The show and fuss of marriage rituals and ceremonies


There was an announcement in the papers of the death of Dastur Kaikobad, an eminent priest in the Zoroastrian community. Baba said that these ‘dasturs,’ ‘pundits,’ and ‘maulvis’ do nothing but preach, pray and pocket the money that blindly believing people poured out to them. But they alone are not to be blamed: people should have the courage to refuse to give them money. As it is, they shell out to the priests and at the same time complain bitterly that they are used too heavily.

‘Look at all the fuss and show (and the cost of it) of marriages in nearly all creeds and classes. The purpose of it all is simply to publicize the fact that so and so man and woman have united as man and wife and none else has any similar claim on either of them. Could not this be done simply and cheaply by registration and advertisement?

‘As for the “blessings” and advice of the priest (which are proportionate to the fatness of the fees) what can be said? It all amounts to: not to quarrel, not to separate from each other, love one another and live a long time. … And sometimes it happens that with the dying away of the sounds of the feast (if not earlier) the couple begin quarrelling. To where have gone the blessings and the prayers? And what can the poor priest do except look grave or laugh and offer more advice? — For knowledge is not his share; it is not his time for blessing, but to be blessed with honest sense.

‘It is not bought blessings and ceremonies and feasts that can save us from evil consequences, but our own actions. It is the understanding, love and goodness of each for each that alone can make the couple happy, as it is only their selfishness which makes them quarrel. All should realize this and stop wasting money on rituals and ceremonies.’

-‘The Silent Word’, Francis Brabazon, p331


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