Minister: “Good afternoon and welcome! As we will be beginning shortly our Bride and Groom have expressed their desire for you to be truly present with them at this special time, seeing the ceremony with your eyes and hearts rather than second hand through your devices. So they ask that you turn off your cell phones, put down your cameras and please refrain from taking pictures during their ceremony. They have hired a wonderful photographer, who will capture how this moment looks… but it is you they encourage to capture how it feels with your hearts, without the distraction of technology. And now without further delay, we will begin!”

Processional Music begins
The Entrances are made
With all in place, we begin!

Moment of Remembrance

Rabbi: “We would like to honor and remember  all those that for whatever reason could not be here with us physically today. Although death has separated us physically, faith and love have bound us eternally. Though we cannot see you, we know you are here. Though we cannot touch you, we feel the warmth of your smile, as we begin a new chapter in our lives. Today we pause to reflect upon those who have shaped our character, molded our spirits and touched our hearts. May this moment of silence be a reminder of the memories we have shared, a representation of the everlasting impact you have made upon our lives.”

Opening Words

Minister: “Welcome family and friends! It is such a wonderful feeling to be here with Lyn and Rick to celebrate the beginnings of what we know will be an extraordinary marriage. Today we are here, to see, experience, and celebrate, all kinds of Love. The love of parents for their children, the love between brothers and sisters, the love of family and friends, and the Love of Lyn and Rick…. a Love that is being taken to new levels of commitment as today they make the biggest promises that two people can ever make, and join their families as one.

Lyn and Rick, you have put in the work of establishing a relationship worthy of marriage. You’ve talked and listened, learned and grown, cared about all the silly and serious things the days bring, and have put one another’s needs above your own. You have treated one another as the most important person in your lives… and from today on all that work will be recognized and celebrated every time you speak the words “my husband” and “my wife“ and “our family.”

Rabbi: “In Exodus 25:8, God says, “let them make me a Sanctuary that I may dwell with them“. In a Jewish wedding, The Chuppah – a drape of clothes 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 will fill your home. May your home be a shelter against the storms, a haven of peace, a stronghold of faith and love.

The first Wedding Blessing said under the Chuppa is a very special prayer for joyous occasions, called the Shehechyanu. This prayer is spoken at the birth of a child; on High Holidays, and upon the sacred bond of marriage.
The Shehechyanu expresses our gratitude for being able to celebrate Shehecheyanu:

ברוך אתה ה אלוהינו מלך העולם
שהחיינו וקיימנו והגיענו
לזמן הזה

Blessed are you, creator of the universe, who has given us life, sustained us, and permitted us to celebrate this joyous occasion.”

Minister: “Will you now join with me in reciting the Lord’s Prayer?”

All: “Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.”

Welcome of the Guests

Minister: “It is not often enough in today’s world that we have the opportunity to gather all those who mean the most to us together in one place. Therefore, Lyn and Rick would like to thank you all for taking the time and making the journey and for all the efforts that you have each made in order to join them here today. You are those who they described as being the closest people in the world to them, their family… and those who have grown to be as family. You are truly a rich and diverse representation of the life that they share. Although you are so very different in so many ways… you are all the same in all of the ways that truly matter. You are a loyal, loving, and devoted to the bonds that you all share with one another. All of you here today are joined by your love of Lyn and Rick and by your desire to simply see them happy. Today is a day that they have waited a long time for… and knowing that all of you are almost as happy to be here right now as they are themselves… this means the world to them. Lyn and Rick thank you for your presence here today and they want you to know that whether you live near or far that not a single one of you is ever far from the hearts.”

Interfaith Address

Minister: “Lyn and Rick, today as you take this next step, I ask you to remember that marriage is a covenant, not a contract. Contracts have terms and conditions, and limits that must be met. But a covenant is a lifetime commitment made between two people and God. It is a promise to do more than just stay together, but to thrive… to live a life that is rich and full… not by accident, by choice. This will require hard work at times, and the presence of mind to stop and appreciate the fact that through all life’s moments, both great and small… you have someone by your side who loves and cares for you above all others.

