Weddings is a key event in all families and we aim to ensure that the entire process is well planned out. We discuss and plan the entire event with the families and wedding couple and ensure that the process is clear to all, including all guests, with information brochures.
Below is an explanation of the entire service.
The Sikh Wedding Ceremony
In the Sikh Faith marriage is seen as a sacred union, the purpose of which is to share their life within two worlds, the spiritual as well as the physical. It is why in the Sikh scriptures marriage is presented as two bodies sharing one soul – the ultimate goal is to proceed towards this reality.
Gurdwara – Sikh Place of Worship
The term “Gurdwara” is a combination of two words: Guru – the enlightner and “dwara” – literally meaning door but here it denotes the abode. Hence the literal translation of Gurdwara is the “abode of the Guru in a passive sense and in an active sense, it is the door to the guru, which the human soul must attempt to open.
The First (Introductory) Ardaas
Before the beginning of the marriage ceremony, a silent prayer is conducted by the Granthi (Priest) in which the bride, groom, and their parents stand up and the rest of the congregation remains seated. In the prayer, permission to begin the marriage ceremony with the grace of God is asked.
The First Hukamnama – The Order (Hymn from Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji)
The Granthi will read the Guru’s Hukum (Order) to the congregation. Through the Hukamnama, Guru Ji speaks and showers His blessings upon the couple, the parents, and the holy congregation. At this time, the Granthi (Priest) explains to the couple about this new phase of life that they are about to embark on and also what their respective duties and responsibilities are in accordance to each other and to the Sikh Faith.
Tying the Wedding Knot
This ceremony is known as ‘Palle Dee Rasam’, where the Bride’s relative (usually the father) will take one end of the scarf held by the groom and hands it over to the bride who holds on to it until the completion of the wedding ceremony. Holding the scarf in her hand, the bride and groom physically join in communion, ready to accept and affirm their marriage vows in front of the Guru.
The Lavaan – Marriage Hymns
The four Lavaans are first ready out by the Granthi (Priest) from the Sri Guru Granth Sahib and then sung by the Raagis (Hymn Singers) one by one. With each Lanv both the groom and the bride will walk around the Guru Granth Sahib.
Guru Ram Das, the fourth Guru Ji, wrote this hymn consisting of four stanzas to explain the spiritual marriage of the soul with God. This is the mission of human life as prescribed by the Sikh faith. Each Lavaan starts with the invocation, “God, I am obliged to You for Your Grace”
The four Lavaan have a particular message in a Sikh’s quest for spiritual growth. The first Lavaan emphasizes discipline and the second, the growth of love and enthusiasm. The third Lanvaan lays stress on restraint and the fourth and the last mentions the harmony of perfect bliss derived from marriage.
Marriage is a spiritual journey of one soul in two bodies, which needs love, mutual respect, mutual trust, mutual adjustment and commitment to attain unity with God.
The third, Guru Ji, Guru Amardas Ji says, just by sitting together don’t proclaim to be husband and wife; rather husband and wife are those who have one spirit in two bodies.
Closing of the Wedding Ceremony
Everyone will now stand for the Ardaas (standing prayer) to thank Waheguru and Guru Ji for the completion of the marriage and for the whole congregation to join to ask the Lord to bless the couple.
Distribution of Karah Parshaad
Now some Gurdwara volunteers will distribute Karah Parshaad, which one receives by cupping both hands.
Karah Parshaad is a sweet pudding, which is made of flower, butter/ghee, sugar and water.
Karah Parshaad is sacred food which acts as holy communion, a token and gift from Guru Ji to the all the congregation irrespective of gender, religion or background.
Guru Ka Langar
After the conclusion of the ceremony all are invited to partake in the Guru’s Langar, the meal is eaten on floor mats, the lowering of the self to the floor reflect humility and equality of whatever caste or class you are from.
Historically the tradition of the Langar was used by the Sikh Gurus to reject the caste system, how one sat or dressed in relationship to another person determined a person’s caste. The Sikh faith rejects the caste system.