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In a San Antonio chapel last August, after reciting their wedding vows and exchanging their rings, Sally and Mark Austin prepared to receive communion for the first time as husband and wife. Just before they did, their minister asked them to sign a document. It was a ketubah, a traditional Jewish marriage contract.
The Austinsâ€™ was not an interfaith marriage. Nor was their ceremony some sort of multicultural mashup. Both Sally and Mark are evangelical Christians, members of Oak Hills Church, a nationally known megachurch. They were using the ketubah as a way of affirming the Jewish roots of their faith.
In so doing, the Austins are part of a growing phenomenon of non-Jews incorporating the ketubah, a document with millennia-old origins and a rich artistic history, into their weddings. Mrs. Austin, in fact, first learned about the ketubah from her older sister, also an evangelical Christian, who...
I protest your comment on traditional western wedding being all about the bride and her dress. This may be so in judeo-christian anglosaxon cultures who have lost their connection to their germanic roots.
Perhaps the silence of Scripture on norms for a wedding ceremony is itself significant; I suggest it is more important what happens *afterwards*, as the numerous explicit duties for husbands & wives makes clear.
Best I can tell, the traditional Western ceremony, like Christmas, is a random collection of traditions dating back to ancient Rome. The "Form of Solemnization of Matrimony," from Thomas Cranmer's 1662 Book of Common Prayer, is among these (often heard in TV & movie weddings).
Michael Hranek wrote: There is much that has been discarded by modern churches who have severed themselves from the roots of our faith in a very Jewish Savior.
AMEN Michael. We take our western tradition against the Jewish tradition, and call it "Christian". Marriage was instituted by God, the same God all the way through. A ceremony that honors the One True Living God only, and His laws/statutes is very biblical.
Let's not be too hard on couples who are trying to make a good start in their marriages.
There is much that has been discarded by modern churches who have severed themselves from the roots of our faith in a very Jewish Savior. For example the church calender which has its roots in Catholicism begins with its first month in the winter (traditionally time of Christmas and New Years) whereas the first month of the Jewish calander begins with the month of Passover, a huge significant difference.
In a traditional western wedding ceremony the focus in just about all on the wonderfully dressed bride who comes down the aisle to meet her groom who is waiting for her (presence).
Whereas in the gospels the bride is pictured as one making herself ready to meet the bridegroom when he comes, when he is ready to take her as his bride, his wife. The emphasis is far more on the bridegroom than we find in modern traditional weddings. This is something that IMHO wrongly affects our homes today. Husbands are sometimes viewed as kind of a fashion accessory, someone to make the brides life even better, someone to negotiate conflicting careers with, or to take care of the children when the wife is away at her work.
In such homes respect for fathers and for God Our Father is deminished.