Wedding Rites: The Complete Guide to Traditional Weddings

St Augustine, Author, Michael P. Foley, Author St. Augustine's Press $35 (0p) ISBN 978-1-58731-926-6
This volume distinguishes itself from hundreds of other wedding planners by reintroducing forgotten Jewish, Catholic and Protestant customs for couples seeking to infuse contemporary celebrations with""rich symbolism and ceremonial splendor."" In his extensive research for the book, Foley discovered stories behind many of today's popular traditions, including the bride's veil (it originally symbolized the burden of new responsibilities; 4th-century Latin Christians put it on both bride and groom), the exchanging of wedding rings (their circular shape represented a couple's eternal love), and the kiss (sharing God's peace). Foley explores lesser-known traditions as well, such as the giving of coins and the wearing of crowns. Though knowledgeable about and sensitive to differing religious traditions and denominations, Foley also offers suggestions for interfaith weddings. Each chapter includes advice on how to incorporate traditions into the ceremony, from the flowers to the music to the reception, and the book is enriched by appendices and a selected bibliography. Written in rather stiff language with long passages of vows and blessings, the book may tire couples looking for simple guidelines. Nevertheless, for couples desiring a formal ceremony, this is ideal. And for those who are unsure, Foley makes a convincing case:""Ceremonies...enrich our lives; they help us learn the true meaning of an event, and they sharpen our memory so that we won't ever forget that meaning"" CD-Rom, two-color illustrations throughout.
Reviewed on: 05/01/2004
Release date: 05/01/2004
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