In almost all religions and cultures the harmonious wedding ceremony signifies the beginning of a new life for a couple; a life dependent on commitment and independent from parents. The union of a couple is a highly celebrated event by both the family and the couple. The time of wedlock is considered a time when “two become one.” As well, from a religious perspective it is deemed a right of passage. Examples of marriage ceremonies, as well as other ritual practices are exhibited in stages explained by Arnold van Gennep: The Rites of Passage. The Rites of Passage consist of three stages: Separation, Limens or Threshold, and Incorporation. Often it becomes hard to differentiate where each stage begins and ends, but it is essential to know what each stage represents and how it affects the people involved in these stages. Throughout this essay I will briefly cover wedding ceremonies in both Hinduism and Sikhism, which are quite elaborate and ritualistic. Specifically I will touch on: The Rites of Passage, mate selection, the betrothal ceremony of both the religions and how each of their members takes their vows.
Within the first stage of a Hindu wedding ceremony, the selection of a mate is mad
After completing their vows, they bow down towards Agni and the priest sprinkles water on them and prayers are offered by placing ghee (clarified butter), rice and flowers in the flame as offerings to God. In general, Hindi marriages are arranged by parents and elders of the community, whereas in Sikhism, the selection process is only assisted by them. She also may experience the limenal stage more often as her family prepares to "lose" her to another. Before marriage, Hindu"tms practice fasting to purify their body and soul. For example, Sikhs must marry Sikhs and Hindus must marry Hindus. " This ceremony consists of the groom leading the bride in a walk around the Agni idol seven times. Although this event isn"tmt considered part of the Rites of Passage, it still remains very essential. It is valuable to understand that the Rites of Passage help us only to understand rituals in general, but to explain them specifically in terms of stages is a great challenge. After encircling the sacred scriptures four times, the couple bows before it to honour their vows. Traditionally, their ceremony takes place in the brides"tm hometown, a gurdwara or a place where the Adi Granth can be set up. The Adi Granth, also known as the Guru Granth Sahib, is a compilation of unique scriptures considered the Supreme Spiritual Authority and Head of the Sikh religion. Lastly, while these religions are different, they tend to influence eachother in different ways. It consists of a formal engagement ceremony where the couple promises to marry and exchange rings. Through tradition, the ceremony usually takes place at either the groom"tms house, or the Gurdwara. These seven circles that the couple partakes in are revered as a symbol of vows that the bride and groom take.