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Wedding Traditions From Around The World Explained

Many nationalities have their own wedding traditions. The people of Ireland have their own distinct traditions that make it easy to distinguish an Irish wedding from weddings of other cultures. The traditions include Claddagh rings, superstitions, a special toast, as well as kilts and bagpipes.

The Claddagh ring has a special meaning in a traditional Irish wedding. The Claddagh ring is a traditional ring that looks like two hands holding a heart that is adorned with a crown. Tradition holds that Claddagh rings be passed down from mother to daughter. As these rings are meant to be passed down for generations, it is not considered proper to buy a Claddagh ring for yourself. Yet another tradition involving the Claddagh ring relates to how it is worn. An engaged or married woman or man would wear the ring with the tips of the crown facing towards their fingertips. In this position the ring is considered to be turned inward and symbolizes that the heart of the person wearing the ring is taken. A man or woman who is not involved in a romantic relationship would wear the ring with the tips of the crown facing towards their wrist. This outward position of the ring symbolizes that the person wearing the ring is reaching out for companionship.

A Catholic wedding does not have to include a Mass as part of the wedding. The church will recognize a union that is performed in a church and by a priest without the full Mass. Many couples will opt for a full Mass to have the opportunity to receive additional blessings during their wedding. A wedding that includes a full Mass can be slightly over an hour long in terms of length. A wedding that does not include a Mass can be approximately 20 minutes long and usually includes readings, hymns and psalms as well as blessings from the priest but does not include a celebration of the Eucharist.

Another Catholic wedding tradition requires that previous marriages receive an annulment before the couple can be married in the church. Even if the previous marriage was not held in the church or recognized by the church, they still require an annulment before they will perform a marriage ceremony. In this situation a divorce decree is not enough. The previously married party will have to seek an annulment that verifies that the previous marriage was not valid.

A traditional Irish wedding usually concludes with a toast that has been recited for many years. At the end of the reception the guests will gather around the couple for the final toast. The couple will begin the toast by saying, “Friends and relatives, so fond and dear, ’tis our greatest pleasure to have you here. When many years this day has passed, fondest memories will always last. So we drink a cup of Irish mead and ask God’s blessing in your hour of need.”

The guests then respond to the toast with the following answer: “On this special day, our wish to you, the goodness of the old, the best of the new. God bless you both who drink this mead, may it always fill your every need.” “Friends and relatives, so fond and dear, ’tis our greatest pleasure to have you here. When many years this day has passed, fondest memories will always last. So we drink a cup of Irish mead and ask God’s blessing in your hour of need.” The guests respond: “On this special day, our wish to you, the goodness of the old, the best of the new. God bless you both who drink this mead, may it always fill your every need.”

Both parties do not have to be Catholic in order to have their wedding recognized by the Catholic Church. It is required, however, that at least one member of the couple be an active member of a Catholic Church. The non-Catholic party, however, is required to participate in the required pre-marital counseling in order to ensure that the church will recognize the union. Additionally, if either party was married previously, they would have to seek an annulment before they could be married in the church.

In order for a marriage to be recognized by the Catholic Church it is important to adhere to certain traditions. These traditions include location, music selections, seeking annulments for previous marriages and participating in church sanctioned counseling sessions.

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Filed Under: Cultural Differances

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