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Jewish Marriage Ceremony

(This is a full Jewish ceremony rich in the traditional spirituality of a Jewish marriage ceremony combined with consistent romantic language. The Benedictions or other spiritual language is in strict accordance with the guidelines of the Central Conference of American Rabbis. However, the wording of the ceremony does not imply officiation by a Rabbi or Jewish officiant. This ceremony should not be used to replace officiation by a Rabbi - but instead it is an emergency fill-in ceremony or when a Rabbi is impossible to obtain due to date and time.
There are subtle language choice changes allowing attendance by non-Jewish guests without hypocracy. The ceremony uncompromisingly declares the Bride and Groom ascribe to the faith of Israel and that the ceremony is fully in reverence to the Jewish faith. However, it does not declare all attending are of the Jewish faith to allow comfortable attendance and participation by all.
The language also is altered without change to spiritual substance to allow it to be more understandable to younger guests - such as lessening usage of "eth" endings to words.
Also added are popular rituals found in most weddings such as the giving away of the bride, presenting the bride and groom as "Mr." and "Mrs". and other popular marriage ceremony rites not contradicting to a formal and otherwise traditional Jewish marriage ceremony. Further down this page you can find the 'breaking of the bottle".
Note, in a Jewish ceremony, the bride stands on the man's Right side and rings are worn on the right hand traditionally.

 

 

THE MARRIAGE CEREMONY

(Officiant motions guests to stand as the bride enters if there is a processional)

We are gathered here today to celebrate on of life's greatest moments, to give recognition to the worth and beauty of love, and to add our best wishes to the words which shall unite ________________ and _____________ in marriage.

(If bride is escorted forward)

Who is it that brings this woman forward to this man?
("Her mother and I", "I do", "Her father". or "I do on behalf of the family".)

_______________  and ___________, life is given to each of us as individuals, and yet we must learn to live together. Love is given to us by our family and friends - we learn to love by being loved. Learning to love and living together is one of the greatest challenges of life; and it is the shared goal of a married life.

But we also must remember that it is not mankind which created love, but God who created love.
Blessed art thou, O Lord God, creator of all things.

(Ist marriage vows)

(Groom) Do you ____________, take _______ to be your wife? ("I do"). Do you promise to love, cherish and protect her, whether in good fortune or in adversity, and to seek with her a life hallowed by the faith of Israel? ("I do")

(Bride) Do you ____________, take _______ to be your husband? ("I do"). Do you promise to love, cherish and protect him, whether in good fortune or in adversity, and to seek with him a life hallowed by the faith of Israel? ("I do")

(The Benediction)

May the bride and groom now recieve the benediction -

"Blessed art Thou O Lord God, Ruler of the Universe, Creator of Man.

"Blessed art Thou O Lord God, Ruler of the Universe, Who hast fashioned us in Thine own image and who established marriage for the fullfillment and perpetuation of life in accordance with Thy holy purpose. "Blessed art Thou O Lord God, Creator of man.

"Blessed art Thou O Lord God, Ruler of the Universe, Who art the source of all gladness and joy. Through Thy grace we attaoin affection, companionship, love and peace. Grant that the love which unites this man and woman my grow in abiding happiness. May their family be ennobled through their devotion to the faith of Israel. May there be peace in their home, quietness and confidence in their hearts. May they be sustained by Thy comforting presense in the midst of our people and Thy promise of salvation of all mankind.

"Blessed art Thou O Lord God, Ruler of the Universe, Who dost unite this man and this woman in the holy joy of martrimony.
          Amen"

JEWISH CEREMONY WINE RITUAL

(If wine is presented to the Bridegroom and his Bride..)

"As you have shared the wine from this cup, so may you, under God's guidance, draw contentment, confort and strength from the cup of life. May you find life's joys heightened, it's bitterness sweetened, and all things hallowed by true companionship and love."

(Exchange of rings)

(Groom) __________ , as you place this ring upon the finger of __________, speak to her these vows:
" With this ring/ be thou consecrated unto me/ as my wife/ according to the law of God / and the faith of Israel."
 

