Catholic/Jewish Wedding Ceremony

The text presented here is a sample of the typical Catholic/Jewish wedding ceremony. Couples have options as to prayers, readings, vows and blessings and inclusion of ceremonies of other traditions. Please consult with your priest or rabbi to further customize the ceremony.


GREETING AND PRAYER

Ladies and Gentlemen:  Please turn off your cell phones.

Participants walk in.  When Bride and Groom are together under Chuppah the ceremony begins.

Rabbi:

Welcome family and friends today is a wonderful day. It is an honor and a pleasure to be here co-officiating with Father Jim Balija.

Today, N. and N. have chosen to marry. Their love unites two different lives, families, and faiths. While appreciating the differences between their traditions, [bride] and [groom] believe that being together is far better than being apart. Because of their commitment to each other, I have asked them to remember that although their faiths have different histories, it was not always so. I have asked the bride to remember that Yeshua (whom Christians call Jesus) was a Jew, who interpreted his Jewish traditions in a particular historical moment. And I have asked the groom to remember that many Christian traditions have their roots in Jewish traditions, but that the traditions have been interpreted differently in particular historical moments. Out of these two distinct traditions, N. and N. have come together to honor the best of both, and to focus on their similarities rather than their differences.

Father Jim:

N. and N. are very happy that all of you are here to share and celebrate their wedding. You have been such an integral part of their lives that they wish to tell you how much it means to them that you are all here. 


Option A:  Shehecheyanu

Rabbi:  Barucheem Habaeem B’ Shame Adonoy

Father Jim:   Blessed are you who have come in the name of the Lord!

Rabbi:  Evdoo et Adonoy B’Simcha,   Bo ooh L’Fanav Beer nana

Father Jim:  Serve the Lord with Gladness; come into His presence singing with Joy.

We all rejoice that N. and N.  join in marriage in the presence of God and loved ones.

Rabbi:  Me adear Ahl Ha Kol  Me Baruch ahl Ha Kol. Me Gadol ahl hakol   Who Y’Varaich Chatan V’ Kallah

Father Jim:
O most awesome, glorious and blessed One, grant Your blessings to N. and N..   Surrounded by loved ones whose joy and prayers are with you here, you stand under this Chuppah.  This Chuppah or marriage canopy is a symbol of the new home you will make together.

May your home be a shelter against the storms in life, a haven of piece, a stronghold of faith and love.

We say a prayer of gratitude:

Rabbi:  Baruch Atah Adonoy elohaynu melech ha olam Shehechiyanu V’ Keymanu V’ Higgiyanu Lahzman Hazeh.

Father Jim: 
We praise you Lord ruler of the universe, who has kept us in life, sustained us, and bought us to this joyous time.

In this union the sacred work of creation goes on: God joining man and woman; God planting the divine likeness within them.  Man and women were created in the Divine image. “Male and female God created them.” May the union of N. and N. animate the Divine in each of them, and may each help the other grow in God’s likeness.

________________________________________________
Option B

O. Peace be with you.
P. And also with you.

O. Let us pray.

O.  Lord God, we recognize with thanksgiving the journeys that have brought N. and N. to this time and place, and we celebrate with them the hopes that hold their lives together.

We are grateful to you, source of all creation, for the loving care of the parents that are here in body and spirit, and all the ones who have helped N. and N. become the individuals they are today.

May all who share in the marriage covenant be renewed as they consider this union and help us to remain a community which encourages commitment to one another.  Together we say: Amen

P.  Amen


Prayer of Remembrance

N. and N. wish to take a moment to remember those beloved family members and friends who could not be with them here today, especially:


Blessing of the Chuppah

Rabbi:

The Chuppah that you are standing under today is a symbol of the promise of your future home.  Its openness pledges that there are no secrets.  Friends and families stand at its corners to help support this structure.  It teaches us that the bride and groom are covered by holiness and the memory of the commandments.  It reminds us that the only thing that is real about a home are the people within it.  The people who love each other and choose to be together--to be family.

N. and N., standing under this chuppah I want you both to know that this is the only true anchor of life that will be, holding on to each other.

