Post # 1
We are having an interfaith wedding, and no rabbis will co-officiate if they have their own congregation. Some contract rabbis will do it, but I really want to get married by my synagogue’s rabbi.
Would it make sense to have two (very short!) wedding ceremonies, maybe a block or two apart from one another?
Or… what’s the difference between actually OFFICIATING and saying some prayers without being the officiant.
I am so lost, and so willing to give up.
We’ll already have been married by a justice of the peace–this will be religious, not legal, so… do we even need “real” officiants?
Anyone else having or had a Baptist/Jewish wedding?
Thank you so much!
Post # 3
First off, a Jewish wedding does not actually require a rabbi. The requirements relate to having a plain gold band for the wedding ring he gives you, having a ketubah, and cohabiting (symbolized by yichud). Since none of those things would be objectionable from a Baptist perspective, you could consider just incorporating those elements (and any other Jewish traditional elements you want, such as a chuppah) into the ceremony without having a rabbi.
Second, you might check with Interfaith Family. They can help to refer you to rabbis willing to co-officiate if you want.
Or third, you could do without “real” officiants. Since you will already have been legally married, you can really have whatever type of ceremony you want.
If you’d like some ideas for an interfaith ceremony, you might want to check out our ceremony text. Although our ceremony was conducted by a rabbi, it was an interfaith ceremony, and incorporated Protestant declarations and vows.
One more thing: would your rabbi conduct a ceremony even if you did not have a second officiant? Many rabbis will not conduct interfaith ceremonies at all.
Post # 4
We are having a Baptist/Jewish wedding as well. I am on the opposite side as you though being that my FI is the Jew. I really wanted my pastor to do it. He is the only one I have ever wanted to officiate over my wedding so when he said he couldn’t do an interfaith wedding I was crushed. But, after some serious thought I realized that it wasn’t the person who officiated that was important. It was the person I was marrying. So, instead of my pastor I was lucky enough that my dad was ordained so he is going to do the Christian side. As for the Jewish side he really wanted his rabbi but the same thing occured. It didn’t help that the rabbi lived in AZ. So, we found a contract rabbu that does alot of interfaith weddings. In the end we are going to have all the religious prayers and aspects of each religion, just not the people we had origionally wanted. I understand where you are coming from with wanting your rabbi to do it but when it gets down to it, is that more important than having the religious ceremony you have always wanted? For us it wasn’t.
Also think about if you have two ceremonies whether A) your rabbi will even do it since your husband isn’t jewish because that is normally where the deal breaker is. and B) if you are wanting to have any guests. Not many guests will want to sit through two entire services.
Good luck! I hope everything works out.
Post # 5
@2dBride: yes he will, friend of the family 🙂
Post # 6
@kfricke89: and @2dBride:
thanks for all the ideas! looks like i have a lot of thinking to do, still.
Post # 7
Ellabee gal, don’t give up. All is not lost.
Each rabbi has his/her own set of conditions under which they will officiate. Just TALK to yours. Maybe you could have two short separate ceremonies, one secular with the JP, and a Jewish wedding with the rabbi.
I have also been to a wedding which was officiated by a Catholic priest but a Lutheran pastor gave blessings at the end. You could try something like that.
I feel your pain. I’m a Lutheran gal engaged to a Jewish man. We would like to have an interfaith wedding with co-officiants from our faiths, but we have not found a rabbi who is willing to consider either co-officiating OR an interfaith wedding.
It sounds like you have a connection to your rabbi, so I’d try that first. If who your officiant doesn’t matter as much, try Interfaithfamily.com. They have a clergy referral service, you enter your information and they will connect you with any rabbis or cantors nearby who will perform interfaith weddings. They did not know of any here in MN, but that doesn’t mean you won’t have better luck! Unless you too are in Minnesota…
We are thinking about asking my pastor to perform the wedding, but using more inclusive language and incorporating Jewish traditions, like the chuppah and breaking the glass, and maybe having his parents give the wedding blessings. Something like that could work for you too.
Post # 8
We got married up at Lutsen in MN and looked pretty hard for a rabbi from the cities or anywhere in MN to co-officiate. I’m pretty sure that we exhausted the possibilities in terms of a rabbi who would co-officiate. We ended up using one of the people interfaith family referred who was from Kansas City (Rabbi Cukierkorn, you can google him). He was willing to travel, would co-officiate, and worked with a priest to perform the ceremony. He cost a lot of money but if it’s worth it to you there are a few rabbis out there like that who will travel!
Post # 9
@elikelly: Thanks lady! I actually went to a wedding in Lutsen this summer, the place is so unbelievably beautiful. I bet your wedding was too!
Yeah, I’ve talked to a few other Minnesota brides, and none of them found one here. I did actually have your rabbi recommended to me by another woman, and it’s a wonderful idea, but sadly way out of our tiny budget. I talked to another rabbi in Chicago who was willing, but fees + travel expenses were just too much.
Post # 10
Thanks so much for your support and ideas everyone. It has really helped us figure out what we are going to do.
We got a Jewish scholar to officiate (and she’s one of my mom’s good friends at synagogue). Hooray!
She was going to go to rabbinical school as one of the very first women students but didn’t go–that’s a lot of pressure! She still kind of regrets not going, so when we asked her if she would do it, she was thrilled. She wants to get ordained in California, but she doesn’t need to be–we already signed the legal papers.
Turns out, now that it’s not a rabbi, he doesn’t really care if there’s anyone to say Christian prayers, we’ll just add a little to the original Jewish ceremony.
I am very excited about how it is all turning out!