How to Plan a Buddhist Wedding

by Contributor

How to Plan a Buddhist Wedding. A Buddhist wedding ceremony is meant to provide a space where you as a couple promise to make an honest and sincere attempt to maintain a harmonious and spiritually-sound relationship. A Buddhist wedding ceremony is based upon spiritual faith and not centered on religion. It is an uncomplicated ceremony that involves only a few simple traditional rituals.

Step 1

Visit a lama, or a Buddhist priest, who can help the groom determine whether your horoscopes are matched and compatible for marriage. After matching horoscopes the groom along with his family consults the lama for assistance in selecting a spiritually-sound day for proposing marriage to the bride.

Step 2

Celebrate the coming wedding with Chessian, a traditional betrothal ceremony. In this ceremony, the maternal uncle of the bride sits on a platform while the lama gives a prayer and shares Madyan with the guests, a traditional religious drink. Following Chessian the lama is consulted once again to find an astrologically-sound date for the wedding day.

Step 3

Decide where to hold the wedding. Traditionally, Buddhist wedding ceremonies are small events that include only close friends and family. It is most common to hold the ceremony in the bride's home; however more often ceremonies are being celebrated in temples to accommodate more guests.

Step 4

Arrive at the temple or bride's home early on the day of the wedding in order to prepare a marital shrine honoring Lord Buddha. The groom will bring the bride's dowry, which will accompany the image of Buddha and will create the shrine's decoration. The dowry should include either six or nine (seven and eight are considered unlucky) trays holding incense, wine, fruit, tea, cake, meat and jewelry. One of the trays should hold two candles which each of you will light during the ceremony as a symbol of the union of your families.

Step 5

Begin the ceremony by lighting the candles and incense placed in front of the shrine to Buddha and offering flowers. It is traditional that the ceremony begins with the hymns Vandana, Pancasila and Tisarana.

Step 6

Recite the Buddhist wedding vows as inscribed in the Sigilovdda Sutta. The groom will say, "Towards my wife I undertake to love and respect her, be kind and considerate, be faithful, delegate domestic management and present gifts to please her." The bride will then say, "Towards my husband I undertake to perform my household duties efficiently, be hospitable to my in-laws and friends of my husband, be faithful, protect and invest our earnings and discharge my responsibilities lovingly and fastidiously."

Step 7

Conclude the Buddhist wedding ceremony by reciting blessings for the newlyweds. The most common are the Magnal Sutta and the Jayamangala Gatha.

Tips

  • Women may choose to decorate their hands and feet with Mehendi wedding designs, an ancient Indian art applied to the skin with henna.

About the Author

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