A Guide to Blending Faiths, Cultures and Personal Values into One Beautiful Ceremony
The most recent studies tell us that 37 per cent of Americans are now living in interfaith and interdenominational households. Interfaith unions are becoming more common every year as people from different background meet, fall in love and decide to marry.
"Your Interfaith Wedding" is a book I wrote for interfaith couples who are thinking of getting married, or making their way toward the altar together.
In my wedding ministry, time and time again, I have met lovely people who clearly are meant for each other but who do not come from the same background or faith. They have found away to embrace one another, and in most cases, one another’s families, despite any inherent challenges.
It has become clear to me that love and commitment come in many packages, shapes, sizes, shades, languages, backgrounds and faiths. Love simply does not limit itself to existing only between people who are of the same faith nor does it merely join together people who have the same skin tone or accents. And it does not insist that a man born in one part of the world must only love someone from his country or culture, nor that a woman born into a religious household will find her beloved in the faith of her family.
Love is a force with a mind of its own, and it transcends the limited thinking that we must “stick with our own kind.” Many modern men and women are coming to see that true love is a gift, even when an adoring, commited partner does not quite fit the ideal of our fantasies or arrive in the outer package our parents imagined for us.
While some men and women fancy the idea of rebelling against an overly religious or restrictive upbringing, I’ve yet to meet a bride or groom of a certain faith, culture or ethnic background who woke up one morning, thinking, “Hey, I am going to go out and find someone who comes from a completely different background and marry that person. This way, I can abandon my own upbringing, make my parents a little crazy and challenge my own hidden prejudices. Wow, that sounds like a great idea!.”
More often, it just happens one day that they meet someone who feels like home; a person they feel comfortable with, attracted to, happy about, and loved by. One thing leads to another and they fall deeply in love. Eventually, they decide to marry.
Our souls are drawn to inner radiance first. Urged on by their love and desire to build their lives together, they begin the journey toward the altar. This experience is a microcosm of married life together, so it is a chance to grow more fully into their love and learn how to build and navigate family life together.
My philosophy is that love between two people is a sacred union and it adds a dimension of holiness to our world that cannot be categorized by religion or culture.
Are there challenges? Yes, for some couples. But I have also witnessed many couples rise above them and successfully blend their beliefs into married life.