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Customs and Traditions. Marriage by Capture The bride is captured by the groom or his tribe/clan May be as a result of war.

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Presentation on theme: "Customs and Traditions. Marriage by Capture The bride is captured by the groom or his tribe/clan May be as a result of war."— Presentation transcript:

1 Customs and Traditions

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3 Marriage by Capture The bride is captured by the groom or his tribe/clan May be as a result of war

4 Marriage by Purchase Groom (or his family) pays the brides family a price to acquire her = brideprice Or The Brides family pays the groom or his family to marry their daughter = dowry In either situation the money is generally for the use of the women to support her if her husband dies

5 Marriage for Choice The Bride and Groom choose one another freely Marriage for choice does not necessarily imply that the marriage is for love

6 Where Does the Christian Wedding Ceremony Originate?

7 Christian wedding customs draw heavily from the traditions of ancient Israel and ancient Rome

8 Ancient Jewish Weddings The Bride was the center of the ceremony Jewish weddings took place in the home of the Bride

9 Betrothal: Arranged by the fathers who also settled the amount of the dowry Ketubah agreed upon and signed – at this point the couple was legally married but did not live together Usually the betrothal period lasted for a year

10 The Wedding: Groom and his friends processed from his house to the home of the bride Bride was then escorted by her parents and bridesmaids to the grooms house The bride and groom sponsored a large feast for family and friends – this could last for several days Wedding at Cana John August Swannson

11 Ancient Roman Weddings Arranged by fathers of bride and groom Betrothal – a promise to marry made before relatives and friends. The bride received a ring as part of the ceremony Ancient Roman wedding ring

12 Before the wedding ceremony, the bride offered her toys at an altar to the family gods Brides wore a white dress with a red or orange veil crowned with flowers

13 Bride was presented to the groom by her matron of honor Priests offered a sacrifice to ascertain if the marriage would be happy and fertile Wedding contract was read aloud Brides family hosted wedding party Bride and groom were escorted to grooms house

14 Early Christian Weddings Followed the Roman practice but omitted customs not compatible with Christian moral teachings Forbade divorce Couple was usually blessed by their parish priest on the Sunday following the ceremony – origin of the Nuptial Blessing

15 Weddings in the Early Middle Ages After Fall of Roman Empire, the Christian Church began to register marriages in parish books Became more common for the wedding ceremony to take place at the parish church rather than at home

16 Religious symbols began to have a larger role in weddings The priest became the official witness that the marriage had taken place – but the sacrament was performed by the couple A couple could exchange vows privately without any witnesses The wedding ceremony was always followed by a banquet

17 Weddings in the Late Middle Ages Marriage was a legal affair which united two families The custom began of the parents giving the daughter away as part of the Church ceremony A dowry was important There were no special wedding clothes – but white was not worn by brides Brides never wore veils – they wore their hair loose with perhaps a wreath of flowers over it The exchange of vows took place on the church porch, followed by Mass inside the church

18 Gifts The bride provided a dowry She also provided the linens and other essentials for the home The groom provided the home It was a tradition for the groom to offer the bride a gift on the morning after the wedding – usually a piece of valuable jewelry

19 Renaissance Botticellis Wedding Banquet

20 Protestant Reformation The Reformers did not consider marriage to be a sacrament In response, the Council of Trent emphasized the sacramental aspect of marriage and its indissolubility Wedding of Martin Luther and Katharina von Bora

21 Post-Tridentine Catholicism For a marriage to be valid, the exchange of vows must occur before a priest and two witnesses Catholics and Protestants marrying one another cannot get married in a church ceremony

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23 The Engagement Period Originally an engagement lasted between 9 and 12 months This as to insure that the bride was not pregnant by someone other than the groom

24 Engagement Rings Medieval – to show the woman now belongs to the man 860 AD Pope Nicholas I decreed that the engagement ring must be part of the betrothal process. The ring should be valuable enough to signify the serious intention of the groom to go through with this marriage.

