|According to Webster's
in*ter*faith \ adj
(1932) : involving persons of different religious faiths
I am one of many thousands of American couples
who are part of an interfaith marriage. My experience is a testament to the
possibility of a loving relationship and thriving marriage between two people of
different religious faiths. However, falling in love with someone outside your
own religion does raise questions that other couples need not address, such
- How can we understand and
respect each other's religious backgrounds in our interfaith relationship?
- How can we be close to both
- How do we celebrate holidays?
- How do we choose a religious
identity for our children?
Several years ago my wife and I attended a
fifteen-hour, six week seminar for Interfaith Couples that explored the very
questions raised above. Last year, I returned to that seminar to gain a
different perspective. I learned how to facilitate, direct, and lead this
program for other couples that might find themselves in similar circumstances.
Through these experiences, I gained additional knowledge which allows me to
provide you with some direction for exploring your own interfaith relationship.
to both my personal and professional involvement with interfaith issues, I am
also ordained through the Universal Brotherhood Movement, a non-denominational
ministry promoting the oneness of all mankind. My life experiences and
ordination have increased my appreciation, sensitivity and awareness surrounding
interfaith relationships. I offer many alternatives to traditional religious
ceremonies and I welcome all faiths.
I encourage your involvement and contribution of unique ideas in creating a
"I think all of our guests had
a wonderful time and appreciated your explanations of both the Jewish and
Christian traditions we included and your way of conducting the ceremony."
- Ben & Katie Smith
Many couples like to include a statement acknowledging their different
backgrounds and faiths to begin the wedding ceremony. The purpose is to
emphasize their appreciation for their own and each otherís traditions.
participating in this ceremony, Bride & Groom are asking me to join them in
expressing to family and friends that they both considered their religious
upbringing and tradition to be important. In marriage, they chose not to
sacrifice their commitment to these traditions but instead to share them with
"Bride & Groom have created this ceremony. They have woven from threads
of two traditions, a fabric that represents who they are together. They wish to
share with you their reflections on marriage and their hopes for the future..."
For more on interfaith ceremonies, click
on the link below for the Dovetail Institute site:
A Small Sampling of Literary Resources: