Same Sex Interfaith Ceremony
Interfaith Ceremonies can be done by a single officiant or a Minister and Rabbi Team
Welcome! We are gathered here today to share in a celebration of love, and to join together forever the hearts of Mariana and Joyia. Today in the presence of God, family and friends, Mariana and Joyia will join their lives together, two beautiful spirits sharing the most sacred and tender of human relationships. They have invited us all here today to rejoice, celebrate and bear witness to this sacred union. They stand before you bound by their love for each other, and the desire to share this expression of their love with you and with the world. We, their families and friends, form a community of love that together we may support and encourage them with our abundance of prayers and blessings on this day and for all of their lives.
In Exodus 25:8, “it states” “let them make me a Sanctuary that I may dwell with them”. In a Jewish wedding, The Chuppah – a drape of cloth suspended on four poles, under which the Wedding Blessings are said – is this Sanctuary.
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.
Invocation: Rev Deb:
At this time I ask that you all join me in a prayer and blessing for Mariana and Joyia as they begin the journey on their path of togetherness.
May God bless them and guide them on their journey together.May divine Holy Spirit fill their hearts with unconditional love, and understanding. And may their continued kindness, compassion, happiness, trust and faith in each other and in God, be a constant example of the grace and beauty that the gift of love embodies for all of us.
(optional) We would also like to honor all those that wish they could be here, but could not be here with us today in body, but we know that they are here in spirit with us, to shower their blessings upon Mariana and Joyia today and for all of their days together.
An African proverb tells us that people who lack the knowledge of their past are like a tree without roots. So, in the spirit of remembrance, we pour this libation. We pour to honor the past, so that we may learn from it. We pour to honor the importance of family. We raise our cup to God to show our reverence for the original source of our lives. We use cool water to freshen the road our ancestors travel to be here with us today. We use cool water as a symbol of the continuity of life, to purify and to nourish our souls. We pour to celebrate the coming together of the lives, family and friends of these two people.It is said that through others, we are somebody. Through this marriage, we broaden our family and friendship circle, remember our heritage and recall those who came before us. We call upon our ancestors.We call upon our elders, whose wisdom we seek in all endeavors. Our friends whom we are blessed to have in our lives, our family members who guided us along the road to adulthood. We call upon family who have passed over and could not be here today. We ask that they be with us in our thoughts. We call upon Joyia and Mariana, that they may always find prosperity in love and devotion.
Therefore we cast our libations to the North, to the South, to the East and to the West. [Libation toast giver turns in the indicated directions while reading. Jason, Jennifer, Sam and Ilana will do this] We wish everyone to leave more blessed than when they came. Amen.
1st Reading: Rabbi Sara:
Our first reading is from the:Song of Songs. It is a book of the Hebrew Bible or Old Testament—one of the five megillot (scrolls). It is also known as the Song of king Solomon to his beloved Shulamid.
The Song is often interpreted as an allegorical representation of the relationship of God and Israel, or for Christians, God and the Church or the connection between two people in love.
I am my beloveds, and my beloved is mine, that feedeth among the lilies.
As a lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters.
Behold, thou art fair, my love; behold, thou art fair; thine eyes are as doves. 1 I am a rose of Sharon, a lily of the valleys.
כְּתַפּוּחַבַּעֲצֵיהַיַּעַר, כֵּןדּוֹדִיבֵּיןהַבָּנִים; בְּצִלּוֹחִמַּדְתִּיוְיָשַׁבְתִּי, וּפִרְיוֹמָתוֹקלְחִכִּי.
As an apple-tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among the sons. Under its shadow I delighted to sit, and its fruit was sweet to my taste
Address: Rev Deb
There is a passage by Maya Angelou that I would like to share with you as begin the address segment of our ceremony which speaks to the importance of love in our lives.
“Love builds up the broken wall and straightens the crooked path. Love keeps the stars in the firmament and imposes rhythm on the ocean tides each of us is created of it and I suspect each of us was created for it”“Love recognizes no barriers.It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at it destination full of hope.”
We come here today in a celebration and expression of love! Love is perhaps the greatest gift that is given us; it is our inherent nature and our sole true purpose in life; to love one another. Love provides us with the core sustenance of life; it nourishes our spirits and fuels our souls. Love compels us, motivates us, brings joy to our hearts and truly gives us life. We can endure many things in this world but without being able to share and feel love our lives would be as an empty shell. When we are able to give and receive the gift of love, our life becomes full and energized and hopeful with unbounded possibilities, love truly is life. These two people that you see standing here before you, their souls have made a commitment to each other to love, support, and share life. This is not merely a verbal commitment but a promise of the heart and soul. Mariana and Joyia come here to share with us the gift that love is and to give us all the opportunity to experience and remember the love that we feel for each other, for the people in our lives. Today is about love and about celebrating love’s purpose and importance in our lives.
