Welcome to Helen and Philip's
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take by our photographer (Allan Brooker).
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The sacrament in which a man and woman solemnly declare
before Christ, and in the presence of the priest, family and
congregation, their love and faithfulness for one another, for life.
This sacrament reveals to us the dignity of the human person when
blessed by Christ. The community comes together to rejoice in this
revelation, the divinization of two persons becoming one in His love,
mutually fulfilling and perfecting one another. The marriage liturgy
of the Ukrainian Catholic Church is rich in ritual and symbolism. We
would like to share with you the essence of these symbols and acts so
that you may join in celebration with us.
Psalm 127 (choir)
Candles symbolize the presence of Christ and the spiritual
willingness of the couple to receive His blessings through this
Litany of Peace
EXCHANGE OF WEDDING RINGS
The Ring is a visible symbol of endless love and union
that will exist between the couple. This exchange of rings by the
Bride and Groom signifies that in married life, the weaknesses of one
partner will be compensated by the strength of the other; that by
themselves, the newly betrothed are incomplete, together they are
The Marriage Vows
THE EMBROIDERED RUSHNYK (TOWEL)
The Bride and Groom kneel on an embroidered rushnyk when
taking their vows. The whiteness of the cloth symbolizes the virtue
of the purity with which the couple accepts this Sacrament. The
rushnyk also symbolizes the road of life, which they will walk
The crowning is the highlight of the wedding service.
Crowns, symbolizing eternal love, are placed on the Bride and Groom's
head. The Bride and Groom are crowned as king and queen of their own
home, priests of the family unit, which they must rule with wisdom,
justice and integrity.
The Scripture Reading : The first letter of St. Paul to
the Corinthians (5:20-33).
THE COMMON CUP
This cup of wine reminds us of the miracle at Cana and is
a sign of God's blessing of lawful wedlock. It also symbolizes the
oneness of life of the couple a lift which will contain hardship as
well as joy, now to be shared equally by both. In the early Church
this cup was the Communion Chalice and at this point the couple would
approach for Holy Communion, the "Seal" of their marriage in Christ.
Removal of the Crowns and Blessing
THE TRIUMPHANT PROCESSION
This ceremonial walk reminds us that we should center our
lives upon Christ, who is present in the Holy Gospel and His Icon on
the tetrapod. The Priest joins the left hand of the Bride and Groom
with an embroidered rushnyk signifying the union of a man and woman
in marriage. This brief walk comprises the first steps of the couple
as husband and wife; it is fitting that they revolve around Christ.
A hymn to the Mother of God is sung, as well as troparia to the Holy
Martyrs, who have already received their crowns, that they might
always intercede for the couple before the Lord.
The Priest removes the crowns, blessing the couple with
these words: "Bridegroom! Be exalted like Abraham, blessed like Isaac
and multiply like Jacob, walking in peace and righteously doing God's
commandments." Then, "And you, 0 Bride! Be exalted like Sarah,
gladdened like Rebecca and multiply like Rachel, being happy with
your husband and keeping the precepts of the La