Sikh Program Book - Style 1
These templates are just for references & any alteration is possible.

  

 

  


 


 

The Wedding Ceremony of

XXX
and
YYY

Saturday July 1, 2006

The Wedgwood Room
8090, Albert hall, NY, USA

 

Part-1
 


Ceremony conducted by
Pundit XXX

Welcome, all of our guests.

The Hindu wedding ceremony is based on traditions and rituals that originated in ancient Sanskrit scriptures known as the Vedas. Over time, the Vedic rituals have been combined with different traditions, creating unique wedding customs in each region of India.

Today, the Vedic ceremony will combine elements from both Hindu and Sikh traditions, reflecting XXX and YYY heritage respectively. It is meant to symbolically unite the bride and groom so that after marriage they unite as one in spirit.

The majority of the ceremony will take place in the mandap (a wedding canopy built of four poles to represent the universe). Each of the five Indian elements-fire, water, air, earth and space-are represented within the mandap. Agni (the holy fire) exists as a divine witness to this sacred union and symbolizes the illumination of knowledge and happiness.


An Indian wedding is a grand social affair that’s typically celebrated over several days with family and friends during spirited events, including song and dance festivities and henna parties. Relationships are renewed and rejoiced.

This Hindu marriage ceremony will be conducted in the ancient language of Sanskrit. The main aspects are described below:

                   
Swagtam-Baraat
                     (Arrival of The Groom):

Wedding celebrations commence with XXX family welcoming Neil, his family and friends to the wedding venue. The YYY ceremony is a special greeting of the baraat, performed between members of each family.

XXX is then escorted to the entrance where Krishna, YYY mother, welcomes him. She blesses him and performs aarti (moving a small flame in a circular motion in front of his face to free XXX from obstacles and bad luck). Krishna then applies a tilak (red mark on XXX forehead) as a sign of welcome and to invite good luck.

XXX then steps onto an earthen pitcher, crushing it into many pieces. This demonstrates that he has the ability, strength and determination to overcome all obstacles that the couple may face. XXX is then escorted by YYY parents to the mandap.
 

Part-2
 


                           Kanya Aagaman
                      (Arrival of the Bride):

YYY is escorted to the mandap by AAA, her brother, and her cousins.

Jaimala
(Exchange of Wedding Garlands):

The couple exchange garlands, signifying the union of two bodies and two souls into one entity, then proclaim their love and mutual acceptance of one another.

Load Ganesh and
Navagraha Pooja
(Opening Prayers):

Every auspicious occasion begins with an invocation of the Lord Ganesha, the elephant-headed god. This is to ensure a ceremony free of impediments and a marriage free of all hardships. Prayers asking for continuous happiness and prosperity are then offered to Navagraha (the nine planets) and the presiding deities of marriage.

Madhupark
(Honouring of the Groom):


With the accompaniment of mantras by the priest, YYY parents welcome and honor the groom by washing his feet. It is believed that through the parents’ prayers, the man that their daughter will marry is an embodiment of Lord Vishnu, and he is honored as such. 

XXX, YYY father, then offers Neil madhuparka (a sweet drink made of honey for good health, clarified butter for strength and beauty, and yogurt for brilliance). Madhuparka also symbolizes the sweetening of relations between the couple’s families.


                     
Gaanth Bandhan
                            (Tying of the Knot):

For good luck, a married woman ties the corners of Neil’s and XXX garments together with a knot to represent their inseparability.

Kanya Daan
(Giving away of the Bride):

The rituals proceed as XXX parents perform the Kanya Daan, considered one of the most sacred gifts that parents can offer to God. Both parents wash the couple’s feet with milk and water to purify them for their new life together then apply tilaks to their foreheads. Radhe guides YYY hand on top of XXX, symbolizing his blessing of their union. The bride and groom’s hands are filled with betal nuts and rice, signifying unity,
 

Part-3
 



prosperity and happiness. Radhe then holds an open palm over the couple’s hands while Krishna pours water then milk over her husband’s hands. This subsequently falls on the bride and groom’s hands, purifying their union and blessing them with happiness and prosperity. The gesture symbolizes a promise from the father of the bride: “I offer you this most precious gift-my daughter-to take as your own, to cherish and protect. Take my daughter to be your life partner.” 


                      
Vivaaha Havan
                        (Lighting of the Fire):

Agni (the sacred fire, considered to be the sustainer of life) is lit using ghee (butter), wood, incense and camphor. As XXX and YYY sit side-by-side facing the fire, she holds his hand while XXX makes offerings of ghee to the fire and the priest chants mantras for their longevity as a couple. 

Mangal Pheras or
Agni Parikrama
(Circling the Fire):

XXX and YYY walk around the fire seven times, accompanied by the chanting of mantras and assisted by AAA, who offers a fistful of puffed rice to the bride and groom as a sign that he wishes happiness upon his sister’s marriage. In the first four parikramas, the bride walks ahead of the groom, signifying that she will lead in all matters pertaining to household activities, along the path of dharma, arth, kaama and moksha. In the final three parikramas, the groom walks in front, signifying that he will lead in matters related to community activities. Together, they will live a righteous and spiritual life. They also offer rice each time they circle around the fire, symbolizing fertility and prosperity.



                         
Panigrahan
                       (The Groom's Promise):

Neil holds Noopur’s hands and promises, “I will hold your hands forever. I do so to keep you happy and I am proud to be your husband.

May God, who has united us, bless me so that I will be an ideal husband.” He then recites the hymns for happiness in their lifelong relationship.

Shila Rohan
(Stepping on the Rock):

YYY places her right foot on a piece of rock while XXX recites a statement that encourages her to be as strong as the rock and firm when they face future difficulties together.