(Bride) __________ , as you place this ring upon the finger of __________, speak to her these vows:
" With this ring/ be thou consecrated unto me/ as my wife/ according to the law of God / and the faith of Israel."

Charge to the Couple

____________________________ and ___________________________ as the two of you come into this marriage uniting you as husband and wife, and as you this day affirm your faith and love for one another, I would ask that you always remember to cherish each other as special and unique individuals, that you respect the thoughts, ideas and suggestions of one another. Be able to forgive, do not hold grudges, and live each day that you may share it together - as from this day forward you shall be each other's home, comfort and refuge, your marriage strengthened by your love and respect for each other.
 

(If a mixed marriage using acceptable components from multiple ceremonies, this may be an appropriate charge to stress that strength of faith of both - not surrender of faith by both - is where true oneness and respect is found - for which this is an ALTERNATIVE CHARGE TO COUPLES:

Just as two threads woven in opposite directions will form a most beautiful tapestry, so too can your two lives merged together make a beautiful marriage. To make your relationship work will take love. This is the core of your marriage and why you are here today. It will take trust , to know in your hearts that you truly want the best for each other. It will take dedication, to stay open to one another - and to learn and grow together. It will take faith, to go forward together without knowing exactly what the future brings. And it will take commitment, to hold true to the journey you both pledge today to share together.

    "Blessed out Thou O Lord God, who sanctifiest Thy people Israel by the covenant of marriage.
    In the presence of this company as witness, you have spoken the words and preformed the rites which unit your loves. I therefore declare __________ and _________ married not in accordances with the laws of the State of ___________, but also married publicly and before this company according to the rich traitions of the Jewish faith.

Special Request for Bless

    "Blessed be he that cometh in the name of the Lord.
    O God, supremely blessed, supreme in might and glory, guide and bless this bridegroom and bride.
     Unto thee, O God and Father, we lift our souls in praise.
    All of creation declares Thy glory; through man, fashioned in Thine image, Thou hast revealed Thy majesty. Within the heart of all people, Thou hast implanted the ennobling influences of love and devotion. Thou Who art the Source of life and of joy, bless this marriage and covenant which ________ and ___________ have sealed in Thy name.
    Be with them in this sacred hour, in all things of their marriage, and in all the days to come.
            Amen"

Silent Prayer

    I ask you and all your dear ones to bow your heads in reverence. Silently pray that God will bless the home of ______________ and _____________ and that they each, and together, may achieve their highest hopes.

(After short pause)

"May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious unto you. May the Lord lift up his countenance unto to you, and give you peace.
            Amen")

Congratulations, you may kiss your bride!

(If the bottle is to be broken, it is done at this point - just before kissing the bride. The best man places the bottle (usually I light bulb well wrapped in a white cloth at the groom's feet. It is appropriate for guests to applaud upon the breaking of the bottle.)

 

Below is one explanation I offer of the breaking of the bottle in a wedding ceremony, which is placed immediately before declaring the couple to be husband and wife:

"The breaking of the glass at the end of a wedding ceremony serves to remind of two very important aspects of a marriage.
The bride and groom - and everyone - should consider these marriage vows as an IRREVOCABLE ACT - just as permanent and final as the breaking of this glass is unchangeable.
But the breaking of the glass also is a warning of the FRAILTY of a marriage. That sometimes a single thoughtless act, breech of trust, or infidelity can damage a marriage in ways that are very difficult to undo - just as it would be so difficult to undo the breaking of this glass.
Knowing that this marriage is permanent, the bride and groom should strive to show each other the love and respect befitting their spouse and love of their life."

 

 

It is my privilege to be the first to present Mr. _______________ and Mrs. _________________

(After the bridal party has exited, I will thank all in attendance on behalf of the bride, groom and their families, make any reception announces you wish, and then release the guests).

                                                                                                                                           

               

           

               

 

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Send mail to me with questions or comments about this web site at bundy_celebrant@yahoo.com.au
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Last modified: May 08, 2010