Monthly Archives: November 2015

Different Views Of Marriage In Religion

Marriage, aside from the laws as well as responsibility of the couple, also embodies different religion views. Almost all mainstream religions, such as Christianity, Protestantism, Judaism, and Islam, believes that marriages are a divine practice deemed and blessed by the gods. Most of these religions perform a wedding ceremony to solemnize the beginning of a marriage which can be regarded as a sacred sacrament, contract, a sacred institution, or a covenant.

Christianity
In Christianity, they believe that marriage is a gift from God, one that should not be taken for granted. Christians often marry for religious reasons ranging from following the biblical injunction for a “man to leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife, and the two shall become one,” to obeying Canon Law stating marriage between baptized persons is a sacrament. However, divorce is not encouraged in Christianity, synonymous to Protestantism, in which annulment can only end marriage.

Protestantism
In Protestant views, the purpose of marriage is to glorify God by demonstrating his love to the world. Other purposes of marriage include intimate companionship, rearing children and mutual support for both husband and wife to fulfill their life callings. Unlike Christianity, Protestants generally approve of birth control. Also, most Protestant churches allow people to marry again after a divorce.

Judaism
In Judaism, marriage is viewed as a contractual bond commanded by God in which a man and a woman come together to create a relationship in which God is directly involved. Though procreation is not the sole purpose, a Jewish marriage is also expected to fulfill the commandment to have children. The main purpose of Judaism marriage centers around the relationship between the husband and wife.

Islamic Views
Islam also commends marriage, with the age of marriage being whenever the individuals feel ready, financially and emotionally. Unlike other mainstream religions, Islam views mostly allow polygamy in men, with the specific limitation that they can only have up to four wives at any one time, given the religious requirement that they are able to and willing to partition their time and wealth equally among the respective wives.

Other Religion Views

Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) believe that “marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children.”
Hinduism sees marriage as a sacred duty that entails both religious and social obligations.
In the Bah’ Faith marriage is encouraged and viewed as a mutually strengthening bond, but is not obligatory.

Christian Weddings In South India

The word wedding itself raises spirits in the minds of people. In fact, the very sound of the word wedding gives us a joyous bump. Ever wondered what it is about weddings that enthralls and fascinates everyone. Nothing in this world is so gaily celebrated as this union of man and woman in a ceremony called wedding. Everywhere in the world, different kinds of weddings have different ceremonies, as each culture has its own bunch of traditions and customs, based on their ethic origin.
Similarly, the Christian weddings in South India is a blend of Indian and Western customs since the time Christians in India are Indians who have been converted to Christianity by the British Christian missionaries, when Britain ruled India. Therefore, the Indian Christians, while still sticking to their Indian culture have also incorporated some western customs in their weddings. This jovial mingle of Indo-Western customs reflects on the Indian Christian wedding ceremonies as well! But then, one should not mix the concept of Indian Christianity with Indian Christians with Anglo-Indians whose parentages are a mixture of both Indians and British and they just follow only the western culture and traditions.
Well, talking about weddings, as in all other Indian ethnicities, the Indian Christians too opt for the traditional arranged marriages, though that trend is gradually changing, as the generation of today likes to choose partner on its own.
How the Bride and the brides maids dresses up
The Indian Christian bride is supposed to wear a white or off white saree with or without veil. The brides maids (again in sarees) and the flower girls dresses have to match the color decor of the wedding! However, of late, it has been observed that many brides are choosing to wear gowns and veils for the church service and then change over to the traditional silk sarees for the wedding reception.
On the day of the wedding, just a few hours before the church service, the sisters of groom and his cousins carry decorated trays containing the wedding saree, the veil, a bible, traditional coconuts, dried fruits like almonds, pista, cashew nuts and Indian sweets to the brides residence and place them in front of the bride. The church pastor, who is also present in the wedding, blesses the saree and hands it over to the bride. After that, the grooms group leave for the church where he awaits the bride at the church alter.
The Church Service During The Wedding Day
The wedding service in a Christian matrimonial is conducted just like all the Christian church weddings in the western countries but there is one difference, instead of the ring the groom places the Thali or ‘Mangalsutra’ around the neck of the bride amidst the peals of the church bell. The ‘Thali’ or Manglasutra is a gold chain with a gold pendant in which the symbol of the cross is entrenched. A woman wearing a Thali is a married woman. At times, during the wedding, rings are also exchanged in church. But usually rings are exchanged only during the engagement ceremony. Now, the groom takes the wedding promises holding the gold cross pendant, Thali. Another deviation in an Indian Christian wedding from the western custom is that the groom does not kiss the bride in church as kissing in public is sort of outlawed in India. Finally, the bride and the groom are pronounced as the man and the wife by the church pastor.
After the wedding service takes place, the newly-wed couple walks down the aisle, while the Church Organ plays the Wedding March and the congregation shower rice and flower petals on the couple symbolizing blessings.
After that, there is the usual wedding reception with some usual ceremonies like cutting of cake, proposing the toast to the bridal couple but no dance. Since the Indian christian weddings are a very social event with a huge crowd, dancing and singing are meant for the close family members who dance only when all the guests leave. And then, the couple is forced to drink a glass of milk and banana (a symbol for prosperity and fertility), the couple leaves for their honeymoon. Thats about all regarding the rituals of Christian weddings in South India!

