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Reply #16: You know marriage isn't really religious, right? [View All]

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Solon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 11:46 PM
Response to Reply #1
16. You know marriage isn't really religious, right?
It used to be just a property transfer contract between a father, and the would be husband. Usually such contracts demanded a dowry from the wife's family, and/or some service to be done by the would be husband.

Up until about the Middle Ages, this pretty much was what Marriage was, and remained, for the commoners at least, the ceremonial weddings were reserved for the upper classes. In fact, for many years, churches REFUSED to perform marriages for people, particularly the lower classes. Not much money in it, and for many of the poor, they simply didn't have time for it. This is part of the reason "common law" marriages were so COMMON. In fact, during most of the middle ages, marriages were performed by the dozen per day in churches, basically you donate what you could, say a couple of quick vows, and go on your way, usually back to the house you both already live in.

Marriage was legalistic in the beginning, though nowadays, its evolved with certain consistent ceremonial and/or religious trappings, and churches now participate in "blessing" said ceremonies according to their own rules. Another thing that evolved, of course, especially during the 19th and 20th centuries, is that it was no longer a property transfer between a father and a husband, though that particular part of the marriage now plays a big part in the symbolic trappings of the ceremony, the giving away of the bride. Today, marriages are contracts, as they always were, where two people now agree to spend their lives together, and as a consequence of that contract, they receive certain benefits from the State.
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