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Earlier, I talked about our search for a rabbi willing to not only officiate an interfaith wedding, but one also willing to co-officiate with a Methodist minister. Going into the search, I knew it would be difficult. Eight years earlier, my sister had gone through the same search, with no luck, but I was hopeful. The big question in my mind is: why is it so difficult? Why are more rabbis not willing to participate?
There are many articles here at InterfaithFamily.com that address this question, and it seems that for most it is a very personal decision, one that is reached after a great deal of consideration. Mostly, it seems that it comes down to their interpretation and understanding of their rabbinical function, and whether that allows them to perform interfaith wedding ceremonies. For others, their decision might be based on their congregation’s desires. And still others might be willing to officiate an interfaith ceremony, but only if the couple meets a certain list of conditions. Finally, there are those rabbis who are willing to officate and even co-officiate interfaith weddings with no strings attached, except for perhaps one connected to a rather large price tag (most of these rabbis are not in it for the money, but you should be aware that there are some who do not have your best interest at heart). No matter the rabbi’s decision, I think that it is important for those of us entering into an interfaith marriage to respect that decision, and that for those rabbis who choose not to officiate interfaith weddings, that interfaith couples don’t take the decision personally. As Rabbi Steven Foster’s article states in the title: “It’s Not about You, It’s About Me: Why I Don’t Perform Interfaith Weddings.”
Rather than listing all of the other articles that I’ve found helpful in pondering this question, I’ll simply provide a link to the entire collection: Rabbis and Interfaith Weddings.
We’d be very interested in hearing others’ comments and experiences on this.
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