What is important about the dance of Isaiah at weddings?
Towards the end of the Sacrament of Marriage, the couple is led in procession around the sacramental table on which is the Gospel - the Word of God.
The circle is a symbol of eternity and reminds us that marriage is a lifetime commitment. Christ is at the center of it.
During the procession, three troparia are sung:
O Isaiah dance your joy, for the Virgin is with child; and shall bear a Son, Emmanuel both God and man!
And Orient is His name, whom magnifying we call the Virgin blessed.
Holy Martyrs, who have fought the good fight and have received your crowns: entreat the Lord that He have mercy on our souls.
Glory to You, O Christ God, the Apostles' boast, and the martyrs' joy, whose preaching was the consubstantial Trinity.
These hymns remind us of the Scriptural qualities that ought to be present in marriage.
The word martyria, in Greek, means to witness.
The newly married couple is called to witness to the coming of the Kingdom of God, which came about through the birth of the Son of God from the Virgin, Mary. The joy that is celebrated through this uniting of man, woman and Christ is to parallel the joy that Isaiah had when he said, "I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my whole being shall exult in my God" (Isaiah 61:10).
Fr. John Meyendorff in his book, Marriage: An Orthodox Perspective, writes "The hymn begins in fact by a call to execute a ritual khorodia, well known both to the Jews of the Old Testament (David danced before the Ark of the Covenant, II Samuel 6:14) and to the ancient Greeks; and the triple circular procession of the bridal pair led by the priest around the sacramental table can be seen as a proper and respectful form of 'liturgical dancing.'"