                       
Sapta Padi
                 (The Seven Sacred Steps):

The ceremony of the seven steps is the most important part of the ceremony. Prayers are recited as the couple walks the seven steps together, symbolizing that they are now lifelong friends who share the same thoughts, desires and aspirations. They have become two bodies with a single soul. While holding hands, Neil and XXX walk the seven short steps together, taking a vow at each step:

Part-4
 


1.  Let us live with honour and respect. Let us walk together so we get food.

2.  Let us be happy and enjoy life. Let us walk together so we get strength.

3.  Let us share joys and pains together. Let us walk together so we get wealth.

4.  Let us not forget parents and elders. Let us walk together so we get happiness.

5.  Let us observe all acts of charity. Let us walk together so we have family.

6.  Let us live a long and peaceful life. Let us walk together so we have joy.

7.  Let us be friends who share love and sacrifice. Let us walk together so we have friendship.

The couple then ends this ritual with XXX seated to YYY left. Since the heart is on the body’s left side, this signifies that XXX will keep YYY in his heart at all times.

Saubhagya Chinna
(Marks of Auspiciousness)
And Mudrika
(Exchange of the Rings):


XXX adorns YYY, as his wife, with sindhoor (red powder) on her forehead, thereby promising to cherish and protect her as if she were his own life. He also offers her the Mangal Sutra, an auspicious necklace, which symbolizes the couple’s togetherness, love and their sacred union. Both XXX and YYY then conclude these rituals by exchanging wedding rings.

                    
Surya Dharsan:

XXX then requests YYY to look towards the sun, symbolizing enlightenment.

Aashirwaad
(Blessings):

The priest prays for blessings from the supreme Lord for the well being of the newly weds and of those assembled. Relatives and friends then sprinkle rice and flowers on the couple. Afterwards, the couple seeks blessings from the Gods, parents and elderly relatives by bowing to their feet. Married women from the family bless the Bride by whispering ‘Akhand Soubhagyawati Bhav’ (blessing for abiding marital happiness).

Pronouncement:

The Bride and Groom are then declared legally and spiritually as one.
 

Part-5
 


                           
Vidai:

The ceremony is completed with the departure of Bride and Groom, which is known as Vidai, Farewell to the bride by her parents, siblings, relatives and friends, indeed a very emotional part of the whole event. The Bride is leaving her parental home to build an entirely new life with her husband and members of his immediate family in a different environment altogether. She leaves with tears of joy and sorrow but carries the very best wishes of all who witnessed her matrimonial ceremony and throws a handful of rice so that house of her childhood remains prosperous and happy.


The Gupta and Parmar families sincerely thank all for joining us in our celebration today. We feel blessed to have the support and unconditional love of such wonderful family and friends, which has led to the
happiness that we share today.

 


       


 

 

 

 

 

 

.

 

 

 

Part-6
 

Sikh Program Book - Style 2
These templates are just for references & any alteration is possible.

  

 

  


 


 

The marriage ceremony of
XXX
and
YYY

March 18, 2006

XXX
(The Sikh Marriage)

YYY
(Congregation)

Part-1
 

The Sikh ceremony begins as the bride, the groom, relatives, and friends bow before the Guru Granth and congregate in His midst.

Ardas (Prayer) and
Wedding Sermon

The couple and their parents stand up and an Ardas is offered seeking God’s blessings. The Granthi, the person in charge of the ceremony, addresses the couple and explains the duties of their new life. The groom is to vow fidelity to the wife, while the bride is to vow fidelity to her husband. The husband protects the life and honor of his wife, and in turn she remains content with the lot of her husband. The Guru is an eternal witness to their vows. The couple signifies their consent by bowing before the Guru Granth.  

Lavan
(Wedding Hymns)

The groom’s scarf is placed in the hands of the bride. The Granthi then reads the lavan—four nuptial stanzas accompanied by musical instruments. At the end of reading each lavan, the groom followed by the bride




walks around the Guru Granth in a clockwise direction while ragis (singers) sing the hymn. The four nuptial stanzas explain in detail the development stages of love between husband and wife and an individual and God.

In the first stage, the Guru urges the couple to perform duties to the family and the community and to practice Simran (meditating upon God’s name). Simran washes away past sins and brings stability to mind.

In the second stage, egotism and all fears vanish and one can recognize God’s presence in everyone and everything.

In the third stage, one begins to feel Bairaag, an intense longing for a complete union with the Beloved. The final stage is Harmony, reached by one whose mind, through Simran, has gained stability and for whom remembrance of the Lord has become the sweetest of all pleasures. The stage of Harmony is of complete oneness. The bride and the groom feel and think alike and both completely identify with each other; they become one soul in two bodies.

 

 

Part-2
 


During the fourth round, the couple is showered with rose petals by the entire congregation as a sign of rejoicing. Following the XXX, the YYY Sahib (concluding hymns of the Sikh ceremony) is read and Ardas is offered again, with the entire congregation standing up this time.


Finally, Hukam (the divine command) is received from the Guru Granth by opening it at random, and karahprashad (the sweet sacrament) is served to the entire congregation. The bride and the groom are now husband and wife.













 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Part-3
 

Sikh Program Book - Style 3
These templates are just for references & any alteration is possible.

  

 

  


 


 

The Marriage Ceremony of

XXX
and
YYY

Saturday 5th July 2003
&
Saturday 12th July 2003

Part-1
 


Marriage:
An Introduction

Symbolizing a holy union, the marriage ceremony marks the beginning of the young couple’s family life. Family life is a means for spiritual growth. It serves as a training ground for man and woman to practice divine love through human love, patience, consideration of others, forgiveness, respect, kindness, and self control. These spiritual qualities, when developed, contribute towards a happy marriage and accelerate spiritual progress.

