Amanda & Matthew Tie The Knot!

Ceremony Text

This is extremely non traditional but we are including many Jewish elements into our DW. The ceremony will not be considered legally binding under Jewish law because a rabbi won't be present. But it was so important to have these elements on our day.

Our best friend will handle most of the ceremony, with spots for our parents and officiant (so it's legal) to be included. There is no ketubah reading because my rabbi has agreed to do this with us when we return home. My rabbi and Matt's priest have also agreed to provide blessings over our marriage before we leave for the wedding.

The ceremony is a little lengthy and wordy. But we are video taping the ceremony for Matt's grandparents and they are so Catholic that they can't even spell Jewish. We want them to understand the symbolism. was a major help in the creation of this!

Introduction of Chuppah (Ryan)
Surrounded by loved ones whose joy and prayers are with you, you stand at this chuppah, a symbol of your new home. Its four sides are open, symbolizing the importance of community and of participation in each other's lives. Friends and family fill the home.
May your home be a shelter against the storms, a haven of peace,
a stronghold of faith and love.

Acknowledgment of Different Faiths (Ryan)
Today, Amanda and Matthew have chosen to marry. Their love unites two different lives, families, and faiths. While appreciating the differences between their traditions, Amanda and Matthew 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 Amanda to remember that Yeshua, whom Catholics call Jesus, was a Jew, who interpreted his Jewish traditions in a particular historical moment. And I have asked Matthew to remember that many Catholic 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, Amanda and Matthew have come together to honor the best of both, and to focus on their similarities rather than their differences.

First Blessing of the Wine (Ryan & Mom)
Although you are two distinct persons, both respecting the dignity of the other, you have chosen to unite your lives and to seek your happiness together. Your individual joy will be all the greater because it is shared. Your individual fulfillment will be all the stronger because it rests in the fulfillment of the other. As a symbol of your commitment today, pour your individual cups together. Once the red and the white have mixed, they cannot be separated. It can be poured back into separate containers, but it will always be mixed. (Pour cups together)

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

Baruch Atah Adonai Eloheinu Melech Ha-Olam, boreh p’ri ha-gafen.

(Sip the wine)

Exchange of the Rings (Officiant)
(To be repeated by couple, or memorized)
I promise to love you, to respect you, to laugh with you, and to soothe your tears. I promise to share my life openly and honestly with you and to encourage and nurture your growth. Together, we continue this journey of exploration, trust, and communication. I promise to savor each day in pursuit of our happiness.

(Officiant) These rings in their unbroken wholeness are tokens of your union and of your love. They represent the enduring trust and affection that you bring to one another, and are the outward and visible symbols of an inner spiritual bond.

(Officiant) Amanda and Matthew, please repeat after me: With this ring, I join my life with yours in loving kindness, compassion, and faithfulness. [Place the ring] You are my beloved and you are my friend.

Reading of the Seven Blessings (Parents)
1. Blessed are You, Adonai our God, Ruler of the Universe, Creator of the fruit of the vine.

Baruch Atah Adonai Eloheinu Melech Ha-Olam, boreh p’ri ha-gafen.

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

Baruch Atah Adonai Eloheinu Melech Ha-Olam, she-hakol barah lichvodo.

3. Blessed are You, Adonai, our God, Ruler of the universe, Creator of Human Beings.

Baruch Atah Adonai Eloheinu Melech Ha-Olam, yotzer ha-adam.

4. Blessed are You, Adonai, 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 Adonai, Creator of Human Beings.

Baruch Atah Adonai Eloheinu Melech Ha-Olam, asher yatzar et ha-adam betzalmo, b'tzelem dmut tavnito, vehitkon lo mimenu binyan adei ad. Baruch Atah Adonai yotzer ha-adam.

5. Bring intense joy and exultation to the barren one (Jerusalem) through the ingathering of her children amidst her in gladness. Blessed are You, Adonai, Who gladdens Zion through her children.

