Customs and Rituals

Is there a Jewish ritual of marriage?

Many readers will be familiar with the Jewish custom of having the groom, standing with the bride under a canopy (the huppah), shatter a wine glass with his foot at the conclusion of wedding ceremonies. The symbolic act is meant to help people keep in mind the seriousness of marriage, and perhaps recall the destruction of the Temple. The whole ceremony is called kiddushin, the sanctification. Taking place in almost any kind of public space, including a synagogue, it begins with a procession. The ritual is largely up to the couple and their families, along with the rabbi presiding, and is not dictated by traditional text or established rubrics. A reception typically follows, often with a blessing before and after the meal.


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