(Closed) How to include religion in a mostly secular ceremony?

posted 4 years ago in Ceremony
Post # 2
9668 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: April 2019

Maybe have a hymn played? I was going to suggest a reading but you said you don’t want that.

Post # 3
4047 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: January 2014

I wanted a completely secular ceremony, much to the dismay of my mother.

While I’m an atheist, I did recognize that my mother’s side is deeply religious and would want to see some aspect of that in the ceremony. Yet, I didn’t want to impose it upon others or myself.

I included a ring warming. At the beginning of the ceremony, our celebrant explained that our wedding rings would be passed around to each guest, allowing a time of personal prayer or well wishes for us. Our best man gave it the person in the back row, and each guest held it for a moment and passed it around. I loved that this allowed personal prayer for those who believed, but it did not impose faith upon anyone. My mother actually commented that this was her favorite part of the whole wedding because she felt so connected to everyone there.

It’s definitely an option for you! I think it could work well to allow that space of personal prayer without interrupting the ceremony.

Post # 4
7977 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2013 - UK

“I would have him say something along the lines of “Bride & Groom acknowledge that everyone stems from different beliefs. They would like to give this opportunity for those to pray who wish to. We will pause for a moment now to allow this.”

I think this is quite awkward and kind of a bad idea… I know it is meant well, but it sounds like the differences are just being pointed out for the sake of it. How about something like you play a piece of classical music and invite everyone to “reflect” (reflect sounds much better than pray) on their best wishes for you both whilst it plays. Most regular church goers should take this as an invitation to pray.

Also, how about a “sign of the peace”. It is used in churches. The bride and groom say “peace be with you” to each other and shake hands and/or embrace, then the congregation follow suit. It’s also a nice way to interact with your friends and family without being too “preachy”.

Post # 6
2156 posts
Buzzing bee

Jw1724:  Fiance and I were both raised Catholic. After much thought, we decided we did not want a Catholic ceremony as we don’t participate in the religion anymore. However, Fiance still feels strong ties to his religious upbringing. 

So, we decided to go with a more secular ceremony. We will be having a handfasing ceremony. We will also include a Native American wedding prayer and the wedding version of the prayer of St. Francis of Assisi. 

Post # 7
2517 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: February 2015

Neither of us practice any faith.  I was raised United, but we never, ever went to Church.  My Fiance was raised Catholic, but he’s very lapsed.  

His mum did ask if we were getting married in a Church (my mother also asked.  The comparison between the 2 was hilarious.  His mum asked hopefully, my mother seemed completely appalled by the idea, despite the fact that she was married in a Church!)  

We’re being married at the resort by a Reverend that I know (we chose him because I know him, we got a deal, and we needed someone to marry us!  He just happens to be a religious man).  And we will have the prayers of the fatithful (the irony is not lost on me.)  We’re having 8, as is tradition for his family.  (Though I’ve found lots of people have much less.)  They’re a nice compromise.  We get to write them and can make them less religious.  Yet, it holds the tradition for his mum and it adds a little bit of religion to what will be otherwise a pretty secular ceremony. And we’re having 4 from each side read one prayer each.  So it’s a nice way to involve some of our friends/aunts/uncles/cousins who aren’t in the bridal party. 

Post # 8
1301 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

As a guest, I would find a pause for a prayer very awkward. The ring warming a PP mentioned sounds really nice – people can pray if they like, but nonreligious guests can simply give good thoughts.<br />

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