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Eastern Orthodox Weddings
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Chinese Traditions
The Orthodox culture is, effectively, the oldest continuous cultural tradition in the christian environment. While there is core structure common to the wedding ceremonies of all the Orthodoxcultures, there certainly variations on a theme between the various cultures.

Today, many from the Orthodox cultures marry out, the non-Orthodox partner rightly refusing to convert, meaning the marriage can not always occur within the church. This is where Celebrant Dr Philip Greentree is able to resolve a couple's dilemma - a civil ceremony but with the wonderful Orthodox traditions, especially the Crowning Ceremony and other wonderful traditions.

1. Celebrant's Challenge
Orthodox challenge
Celebrant Philip carrying out the Celebrant's Challenge at Manservant. This is where Philip fulfils the requirement of saying your full names aloud, and also seeks the parents' blessing upon the couple.

3. Lighting of Candles
orthodox candles
Some couples want the Lighting of Candles." Philip has a wind-proof lantern for this.
5. The Orthodox Ring Exchange
orthodox ring exchange
One of the quintessential Orthodox traditions is the triple ring exchange, that ends with the rings upon the right ring fingers of the couple. Philip will provide "training" for best men not familiar with the practice.

7. The Crowning Ceremony
Nothing Says "Orthodox" more than the crowning. This is the quintessential Orthodox tradition unique to those cultures
crowning with stefana
The Greek Stefana
serbian krune
Serbian Krune
blessing stefana
Celebrant Philip Invoking the
"Spirit of Love" to bless these Stefana.

10 Special RIng Exchange
Earlier in the ceremony, the best man carried out the "triple ring exchange," in which the rings were placed upon the couple's right ring fingers.

As we near the end of the ceremony, the couple individually transfer the other's ring to their left ring finger, which is the tradition in Australia.

12. Three Times Around Alter
walk around alter
It is traditional for the priest to lead the couple three times around the alter. Philip doesn't have an alter, but he does have a signing table. When indoors in a chapel, there is invariably and alter.

Philip has developed a wonderful series of sayings that he reads out on each leg around the alter, or table, or what ever.

Presentation of Couple
orthodox presentation
All done. Now to present the married couple to the guests!
2. Special Introduction
special intro
In Celebrant Philip's ceremonies, he always introduces the bridal party so, rather than standing there like an unknown, amorphous mass, everyone knows who is who. This really personalises things.

4. Cleansing & Blessing of Rings
Orthodox cleansing of rings
Another of Celebrant Philip's proprietary rituals that sits across all cultures. One of the most popular & successful creations from a creative mind.

6. Sharing of Wine from
the Common Cup

orthodox wine sharing
In the Orthodox cultures, the couple share red wine from the common cup and have done so for 2000 years. In the religious ceremony, the red wine represents the blood of Christ, whereas, in Philip's ceremony, he treats it as the couple toasting each other on the success of their marriage and offering the toast "To love, honour & friendship."

8. Joining The Hands
orthodox joining of hands
With the exception of the Greeks, when the hands are joined by the priest or celebrant Philip, the joined hands are then covered with a white satin cloth.

Celebrant Philip has developed an excellent and emotional ritual around this tradition.

9. Blessing of The Hands
orthodox blessing of hands
Celebrant Philip has incorporated his popular "Blessing of The Hands" into the Orthodox ceremony.

11. Sealing the Covenant
of Marriage

orthodox covenant
The bride's left ring finger must be left bare for the wedding ring. Celebrant Philip has his brides wear the engagement ring on their right hand, then, near the end of the ceremony, he invites the groom to transfer the engagement ring to his wife's left ring finger. Brilliant!

13. At last - Husband and wife!
The guests don't always know where exactly the ceremony has progressed to, but the couple certainly do. I love watching the excited anticipation of couples as they know I am about to declare them husband and wife.
What MUST your celebrant ensure occurs during the ceremony?

The following are not negotiable.
  • The Celebrant's Monitum in which:.
    1. The celebrant must ID them self.

    2. Read aloud "The Definition of Marriage in Australia."

  • Identify the couple by saying aloud their full names at some stage preferably before the vows.

  • Ensure the required words are said within the vows.

  • Ensure the Marriage Register is signed by the 5 parties to the marriage, which include:

    The Couple, their 2 witnesses aged over 18-years, & the celebrant.

    Naming Your Baby during Your Ceremony?
    baby naming
    Philip has, on numerous occasions, named the couple's child as part of the ceremony. Most of those couples have remarked that it was far more meaningful than having a separate naming ceremony in the backyard at home.
      Site written by Philip for Philip, hosted by Dibiz.
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