One of my friend-bloggers has upcoming nuptials, and writes of rings. What are y’all hearing about unity sand? I have to confess it seems a little curious. When I first heard about it, I visualized the couple creating a mandala.
Apparently that’s not it.
I rather prefer the naturally-colored sand above from Hawaii. When I was single, I admired the contrast of Theresa Russell’s aqua-colored swim suit on this beach.
But even sand needs to be washed off.
A few weeks ago, I met an alumni couple at the parish. They mentioned at their wedding liturgy they washed each other’s feet. I haven’t given that a whole lot of thought yet. But I wonder what the commentariat here sees in such a gesture.
You post reminded me of a photo I used to illustrate a Holy Thursday homily on my blog back in 2008 at http://tinyurl.com/3hnaxgx
The photo on my Triduum piece was taken at a wedding about which Marcus Curnow writes on his blog, The People’s Table, at http://tinyurl.com/3k7net5
I’ve never participated in a wedding where foot washing was done but it sure beats many other gestures folks want to insert in the Rite of Marriage — including unity candles and unity sand!
That said, it seems to me that the desire for importing gestures/signs comes from the general failure of the rite’s words and gestures to signify what they intend. People continue to say that “Fr. Brown married Joe and Mary” because it certainly appears that Fr. Brown administers the sacrament when, indeed, he is the church’s witness.
If the exchange of consent and the exchange of rings are done well (such that the bride and groom actually appear to be the ministers of the sacrament and that the assembly can see and hear what they are doing) then no other signs should be necessary.
Such ritual clarity will depend on: the placement of the couple, witnesses and presider in the sanctuary; the amplification of the couple’s voices; the couple’s (catechized) understanding of themselves as ministers of the sacrament; the familiarity of the couple with the words and gestures of the consent and exchange of rings; and a wedding rehearsal focused more on the heart of the sacramental action than on the entrance procession.