Symbolism throughout all time has played an important part of what holds a society, religion or belief system together. These are signs, markings, and visual metaphors without words that stimulate and define the history of a people. We see symbols every day as we navigate our movements by them. They tell us to go, stop, yield; we identify the brands we buy with the symbol or logo of that product. Symbols tell that this parking spot is reserved for the disabled. We know which rest room to enter because of the Universal Symbol on the door. They are vital for every society to live together in what is the hope of harmony.
In a Jewish wedding or any wedding for that mater, Symbols fill the nuptial space the couple and their Officiant creates. The Chuppah, Kiddush Cup, Unity Candle, the rings, Aras and Lasso are some of many symbols we rely on to communicate what is meaningful to us in a wedding.
One of my favorite traditions using a symbol is at the end of the ceremony. The couple is wrapped in a Tallit or Tallis. This Jewish garment is a traditional prayer shawl. Then the couple is blessed on their way by the rabbi and all present.
As I explain what is being done, I say about the Tallit, that it is an “outward expression of an inward attitude.” It is a visual expression of what is happening on the inside of the couple, binding them together at the Soul level, making them one. The garment is made up of many thousands of threads but it is only one garment, symbolic of the Holy One, where there is no other.
As you plan your wedding ceremony, begin thinking, “What important Symbols do I want in my ceremony?” Ask your rabbi, priest, pastor or officiant to help create a story with symbols that explain the love and commitment you share together. It might not even be a religious symbol. I married a couple once that met, skydiving. What do you think the Chuppah Cover was? Yes, a parachute. That was a perfect symbol for them.