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The habit and hood of camel's hair,
Which with the sacred scissars there

On the altar were display'd,
Are taken thence, and in their stead

The marriage rings are laid.

Behold, in garments gay with gold,

For other spousals wrought, The Maiden from her Father's house

With bridal pomp is brought.

And now before the Holy Door

In the Ante-nave they stand ; The Bride and Bridegroom side by side, The Paranymphs in festal pride

Arranged on either hand.

Then from the Sanctuary the Priests,

With incense burning sweet,
Advance, and at the Holy Door
The Bride and Bridegroom meet.

There to the Bride and Bridegroom they

The marriage tapers gave;

And to the altar as they go, With cross-way movement to and fro,

The thuribule they wave.

For fruitfulness, and perfect love,
And constant peace, they pray'd,
On Eleëmon, the Lord's Servant,
And Cyra, the Lord's Handmaid.

They call'd upon the Lord to bless

Their spousal celebration,
And sanctify the marriage rite
To both their souls' salvation.

A pause at every prayer they made,

Whereat with one accord
The Choristers took up their part,
And

sung in tones that thrill’d the heart,

Have mercy on us, Lord !

Then with the marriage rings the priest

Betroth'd them each to each, And, as the sacred pledge was given,

Resumed his aweful speech;

Pronouncing them before high Heaven

This hour espoused to be,
Now and for ever more, for time

And for eternity.

This did he in the presence

Of Angels and of men ;
And at every pause the Choristers

Intoned their deep Amen!

Then to that gracious Lord, the Priest

His supplication made,
Who, as our sacred Scriptures tell,

Did bring Rebecca to the well
When Abraham's servant pray'd.

He call'd upon that gracious Lord

To stablish with his power
The espousals made between them,

In truth and love, this hour;

And with his mercy and his word

Their lot, now link'd, to bless,
And let his Angel guide them
In the way of righteousness.

With a Christian benediction,

The Priest dismist them then, And the Choristers, with louder voice,

Intoned the last Amen!

The days of Espousals are over;

And on the Crowning-day,
To the sacred fane the bridal train,

A gay procession, take again
Thro? thronging streets their way.

Before them, by the Paranymphs,

The coronals are borne, Composed of all sweet flowers of spring

By virgin hands that morn.

With lighted tapers in array

They enter the Holy Door, And the Priest with the waving thuribule Perfumes the

way

before.

He raised his voice, and call'd aloud

On Him who from the side
Of our first Father, while he slept,

Form'd Eve to be his bride ;

Creating Woman thus for Man

A helpmate meet to be,
For youth and age, for good and ill,
For weal and woe, united still

In strict society,

Flesh of his flesh; appointing them

One flesh to be, one heart ;
Whom God hath joined together,

Them let not man dispart !

And on our Lord he call’d, by whom

The marriage feast was blest,
When first by miracle he made

His glory manifest.

Then in the ever-blessed Name,

Almighty over all,
From the man's Paranymph he took

The marriage coronal;

And crowning him therewith, in that

Thrice holy Name, he said, “ Eleëmon, the Servant of God, is crown'd

For Cyra, the Lord's Handmaid !”

Next, with like action and like words,

Upon her brow he set
Her coronal, intwined wherein

The rose and lily met;
How beautifully they beseem'd

Her locks of glossy jet !

Her he for Eleëmon crown'd,

The Servant of the Lord;..
Alas, how little did that name
With his true state accord !

66 Crown them with honour, Lord !” he said, “ With blessings crown the righteous head!

To them let peace be given,

A holy life, a hopeful end,
A heavenly crown in Heaven !"

Still as he made each separate prayer For blessings that they in life might share,

And for their eternal bliss, The echoing Choristers replied, “ O Lord, so grant thou this !"

How differently meantime, before

The altar as they knelt,
While they the sacred rites partake
Which endless matrimony make,
The Bride and Bridegroom felt!

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