Mariana and Joyia have found the gift of love in each other, they have found the joy, comfort, and peace that comes from being with that special person whom you know is your best friend, your equal, your partner. They are here today to pledge their love to each other for all of their days, and they come before all of you who are their families and friends; you who hold their memories, their history, their pasts, their present, and now again they ask you to share and bear witness to a new chapter of their lives, as they share with you this gift of love they have found and the brilliant future that it holds for them. All of you, who Mariana and Joyia call family play an important role in their lives not just today, but every day and they would like to send out their heartfelt thanks to you for your continued love, support, and encouragement throughout their lives.
Mariana and Joyia have found the gift of this love and they are here today to share this gift with all of you. Their Journey began long before either of them had a thought that they would end up here today, celebrating the joining of their loving hearts in marriage. Their relationship began almost 3 years ago and has been a constant source of comfort, support, and love has evolved through the joys, changes and challenges of life into this beautiful loving, committed partnership that you see here today as they stand before you so very much in love and ready to join their hearts together as one.
Their journey began when they met with the help of their mutual friend. She loved Joyia’s energy, and how she tried hard to make her feel comfortable! At the end of the night Joyia asked for Mariana’s number, they went to breakfast and drove Joyia home, she was smiling from that moment on and still smiling. Joyia was leaving to go home for the holidays and they spent the next week talking on the phone. Their first date the following week and for both of them it was the best date of their lives! It lasted over 8 hours, neither of them wanting it to end! That was all they needed to know that they wanted to be together, and their relationship as evolved through the years.
Mariana and Joyia’s relationship over the last few years has become a source of support for each other through life’s changes, joys and challenges, has evolved into this beautiful loving partnership that you see here today as they come before you, so very much in love and ready to join their hearts together as one.
I have had the pleasure of getting to know Mariana and Joyia over the last six months, and never have I come across two people that are more committed to each other and to their relationship. This Commitment to each other and to their relationship has allowed Mariana and Joyia to take their relationship to a higher level; They are willing to do whatever it takes to have a happy, healthy and loving relationship that can evolve through time. Relationships are multi dimensional, there is the physical, the emotional, and the spiritual Mariana and Joyia have been doing everything necessary to create a lasting and loving relationship. Many couples today come into relationships and even marriages not really knowing what they want and need in a partner, or even how to communicate what they need to feel safe and grow as an individual and as a couple.
Mariana and Joyia have learned the secret of relationships; they are wonderful, joyful, loving. Fun, nurturing, intimate, passionate, and they are also, not always easy, they require effort, patience, compassion, and trust. During times of challenge they know that they can endure and return always to the “We” as we call it and the love and with compassion for each other; grow together and get through anything.
During the times that we spent with Mariana and Joyia going over the details of the wedding and ceremony, I asked them to tell me about their relationship, what they loved about each other and what is important to them in marriage. What they shared with me and what I could see from knowing them was that over the years they have grown together, that they provided balance for each other, they have learned that communication, patience, understanding, passion, and laughter were vital to their relationship. But what holds all this together the core of their relationship is the strong love that they have for each other! A love that for each of them comes in many different and amazing ways;
For Joyia, her love for Mariana is strong and sure, that she knew early on that she was the one! She adores everything about her; the way she walks, her kind and beautiful eyes, the twinkle in her smile, and her cute adorable feet! She loves her sensitive, caring and generous nature, her kind heart and her enveloping and singing spirit. She admires her analytical and creative mind and the endless conversations that they share. Mariana easily supports her, cares for her and understands her. She loves that she is fun, smart, forgetful, adorable and so easy to be with. She loves the way Mariana loves her back, she is her love and the one who makes her smile and the one she wants to share her life with!
For Mariana, Joyia is her love, her unconditional support. She loves her heart, her warmth and the sense of justice that she holds on to. She admires her compassion, especially with animals and children and her endless passion for the things she loves in her life! With Joyia she can share anything and everything; they can talk about everything even the things that are hard. She loves her eyes, her smile and her warm embrace! Mariana loves that with Joyia they share hugs, kisses and affection without limit and how they enjoy every moment together no matter what they are doing. But most of all Mariana loves the person that Joyia is and she loves the person she is when she is with her!
