Monday, February 23, 2009

Wedded Bliss

For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh. Genesis 2:24

Today we were invited to the wedding of a young man from the church in Chichicastenango. It was held in the home of the groom and several family and friends arrived to celebrate. I will try to give you a play by play (maybe they'll offer me a job writing for the social page of the Nocona News!). Some may recognize this young man, Roberto, as he is a waiter at the Santo Tomas Hotel. Roberto is the brother of a good friend of ours who attends the Chichicastenango Church of Christ.
After a 15 minute drive into the country and winding our way through the orchards and fields, we arrived at a house with the common patio area decorated with streamers and balloons and fresh pine needles on the ground. There were already some guests seated and we were led to the front of the grounds where the bride and groom were standing receiving greetings and gifts. Behind them were the elders from the church cataloging the gifts. In this culture, the groom's family pays for the wedding and for the courtship. After giving our good wishes, we sat down and waited for others to pass through the reception line. The couple appeared very serious and the bride crying, seemingly more out of sadness than joy. If we hadn't talked to other newlyweds, we would have thought that maybe it was an arranged marriage by the looks on their faces. But everyone says that the bride is sad because she is leaving her family.
Next we had a worship service of singing, prayer and a talk by a local preacher about he importance and sacredness of marriage. There was no exchange of vows and no signing of certificates. The civil part is usually completed before or after the religious ceremony. There were more tears and congratulations, and we wrapped it up with a nice dinner of beef pepian.


captain kriss said...

Kelli didn't cry at our wedding, but she has cried everyday since then!

Mo&We said...

Bub, you're so funny! When this bride leaves her family, will it be hard to visit because of distance? Love, Mama

Kemmel and Lisa Dunham said...

No, they only live about a 20 minute ride from each other. But she will be living with her mother in law, which is perceived as a real bummer around here!

captain kriss said...

Like it's such a treat here in the states!