(Closed) how to incorporate opportunity for prayer into a secular ceremony?

posted 8 years ago in Secular
  • poll: Is it improper to have a prayer in our ceremony (for family) if we are very non-religious?
    Yes, it is improper if the bride and groom do not normally pray. : (12 votes)
    60 %
    No, it is a nice gesture to appease religious family members. : (8 votes)
    40 %
  • Post # 3
    399 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: September 2013

    @araneidae:  You could always include a moment of reflection- have the officiant ask for you too to silently reflect upon what has brought you together, why you are there, and ask the guests to reflect upon their own lives or their love for the couple getting married. While he isn’t asking for a prayer, it would give the opportunity for those who are religious to pray. It could really take place any time during the ceremony- at the beginning, right before your vows (could help calm you down!) or before departing.

    I might include something similar, but really do not want any mention of god or prayer in my wedding ceremony. However, I am much more atheist than agnostic on the scale. 

    Post # 4
    3977 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: May 2011

    In my opinion, it would only be inappropriate if a non-religious person was the one praying. If it’s your Future Mother-In-Law or the minister or someone who’s actually religious I would have no problem with it. It would just seem fake to me if someone I knew was completely non-religious prayed during their ceremony just to make others happy–because then it wouldn’t be a real prayer, just talking to the sky. But I’m sure your Future Mother-In-Law prays for you all the time, so having her do it outloud in front of others would be a lovely idea. Does that make sense?

    Post # 7
    995 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: August 2012

    @araneidae:  it’s really up to you–I like the moment of reflection idea

    I understand wanting to appease other people but ultimately it’s about your marriage and are you going to feel comfortable standing up there with everyone silently praying over you….idk I would find it very awkward and forced but that’s me


    I voted no because I would never expect it and would never do it–but if that’s what you want to do go right ahead I doubt they’ll be offended by it–but they may be a little confused about if your beliefs have changed

    Post # 8
    1796 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: August 2011

    It seems fake to have a prayer of you are not religious. Why not have a moment of reflection like a PP suggested. Also, if you really want a prayer, i think it would be more appropriate to ask a family member to say Grace before dinner at the reception.

    Post # 10
    28 posts
    • Wedding: September 2012

    I am not religious but my FI’s family is. Instead of doing a prayer we are going to have my cousin’s husband (he’s a pastor and so is she) do a biblical reading. Also, my cousin is officiating the wedding 🙂

    Post # 11
    11 posts
    • Wedding: October 2015

    Why?  Those who are “religious” are often closed-minded to those with other beliefs or who are non-believers…  Why give them an opportunity to basically practice their religious belief at your wedding?  Would they do the same for you?


    Post # 12
    378 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: June 2012

    I was very persistent in not having any Bible readings or specific religious references in our secular but spiritual ceremony, but now my Future Mother-In-Law is making wedding fans with our picture on one side and a large Bible verse on the other. I’m not pleased about it but her and I have a very rocky history and have only very recently gotten along, so I’m allowing it.  My FH and I are going to make sure, however, that our ceremony has the perfect level of all-encompassing spirituality without shoving it down anyone’s throat and still being formal and warm. I think making sure you have a touch of prayer in there to keep your Future Mother-In-Law happy while not allowing it to hijack the theme of it is the best way to go 🙂

    Post # 13
    433 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: September 2012

    I just found this thread because I’m dealing with the same thing. We want a very secular ceremony but have a few very relgious family members. So far, we are planning to have a moment of silent prayer near the beginning of the ceremony. This is the wording I’ve written for it (and taken bits and pieces from elsewhere):

    Today, bride and groom, you will declare that love and commitment to each other before family and friends. You have waited for this moment, planned for this moment and grown toward this moment. Now I ask that you simply be in this moment. I’m going to be silent while you, while all of us, take a minute to focus our thoughts not on yesterday or tomorrow, but on this day. In the silence that follows, I ask each of you, in your own way to confer a silent prayer, blessing, wish or hope upon this day and this marriage.


    I’m not actually sure how to end the silence; we would be uncomfortable with “Amen” but I’m thinking maybe a quiet bell?



    Post # 14
    433 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: September 2012

    Oh, and then also we might have FI’s dad, whom religion is important to, give a grace before dinner. We haven’t asked him yet but I think it would mean a lot to him to do. So maybe you could ask your fiance’s mother to do grace– that way you keep your ceremony totally secular but also appease her.

    Post # 15
    129 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: May 2012

    We had a secular ceremony and didn’t offer any time for guests to pray. I think it would have stood out as odd since we wouldn’t be praying ourselves.

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