Could this be irrelevant statement on wedding day?


The
thought was disturbing him and making him sick before he voiced out in annoyance,
“What
is the relevance of the statement – when on Friday, the would be couple, on
Saturday, had kissed each other, hugged each other, and even been blessed as a
couple by the two families involved, as well as, been made a couple before the
gathering crowd in the engagement?”
Without
hesitation, the next person to him took it up, saying, “Thank you my brother. I’ve been
thinking on the same thing: I did not that I’m not the only one that have this
concern in my thought”
.


And the conversations went on as many people joined the discussions. Something
could actually be amiss, and I think change, as it is said, is the only
constant thing in life.


When
Christianity came into Nigeria, there were cultural transmissions from the
Westerners to us and the effect of the transmissions are the various conflicts
or confusions that we are experiencing today.
The engagement holds on Friday but wedding on Saturday: here is a mix up
The
highpoint of the relationship between two intending couple is the giving and
receiving of dowry. This is the point at which the family of the bride accepts,
in totality, to release their daughter to become the wife of the man unto whom
she has been espoused. The man comes with his parents, family members and
well-wishers to the family of the Bride to present the Dowry for the Bride”,
Segun Ariyo, SINGLE WITHOUT SINGE,
P. 259.
If
the highpoint is the giving and receiving of dowry, according to Segun, what is
this statement, ‘Therefore, if any one knows any just cause, why they may not be
lawfully be joined in marriage, let him or her speak or else, hereafter,
forever holds his or her peace’,
still doing in the wedding ceremony on
Saturday or whatever day a wedding ceremony holds?
The
answer would be to understand how the Westerners organise their marriage.
Common things in Nigerian Engagement for all cultures
Engagement
is the pivot of releasing the woman to the woman, at the time that the man
comes with his parents and other family members, including his friends: they
come to pay the Dowry and perform every other rite, according to the cultural
tradition of the Bride.
After
all done, the Bride is handed to the Groom and blessings, from the two families
involved, are pronounced on them. Then they are pronounced as couple and made
to kiss their selves, while the Groom fixes the engagement ring into one of the
Bride’s fingers.
Then,
they are recognised as husband and wife.
An issue at stake
There
is a conflict between the activities of Friday (traditional marriage, often
referred to as engagement) and the proclamation of Saturday (the wedding and
this was a borrowed culture of the Westerners), when it comes to church wedding
after engagement.
The
issue is that, after this people are recognised as couple on Friday; on
Saturday an officiating minister is now asking if any person has a reason why
the two of them should not be lawfully joined together. Should a person come
out, would the wedding be cancelled and if it is cancelled what will happen?
A vivid scenario
One
of the people during our conversations on this confusion said that such case
had happened before, but whether she witnessed it or that she was told remains
a thing of her privacy.
“It has happened in this church (name withheld) before and when the woman came out, the officiating Pastor asked her of
what was wrong, and she said that, ‘she has been with the guy, who is now
wedding, before but she left him due to circumstances’: at the end of
everything, the officiating Pastor just said, ‘I declare these people husband
and wife in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit’”.
Different Opinion of an elder and the youngsters
Despite
all argued about during the conversation, an elderly man, who was aware that
the conversation was going-on contributed his point and said that, it was
necessary that such question be asked for emphasis’s sake.
“No… it’s for the church to clarify
all doubts and to ensure that nobody does anything contrary at the end of the
wedding. And of course, church wedding is not compulsory: some people do court
wedding after their engagement.
So, if you want to do it (church
wedding), they will surely ask the question and if you don’t want the question
to be asked and then you should go for court wedding”,
he said.
Now,
when the elderly man asked, “Do you know
that engagement does not give you permission to have sex with the woman?”
,
the youngsters retorted, “It does!”,
in one accord.
The
only thing that I want to stand by is that, if peradventure – during a church
wedding: somebody comes out and says that – the would be couple should not be
joined together, no matter what, except when the consents of the parents
involved are not given, and when either of the would be couple is still tied to
a marriage and has not divorced, which would be bigamy in the Nigerian
constitution, and the officiating minister disbands the wedding – the couple to
be should just walk up to a registry to do their court wedding and continue
with their union, happily.
Thanks for reading this.

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