(Closed) Interfaith Co-Officiants

posted 8 years ago in Chicago
Post # 3
Member
941 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

I don’t necessary have solid feedback to provide (I’m just figuring this out myself), though I know if you go online you can type in “co-officients” and will be given a list of websites that will allow you to seek out people who will conduct the wedding.  A few months ago, I sent a request for rabbis, and was given a list of rabbis will will lead interfaith and co-officient weddings.  I’m in the process of sorting through the list still, but I know I felt happy to know there are a lot of options to choose from.

So, I’d say start with google (I think the best friend for many reasons) and start by getting names there.  🙂

Post # 4
Member
190 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2010 - The Pearl S. Buck House

Long answer coming your way:

The best way I can think of is to have as much knowledge as possible when you ask officiants if they’re willing to co-officiate and sign off on an interfaith wedding.

We started by asking for family and family friends about their priest friends. My aunt’s cousin was able to do pre-Cana with us and all the paperwork, but he’s in Boston at Harvard, so he’s too busy to come back to Philly in Oct. But I learned that you need a priest to apply for 2 dispensations through your Archdiocese on your behalf. 1. Permission to marry outside of the Catholic faith (or “cult” in old Canon lanuage) and 2. Permission to allow the Rabbi to receive the vows. This second one enables you to marry outsides of a church so it’s important. From there, you’ll need a priest present that day to do the nuptial blessing and sign the dispensations to send them back to the archdiocese and then your in the Catholic books as married. I also suggest having him do the rings and making the ceremony look balanced to your families.   I had trouble asking some priests because they didn’t have any experience with interfaith weddings and were “scared” to do it (ugh!!), but then to my surprise my local parish priest was actually willing to co-officiate. It may have helped that I had the paperwork done already. It varies with experience level and personal convictions.

On the Jewish side, you’ll have the best luck with a Reform or Reconstructionist Rabbi. A Cantor can also do it. Just ask everyone because they all have different beliefs and personal feelings about interfaith marriage. My fiancee’s family has a lesbian Cantor so we thought: bingo liberal, she’s awesome. But she told us she wasn’t comfortable with an interfaith marriage. (Sorry to reveal our generalization, but it was a learning experience). But the head Rabbi there was fine with it and co-officiates fairly often.

On both sides, they’ll feel better if you show them that you’re willing to put in the work, that you love learning about the culture, and that you will “to the best of your ability” raise your children to know their religion(s). 

This is a good resource:

 http://www.interfaithfamily.com/life_cycle/weddings/Sample_Ceremony_Structure.shtml

You can always “rent-a-priest/rabbi” (google it for reals) but there’s varying opinions on the legitimacy. Sometimes I wish we just went this route.

And finally, I LOVE LOVE the Jewish wedding ceremony and the meaning behind all the parts. Through it, I’m finding more appreciation and love for my fiancee’s culture. So have fun planning your ceremony! this has definitely been the most stressful part of planning for me but when you get through all the paperwork and politics it can really be worth it. It’s a good thing you’re starting early!!

All the best! (and sorry for writing a book)

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