          BARUCH ATAH ADONOY, ELUHEYNU MELECH HA-OLAM, MI-KAH DEISH AMO YISRAEL, AL YIDAY CHUPPAH V'KI DU-SHIN.

Blessed are you, Lord, King of the universe, you sanctify your people under this sacred marriage canopy.

READINGS

Couples often choose to have one or more readings either from the
Hebrew Bible, New Testament and/or secular reading.  These links will offer some of the options you might wish to incorporate into your ceremony.  We also encourage you to have family or friends do the readings in making your day special.

HOMILY (Sermon)
MARRIAGE RITE

 READING OF THE KETUBAH (OPTIONAL)

CONSENT

O.  N. and N., you have come together here today so that the Lord may seal and strengthen your love in the presence of the Church's minister and this community of your family and friends. In this way you will be strengthened to keep mutual and lasting faith with each other and to carry out the duties of marriage. And so, in the presence of the church this community of your family and friends, I ask you to state your intentions.

N. and N., have you come here freely and without reservation to give yourselves to each other in marriage?

Will you love and honor each other as husband and wife for the rest of your lives?

Will you accept children lovingly from God and bring them up according to the Law of Love and Compassion?

Since it is your intention to enter into marriage, with your hands joined and declare your consent before God and this community of your family and friends.


EXCHANGE OF VOWS

Rabbi or Priest leads depending on whether the Groom or Bride are Jewish or Catholic  You may select one of the following:

VOWS FORM A

G. I, N., take you, N., to be my wife. I promise to be true to you in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. I will love you and honor you all the days of my life.

B.I, N., take you, N., to be my husband. I promise to be true to you in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. I will love you and honor you all the days of my life.


VOWS FORM B


G. I, GROOM, take you, BRIDE, for my lawful wife, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health,
(a) until death due us part.
(b) forever.
(c) all the days of my life.

B.I, BRIDE, take you, GROOM, for my lawful husband, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health,
(a) until death due us part.
(b) forever.
(c) all the days of my life.


VOWS FORM C

G. I, GROOM, take you, BRIDE, to be my wife, to be the mother of our children, to be the companion of my heart. I promise to love you and to be true to you in good times and in bad all the days of my life.

B.I, BRIDE, take you, GROOM, to be my husband, to be the father of our children, to be the companion of my heart. I promise to love you and to be true to you in good times and in bad all the days of my life.


VOWS FORM D
G. Do you, GROOM, take , BRIDE, to be your wife? Do you promise to be true to her in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health? Will you love her and honor her all the days of your life?

Do you, BRIDE, take , GROOM, to be your husband? Do you promise to be true to him in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health? Will you love him and honor him all the days of your life?


VOWS FORM E

G. GROOM, do you take BRIDE for your lawful wife, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health,
(a) until death due you part?
(b) forever?
(c) all the days of your life?

G. BRIDE, do you take GROOM for your lawful husband, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health,
(a) until death due you part?
(b) forever?
(c) all the days of your life?


PERSONAL VOWS

If you will be writing your own vows, please provide a copy to the priest and rabbi at least one week prior to the wedding for inclusion in his materials. In that way he can make your wedding ceremony work seamlessly.

SHEVA BRACHOT: Seven Blessings  (Optional)

The Traditional Hebrew/English ends with the blessing of the cup of wine.  In some cases a shortened version is presented using only the seventh blessing.

BARUCH ATAH ADONOY ELOHEINU MELECH HA-OLAM, BOREH P'RI HA-GAFEN.

Blessed are You, O Lord our God, Ruler of the Universe, Creator of the fruit of the vine.

BARUCH ATAH ADOONOY ELOHEINU MELECH HA-OLAM, SHE-HAKOL BARAH LICHVODO.

Blessed are You, O Lord our God, Ruler of the universe, Who has created everything for your glory.

BARUCH ATAH ADONOY ELOHEINU MELECH HA-OLAM, YOTZER HA-ADAM.

Blessed are You, O Lord our God, Ruler of the universe, Creator of Human Beings.

