms of endearment for a close person are supposed to be second parents or counselors to whom the young couple may run for succor or guidance. At core, it is a very special relationship. Being a sponsor at a marriage then carries with it some moral responsibility and obligation for the young couple.
However, the principal sponsors’ original function by the dictates of matrimony are to stand for all intents and purpose, as witness to the marriage.
Strictly, then, a marrying couple only needs two sponsors. The present, the culture of wedding witness, as sponsors have evolved into the general thinking of: “the more of them the merrier.”
Sponsors are usually chosen for certain specific qualities: such as a spring of worldly wisdom from which the young would imbibe, for character traits, or achievements worth emulating, or for being models of respectability.
In reality, what validates and perhaps, the main consideration in the choice of principal sponsors is the expectation of an expensive wedding present or gift likely to be received. Particularly, if the sponsor and the young couple are very close, gifts offered wholeheartedly are on a personal level.
Always bear in mind that the end result of a wedding ceremony is the married life. It is happy to note that aside from the parents and close friends, your choice of “ninang or ninong” are close by to assist either financially or emotionally.
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This is a declaration of blessing after marriage. The priest sprinkles the spouses with holy water and extends his hands to give his blessing in behalf of the Roman Catholic Church. The following is the priest’s declaration of nuptial blessing:
“Holy Father, creator of the universe, maker of man and woman in your likeness, source of blessing for the married life, we humble pray to you for this woman who today is united with her husband in this sacrament of marriage.
May your fullest blessing come upon her and her husband so that they may together rejoice in your gift of married love and enrich your Church with their children.
Lord, may they both praise you when they are happy and turn to you in their sorrows. May they be glad that you help them in their work and know that you are with them in their need. May they pray to you in the community of the Church and be your witness in the world.
May they reach old age in the company of friends and come at last to the kingdom of heaven. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Now that you have received the Holy Sacrament of Matrimony, I admonish you to remain faithful to one another.
To the bride, love your husband and be a good housewife; persevere in faith and love and holiness.
To the groom, love your wife as Christ loves his Church and live with her in the holy fear of the Lord.
Now bow your heads and pray for God’s blessing. May Jesus, who was a guest at the wedding in Cana, bless you and your families and friends.
May Jesus, who loved the Church, to the end, always fill your heart with love.
May he grant that, as you believe in his resurrection, so you may wait for him in joy and hope.
And may the almighty God bless you all, the father and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.”
The foregoing declaration is an official blessing rite of a priest to spouses. Though official in manner, it is best to seek approval from the church before printing to form part of your personal missal in the wedding ceremony.
In like manner, it is best for young couples to be wed to read, absorb and understand the content of the priest’s declaration of blessing in order to give a spiritual perspective to the married life the couples are about to undertake. To state directly, that marriage is no laughing matter to be taken for granted. Admittedly, due to the anxiety and excitement attendant to the wedding ceremony the words as said by the priest are not really understood by the spouses and the congregation in general.
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Each wedding is different, but there is always the challenge to make these differences stand out given the economics of the time. The following is still considered a formal wedding with a limited guest list of from (50) fifty to a (100) hundred, in a well appointed church and a venue for the function itself.