Common Rituals Of A Hindu Marriage

One of the major religions of the world, Hinduism offers a divine definition on the concept of marriage. According to the religious texts and manuscripts, Hindu marriage alliances are not just for one life but continue for seven lives. According to the Hindu dharma, the marriage between a man and woman is a commitment of a lifetime. It is one of the strongest bonds of love and dedication between a man and a woman. Most of the Hindu Marriage ceremonies span for several days. Traditionally, Hindu marriage mantras are in Sanskrit. With times, local language is also used to conduct the rituals though most of the Vedic marriage chants are in Sanskrit. The rituals of the marriage have also changed with times.

The Hindu Marriage has many rituals and ceremonies associated with it. The Hindu communities and castes in India have some common customs and traditions of marriage. There are many pre-wedding rituals in a Hindu matrimonial function the most common of them is the sagaai or engagement. The engagement ceremony is usually a family function with close friends and relatives attending. The girl and the boy exchange rings and vows for long-term commitment ahead. Gifts and sweets are exchanged between two families. A small gathering of friends and relatives over food takes place. In most of the Hindu communities in India, the engagement ceremony is a fun-filled event.

Most of the customs and tradition for a Hindu community is based on the region and the family traditions. Another very important ritual in a Hindu marriage is the saat phere or Saptapadi. The word Saptapadi is a Sanskrit word and it means seven steps. This ritual is very common in most of the Hindu communities in India. The yagna or the holy fire is in the centre of the mandap (the place where the wedding rituals are conducted). The couple after completing the rituals takes seven steps or seven circles around the holy fire. The groom leads and the bride follows in the first four circles. In the other three, the bride leads and the groom follows. In some Hindu communities in India, the groom holds the brides right hand and circles around the fire. In the seven circles or seven steps, the bride and groom vows to take care of each other at all times. They also vow to be each other strength in times of crisis. The groom and the bride additionally promise to love and respect each other in this life and are partners in all the other seven lives.

In a Hindu Marriage, the caste system is prevalent and many communities in India still believe in marrying in the same caste. According to the Hindu Varna System, the Brahmin are considered to be occupying the highest status. Under the Brahmin, there are many sub-groups like the Smartha or Advaitic Brahmin, Koti Brahmin, Vaidiki Brahmin, Sthanika Brahmin, Shivalli Smartha Brahmin, Ambalavasi Brahmin, Maharashtrian Devrukhe Brahmin, Sarola Brahmin and Chitrapur Saraswat Brahmin. Some well-known regional Brahmin communities in India are Iyengar Brahmin, Dvaitic Brahmin Madhva Kannada Brahmin, Shivalli Brahmin, Kanyakubja Brahmin, Bengali Vaid Brahmin, Maithil Brahmin and Telugu Madhwa Brahmin.

Another popular caste in India that follows the Hindu marriage rituals and customs is the Bania. The Bania community members are mostly in trade and business. Majority of the community members are settled in the Northern Indian states. Under the Bania caste, there are many sub groups such as Gupta, Agarwal, Barnwal, Bharbhunja, Garg, Mahuri and Maheshwari. The Rajputs, the Jat, the Kayastha, the Leva Patil, the Lohana and the Padmashali are some Hindu community of India, which also believes in the Hindu marriage rituals and traditions.

Backyard Wedding Reception Ideas

When throwing a backyard reception, what happens there is limited only by the constraints of the space and the flexibility of your imagination. If you want to have a barbecue, go ahead. If you want a luau, party on. Taking the wedding reception outside of the reception hall affords the bridal couple a lot of freedom if they’re ready to accept it. Here are some ideas to make a backyard wedding reception easy and wonderful.

