The Marriage Ceremony

When two people decide that they are prepared to join in marriage and spend their lives together the Caney Circle is prepared to provide a beautiful and meaningful ceremony to establish that union. The Caney wedding ceremony is usually guided by a Caney beike who has legal ministerial capacity to sanctify a marriage. The details of the ceremony can vary and they can include a wide variety of particulars that may be added by the bride and groom at their pleasure. However there are certain constants in the Caney wedding that must always be included.

These three constants are:

* The conjugal blanket
* The sharing of the foods
* The story of the first couple

Aside from whatever details and additions desired by the couple, the Caney beike is required to remind the couple of their responsibility to each other. This admonishment should go along with a reminder of the existance of a sacred male and a sacred female divine force within each human being and within each conjugal union.

The three required components of the marriage ceremony should occur in this order: 1.) The conjugal blanket is a regular blanket provided by the groom and the bride. When it is time to do the exchange of wedding rings (if that is to happen) and the exchange of foods the blanket should be placed around the shoulders of the couple as they stand together side by side. The blanket is draped around the shoulders of the couple by two friends or relatives.

2.) Standing under the blanket the couple is handed plates or trays of food by a friend or relative. Typically a man is handed a plate of turkey meat. This can be in the form of cooked turkey, tukey slices, or any other form of turkey. The turkey represents the role of a man to provide meat for the family as a hunter. A woman is typically handed a plate of cooked corn or cassava. The corn can be in any form; tortilla, corn chips, pop corn, etc. The corn or casava represents that traditional role of the woman as the primordial gardener, she who uses her unique female affinity with the fertile soil to cause the crops to succeed. In this part of the ceremony each one of them standing there under the blanket, in turn, offers his or her plate of food to the other, saying the words: “Hence-forth I vow to share of myself with you as I share of this food token, this fruit of my effort.”

3.) As part of the conclusion of the ceremony the beike should relate the ancient legend of the first couple. This can be read from a copy of the BOOK OF SONGS. As part of this story the beike should mention the episode in which the two ancestral humans first notice their own navels. In this part of the legend the beike should point out that the navel is the part of the body at which point the human being is connected to his or her ancestors and the ancestor was connected to his or her ancestor and so on back to the very first ancestor.

ceremonies | intro

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