The spiritual aspect helps couples recognize that marriage is a permanent lifetime relationship. The bride and groom vow to love each other, to have a family, and to fulfill all of their dharmas (duties and obligations) pertaining to the family and to society. The marriage ceremony is solemnized somewhat differently in the Hindu and Sikh religions. In Sikhism the bride and groom take their wedding vows in front of the Guru Granth, the eternal Guru of the Sikh religion.

In Hinduism the ceremony takes place in the presence of Agni, the Vedic God of Fire. The couple goes around the Guru Granth and Agni to legitimate their ties on earth and in heaven.



                    
Marriage Ceremony
                          Barat (Groom’s Party)

The groom’s party arrives; family and friends celebrate this joyous occasion by dancing in a procession to the mandir (temple).

Milni (Greeting the Party)

The bride’s family greets and welcomes the groom’s family. They embrace and exchange garlands. The bride’s family greets relatives and guests by offerings of flowers and fragrant water, sprinkled to demonstrate love and affection.


            
Jaimala (Exchange of Garlands)

The bride and groom exchange garlands sym-bolizing their willingness to accept each other.

AnandKaraj
(The Sikh Marriage)

Sangat (Congregation)

The Sikh ceremony begins as the bride, the groom, relatives, and friends bow before the Guru Granth and congregate in His midst.


             
  Ardas (Prayer) and
                      Wedding Sermon
 

Part-2
 



The couple and their parents stand up and an Ardas is offered seeking God’s blessings. TheGranthi, the person in charge of the ceremony, addresses the couple and explains the duties of their new life. The groom is to vow fidelity to the wife, while the bride is to vow fidelity to her husband. The husband protects the life and honor of his wife, and in turn she remains con-tent with the lot of her husband. The Guru is an eternal witness to their vows. The couple signi-fies their consent by bowing before the Guru Granth
.

Lavan (Wedding Hymns)

The groom’s scarf is placed in the hands of the bride. The Granthi then reads the lavan, four nuptial stanzas accompanied by musical instru-ments. At the end of reading each lavan, the groom followed by the bride walks around the Guru Granth in a clockwise direction while ragis (singers) sing the hymn. During the fourth round, the couple is showered with rose petals by the entire congregation as a sign of rejoicing. Following the lavan, the Anand Sahib (concluding hymns of the Sikh ceremony) is read and Ardas is offered again, with the entire congregation standing up this time. Finally, hukam (the divine command) is received from the Guru Granth by opening it at random, and karahprashad (the sweet sacrament) is served to the entire congregation. The bride and the groom are now husband and wife.
 


The four nuptial stanzas explain in detail the development stages of love between husband and wife and an individual and God.

In the first stage, the Guru urges to perform duties to the family and the community and practice simran (meditating upon God’s name). Simran washes away past sins and bring stability to mind.

In the second stage, egotism and all fears vanish and one can recognize God’s presence in everyone and everything.

In the third stage, one begins to feel Bairaag, an intense longing for a complete union with the Beloved.

The final stage is Harmony, reached by one whose mind, through simran, has gained stability and for whom remembrance of the Lord has become the sweetest of all pleasures. The stage of harmony is of complete oneness. The bride and the groom feel and think alike and both completely identify with each other; they become one soul in two bodies.

The four wedding hymns are described below. Proceeding forth to the first nuptial stanza:

 

Part-3
 



The Lord presents before you his instruction for the daily duties of marital life:

You are to recite the hymns of the Guru, And be constant in the performance of your duty. Thus the errors of the past shall be washed away. Be confirmed in righteousness and Repeat the Lord’s name. The practice of the Name has been urged in the Smrids as well.

Reflect upon the True Guru, who is ever perfect, And all your sins and errors will leave you.By the greatest good fortune the mind is filled with bliss and thoughts of the Lord are soothing to the mind. Slave Nanak proclaims that in this first round. The marriage ceremony has begun.

Comes the
second nuptial round:

And the Lord has made you to meet the True Guru. With your heart bound by the fear of the Fearless God. All sense of pride has been washed from the mind. Knowing the fear of God and singing His praise, You behold His presence before you. God, the Lord Master, is the soul of the creation; He pervades everywhere and fills all places with His Being.

Know then that there is One God, within us and without. And His songs of rejoicing are heard in the company of His servants. Nanak proclaims, that in this second nuptial round, the Divine music is heard.


In the
third round:

The praises of the Lord fill my mind. By the greatest good fortune you have come to meet the Lord God in the company of the holy.

Singing His praises and speaking the Divine Word, the Immaculate Lord is found.

It is by very great fortune that the pious attain to the Lord and tell that story which can never be told.

The music of God resounds within and we contemplate the Lord God:

For we have been blessed with a great destiny written upon our foreheads.

Slave Nanak proclaims that in this third round, the love of God has been awakened in the heart.

In this fourth round:

The mind grasps the knowledge of the Divine, And God is realized within. By the Guru’s Grace, we have reached the Lord with ease; our bodies and our souls are filled With the tender delight of the Beloved.

I am a sacrifice unto my Lord. God seems sweet to me and I have become pleasing to my Master. He fills my thoughts all night and day. I have obtained the object of my heart’s desire - my Lord.
 

Part-4
 



By praising His name I have gained the highest praise. The Lord Himself becomes one with His holy bride, while the heart of the bride blooms and flowers with His Holy Name.

Slave Nanak proclaims, that in the fourth round we have found the Eternal Lord.

                    The Hindu Wedding

                       Ganesh Pooja

             (Worship of LordGanesh)

Lord Ganesh (the Hindu God) is the removerof all obstacles. He is worshipped to ensure an impediment free ceremony. The worship is also performed to invoke God’s blessings for the longevity of the couple.


                         Kanya Daan

            (Giving away the Daughter)

Kanya Daan is performed by the father who pours a libation of sacred water symbolizing the giving away of the daughter to the groom. As a condition in offering his daughter for mar-riage, the father requests a promise from the groom. The groom promises to assist the bride in attaining: Dharma (piety), Artha (wealth), and Kaama (desire). The groom makes the promise by repeating three times that he will not fail the girl in realizing dharma, artha and kaama.
 


                         Vivaaha Havan
            (Starting the nuptial Fire)

A fire is lit, symbolizing purity and acting as a witness of all ceremonies that follow.


                  
Panigrahanam
            (Holding of Hands and
                 Tying the Knot)

The groom holds the bride’s right hand, clutching her fingers with his right palm. Then, he proclaims to his bride,

“May Bhaga (the giver of wealth who presides over love and marriage), Aryama (the Lord of Effort), Savita the Sun (the source of all energy), and the Devas (all celestial beings), the enlightened ones, bestow all enjoyment on us; and may all these Gods endow us with good children and bless that you may live forever. These Gods have given you unto me to be the Queen of my family.”

During this ceremony, the ends of three scarves are tied together, an act preceding their marriage union.

Laja Havan
(Offerings to the Fire)

Part-5
 



The bride and the groom put parched rice, which is handed to them by the brothers and cousins of the bride, in the sacred fire and recitea hymn praying for their prosperity.

Sapta-Padi
(Circling the Fire Seven Times)

The sapta-padi is the most important ritual of the wedding ceremony. The bride and groom walk around the nuptial fire seven times, each time making a promise to each other.

The priest recites the following hymns detailing their vows:

With God as a guide, let us take,

the first step to provide nourishment and pure food for our household,

the second step to develop our physical, mental and spiritual powers,

the third step
to increase our wealth by righteous means and diligence,

the fourth step to acquire knowledge, happiness and harmony by mutual love and trust,

the fifth step so that we are blessed with strong, virtuous and heroic children,
 


the sixth step for self restraint and longevity,

the seventh step to become true companions and remain lifelong partners by this wedlock.

Having taken these steps together, I assure you that I will not swerve from the path of my love and friend-ship with you. So should you also not swerve. Let our thoughts, decisions, and actions be one and in unison. Let us be kind, loving, considerate, good and open-hearted to each other. Let us share our food, possessions, strengths, and advantages together. Let us be complementary to each other as thought and speech are to each other. The sapta-padi ceremony concludes with a hymn signifying that the union is eternal. The bride and groom are pronounced man and wife.

                 
Sindhur Dharan
                (Placing Red Powder
                 on the Bride’s Head)

In this ceremony, the groom places sindhur (red powder) on the crown of the bride’s head. The sindhur is indicative of a blood union, and it is the unmistakable mark of a married woman.

Part-6
 

Akshataaropana
(Blessing the Couple)

The priest distributes sacred rice to the congre-gation. On a signal from the priest, the married couple is showered with the sacred rice. This ritual signifies that the congregation, who are the divine angels, have witnessed the wedding and bestowed their blessings on the newlyweds for longevity and prosperity.


                           
Doli
  (Farewell to the Daughter from her Family)

The bride’s family says farewell to their daughter. The bride sits in the Palki as her brothers and cousins physically carry her outdoors. This is a tearful moment as it symbolizes that the bride is leaving her parents’ home for good. (This will take place after the reception).

“Whatever I am any devotee desires to worship with faith - that faith of his 1 make firm and unshakable”. 9V. 21

“I am the same towards all beings. None is hateful, and none is dear to Me. But those who worship Me with devotion dwell in Me, and I too dwell in them” Ch. 9 V. 29

Srimad Bhagavad Gita
 

 

 

 

 

 

Part-7
 

Sikh Program Book - Style 4
These templates are just for references & any alteration is possible.

  

 

  


 


 

The Marriage Ceremony of

XXX
and
YYY

February 1, 2003

Part-1
 


Marriage:
An Introduction

Symbolizing a holy union, the marriage ceremony marks the beginning of the young couple’s family life. Family life is a means for spiritual growth. It serves as a training ground for man and woman to practice divine love through human love, patience, consideration of others, forgiveness, respect, kindness, and self control. These spiritual qualities, when developed, contribute towards a happy marriage and accelerate spiritual progress.

The spiritual aspect helps couples recognize that marriage is a permanent lifetime relationship. The bride and groom vow to love each other, to have a family, and to fulfill all of their dharmas (duties and obligations) pertaining to the family and to society. The marriage ceremony is solemnized somewhat differently in the Hindu and Sikh religions. In Sikhism the bride and groom take their wedding vows in front of the Guru Granth, the eternal Guru of the Sikh religion.

In Hinduism the ceremony takes place in the presence of Agni, the Vedic God of Fire. The couple goes around the Guru Granth and Agni to legitimate their ties on earth and in heaven.
 


                        Marriage Ceremony
                       Barat
(Groom’s Party)

The groom’s party arrives; family and friends celebrate this joyous occasion by dancing in a procession to the mandir (temple).

Milni (Greeting the Party)

The bride’s family greets and welcomes the groom’s family. They embrace and exchange garlands. The bride’s family greets relatives and guests by offerings of flowers and fragrant water, sprinkled to demonstrate love and affection.


