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Saturday, May 17, 2008

Gaelic Wedding Traditions

Recently my family travelled to Ireland. While I was there we passed a church with First Communion children leaving the church and a wedding about to go in, and it got me thinking. So I asked about a few traditions…

I found out they like to make certain all brides and grooms know their Gaelic names for the ceremony...my husband’s and mine are Seamus and Eilish, for example. The man at the Marsh library (fascinating place – you have to read rare books locked up in a cage!) who told us some of these things couldn't pronounce our son’s name in Gaelic, said it was way too hard (I would have loved to hear it though). Also they tend to do toasts with Guinness rather than champagne...and many wedding parties do a procession of sorts along the street after the ceremony. We watched the First Communion children leave in a procession, skipping, singing and chatting, and the wedding went in. The Garda there (police), were minding the peace of the, um, merry revellers, merry already at the wedding. Oh, and there’s a ton of good luck traditions...Irish lace only on the dresses...braided hair and a horseshoe hanging from the bride’s dress - oh, and to have a First Communion ceremony before the wedding is considered a blessing, too (which is why the wedding was on almost immediately after). The bells ringing for a wedding sounds joyous, but like the Greek “spitting on the bride” tradition, apparently it's to keep the Devil away...also to remind them of their vows to love each other in hard times.

The one tradition I particularly liked was the wedding ring one: the Claddagh ring. It's multi-purpose for a woman, but in marriage, it's beautiful. It's a ring with two hands clasping over a heart and crown, and when she wears it heart point down on the left hand, it's to connect her heart to his, forever.

And while we were there, a wedding car went past…it wasn’t quite a limo or Humvee, not a mini bus…but it was fabulous. An Irish wedding car! And as soon as my husband gets home I will get him to download the pic from his puter to the blog.

Melissa J


Blogger Linda Goodnight said...

Melissa, I can't wait to see that photo! Ireland is one of my top 5 places to visit before I die and I just loved hearing about their wedding traditions. Wonderful!

May 17, 2008 at 10:37 AM  
Blogger Myrna said...

Oh, I've always wanted to go to Ireland, too. And how wonderful to get married where everything is so beautifully green.

May 17, 2008 at 2:28 PM  
Blogger Brandy said...

Thanks for sharing the Gaelic Wedding Traditions. I wear a claddaugh that my husband gave me (we both have Irish ancestors).

May 17, 2008 at 6:36 PM  
Blogger Virginia said...

I would love to go to Ireland. My best friend went a few years ago. That is were her mother was from and she got to go visit some relatives she had never met.

May 17, 2008 at 6:39 PM  

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