There is an old Chinese saying, “A hundred years’ effort lead to sailing on the same ferryboat. A thousand years’ effort lead to sleeping on the same pillow”. This is simply an indication of how precious it is for a couple to be destined to tie the knot. However, to a great extent, modern people tend to play fast and loose in maintaining marriage relationship. They lose direction and therefore get anguished. In fact, this can be avoided. As long as we apply Buddha’s doctrines — “The Four Noble Truths and The Noble Eight-Fold path” to our everyday life, we will definitely be able to get rid of all the miseries and lead a happy life.
What are “The Four Noble Truths”? They are: 1. Life is bound to be loaded with miseries. 2. Greed and stubbornness are the main causes of miseries. 3. The understanding that there are reasons for all our miseries and we must uproot them once and for all. 4. Finally, The Noble Eight-Fold path are the tools of uprooting our miseries.
- Right understanding — We should be realistic, fully grasping the Buddha’s Dharma (Teachings) or seeing things they really are.
- Right Thinking — free from thought especially sensual desires.
- Right Speech — speak pleasantly, truly and kindly. Never use offensive languages when talking.
- Right actions — of loving kindness and compassion. No adultery, no killing of animals, and no theft.
- Right Livelihood — honest occupation
- Right Effort — perseverance in goodness
- Right Mindfulness — stop having wishful thinking but have constant awareness
- Right Meditation — keeping still and in deep meditation. Resisting temptations from the outside world.
- It is in fact agonizing to have conflicts and differences between husband and wife. With this understanding and the guidelines of The Noble Eight-Fold path, both parties would be more considerate and able to tolerate each other, but also accept the way each other is.
The Buddha’s Noble Eight-Fold path can really serve as a good reference for a couple to maintain harmonious marriage relationship. As long as we persist in following the doctrines and put them into practice, we will finally realize it is not difficult to embrace his or her shortcomings. And therefore, by gaining the knowledge of the essence of having blessed life, we will be able to overcome whatever obstacles and problems that we might encounter in life.
- Commencement of ceremony. Play the wedding music.
- Parents of the bride and groom do obeisance before the image of Buddha, then enter the Auditorium. (Bow to Buddha)
- Guest do obeisance to the image of Buddha, then enter the Auditorium. (Bow to Buddha)
- Chanting of the incense Prayer.
- The Witnessing Master enters the auditorium with bride and groom, and guides the newly wedded couple to worship Buddha three times.
- The Witnessing Master gives an oath to bride and groom.
- Bride and Groom bow to each other, please.
- Witnessing Master religious gist from the temple to the bride and groom.
- Speech by the Witnessing Master.
- Bride and Groom thank the Witnessing Master.
- Bride and Groom thank the master of ceremony.
- Bride and Groom thank their parents.
- Bride and Groom thank the guests.
- End of ceremony. Play music, take Photos.
- Is having wedding ceremonies at a Buddhist temple the right thing to do as far as Buddhism is concerned?A: Definitely yes. In fact, a Buddhist temple brings us closer to the sacred world of Buddha from this secular world. In such a holy and splendid venue, the new couple will be blessed with Buddhist doctrines anticipating a merry marriage.
- Do the newly wed couple have to be Buddhists?A: In the name of Buddhism, all sentient beings are equal. This means there is no association between having a wedding ceremony and being a Buddhist. The Buddhist wedding ceremony is in fact a bless to the newly wed couple with the hope that they will have merry and contented life under the doctrines of Buddhism.
- Can the host of the ceremony issue us a marriage certificate?A: There are two ways you may get the marriage certificate :
- After you have gotten a marriage certificate from the city council, you may bring it along to our temple. Our master of law (Buddhist priest) will give you another certificate in Buddhist version with his signature on it.
- You may get a marriage application form from local city council and bring it to our temple. Our master of law will put his signature on the form and then you can bring back the signed form to the city council for approval and the issuance of a marriage certificate.
- How would the wedding ceremony be like?A: Basically, the Buddhist ceremonies can be carried out in the following ways:
- Enchantments and blesses from a Buddhist priest.
- Enchantments and blesses from a Buddhist priest + ceremony
- Enchantments and blesses from a Buddhist priest + ceremony + notarization and issuance of a marriage certificate.
- What identification card should the bridegroom and bride present during the ceremony?The bridegroom and bride must present a photo ID issued by the government.
- How many guests can attend the ceremony?The main hall of our temple can contain a maximum of 100 guests.
City Campus Mahayana TempleAddress: 133 Canal Street, New York, NY 10002Tel: (212)925-8787