To choose marriage is to accept a challenge, the challenge that Love itself provides when it wants to grow. This means that things won’t always be easy. But you share a commitment to putting your best selves forward in both difficult and wonderful times, emerging stronger with each experience you share. It means that although neither of you will always be perfect, you will never lose sight of the fact that you are perfect for one another.

Marriage means that you have achieved a certain level of success, that deserves new levels of recognition and commitment. Although you have felt yourselves married in your hearts for sometime now, marriage in the larger sense has always been about family and community. When everyone arrived here today, they came as individual members of two separate and distinct families. Yet after your vows… those words that you will speak, they have in them the power to fundamentally change the nature of the relationship between all the people whom you love most in this world. After you share your first kiss, and everyone joins together to follow you out into the dinner, and the dancing, and the rest of this celebration… from that moment on, these sides go away, and in a very real and true sense, everyone here belongs to one another and to one family. Such is the power of your love, to form and shape the world around you.

There is something very important about publicly making your promises to one another, in front of everyone here, who have a lifetime of emotional investment in the two of you and in your happiness. Marriage is a promise to all the people who love you, that the person they love will always be well cared for.”

Rabbi: “Together Lyn and Rick are best friends and they support and encourage each other every day. They have fun no matter what they are doing… whether they are listening to music, trying new restaurants, spending time with family and friends, or just relaxing at home….‬As long as they are together they are happy and content.‬

Every marriage ceremony is unique, and today, not only are two special people being joined together, but two cultures, as well.
Today, Lyn and Rick come together to appreciate the Catholic and Jewish traditions; to learn the best of what each has to offer, while appreciating their differences, and confirming that love, which is spoken of in all religions, is our true home, our true meeting place. It is their promise to be open, honest, loyal and devoted to one another, to be faithful friends, companions, life partners, and to comfort one another through life’s sorrows and joys. Honoring each other’s individual needs, cherishing and loving one another for a lifetime is a joyous responsibility. This responsibility speaks of faith, the faith you have in one another, in the support and friendship of those who love you. Lyn and Rick share generous and caring spirits, common goals and values, a love of family and a mutual love of their life and an excitement to begin this new chapter of their lives!

In Yiddish there is an expression: Beshert, which means, “it is meant to be”. Lyn and Rick are each other’s beshert. They are a perfectly right fit for each other. They are meant to be. Better together than they are apart!”

Unity Candle

Minister: “For centuries fire has symbolized life, spirit, strength, initiation, and rites of passage. Baal Shem Tove wrote;

כל אדם עוטה אור הבוקע ועולה השמיימה, וכשנפגשות שתי נשמות אשר זו לזו נועדו מתלכד אורן לאלומה אחת וקרן אור גדולה שבעתיים מבהיקה מהוויתן האחת.

Minister: ‘When two souls destined for each other, find one another, their streams of light flow together and a single brighter light goes forth from the united being.’ By the joining of two candles into one, this symbolizes the strength and the unity of two joining together to become one, depicting Lyn and Rick’s belief that together they can become greater than each could be alone. The Unity Candle that Lyn and Rick will light together stands as a bright and beautiful symbol of their commitment to the spirit of their union and the joining of their lives and families as one.”

Music begins
Bride and Groom step behind the altar and light their taper
They then take their taper in hand and light the center candle
Bride and Groom place the tapers back in their holders,
And return to the front of the table

Blessing of the Rings

Minister: “Will the Best Man and Maid of Honor please hold out the rings entrusted to you by Lyn and Rick?

Best Man and Maid of Honor hold out the wedding bands in the palm of their hands as Rabbi Sara holds her hands over them for the blessing

Let your hands beneath serve as a symbol of how Lyn and Rick and their marriage are supported upon this earth by the love of their family and friends as blessed from above.

Lord God, guardian of all that is seen and unseen, Bless these rings and this couple who shall wear them. Keep them safe through adversity forever supported by your eternal blessing”

Marriage Vows

Minister: “Rick, do you take Lyn
To be your lawfully wedded wife,
To have and to hold from this day forward,
For better or for worse, For richer or for poorer,
In sickness and in health, To love and to cherish
Until death do you part?”