Together they are best friends. They complement and balance each other perfectly. They create a cycle of love that strengthens their connection every day! They are better together than they are separate! In Yiddish, there’s a word “bershert” which means “it is meant to be.” Mariana and Joyia are each other’s “bershert” they are a perfectly right fit for each other, they are meant to be! They share generous and caring spirits, a mutual respect, love and commitment to each other that is immeasurable.
In my belief the two women who stand before you are among those that we call courageous. It takes great courage and love to stand here and commit to joining your lives together in marriage but Mariana and Joyia’s the decision was easy, their love has grown into a relationship that embraces all the values that create a strong and lasting Marriage.
Readings: Rabbi Sara
Love is the silver lining in the “Song of Songs” and the thread that weaves our connection to one another.
The word LOVE is mentioned in the Torah many times.
The love for God and the love and care for each other, the love for your neighbor and the love for oneself, the love for nature and our world.
The LOVE between two people.
Sand Ceremony: Rev Deb
(here we can include sand ceremony or Unity Candle)
(Already there will be three containers of your choosing on the altar, one empty).
“Mariana & Joyia, you are about to seal your relationship by the giving and receiving of rings and the exchanging of your vows. This covenant is a pledge between two people who agree that they will commit themselves to one another throughout their lives, to share the rest of your lives together.Within a marriage each person is both their own and each others. Two individuals choosing to create a new life with endless possibilities and new dreams that are theirs together.
Mariana and Joyia, will you now hold close to your heart the container of sand representing the essence of all that you are and all that you bring to this union. As you do so, place in these grains of sands all your hopes and dreams for the future. Bring to mind the strength of your promises that you will share today, and carry with you throughout your life together.
As these two vessels of sand are poured into the central vessel the individual ones will no longer exist, but will be joined together as one. Just as these grains of sand can never be separated and poured again, so will your marriage be.
Consecration: Rev Deb
Marriage is an honorable estate, instituted in antiquity and revered since all time as the noblest and most tender of human relationships which nature might mirror, a church solemnize, or a state declare legal, but which only love can create and mutual loyalty fulfill.
I ask you both, as you stand in the presence of your family and friends, to remember that love, loyalty and compassion alone will avail as the foundation of a happy and enduring home. No other human ties are more tender, no other vows more sacred than those that you will now assume. If these sacred vows are honored and kept close to your hearts, and you endeavor to always live according to the best that is within each of you, your life together will be full of joy, peace and love.
Expression of Intent: Rabbi Sara
In the presence of God, family and friends, I ask you to state your intentions. Mariana and Joyia, have you come here freely and without reservation to give yourselves to each other in this sacred union?
Will you love and honor each other as life partners for all of your days?
Response : We will
Vows:(here we can also add personal vows) Rev Deb
At this time Mariana and Joyia will speak their vows to each other.
Do you Joyia, take Mariana, to be your partner in life, your friend, your love and your lifelong companion: to share your life with her. To build your dreams together; to support her during times of trouble, and to rejoice with her in times of happiness. Do you promise to honor her, respect her and love her from this day forward and for all the days of your life?
Response: I Do
Do you Mariana, take Joyia, to be your partner in life, your friend, your love and your lifelong companion: to share your life with her. To build your dreams together; to support her during times of trouble, and to rejoice with her in times of happiness. Do you promise to honor her, respect her and love her from this day forward and for all the days of your life?
Response: I Do
Blessing of the Rings: Rabbi Sara
These rings that you will now exchange are a symbol of all the promises that are deep within your hearts that you have shared this day. The circle of these rings stands for the endless cycle of love that begins today and continues throughout your married lives. They represent to the world your shared gift of love and the commitment you have made to each other this day to share all that is within each of you, the true and beautiful essence of one another. Into these rings and these two loving spirits I place the blessings of love.
Exchanging of Rings: Rabbi Sara
Joyia: Mariana take this ring as a token” of my love and faithfulness with all that I am and all that I will ever be. ‘Ani L’dodi v. Dodi Li’.”
Mariana: Joyia take this ring as a sign ” token” of my love and faithfulness with all that I am and all that I will ever be. ‘Ani L’dodi v. Dodi Li’.”
