Thursday, May 14


A Follow-Up on Wedding Customs

A friend writes, in regards to the use of the Missal as the Pax-brede at a Tridentine wedding, and its relation to the first kiss of the bride and groom:
The pax-brede kiss was carefully researched (by me [he writes]) and is a medieval custom. Other medieval customs that we left out are:

* The pall held over bride and groom during nuptial blessing. (Couldn't find a beautiful one).

* The lit candles held by bride and groom until after the epistle (I think) at which point the priest takes them, blows them out, and places them on the altar. I think it's about dying to self in order to let Christ become your light. (We were worried our hands would shake and we'd drop the candles).

* The binding of the hands. (The priest vested for Mass before the wedding ceremony, having no cope, and so his stole was stuck underneath his cincture).
The pall (reminiscent, intentionally or not, of the Jewish huppah) is particularly well-known as a Sarum rite custom. At the wedding of one of my favorite medievalizing architects, the great Ninian Comper, four servers in rochets held up a blue silk veil over the bride and groom, a striking example of the revival of this practice.

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