Weddings in Philippines
Prayers for Couple's Cord
The ceremony has a mix of old, pre-colonial, customs and imported Latin rites. Gone is the chest-pricking of the couple and drinking their mixed blood, but the custom where the priest or babaylan (female shaman) binds the couples' hands and necks with a cord is retained in a modified form.
(A cord at weddings is not exclusive to Philippines. See also Rope Cross.)
Cord Sponsors drape a decorative silk cord (yugal) in a figure-eight shape over the couple's shoulders, rather like a lasso (Spanish: lazo) but with the reverence given to a rosary. The figure-eight is like the infinity symbol, meaning everlasting love.
The infinity symbol conjures up all sorts of paradoxes. Infinity is not easy to understand. Think for too long about the 'fact' that there are an infinite number of points on a circle, and then realise for that to be true, these points would need to be infinitely small, that is, zero width. You end up with no circle but a splitting headache. So most of us non-philosophical, non-pure mathematical types, are content with the notion that infinity is as long as something that's really very long. How long we don't know, but longer than we need to worry about for all practical purposes. Infinite love is like that. It goes on for as long as we need, and then keeps going. That's pretty long. (See also Everlasting Cross)
Music is played as Cord Sponsors place cord over couple's shoulders:
This cord symbolizes the love of God which brings your hearts and souls together. May your love grow stronger and bind you closer together through years, from here to eternity. We ask this from the Father, through Christ our Lord.
May this cord remind you to face your life together courageously and to be mutual in support of each other in carrying out your duties and responsibilities as a couple.
The cord, looped and crossed in the middle, is wrapped around the bride and groom to symbolize the Blessed Trinity; The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, who are one and the same. The cord symbolizes this same union and the infinite nature of marriage.
Lord, with this cord, may the bond of love and friendship uniting (groom's name) and (bride's name), grow stronger over the years. May they remain united to you all their lives knowing, loving and serving in each other and the community.
(groom's name) and (bride's name); (male cord sponsor's name) and (female cord sponsor's name) will lay the cord on you to remind you of your responsibility to hold each other with the tenderness that Christ has for His Church. Keep the bond of your love steadfast so that you can support one another throughout your lives.
Entire script in pdf format.
Return to Filipino Wedding