A Christmas Wedding
The day after Christmas at Holy Trinity Byzantine Catholic Church in McKees Rocks, Nate and Natalia got married!
It was absolutely freezing, but as the bride and groom didn't want outdoor photos, there wasn't a single hitch in our plans.
Beautiful Golden Iconography, painted ceilings, and a gorgeous bride. Natalia got ready with her best friends underneath the church and stepped into a lacy gown.
Then came the Divine Liturgy, packed with such incredible symbolism.
It starts with the rite of betrothal, which the couple does modeling after Mary and Joseph. Then the priest hands the bride and groom white candles that symbolize the couple's spiritual willingness to receive Christ in their life. Two candles are lit, one each for the bride and groom, and the light from the candles represents the spiritual willingness of the couple to receive Christ, the "Light of the World", into their lives together. Then their right hands are joined by a cloth representing humanity as one continuous fabric, in which is interwoven everyone from the first man and woman, Adam and Eve, to the present generation of believers, and the bride and groom enter into this fabric.
Then..... They are Crowned.
The priest takes two wedding crowns joined by a ribbon and blesses the bride and groom in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and then places the crowns upon their heads. The ribbon symbolizes the unity of the couple and the presence of Christ who blesses and joins the couple. And the Crown themselves represent three things: the glory and honor that is being bestowed on them by God during the sacrament. That the couple are the King and Queen of their home, which they rule with wisdom, justice, and integrity. And martyrdom, since every true marriage involves self-sacrifice on both sides.
Then the celebrant then takes the arm of the groom and leads him and his bride around the tetrapod three times. Showing how the marriage must be. The priest( Christ ) leads, the husband clinging tightly to Christ follows the priest and the bride, her groom following Christ.
Then, The priest blesses the groom and then the bride as he removes the crowns from their heads and implores God to grant to the newlyweds a long, happy, and fruitful life together. Finally Divine Liturgy begins.
After that, we headed to their beautiful Christmas Reception at Alpine Hunting & Fishing Club!