The Marriage Braid (also known as the Cord of Three Strands) symbolizes the joining of one man, one woman, and God into a marriage relationship. A good marriage has love as its foundation. Since we believe that love is a gift from God, it is fitting to symbolize that divine involvement at the very center of this new union. Following the exchange of vows and rings, the bride and groom braid the three strands together. The groom holds a small metal ring with three attached strands. The bride then braids the strands together, symbolizing the union of God, husband and wife. A reading such as the following while the braiding is accomplished helps to explain the meaning of the ceremony to your guests.
Today, N. and N. have chosen to braid three strands together into a single cord. Each strand has a significant meaning. The gold strand represents God who has given the gift of love. The purple strand represents the groom and his life. The white strand represents the bride and her life. In braiding these three strands together, N. and N. are demonstrating that their marriage is more than a joining of two lives together. It is a unity with God as well. They have chosen to allow God to be at the center of their marriage, woven into every aspect of it.
As Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 reads, “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”