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Title: Inculturating the Marriage Rite
Subtitle: Wedding Ceremonies of Interreligious Marriage in India
Author(s): ANASTHAS, Albert George
Journal: Marriage, Families & Spirituality
Volume: 12    Issue: 1   Date: Autumn 2006   
Pages: 64-76
DOI: 10.2143/INT.12.1.2013505

Abstract :
Marriage in India is a sacred ceremony for both Hindus and Christians. Indissolubility and procreation are properties highly esteemed by both religions. Most Hindu partners and their families are not satisfied with the way the marriage ceremony is conducted in the Catholic Church. Hindus believe that saptapadi (circling the sacred fire) is the most important ceremony and is essential for the completion of marriage. Hence, they opt for a Hindu marriage ceremony immediately after the Catholic marriage ceremony. However, this double religious marriage ceremony in interreligious marriages gives rise to many pastoral concerns. There is therefore an urgent need for an inculturated ceremony in interreligious marriages. By means of a theological investigation, we come to realise that it is not easy to formulate a marriage rite that will satisfy both Catholics and Hindus. Since inculturation is not an end but a continuous process, any endeavour of this nature demands a lot of reflection and understanding. Nevertheless, an opening can be made by integrating key elements such as the saptapadi into the marriage ceremony. Becoming aware of this problem is a good start; now we need to continue the good work in order to bring hope and solace to interreligious couples in the Catholic Church.

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