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Featured Bride’s Fathers Permission for Marriage

Discussion in 'Christian Philosophy & Ethics' started by Archivist, Jun 9, 2019.

  1. Archivist

    Archivist Senior Veteran Supporter

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    At one time it was expected to have the permission of the bride’s father for marriage, originally because it was a contractual purchase. Of course, the purchase of a bride ceased a long time ago, but the theory of getting the father’s permission for a marriage has remained. Why is this still done in a day when a marriage is between two equals—after all, a bride doesn’t ask the groom’s father for his permission. Why do we keep this old custom? BTW, in my church the custom of the father giving the bride away was removed from the marriage ceremony many years ago.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2019
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  2. Paidiske

    Paidiske Clara bonam audax Supporter

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    I told my intended that I'd be unimpressed if he asked my father's permission. I don't know whether he would have or not if I had not voiced an opinion.

    Dad walked me down the aisle but instead of the old "Who brings this woman to be given to this man?" we had the priest ask both sets of parents for their support. That was lovely.

    But yes, anything that smacks of the bride as property or less than a person in her own right is pretty awful.
     
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  3. PloverWing

    PloverWing Episcopalian

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    I've only seen the custom of asking the father's permission to marry his daughter in a handful of very traditional families, and even then, it's sometimes just meant as a gesture to appease an old-fashioned dad. I think the custom is going to continue to fade away, at least in American culture.
     
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  4. JAM2b

    JAM2b Newbie

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    I think it is mostly tradition and done out of respect. It's not something that can be legally held to. Some families take it more seriously than others. It is a good thing to have the support of both families and a tremendous blessings when in laws can get along. However, that is not always possible and it is not a requirement.

    When I got married my father was not asked. He was told, and not by my fiance, but by me.

    The night before the wedding he was very angry and had some very harsh words that lead to nothing. I still got married the next day, but my wedding was late getting started because my parents were at home fighting over whether or not he was coming, and it was expected for me to wait for him. I wish I had had the courage to go on without him instead of waiting through his tantrum and my for my parents to finish arguing before coming to the church. Both of my parents were very controlling and abusive. The only reason I went through what I did for my marriage ceremony was because it was what I was "supposed" to do. Now I know better, and I wish I had the strength then that I do now.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2019
  5. dzheremi

    dzheremi Coptic Orthodox non-Egyptian

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    Many traditional cultures take this as a sign of respect. It's not so much that you have to nowadays, but more that if you do not make clear your intentions to the family, then they might not think you are the kind of person they want in their family, or at the very least might see you as less respectful, or courageous, or whatever going through this ritual might signify to the particular parents involved. And obviously you don't want to start off your marriage with your in-laws mad at you. There will plenty of time for that later. ;)
     
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  6. Brightmoon

    Brightmoon Apes and humans are all in family Hominidae.

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    My father was angry that my brother-in-law didn’t ask him . Mom and both daughters ( including me) looked at him as if he were nuts ! Thankfully that women as property custom is dying . I don’t think a lot of people realize how disrespectful giving away the bride is to women.
     
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  7. thecolorsblend

    thecolorsblend If God is your Father, who is your Mother?

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    I think a lot of people don't understand the property exchange that a wedding ceremony has typically symbolized. To them, I think they think it's "traditional" or "romantic" or something.

    I was invited to a big feminist's wedding a while back. She explained how she wanted the ceremony to go down and I smiled as I bit my tongue when I heard her plans.

    Not very long after the wedding, I told her how surprised I was about how she included all the patriarchal symbolism in her ceremony and so forth. I was very passive-aggressive about it. I noticed her smile wilted a bit more and a bit more as I went through the various symbols.

    There were probably more mature things to do but I did it for the lolz.
     
  8. thecolorsblend

    thecolorsblend If God is your Father, who is your Mother?

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    Oh, something else. When I got married, I made a specific point of not asking for her father's permission. #1, it's not like he had a dowry or something for me. #2, he's a good guy but he's not one of those overbearing jerks with an overly-possessive relationship with his daughter. #3, I don't ask permission from outsiders to live my life.

    I have nothing against the patriarchy or chivalry. But only vestiges of those things still exist, and those are the vestiges which benefit women. The elements which benefited men are mostly gone now. So I won't participate in that stuff precisely because it's so one-sided.
     
  9. Messerve

    Messerve Well-Known Member

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    I never saw it as the daughter is owned by the father, but that he (hopefully) did help to raise her and logically would like to know who she plans to marry. Not that he could really stop it, but it's a nice respectful gesture on the groom-to-be's part to include the father in that decision. Why the mother wouldn't also be asked? Well that probably does go back to children being viewed as possessions... So if I were to do it, I would probably try to have that conversation with both parents.

