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The second in a series of marriage rituals

The Jewish ritual of sheva bracot

In the Jewish marriage ceremony, the chuppah (pronounced huh pah) symbolises the groom's home and the bride's new domain under which they marry. It is made of four pillars with cloth creating a roof and drapes. In New Zealand many non-Jewish couples create a similar centre piece for their wedding ceremony.

The Jewish marriage also includes the bestowing of sheva brachot - the seven blessings. These blessings - taken from the Talmud - symbolise the joining of the bride and groom and also their families - a delightful ceremony within the ceremony.

Today many couples use the theme of “blessing” to creatively interpret the reading of the sheva brachot. They invite seven friends or family members to each recite one of the blessings or have the traditional blessings sung in Hebrew while friends or family members offer seven non-traditional blessings in English.

Today any couple could take the concept of sheva brachot and create a series of unique blessings given by chosen family and friends during their marriage ceremony.

Here are two of the blessings...

Fifth blessing…

Blessed is the one who brings people together and unites the divided. In joy we have come to witness this marriage of many cultures. It is said that everyone gets married at a wedding. Bless the two of you who bring us together through your union today.

Sixth blessing…

Blessed is the one who rejoices that the love between this woman and this man is as the very first love in the Garden. Bless the two of you who recreate the world for us and for yourselves. May your love be as old and as new as the first love, and may you also bring new life, in all its forms, into the world.

Adding a meaningful ritual to your ceremony can add a richness that unites everyone in the spirit of your marriage.

Best wishes for a memorable wedding.

Jo x

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