Apr 17, 2008

Interfaith Wedding Ceremonies

You've fallen in love and are ready to get married. The only issue is, how to celebrate honoring your different religious beliefs. There are a few ways to address this issue, if neither partner is considering converting to the other's faith.

Have two ceremonies. If you both are religious, and your clergy is okay with performing a marriage of one member and one non-member of your faith, have two ceremonies. You can do one one day and the other the next. Or, you could have one in the morning, with family, then the other in the afternoon, with all of your guests.

Have an interfaith ceremony. See if clergy from each of your faiths is willing to participate in an interfaith marriage ceremony. Choose a location, and have each clergy person perform the rites particular to each of your faiths.

Have a non-denominational ceremony. If you'd like a spiritual Wedding ceremony, but you don't necessarily have to have it in the religion you were raised (or not raised) with, have a non-denominational minister marry you. Check with your local Unitarian Universalist congregation, or see what other community you'd like to be involved with.

Pick one faith. If your religion is an important aspect of one spouse's life, and the other doesn't hold fast to one belief, get married in the church of the spouse with the strong religious ties.

Have a civil service. This is a neutral solution. You can incorporate religious or ethnic customs that are meaningful to you into the service. You could use readings from a religious text, or pick readings on love, life, or marriage that you feel would be meaningful as you start your life as a married couple.

Be sure to talk with your officiant well in advance of your Wedding. Be honest. Talk with each other about how your interfaith Marriage is going to play out throughout the years. If you have children, how will you raise them? There aren't wrong answers to these questions, but it is important that you value and respect each other's feelings and beliefs.

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