Saturday, November 14, 2009

An Egyptian Wedding

We attended our first wedding in Egypt the other night.  It was a Coptic wedding that began at a church with the reception downtown at a club along the Nile.  Hassan's friend's brother-in-law got married and we were invited to attend.  Since Ehab is such a good friend, how could we refuse?

The wedding ceremony took place in a church.  The priest chanted the prayers with bakhoor (incense) burning throughout the ceremony. I have a lot of bakhoor (incense) at home, but quite honestly it always smells better in a church. As the ceremony progressed he explained the most important part beforehand:  where the Holy Spirit descends upon the couple to bless them.  Then he said a recited a prayer that the priest being God's representative is the only one who can place the rings on the finger. And no human can remove them. Divorce is not allowed in the Coptic church.

Just as there are Stations of the Cross in the Catholic Church, there are what seems to be an equivalent to the life of Mary.  It starts on the far right (since Egyptians read from right to left) with the Annunication, followed by the birth of Jesus, the Holy Family on the move to Egypt, and ending with the descent of the Holy Spirit.

The work is hand-carved and quite extensive. I captured only four of the hand carvings that span the width of the church.

The reception then moved to a club along the Nile.  There was a lot of music, dancing by the bride and groom, and various actors portraying Egyptians throughout history. 

Mira all dressed up.




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