Interfaith Wedding with Modern Jewish Elements

candlesThis Saturday past was a glo­ri­ous time for Michael and Emily from San Francisco as they gath­ered together their clos­est fam­ily and friends for a wed­ding cel­e­bra­tion at the The Gramercy Park Hotel.

The evening was a lovely 64 degrees allow­ing the roof to be opened to the autumn breezes that filled the room.

I offi­ci­ated their sim­ple, inter­faith, per­son­al­ized cer­e­mony along with the lovely voice of Cantor Irene Fallenborgen. Some cus­toms from the Jewish tra­di­tion were included; shar­ing wine , break­ing a glass and a mod­ern ver­sion of the seven bless­ings. Guests com­mented on the beauty of the cer­e­mony and were excited that Michael had finally taken the mar­riage plunge.

Modern Seven Blessings:

  1. May your mar­riage enrich your lives and the lives of every­one around you.
  2. May you work together to build a rela­tion­ship of sub­stance and qual­ity.
  3. May the hon­esty of your com­mu­ni­ca­tion build a foun­da­tion of under­stand­ing, con­nec­tion, and trust.
  4. May you respect each other’s indi­vid­ual per­son­al­ity and phi­los­o­phy, and give each other room to grow and ful­fill each other’s dreams.
  5. May your sense of humor and play­ful spirit con­tinue to enliven your rela­tion­ship.
  6. May you under­stand that nei­ther of you is per­fect: you are both sub­ject to human frail­ties: and may your love strengthen when you fall short of each other’s expec­ta­tions.
  7. May you be “best friends”, bet­ter together than either of you are apart.

Here are some of the ways we incor­po­rated the ancient and made it mod­ern. 

Silent Blessings

At this time I invite every­one to take a moment and to send your own silent bless­ings to the bride and groom, this sweet new fam­ily who stand before you. Each pray­ing in the way that is right for you.

And together we say Amen.

Sharing wine

There is a say­ing – “with­out wine there is no bless­ing” .

Wine is an essen­tial part of cel­e­brat­ing life’s most joy­ous moments and there­fore is a part of this joy­ous moment.

And so you have asked to share in the rit­ual of wine as a sym­bol of this occa­sion – to remind you as long as you live, may you

never be too busy to cel­e­brate what­ever great occa­sions come to your lives.

Modern version of the prayer over the wine

We praise you God, Creator of all we see, Creator of the fruit of the vine. This wine is a sym­bol of the co-cre­ation between humans and the Divine. God makes the grapes grow, pro­vides the sun shine, rain and fer­tile soil. Humans har­vest the grapes and cre­ate the wine. Bless you Beloved and bless all we see. Bless this bride and groom as they work together to co-cre­ate their mar­riage. And together we say Amen.

As you share the wine from a sin­gle cup, so may you share con­tent­ment, peace and ful­fill­ment from the cup of life.

May you find life’s joys height­ened, any bit­ter­ness sweet­ened and each of life’s moments enhanced by true com­pan­ion­ship and love. (Groom offers the bride a drink and then drinks him­self).

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