In my experience, weddings come in spurts. I know about 10 people that have been married within the past year, including myself. In these waves, I get my fill of weddings and then some.
What is cool is to see how each couple decides to plan their wedding. Some are very informal (like we did) and others are quite traditional. One of the most interesting weddings I went to years back was when one of my best friends married a Greek Orthodox. It was a very traditional wedding in every sense of the word.
Wedding traditions can be something of an enigma, especially to guys. As Katie and I were planning our wedding, I began to look at the origin of some of these traditions.
All cultures have different traditions on when the wedding starts, what is worn, the type of ceremony, food and music.
One of the most consistent components of a wedding in all traditions is the veil.
The veil is a face covering, symbolic of purity and virginity. If the bride is a virgin, she often wears the face veil through the ceremony and then either her father lifts the veil, presenting the bride to her groom, or the groom lifts the veil to symbolically consummate the marriage covenant.
She Has The Glow
One of the most fascinating things I’ve noticed is the glow of the bride. This was particularly obvious at a recent wedding of a friend. She wore a veil through to the presentation and when the veil was lifted, she was ablaze with love.
As she looked into the eyes of her bridegroom, the glory of their love was revealed.
Brides literally have a glow about them during and after the wedding. Radiant is a perfect adjective that is often used to describe this phenomenon.
Even after the wedding, the glow is present. It is most easily noticed when you know the person well. The next time I’ve seen a bride after her wedding, she even looks different.
It is a glorious glow. Sometimes it last only for a few weeks, but it’s always there.
Removing The Veil
This phenomenon of glory is beautifully explained in 2 Corinthians 3. Paul describes the glory of the old covenant and how Moses needed a veil because it was too much for him to bear.
He goes on to describe how the glory of the new covenant far exceeds the old and not only that, it is a permanent glory that never fades.
What’s even more amazing is that Christ has taken the veil away. As our bridegroom, we are able to look directly into the eyes of love.
Right in the middle of all of this, Paul drops this line in:
“Now the Lord is the Spirit and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”
2 Corinthians 3:17
In the middle of this marriage ceremony where Christ unveils His bride, the Holy Spirit comes in and releases freedom.
Paul was just describing how this new covenant was much more glorious than the old. All the rules and regulations were created with glory but now we have something so much better. Something that we don’t even need to veil our faces from.
Look Into The Eyes of Love
Everyone’s favorite moment of the wedding is when the minister says, “you may now kiss the bride”. It is the consummation of the ceremony. The kiss is the seal.
A little earlier in Corinthians, Paul says that God has put His seal on us and given us His Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee (2 Corinthians 1:21-22). The Holy Spirit comes and puts the stamp of approval and guarantee on our new covenant. He seals it with a declaration of freedom!
This is what happens when our face is unveiled:
“And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is Spirit”
2 Corinthians 3:18
As we look into the eyes of love, we become what behold.
Just as my friend radiated with love as her veil was lifted at her wedding, we also radiate the love of Jesus. But it is a glow that doesn’t fade away. It is a permanent glory. In fact, it continues to go from one degree of glory to another.
This is all done by the power of the Holy Spirit. This is why Jesus said it was good that He leaves so He could send us the Spirit. This is why it is critical to cultivate our relationship with Holy Spirit.
When we are no longer being transformed, maybe the question we should ask ourselves is:
What are my eyes fixed on?