BARUCH ATAH ADONOY ELOHEINU MELECH HA-OLAM, ASHER YATZAR ET HA-ADAM BETZALMO, B'TZELEM DMUT TAVNITO, VEHITKON LO MIMENU BINYAN ADEI AD. BARUCH ATAH O LORD YOTZER HA-ADAM.

Blessed are You, O Lord 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 O Lord, Creator of Human Beings.


SOS TASIS V'TAGEL HA-AKARAH, B'KIBBUTZ BANE'HA LETOCHA B'SIMCHAA. BARUCH ATAH ADONOY, MESAME'ACH TZION B'VANEHA.

Bring intense joy and exultation through the ingathering of Her children (Jerusalem). Blessed are You, O Lord, for you are the One who gladdens Zion (Israel) through Her children's return.

SAMEACH TE-SAMACH RE'IM AHUVIM, K'SAMECHACHA YETZIRCHA B'GAN EDEN MI-KEDEM. BARUCH ATAH ADONOY, MESAME'ACH CHATAN V'KALAH.

Gladden the beloved companions as You gladdened Your creatures in the garden of Eden. Blessed are You O Lord, Who gladdens this couple.

BARUCH ATAH ADONOY ELOHEINU MELECH HA-OLAM, ASHER BARAH SASSON V'SIMCHA, CHATAN V'KALAH, GILA RINA, DITZA V'CHEDVA, AHAVA V'ACHAVA, V'SHALOM V'RE'UT. ME-HERA O LORD ELOHEINU YISHAMA B'AREI YEHUDAH U'VCHUTZOT YERUSHALAYIM, KOL SASSON V'EKOL SIMCHA, KOL CHATAN V'EKOL KALAH, KOL MITZHALOT CHATANIM ME-CHUPATAM, U'NEARIM MIMISHTE NEGINATAM. BARUCH ATAH O LORD MESAME'ACH CHATAN IM HAKALAH.

Blessed are You, O Lord our God, Ruler of the universe, Who created joy and gladness, loving couples, mirth, glad song, pleasure, delight, love, loving communities, peace, and companionship. O Lord, 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.


Blessing of the Wine  (Shortened version)


Our God and God of our ancestors, we give you thanks for all your blessings and at this moment we give you special thanks for the love you have implanted in the hearts of N. and N., uniting them in love.  In this hour we pray, O Lord, that you will bless them with health and strength, with ever growing understanding and compassion.  Continue what you have started in their hearts -- a respect for each other, a love for each other and an attempt to understand each other.  In this hour we pray that the blessings you bestowed on our ancestors you will also bestow on them.  That the love that is there will ever grow and deepen as they live together in a home of dedication and consecration, a home or humor and acceptance, and a home of fulfillment. 

SHARING OF THE CUP
Rabbi:
It is in this spirit that I ask you N. to offer this cup of wine to your bride N.  and after she has sipped it, I ask you to sip it as I ask the blessing:

 BARUCH ATAH ADONOY, ELOHEYNU MELECH HA'OLAM , B'OREI P'REI HA-GAFEN

Father Jim: 
Blessed are you, O Lord our God, King of the universe, Creator of the fruit of the vine.

You found this wine is bitter sweet.  It is meant to symbolize all of life.  My prayer for you is that as easily as you share this cup of wine, so will you continue to share everything in your lives.  And perhaps in this wine there can be the magic, which comes when people love each other and live together in life, and that is that the inevitable bitterness in life will become less bitter because there is someone with whom to share it, and the inevitable sweetness of life will be doubled because there is someone with whom to share the happy moments.  Let this cup of wine which sanctifies your marriage, be a symbol of that as you approach the moment when you come before God and before mankind as husband and wife.


Fr Jim leads:

CONFIRMATION OF VOWS

You have declared your consent before God and this community of your family and friends. May the Lord in his goodness strengthen your consent and fill you with his + blessings. What God has joined together, let no one separate.

BLESSING AND EXCHANGE OF RINGS


Option A.