           
Jaimala (Exchange of Garlands)

The bride and groom exchange garlands sym-bolizing their willingness to accept each other.

AnandKaraj
(The Sikh Marriage)

Sangat (Congregation)

Part-2
 



The Sikh ceremony begins as the bride, the groom, relatives, and friends bow before the Guru Granth and congregate in His midst.

                 
Ardas (Prayer) and
                         Wedding Sermon

The couple and their parents stand up and an Ardas is offered seeking God’s blessings. TheGranthi, the person in charge of the ceremony, addresses the couple and explains the duties of their new life. The groom is to vow fidelity to the wife, while the bride is to vow fidelity to her husband. The husband protects the life and honor of his wife, and in turn she remains con-tent with the lot of her husband. The Guru is an eternal witness to their vows. The couple signi-fies their consent by bowing before the Guru Granth.

Lavan (Wedding Hymns)

The groom’s scarf is placed in the hands of the bride. The Granthi then reads the lavan, four nuptial stanzas accompanied by musical instru-ments. At the end of reading each lavan, the groom followed by the bride walks around the Guru Granth in a clockwise direction while ragis (singers) sing the hymn. During the fourth round, the couple is showered with rose petals by the entire congregation as a sign of rejoicing. Following the lavan, the Anand Sahib (concluding hymns of the Sikh ceremony) is read and Ardas is offered again, with the entire congregation standing up this time. Finally,

 



hukam (the divine command) is received from the Guru Granth by opening it at random, and karahprashad (the sweet sacrament) is served to the entire congregation. The bride and the groom are now husband and wife.

The four nuptial stanzas explain in detail the development stages of love between husband and wife and an individual and God.

In the first stage, the Guru urges to perform duties to the family and the community and practice simran (meditating upon God’s name). Simran washes away past sins and bring stability to mind.

In the second stage, egotism and all fears vanish and one can recognize God’s presence in everyone and everything.

In the third stage, one begins to feel Bairaag, an intense longing for a complete union with the Beloved.

The final stage is Harmony, reached by one whose mind, through simran, has gained stability and for whom remembrance of the Lord has become the sweetest of all pleasures. The stage of harmony is of complete oneness. The bride and the groom feel and think alike and both completely identify with each other; they become one soul in two bodies.

The four wedding hymns are described below. Proceeding forth to
the first nuptial stanza:

·
The Lord presents before you his instruction for the daily duties of marital life:

Part-3
 



You are to recite the hymns of the Guru, And be constant in the performance of your duty. Thus the errors of the past shall be washed away. Be confirmed in righteousness and Repeat the Lord’s name. The practice of the Name has been urged in the Smrids as well.

Reflect upon the True Guru, who is ever perfect, And all your sins and errors will leave you.By the greatest good fortune the mind is filled with bliss and thoughts of the Lord are soothing to the mind. Slave Nanak proclaims that in this first round. The marriage ceremony has begun.

Comes the
second nuptial round:

And the Lord has made you to meet the True Guru. With your heart bound by the fear of the Fearless God. All sense of pride has been washed from the mind. Knowing the fear of God and singing His praise, You behold His presence before you. God, the Lord Master, is the soul of the creation; He pervades everywhere and fills all places with His Being.

Know then that there is One God, within us and without. And His songs of rejoicing are heard in the company of His servants. Nanak proclaims, that in this second nuptial round, the Divine music is heard.

In the
third round:

The praises of the Lord fill my mind. By the greatest good fortune you have come to meet the Lord God in the company of the holy.


Singing His praises and speaking the Divine Word, the Immaculate Lord is found.

It is by very great fortune that the pious attain to the Lord and tell that story which can never be told.

The music of God resounds within and we contemplate the Lord God:

For we have been blessed with a great destiny written upon our foreheads.

Slave Nanak proclaims that in this third round, the love of God has been awakened in the heart.

In this
fourth round:

The mind grasps the knowledge of the Divine, And God is realized within. By the Guru’s Grace, we have reached the Lord with ease; our bodies and our souls are filled With the tender delight of the Beloved.

I am a sacrifice unto my Lord. God seems sweet to me and I have become pleasing to my Master. He fills my thoughts all night and day. I have obtained the object of my heart’s desire - my Lord.

By praising His name I have gained the highest praise. The Lord Himself becomes one with His holy bride, while the heart of the bride blooms and flowers with His Holy Name.

Part-4
 



Slave Nanak proclaims, that in the fourth round we have found the Eternal Lord.

The Hindu Wedding
Ganesh Pooja

(Worship of LordGanesh)

Lord Ganesh (the Hindu God) is the removerof all obstacles. He is worshipped to ensure an impediment free ceremony. The worship is also performed to invoke God’s blessings for the longevity of the couple.


                   
Kanya Daan
              (Giving away the Daughter)

Kanya Daan is performed by the father who pours a libation of sacred water symbolizing the giving away of the daughter to the groom. As a condition in offering his daughter for mar-riage, the father requests a promise from the groom. The groom promises to assist the bride in attaining: Dharma (piety), Artha (wealth), and Kaama (desire). The groom makes the promise by repeating three times that he will not fail the girl in realizing dharma, artha and kaama.


 



                        Vivaaha Havan

              (Starting the nuptial Fire)

A fire is lit, symbolizing purity and acting as a witness of all ceremonies that follow.


