8 August 2007

A Wedding

On August 3rd I attended a Christian interracial wedding at the Protestant Carmel Church (of the Arcot Lutheran Church) here at Tiruvannamalai.

Carmel Church, which has a large congregation, is located in a central part of Tiruvannamalai. This Church originates from 1898 when a mission station was built in Tiruvannamalai by DMS (the Danish Missionary Society). In 1905 the name of this mission station started to be called "Carmel".

The Church is bright and welcoming and had been nicely decorated for the upcoming ceremony with fresh flowers.

I like all the old fashioned touches, from the ornate wooden pews, to the very handsome rafter roof.

All the light fixures throughout the Church are decorative and aesthetic.

In the below photograph the flower decorated Church waits for the guests and wedding party.

As in all functions in India, the upcoming ceremony was heralded by traditional musicians.

The Church has filled and the congregation awaits the wedding party. And here comes the bride, Esther Deva Priya, youngest sister of Arcot's Pastor and Coordinator of Quo Vadis, Rev. Joshua Peter. Esther is accompanied by bridesmaids, some of whom were selected from the family and friends of the groom, Morten Skrubbeltrang (from Denmark).

Inside the Church, preparations are complete and all await the arrival of the bride and groom (who will be entering together).

Below the Bride from India, Esther Deva Priya stands with the Groom from Denmark Morten Skrubbeltrang in front of Bishop, The Rt. Rev. Dr. Gideon Devanesan R.J.

The service includes various Hymns and Prayers including the following:

O perfect Love, all human thought transcending,
Lowly we kneel in prayer before thy throne,
That theirs may be the love which knows no ending.
Whom Thou for evermore dost join in one.
O perfect Life, be Thou their full assurance
Of tender charity and steadfast faith.
Of patient hope and quiet brave endurance
With childlike trust that fears not pain nor death.

Grant them the joy which brightens earthly sorrow;
Grant them the peace which calms all earthly strife,
And to life's day the glorious unknown morrow,
That dawns upon eternal love and life.

After the service the usual photographs were taken outside the Church.

In the next photograph, the Groom is accompanied by his father and mother who came from Denmark for the celebrations. At the other end of the line are the Bride's father (in the white shirt) and (behind him) the Bride's mother.

Now that the beautiful marriage ceremony is complete and photographs have been taken, the flower-decorated car awaits to take the Bride and Groom to the Arunai Anantha Hotel for the reception and dinner.

Morten Skrubbeltrang will continue in Tamil Nadu for at least another year, pursuing his theological studies, afterwhich he and his new bride will spend some time in Denmark.

Its extraordinary just how many couples have met and joined up at Arunachala. And this is particularly true of interracial marriages of which there have been numerous. Many believe that at Arunachala (and other sacred sites) one will meet those with whom one shares strong karma with; so destiny will often take a hand in reintroducing friends (and enemies!) from past lives.


divyakka said...

Sweet! Best wishes to the happy couple. Thanks for the colorful photos!

Arunachala Living said...

It was a really nice wedding. First church wedding I've been to in a L-O-N-G time.