August 06, 2006


Last week I was pleased to see a bride wear over her hair a long, Spanish mantilla. I found the image above online. It shows a bridal veil being used correctly as a veil— that is, as a covering for the head, and not just as a hair ornament on the back of the head.

The following two images show hair ornaments, not veils.

The bridal veil in Western culture originates with the classical Roman ceremony of veiling a woman at her wedding. The veil of a Roman bride was orange, not white. The development of Christian tradition eventually chose white as the color of the bridal veil, echoing the white of the garment given to souls newly purified by baptism.

The Romans poetically called the bridal veil a “cloud”— the Latin word is nubis, from which come the English words “nubile” and “nuptial”.

In the Eastern Catholic and Orthodox Churches, part of the sacramental liturgy of marriage is the rite of crowning both the groom and the bride. I haven’t looked into the meaning those Churches give to this crowning. However, here is my thought. God, the King of the universe, “crowned” the first Husband and Wife by assigning them to be his “Royal Vicars” earth.

Genesis 1:26-28. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them, and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth."

By the way, here is Queen Elizabeth II of England at her coronation.

Finally, click on the following image to watch a groom getting into the “spirit” of the occasion.


Anonymous Andrew said...

I think the crowns are cool! When I get married I wanna crown! Woot!

It's too bad Her Majesty still retains control of the Anglican Church...

8:42 PM  
Anonymous icatholicus said...

Whereas the Catholic Church says "Habemus Papam" ...
the Anglicans say, "Habemus queens."

9:03 PM  
Blogger Saint Peter's helpers said...

Would it be right to say that coronations are really being consecrated to God?

2:59 PM  
Blogger Father Stephanos, O.S.B. said...

I don't know what the wedding crowning means to the Eastern Catholic and Orthodox Churches. I can look it up.

8:15 PM  

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