When a Mormon couple gets married, they go through a wedding ceremony that is considered sacred and binding. However, what many people don’t know is that there is another, even more sacred ceremony that takes place after the wedding – the sealing. During the sealing, the husband and wife are pronounced “one flesh” by a priesthood holder and are given special blessings. The sealing can take place either in a Mormon temple or in someone’s home.
Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, or simply called “Mormons,” tie the knot in a beautiful sacred place they call the Temple or The House of the Lord. Everything that happens inside the Temple is very personal and sacred, so most details cannot be disclosed.
However, when it comes to Mormon weddings, the sealing ceremony is something that you need to be familiar with.
What Is a Sealing in A Mormon Wedding?
A Mormon wedding sealing is conducted within the Holy Temple by the Temple president or bishop who is authorized to perform sealings. During sealing, the couple will kneel facing each other at the altar between two mirrors that project the infinite image of the couple.
The groom will then take his vows, followed by the bride and groom receiving their blessings as an officially married couple. This temple sealing is among the most important ceremonies in the life of a Mormon. Mormons have a belief that marriage must be eternal, and the sealing ceremony makes it possible.
What Happens in Mormon Temple Wedding?
The couple walks together to the altar during a Mormon wedding sealing. The groom and bride will proceed to the temple sealing room and kneel at the altar. The bride kneels on the altar’s left side while the groom kneels on the right side.
The groom and bride will put on special ceremonial temple robes. The church provides these white ceremonial temple robes. The ceremonial robes of the bride are white and come with a veil. The robes will cover most of the bride’s body and only her hands are exposed.
Aside from the robes, the groom and bride will also wear a sash while the groom also wears a cap. The shoes of the couple are white as well and only the apron has a different color, which is green.
While the couple kneels at the altar, they will hold each other’s right hand in a patriarchal grip. The groom and bride will face the double mirrors that show their infinite reflection which serves as a symbol of their eternal marriage. These mirrors are common and fundamental features in Mormon wedding sealing ceremonies and sealing won’t take place if there are no mirrors present at all.
The temple sealer will read the vows to the groom. The vows will be repeated with the names of the groom and bride added. The groom should say yes in response to the vows. The temple sealer will now pronounce the couple officially as husband and wife before saying the nuptial blessings for the new couple.
Mormon Temple Wedding Rituals
Mormons perform a temple wedding sealing with the main purpose of sealing the relationships beyond the physical nature of human life. If the couple has a temple sealing performed, their family will be together even after death provided that they stay faithful to the church and to each other.
The vows during Christian weddings make the couplet promise to remain faithful to one another until death. But in Mormon weddings, the couple promises to stay faithful to one another now and for all eternity.
The sealed couple’s marriage will only remain valid if they follow the teachings of the church and retain their religious covenants. It is also required that both parties give their consent before the couple can be sealed by the temple sealer. Temple sealers are not allowed to seal someone to another person they don’t want in the first place. This means that the sealing of dead people is left up to God to decide whether the relationship shall continue even after death.
Members who have temple recommendations are the only ones who can attend or have a temple sealing. The temple recommend must be valid and current. If the recommend for the wedding guest or couple has already expired, they need to get a new one. Non-Mormon wedding guests and members with no valid temple recommend will wait in the waiting room of the temple while the wedding ceremony is being performed.
If the bride and groom already had children before the sealing, they have the option of having their kids sealed to them in another ceremony later on. If the couple had children after their sealing, there is no longer a need for them to seal their kids in a different ceremony.
Kids who are born in sealed marriages will then be sealed to their parents automatically. It is also possible for parents to seal their adopted kids to their family after they legally adopt the children.
Same-sex marriages are not yet recognized by the Mormon church. The temple sealers don’t conduct the same-sex marriage in a temple, which means they can’t seal a same-sex couple. The church also changed its policy for couples who already had civil marriages to wait for a year before they have a sealing ceremony. Couples can apply for a temporary temple recommend for having their Mormon wedding sealing ceremony.
Who are Allowed to Attend Mormon Weddings?
All family members and friends with the special temple recommend can witness and join the sealing. This temple recommend will show the church leaders that you will keep the commitments you have made to the Lord, and they can also enter His Holy House.
People who are non-members of the church or don’t have a temple recommend are allowed to sit in the waiting room. They can also wait outside the temple so that they can greet the newly married couple once they make their very first appearance outside.
For newly married couples, walking out of the Temple’s doors is one of the most exciting parts of the ceremony, especially once they see the people they love showing their love and cheering them on, even if they were not allowed to go inside to witness the Mormon wedding sealing.