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The habit and hood of camel's hair,
On the altar were display'd,
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,
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,
They call'd upon the Lord to bless
Their spousal celebration,
A pause at every prayer they made,
Whereat with one accord
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,
And for eternity.
This did he in the presence
Of Angels and of men ;
Intoned their deep Amen!
Then to that gracious Lord, the Priest
His supplication made,
Did bring Rebecca to the well
He call'd upon that gracious Lord
To stablish with his power
In truth and love, this hour;
And with his mercy and his word
Their lot, now link'd, to bless,
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,
A gay procession, take again
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
He raised his voice, and call'd aloud
On Him who from the side
Form'd Eve to be his bride ;
Creating Woman thus for Man
A helpmate meet to be,
In strict society,
Flesh of his flesh; appointing them
One flesh to be, one heart ;
Them let not man dispart !
And on our Lord he call’d, by whom
The marriage feast was blest,
His glory manifest.
Then in the ever-blessed Name,
Almighty over all,
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
The rose and lily met;
Her locks of glossy jet !
Her he for Eleëmon crown'd,
The Servant of the Lord;..
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,
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,