Article Discussion: Our Wedding A Personalized Jewish-Catholic Interfaith Ceremony

HomeDiscussionsWeddingsArticle Discussion: Our Wedding A Personalized Jewish-Catholic Interfaith Ceremony

This topic has 5 voices, contains 27 replies, and was last updated by  Anne 2 years ago.

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July 17, 2011 at 8:51 pm #5970


I thought “interfaith” meant we celebrate the best of both sides… but what really happens is the celebrated part in the ceremony is only where the 2 faiths intersect; ie. they will have God’s blessings, but they won’t mention Jesus or have communion because to do so would be dividing the congregation, instead of unifying them. Since the Catholic church must support the unity of couples, the parts that both sides don’t agree on are not mentioned in the ceremony. Both rabbis and priests doing a wedding are giving a blessing. The wedding is legal, but it is not considered a “real” wedding by the law of Moses, nor is it the “sacrament” of marriage since it is not held in church with communion in a mass. They have come a long way, but right now, that’s the best they can do for the ceremony. Also, find a rabbi who does interfaith ceremonies first; it’s up to the rabbi. Many rabbis will not or cannot. Catholic priests, by order of the archdiocese, MUST support your marriage (even if they have conflicting feelings), and there is a lengthy protocol to follow before the wedding, a long pre-marital counselling called FOCCUS and Pre-Cana, plus other paperwork your fiancee will fill out. I found a couple excellent interfaith-friendly Rabbis, and they can recommend Priests that they’ve worked with. Generally, a Rabbi will travel (you have to pay his expenses), but the priest will be nearby, either someone from your fiancees parish, or nearby where you’re marrying. You can also contact your nearest university and speak to the pastor of the Newman center, or, if available, the multifaith chapels.

December 4, 2011 at 3:15 pm #6360


Hello, I am Catholic and my fiancee is Jewish.  We are in the process of putting together our interfaith wedding ceremony.  My fiancee would very much like to have an interfaith ketubah, but we’re having trouble finding reliable information..  Can this be signed immediately before the ceremony and does a rabbi need to be present?  Any additional information and/or direction on this topic would be much appreciated.  Thank you!

December 5, 2011 at 5:34 pm #6366

Benjamin Maron


A ketubah is generally signed right before the ceremony, in the company of witnesses (often a small group of close friends and family). Some couples include a reading of the ketubah during the ceremony, while under the chuppah.

It used to be that only two witnesses signed the ketubah – not even the couple getting married! Today, in most communities, thankfully the couple both sign (showing consent and agreement with document), along with the two witnesses. A rabbi need not be present; a Jewish wedding requires only two (Jewish) witnesses, but it is the widespread custom to have a rabbi or cantor officiate the ceremony. As officiants, they could also sign the ketubah along with the couple and witnesses. If you’re having a rabbi or cantor officiate your wedding, they would be able to discuss with you whether or not they felt it important to sign your ketubah.

I hope this helps,

December 6, 2011 at 4:52 pm #6370

Debbie B.

Once you depart from traditional rules, you have the freedom to do whatever is meaningful to you. Since an interfaith ketubah isn’t legally valid as a Jewish document, it can say what you want and you can do the signing the way you want. Truthfully, since the traditional text is so jarring to modern sensibilities, if a ketubah uses the traditional Aramaic, but there is an English part, the English is invariably not an actual translation of the Aramaic text, but rather something that expresses some nice thoughts about what marriage means.

I was not Jewish when we married, but we commissioned a beautiful hand-written piece of art as a “Ketubah like document”, using Juliet Stamperdahl’s terminology in her lovely article Our cherished “KLD” still hangs on our living room wall even while I also have a valid Jewish ketubah from after I converted.

As noted above, traditionally, a rabbi’s signature is not needed, only the signatures of two (kosher) witnesses who are not relatives of the bride and groom. Where those involved want to make sure that the ketubah will be valid under traditional Jewish law, but the couple’s friends are not strictly Jewishly observant in their lifestyle (often the case for Conservative Jewish weddings), sometimes the rabbi and the cantor or another rabbi will sign as witnesses (“eidot”) to ensure that the witnesses are “kosher”. On modern ketubot there are sometimes additional places for the bride, groom, and officiating rabbi to sign. In the case of my Jewish ketubah, two of our observant friends signed (in Hebrew) as witnesses to certify the traditional Aramaic part, and then my husband and I and the rabbi signed below the English part.

Last year, I was honored by being asked to sign an interfaith ketubah as a witness by the man who was my husband’s best man at our wedding—24 years ago—it took the friend a long time to find the right person to marry. He was one of the friends who signed our ketubah-like-document.

December 21, 2011 at 4:48 pm #6445


Thanks for the info!

January 4, 2012 at 2:17 am #6475


Great article. Thank you. My fiancé and I are working through the logistics of an interfaith (catholic & Jewish) wedding. We had an easier time finding a priest but was told we have to get married in a separate room from wher the reception will be. Does anyone know why?

January 22, 2012 at 5:21 am #6507


Jenny, lovely article. Congratulations on your wedding. I (Roman Catholic) am also planning an interfaith ceremony with my Jewish fiancee and would love to know what readings you selected or getting a preview to your program to help point us in the right direction. It sounds absolutely beautiful. Thank you in advance

May 1, 2012 at 7:47 pm #6734


My fiance (Jewish) and I (Roman Catholic) are currently planning our Wedding Ceremony. We are planning to have a Priest and Rabbi officate. The Ceremony will be at a hotel so everyone will be comfortable. I was really hoping that someone could share there Wedding Program with me? Or list of Readings they used? It would be a huge help! Thank you for any advice.

May 1, 2012 at 8:21 pm #6735

Benjamin Maron

Our Guide to Wedding Ceremonies for Interfaith Couples includes sample readings that you might find useful.

August 17, 2012 at 4:10 pm #7034


Thank you for your open discussion of your interfaith wedding, I am wondering if you have a transcript of it as I as a non denominational officiant have one coming up next weekend. Any chance of getting a copy of yours, not to take it from you but to use as a guide.

December 9, 2012 at 9:45 pm #8861


Thankyou for your recount. It really gives me hope that we can both retain elements that we hold dear from our respective religions.

June 18, 2014 at 9:35 pm #20324


My name is Elizabeth, From USA ,and I

September 11, 2015 at 4:37 pm #21449


To the author of the article, I’m wondering if you had to get special dispensations from your local Catholic bishop to: 1. marry in an outdoor setting (I was told my my diocese that this was prohibited in the Catholic faith) and 2. to marry an unbaptized person (did you have to sign a statement that you will raise your children Catholic? And how did you work that out with your husband?)

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