2. The couple must have a license to marry.
3. They must pass a blood test that shows they have
no dangerous disease.
The Christian rite for celebrating marriage varies
among Christian faith groups. Regardless of faith
group, however, the Christian marriage ceremony is
always enriched in customs and traditions. The parts of
a Christian wedding ceremony generally take place in
the following sequence:
Sacred scripture readings
Introduction to the rite of marriage
significance, stateliness, and honor of marriage
Questionsregarding freedom to enter
marriage, faithfulness, and acceptance of
Consentthe couple proclaim their approve of
Blessing of the rings
Exchange of rings-the bridegroom places his
wifes ring on her ring finger
Blessing of the couple
According to traditions, customs, or faith group,
other actions may also take place, such as a special
wedding benediction; a recitation of the Lords Prayer;
placing symbolic crowns on the bride and groom;
lighting unity candles; presenting flowers to parents,
guardians, or close relatives; use of meaningful musical
choices; and the rites of communion or the eucharist.
Now that you have read about Christian weddings,
lets take a look at another important Christian
Christian funerals are the ceremonial customs,
traditions, or rites of death and burial. In the Christian
faith, religious traditions surrounding death have
evolved from the different concepts of human mortality.
Historically, Christians have followed the teachings
of Jesus as interpreted in the Gospels: Matthew, Mark
Luke, and John. Among his sayings, Jesus reflected
upon a place where one goes after death. The Christian
funeral rites are based on the interpretations of these
reflections. Some examples of funeral responses among
different Christian communities are shown in figure 1-7.
TERMINOLOGY, LAWS, AND
How can Christians be so different in their beliefs
and in their forms of worship and still all be Christians?
In spite of the many denominations, all Christians share
certain basic beliefs that originated in the teachings of
Jesus. Although Jesus never wrote a book, the words he
spoke were written down by his followers. His words
and works are found in the four Gospels of the New
Testament-Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. In many
cases, the teachings of Jesus reflected the basic religious
writings of the Jewish religion. These writings are
referred to as the Old Testament in the Christian Bible.
Jesus taught about God. Furthermore, he taught about
mans relationship to God in a way that stirred mens
hearts and created the foundation of the Christian
Here are some of the basic beliefs shared by all
They believe in one God, the Creator of all things,
who is merciful and just.
They believe in the teachings of Jesus, and almost
all Christian groups believe in his divinity-that
he was the Son of God.
They believe in the Beatitudes or the blessings
spoken by Jesus in the sermon on the mount,
which is in the Gospel according to St. Matthew.
They believe we should love our fellowmen,
even our enemies, and forgive them as we want
God to forgive us.
Almost all Christians believe in baptism or in
some union with Jesus.
Most Christians believe in the Lords Supper, the
eucharist, the mass, or holy communion.
Now that we have talked about the basic Christian
beliefs, lets look at some of the ways in which Christian
belief systems may differ.