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with Relationship Speaker/Author/Coach...
Larry James

The Breaking of the Glass

Although this ceremony is traditionally of Jewish origin, many couples choose to incorporate it into traditional and non-traditional ceremonies.

•    •    •
wine glass

One interpretation of this ceremony states that once the glass is shattered, it can never return to its former condition, thus symbolizing the couples wish to never return to the time before they shared their lives.

The breaking of the glass at the conclusion of the wedding also symbolizes that marriage is not always as joyous as the wedding itself. The bad times, when our hearts break, are representative of the shattered glass.

A couple that enters marriage, believing that their married life will always be as blissful as courtship, is in denial and doomed to failure. In this sense, the breaking of the glass causes us to be mindful of the needless barriers that people erect between one another and that we can break down the barriers and build a relationship of respect, unity and peace.

The breaking of the glass also symbolizes the fragility of life, the fact that whatever we see before us as whole can be broken at any moment. It calls our attention for the need to care for one another; for just as glass can be shattered with a single blow, so the grace of a marriage bond can be shattered with a single act of infidelity or repeated acts of emotional irresponsibility.

Its spiritual significance is our reaffirmation of our faith in God. The idea is that the couple's lives together be longer than it would take to fit the pieces of the broken glass back together again.

In Greece, the custom of breaking plates during the reception symbolizes good luck, happiness and the permanence of marriage.

The breaking of the glass also serves as a separation between the awe of the ceremony and the reception celebration that will follow.

Some say (with tongue in cheek) that the moment the groom smashes the glass symbolizes the last time he gets to "put his foot down."

This part of the ceremony comes right after the exchanging of rings and just before declaring the couple to be wife and husband.

The "glass" is usually a light bulb wrapped in a white napkin or towel. Sometimes a wine glass is difficult to break. The best man hands the minister the glass. The minister will say a few words to explain the significance of the breaking of the glass. He then places the glass on the ground before the groom.

After he declares the bride and groom to be wife and husband he invites the couple to seal their promises with a kiss. The groom then kisses the bride and then breaks the glass with his right foot. Some couples choose to break the glass together. Applause is appropriate in most ceremonies with the breaking of the glass.

What do you do with the broken glass after the wedding? Some couples choose to save the glass and preserve it in a velvet pouch. Other creative couples have jewelry made from it.

•    •    •

Minister holds covered glass while reading the following:

Minister: There have been many stories explaining the breaking of the glass. For those of us here today, it serves to remind us of several very important aspects of a marriage. The bride and groom and everyone should consider these marriage vows as an irrevocable act, just as permanent and final as the breaking of this glass is unchangeable.

The shattered glass also reminds us how fragile life and love can be. That sometimes a single thoughtless act, breech of trust, or marital misstep can damage a marriage in ways that are very difficult to undo, just as it would be difficult to undo the breaking of the glass.

It serves as a reminder of the sanctity of marriage, and that the love of the bride and groom should last for as long as it would take to make the glass perfectly whole again. It also symbolizes the transforming experience that marriage creates, leaving the bride and groom forever changed.

In a moment, (Groom's name) will break the glass signifying the end of the ceremony and the time for celebration.

(Officiant places covered glass on the floor & and after the couple is declared to be wife and husband, and the groom kisses the bride, the groom steps on the glass with his right foot)

Ladies and Gentlemen, it is my pleasure to introduce to you, Mr. & Mrs. (name).

Now, go in peace and forever Celebrate Love!

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