For the second time I have had the honor of photographing an engagement ceremony within the local Coptic Christian community. Coptic Christians originate from Egypt and have been in the Nashville community for quite some time now. I arrived at the bride's parent's home mid afternoon. I believe the a/c unit was out... everyone was hot, but you wouldn't have known it by the smiles on their faces. Three priests performed the traditional ceremony completely in Egyptian. The priests put the ring on the future bride and groom's finger's halfway, and then the couple finishes putting the rings on each other. It represents God's involvement in the relationship. Each priest read from text aloud, then the entire family would sing verses in Egyptian in unison. It's quite an experience, even the second time around.
With all that's going on in this world lately that is so ugly, and spreads fear within us all... tries so hard to divide us... all the hate, violence, disagreements and arguments... love... in every form... is the same. No matter the language, religion, culture, race, country of origin, or age... love is the same. To be the outsider in a room of people... being taken care of the same way my own mother takes care of guests... it all just speaks volumes to the universal power of love. If love is able to unify couples, families, and friends... there's no reason it can't do the same for cities, nations, and even different religions.