                  
Panigrahanam
               (Holding of Hands and
                   Tying the Knot)

The groom holds the bride’s right hand, clutching her fingers with his right palm. Then, he proclaims to his bride,

“May Bhaga (the giver of wealth who presides over love and marriage), Aryama (the Lord of Effort), Savita the Sun (the source of all energy), and the Devas (all celestial beings), the enlightened ones, bestow all enjoyment on us; and may all these Gods endow us with good children and bless that you may live forever. These Gods have given you unto me to be the Queen of my family.”

During this ceremony, the ends of three scarves are tied together, an act preceding their marriage union.

Laja Havan
(Offerings to the Fire)

Part-5
 



The bride and the groom put parched rice, which is handed to them by the brothers and cousins of the bride, in the sacred fire and recitea hymn praying for their prosperity.

Sapta-Padi
(Circling the Fire Seven Times)

The sapta-padi is the most important ritual of the wedding ceremony. The bride and groom walk around the nuptial fire seven times, each time making a promise to each other.

The priest recites the following hymns detailing their vows:

With God as a guide, let us take,

the first step to provide nourishment and pure food for our household,

the second step to develop our physical, mental and spiritual powers,

the third step
to increase our wealth by righteous means and diligence,

the fourth step to acquire knowledge, happiness and harmony by mutual love and trust,

the fifth step so that we are blessed with strong, virtuous and heroic children,
 



the sixth step
for self restraint and longevity,

the seventh step to become true companions and remain lifelong partners by this wedlock.

Having taken these steps together, I assure you that I will not swerve from the path of my love and friend-ship with you. So should you also not swerve. Let our thoughts, decisions, and actions be one and in unison. Let us be kind, loving, considerate, good and open-hearted to each other. Let us share our food, possessions, strengths, and advantages together. Let us be complementary to each other as thought and speech are to each other. The sapta-padi ceremony concludes with a hymn signifying that the union is eternal. The bride and groom are pronounced man and wife.


                  
Sindhur Dharan
               (Placing Red Powder
                on the Bride’s Head)

In this ceremony, the groom places sindhur (red powder) on the crown of the bride’s head. The sindhur is indicative of a blood union, and it is the unmistakable mark of a married woman.

Part-6
 

Akshataaropana
(Blessing the Couple)

The priest distributes sacred rice to the congre-gation. On a signal from the priest, the married couple is showered with the sacred rice. This ritual signifies that the congregation, who are the divine angels, have witnessed the wedding and bestowed their blessings on the newlyweds for longevity and prosperity.

                                     Doli

(Farewell to the Daughter from her Family)

The bride’s family says farewell to their daughter. The bride sits in the Palki as her brothers and cousins physically carry her outdoors. This is a tearful moment as it symbolizes that the bride is leaving her parents’ home for good. (This will take place after the reception).

“Whatever I am any devotee desires to worship with faith - that faith of his 1 make firm and unshakable”. 9V. 21

“I am the same towards all beings. None is hateful, and none is dear to Me. But those who worship Me with devotion dwell in Me, and I too dwell in them” Ch. 9 V. 29

Srimad Bhagavad Gita
 

 

 

 

 

 

Part-7
 

Sikh Program Book - Style 5
These templates are just for references & any alteration is possible.

  

 

  


 


 


The Marriage Ceremony of

XXX
and
YYY

Saturday, November 29th, 2003

Part-1
 


Marriage:
An Introduction

Symbolizing a holy union, the marriage ceremony marks the beginning of the young couple’s family life. Family life is a means for spiritual growth. It serves as a training ground for man and woman to practice divine love through human love, patience, consideration of others, forgiveness, respect, kindness, and self control. These spiritual qualities, when developed, contribute towards a happy marriage and accelerate spiritual progress.

The spiritual aspect helps couples recognize that marriage is a permanent lifetime relationship. The bride and groom vow to love each other, to have a family, and to fulfill all of their dharmas (duties and obligations) pertaining to the family and to society.

In Hinduism the ceremony takes place in the presence of Agni, the Vedic God of Fire. The couple goes around the Guru Granth and Agni to legitimate their ties on earth and in heaven.
 



                         Marriage Ceremony
                                  Barat

                    (Groom’s Party)

The groom’s party arrives; family and friends celebrate this joyous occasion by dancing in a procession to the mandir (temple).

Milni (Greeting the Party)

The bride’s family greets and welcomes the groom’s family. They embrace and exchange garlands. The bride’s family greets relatives and guests by offerings of flowers and fragrant water, sprinkled to demonstrate love and affection.

              
Jaimala (Exchange of Garlands)

The bride and groom exchange garlands sym-bolizing their willingness to accept each other.

The Hindu Wedding
Ganesh Pooja

(Worship of LordGanesh)
 

Part-2
 



Lord Ganesh
(the Hindu God) is the removerof all obstacles. He is worshipped to ensure an impediment free ceremony. The worship is also performed to invoke God’s blessings for the longevity of the couple.

                                 Kanya Daan

                (Giving away the Daughter)

Kanya Daan is performed by the father who pours a libation of sacred water symbolizing the giving away of the daughter to the groom. As a condition in offering his daughter for mar-riage, the father requests a promise from the groom. The groom promises to assist the bride in attaining: Dharma (piety), Artha (wealth), and Kaama (desire). The groom makes the promise by repeating three times that he will not fail the girl in realizing dharma, artha and kaama.


                      
Vivaaha Havan
                (Starting the nuptial Fire)

A fire is lit, symbolizing purity and acting as a witness of all ceremonies that follow.

Panigrahanam
(Holding of Hands and
Tying the Knot)



The groom holds the bride’s right hand, clutching her fingers with his right palm. Then, he proclaims to his bride,

“May Bhaga (the giver of wealth who presides over love and marriage), Aryama (the Lord of Effort), Savita the Sun (the source of all energy), and the Devas (all celestial beings), the enlightened ones, bestow all enjoyment on us; and may all these Gods endow us with good children and bless that you may live forever. These Gods have given you unto me to be the Queen of my family.”

