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Sample Ceremonies and Definitions for Wedding Programs

Return to the Guide to Wedding Ceremonies for Interfaith Couples

ketubah signing

We live in a time when couples have a huge range of choices about the words and rituals they can choose from in planning their wedding ceremony. If you’re working with a rabbi, cantor or officiant of another faith, s/he will probably provide you with some specific ceremony texts and outlines to consider, as well as ideas for incorporating specific elements you may want. Many clergy are open to suggestions or changes from the specific words and rituals they typically use, though some are more flexible than others, so it’s a good idea to find out early on if the person you’re working with is a good match for your needs.
 
We have many samples of different parts of Jewish and interfaith wedding ceremonies that you may want to browse, including alternative English translations to some of the traditional Hebrew blessings. We offer examples of different options for several components of the wedding ceremony, including:
 
 
We also have examples of ceremony elements that come from outside Jewish tradition, but which are popular among many interfaith couples, such as:
 
 
If you’re looking for examples of full wedding ceremonies to explore, consider:
 
 
There are also books with sample ceremonies, including:
 
Diamant, Anita. The New Jewish Wedding, Revised. (Scribner, 2001)
Matlins, Stuart M., ed. The Perfect Stranger's Guide to Wedding Ceremonies. (Skylight Paths Publishing, 2000)
Seid, Judith. God-Optional Judaism: Alternatives for Cultural Jews Who Love Their History, Heritage and Community. (Citadel Press, 2001) (Specifically the chapter on weddings, p. 165-179)
Finally, we also have a PDF you can download that includes many poems and readings from different traditions; suggested orders of service; and examples of short definitions of Jewish ceremonial elements designed for use in wedding programs.
 
You can also always ask an officiant you’re considering working with if they would be willing to show you examples of ceremonies or rituals that they have used in the past.
 

 

A language of West Semitic origins, culturally considered to be the language of the Jewish people. Ancient or Classical Hebrew is the language of Jewish prayer or study. Modern Hebrew was developed in the late-19th and early 20th centuries as a revival language; today it is spoken by most Israelis.
A member of the Jewish clergy who leads a congregation in songful prayer. ("Hazzan" in Hebrew.) Hebrew for "my master," the term refers to a spiritual leader and teacher of Torah. Often, but not always, a rabbi is the leader of a synagogue congregation.
InterfaithFamily

InterfaithFamily is the premier resource supporting interfaith couples exploring Jewish life and inclusive Jewish communities. We offer educational content; connections to welcoming organizations, professionals and programs; resources and trainings for organizations, clergy and other program providers; and our new InterfaithFamily/Your Community initiative providing coordinated comprehensive offerings in local communities.

If you have suggestions, please contact network at interfaithfamily dot com.

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