Sos tasis v’tagel ha-akarah, b’kibbutz bane’ha letocha b’simchaa. Baruch Atah Adonai, mesame'ach tzion b’vaneha.

6. Gladden the beloved companions as You gladdened Your creatures in the garden of Eden. Blessed are You, Adonai, Who gladdens groom and bride.

Sameach te-samach re'im ahuvim, k’samechacha yetzircha b’gan eden mi- kedem. Baruch Atah Adonai, mesame'ach chatan v’kalah.

7. Blessed are You, Adonai, our God, Ruler of the universe, Who created joy and gladness, groom and bride, mirth, glad song, pleasure, delight, love, brotherhood, peace, and companionship. Adonai, 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 groom and the voice of the bride, the sound of the grooms’ jubilance from their canopies and of the youths from their song-filled feasts. Blessed are You Who causes the groom to rejoice with his bride.

Baruch Atah Adonai 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 Adonai 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 Adonai mesame’ach chatan im hakalah.

Second Blessing of the Wine (Ryan & Mom)
Two thoughts are suggested by this cup of wine. The first is that wine is a symbol of the sweetness we wish for your life. There will be times when you drink from other cups, from bitter ones; but life offers opportunity to savor the sweetness. The awareness of the possibility of a life filled with true meaning is what we toast: the good that is life. The second is that wine is a symbol of sharing. You have shared many years together, and out of this time has grown the love which brought you to this day. As you continue to share in each other's life, you will, as a symbol of this enduring cooperation, share this cup of wine. As you share this cup of wine, you share all that the future may bring.

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

Baruch Atah Adonai Eloheinu Melech Ha-Olam, boreh p’ri ha-gafen.

(Sip the wine)

Pronouncement of Marriage (Officiant)
You have both joined voluntarily in this ceremony of marriage, and have been formally united as husband and wife in the presence of your family and friends. As you have declared openly your clear intentions to be considered before all the world as a married couple, and have exchanged rings and vows attesting thereto, it is my pleasure and honor to pronounce you husband and wife. You may kiss the bride.

Closing Prayer (Ryan & Mom)
You have now affirmed before God, your families, and your friends your bond of love and commitment. You have come from different backgrounds. You have walked different paths. You are different individuals. Your love has transcended these differences. In the years before you, may the richness of the traditions that have nurtured
you enhance and brighten your lives and others’ as
you help to create and shape the future.

May the spirit of love be ever a part of your lives, so that the union we here celebrate this day be worthy of continued celebration tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow.

Yivarechecha Adonai v’yismerecha.
May the Lord bless you and keep you.

Ya-er Adonai panav aleilcha vichuneka.
May God’s countenance be lifted upon you and may God be gracious to you.

Yisa Adonai panav aleichca v’yaseim l’cha shalom.
May God’s countenance be upon you, and may God give you peace.

Breaking of the Glass (Ryan)
There are several reasons why it is customary for a glass to be broken at the conclusion of the wedding ceremony. Symbolically, the breaking of the glass reminds us of the fragile nature of life. The custom has also come to symbolize the shattering of the old and the beginning of the new. The breaking of the glass insures the uniqueness of the moment that arises and passes away, a letting go of the past and looking toward the future. Since this is an interfaith ceremony, that brings together two people from different religious and cultural backgrounds, let us, with this symbol, become especially mindful of the barriers that people erect between one another, and hope that with the breaking of the glass, we will see a breaking down of the barriers between people and help create a world based on love, unity, peace, and understanding. The breaking of the glass is irrevocable and permanent; so, too, may this marriage last an infinity of time--as long as it would take to reassemble the broken pieces of this glass. The breaking of the glass represents a turning point in your lives as you pledge your love today and make a new commitment to oneanother. This is the time when you turn from living your separate lives to creating a new family together. Let it signify, once and for all, that Matthew and Amanda are husband and wife and that it is time to begin the celebration of their marriage.