During this ceremony, the ends of three scarves are tied together, an act preceding their marriage union.

Laja Havan
(Offerings to the Fire)

The bride and the groom put parched rice, which is handed to them by the brothers and cousins of the bride, in the sacred fire and recitea hymn praying for their prosperity.


                                Sapta-Padi

            (Circling the Fire Seven Times)

 

Part-3
 


The sapta-padi is the most important ritual of the wedding ceremony. The bride and groom walk around the nuptial fire seven times, each time making a promise to each other.

The priest recites the following hymns detailing their vows:

With God as a guide, let us take,

the first step to provide nourishment and pure food for our household,

the second step to develop our physical, mental and spiritual powers,

the third step
to increase our wealth by righteous means and diligence,

the fourth step to acquire knowledge, happiness and harmony by mutual love and trust,

the fifth step so that we are blessed with strong, virtuous and heroic children,

the sixth step for self restraint and longevity,

the seventh step to become true companions and remain lifelong partners by this wedlock.


Having taken these steps together, I assure you that I will not swerve from the path of my love and friend-ship with you. So should you also not swerve. Let our thoughts, decisions, and actions be one and in unison. Let us be kind, loving, considerate, good and open-hearted to each other. Let us share our food, possessions, strengths, and advantages together. Let us be complementary to each other as thought and speech are to each other. The sapta-padi ceremony concludes with a hymn signifying that the union is eternal. The bride and groom are pronounced man and wife.

Sindhur Dharan
(Placing Red Powder
on the Bride’s Head)

In this ceremony, the groom places sindhur (red powder) on the crown of the bride’s head. The sindhur is indicative of a blood union, and it is the unmistakable mark of a married woman.

Mangal Sutra

The groom puts Kali-poth (a black beaded necklace) around the neck of the bride (called Mangal-sutra) and a Varamala (garland of mouli) is tied around both the bride and the groom.
 

Part-4
 


This represents the official marriage of the couple. The bride and groom also exchange wedding kisses.

Akshataaropana
(Blessing the Couple)

The priest distributes sacred rice to the congre-gation. On a signal from the priest, the married couple is showered with the sacred rice. This ritual signifies that the congregation, who are the divine angels, have witnessed the wedding and bestowed their blessings on the newlyweds for longevity and prosperity.

                            
Doli
   (Farewell to the Daughter from her Family)

The bride’s family says farewell to their daughter. The bride sits in the Palki as her brothers and cousins physically carry her outdoors. This is a tearful moment as it symbolizes that the bride is leaving her parents’ home for good. (This will take place after the reception).

“Whatever I am any devotee desires to worship with faith - that faith of his 1 make firm and unshakable”. 9V. 21

“I am the same towards all beings. None is hateful, and none is dear to Me. But those who worship Me with devotion dwell in Me, and I too dwell in them” Ch. 9 V. 29

Srimad Bhagavad Gita
 


 

Part-5
 

Sikh Program Book - Style 6
These templates are just for references & any alteration is possible.

  

 

  


 


 


 

                                                                             Milni

  The first part of the ceremony starts outside of the Gurdwara (Sikh place of worship).

  The two families exchange flower garlands to formalize the bonding of the two sides.

  Tea and refreshments in the Langar (meal) hall will follow.

Part-1
 

Entering the Gurdwara

  Before entering the Gurdwara, everyone is required to take their shoes off and cover their heads. Scarves are provided for those who have no head covering.

  Sikhs pay homage to the Sri Guru Granth Sahib (Sikh Scriptures) by bowing.

  Men sit to the right and women to the left of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib

The Ardas

  For the Ardas (prayer), Jamie, Harprit and their parents will stand  while the rest of the sangat (congregation) remains seated

  The Ardas indicates the consent of Jamie and Harprit and their families to this marriage and asks for God’s blessings.

  Ardas is followed by the Ragi (Priest) giving sermon on the significance of marriage and the couple’s duties and obligations to each other as equal partners.


                                                     Palla Ceremony

  After the sermon, the Jamie’s father places one end of a palla (scarf) in the Harprit’s hand, passing it over the shoulder and placing the other end in Jamie’s hand.

  The Palla Ceremony is followed by a short hymn, Keeta Loree-ai Kam which marks the beginning of the wedding ceremony.

  Next is the reading of the Lavan, a passage from the Sri Guru Granth Sahib.

Keeta Loree-ai Kam

  Whatever work you want to accomplish - tell it to the Lord. He will resolve your affairs - the True Guru gives his guarantee of Truth. In the Society of Saints, taste the Treasure of Amrit, the Ambrosial Nectar. The Lord is the Merciful Destroyer of fear. He preserves and protects his followers. O Nanak, sing the Glorious Praises of the Lord, and see the Unseen Lord God. Praise and slander, O Nanak, are totally banished. I have totally abandoned and forsaken all other affairs. I have seen that all other relations are false. Now, I am attached to you, Lord.”

Part-2
 



Lavan

 The Lavan define the ultimate spiritual ideals of marriage and instruct the couple in reaching them by meditation on God and singing his praises. The Lavan are read in quartets, or Lavs.

  After each Lav is read, Jamie and Harprit rise and circle the Sri Guru Granth Sahib while the Ragis sing the Lav.

  At the end of each round, the couple bow their heads to Sri Guru Granth Sahib in conscious acceptance of each Lav.

The Four Lavs

  The first verse emphasizes the performance of duty to the family and the community.

