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The Service of the Crowning The Service of the Crowning is the wedding proper. It is highlighted by seven significant acts
The Exchange of Rings The exchange of rings symbolizes the unbreakable bond of Christian Marriage. During the Betrothal, the rings are blessed over the heads of the bride and groom three times and then are places on the fourth finger of the right hand. The Betrothal ends with a prayer that the Lord might make strong their betrothal in faith, truth and love, and make them of one mind; and that He might grant the betrothal His heavenly blessings.
The Lighted Candles The bride and groom are given lighted candles to hold, symbolizing the purity of their lives, which should shine with the light of virtue.
The Joining of Hands During the Service of the Crowning, three long prayers are read asking God to grant the bride and groom a long and peaceful mutual love and understanding, happiness and health. The couple's right hands are then joined by the priest, who calls upon God to join them into one.

The Crowning

The priest raises the crown and makes the sign of the cross three times over the heads of the bride and groom, after which the crowns are placed on their heads. The crowning signifies that the newly married couple receives the grace of the Holy Spirit to be the founders of a new generation and are crowned with virtue and holiness to live their lives to the glory of almighty God.

The Bible Readings

Following the crowning, St. Paul's Epistle to the Ephesians (5:20-33) concerning the mystery and holiness of Christian Marriage and the duties and the responsibilities of the husband and wife to each other, chanted by the canter; and St. John's gospel on Christ's miracle at the Marriage at Cana (2:1-12) is chanted by the priest to show that our Lord Jesus Christ blessed the sacred institution of marriage.

The Common Cup

The drinking from "The Common Cup" symbolizes that the couple must share every joy and sorrow. The priest gives to the husband and wife a cup of wine from which each must drink 3 times.

The Circling of the Table

While three beautiful and joyous hymns are chanted, the priest takes the bride and groom by the hand and leads them around a small table three times. By circling the table, the couple signifies their oath to preserve their marriage bond forever. The circle symbolizes eternity; the triple circling honors the Holy Spirit

The Benediction

Finally, amid special words of blessing, the priest lifts the crowns from the heads of the newlyweds, thus ending the marriage ceremony
Ceremony courtesy of Maria Elena Steele
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