Post # 1
Background: I am a practicing Catholic; I was raised Catholic, and I follow my faith. My fiance is Jewish; he has not attended services since I met him, but he maintains some of the traditions and celebrates the High Holy Days (Yom Kippur, Roshashana).
We are doing a civil ceremony in our reception venue, not in a Church or temple, and it was a big concession for me (my dream has always, always been to get married in my hometown church with the priest I grew up with). We wanted to incorporate bits of both our faiths to make it a ceremony unique to us. My problem is, there are very few Catholic traditions that I can incorporate (Bible readings is basically it), and he wants to smash the glass, have a barucha (prayer), and a chuppah. I was okay with it all up until the chuppah. There are so many traditions he can incorporate, and there is really very little I can come up with that could be used. Does anyone have any ideas?
Thanks for any help!
Post # 3
Did a little internet sleuthing but not sure if this would work:
The tradition of the Lazo or wedding Rosary is prominent in the Hispanic culture and some Asian cultures . This wedding rosary is used to symbolize the unification of the couple through prayer. The traditional belief is if the couple prays the rosary together every night their marriage will endure.
The wedding rosary is actually two individual and complete rosaries which meet and become one before the crucifix. It is placed by the priest over the couple after they have exchanged vows usually as they kneel to receive communion.
a re-sponsorial psalm, the “alleluia” before the Gospel, and a Gospel reading. The selections may be read by the priest or by honored members of the wedding party.
A Candlelight blessing has been used in both Catholic and Protestant churches. It is acceptable because of the spiritual context of the blessing. In the Catholic tradition, the candle (flame) is a symbol of Christ, the light of the world. The Scriptures given confirm this concept, and are cause for reflection among the guests.
Post # 4
My wedding was different as I had both a priest and a rabbi officiating, I can send you what I wrote (I wrote our entire ceramony our selves).
I also carried a rosary with me down the isle wrapped around my bouquet, I wore a traditional (swedish) bridal crown, I went to Mass and Confession the night before my wedding and myself and my bridesmaids brought the gifts up during the offeratory. You may want to bring in a medum sized statue of Mary and do the traditional bridal meditation after the wedding prior to the processional back down the isle.
Post # 5
Hmmm, good question. Perhaps you could find a blessing that is special to you from the old testament that you both like and could read in English? The Song of Songs (which I think is also known as the Song of Solomon in Christian circles), and has special connections in both Jewish and Catholic faiths, and is about love. Perhaps you could read them in both the Hebrew and in English? There is also the unity candle, which I’ve seen done at Catholic weddings. You could have Ave Maria sung as well, or carry a rosary. Honestly (if it makes you feel better)…the smashing of the glass and the chuppa are really cultural traditions (you don’t need them to have a ‘legal’ Jewish wedding), they aren’t even particularly religious in nature…the glass has many explanations but usually represents a ‘break’ with the past and your new lives together, and the chuppa represents the home you are making together. You could actually incorporate some Catholic symbols or themes into your chuppah if you wished (if you’re making one).
Post # 6
What about the Rite of Peace? When I was growing up we always just said “peace be with you” etc, no one really said Peace of Christ.
Post # 7
Fiance adn I are same situation- I am a practicing Catholic, he is a lapsed/disiniterested Jew.
I’m wondering why you chose a civil ceremony if your faith is important and you want to include religious traditions anyway. Is it too late to change and have a representative of each faith?
Otherwise, I second some other posters with the idea of a rosary around your bouquet and a responsorial psalm. Also, could you maybe cut one of the Jewish traditions, just to make it even?
Post # 8
@Seaside: We chose a civil ceremony for a couple of reasons. To be a true Catholic wedding, there are three things that have to be present: (1) in a church (2) during a mass (3) conducted by a priest. There are some ways around this, but those are the 3 main tenets. For a non-Catholic to get married in the Church, he has to pledge to raise his children Catholic and we have to take the pre-Cana classes. Fiance is not interested in either of those. I told him from the start that I’m not Jewish, I’m not converting, and I wasn’t having a Jewish wedding. We can’t do both because technically Catholic priests aren’t allowed to perform marriages outside of the church (they only can if you get special permission from a bishop or archbishop), so it would have to be a Christian revererend or someone who left the Roman Catholic vocation; neither of those would really help me since I’m Roman Catholic. So we sort of got pushed into a civil ceremony.
I’m not comfortable which a chuppah since it’s so overwhelmingly geared to the Jewish faith. I feel like we’re getting more into a Jewish ceremony with civil overtones, rather than the other way around. I’m fine with the blessing and with the stomping of the glass, but I really can’t get past the chuppah. Hopefully he can understand why.
The rosary idea is awesome. I may try to borrow one from my mom or grandmother to incorporate them, AND the “something borrowed”!
Post # 9
@abbie017: You’re right in that it wouldn’t be a true Catholic wedding if you mean that it wouldn’t be a sacrament, but you can still get married to someone Jewish and have it be recognized as a valid wedding by the church. You can get the dispensation to get married outside of a church if you are not marrying someone Christian, which you also need a dispensation to do. Neither should be hard to get. You may not be able to have a priest perform at the ceremony, but you can have a deacon. You do have to go to pre-cana, but your fiance doesn’t need to promise to raise his children Catholic- you only have to promise to try to do so. Also, if you have a civil ceremony the church doesn’t recognize your wedding at all, and in its eyes you won’t be married. I don’t know if any of that makes a difference to you, but just thought I would point it out.
I think the ideas about the rosary and the “peace be with you” are great. You can also use the traditional Catholic vows. Good luck!
Post # 10
Instead of having a chuppah, see if your fiance would be comfortable if you delineated the space around the two of you in a different way – flower petals on the ground or both of you standing on a special rug, or maybe just 2 or 4 candles on tall pedestals around you to create the representation of the home that you are creating for yourselves. My fiance is also Jewish and the chuppah is one of the traditions that I was comfortable incorporating into our ceremony.
Post # 11
Hi Abbi! Your description sound just like me and my fiance interms of our closeness to our faiths. I too, as were my very religious parents, was dissapppointed abpit not gettign married in a church, but I have really become excited about marrying outdoors in natrure. We, however, are havingboth a priest and a rabbi. We will have a Chuppah and, breaking of the glass, an dhand out yamakas. I happen to really liek the chuppah so I didnt mind, but I began to become concerend that there were not many visible elements of the catholic traditions ohter than the reading of a scripture an dthe priest. However, I remembered that there is a “exchanging of the coins” I’m not sure if this is more of a ritual in the Latino culture, but you may want to lookinto it. It is a symbol of sharing material goods or something like that. We are also looking into signing a Katubbah and having the priest officiate the service. We now have to work on what we actually want the ceremony to look like. We bought a book reccommended by another interfaith couple titled “Celebrating interfaith ceremony”. It’s very cheap online and talks about ways to incorporate elements of both and the symbolic meaning of different traditions. We will be using some of the reccommendations there. Good luck, I know how hard it can be! Now I have to try an dfind a rabbi who will be availiable on a Saturday afternoon and I’m not sure how realistic that will be….
Post # 12
i can only think of the candle.
you should look up latino and filipino catholic wedding masses. there’s tons of symbolism there (holy water, veil, cord, coins, etc)–some of it cultural, but a program should have good suggestions for inspiration.