The wedding preparations are in full swing and there is grandeur in the air but have you considered looking into the core placed in a wedding ceremony that resonates all through a couple’s married life? The Wedding Vows indeed form the backbone to a marriage. Marriage, which is a solemn and an exciting ride filled with protocols, tied with trust and the unbreakable oaths. Whether you are a Catholic, Hindu, Muslim or an atheist, vows hold no different connotations to anyone. They are the symbols of willingness, perseverance and unquestionable faith in the partner.
Buddhist Wedding Vows
Buddhist Weddings usually commence with the Buddhist prayer stating the union of two bodies, minds and souls. The purpose of the wedding is spelled out as to attain enlightenment together by being kind and compassionate to all beings. The exchange of their wedding rings is a worldly and visible sign of their inward journey in holy matrimony. Their journey to Truth is a peaceful one and thus their vows are silently read with complete dignity.
Catholic Weddings Vows
Broadly speaking, in Catholic Weddings, the couple is asked if they are to be married out of their free will and will promise to honour each other’s presence in their lives. They bring in the Catholic Doctrine and unite two souls into harmony regardless of the highs and lows, riches or rags, pink or the red of their health and solemnly declare their love till death does them apart. The bride and the groom may also choose to write their own vows including their personal quirky anecdotes for their declaration.
Hindu Wedding Vows
Hindu Wedding Vows are embellished with sacred, mythological strands, where the bride and groom are seen walking around the holy fire amidst a social gathering. It marks the solemnity and the grandeur of the event. The seven vows also called Saath Phere or Saptapadiassignsroles, duties, responsibilities to the bride and groom. They also promise untainted love, loyalty, and support to each other. The ceremonial thread, mangalsutra is bestowed to the bride to signify her as a married woman.
In Muslim Weddings, the couple heeds the Imam’s (priest/cleric)words who describe the meaning and importance of marriage with reference to the Holy Quran. In cases where the bride is too young, the Imam also spells out when the marriage ought to be consummated. And the couple is asked thrice if they accept each other willingly and with their affirmations (Qubool Hai) the marriage comes to existence.According to Islam, both men and woman have rights over each other when they enter into a marriage contract with the husband serving as protector and supporter of the family most of the time, from his means. The husband is financially responsible for the welfare and maintenance of his wife or wives and any children they produce, to include at a minimum, providing a home, food, and clothing. In return, it is the duty of the wife to safeguard the husband’s possessions and protect how wealth is spent.
Sikh Weddings are also called Anand Karaj which means a blissful union. The couples revolve around Guru Granth Sahibji marking the significance of religious doctrines. Interestingly, the marriage is not just considered as a physical union between the man and the woman but a spiritual union between a woman and a man. Laavan (wedding song) is sung in the union between the two ‘aatmas’ (souls) where they become ‘Ek Jot Doe Murti’ meaning one spirit in two bodies. These songs propagate the idea of righteousness and a sinless union. The couple acknowledges God’s presence and vows to lovingly devote their married life in faith and in the name of Waheguru (Supreme Being).
So you see, weddings in India are not just studded with bling and sparkle but filled with core religious sentiments and the simple message of Loyalty and Faith. These age-old vows have been passed on endlessly because just like John C.Wright said: “Vows are powerful things, They set things in motion.” And we believe they do form a rock-bottom to a happy marriage.