O. Lord, bless + and consecrate N. and N. in their love and compassion for each other. May these rings be a symbol of the true faith they share in each other and always remind them of their love and compassion.Together we say: Amen

P.  Amen.

Rabbi or Priest leads:


N., take this ring as a sign of my love and fidelity. 

Rabbi or Priest leads:

N., take this ring as a sign of my love and fidelity.


Option B

Rabbi or Priest leads:

Groom:  Be consecrated to me…. with this ring….as my wife…in keeping with … the traditions of our heritages….and with God.

Rabbi or Priest leads:

Haray Ayah… M’Kudash Li…B’ Tabah Aht….Zo Kadat… Masoret.

Be consecrated to me…. with this ring….as my husband…in keeping with … the traditions of our heritages….and with God.


(Optional Ceremonies)

Unity Candle: Moms come forward to light the tapers to give to their respective children to light the Unity Candle
Wishing Stone(couple holds a wishing stone with their names and wedding date while attendees hold small stone which they deposit in a glass jar at the end of the ceremony with their best wishes)
Unity Sand Ceremony  (couple pours two different color containers of sand into a third container)

Fr Jim leads:

NUPTIAL BLESSING  (Optional)

O. Let us pray to the Lord for N. and N. who come here at the beginning of their married life so that they may always be united in love for each other.

Holy One, you created humankind in your own image and made man and woman to be joined as husband and wife in union of body and heart and so fulfill their mission in this world.

Lord, grant that as they begin to live this sacrament they may share with each other the gifts of your love and become one in heart and mind as witnesses to your presence in their marriage. Help them to create a home together (and give them children to be formed by your Word and to have a place in your family).

Give your blessing to N., your daughter, so that she may be a good wife (and mother), caring for the home, faithful in love for her husband, generous and kind.

Give your blessing to N., your son, so that he may be a good husband (and father), caring for the home, faithful in love for his wife, generous and kind.

Lord, grant that as they come together to you table on earth, so that they may one day have the joy of sharing your feast in heaven.  Together we say: Amen

P.  Amen.


CONCLUSION OF THE CELEBRATION


THE SOLEMN BLESSING

Rabbi to say in Hebrew. Father Jim to translate in English


And in this spirit I (we) ask God’s blessing upon you!

Y’VARECHECHA  ADONOY  V’YISHMARECHA

May the Lord Bless you and keep you,

YAH  AIR  ADONOY  PANAV  AEYLECHA,  V’VCHUNECHA

May the Lord let his face shine upon you and be gracious to you.   

 YE’SAH  ADONOY  PANAV  AELECHA  V’YASEIN  L’CHA  SHALOM

May the Lord look upon you with kindness and grant you his peace.


Pronouncement & Breaking of the Glass

Father Jim

I (we) can now say that I (we) have a true feeling of certainty and fulfillment in both of you.  I (we) have the feeling that this is so very right for you, and I (we) have the hope that the two of you will continue to find fulfillment, joy and happiness as you walk, through the days and the nights of the years which I (we) pray that God will offer to you…with health and strength and with the appreciation of life which can be yours.

Rabbi: 

If you did not break a piece of glass, there are people who would say, “They’re not really married.”  What this glass symbolizes is that life is fragile, marriage is fragile.  You have to coddle it and protect it as I have coddled and protected this glass.  I pray that you will be happy with each other, and that you will be good to each other.  May you always drink from the full and the empty will crush beneath you.  In accordance with the ancient tradition, we wish that the years of your marriage be no less than the time that would take to fit the fragments together.

Father Jim

Now that N. and N. have given themselves to each other by solemn vows, with the joining of hands and the giving and receiving of rings, I (we) pronounce you Husband and Wife.  My dear friends, on behalf of Rabbi N. and myself it is my pleasure to introduce you to Mr and Mrs N. and N. N.

Rabbi:

And so, break the glass, and when you do we will all say MAZEL TOV, which means Congratulations, and then. N., you will have the opportunity to kiss N., for the first time as husband and wife. 

Father Jim

O. Go in peace to love and serve the Lord, and each other.

P. Thanks be to God.

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