Summary: We have been invited to share in the great wedding celebration of Jesus and his bride. This lessons looks at the Wedding Party - People as well as the Wedding Party-Celebration.

1. Wedding Traditions

Everyone is familiar with our wedding traditions like tossing the bouquet and the throwing of rice/bird seed, but what about traditions from other countries and cultures?

* The Blackening of the Bride: Scotland

The bride and groom are slathered from head to toe in every disgusting substance their friends can get their hands on. Curdled milk, rotten eggs, spoiled curry, fish sauces, mud, flour, sausages, every nasty thing you can imagine. As if that weren't enough, the couple is then paraded about, with well-wishers making as much noise as possible.

* Daur Chick Liver Tradition: Inner Mongolia, China

To select a wedding date, the young couple must take a knife and together slaughter a chick. The date is then divined by the appearance of the chick's liver. If the liver has an unfortunate appearance, they must keep killing chicks until they find a good one.

* Bathroom Moratorium: Tidong community, Indonesia/Malaysia

After the wedding, the bride and groom are not allowed to use the bathroom for three whole days. They cannot leave the house, clear their bowels or urinate. The couple is watched over and are allowed minimal amounts of food and drink. If the custom is not practiced, they believe it will bring bad luck to the couple, with consequences such as a broken marriage, infidelity or death of their children. After three days, the couple is allowed to return to normal life and begin their marriage.

* Spitting on the Bride: Massai nation, Kenya

At a wedding ceremony held by the Massai people, the father of the bride blesses his daughter by spitting on her head and her body. She then leaves with her husband and does not look back for fear of turning into stone.

* The Kissing Tradition: Sweden

If the groom leaves the room for any reason, all the other men at the wedding are allowed to kiss the bride. The same goes for the groom and female guests if the bride should leave the room.

* Cut Off Socks: Denmark

The groom and/or bride cut off the toe of their sock so that no other women or men will be attracted to them.

2. The Beatitude of the Wedding of the Lamb -- Revelation 19.6-9

I. The People of the Wedding Party

A. The Bride -- the Church -- Ephesians 5.32 . . it refers to Christ and the church.

1. The Bride is normally the center of attention at weddings -- All brides are beautiful -- at great expense!

2. Readied through Preparation -- Matthew 25.1-13

3. Fine Clothes -- Isaiah 61.10

I will greatly rejoice in the LORD; my soul shall exult in my God, for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation; he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself like a priest with a beautiful head dress,

Contrast with the Harlot of Revelation 17.4

The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and jewels and pearls, holding in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the impurities of her sexual immorality.

a. Magnificent Wedding Dresses -- Princess Di; 2006 -- Designers most expensive wedding dress "Diamond Wedding Dress" -- $12 Million of diamonds

b. Christians are clothed in good deeds for which we were created -- Ephesians 2.10

Nervous Bride -- The bride was very nervous. It was right before the wedding and she wasn't sure she could even walk down aisle. So her father gave her some words of wisdom. He said to her. "There's only three things you need to focus on. If you focus on these three things, you'll be fine. The first is walking down the aisle. Just focus on walking down the aisle of the church. I know it's rather long, but just concentrate on getting to the end of the aisle. Next, focus on the altar. It is your destination today. Make your way down the aisle to the altar. There you will stand before God with the man you love and will make vows to God and him. Focus on the altar --for the altar represents the love God has for you in Jesus Christ. Lastly, focus on the hymn just before signing of the Register. In poetry and song, the hymn embodies God's love for you in Christ, your love for your husband and his love for you. So, to help you not be so nervous focus on those three things. Walking down the AISLE, Standing before the ALTAR and Listening to the HYMN. The family and friends gathered watched as she walked down the aisle. They saw the look of calm on her face. But as she passed them, they began to chuckle quietly. For along with the look of calm, she was mumbling three words over and over again to help calm her nerves. "Aisle, Altar, Hymn... Aisle, Altar, Hymn... Aisle, Altar, Hymn."

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