In the Armenian Church this vivid ceremony is a step-by-step portrayal of the new life of husband and wife. Each of the acts performed during the service has special significance. The symbolism points to the love that is to be experienced in this holy union.
After being blessed by the priest, rings are exchanged between the bride and the groom as an expression of the mutually enriching and complementary roles of the spouses in the union of marriage. During the exhortation to the bride and the groom, their right hands are joined together to suggest the oneness of the couple.
The rite of crowning is the climax of the wedding service. The crowns symbolize the glory and the honour with which God exalts the couple during the sacrament. The groom and the bride are crowned king and queen of their kingdom, the home, which they will rule with love, wisdom and integrity. The rite of crowning is followed by the blessing of the goblet of wine, in remembrance of the marriage at Cana in Galilee which was blessed by Christ?s presence.
The drinking of the wine from the ?common cup? of life is intended to impress upon the couple that from this moment on they will share everything in life, joys as well as sorrows.
At the end of the ceremony the priest blesses the couple, asking Christ to ?protect them under the shadow of the holy and honourable cross in peace?. Thus God?s grace is imparted to them to live together in His love, and mutually fulfill and perfect each other.
Sourp Hagop Armenian Church Newsletter (Toronto) Vol. 1 No. 4 | June 2007 ?s Monthly Newsletter