• Images
  • Text
  • Find a Couple + Registry
GO
Customs and Traditions

Christian blessing to the 4 directions

I want to incorporate sage into our ceremony. Cleansing the negative energy surrounding both of our lives is something I think would be more meaningful than a unity ceremony.  In searching for examples I found the blessing to the 4 directions and i love the concept. I don't want to do exactly that but i want to touch on the basic idea that each direction represents. I'm not sure how to incorporate that into a traditional Christian wedding while staying respectful to both native American culture and Christian beliefs. Anyone familiar with this stuff? Any ideas?
Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker

Re: Christian blessing to the 4 directions

  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    Is your officiant a Christian clergyperson? If so, you might ask him or her about how to incorporate anything outside the traditional ceremony into your specific ceremony.
  • There’s nothing about this that fits into a traditional Christian wedding. 
    InLoveInQueensCMGragain
  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Often at receptions a blessing will be offered prior to serving dinner.  Perhaps this blessing might be more easily/readily incorporated at the reception.
  • mandi12 said:
    I want to incorporate sage into our ceremony. Cleansing the negative energy surrounding both of our lives is something I think would be more meaningful than a unity ceremony.  In searching for examples I found the blessing to the 4 directions and i love the concept. I don't want to do exactly that but i want to touch on the basic idea that each direction represents. I'm not sure how to incorporate that into a traditional Christian wedding while staying respectful to both native American culture and Christian beliefs. Anyone familiar with this stuff? Any ideas?
    I would ask whomever is doing your ceremony if they can work it into the script.
  • ahoyweddingahoywedding member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary First Answer
    edited December 2017
    A traditional Christian wedding officiant isn't going to do anything that hints at another religion. Plus, unless you or your FI are Native American or Pagan, including elements from those cultures is cultural appropriation. 

    ETA: clarification
    charlotte989875InLoveInQueens
  • Are you or your future spouse Native American or pagan? If not, I think you need to leave this out so that you are not appropriating something culturally significant to groups you are not part of.
    Yup, I agree. This is cultural appropriation and not okay. Design your ceremony that reflects your beliefs, whatever they are, but don't use someone else's beliefs because you love the concept. 
    STARMOON44ahoywedding
  • Also, please know that your wedding ceremony is already a unity ceremony. There is no need to add anything else that signifies unity if you are just looking for that because you think you have to have it. 
    image
    OliveOilsMomInLoveInQueenseileenrob
  • Are you or your future spouse Native American or pagan? If not, I think you need to leave this out so that you are not appropriating something culturally significant to groups you are not part of.
    This. And no actual Christian clergy is going to let you do this because it's a nod to other religions. 
    My friend and her partner are both Christian ministers and I would not be remotely surprised if they included something like this at their wedding, to celebrate their heritage. They've found great ways to combine their faith with their culture.
    STARMOON44
  • Also, please know that your wedding ceremony is already a unity ceremony. There is no need to add anything else that signifies unity if you are just looking for that because you think you have to have it. 
    image
  • Are you or your future spouse Native American or pagan? If not, I think you need to leave this out so that you are not appropriating something culturally significant to groups you are not part of.
    This. And no actual Christian clergy is going to let you do this because it's a nod to other religions. 
    My friend and her partner are both Christian ministers and I would not be remotely surprised if they included something like this at their wedding, to celebrate their heritage. They've found great ways to combine their faith with their culture.
    The bolded is the difference. OP never said if either she or her FI are Native America. If so, then it would be lovely to include. If not, it's cultural appropriation. Most Christian minsters *not of Native American heritage* will not agree to incorporate this, which is why we all suggested she start with asking them.
    STARMOON44OliveOilsMomcharlotte989875
  • Are you or your future spouse Native American or pagan? If not, I think you need to leave this out so that you are not appropriating something culturally significant to groups you are not part of.
    This. And no actual Christian clergy is going to let you do this because it's a nod to other religions. 
    My friend and her partner are both Christian ministers and I would not be remotely surprised if they included something like this at their wedding, to celebrate their heritage. They've found great ways to combine their faith with their culture.
    It would surprise me very much if the Christian denomination for which your friends practice would endorse this decision. It's one thing to affiliated with an actual church/Christian denomination and another thing to personally consider yourself a Christian and to be ordained or otherwise "practice".
    *********************************************************************************

    image
  • Unless you or your FI are Native American or pagan:

    If I went to this wedding and saw this integrated into an otherwise Christian ceremony, I'd probably walk out, tbh. It would be like a Wiccan coven using a crucifix to represent the god next to a chalice for the goddess on an altar: not only does it not fit, but it's incredibly disrespectful to borrow a portion of a religion without respect for what it signifies.

    In this case, blessing the 4 directions tends to signify that the gods/divinity are everywhere, in a pantheistic, nature-centered religion. It also acknowledges the divinity of nature, as opposed to the divinity of a god which is removed from it. This is diametrically opposed to Christianity as I learned it.

    I know paganism isn't as heterogeneous as Christianity, and there's a place for blending religions, but I don't think this is it.
    southernbelle0915InLoveInQueensjustsie
  • rynnmfoxrynnmfox member
    First Comment First Anniversary
    edited January 3
    The four directions are found in a few Indo-European traditions and indigenous beliefs. If you're of Irish heritage, you can use the cardinal points from indigenous Irish folk custom. (I forget which county specifically, sorry.) Hit up JSTOR and Google Scholar to find out which if any of your original folk used the four directions then add them along with a note why you're adding them, what they mean to you, and most importantly, any power dynamic stuff and cultural exchange language that may be necessary. (Ireland is still recovering from colonialism and British genocidal policies.)

    Also, there are other herbs you can use to fumigate other than sage. For example, traditionally, Scottish and Irish peoples used juniper and mugwort to fumigate (aka smudge) the air. You could even throw in a prayer or two for this purpose from the Carmina Gadelica, or use a caim. Just search Google for "Caim Scottish Gaelic."  

    Another way to include the four directions is to get inventive and come up with something that's totally about you and your partner. Find a romantic poem that talks about the four directions, or have a talented friend or family member write one specifically for your ceremony. You can even have them tie it back to your relationship in some creative way.

    There are also Christian officiants who will help you out with your request. My cousin is an Episcopal priest and he gets requests for nature to be acknowledged is some way. If you have trouble finding a Christian officiant who can help, call your local Unitarian Universalist church. It has been my experience that many of their ministers are trained in a variety of rites from across cultures and how to incorporate ones from your ancestry respectfully.

    You can also have as many unity rites in your ceremony as you feel necessary. Hindu ceremonies often have the garland exchange, the rope around the couple, the tying of the partner's clothes together, walking around the fire and more. Greek orthodox have the exchange of rings and crowns. Some Heathen weddings have the exchange of mead, swords, hand rings, oath rings, and oatcakes. Heck, two friends of mine had rings, a handfasting and then did a couples fire dance all symbolizing the blending of their lives together.

    Hope this helps.

    Rynn

  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    @rynnmfox , Welcome to The Knot.
    When you respond to threads, check two dates.....the date the OP initiated the post, and the date of the lat response.  As you can see, this post has been collecting dust for a full year now.  The OP is long gone. 
    If you have something to share, feel free to start a new post.  This is most definitely a zombie post!
    @MairePoppy or other mod, can you please close?
    MairePoppy
  • MairePoppyMairePoppy Connecticut mod
    Moderator Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    edited January 4
    Closed. Zombie thread.  Please feel free to start a new thread on this subject. 
                
    MobKaz
This discussion has been closed.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards