The Salt Ceremony

Posted by on Jan 24, 2013 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

The Salt Ceremony
Dear Friends—I have done enough outdoor weddings by now to conclude that lighting a unity candle, with gathered guests looking on, the Shenandoah mountains as your backdrop and perhaps a vineyard too, just does not work.  The mountains are fine, the vineyard is fine, but it’s the outdoor part that does in a candle lighting ceremony. Even the slightest of breezes will snuff out that sucker.  What kind of symbolism and significance are in that?  Some superstitious people will read into the candle snuffing, a sign of things to come:  “The winds of misfortune are headed your way,” or “ A tornado is going level your house and put an early end to your wedded bliss.”  Best to steer clear of candles in the out-of-doors.
Ceramic egg with salt –you can purchase the egg online

Sand ceremonies are a better choice.  So are salt ceremonies.  To be honest I had never heard of a salt ceremony until an engaged couple I am working with mentioned it several weeks back.   I knew though, from my years studying the Bible that salt features heavily therein:

Genesis 19:26 But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt
Leviticus 2:13 Every offering of your meal offering you shall season with salt; neither shall you allow the salt of the covenant of your God to be lacking from your meal offering. With all your offerings you shall offer salt.

Numbers 18:19 All the wave offerings of the holy things, which the children of Israel offer to Yahweh, have I given you, and your sons and your daughters with you, as a portion forever: it is a covenant of salt forever before Yahweh to you and to your seed with you.”
Mark 9:49 For everyone will be salted with fire, and every sacrifice will be seasoned with salt. 
Mark 9:50 Salt is good, but if the salt has lost its saltiness, with what will you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another.
Colossians 4:6 Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one. 
Recipe for a newborn:  Rub with salt?!
As you can read for yourself, according to scripture (and according to historians, too), salt was a valued commodity back in the day.  For that reason it was used to secure covenants. Still today in the Middle East, people will use the expression, “there is salt between us,” meaning that two people trust each other as if they had signed a salt covenant. People in the Middle East will say someone “has salt,” meaning he or she can be trusted.  In the old days, again in the Middle East, newborns were sometimes rubbed with salt, in the hopes that they would grow up to be trustworthy.

Your marriage ceremony can be regarded as a kind of “securing of a covenant”—in fact, a marriage is referred to as a covenant, in religious lingo, that is. In my reading about Salt Covenants, I learned that salt was sometimes actually used in Irish wedding ceremonies, so if you plan to use an Irish theme, you might consider either the salt ceremony or the hand fasting ceremony. 

Salt has other significance.  Salt is a preservative—and so we might think of a salt ceremony   as suggestive of a long-lasting marriage.  It melts ice—it is hoped that your relationship will not get “frosty.”  Salt adds flavor, zest to food.  May your marriage not become dull, or flavorless.. 

“Two peanuts were walking down the street, one was assaulted (a salted–get it?)
Of course, it might make sense to play around with the salt theme as you make plans for your reception. Virginia especially has many foods in which salt plays a major role—think salted peanuts, and salt cured Virginia ham. If you intend to serve liquor, ask the bartender to have tequila, lime  and salt on hand–salt to salt the rim of your guests’

Of course, Viginia hams are an expensive food item, and tequila is expensive too, so better start now to salt away your money.  These are just my suggestions.  You can take them or leave them with a grain of salt! 

Happy Wedding Planning  Your Wedding Preacher

A Virginia ham, of course!

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