Saturday, November 15, 2008

What do We Know about the Armenian Wedding Ceremony?

The ritual of Holy Matrimony is one of the seven sacraments of the Armenian Church in which the couple are called to make a vow before the Lord to be true to each other for life. Their matrimonial union is blessed by the Lord through the Church. The marriage ceremony of the Armenian Church is rich in ritual and symbolism.

Exchanging the rings expresses the couple's promise of faithfulness to each other. The unending circle of the ring is a symbol of eternity. The wedding ring is the outward expression of the inward bond, as two hearts unite as one, promising to love each other with fidelity for all eternity. Wearing of the wedding bands throughout the couple's lifetime will tell all others of their commitment to be faithful. At the wedding ceremony, the priest blesses the couple, and rings are the bride and the groom exchange their rings.

The rite of crowning is the climax of the Armenian ceremony. The bride and groom are crowned the king and queen of their kingdom and home, which they will rule with wisdom, justice, and integrity. The crowns signify glory and honor bestowed upon the couple by God. During the crowning, the couple faces each other, with foreheads touching. The best man stands in between and holds a cross over their heads.

Common cup: after the crowing, the couple drinks wine from a common goblet. This signifies that from this moment on, the couple will share everything in life.

Master and Master:) According to the tradition of the Armenian Apostolic Church, the Priest asks the groom if he is a master of his wife. He answers that he is a master. Then the bride is asked if she is obedient to her husband. And she should answer that she is obedient. But sometimes, since the bride’s question follows that of the grooms, the bride confuses and answers the same way as the groom. I am a master. And everybody laughs, including the priest. Then the embarrassed bride corrects herself, saying that she is of course obedient. In a kingdom, there is no place for two masters, someone has to obey.

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About Us

Yerevan,, Armenia
Armine Karakhanyan, 2nd year student, Political Science and International Affairs, American University of Armenia Narine Hovakimyan, 1st year student, Business and Administration, American University of Armenia