MAJORCA resident Marcus McShane married his Argentinian girlfriend Laura Selva at the weekend, during a poignant and at times emotional ceremony according to Buddhist rites, writes Andrew Valente. Dokushô Villalba, a Zen Buddhist Master, came over from Valencia to officiate at the wedding, which took place at a huge country house on the mountainside at Deià. The colours red and white were repeated throughout the ceremony, starting with the bride wearing a long dress of watermelon–red, with a crown made of red flowers on her head. At a Buddhist wedding, it's the man who wears white, so Marcus, who is the son of Majorca–based writer Mark McShane, was in a long white shirt and white trousers. Both were barefoot during the ceremony. Master Dokushô wore the traditional saffron robes of Buddhist monks. At one stage in the ceremony, Marcus and Laura exchanged floral garlands that they wore round their necks: this time it was white for Laura and red for Marcus, so it was a very colourful scene. At the table that served as an altar, Marcus and Laura sat in front of Master Dokushô with the best man and maid of honour on either side. The best man was Marcus's brother Damon, who added extra touches of colour by wearing a kilt. The couple's parents, Mark and Rosemary, and Carlos and Cristina, sat behind and to one side of the bride and groom. One of the red and white rites was the lighting of the candles. Laura had a red candle and Marcus held a white one. They used them to light another candle, letting the wax from their candles melt together, as a symbol of their union in marriage. Another red and white theme came near the end of the ceremony when glasses were filled with red and white wine. Marcus and Laura put their glasses to each other's lips and took a mutual sip of wine. They later went round the room, offering their friends a sip from the glass, Marcus with the white wine and Laura with the red. Some of the Buddhist nuptial rites are similar to those at a Christian wedding. Both read the matrimonial vows to each other, after which they exchanged rings. Buddhist rites call for the participation of the couple when the rings are being made, so Marcus and Laura were with the jeweller when the silver was melted and the rings were cast. Towards the end of the ceremony, Master Dokushô presented them with the tabletop bell he had been using. He told them they had to ring it whenever they were faced with stressful or difficult situations. Before they entered into an argument, for instance, they were to go and ring the bell and, hopefully, avoid a heated discussion. The most emotional moment of the ceremony was when Marcus and Laura had to kneel on big cushions before their parents and thank them for everything they had done for them. Laura couldn't contain her tears, nor could her parents. Just about every woman in the room was crying and a few men also had moist eyes.
The ceremony ended as all weddings do: with a kiss!


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