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A wedding is a ceremony where two people are united in marriage.
Wedding traditions and customs vary greatly between cultures, ethnic groups, religions, countries, and social classes.
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The Service of Christian Marriage (Rite I) includes the elements found in a standard liturgy celebrated on the Lord's Day as well as other elements unique to this Mass: the Entrance, Opening Prayer, Old Testament Reading, Psalm, New Testament Reading, Alleluia, Gospel Reading, Sermon, Recitation of one of the ecumenical creeds, prayers of the faithful, Offertory, the Declaration by the Man and the Woman, Response of the Families and the People, Exchange of Vows, Blessing and Exchange of Rings, Declaration of Marriage and celebration of the Eucharist, and Benediction.
Hindu ceremonies are usually conducted totally or at least partially in Sanskrit, the language of the Hindu scriptures.
Most Christian churches give some form of blessing to a marriage; the wedding ceremony typically includes some sort of pledge by the community to support the couple's relationship.
Most wedding ceremonies involve an exchange of marriage vows by the couple, presentation of a gift (offering, rings, symbolic item, flowers, money), and a public proclamation of marriage by an authority figure or celebrant.
Special wedding garments are often worn, and the ceremony is sometimes followed by a wedding reception.
A church wedding is a ceremony presided over by a Christian priest or pastor.
Ceremonies are based on reference to God, and are frequently embodied into other church ceremonies such as Mass. In the Roman Catholic Church "Holy Matrimony" is considered to be one of the seven sacraments, in this case one that the spouses bestow upon each other in front of a priest and members of the community as witnesses.
Different religions have different beliefs as regards the breakup of marriage.
For example, the Roman Catholic Church believes that marriage is a sacrament and a valid marriage between two baptized persons cannot be broken by any other means than death.
The wedding ceremony of Saint Thomas Christians, an ethnoreligious group of Christians in India incorporate elements from Hindu, Jewish and Christian weddings.
"The Order for the Service of Marriage" in the Methodist Book of Worship for Church and Home (1965) specifies the importance of premarital counseling, stating that the "minister is enjoined diligently to instruct those requesting his offices for their prospective marriage in the Christian significance of the holy estate into which they seek to enter".
Most religions recognize a lifelong union with established ceremonies and rituals.
Some religions permit polygamous marriages or same-sex marriages.