Planning your Jewish/Catholic Wedding Ceremony?

Are you engaged and planning a wedding that incorporates your Jewish and Christian backgrounds?  Many of our couples face this challenge and do not know where to even begin.  Our experienced interfaith minister, Rev. Samora Smith has created and performed these type of ceremonies for hundreds of couples and offers some great advice.

First consider:

  1. Are either of you more religious than the other?
  2. Are you comfortable with the mention of Jesus or Adonai in the ceremony?
  3. Will you have a Rabbi & Priest present or an interfaith minister to represent both faiths?

Differences between a Jewish and Catholic Ceremony:

  1. Processional
    • Christian:  Groom waits at the Alter and Bride is walked by her father
    • Jewish: Groom and Bride are escorted by both parents
  2. Vows
    • Christian:  Bride and Groom recite vows and answer “I Do” in the ceremony
    • Jewish: Vows are not traditionally recited but are instead written on a Ketubah for the couple to sign in the presence of family and clergy before the public ceremony.
  3. Scripture Readings
    • Christian:  Most ceremonies include readings from the Old or New Testaments in the Christian bible
    • Jewish: The wedding ceremony does not include any scriptural readings
  4. The Pronouncement & Kiss
    • Christian:  Clergy will pronounce the couple married followed with “You may now kiss the Bride”
    • Jewish:  The Jewish wedding ceremony does not include a kiss but many modern couples have incorporated it into their ceremony.  Most Jewish ceremonies end with the “Breaking of the Glass”

Rituals and their Meaning

  • Christian
    • Lighting of the Unity Candle- Two tapers are lit for the couple and then a larger candle is lit by the couple to represent the joining of the two becoming one.
    • Bible Verses There are many bible verses that can be included in the ceremony.  (Corinthians 13, Ecclesiastes and Old Testament do not mention Jesus.)
  • Jewish
    • Ketubah- A contract containing promises that each promises to each other.  It is usually written on a beautiful piece of art for the couple to display in the home.
    • Chuppah-A four-pillared canopy that the ceremony will be performed under.
    • Kiddush Cup-The couple will share a cup of wine with a blessing
    • Breaking of the Glass- Usually done by the groom with the sentiment that it will take as long to put the glass back together as their relationship will last (forever)

As an experienced wedding officiant, many of my couples don’t know how to include both faiths in their wedding ceremony.  Your ceremony is an opportunity to show your families how your faiths are similar and honor your upbringing.  If you choose a ceremony that is less religious, you can incorporate some of the rituals as symbolic gestures to your faiths.

The Knot Best of Weddings 2017

We are so excited to announce our 6th year being chosen as The Knot Best of Weddings 2017 winner.  Each year brings new excitement and joy when we have the opportunity to marry couples from all over the world.  This year we won in New York City and Long Island.  Please contact Common Ground Ceremonies to assist you with your upcoming wedding, especially if you are interested in a personalized, heartfelt ceremony that truly celebrates you as a couple.  We offer all styles of ceremonies, marriage and pre-marital coaching and interfaith support.  We look forward to hearing from you.

 

The Wedding of Emmett & Claire

Emmett & Claire met while starring in the UK television show Hollyoaks.  They decided to have a small, intimate wedding here in NYC on New Year’s Eve at a unique warehouse-style wedding venue in midtown called Studio 450 .  Rev. Samora of Common Ground Ceremonies officiated the wedding ceremony in front of their closest family and friends.  The space was beautifully decorated with candles and a surprise flashmob Gospel Choir sang “Oh Happy Day” after the pronouncement and kiss.  Their wedding is featured in HELLO magazine. You can read the full article here.

The Knot-Best of Weddings “Hall of Fame” Award 2016

It has been an amazing journey from the moment I decided to become an Interfaith Minister back in 2005.  At that particular time I didn’t know where it would lead, but I knew that I had opened up myself to be of service to myself and others.  I still don’t define myself as religious but I feel blessed and liberated when I can assist people on their spiritual journey.  I began marrying couples in 2010 and it has been one of the most gratifying experiences.  I am so moved by all of the wonderful couples I meet, hearing their stories and always feel honored to bring their families together.  As a New York City Wedding Officiant, I have met people from all over the world, straight and gay who are overjoyed to finally marry the person they love.  I have won The Knot “Best of Weddings” award for the past 4 years and because of all of my amazing reviews, I am proud to announce that I have finally made The Knot “Hall of Fame” Award.  Happy New Year to everyone and please contact me at (646)709-2090 to discuss your upcoming celebration.