Tradition, tradition!

Posted by on Nov 8, 2011 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Tradition, tradition!

It’s time to talk about traditions.  There’s a wonderful quote by Elie Wiesel that I have futzed with a bit.  The original quote is, “Poets exist so that the dead may vote.”  I have changed that to,   “Traditions exist so that the dead may vote.” We bring our deceased beloved family members, those who have contributed to us their genes, and probably much else, into the present and honor them, by adding one or several of their time honored practices to the wedding service.  That does not necessarily mean following the outline of a traditional religious wedding service.  It does mean that you may want to add something to the service that is traditional to your particular family–that speaks to your heritage and your sense of home. In other words, something that gives the dead an opportunity to vote–or smile–on your wedding.

In a Jewish/Christian wedding at which I officiated, the couple signed a Katuba, (Jewish wedding contract) minutes before the wedding ceremony and during the service proper, they stomped on a wine glass to seal their vows.   The ceremony itself was held in a church and the words used in the service were in keeping with the Christiain faith. So there was in this service a merging of two beautiful faith traditions.  The female half of a couple I will be marrying next fall, has roots in Mexico.  She and her husband-to-be will be honoring her ancestors by being symbolically lassoed together during the service.

Finally, an added non-traditional element which “gives the dead an opportunity to vote” is lighting a candle to the memory of a loved one.  Several couples have chosen to do this on their special day.   They light a candle at the beginning of the service to honor a close relative who has passed on.  I have usually also said a prayer to the loved one’s memory. And then the service continues–a service that brings the past into the present as the entire group gathered looks forward to the bride’s and groom’s bright and happy future. 

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