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Anand Karaj The Sikh Wedding Ceremony

Anand Karaj

The Ceremony of Bliss

The Sikh Wedding Ceremony is called the Anand Karaj, which means ceremony of bliss. The ceremony symbolizes a holy union between God and Bride and Groom.

On the Day of the Wedding

Terms
Descriptions

Ardaas

The Granthi (the official person conducting the ceremony) will then request the couple and their parents to stand while the rest of the congregation remains seated, and begin the Ardaas prayer which seeks God’s blessings. The couple and their parents will then bow before the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, signifying their consent to the marriage.

Hukamnama

The Granthi will get the Hukamnama (permission) from Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji for the couple on their journey ahead.

Pella Ceremony

Bride’s father will place one end of groom’s scarf (called the Palla) over groom’s right shoulder and place the other end into bride’s hand signifying he gives his daughter to the groom.

Lavan

The Wedding Hymns The Granthi now reads the Lavan hymn of Guru Ram Das Ji which is composed of four Lavans (or stanzas). This hymn describes the progression of love between a husband and wife, which is analogous to that between the soul and God. Joined by the Palla, Groom and Bride will now take their sacred wedding vows by walking around Sri Guru Granth Sahib 11 in a clockwise direction, while the Ragis (musicians) sing out the recited Lavan stanza. After each round, the couple bow down before Sri Guru Granth Sahib li, symbolizing their acceptance of the verse. The Granthi then reads the next Lavan. This process is repeated four times in total, once for each Lavan, after which the couple sits down.

The First Lavan

The first stanza of the hymn begins with the Guru’s order showing the way for leading a happy wedded life. The emphasis is on the couple immersing themselves in the Divine Name and committing to family and community.

The Second Lavan

In the second stanza, the couple is told to face problems and hardships together with a feeling of mutual love, devotion, sacrifice, and the self-discipline necessary to achieve the ideal of one spirit in two bodies.

The Third Levan

The third stanza describes the couple’s detachment from all except God and each other, a stage of constant association and understanding of each other.

The Fourth Lavan

The fourth stanza is that of harmony and complete oneness. It tells of the most perfect love and devotion, where no feeling of separation Is possible between the human soul and God, and between the bride and groom.

Anand Sahib & Ardaas

The Anand Sahib (song of bliss) is sung, after which the entire congregation will stand for the Ardaas. 

Concluding Hymns

The Granthi will read the Hukamnama (permission) from Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji as the day’s order from the Guru on the conclusion of the marriage ceremony. Karah Prashad (sacrament) is then distributed to everyone as a sign of the Guru’s grace and to mark the formal conclusion of the ceremony.

Langar

The congregation is then invited to share Guru Ka Langar (a vegetarian meal) in the Langar Hall (dining hall).

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