SOLEMNIZATION OF HOLY MATRIMONY
By Sarah L. Vigue
Is there a way to improve upon marriage and to return it to what it once meant: authenticity? Getting covenanted with God solemnizes the ceremony of holy matrimony. How would this look?
First this sacred ceremony happens during the early morning or late evening with the ceremony decorations and atmosphere reflecting Mystery and Anticipation. As the solemnity of marriage occurs, the man and woman are gathered together with the biblical church (whether in a church building or not is left up to the couple’s own discretion) and an anointed pastor/priest/bishop/cardinal with the option of having the one or 3 different leaders to represent the Trinity to whom the couple is making the holy marriage covenant. Soldiers and messengers of the Lord (angels) take the place of the groomsmen and bridesmaids that have become so customary.
The “Dearly beloved, we are gathered together here in the sight of God, and in the face of this congregation, to join together this Man and this Woman in holy Matrimony; which is an honorable estate, instituted of God…” are said along with the pastors definition of marriage or any relevant speech that has come from the previous weeks of biblical marriage counseling the couple has undertaken. All around the couple could be torches or candle light.
The couple would speak to the fact that they have disclosed all secrets and confessed all that needs confessing to each other so that the marriage will be lawful. After confirming this, the official would have the couple promise themselves to one another, then the couple would act as one entity making a promise to God. The official would read, from the Bible, the Lord’s part of the marriage covenant.
So both the husband and wife should pledge/promise to take one another, answering to the pastor as well as recite a vow* together to God as they will now be considered one under him. They will light a torch or unity candle (or pour colored sand into one container together) while the symbolic act is explained. They are pronounced husband and wife and rings, if chosen, would be exchanged.
At this point, the Eucharistic supper/communion between the two and a joint water baptism should take place. After this, a peace dove may be released representing the Holy Spirit who is present.
There is a prayer and blessing from the anointed pastor/official in addition to the signing of the marriage certificate to make the sacred marriage also secularly legal if preferred.
What do you think about the above and the ramifications – small or large, seemingly unrelated of very obviously connected? For example, if you aren’t legally married but covenanted by the church, you could take tax benefits as a single person while still being married but whose last name would your kids have? Write your comments below!
*The vow between the man the woman should involve repenting from singleness and turning to being a couple that function as one unit. This is because there is an order of salvation (Ordo Salutis) turning from something (single in this case) into something (a couple in unity) as part of salvation and a covenant to God.
Why would a king ride a lowly donkey when they have those marvelous steeds prancing with beautiful jeweled saddles and gleaming harnesses? A horse can certainly gallop much faster than a donkey can trot along. According to the Bible as he was dying King David said to put his son, Solomon on his donkey and ride him out for all to see and acknowledge that he would be David’s successor. I Kings 1:32 – 34 Then King David ordered, “Call Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah son of Jehoiada.” When they came into the king’s presence, the king said to them, “Take Solomon and my officials down to Gihon Spring. Solomon is to ride on my own donkey. There Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet are to anoint him king over Israel. Blow the ram’s horn and shout, ‘Long live King Solomon!‘ I believe that it’s because those charging steeds were known to be war horses. When kingdoms went to war the leaders are always seen riding horses. Horses were used extensively during warfare. The Calvary were mounted soldiers on horseback. Horses pulling chariots would charge fast towards the battle front. They could carry a knighted rider with full armor into a battle. A war horse can leap over obstacles, plunge into skirmishes or carry it’s rider to safety. Horses have powerful hindquarters, able to easily coil and spring to a stop, spin, turn or sprint forward.
On the other hand donkeys are peacetime animals. They don’t move very fast so donkeys are more of a parade animal. Donkeys walk or trot along. If you are riding on a donkey, it won’t be hard for everyone to see who’s sitting on the donkey’s back.
I believe that is why when Jesus rode into Jerusalem he did so on the back of a donkey. All four gospels bear witness of the account. Matthew 21:1 – 17, Mark 11:1 – 11, Luke 19:29 – 40 and John 12:12 – 19. Traditionally, entering the city on a donkey symbolizes arrival in peace, rather than as a war-waging king arriving on a horse. Jesus wasn’t a man of war sitting upon a war horse. He was on the donkey because He was the King of kings. Jesus came riding into Jerusalem on a donkey. This was appropriate for a Hebrew king coming in peace. A Hebrew king coming for battle would have ridden a horse. In the Roman culture, a king would only have come riding a horse. Since Jesus rode on a donkey, he presented himself as the King of the Jews, yet posed no threat to the Romans.
Who would have thought there would be so much symbolism on what a horse or donkey represent?
You have probably heard of Turducken where you stuff a turkey with a duck and then the duck with a chicken. Have you heard of an Ostriturkducken? That is the request my daughter asked me to do for this year’s Thanksgiving dinner. My response: No way! An ostrich is about 300 pounds. I don’t have a pan big enough! Actually I don’t have a stove big enough! Fortunately, a compromise was reached before I had to get out the shovel to dig a cooking pit. She settled with an ostrich egg for now.
Apparently an ostrich egg can be purchased online (what can’t you buy online these days?) and have it shipped to your door. It was packed in disposable diapers which is a clever idea. If the egg cracked in shipping, the diapers would absorb any mess.
So now we have an egg; a very large egg. Bigger than a softball but smaller than a football. A big white egg that felt like porcelain. We all took turns holding and touching it. We were mesmerized.
Then it dawned on us: how do we open it??? We’ve used a hammer on a coconut. Nutcrackers on lobster claws. My son-in-law produced a hammer and large spike from his toolbox. Driving the spike through the egg at opposite ends exposed the yolk and egg white inside.
My older daughter recommended that we blow the liquid inside out of the shell. Do you know how long it takes to do that from an ostrich egg? Enough to wear out two adults and a child. Its more tiring than blowing up 50 balloons.
We collected the yolk and egg white into a bowl and whipped them up to make scrambled eggs. Or is that scrambled egg? It was good and tasted very much like a chicken egg. You might be wondering how many people one ostrich egg feeds? That would be about six normal people or four really hungry ones. The only disappointing thing was the person who wanted the ostrich egg the most didn’t want anything to do with eating the scrambled egg. She said it was because she didn’t like the runny liquid coming out of the shell when we blew into it.
Now we just have to decide what to do with the shell. Does anyone have a dremel tool I can borrow?
Photos Courtesy of Sarah Vigue & Rebecca Dow. Thank you, ladies!