Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu, Islam & Christian -As an Interfaith Minister, I am happy to perform a ceremony that honors your religious traditions.
Most couples that contact me, don’t want a heavily religious ceremony, but they still want to pay respect to their religious beliefs.
Here are some elements that I can add to my “base” civil ceremony.
JEWISH WEDDING CEREMONY IDEAS
Surrounded by loved ones whose joy and prayers are with you, you stand at this Chuppah, a symbol of your new home. Its four sides are open, symbolizing the importance of community and of participation in each other’s lives. Friends and family fill the home. May your home be a shelter against the storms, a haven of peace, a stronghold of faith and love.
This cup of wine is symbolic of the cup of life. As you share the cup of wine, you undertake to share all that the future may bring. All the sweetness life’s cup may hold for you should be sweeter because you drink it together; whatever drops of bitterness it may contain should be less bitter because you share them.
KIDDUSH –blessing over the wine.
Blessed are You, Adonai our God, Ruler of the Universe, Creator of the fruit of the vine. (Baruch Atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech Ha-Olam, bor-rhee perri ha-gafen.)
I always end every wedding ceremony with a blessing. This blessing is a variation of the 7 Blessings, “Sheva Brachot” (Never Ho)
Blessed is the One who created the fruit of the vine. May you be full of the wine of life. May the life force and the knowledge of the human heart always be with you.
Blessed is the One. All creation mirrors Your splendor and reflects Your radiance. Bless the two of you. May the two of you know that all beauty comes from the Great Heart, and may you always live in its radiance.
Blessed is the One who created human beings. Bless the two of you. May your marriage be strong enough to support you, to experience whatever you must, as you come to know yourselves and each other and to discover the entire range of your humanity in the process of soul making.
Blessed is the One who created Woman and Man in the divine image, so we may live, love and perpetuate life. Bless the two of you. May you delight in the wonder and impossibility of the fact that you are so similar and so different–may the difficulty and enormous pleasure of being a man and woman continually fascinate and engage you and be the source of your bonding.
Blessed is the One who brings people together and unites the divided. In joy we have come to witness this marriage of many cultures. It is said that everyone gets married at a wedding. Bless the two of you who bring us together through your union today.
Blessed is the One who rejoices that the love between this woman and this man is as the very first love in the Garden. Bless the two of you who recreate the world for us and for yourselves. May your love be as old and as new as the first love, and may you also bring new life, in all its forms, into the world.
Blessed is the creation of joy and celebration, lover and beloved, gladness and jubilation, pleasure and delight, love and solidarity, friendship and peace. Soon may we hear in the streets of the city and the paths of the fields the voice of joy, the voice of gladness, the voice of lover, the voice of beloved, – bless the two of you as husband and wife.
Breaking of the Glass
The breaking of the glass is a time honored tradition in the Jewish Faith.
It reminds us that in this moment of celebration, we are asked to remember that there is still pain and suffering in the world.
It is also a reminder of the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem.
We can also envision the breaking of the glass as the shattering of your old lives, your individual paths, to start a new path together, a new beginning!!
Step on the glass. – Mozel Tov!
HINDU WEDDING CEREMONY IDEAS
There is a Hindu wedding tradition where the couple takes 7 steps, each step associated with a blessing.
I ask you HUSBAND & WIFE, to hold hands and concentrate upon these seven blessings as you take each step:
- May you both be blessed with an abundance of nourishing food.
- May you both be strong and complement one another.
- May you both be blessed with PROSPERITY.
- May you both be eternally happy.
- May you both be blessed with a happy
- May you both live in perfect harmony.
- And lastly may you both always be the best of friends.
BUDDHIST WEDDING CEREMONY IDEAS
There is a Buddhist Marriage Teaching that says:
There is nothing without a cause. The coming together of HUSBAND & WIFE, is not an accident; it is the foreordained result of numerous previous lives. This bond cannot be made less, or broken. In the time ahead, this joyous occasion will arrive as surely as the morning, even though difﬁcult times will arrive as inevitably as the darkening night sky. When things go joyously, take the time to meditate. When things cause you sadness, take the time to meditate. To only say the words, “love and compassion”, comes easily. But to know that love and compassion are dependent on perseverance and patience, is not easy. If you remember this, your marriage will have strength
and be everlasting.
Marriage is a journey of your deepest expression of intimacy. Where intimacy is nurtured, trust is conveyed subtly, widely, deeply, with and without words. The language of intimacy is sincere, inner, and direct. When we are completely intimate with one person, we can meet ourselves in others wherever we go. So, marriage, is not only for your being together, but actually, marriage is your lifelong commitment and true spiritual practice.
In a Buddhist Wedding you are married heart to heart, mind to mind, body to body, nature to nature, True Nature to True Nature. Give up your small selves and take loving refuge in each other. Take loving refuge in all things. This attitude in Marriage becomes then, a living spiritual practice together.
HUSBAND & WIFE, remember that your marriage is a sacred and blessed undertaking, being witnessed by your family, friends, and all beings. Do not forget what is happening right here in your life. Feel the responsibility of this commitment called “Marriage.”
This practice, “Marriage Practice,” is your treasure throughout your lives. When things go smoothly and joyously, practice loving mindfulness. When things are difficult and challenging, practice loving mindfulness. This loving mindfulness practice will always be with you and will guide you.
I Bow Deeply – Thich Nhat Hanh Vietnamese Buddhist monk 88 years old
Standing quietly by the fence,
I am speechless,
and my senses are filled
By the sounds of your beautiful song,
Beginning-less and endless.
I bow deeply to you.
ISLAMIC WEDDING CEREMONY IDEAS
In the poem above (THE ART OF MARRIAGE) I made the comment that you found each other. But the truth is, you were made for each other. The Quran states:
And one of His signs, is that He created mates for you, from yourselves, that you may find tranquility in them, AND He put between you, love and compassion. 30:21
So, HUSBAND and WIFE, you were made for each other.
But do you remember when you first realized it, the moment you fell in love?
RUMI – the 13th Century Persian Poet writes: This Marriage – Ode 2667
May these vows and this marriage be blessed.
May it be as sweet milk, this marriage,
May this marriage offer fruit and shade like the date palm.
May this marriage be full of laughter,
your every day, a day in paradise.
May this marriage be a sign of compassion,
a seal of happiness here and hereafter.
And may this marriage always have a fair face and a good name.
DATES & MILK
In the marriage of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him), to his beloved wife, Ayesha (may Allah be pleased with her), he took a bite of his favorite date and then lovingly offered it to his bride with his hand.
I ask that you Husband, take a bite, savor its sweetness, and share that sweetness by offering it to Wife.
The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) also took a sip of milk, and then lovingly offered it to his bride, to sip from the same side of the glass.
As Milk has been described as a drink of Paradise, I ask that you too, Husband, take a sip and share with Wife.
May every day of your marriage feel like a day in Paradise.
I will close with a final blessing.
May Allah bless your marriage with the beauty of the marriage of Ayesha and her husband, (may Allah be pleased with her.)
May Allah guide you both on the steps of Taqwa (piety)
and may He provide the two of you with good communication in your relationship.
May Allah bless the earth with your progeny who we pray will be better than us toward their Creator and His Creation.
May Allah help us all, reaffirm our commitments to each other.
May Allah give Barakah (blessings) to the families of the Husband & Wife. May Allah bring them closer. May Allah make you a model family that will invite humanity to follow the guidance of its Creator. – Ameen