Jewish-Christian Interfaith Wedding Ceremony Script

jewish-christian-wedding-ceremonyPhoto by Nancy Ray.

See Amanda and Zach’s wedding right here!

PRE-CEREMONY
Signing of the Ketubah
Greeters pass out programs
Ushers assist with seating

PROCESSIONAL
Seating of grandparents by Ushers // Song: Air from Suite No. 3, Bach
Procession of Groomsmen, Best Man, Groom, Procession of Bridesmaids, MOH // Song: Te Deum, Charpentier
Flower girls & ring bearers process //  Song: If another song needed, Sheep May Safely Graze, Bach
Procession of the bride escorted by her father // Song: Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring

WELCOME/INTRODUCTION
Dear friends and family, on behalf of Amanda and Zac, welcome and thank you for being here. They are thrilled that you are here today to share in their joy during this wonderful moment in their lives. The greatest happiness of life is knowing that we are loved, loved for who we are. If there is anything better than being loved, it is in loving another. This afternoon we are here to celebrate such love. And we celebrate that love within the context of marriage.

Marriage is deeper than a commitment. It is a covenant between two people and with God. It is a covenant that says: I love you. I trust you. I will be here for you regardless of the circumstances. I will not leave. It is a sanctuary safe enough to risk loving, to risk living, and risk giving yourself completely to another.

We have gathered together in the presence of God
• To celebrate with Amanda and Zac the love they have discovered in each other
• to give thanks for that love and the gift of marriage
• to witness and proclaim the joining together of Amanda and Zac
• to support their decision to commit themselves to one another for the rest of their lives
• to surround them with our thoughts and prayers, and
• to ask God’s blessing on them so that they may be strengthened for their life together.

EXPLANATION OF THE CHUPPAH 
• This wedding canopy represents the marriage home, portable and open to friends and family. It requires support to hold it up, from the outside by the people in our lives, internally by our love of each other.
• It represents the Garden of Eden, with the four poles symbolically standing for the four rivers that surrounded the garden in the biblical story. The couple is like the first couple, sharing new love in uncharted territory. Eventually they leave the Garden to enter the world. Hopefully, they take some of that experience of the Garden with them, to give them an image of what life can be like if we create it that way, with the help of those around us and the help of God.

OPENING BLESSING
Gracious God, you are always faithful in your love for us. Look with mercy upon Amanda and Zac, who have come to seek your blessing. Shower them with a steadfast love so they may honor the promises they make this day. Amen.

STATEMENT OF INTENTION
Amanda and Zac, have you come here freely and without reservation to give yourselves to each other in marriage? If so, answer by saying “I do”
Will you love and honor each other as man and wife for the rest of your lives?

THE AFFIRMATION OF FAMILY AND FRIENDS
Now in the spirit of joy and affirmation, I have a question for you who are gathered here. Do you, the families and friends of Amanda and Zac, give them your blessing and support this day, wishing them a wonderful life together? (Answer: “We do”)
READINGS
Reading No.1: 1st Corinthians, Chapter 13, verse 4
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror, then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then shall I know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Reading No. 2: Seven Blessings “Sheva Brachot”
Blessed are You, Adonai our God, Ruler of the Universe, Creator of the fruit of the vine.
Hebrew: Baruch Atah Adonai Eloheinu Melech Ha-Olam, boreh p’ri ha-gafen.

Blessed are You, Adonai, our God, Ruler of the universe, Who has created everything for your glory.
Hebrew: Baruch Atah Adonai Eloheinu Melech Ha-Olam, she-hakol barah lichvodo.

Blessed are You, Adonai, our God, Ruler of the universe, Creator of Human Beings.
Hebrew: Baruch Atah Adonai Eloheinu Melech Ha-Olam, yotzer ha-adam.

Blessed are You, Adonai, our God, Ruler of the universe, Who has fashioned human beings in your image, according to your likeness and has fashioned from it a lasting mold. Blessed are You Adonai, Creator of Human Beings.
Hebrew: Baruch Atah Adonai Eloheinu Melech Ha-Olam, asher yatzar et ha-adam betzalmo, b’tzelem dmut tavnito, vehitkon lo mimenu binyan adei ad. Baruch Atah Adonai yotzer ha-adam.

