What I learned from My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2
By: Kateryna Yefimova
I watched My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 last night. I found it fun and enjoyable to be reunited with the Partokalos clan and all their antics. I loved the first movie and have watched it many times, so I was very excited to hear that a sequel was finally coming out. I would like to focus on one particularly poignant scene that takes place near the end of the movie. Spoilers ahead!
The basic plot is that the family patriarch, Gus, finds out that he is actually not married his wife. The priest forgot to sign the wedding certificate, meaning they are not officially married in the eyes of the Church. After many mishaps, the titular wedding comes together, with the help of the entire family. Of course, it takes place inside a beautiful Orthodox Church, full of colourful icons. The part that deeply moved me involved a wonderful tradition which involves the crowning of the couple during the wedding ceremony. In the Orthodox wedding liturgy “the wedding crowns…symbolize the glory and honor that is being bestowed on them by God during the sacrament. The [crowns] are joined by a ribbon which symbolizes the unity of the couple and the presence of Christ who blesses and joins the couple. Through the crowns, Christ establishes the couple as the King and Queen of their home, which they rule with wisdom, justice, and integrity. The crowns used in the Orthodox wedding ceremony also refer to the crown of martyrdom, since every true marriage involves self-sacrifice on both sides”
I think this is a beautiful, physical representation of marriage and the commitment the husband and wife make to each other. First of all, the crowns will serve as a lifelong reminder of the couples royalty and service to the Kingdom of God. Is there a better way to remind ourselves that we are destined to be united with God in Heaven than to gaze upon the crowns? Secondly, the crowns serve as a reminder of our duty on Earth, to not only make sacrifices for our spouses and family, but in our everyday lives. Therefore it is a martyrs crown. We must be martyrs in our rejection of worldly pressures and continually choose to serve Christ.
As Toula, the protagonist of the movie, watches her parents prepare to receive their crowns, she asks her husband to marry her again. Despite their difficulties with the monotony and hardships of married life, Toula and Ian stand in the Church where they got married and choose each other once again. After the crowning, the priest “takes the arm of the groom and leads him and his bride around the table three times as an expression of joy. The three-fold walk around the anti-altar is seen as a religious dance. In this respect it is an expression of gratitude to God for His blessings, and joyfulness at the receiving of those blessings.” We watch both of the couples in their walk around the anti-altar, joyful for the gift of marriage. Despite the camera focusing on the couples, in the background we see the plentitude of icons common in Orthodox churches. Icons of Christ, the Virgin Mary, and the saints watch over the congregation. Lastly, John Legend’s popular song “All of Me” plays over the scene. This threefold combination was beautifully composed and was such a joy for me to watch.
On the surface, it’s easy to just apply the song lyrics to the two couples renewing their commitment to each other. I can’t imagine how many couples used this song for their first dance. And that’s great, because it really is a beautifully heartfelt song. But I couldn’t help but apply the lyrics to the relationship we are meant to have with God. After all, does He not ask us to give Him everything? And do we not also desire to know our Creator intimately? Here’s the chorus of the song:
Cause all of me
Loves all of you
Love your curves and all your edges
All your perfect imperfections
Give your all to me
I’ll give my all to you
You’re my end and my beginning
Even when I lose I’m winning
Cause I give you all of me
And you give me all of you
The first six lines are apt for what God says to us. I created you and know every single detail about you. Despite your imperfections, I will always love you. Be mine always! And the last four lines are apt for how we should respond to God. You are my creator and I am destined to be with you, forever. Despite my many failings and shortcomings, I know you will love me. Let me renew my promise, and give myself completely to you, with no reservations.
If you haven't seen the movie, definitely consider checking it out!