Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Wedding Traditions: The Veil, the Lighting of the Candles and the Cord

The veil, lighted candles and cord -- they are all traditional symbolisms in weddings and represent the couple’s readiness to become one with God and life. The Secondary Sponsors, typically close friends or relatives who were chosen by the couple, are the ones who will carry out the ceremony. There are three pairs of secondary sponsors (one for each symbol):

The Candle Sponsors is the pair who will light the candles on the altar.

The candles symbolize the Light of Christ, the same light they received at Baptism and now receive again to lead them in their new life as a couple. Some couples choose to have their mothers or fathers light the candles in this ritual, which usually takes place before the readings. The candles may also be lit at the beginning of the ceremony.

The Veil Sponsors is the pair who will place a white veil over the shoulder of the couple.

The Couple's Veil (white) has come to be a symbol of purity. Its original meaning was the symbol of the presence of the Lord, as the cloud was a symbol of His presence. It is placed over the shoulders of the couple as they kneel side-by-side to symbolize their union and being "clothed as one" in unity. This is usually done immediately after the exchange of arrhae and before the General Intercession.

The Cord Sponsors is the pair who will place a figure “8” cord over the heads of the couple, to lie on their shoulders.

The Cord is a symbol of the couple's bond; that indeed they are no longer two but one in their new life as a couple. The placing of the Cord follows after the veil is in place.

There you have it. Happy preps, everyone!


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