    Also, many fathers use that opportunity to give the groom-to-be some advice from their own experience as a husband and father which can be very valuable. It sets things off on the right note for the future relationship between the son-in-law and his wife's parents.
     
  10. Hammster

    Hammster Who has believed our report? Staff Member Site Advisor Supporter

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    If it’s something that the man thinks he should do, then do it. If it’s something the father thinks should be done, then it should be done. We are supposed to honor our parents. And the daughter is under the authority of the father (not owned by). So it’s a sign of respect for what that family desires.

    On the flip side, if it’s not a big deal to either, then it’s not and people can do what they wish. We shouldn’t judge others on something that they see as important or unimportant.
     
  11. dzheremi

    dzheremi Coptic Orthodox non-Egyptian

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    Just for a different perspective:

    Arranged marriages are still common in Egypt among both Copts and Muslims, since the culture in general doesn't do western-style dating (for the Muslim majority, it's against the Shari'a/Islamic law; for the Coptic minority, it is seen as something that invites the couple to temptation...I probably don't need to say more about that). Even here in the United States, it is common that the arrangement involve both families as a whole, so that our children are encouraged to marry each other rather than to look outside of the communion (which incurs automatic excommunication of the Coptic half of the partnership, as per our church canons).

    We had a deacon of marrying age in my old parish in NM whose parents had found a girl for him back in Egypt, even though he was in the USA getting his Ph.D. He traveled back home to meet her and spend some time with her, but ultimately it didn't work out for them after they met and the engagement did not proceed (poor guy; he really was quite nice, bright, etc.), but in a way I was happy to see that the tradition in this regard is not so inflexible as to force two people who don't actually like each other to marry just because the possible groom's parents thought she'd be a good fit. I don't know how/if that changes in the countryside, though (the young man in question was from Alexandria, so very cosmopolitan in outlook).

    As for me, I refuse to get married until Peter Cook has the decency to come back to life so that he can officiate. Any day now...
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2019
  12. Paidiske

    Paidiske Clara bonam audax Supporter

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    I will add, I might have felt differently if my childhood home hadn't been quite abusive. Hell was going to freeze over before I asked an abuser's permission to start a new life...
     
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  13. Archivist

    Archivist Senior Veteran Supporter

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    What about what the daughter thinks should be done, or doesn't she have any say?

    How is an adult daughter under her father's authority?
     
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  14. Hammster

    Hammster Who has believed our report? Staff Member Site Advisor Supporter

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    I think you are just looking for a fight. I’m not going to engage. You do your family, I’ll do mine.
     
  15. grasping the after wind

    grasping the after wind That's grasping after the wind

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    Neither I nor my son in law asked permission of anyone but our intended. My son, because his intended thought he ought to, did ask his father in law for his blessing. Due to her mother's insistence, both of my wife's parents walked her down the aisle which, along with a number of other decisions about the wedding that were appropriated away from my wife, so embarrassed and angered her that she made it clear that, for our daughter's wedding, all decisions about the ceremony and the reception were going to be left up to the bride and groom.
     
  16. Archivist

    Archivist Senior Veteran Supporter

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    I'm not looking for a fight. It is a discussion and debate forum; you chose to participate.
     
  17. Albion

    Albion Facilitator

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    Nevertheless, I hate to see every traditional gesture--and especially the ones that deal with respecting other people--be put aside simply because we can.

    If asking the father's permission (symbolically) and him giving the daughter away are oppressive and unnecessary, so is just about everything else in the wedding ceremony except "Do you? OK, do you, too? Then I pronounce you person and spouse."

    :sigh:


     
  18. Paidiske

    Paidiske Clara bonam audax Supporter

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    Unnecessary? Yes, pretty much, actually, if we're talking about what makes a valid marriage. Oppressive? Not so much. There's plenty to critique about "traditional" wedding ceremonies, but I think it's a stretch to say that it's all oppressive or symbolism of oppression.

    (I mean, it is possible to hear Pachelbel's Canon too often, but I'd not go so far as to say I'm being oppressed by it! ^_^).

    It's good to think critically about what we do and why we do it, and what it all means.
     
  19. dzheremi

    dzheremi Coptic Orthodox non-Egyptian

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    This is by far the most horrifying thing in this thread. Ugh! Can we change the 'wedding song' once every 300 years or so? I'm not saying we need to go full on "Funky Chicken" or whatever, but just...Pachelbel, you're the worst.
     
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  20. Archivist

    Archivist Senior Veteran Supporter

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    I'm not sure that it is any worse than Here Comes the Bride, but it comes close. I remember playing it in orchestra when I was in college--we string bases had to play the same eight notes over and over and over. I think we repeated the same 8 note string like 50 times.
     
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