A Wedding Bible Tradition Begins
I am certain when Orpha Hilty (my mother-in-law) purchased the small white Bible to carry at her wedding, she had no idea that a tradition had begun. She probably never considered that she was starting something new. There’s no way she could realize that generations later this same Bible would continue to be carried or be in attendance at the weddings of many of her grandchildren as well as great-nieces and great-nephews.
It has been sixty-three years since Orpha carried her wedding Bible. That was the day she married her Monnie (Monroe) Slabach – on June 19, 1954. Later her two sisters and two sisters-in-law carried the same Bible. Each bride signed her name inside the front cover.
Another generation carries the Wedding Bible
In time, the grandchildren of the Hilty clan started marrying, and many of them chose to carry the Bible as well. Each time, the bride signed her name inside the front cover. My signature is the fifteenth inside the Bible. When our daughter had it displayed at her wedding this spring, her signature was number fifty-one.
This Bible, carried first at a wedding in Ohio, is now kept in the home of Orpha’s daughter Ruth who lives in Virginia. It continues to be stored inside its original box. That original box is nestled inside a greeting card box.
Then the greeting card box is kept inside a Longaberger basket box!
Pony Express for the Wedding Bible
When another Hilty descendant is planning a wedding, she arranges to receive the Bible from Ruth, who pony expresses it through various family members. There are people who have transported the Bible to folks in another state, and from there it is transported by other family members. The Bible has been at weddings in Kansas, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin. Sixty-three years after Orpha first carried this Bible, fifty-two brides have carried it or had it displayed at their weddings.
A Holy Tradition
While it’s a wonderful tradition we cherish, the most important part of this wedding Bible tradition is that the bride and groom choose to use a Bible as a symbol of their faith, trust, and belief in God.
His Word endures forever.
A marriage founded and maintained on God and His Word will flourish. That, my friends, is the greatest tradition of all!
For more options for wedding Bibles or other books, visit The Book Depository.
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