Roce Ceremony – A to Z of this Special Catholic Pre-Wedding Tradition!

Image Source: Varun Pinto

In this culturally diverse land of ours, the Roce Ceremony is an immensely important pre-wedding ritual for the Indian Catholics of Goa and Mangalore that takes place before a Catholic wedding. The Roce Ceremony is celebrated by anointing the bride and groom with freshly squeezed coconut milk, also called Ros, meaning juice, which is where the word Roce comes from and coconut oil. The Roce Ceremony is the Catholic wedding equivalent of the Haldi ceremony in Hindu Weddings and is very near and dear to every Goan and Mangalorean Catholic. 

This unique and interesting tradition has been observed by Goan and Mangalorean Catholics for generations and is still celebrated with the very same enthusiasm and vigor. Of course, keeping with the time, people alter a few aspects of the Roce Ceremony, but overall it holds just as much importance, and no Goan and Mangalorean Catholic wedding is complete without the Roce Ceremony. 

So, if you are on a hunt for ideas for your own Roce Ceremony such as a venue for the Roce Ceremony, decor inspiration, outfits, or entertainment, you have come to the right place. This blog presents some endearing ideas that will help you turn your Roce Ceremony into an unforgettable affair. So, keep reading brides and grooms-to-be!

Significance of the Roce Ceremony:

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The Roce Ceremony, as we mentioned, is the Catholic equivalent of Haldi and signifies the end of bachelorhood and spinsterhood for the bride and groom. It is celebrated a couple of days prior to a Catholic wedding and uses coconut oil and coconut milk because coconut holds a lot of importance in Goan culture due to its abundant availability. From curries to desserts, coconut has found a profound place in Konkani cuisine. Not just that, it has also found its place in Konkani traditions and is presented as holy offerings. 

The use of coconut in the Roce Ceremony goes beyond this. Coconuts represent nature and its givings, and primarily using coconut for an important pre-wedding ritual signifies that we acknowledge and are grateful for everything that mother nature bestows upon us. 

The ritual takes place separately at the bride and groom’s house and entails the women of the house grating and squeezing the coconut by hand to remove the juice or the Roce. The first order of business is to offer a family prayer in the morning. 

Then the mother of the bride/groom starts the ceremony by drawing a cross on their forehead as well as pouring a few drops of it in each of their ears. It is believed to bless them and clear their ears so that they can listen to each other, which is a very important part of any successful relationship. This ritual is then followed by family, siblings, friends, and the guests taking turns to anoint the bride/groom with the Roce, and ends with all of the remaining Roce being poured on their head. Friends make it fun by breaking eggs, pouring beer, and whipped cream onto their heads!

Venue for Roce Ceremony:

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Image Source: Abids Events

The Roce Ceremony typically takes place in an open space as it can get very messy. Usually, in Goa, the venue for the Roce Ceremony is the front yard of the house, but the terrace is also an appropriate venue for the Roce Ceremony. 

1. If you don’t have access to either of these, any Goan wedding venue is the optimal venue for a Roce ceremony since it is a very important pre-wedding ceremony. You can simply book a wedding lawn or a spread-out banquet hall according to your guest list and it will work amazingly as a venue for the Roce Ceremony. 

2. If you are a fan of nature and want to celebrate this special ceremony amid greenery, you can choose your nearby garden or lakeside as your venue for the Roce Ceremony as well but make sure you acquire all the necessary permits. 

3. An interesting choice of venue for the Roce Ceremony can be poolside. Fun and excitement are an important part of the Roce Ceremony, and there is a whole segment where the bride or the groom groove on the dance floor along with all the guests. So, why not go ahead and add a pool to the hoopla and take the fun factor several notches up? Life is a little better by the poolside anyway!

Decor Ideas for the Roce Ceremony:

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Image Source: Chromesutra

The Roce Ceremony is bound by many traditions and technicalities. It requires a lot of attention to detail as every single thing, right from the customs that need to be followed to the decor that has to be set up is specified for the Roce Ceremony. It is traditionally held in a Mattov, which is a hut made out of dried and woven, palm leaves, areca nut palm leaves, and coconut leaves. It is decorated with fresh flowers and palm and coconut leaves. 

But as times changed, some acceptable changes were made to the traditions. Now, people customize the decor as per their preferences, and there is honestly so much you can do to set up a stunning backdrop for your Roce Ceremony. 

1. You can recreate the traditional Mattov in a modern way using dried palm and coconut leaves just for the backdrop.

2. Incorporate coconut shells for maximum vibes. 

There is no hard and fast rule that it must be done the above way though. 

1. You can ditch the coconuts (only from the decor!) and go floral. Floral wreaths, garlands, centerpieces, bouquets, and even rangolis – everything works. 

2. If you want to keep it simple, just get an altar made to draw all the attention to it. 

3. Turn to white, pastel, or even colorful drapes and fairy lights to add a whimsical touch to your Roce Ceremony. 

The simplest way to go would be to pick a theme. 

A favorite color, activity, celebrity, movie, or anything that you feel passionate enough about to make the backdrop of your Roce Ceremony, and fill the venue for Roce Ceremony with things related to it, for example, posters of your favorite movie, balloons, or flowers in your favorite color, etc. 

Outfits for the Roce Ceremony:

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Traditionally, the bride is supposed to drape her mother’s wedding saree around the waist as a skirt with a blouse, and the groom drapes a lungi with a kurta. However, this is flexible too, and you can pick anything that you are comfortable in.

Bride – 

Gowns

Dresses

Saree

Salwar and kameez

Kurta and churidar

Groom – 

Kurta and pajama

Tshirt/shirt and pants

Light sherwani

A traditional Goan feast – Rosache Jevon!

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Roce ceremony is followed by a feast called “Rosache Jevon” (Roce feast). Despite all of the modifications made to this pre-wedding ritual to get what is now a modern-day Roce Ceremony, Goans prefer to opt for traditional Goan food to honor the culture. Several Goan delicacies including fish, chicken, mutton, or even pork curry with coconut, prawns, vegetables with cashew, Goan Sannas (fluffy rice cakes), and the sweet dish Vohn are served and enjoyed at a Roce Ceremony. 

But of course, like with every other convention, food is also flexible. You can choose the foods of your liking and even go for theme-based food. Ask your caterer to whip up a customized dessert or drink to add a personal twist to the feast. Your guests will enjoy it, and every aspect of your Roce Ceremony will be extra special. After all, it is a once-in-a-lifetime event!

Dancing, music, and a whole lot of celebration!

Image Source: Chromesutra

Image Source: Chromesutra

Even though the Roce Ceremony is an important custom that cannot be omitted, having fun is an essential part of the whole thing. After the feast is over, it is in fact customary for the bride/groom to dance with their family, friends, and all the guests. There are also games, singing, and so many more fun activities involved. So, you must hire a DJ and ask him to spin some serious tunes so that you and your tribe can grove. You can make a playlist yourself of all of your favorite dance numbers. 

You can arrange a bunch of party games, ask your siblings, nieces, and nephews to put up skits and performances, or even arrange a karaoke machine and turn it into a whole night of entertainment in celebration of one of the most important days of your life.
We hope that you found our blog about the Roce Ceremony helpful and can incorporate some of these ideas about the venue for the Roce Ceremony in 2022, its decor, and the entertainment. We totally understand that planning your Catholic wedding can be stressful, so if you need any more assistance with planning and executing your Catholic wedding 2022, log onto Weddingz.in. We have a plethora of wedding services that will make this tiresome process a cakewalk for you.

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