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.

Book your Holiday Elopement or Vow Renewal Today

Holiday Season is fast approaching and one of the most exciting places to renew your vows or have an elopement is at Rockefeller Center. Rockefeller Center weddings are magical and the holiday spirit is everywhere. The famous Christmas Tree is surrounded by beautifully lit sculptures and figurines from famous holiday stories. Common Ground Ceremonies will provide your NY Wedding Officiant and we also offer photography packages. Contact us today to discuss your exciting celebration!

Unique NYC Wedding Location with Views

Looking for an artsy, scenic location for your small wedding in New York City?

The High Line offers a unique location for your elopement in NYC.  It is built on a historic freight line and elevated above the streets downtown on Manhattan’s West side.  It runs from the West Village’s trendy Meatpacking District up to 34th Street.

It offers views of the Hudson River and the rooftops of buildings of Manhattan.  There are many unique nooks for a small ceremony and an ideal spot for a sunrise or sunset ceremony.

Contact Common Ground Ceremonies to discuss all the different locations to elope in NYC.  There are many wonderful restaurants and the famous Chelsea Market are under the High Line.

Please call us at 646-709-2090 to book your unique wedding ceremony today.

Elopement at The High Line Park in New York City
Elopement at The High Line Park in New York City

Surprise Vow Renewal in Central Park

Scott contacted Rev. Samora of Common Ground Ceremonies with a plan to surprise his beautiful wife of 20 years with a vow renewal in Central Park.  He waited at Cherry Hill Fountain with his sons while his wife Angela and daughter went for a horse and carriage ride.  As Angela dismounted the carriage, Scott got on his knee and re-proposed.  Of course she said “Yes”!!  Rev. Samora was secretly waiting nearby at Wagner’s Cove to perform a beautiful Vow Renewal Ceremony for Scott and Angela to celebrate their 20 years together and renew their love for each other.  They were so thrilled to renew their vows with 3 of their children there as witnesses.  It was an amazing day!!  Please contact us at (646)709-2090 if you are interested in having an amazing wedding or vow renewal.

20 year Vow Renewal in Central Park
20 year Vow Renewal in Central Park

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.

 

Grand Central Wedding in NYC

Many people travel to New York City to get married!  One of the most amazing and historic places is right smack in the middle of the city.  Over a hundred years old, Grand Central Station is a hub where artists, commuters, travelers, and wanderers come together. It’s been featured in many movies and television shows and is an amazing location for photographs.  It also offers a great option for a quick ceremony indoors for anyone looking to elope.  Contact us today at 646-709-2090 to discuss your New York City wedding plans and possible locations for your NYC wedding.

Central Park Wedding Location: Wagner Cove

Have you dreamed of a beautiful, intimate wedding tucked away from all the hustle and bustle of New York City?  Well, we have a wonderful option for you.  Wagner Cove was originally a boat dock and has now become a “hot spot” for engagements and elopements in New York City.  Central Park is beautiful year-round so you can never go wrong with choosing this location.  Picturesque, relatively private and sheltered in the case of rain or snow.  Common Ground Ceremonies has performed many weddings and vow renewals in Central Park and Wagner Cove is one of our favorites.

Wanna scout it out on your own? Wagner Cove is located just east of 72nd Street (You can come in through the Central Park West entrance), and west of Cherry Hill.

Wagner Cove Google Maps 

Contact us today to book your beautiful wedding and don’t forget to ask about our specials.

Beautiful Spring Weddings in New York City!

I LOVE SPRING!!  Maybe because it also has to do with my birthday being in April, but I always find Spring to be a fragrant and hopeful time of the year!  Planning your wedding or elopement in Spring is ideal in NYC because it is a little earlier than “wedding season” so many venues have openings for your event.  Central Park weddings are beautiful in the Spring with the Cherry trees blooming and all of the tulips and daffodils perfectly accented around the park.  Contact Common Ground Ceremonies today to book your event.

Still Time to Book Your Winter Wedding in Central Park

Book your Winter Wedding in Central Park with Common Ground Ceremonies.  We offer elopement services that can include a photographer.  It is not too late to still book your Winter wedding in Central Park.  You can choose from many beautiful locations in the park such as Cop Cot (pictured), Ladies’ Pavilion, Gapstow Bridge, Shakespeare Garden and the very popular Bethesda Fountain.  Please contact us today for your free consultation.  www.commongroundceremonies.com

Book your Spring Wedding in Central Park Today

Cherry Blossom trees begin to blossom on Cherry Hill in Central Park and the fragrance of Spring fills the air.  Book your elopement or wedding today for this upcoming Spring season in New York City.  Common Ground Ceremonies offers wedding packages that can include a live musician, bridal bouquet and park permit.  Central Park Weddings in Spring are gorgeous and there are so many wonderful locations to choose from.  Some of NY Wedding Officiant Rev. Samora’s favorite spots are Cop Cot, Shakespeare Garden, Cherry Hill, Bow Bridge, Gaptow Bridge and many more to name.  Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.