Mar 27, 2012

Our Ceremony Plan

I am sure I've shared this before, but Mr. B and I are having an interfaith Catholic/Jewish wedding, which basically means that we have to create our ceremony plan from scratch. It can be kind of overwhelming- not only do you have to learn your own traditions (which, let's face it, most of us don't know those in quite as much detail as we should), but you have to learn someone else's. And then you have to combine them in a way that is fair to all religions, doesn't offend your officiant or old fashioned relatives, and works for you as a couple.

Sticking to tradition made things easier for us. I used a book called Celebrating Interfaith Marriages to figure out the most important elements of a Catholic wedding and the most important parts of a Jewish wedding, and different ways to order them. We structured everything like a Mass, got everything approved by our officiants (a Catholic deacon and Jewish cantor), and now we're good to go.

For other interfaith Catholic/Jewish brides, here's what we chose to do:

Opening remarks

Opening blessing

Acknowledgement of Separate Faiths
This is a short statement that will acknowledge that we're bringing together two different religious traditions- just in case anyone doesn't know. 

Blessing over wine
This is a standard Jewish tradition.

First Reading, Old Testament 
Second Reading, New Testament

Our version of a homily. Still working out which officiant will do this, but whoever it is will give some personal remarks about us as a couple and hopefully relate them to our readings.

Prayer of Faithful/General Intercession
For you Catholics, this is the "Lord hear our prayer" part. I'll include the text of this since I really like it:

For leaders of Church and State, for heads of institutions, for heads of homes and households… that they will lead us and guide us in the search for goodness, joy, and love among us- Let us pray to the Lord.

For all married people:  for those who married yesterday, for the new couple Tracy and Brad, married today, for those who will marry tomorrow… that they may savor the joy of being together, warm love and children, a long life, friends, and a new day, every day- let us pray to the Lord.

For our relatives and friends who walk with us on life’s journey, and for those who have gone before us to the other side of life.  For the fulfillment of all their unfulfilled desires- let us pray to the Lord.

We'll be using standard "Do you sickness and in health, etc" vows.

Exchange of Rings
In the Jewish faith, this is the part where you are really bound before God.

Pronouncement of Marriage


Closing blessing

Glass Breaking
A Jewish tradition that marks the end of the ceremony- Mr. B will stomp on a glass, everyone will scream Mazel Tov, and we'll recess on over to the partay.

The big thing we left out was the Sheva Brachot, or seven blessings. I think it's a good thing to do if you have a lot of family or friends that you want to include in the ceremony, but we left it out in the interest of keeping the ceremony to only 30 minutes.

So that's our interfaith mix. Other interfaith brides, how did you design your ceremony? Were your officiants laid back about things?

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