The marriage ceremony of
abc and xyz
Date __, ____
The Sikh ceremony begins as the bride, the groom, relatives, and friends bow before the Guru Granth and congregate in His midst.
Ardas (Prayer) and Wedding Sermon
The couple and their parents stand up and an Ardas is offered seeking God’s blessings. The Granthi, the person in charge of the ceremony, addresses the couple and explains the duties of their new life. The groom is to vow fidelity to the wife, while the bride is to vow fidelity to her husband. The husband protects the life and honor of his wife, and in turn she remains content with the lot of her husband. The Guru is an eternal witness to their vows. The couple signifies their consent by bowing before the Guru Granth.
Lavan (Wedding Hymns)
The groom’s scarf is placed in the hands of the bride. The Granthi then reads the lavan—four nuptial stanzas accompanied by musical instruments. At the end of reading each lavan, the groom followed by the bride walks around the Guru Granth in a clockwise direction while ragis (singers) sing the hymn. The four nuptial stanzas explain in detail the development stages of love between husband and wife and an individual and God.
In the first stage, the Guru urges the couple to perform duties to the family and the community and to practice Simran (meditating upon God’s name). Simran washes away past sins and brings stability to mind. In the second stage, egotism and all fears vanish and one can recognize God’s presence in everyone and everything.
In the third stage, one begins to feel Bairaag, an intense longing for a complete union with the Beloved. The final stage is Harmony, reached by one whose mind, through Simran, has gained stability and for whom remembrance of the Lord has become the sweetest of all pleasures. The stage of Harmony is of complete oneness. The bride and the groom feel and think alike and both completely identify with each other; they become one soul in two bodies.
During the fourth round, the couple is showered with rose petals by the entire congregation as a sign of rejoicing. Following the abc, the xyz Sahib (concluding hymns of the Sikh ceremony) is read and Ardas is offered again, with the entire congregation standing up this time.
Finally, Hukam (the divine command) is received from the Guru Granth by opening it at random, and karahprashad (the sweet sacrament) is served to the entire congregation. The bride and the groom are now husband and wife.