Not every Christian focuses upon the Seven Deadly Sins, but they are a usual illustration here of where some church weddings totally miss the point:
Greed - This includes simony (the selling of sacraments), which would surely include the extra costs incurred in selecting 'pretty' churches over local parish ones. Even if it didn't, then greed is in evidence everywhere else, in the tremendous expenditure involved when the bride and groom seek to create a fairy tale spectacle. Everything from special vehicles to dresses to extravagant receptions will tick the boxes here.
Pride - Vainglory used to be highlighted as a separate sin, until Pope Gregory amalgamated it into the category of pride. It means to attract all focus onto your own glory, though that will be a futile venture in its temporary nature. ALL brides are the most beautiful, until the next one comes along. We might also call it vanity.
Sloth - Spiritual laziness is at the center of many perceived normal wedding ceremonies. For those only attending church during these rites of passage, that charge is obvious. But when all concerned are more focused upon the whole spectacle of the occasion, rather than the solemnity of the oaths spoken before God, then all spirituality is lost.
Gluttony - For many guests, the best part of a wedding is the free food. That feast, wherein each wedding couple tries to out-do those who went before. People eat until they feel too full to move, and so much food goes to waste thereon. Then more food comes out later in the party. Not to mention the alcohol, which some Christian congregations prohibit in the spirit of temperance.
Wrath - Ever heard the saying that no wedding is complete without a fight or a feud kicking off? That's what happens when the happy couple invite people from all areas of their lives, chucking a clash of worlds and individuals who would otherwise avoid each other, into an environment of free-flowing alcohol.
Envy - And many of those fights begin when a) the thwarted love rival declares they should have been the bride/groom; b) the festivities are compared to those of a couple who were previously wed, like it's a competition; or c) some guest makes a pass at someone else's partner. Covetousness in all its dark glory.
Lust - See above, then couple it with the risque traditions surrounded with sending the bride and groom off for their wedding night.
But most of all, where was Christ in this order of ceremony? In a Christian wedding, He would be right at the center, which is what gives those rites its name.
I see that you're a preacher yourself. Did it ring true at all?
A very interesting perspective on how a Christian wedding should be.
Ah! That's where I probably heard about John the Baptist and Elijah! Let me link it here for those seeking it out now: http://wizzley.com/the-afterlife-what...
I had two cuppas before attempting a response here. :)
Re reincarnation. Have you read my article on the afterlife? Scholars argue argue about John the Baptist and whether or not he was Elijah reborn.
Lesson to be learned: don't write an article on only one cuppa. I have at least three before I write anything
I've just re-read my comment from earlier. Can I just say that I wrote that during my first cuppa in the morning? I didn't mean 'carnation' - that's a flower - I meant 'incarnation'. And I was suggesting that Aguasilver write the article, not asking where an extant one was.
Frank - I should have also remembered that reincarnation isn't a thing in Christianity. Though I do vaguely recall John the Baptist being the reincarnation of an Old Testament prophet.
Lack of knowledge about the next life is why I won't officiate at All Lifetimes handfastings. The whole concept just seems spiritually suspect to me.
Good question about the all lifetimes marriage in Wicca, but it has never been examined because Christianity officially does not believe in reincarnation, though there have been and are Christians who do.
The general Christian case is "Till death us do part." so marriage is for life. What happens in the afterlife we don't know. However, you are right about spiritual needs changeing, as if you accept reincarnation you cannot guarantee a return as the sex you are. That might or might not be a problem for marriage.
The one body stuff is Christian theology that I haven't fully looked into yet. Perhaps there's an article there from you explaining it all?
Until I grasp that part, I can't really compare it to anything in Paganism. Is it akin to the All Lifetimes marriage in Wicca? Wherein the couple vow to become handfast in every life - every carnation - hereon? I refuse to officiate at those, as I believe that none of us can fully know what is needful spiritually in our next incarnation. Marrying for this life-time should be good enough without binding a couple together through the entire reincarnation cycle!
Frank - I never asked my relatives about pre-wedding courses. I'll do that and report back.
Not all churches are as detailed in their pre-wedding courses as others are. My daughter, who married last year in the Catholic Church, underwent a day's course, and her non-Christian husband was quite surprised by how easy it was. It was more concened to ensure that people were aware of what they were doing than it was about religious dogma.
Dusty - Ah! Your information is far more hands on than my own. I've just been reading about it all over the internet. My experience has been with the hatch, match, dispatch type weddings - which I thought WERE Christian, hence the query.
Thanks for putting us right.