Blessed are You, Adonai, our God, Ruler of the universe, Who created joy and gladness, loving couples, mirth, glad song, pleasure, delight, love, loving communities, peace, and companionship. Adonai, our God, let there soon be heard in the cities of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem the sound of joy and the sound of gladness, the voice of the loving couple, the sound of the their jubilance from their canopies and of the youths from their song-filled feasts. Blessed are You Who causes the couple to rejoice, one with the other.

EXCHANGE OF VOWS
Amanda and Zac, we now come to your vows. May I remind you that saying your vows are one thing but nothing is more challenging than living them day in and day out. What you promise today must be renewed tomorrow and each day that stretches out before you. Since it is your intention to enter into marriage, please turn to each other, join your right hands together and declare your consent before God and this community.

(First Zac speaks) I, Zac, take you, Amanda, to be my wife…. (will fill in) This is my solemn vow.

(Amanda speaks second) I, Amanda, take you, Zac, to be my husband….(will fill in). This is my solemn vow.

You have declared your consent before this gathering. May the Lord strengthen this consent and fill you both with his blessings.
________, do you have the rings? _______ GIVES ______ THE RINGS
RING BLESSING
The wedding ring is the outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual bond, which unites two souls in endless love. The perfect circle of a ring symbolizes eternity, while gold is a symbol of all that is pure and holy. As you give these rings to each other, our prayer is that your love will be the same; pure and eternal. St. Augustine once said, “The nature of God is like a circle whose center is everywhere and circumference cannot be found.” May these rings symbolize the nature of God in your lives.

O Lord, bless the giving of these rings that they who give them and they who receive them may live in your peace and your favor all the days of their lives. Amen.

EXCHANGE OF RINGS
Amanda, I give you this ring as a symbol of my love and faithfulness (pause)
I pledge you my love and respect (pause), my laughter and my tears (pause)
With all that I am and all that I have, (pause) I join in covenant with you. (pause)

Zac, I give you this ring as a symbol of my love and faithfulness (pause)
I pledge you my love and respect (pause), my laughter and my tears (pause)
With all that I am and all that I have, (pause) I join in covenant with you. (pause)

AFFIRMATION OF THE MARRIAGE
May those who wear these rings live in love all their days. May the love that has brought you together, continue to grow and enrich your lives. May you continue to meet with courage any problems which may arise to challenge you. May your relationship always be one of love and trust. May the joy you share today be with you always. And may everything you have said and done here today become a living truth in your lives.
PRONOUNCEMENT OF MARRIAGE
Amanda and Zac, we have heard your promise to share your lives in marriage. We recognize and respect the covenant you have made here this day before God and each one of us as witnesses. Therefore in the honesty and sincerity of what you have said and done here today and by the power vested in me, I pronounce you husband and wife.

THE KISS
You may now seal your vows with a kiss.

BREAKING THE GLASS
We conclude the ceremony with the tradition of breaking the glass. The breaking of the glass, like the commitment made today, is irrevocable and permanent. It is always a reminder that even in the happiest times, we must remember there is still much suffering in the world. Marriage can be as fragile as glass and we must treat any marriage with special care. As the groom breaks the glass, I invite everyone to shout, “Mazel Tov” which means “Congratulations and Good Luck!”

SPIRITUAL BLESSING
May this union between Amanda and Zac provide the love and support for each of them to be the persons that God intended. As they now begin their journey together, we pray that God will continually guide their path both individually, and as a couple. Amen.

PRESENTATION
Dear friends and family, it is now my personal privilege and great joy to be the first one to introduce Dr. and Mrs. Zac and Amanda Spiritos.

RECESSIONAL
Song 1 (Bridal Party): La Rejoissance, Handel
Song 2 (to continue after first): Four Seasons, Autumn, Vivaldi

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