(Closed) Incorporating Jewish traditions into a Catholic ceremony

posted 8 years ago in Interfaith
Post # 3
Member
3316 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

A rabbi is not actually necessary to a Jewish ceremony.  In Judaism, a marriage is created through a) the ketubah, which is given by the groom to the bride, b) the groom giving the bride a thing of value (typically a plain gold band), and c) yichud, which is a sort of symbolic cohabitation in which the couple spends 15 minutes or so alone.  Other aspects (chuppah, seven blessings, breaking of the glass) are traditional but not required under Jewish law.

Moreover, none of the Jewish traditions would violate Catholic precepts.  Thus, the major issue would be the willingness of the priest to incorporate those traditions.  Your best bet is to talk with the priest about the extent to which he is willing to do this.

Post # 4
Member
350 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 1991

@Miss Emily Marie: It’s entirely up to the priest, but the appropriate places to add into the ceremony would be before the processional, during the homily, after the nuptial blessing, and after the final blessing. 

As far as a ketubah, that’s normally done before the ceremony, right?  If the text, or a portion thereof, is acceptable to the priest you could probably have him read a portion of the translated text during the homily.  You should be able to do the breaking of the glass after the final blessing but before the processional.  The yichud shouldn’t be a problem after the ceremony. 

 

Post # 5
Member
7695 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2010

Not really sure how this would work in a Catholic church, but you could incorporate a chuppah. We also did the breaking of the glass and at our reception we danced the Hora!

Post # 6
Member
350 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 1991

@PitBulLover: I highly doubt a Catholic church would allow a chuppah in the church.  Many won’t even allow you to bring in candles or certain flowers.  Of course, it doesn’t hurt to ask,

Post # 7
Member
1184 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

you can definitely have a ketubah without a rabbi present, just use friends or family members as your witnesses. maybe you can provide descriptions of the various jewish traditions you are incorporating into your ceremony in your programs, so non-jews can read about them there. assuming your priest isn’t comfortable explaining the jewish traditions himself, maybe he could at least direct people to consult ther programs for more information on the jewish traditions.

Post # 8
Member
659 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2011

Something to consider would be whether a ketubah would be considered kosher if it’s between people who both aren’t Jewish. 

I know there are rabbis and cantors that will co-officiate a wedding, but I think it might be a lot to ask of them if it’s in a catholic church vs. a neutral setting.  My fiance’s cousin married someone catholic and they hired a rabbi but had the wedding ceremony at a hotel.  It was a very nice interfaith ceremony and the priest/rabbi had worked together before so they had their schtick worked out. 

Sorry these aren’t answers, but we are explaining the Jewish customs in our program (not interfaith, but many people coming aren’t familiar) so our officiant doesn’t have to do it.  I’m happy to share what I wrote for each custom if you want some inspiration.

Post # 9
Member
4137 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

there are plenty of ketubot available with interfaith wording! you just need 2 jewish non-family members to sign as witnesses before the ceremony.

have a jewish family member (or members) read the seven blessings during the ceremony, and print an explanation of the traditions in the program. a rabbi really isn’t necessary!

Post # 11
Member
659 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2011

One thing to consider would be making the reception more Jewish.  Say the blessings at the reception (you can have a challah and all that), break the glass at the reception after the blessings, and all that.  Then you can do a few Jewish things.  To me, as a Jew, if I were at a wedding in a catholic church that tried to put Jewish parts in to the ceremony, I would feel really uncomfortable.  But maybe making them a different part of the wedding would be something to consider?

Or, if you have a religious family member that can be a co-officiant, maybe see if they could do something during the ceremony? 

If you don’t have any Jewish guests, I guess what I mentioned isn’t an issue.  but if you do, and you it wouldn’t bother you, make sure to also explain the catholic stuff in the program. 

Post # 12
Member
350 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 1991

@jindc: It’s a violation of Catholic doctrine to have a co-officient in a Catholic wedding unless it’s another priest.  It’s also a violation of Catholic doctrine to have a priest co-officiate outside of a Catholic church.  So to have a priest and a rabbi co-officiate or a priest and a “jewish representative” co-officiate would invalidate the wedding and get the priest in a lot of trouble. 

It was a very nice interfaith ceremony and the priest/rabbi had worked together before so they had their schtick worked out.

That would not be a valid wedding unless the priest was a guest and not a part of the ceremony.  If the priest was involved in the ceremony, it was not a Catholic priest but a “catholic” priest.  Such a wedding would be invalid in the eyes of the Catholic Church and participating in such would be make a person ineligible to receive Communion (at best) and could result in excommunication (at worst). 

Post # 13
Member
5823 posts
Bee Keeper

I like jindc’s idea to incorporate the Jewish traditions into the reception!  Our ceremony and reception were a mixture of four cultures, and it helped to separate them a bit to make them stand out.

Post # 14
Member
659 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2011

@coffeehound…..given the current state of “affairs” in the Catholic Church, I’m pretty sure they aren’t going to refute a woman’s catholicism.  But hey, if that’s how they want to roll, I’m sure they’re happy to kick out people when there’s just throngs of ’em trying to get in. 

Post # 15
Member
350 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 1991

@jindc: Catholicism isn’t a sorority that bends rules to be popular; it’s a practice of whorship based on the teachings of Christ.  Threatening to “take your ball and go home” if they don’t change the 2000 year old rules isn’t really a viable strategy.  A better option is to learn why the Catholic Church teaches what she does, and then determine if it’s something that you believe (and if you don’t believe what the Church teaches, convert to another religion). 

 

Post # 16
Member
593 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

@CoffeeHound: Do you understand that it can be hard for people, though? It’s awesome that you can see this as so black and white (and are quite knowledgeable about your religion) but for many people…we didn’t even have a choice about what religion we are/were. It was given to us at infancy. So to grow up and begin to realize there are certain things you don’t agree with and basically hear “well, tough titty” in return doesn’t suddenly make the choice (of converting/leaving) any easier.

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