Okay… I was on vacation and I confess that I indulged in some shows that I’d normally surf through. I watched a bit of “Say Yes to the Dress.” This is a program that celebrates the ritual of women gathering to present the betrothed in the most alluring garb on her special day.
Initially, I wanted to say “No to the Show,” because it seemed so vapid and self-indulgent, but my mind went to the origins of the wedding ceremony itself. Few know that the modern wedding ceremony, white dress, altar and all, had its origins in pagan days. As a tribute to the gods, a young virgin girl was dressed in white, given by her family in gratitude, placed on the altar and sacrificed. They had the good sense to drug the poor girl. Today the bride can be plied with alcohol or Xanax!
In the Christian interpretation, both bride and groom are sacrificing individuality to oneness, a cleaving to each other. They are redefining themselves as the foundation of a new family. One source says that the bride represents the human soul and the groom represents the Holy Spirit. When they join, the circle is complete and human consciousness become one with the Creator.
In our culture, the notion of sacrifice is dwindling on many fronts, not only in marriage. People seem to be looking to get more than give. When we have two people in a grab-fest it’s hard to create an atmosphere of gratitude and abundance. Instead, there is frustration and disappointment. We’re missing something if the focus is the dress, the party, and no deeper meaning to the union. The solution seems commitment to creating rather than consuming…giving rather than taking.
We are entitled to nothing. (Shocking to write that and probably to read it.) We have the consequences of what we have or haven’t created and there is no one else to blame. In marriage and any relationship, we have a canvass upon which to project loving intentions. No one is asking for a literal “death” on the altar, but the individual egos have to give way to a larger concept of joining.
Let’s say “Yes” to that!
With love, Rosanne Bostonian
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