I am interested in resources for blended marriages. I haven't actually performed a mixed marriage between the couples, but often the families have some members who are Jewish or of some other faith than Christian and want the ceremony to be sensitive and inclusive. I've done a funeral like that and worked with a friend (rabbi) who was giving pastoral care to the family (but they wanted a Christian pastor to do the funeral so she called me). I've also used some of the blessings from her son's bris in child dedication services. Our combined resources made a great worship service. What do other revgals do in these circumstances? What say the matriarchs?
Like you, my best resources for blended ceremonies with another faith tradition have come from working closely with a faith leader from the other tradition. It's a fruitful and fun process to create a worship service that honors the traditions of both. If one does not have such a resource, I think it's very much worth seeking one out. What a fun question! I look forward to hearing more from the other contributors!
Thanks, Jennifer! I look forward to hearing more, too!
In my experience, there are multiple ways to approach an interfaith wedding. One is to have two entirely separate services. My husband officiated for a Christian-Muslim couple that chose this option. The Muslim ceremony was held on Friday night, with an imam officiating, and the Christian ceremony was held Saturday afternoon, with my husband officiating. It kept the integrity of each tradition intact, and allowed guests to fully experience both traditions. It was lovely.
A second option is to have a blended service with co-officiants - one from each tradition. I co-officiated for a Hindu-Christian couple that chose this option. The Hindu leader took part of the service and I took part of the service. This can be a little more difficult to pull off and to keep a balanced representation of both traditions, but I found the ceremony to be a very rich experience for all of us.
A third option, and the most common I've encountered, is to have a Christian minister officiate an essentially Christian service with elements from the other tradition blended in. It sounds like that is primarily what our questioner is asking about. I recently officiated at a service for a Christian-Jewish couple, and that's the approach we took. They were very clear about which elements they wanted included - the chuppah, the ketuba, the breaking of the glass - and I did some online research to help me understand the background of those traditions (I'm sorry I didn't keep a list of resources). I took the time in the service to explain each of the traditions, as at least half the guests were not Jewish. I learned a lot in the process, and I felt the service was an adequate representation of both their traditions (some Jewish congregants even thought I was a Reconstructionist rabbi, so I guess I explained things right!).
I'm sure there are other ways to approach it as well. My first resource is always the couple themselves, I try to get very clear on exactly what they are envisioning, and why. I think the idea of consulting a leader from the other tradition makes a lot of sense, too.
So what about the rest of you? Are there resources, online or otherwise, that you would recommend for someone crafting an interfaith wedding ceremony? Please share in the comments section. And, as always, if you have a question you'd like the Matriarchs to discuss, email it to us at askthematriarch[at]gmail[dot]com.