Weddings are a celebration of love and commitment, and can be celebrated uniquely in different religions. The culture of Catholics and Hindus are significantly different causing their rituals and ceremonies to differ as well. Marriage is a way for two people to come together and make the divine present in their faiths. These religions face similar and different elements throughout the sacrament of Marriage including time, place, participants, leader, pattern, community, symbols and transforming power. These 8 elements enhance the ritual and make it a Catholic or Hindu ceremony.
Catholic and Hindus have various similar elements that act on the belief of both religions. Both ceremonies include the two adherents, at least two witnesses, invited guests and the marriage officiant. A marriage officiant is a person who officiates at a wedding ceremony. In a catholic wedding the officiant is known as a priest, pastor or vicar, “Hindus know them simply as a pandit” (A.Manaktala/ 2019). Marriage in these religions also share a similar meaning for the community. In both religions a marriage means a public deceleration of love, it is also a way to unite two families and connect us to our Gods. Although each religion has a different idea of gods and eternal love, marriage is still a public way to connect us to our faiths and the divine. Symbols are another example of how these religions share similar elements in the ritual of marriage. An example of the symbols of marriage is the wedding rings, both adherents receive one and this is a symbol of faithfulness and loyalty. A bridal veil is believed to be worn over the brides face to protect her from any evil spirits that want to take her away from her groom, Catholics use unity candles to show the light of Jesus whereas Hindus use a circle of fire as a symbol of purification and a representation of Agni, the fire god. These two religions have elements such as participants, officiant, community and symbols that make their weddings similar but there are also many differences in these rituals.
These religions elements differ significantly due to the different cultural backgrounds. The place of a catholic wedding is simply in a local Catholic Church whereas Hindus Venus is chosen by the brides family and depends on their budget it is usually placed in a town hall, community hall, hotel, Mandap and the blessings are then held in a temple. Catholics can be married at any time throughout the year unless during lent or tridium, Catholics can only be married once in a church as they should commit to each other until death. Hindus go through a ritual called Muhurta which is when an astrologist calculates the position of the planets and stars to reflect the celestial union of the couples birthdates. The power of the marriage is transformed differently as for Hindus the ceremony joins the two individuals together for life so they can pursue dharma, Artha and karma. Catholics are also joined together but as a sign of purity and a way to mirror our creators eternal love for us. As you can see these rituals differ significantly more than the similar elements.
The teaching of the Catholic Church is that a married couple commit themselves totally to one another until death. The vows they make to each other in the wedding rite are a commitment ’til death do us part’. After the death of one, the other is free to marry again or to remain single. Hindus see marriage as a duty as they consider family life to be a blessing and value the stability of marriage. Having a family is the second ashrama.
In conclusion marriage is a way for two people to come together and make the divine present in their faiths, but it is celebrated differently in each culture and religion. Catholics and Hindus ceremonies differ significantly with few similar elements.