This unusual custom comes from the Romans, whose tradition included breaking of gold or silver with one half to be kept by the woman and the other half by the man as a pledge of their marriage.
Nowadays, las arras (Spanish for “The Coins”), are 13 coins substituted for the gold and silver of old.
For this ceremony you’ll need:
There is a table with the coins in a small box on it. Alternative: A relative of the couple bring the box with the coins forward and gives to the Officiant
Officiant: These coins are blessed by the love of God and all who are here with us today. May the meaning of this ceremony open their hearts and open the way to all good in their marriage together.
Officiant removes the coins for the box and places them in Groom’s cupped hands.
Groom: “Bride’s Name, receive also these coins: they are a token of the care that I will have for you so that we will not lack what is necessary for us in our home.”
Groom drops the coins in Bride’s cupped hands.
Bride: “Groom’s Name, I receive these coins as a token of God’s blessing upon us and a sign of the goods that we will share together.”
Bride drops the coins back into the Groom’s cupped hands
Officiant: The 13 coins are significant because they denote the unconditional love between the husband and wife. The groom pledges to place all of his goods into her care. The passing of coins back and forth is a symbol of sharing worldly goods for richer or for poorer. The bride then gives the groom the coins, promising confidence and dedication to him. These coins become one of the family heirlooms. The number 13 represents the goods to be shared by the bride and groom during the 12 months of each year, while the 13th coin is their promise to share their wealth with the poor.
Presenting the Arras / Lasos by the Sponsors
Officiant: This symbolic cord represents the commitment blessed by God that the bride and groom have promised each other. The Arras/Lasos points to the one life the couple will share. This life, imitating a Rosary, will be filled with joyful, sorrowful, luminous and joyful mysteries.
Invite Sponsors to present the Arras/Lasos to Officiant.
Blessing the Arras/Laso
Officiant: We know our Loving Creator is the wisdom that brought Couple’s Names together in marriage and expresses in their marriage as a love that grows daily, one day at a time. His love will always be available to them no matter where they go or what they do. We pray they remember to ask for His help whenever there is a need, or just for the joy of talking with God.
Reading–Romans 12 — Optional
1 By the mercies of God, to present your bodies bas a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 2 Do not be conformed to this world, 3 but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. 3 For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. 4 For as in one body we have many members, 5 and the members do not all have the same function, 5 so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. 6 Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; 7 if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; 8 the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, 6 with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness. 9 Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. 10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. 11 Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, 7 serve the Lord. 12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. 13 Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.
14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. 8 Never be wise in your own sight. 17 Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. 19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it 9 to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” 20 To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Sponsors place the Rosary around the Couple’s necks.
Officiant: Couple’s Names, may the joining together with this rosary, the Rosary of the always Blessed Virgin Mary, be an inspiration for both of you. Remember that the holiness needed to preserve this new family, like the family of God, can only be obtained through mutual love and sacrifice. May the love and wisdom of those who have gone before you in lasting marriage be an example to you during your entire life together!
Sponsors are seated.
Couple returns to their place with the Officiant.
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