25 Diamond Engagement Rings Ancient Romans believed that diamonds were sacred to Venus, the goddess of love The first known diamond engagement ring was given to Mary, Duchess of Burgundy by the Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I in the 16 th century

26 Wedding Rings Originated in ancient Egypt as a symbol that marriage is forever Romans originally used rings made of iron; switched to gold or silver in 3 rd century AD The custom of placing the ring on the fourth finger of the right hand is ancient – there was a belief that a vein went from that finger directly to the heart This is not a universal custom – many Europeans place the ring on the right hand, as do members of the Orthodox Church

27 Bridal Shower In the Middle Ages, the bride was expected to provide household linens and other goods when she married – prior to her wedding her friends would gather to help her complete the sewing of these By the 1800s it was a custom to have a party for brides where her friends gifted her with the things she needed to provide for her home A tradition says that the term shower came from a party where the brides friends put gifts into an umbrella then opened it over the bride so that the gifts showered down onto her

28 Bachelor Party Originated in ancient Sparta where men lived in barracks with their comrades On the night before his wedding, his friends gave him a party to wish him good luck It gave the groom one last opportunity to be with his friends and swear them continued allegiance

29 White Wedding Dress Ancient Greeks brides wore white – as did all members of the wedding party. White symbolized joy. Roman brides wore white Throughout the Middle Ages, brides wore any color they wished, although wedding clothes for both the bride and groom often were banded in blue which symbolized loyalty

30 Anne of Brittany (1499) was the first bride since ancient times to wear a white dress – but the custom did not catch on Queen Victoria of England wore a white dress for her marriage to Prince Albert in 1840 – this set a trend and white dresses became popular from this time on Queen Victoria Wedding Portrait

31 Wedding Veil Roman brides wore a red, orange or yellow veil which was believed to chase away evil spirits who were attracted to weddings Ancient Jewish brides wore a veil to symbolize the purity and modesty of the bride and that no man other than her new husband had the right to see her face In many ancient cultures, married women always were veiled in public – wearing a veil was symbolic of being married

32 In the Middle ages, brides wore their hair loose at their weddings without any covering as a symbol of their virginity The wedding veil became popular in the 19 th century According to legend, George Washingtons grand-daughter Nellie Custis was the first to wear a lace veil at her wedding to Lawrence Lewis Eleanor Custis Lewis

33 Weddings on Saturday Early Christians married on Sunday English Puritans believed it was inappropriate to marry on Sunday, because it was the Lords Day Most Puritan weddings took place on Saturday – and this custom became widespread in the United States

34 Giving the Bride Away Through the 18 th century this was symbolic of the womans change of ownership – from her father to her husband In some cultures and religions both the bride and groom are escorted to the altar by their parents – symbolic of their beginning a new family

35 The Bride Standing on the Grooms Left From when marriages were commonly by capture or in the Middle Ages when someone else might try to capture an heiress before her wedding It enabled a right-handed groom to easily reach his sword if anyone objected to the wedding

36 Bridesmaids In ancient Rome, a bride had 10 of her friends who dressed similar to her to confuse evil spirits In Middle Ages they helped the bride at the wedding In Britain, the bridesmaids are young girls – usually relatives of the bride English bridesmaids

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38 Flowers Brides have carried flowers in almost all cultures and time periods Sometimes the flowers have symbolic meanings The grooms boutonniere is a carry-over from the Medieval practice of a knight wearing his ladys colors to display his love for her

39 Throwing the Bouquet and Garter In ancient Rome, anything touched by the bride on her wedding day was considered to be lucky The custom of throwing a garter (Medieval women had several – they held her stockings up) was to keep the men from tearing them off because they were considered good luck!

40 The Wedding Cake In Ancient Roman wedding ceremonies the bride and groom shared a wheat cake that had been blessed by the priests – this was to insure fertility In the Middle Ages guests brought small cakes to the wedding and piled them on a table – the bride and groom were urged to reach across the cakes to kiss one another In England, wedding cakes are traditionally fruitcakes – the nuts and dried fruits symbolize fertility Cutting the wedding cake together symbolizes the shared future of the newly married couple

41 Typical Medieval Wedding Cake

42 Throwing Rice or Flower Petals Symbolizes fertility What is thrown varies by culture: Rice = China Wheat = northern Europe Hard candy – Italy Nuts – Eastern Europe

43 Carrying the Bride over the Threshold Ancient = remnant of a time when many brides were captured Europe – unlucky if the bride stumbled the first time she entered her new home

44 The Honeymoon In the Middle Ages, the bride and groom often did not know one another well before their marriage, so this was a chance to get to know one anohter Since Biblical times, a newly married couple were given time away from societal obligations (mostly military for the man) to begin a new family


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