Humanistic Judaism views the marriage ceremony as a celebration of the mutual commitment of two equal, loyal, and mutually supportive partners. While the presence of others confers family and community endorsement of that commitment, the couple, their relationship, their love, and respect are the center of the celebration. In a free and open society, love knows no bounds. Humanistic Judaism supports couples from different cultural or religious backgrounds who choose to get married and who may want none, some or all traditions represented in their ceremonies.
A few general principles guide the Humanistic approach to weddings:
The partners getting married are the center of attention: It is not the celebrant of the ceremony, nor is it the parents. My goal in officiating is to highlight what is true and beautiful about YOUR relationship, and not to be the wedding planner or be in the spotlight.
It’s YOUR wedding: It’s not my wedding, and it’s not the parents’ or the grandparents’ wedding. While being fully considerate of others’ feelings and wishes, the couple has the right (and my support) to celebrate their love as they see fit.
Be true to yourselves: A wedding ceremony should be a beautiful, meaningful, and truthful reflection of the loving bond between two partners. So the texts read, the clothing worn, the rituals enacted should all be discussed, thought about, and agreed upon as honest demonstrations of personal commitment. Of all days, your wedding day is the best time to be true to yourself.
Concrete language: In Humanistic ceremonies, we use Humanistic, nontheistic language. The focus of the ceremony is on the couple and their relationship and their humanity alone. The blessings are directed toward human achievement, the natural universe, culture, beauty, joy and love.
Every wedding is an interfaith wedding. – every couple has to combine different family traditions, personal styles, and many other details. Religion and culture can simply be two more to add to the list.
Interfaith and Intercultural marriages are different – some couples are “interfaith” in that they believe very different things; a Humanistic Jew and an Orthodox Jew would be an “interfaith” relationship. Some couples are better described as “intercultural” – from different cultural backgrounds but believing the same things about life. Each kind of inter-relationship has its particular challenges, but with communication, cooperation, and generosity both can be successful.
Couples are encouraged to participate in the creation of their own marriage ceremony, choosing among Judaic symbols and writings, their own preferred affirmations, music and poetry — all used within a non-theistic or interfaith context.
Private pre-marital counseling can be scheduled to discuss any areas of concern for intermarried couples and families.
I work privately with both members’ and non-members’ family and friends to create a custom personalized, individualized, and meaningful celebration of marriage for people of all faiths genders, and cultures.