  The second verse refers to the stage of yearning and love for each other.

  The third verse refers to the stage of detachment or Virag.


·         The fourth verse refers to the final stage of harmony and union in married life during which human love blends into the love for God.

 Karah Prashad and Guru Ka Langar

  After the Lavan are completed, the Anand Sahib (song of Bliss) is sung and the Ragi performing the marriage offers prayers of thanksgiving in which the whole congregation joins.

  Lastly, Karah Prashad (a sweet pudding) is distributed to the congregation which is accepted with both hands  and everyone congratulates the couple.

  The congregation is then invited to share Guru Ka Langar
(a vegetarian Sikh meal) in the Langar Hall.
 

Part-3
 


Thank you

The Gahunia and Mukundan Families thank you for joining them in this joyous occasion.



















 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Part-4
 

Sikh Program Book - Style 7
These templates are just for references & any alteration is possible.

  

 

  


 


 

XXX
Sikh Wedding Ceremony

XXX
weds
YYY

Saturday August 28th, 2004
8090, Albert hall, NY, USA

Part-1
 


Program
2.00 pm - 4.00 pm

Milni

The two families greet each other outside the temple and exchange garlands.

                              Kirtan

Kirtan hymns will be sung as everyone assembles upstairs in the main prayer hall of the temple to await arrival of bride.

Wedding Ceremony

Ardaas prayer:- Prayer for the couple and their parents.

Guru’s Hukamnama:- First order of the day to the couple from the Guru.

English Explanation of the Ceremony by Granthi (Priest)

Palla:- The Nuptial Knot Ceremony.

Lavans:- The core of the Sikh Wedding Ceremony - consisting of four hymns and symbolic walking around the Granth Sahib by Bride and Groom. 
 


Concluding Hymns

Guru’s Hukumnama:- Final order of the day.

Serving of Karah Prashad:- Sacrament to mark formal end of ceremony.

Sikh Wedding Ceremony

The Anand Karaj, or Sikh Wedding  ceremony, symbolizes a holy union between God and the bride and  groom.  The man and woman in the presence of the holy scriptures of the Sikhs (Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji) make a commitment to progress towards this union by following the teachings of the Guru (the spiritual teacher of the Sikhs).

At the outset of the ceremony the bride and the groom will sit before the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, as the Ragis (musicians) sing Kirtan (hymns).

Ardaas

The granthi, or the official person conducting the ceremony, will then request the couple and their parents to stand up in front of the scriptures, and begins the Ardaas prayer which seeks God’s blessings. The couple and the parents will then bow before the Holy book.

Hukamnama

The granthi will then open the holy book at a random page and recite a verse from this page. This is known as the Hukamnama and is the order from the Guru for the couple on their journey ahead. The couple will bow down in front of the holy book in acceptance of this order.
 

Part-2
 


 Palla

Then the father of the bride will place one end of a scarf (called the Palla) over the right shoulder of the groom and place the other end into his daughter’s hand signifying that she is now leaving his care to join her husband.

Lavan - Wedding hymns

The officiate now reads the Lavan hymn of Guru Ram Das which is composed of four Lavans (or stanzas). This hymn describes the progression of love between a husband and wife, which is analogous to that between the soul and God. After the conclusion of the recitation of each Lavan, the groom and bride walk around the Sri Guru Granth Sahib in a clockwise direction, while the ragis sing out the recited Lavan stanza. The bride will continue to hold the end of the scarf in her hand throughout the ceremony.

After each round, the couple bow down before the holy book, symbolizing their acceptance of the verse. The  officiate then reads the next lavan. This process is repeated four times in total, once for each Lavan, after which the couple sit down.

Significance of the four Lavans:

First Lavan:

The first stanza of the hymn begins with the


Lord’s order showing the way for leading a happy wedded life.  It sets the stage for the union of the bride (the couple) with the groom (God).  The emphasis is on the bride immersing herself in the Divine Name and committing to family and community.

Second Lavan:

In the second stanza, the couple is told to face problems and hardships together with a feeling of mutual love, devotion, sacrifice, and self-discipline necessary to achieve the ideal of one spirit in two bodies.  Fear and ego depart and the Lord’s presence is felt everywhere.

Third Lavan:

The third stanza advises the bride to cultivate love for the Lord and detach herself from the mundane world. 

Fourth Lavan:

The concluding stanza is that of harmony and complete oneness.  The union of soul (bride) and Lord (groom) is complete.  While the religious ceremony began with the couple’s quest for God, it concludes with the attainment of this ideal.

Part-3
 


Concluding Hymns

“Anand Sahib” - prayer for blessings
“Vihay Hua Mere Babula”
“Kirtan”
“Ardaas”

The final hymn is called Ardaas. The  entire congregation will stand for this hymn as well as the Anand Sahib prayer preceding it.

·        Hukumnama and Karah Prashad

The  Sri Guru Granth Sahib is opened to a page at random, and the corresponding hymn is read out as the day’s order from the Guru on the conclusion of the marriage ceremony. The couple will bow in acceptance of this order.

Karah Prashad, (sacrament) made from whole wheat, sugar, butter and water is then distributed to everyone as a sign of the Guru’s grace and to mark the formal conclusion of the ceremony.

Finally, everyone rises to wish the couple well.


Acknowledgements

We would like to thank our parents for their guidance and  inspiration in our lives.

Thanks to our friends for all your love and support and for being a part of our special day.

Special thanks to Bhai Sahib Mohinder Singh Ji for your blessings, love and insight.

Most of all, thanks to God for making all this possible.

 

 

 

 

 

Part-4
 

Testimonials