Sunday, May 27, 2007

Korean Wedding In Hawaii

The Korean Presbyterian congregation that "nests" in my church celebrated a wedding yesterday. The congregation's founding pastor's youngest son and his bride flew in from New Jersey to be married in the presence of their family. I was invited and enjoyed sitting "out front" for a change.

The wedding was simple but included a few "twists" both Korean and Hawaiian.

Here is the ceremony itself.

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Immediately after the ceremony the bride and groom first bow to the bride's parents and then, as in this picture, the groom's parents.

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They then face the whole gathering of family and friends . . .

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. . . and bow to them as well. As the officiating pastor put it, "The deeper the bow the greater the sign of respect and gratitude."

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After the recessional the bride and groom returned to the front of the church and sang a nice duet for everyone.

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Then the groom's niece, who attends my congregation as well as the Korean church, danced two hulas in honor of the newly married couple.

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The groom's older brother then followed with another tradition (the Korean pastor I was sitting with said that it was a Korean "tradition") that could only be called publicly humbling the groom. Among other things the groom was required to do ten pushups in front of everyone (I had never before seen someone in a tuxedo do pushups in the front of a church before!). He then made the groom promise to his bride that he would provide "satisfaction" for her on their honeymoon night. This he did and his bride replied that she hoped that he would!

They then signed the marriage certificate and cut the cake with the usual American tradition of feeding each other a piece.

The wedding ceremony was Christian, the language, humor and etiquette were Korean, the dancing Hawaiian and the happiness was universal! The bride, the groom, their parents, siblings, extended families and friends were almost all immigrants to the United States. Those I know, one-by-one, are gaining American citizenship.

The United States is blessed to have them come on board! And, yes, the groom did kiss the bride after the "I do's!"

For those of you who like a little movement and sound here are two brief videos clips. The first shows the end of Grace's first hula. The second one shows the cutting of the cake and the "first feeding!"