Marriage was an important milestone in the lives of two people who decided to establish a family and enter into new family and neighborhood arrangements. In the Middle Ages, wedding ceremonies in Poland took on a time-honored ritual form, in which local traditions merged with the more recent Christian influences. Matrimony was recognized as a sacrament which symbolically emphasized the importance of events and was promised to provide future happiness for the newlyweds. The wedding ceremony was preceded by three public announcements in church. It was stipulated that the ceremony be held in church, in the presence of witnesses. Its main elements included the spousal handshake, the exchange of gifts in the form of wreaths, wedding rings or other gifts, and the utterance of the wedding formula: I take thee as my husband/wife.
AfiliacjaFaculty of History Jan Kochanowski University in Kielce Polska
dr hab. Beata Wojciechowska is a an associate professor of medieval history at the Jan Kochanowski University in Kielce. Her research interests include the history of religion in the Middle Ages, the history of canon law, and medieval medicine.