Hindu Wedding Ceremony Rituals
Hindu Wedding Ceremony Rituals represent the importance of a bond between a husband and wife and include a large number of religious rites & rituals.
The Bride’s mother welcomes the groom by touching his ears, lips and eyes with honey to suggest that, “everything the Bride utters should seem like a sweet melody to his ears, he may only speak sweet words to her and that his eyes may always find sweetness in her every gesture”
To the sound of conch shell and ‘ullu dhani’, seven ladies walk around the groom to welcome him to the ceremony.
Saat- Paak, Shuvo Drishti, Mala badal
The bride circles the groom seven times, symbolising the journey through the seven spheres of the universe arriving at the final sphere “The abode of truth and virtue”. At this auspicious moment their eyes meet and they exchange garlands of flowers as a mark of their divine union.
The Priest prays to the divine powers to witness the union and to bless the successful completion of the ceremony.
The Father of the Bride entrusts his daughter to the Groom.
The groom takes the bride’s hand. The couple accepts each other as a companion for life. A fine cloth is wrapped round the two hands symbolising their new divine bond.
Tying the knot. The ends of the bride’s and groom’s garments are tied together to represent the union of their body and soul.
The Priest prays to Lord Narayan to give his divine blessing to the newlyweds.
In the presence of sacred fire and the gathered guests the Groom makes a vow to take good care of his Bride.
Offerings to the sacred fire signify sacrifice of lust, greed, hunger, pride and jealousy. The fire as a symbol of strength and progress and is said to bring good fortune, prosperity and happiness to a marriage.
Holding hands in front of the fire the couple take the following vows
• To live a long and happy married life
• To protect, cherish and guide each other
• To be devoted to each other
• To take care of each other’s parents and families
• To raise good children
• To love and be faithful to each other
The bride steps on a piece of heavy stone to suggest that she will remain steady as a rock in the face of difficulty.
With their hands joined the couple sprinkle puffed rice in the sacred fire ,praying for health ,happiness and longevity.
Rice signifies complete unity.
The couple takes seven steps together, representing seven spheres of the universe, to symbolise that they will forever walk hand in hand, through all of life’s vast and amazing journeys.
At each step they pray for the following.
• Vitality and Strength
• Prosperity and wealth
• Nourishing food
• Comfort and happiness
• Children and good health
• Enriched environment
• Integrity to face life’s challenges together
Holding hands the couple circle the sacred fire, and stand on the seventh sphere to take the vows: to look after each other with love respect, trust and friendship and to treat each other’s family as their own .
The bride and the groom change places. The bride now sits on the left side of the groom, to be closer to his heart.
The groom puts Sindur (the red vermillion powder) in the parting of the bride’s hair as a sign of marriage.
Once again the priest prays to the god of fire for the complete union of the two hearts. The groom and the bride proclaim, in public, that from this day on they will be the custodian of each others heart.
They make the commitment to each other .
“Let your heart be mine and mine forever yours”
The bride and the groom give their final offering of ghee and samagri to the sacred fire.
The priest sprinkles holy water on the bride and the groom,
chanting hymns of peace to free the couple from all physical, social, economic and spiritual difficulties.
With folded hands the bride and groom greet the gathering of guests and relatives who have witnessed their marriage.
The couple then asks for the blessing of the parents from both sides.
The mother-in-law puts the special wedding bangle “loha” on the bride’s left hand and welcomes her into the family.
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