Wine ceremony: Rabbi Sara and Rev Deb
The SHEVA BRACHOT (Seven Blessings)
ברוךאתהה’ אלהינומלךהעולם, בוראפריהגפן
Blessed is the ruler of the Universe, Creator of the fruit of the vine
ברוךאתהה’ אלהינומלךהעולם, שהכלבראלכבודו
Blessed is the glory of all creation.
ברוךאתהה’ אלהינומלךהעולם, יוצרהאדם
Blessed is the creation of the Human Being
ברוךאתהה’ אלהינומלךהעולם, אשריצראתהאדםבצלמו, בצלםדמותתבניתו, והתקיןלוממנובנייןעדיעד. ברוךאתהה’, יוצרהאדם
Blessed is the design of the Human Being, united in heart and the search for love.
שושתשישותגלעקרה, בקיבוץבניהלתוכהבשמחה. ברוךאתהה’, משמחציוןבבניה.
Blessed is the joy of our gathering. May rejoicing resound throughout the world as the homeless are given homes, persecution and oppression cease, and all people learn to live in peace with each other and harmony with the earth.
שמחתשמחרעיםהאהובים, כשמחךיצירךבגןעדןמקדם. ברוךאתהה’, משמחחתןוכלה.
Let these loving companions rejoice. May their joy be as paradise on earth.
ברוךאתהה’ אלהינומלךהעולם, אשרבראששוןושמחה, חתןוכלה, גילהרינה, דיצהוחדווה, אהבהואחווה, ושלוםורעות, מהרהה’ אלקינוישמעבערייהודהובחוצותירושלים, קולששוןוקולשמחה, קולחתןוקולכלה, קולמצהלותחתניםמחופתם, ונעריםממשתהנגינתם. ברוךאתהה’, משמחחתןעםהכלה.
Blessed is the creation of joy and celebration, Mariana and Joyia, delight and cheer, love and solidarity, peace and companionship. Blessed and praised is this love and this marriage
Wine is a universal symbol of joy – of the richness of life, the sweetness of love. It is appropriate therefore that on this happy occasion you toast life with this ancient symbol
Brides drink wine.
“As you have shared wine from this cup so may you draw happiness and fulfillment from the cup of life. May you find life’s joys heightened, it’s bitterness sweetened, and all things blessed by true compassion and love.”
Wedding Blessing: Rev Deb
Join me now in a final blessing for Mariana and Joyia as they walk hand and hand into the expandable horizon!
I ask you both to remember to:
Be together in harmony and let the winds of the heavens dance between you. Empower each other and allow your relationship to evolve to its highest purpose. Nourish each other’s possibilities and lift up each other’s spirits. Care for one another, share your love openly and let it be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. Sing and dance together and be joyful. Share your lives with each other and unite your love with our Creator. May your union last through all of your moments together, so that in the triumphs and the trials that lie ahead, you will feel just as you do now – happy to be in love and married to one another. Go then, in peace, and live more and more in the present, which is beautiful and stretches away beyond the limits of the past and towards the horizons of the future.
Breaking of the glass explanation: Rabbi Sara
The breaking of the glass is a time honored tradition in the Jewish Faith. Breaking of the glass is a reminder of the destruction of the Temples in Jerusalem but there are also many other symbolic meaning to this ritual, today we envision the breaking of the glass as the shattering of your old lives, your individual path, to start a new path together, a new beginning!!
“For those of you witnessing this for the first time it is appropriate to clap, yell, or shout MazalTov!, when the glass is broken.”
Priestly blessing: Rev Deb and Rabbi Sara
May the Lord Bless you and guide you
May the Lord shine his face upon you and be gracious to you
May the Lord lift up his face to you and give to you peace.
Now that you Mariana, and you, Joyia, have promised to give yourselves to one another and to love each other through your sacred vows and through the giving and receiving of these rings, In the eyes of God, and all those present I now pronounce you married.
Those whom God has joined may be graciously blessed forever.
Break the glass
You may now begin your life together with a kiss
Jumping the broom: Rev Deb
“Jumping the broom dates back to the seventeen century. Because black slaves could not legally marry, they created their own rituals to honor their unions. This is also a symbol of sweeping away of the old and welcoming the new. The leap they take over the broom is also symbolic. By taking the leap, they make a gesture of dedication to working together through the tough times ahead, as well as the easy times and it is Mariana and Joyia’s wish that they jump the broom.
Please clap with me now and welcome them into their new life together!
Guests clap encouragement, couple jump kiss again, grab their flowers and exit to greet their