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harp, Greek wedding, St. Barbara's Church

Greek Wedding

St. Barbara’s Greek Orthodox Church in Santa Barbara is a place I’ve had the good fortune to play many times. Not only is it visually appealing with its sparkling golden Byzantine-style mosaics, but the acoustics are also outstanding making the harp sound gloriously crisp and clear. I was happy to be there last Sunday to play for a wedding that was standing-room only, packed to the rafters with festive Greek and Armenian friends and relatives.

Gold Harp in Greek Church

Traditional Greek wedding ceremonies are long and full of ritual. Interestingly, the bride and groom don’t exchange vows - just the fact that they’ve shown up at the church together is interpreted as a sign of their commitment to marriage. My favorite part of this ceremony was when the priests sang prayers in beautiful harmonies that rolled around the interior dome and brought me to tears. Yes, I go to weddings almost every weekend but I haven’t become jaded to the emotional aspect and frequently I find myself crying at the weddings of people I don’t even know!