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Dressed for her the nuptials, Rita, who was brought from Lebanon, is honored with dancing by the bridegroom's friends in his home because her own family could not come to America. In the absence of her father, the bridegroom's married brother will escort her to the altar.
Katrina Thomas's notes: Those who call themselves Assyrians claim descent from the ancient Assyrian empire, emigrating from any one of Middle Eastern states. They belong generally to the Church of the East or the Church of Antioch. I photographed two weddings and snapped one picture at the nuptial rite of a third. Nuptials are conducted in Aramaic, the first two in Chicago at St. George's Church; the other in Turlock, CA at Mar Addai Church of the East. The couple stand briefly under metal crowns with a twisted cord, symbol of the crowning, which is taken home. Before putting on their rings, the priest blesses them in a goblet of wine and water. At huge receptions, hundreds of richly dressed guests, some in traditional velvet, greet the newlyweds with clapping, dancing, and singing while waving scarves and canes.