Breathless Wedding Report T Minus 20 Hours

Breathless as in “about to pass out”. We’re in a big flurry of last minute shoe shopping, small glitches that loom as large as insurmountable mountains and unexpected car performance issues. I’m sure you can all sympathize with the goings-on of the fun side of a wedding, but I feel that I should tell you about the religious aspect of the marriage that will be performed tomorrow.

Did I mention that tomorrow’s wedding is in a Melkite church? It’s hard for me to describe exactly what that is because its the church that Sami belonged to in Egypt and the USA. I joined when we were married and  recognize the core elements from the Roman Catholic masses that I grew up with, but there’s more to it than that.

  • Melkites are Eastern Rite , sometimes know as Byzantine Rite.
  • Although they are Greek-based and Eastern Rite, they are not Orthodox.
  • Their ceremonies, rites and rituals incorporate Greek and Mid Eastern teachings and symbols.
  • Despite the Greek and Byzantine influences, they are a Mid Eastern religion.
  • They’re Catholics, but not Roman Catholics. They are under the regular Pope (Roman) but they also have their own “patriarch” and system of bishops.
  • All ceremonies are conducted three times: once in Arabic, once in Greek and in the USA once in English, making for long, long, long church events.
  • If it’s possible to gild it or stick an enormous precious stone onto it, then yes by all means.

That last one was cultural, not religious. For instance, you know the utterly charming Greek marriage symbol of Crowning? Maybe you saw it in My Big Fat Greek Wedding? Delicate rings of small white flowers decorated with plain white ribbons? These are the crowns our church uses:

we are fancy

How about that, huh? The wedding itself is performed outside of the altar enclosure and that where this table sits.

The altar itself is behind the golden doors in the center.

The church is round so it’s hard to get everything into one shot. We took these pics at the rehearsal so maybe I’ll get permission to post the actaul wedding photos when everything is properly spiffed up and illuminated. Until then, send your good vibes my way so that I don’t drop food onto my dress. My giant orchid corsage can only hide so much.

16 thoughts on “Breathless Wedding Report T Minus 20 Hours”

  1. Deep breaths. It will be fine.

    The church where I was baptised was named Holy Trinity Russian Orthodox Greek Catholic Church. It was a in small town in southwestern Pennsylvania and they didn’t have enough population to split the Orthodox and the Greek Catholics. I wouldn’t know the difference because the liturgy was all in Russian anyway.

    Best of luck tomorrow.

  2. Everything will be wonderful! Enjoy it!
    We went to a Russian Orthodox wedding a few years ago and got to witness the crowning ceremony but I didn’t know the significance. Thank you so much for that link. The symbolism is beautiful.
    Sending prayers of peace and unity for all of you.

  3. What a beautiful church! Everything will turn out wonderful–just smile and be serene. A basketful of happiness to all.

  4. Is this the same as the Coptic Christians I have heard about in Egypt?
    I am sure you all will have a great time. Mr.sablegsd and I drove to Vegas from LA and got married at the courthouse. I wasn’t even old enough to gamble or drink. It was SO HOT I thought I was going to die. 7/8/78 We didn’t plan that, but it is easy to remember.

  5. I’m late to comment and your day is probably over by now. I hope it was beautiful and serene and everything you had hoped it would be. The ceremony sounds lovely. So symbolic and meaningful. A marriage performed that way must be permanent.

  6. The Melkites are a great example of a church that managed to accommodate all the tumultuous history of the Middle East and take the beautiful parts from every faith that passed through.

    You don’t hear about it much because I think they realized that in that part of the world it’s good to keep a low profile.

  7. Hi!!! I too am getting married at St Ann in August! I was baptized there and my family has been a member for many many years. I came across this while trying to find pictures of weddings at St Ann. Would you mind sharing a photo or two of the ceremony (where you and your husband stood, as well as bridal party.)
    THANKS so much!

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