Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Matrimony Mosaic : Whats common in different faiths

In www.shaadi.com, there is an interesting article on whats common in weddings between Hindu, Jewish and Roman Catholic faith.

The Hindu wedding: In the Hindu wedding the primary ritual, that of the saptpadi or marital vows is centered around the fire lit in the havan, symbolising the illumination of the mind, knowledge and happiness. The vows are taken in front of the sacred element which is believed to symbolise Agni , the Radiant One. This act enunciates that the couple is invoking the sacred fire to witness their union and hence further sanctify their marriage. This also ensures that God's wisdom, truth and justice have presided over the nuptials.

The Jewish wedding
: In the Jewish tradition two candles are carried to escort the bride and groom to the wedding canopy. The lighting of fire within the Jewish tradition is an act to ward off the evil eye. This belief stems from the age-old superstition that spirits and devils are fearful of fire and hence won't come near it. Another traditional explanation holds that the numerical value for the Hebrew word candle (nair) has the same value as the biblical phrase in Genesis (1:28) "Be fruitful and multiply."

The Roman Catholic wedding
: In Roman Catholic weddings the significance of fire is two-fold. After the consecration of the marriage vows the bride and groom proceed to the light the Unity Candle which symbolises the union of the couple in holy matrimony. They extinguish the separate lights of the side candles and light the single large center candle. Following this is the Candlelight Blessing which is done by the priest in confirmation of this symbolism. The significance of this ritual stems from the belief of the Catholic world that the candle is the symbol of Christ, the light of the world.

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