Interfaith Wedding Ceremony Ideas

Sep 17 21:00 2003 Heather Greene Print This Article

These days, it's becoming more and more common for couples of ... ... ... to get married. Many ... have embraced this fact-- in two of the four major Jewish sects, ...

These days,Guest Posting it's becoming more and more common for couples of different religious backgrounds to get married. Many religions have embraced this fact-- in two of the four major Jewish sects, interfaith marriages are regularly performed, most Protestant clergy are willing to officiant interfaith marriages, and more and more Catholic priests, Conservative Judaism rabbis, and Islamic leaders are conducting interfaith ceremonies. Ask other interfaith couples in your area for recommendations if you're having a hard time finding someone yourself. Or, you could have your wedding performed by a non-religious officiant. You will still have the opportunity to incorporate religion into your ceremony if you do this, but it will eliminate the hassle of finding a religious officiant who's views about interfaith marriage are the same as yours.

It may not be easy pulling off an interfaith ceremony. Your relatives may be upset that you are straying from tradition and even you and your fiance may have some different ideas about how the ceremony should be run and which traditions and rituals should be part of the ceremony. You will need to take a lot of time to consider exactly what marrying someone of a different faith means to you and how you will handle your differences on the wedding day and beyond. With some compromising and understanding though, we're sure you're interfaith wedding will go on without a hitch.

Since there is no traditional interfaith ceremony format, we can not recommend one that you should follow, but below you will find some tips for how to incorporate two religions into your ceremony.

Involving Both Families-- Chances are, if anyone is upset about you having an interfaith marriage it's the older generation-- your parents and grandparents. The best thing you can do to help them come to terms with your decision and understand it is to have both families participate in the ceremony. Unity candles are a wonderful idea to involve both parents and in this case, the candle lighting will have extra symbolism as you are not only joining your two families, but also your two faiths. At many interfaith marriages involving Christian and Jewish grooms and brides you will notice that the couple is taking a cue from the Jewish religion and having both parents walk the bride and groom down the aisle. This is sure to make both sets of parents feel special on the big day.

Neutral Ground-- It's important for many couples and their families to have a completely neutral ceremony. Many officiants steer clear of using non-inclusive language and avoid using mentions of things unique to one religion (for example, mentions of Israel, Jesus as a savior, etc.) and instead focus on God's love and the theme of unity and togetherness. In general, we'd advise against having the ceremony in a place of worship unless it is special to both the bride and groom.

Music and Readings-- Incorporate music and readings from both your faiths into the ceremony or you can have faith neutral readings and music. We have several suggestions for readings as well as tips for readers weddings in our ceremony section.

Programs-- Wedding programs are almost a necessity at an interfaith wedding if you will be incorporating aspects of two faiths into your wedding. A good program will explain the meaning and origin behind any religious rituals that take place at the wedding, that way, none of the guests will be confused about what is going on (your guests may not have attended a wedding outside of their faith group).

Having two officiants-- Many interfaith couples are now deciding to have two officiants present at their wedding ceremonies, one from each religion. By having two officiants, you'll be making everyone more comfortable, plus two heads are always better than one and two officiants can give you more ideas about conducting and interfaith ceremony than just one.

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Heather Greene
Heather Greene

Heather Greene is the head writer for the wedding planning site, Wedding Wonderful located at This article originally appeared on Wedding Wonderful.

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