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There is a tradition during the wedding ceremony where the bridegroom presents the bride with 13 coins. This tradition symbolizes the willingness of the groom to share all his worldly goods with his wife. Her acceptance of his gift melds their future life together.

 

The 13 coins are usually presented to the priest in an ornate box which will become a family heirloom.

 

 

The priest then blesses the coins and gives them to the bride. She places them in her husband's hands at the beginning of the Catholic wedding ceremony. The gold wedding coins are then placed on a tray to be used in the end of the ceremony. Near the end of the ceremony, the coins are once again given to the priest, who places them back into the box and gives it to the groom.

 

 

Pouring the coins into the bride's hands, the groom then places the gift box on top of the coins.

 

 

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This should help you out a little it from http://www.weddingdetails.com/lore/mexican.cfm:

 

 

 

The Thirteen Gold Coins (Trece monedas de oro)

The madrina de arras holds the 13 coins the bridegroom presents to the bride. The coins, or arrhea, was a Roman custom of breaking gold or silver, one half to be kept by the woman and the other half by the man, as a pledge of marriage.

 

The groom gives the bride thirteen gold coins as a symbol of his unquestionable trust and confidence. He pledges that he places all of his goods into her care and safekeeping. Acceptance by the bride means taking that trust and confidence unconditionally with total dedication and prudence.

 

The custom of the coins originated in Spain. Thirteen gold coins (arras) are given to the bride by the bridegroom, signifying he will support her. Often presented in ornate boxes or gift trays, this represents the brides dowry and holds good wishes for prosperity. These coins become a part of their family heirloom.

 

The number 12 represents Christ and his 12 apostles. The coins are presented to the priest by a friend or relative (usually the purchaser). The priest then blesses the coins and hands them to the bride who places them in the groom's cupped hands at the beginning of the ceremony. The coins are then placed on a tray and handed to an assistant to be held until later in the ceremony. Near the end of the ceremony the box and coins are given to the priest who places the coins in the box and hands them to the groom.

 

The groom will then pour the coins into the bride's cupped hands and places the box on top. This represent his giving her control as his mistress of all his worldly goods. (Sometimes their hands are tied with a ribbon for this portion of the ceremony.)

 

Jessica

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Here it is:

Arras (Coins)

 

The giving of Arras is also predominant in the Hispanic culture. The Arras is a small box containing thirteen either gold or silver coins. The thirteen coins represents Christ and His twelve Apostles. The groom presents the Arras to the bride after the vows have been exchanged as a symbol of his readiness to provide financial support in their married life. This also signifies good financial stewardship of the household. When the groom gives the coins to the bride she promises to use them wisely.

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y'all beat me to it. we are doing the arras for our ceremony in mexico -- FMIL is giving us the arras from her own wedding as a gift. my FSIL is the madrina de arras because they are a family heirloom.

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sandra, where in the layout of the ceremony did you put the arras? we are trying to figure that out with our priest. could you post a copy of your program?

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