In a traditional reception hall wedding reception, there is a dance floor surrounded by tables. In less-formal receptions, some people choose to forego some of the tables and serve appetizers, but the layout is pretty much the same. In a backyard wedding, you can choose any layout you like. Instead of a circular arrangement of tables and chairs, try using the topography of the space to create conversation areas. They could be standing tables around a swimming pool full of lily pads and sunflowers, comfortable lounge chairs on the deck to watch the sunset from, and other groupings of chairs and tables around the yard. Place a food station at each conversation area, and the guests will naturally flow from one area to another.

Decorations need not be extravagant in a backyard wedding reception. Play up the yard’s features with extra flower plantings and possibly the addition of some flowering trees. Small flower arrangements of roses or carnations on the tables and about the reception area will go a long way toward creating beauty and ambiance. The cost of decorations could be cut in half, and perennial flowers and trees will be wonderful reminders of the day for many years to come. If the yard you’re using doesn’t have many features to play up, create a dance floor and surround it with tables. Erect a tent above the dance floor and swathe the tent poles with tulle. String fairy lights up the poles and around the tulle and place lanterns on the tables. It creates a perfect ambiance for an evening garden wedding.

Theme weddings are fun in backyard gathering spaces. You can create a high tea with finger sandwiches, teapots, petit-fours, and prissy flower and herb cuttings. You could also create a masquerade ball with gilded tablecloths and ornate decorations.

Some nice additions to any garden or backyard wedding reception are arbors and gazebos. You could place a flower-covered arbor at the entrance to the reception, and the newlyweds could walk underneath it to be announced to the guests. A gazebo is a fun place for a conversation station, or could even serve as the space for the couple’s first dance.

Use your imagination and let your sense of play run wild for your backyard wedding reception. There is a lot less at stake when the reception is in your own backyard. Let this be your day and dress it up with dreams. Plant a flowering tree and decorate it with a commemorative plaque. With a little luck you’ll dance in that gazebo on your fiftieth anniversary.

Cultural Differences And Weddings

The cultural differences factor in to wedding events, and how the wedding is organized. Some weddings are artistically designed while others are civil.

India weddings for example are much different from other cultures. The cultural differences are denoted as Hindu weddings and often it involves bright events, which may continue for many days. Most times the India weddings are large events whereas more than 1000 sometimes attend.
Most of the people who attend India weddings either know or are related to the bride and groom.

Most times the marriages are arranged. In urban areas though love marriages take place. The original weddings though are about family socially wedded whereas little emphasis is placed on the individuals.

Traditions vary across caste, religion, language, ethnicity, and region for the most part. Most times the weddings are pre-prepared and consist of Varmala, Phere, and Baraat and finally Vidaai. In each part of India, however wedding events have slight or even something huge cultural differences. In some areas and before the big day of a Hindu wedding in the eastern parts, Bariksha occurs. What this means is that the groom has established an agreement with the parents and that the intentions of him marrying the bride is known.

Tilak is another part of Hindu weddings, which involve the parents of the bride traveling to the groom’s resident to formalize their relationship. During this time, a large meal is prepared by the groom’s family.

Once these actions occur, it is highly rare that the couple will not get married. In our area, in the United States though, those cultural differences change because our law allows practically all immorally wrong behaviors that are not subject to prosecution by their standards.

At India weddings Varmala and Jaimala is the next step to the altar once the couple’s parents have feasted and formalized the marriage. Most of the east and north parts of India celebrate weddings during the late hours. Many of them start at the stroke of midnight and can last although the night.

In America, most weddings take place during the day hours and lasts a couple of hours. Usually, the main event of the wedding involves the groom appearing with his family in a Baraat. There is also a reception and feast accompanying the wedding ceremony, so the chief ceremony is often split into two sections. The two sections may include the Varmala and the Reception, which is followed by a ritualistic event that involves the priest.

Once the groom arrives at the wedding, the Jaimala ceremony begins and the bride and groom joins to exchange the garlands. Once the ceremonial event ends, the well-wishers congratulate the couple and give their gifts. Everyone gets together to eat after.

In the USA most times weddings emphasis is placed on the couple and in many events, family is less important. In other words, India people place more emphasis on family and holding marriages together while many American’s have lost so much morale and value; it is commonplace for men and women here to divorce on about any ground.