Post # 1
So we are having a destination wedding in Mexico with 80-100 of our closest family and friends. I was raised strict Catholic but then was confirmed, on my own accord as a Lutheran. My fiance was raised very reformed Jewish.
There are elements of the Jewish marraige ceremony we are bringing in, such as the breaking of the glass and the signing of the Ketubah (which will be interfaith, although I would still love for one side to be in Hebrew)
But now I am having trouble incorporating parts of the Catholic/Lutheran mass. These elements are completely non-religious and strictly symbolic but the only thing I can think of in the Christian mass is the eternity candle and you can’t do that in Mexico with the wind (we have a sand ceremony instead)
Post # 3
Some reform rabbis will do the “Our Father” prayer. Do Lutherans also do the statement of intent? I think you would be safe with that too. You can also do the shake hands/kiss and say “peace be with you” thing (I forget what that is called and I dont know if that is just Catholics).
Post # 4
I think those are way too religious. Our ceremony is very strict non-religious, our vows are completely without the use of God in any wording, no prayers, etc. We are having a Justice of the Peace, no Priest or Rabbi… see what I mean? This is tough!!! Absolutely nothing religious, just symbolic, like the glass and the signing of the marraige certificate with our vows on them. The Catholic masses are so prayer and religion driven, I can’t think of anything truly just “symbolic” aside from the candle.
I do see your point on the “peace be with you” but I don’t think it really fits, I think we would end up cracking up at how random it was. lol Thanks for the help though!
Post # 5
@DestinationMexicoBride: Hmm. The unity candle isn’t part of the Catholic ceremony, though sometimes it’s allowed. The traditional Catholic vows don’t have the word God in it (I take you to be my spouse. I promise to be true to you in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. I will love you and honor you all the days of my life.)
I think the sign of peace could be nice after the vows. I mean, I don’t know what the rest of your ceremony is like, but if the officiant says something like “please welcome the new bride and groom and exchange a sign of peace with them and those around you” then you could just walk around hugging everyone. Yeah, shaking your hubs’ hand right after would be weird, but it could give you a little time to celebrate in the ceremony!
Post # 6
I think I didn’t read your post carefully enough the first time, I guess I sort of zeroed in on “interfaith ketubah” and figured you were having an interfaith wedding. Just so you know, you can get ketubahs that are humanist, they don’t have to be interfaith if the mention of God makes you uncomfortable.
To answer your question, I don’t think there are any Catholic/Lutheran elements that you can incorporate that aren’t religious, besides the unity candle. I can’t come up with anything….
Post # 7
@jedeve is right that the unity candle isn’t Catholic. A lot of parishes actually don’t allow them. The unity candle concept was invented by the writers of General Hospital for one of those 80s soap opera weddings. I know in Mexican Catholic weddings (and maybe other Hispanic Catholic weddings too?), there is a “wedding rosary” or “lasso” used. Where basically a very large rosary is placed around the necks of the couple. It symbolizes their being bound in love, none of the rosary prayers have to be said or anything. I have seen it done in a lot of weddings as more of a cultural thing than a religious thing.
http://www.weddingdetails.com/lore/mexican.cfm and scroll down.
However I don’t know if that would seem odd if you guys aren’t Latin American at all.
ETA: Here is a picture of the ceremony in action:
Post # 8
The unity candle concept was POPULARIZED by General Hospital. But the concept has existed and been played out in antiquity and in other cultures in the world. It is most definitely not a Catholic tradition though.
Post # 9
We are also having a mostly non-religious, culturally mixed Judeo-Christian ceremony, and I’ve also found that it’s much easier to incorporate Jewish elements than elements from my own Irish Catholic background. You’re right, the Catholic rite of matrimony isn’t really one you can pick and choose elements from, especially if you’re trying to avoid a religious tone. It’s a tough one. I suppose since my family is Irish, a handfasting ceremony would be appropriate, but it doesn’t really feel right for us. We have a huppah, a glass and an interfaith ketubah with a Celtic design, and we will have the Hebrew portion of the ketubah read by an uncle. Fiance asked me yesterday if it bothers me that the spiritual/religious elements so far are all Jewish, and when I thought about it, I realized it really doesn’t. I’m more spiritual than he is, and I like that we are incorporating any cultural/religious tradition at all, even if it’s not mine. I think we will probably add an Old Testament reading, probably this one from the Song of Songs, so it feels a little more balanced (mostly to make my Catholic dad happy, honestly).
Post # 11
I am happy to read this and see that other Christian/Jewish couples are having similar issues come up with the ceremony! We are also having a Chuppah, breaking the glass, and signing an interfaith ketubah. I haven’t quite been able to figure out how to incorporate my Episcopal upbringing, and he didn’t seem to understand why I couldn’t just snag a tradition here and there and throw it into our ceremony! We also ran into the same wind issue with the unity candle (we are getting married outdoors in VT in a valley between two mountain ranges = WIND!), so we are using a wine ceremony instead. I don’t have any great ideas to add, just wanted to echo everyone’s sentiments.
Post # 12
I am also doing a Catholic/Jewish wedding. We are having the chuppah, ketubah, and glass. I decided that since I am a non-practicing Catholic, the need for Catholic traditions wasn’t as necessary as Fiance need for Jewish traditions. I would ask your parents if there is any family wedding tradition instead that would be an alternate way to honor them in the ceremony. Maybe there is a necklace that your mother wore at her wedding, etc. We are going to put items from each sets of grandparents under the chuppah since they won’t be at the ceremony. Whatever you choose to do, it will be beautiful! 🙂