Rick: “I do.”

Rabbi: “There is no greater statement of devotion in Judaism than ’Ani L.dodi V’ Dodi Li’ – ’I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine.’ With no less declaration Lyn and Rick will now declare their devotion to one another. Rick, will you now place the ring on your beloved’s finger and repeat after me?”

Rick places the ring half way on to Lyn’s finger

“I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine.
Ani L.dodi V’ Dodi Li”

Rick places the ring the rest of the way on to Lyn’s finger

Minister: “Lyn, do you take Rick
To be your lawfully wedded husband,
To have and to hold from this day forward,
For better or for worse, For richer or for poorer,
In sickness and in health, To love and to cherish
Until death do you part?”

Lyn: “I do.”

Rabbi: “Will you now place the ring on your beloved’s finger and repeat after me?”

Lyn places the ring half way onto Rick’s finger

“I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine.
Ani L.dodi V’ Dodi Li”

(an option you can choose)
“I Lyn take you Rick to be my husband.
I will love you, and honor you,
respect and cherish you
For all the days of my life.”

Lyn places the ring the rest of the way onto Rick’s finger

Minister: “It is said that ‘Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. So in faith, hope, and love, abide these three; but remember that the greatest of these is love.’ May God bless you and keep you in this wisdom for all the days of your lives.”

Sheva Brachot or Seven Blessings

Rabbi: “The Seven Blessings are a key part of a traditional Jewish wedding ceremony. The blessings are adapted from ancient rabbinic teachings, beginning with the blessing over the wine and ending with a communal expression of joy.

1. ברוך אתה ה’ אלהינו מלך העולם, בורא פרי הגפן .
“Blessed is the ruler of the Universe, Creator of the fruit of the vine.”

2. ברוך אתה ה’ אלהינו מלך העולם, שהכל ברא לכבודו.
“Blessed is the glory of all creation.”

3. ברוך אתה ה’ אלהינו מלך העולם, יוצר האדם.
“Blessed is the creation of the Human Being.”

4. ברוך אתה ה’ אלהינו מלך העולם, אשר יצר את האדם בצלמו, בצלם דמות תבניתו, והתקין לו ממנו בניין עדי עד. ברוך אתה ה’, יוצר האדם.
“Blessed is the design of the Human Being, united in heart and the search for love.”

5. שוש תשיש ותגל עקרה, בקיבוץ בניה לתוכה בשמחה. ברוך אתה ה’, משמח ציון בבניה
“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.”

6. שמח תשמח רעים האהובים, כשמחך יצירך בגן עדן מקדם. ברוך אתה ה’, משמח חתן וכלה.
“Let these loving companions rejoice. May their joy be as paradise on earth.”

7. ברוך אתה ה’ אלהינו מלך העולם, אשר ברא ששון ושמחה, חתן וכלה, גילה רינה, דיצה וחדווה, אהבה ואחווה, ושלום ורעות, מהרה ה’ אלקינו ישמע בערי יהודה ובחוצות ירושלים, קול ששון וקול שמחה, קול חתן וקול כלה, קול מצהלות חתנים מחופתם, ונערים ממשתה נגינתם. ברוך אתה ה’, משמח חתן עם הכלה.
“Blessed is the creation of joy and celebration, Bride and Groom, delight and cheer, love and solidarity, peace and companionship. Blessed and praised is this love and this marriage.”

ברוך אתה ה’ אלוהינו מלך העולם בורא פרי הגפן

Couple drinks 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, its bitterness sweetened, and all things blessed by true compassion and love.”

Breaking of the Glass Explanation

Rabbi: ““Lyn and Rick have chosen to honor the tradition of breaking of the glass. It is a time-honored tradition in the Jewish Faith. There are many symbolic meaning to this ritual, but 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 Mazal Tov!, when the glass is broken.”

Priestly Blessing and Pronouncement

Rabbi: יְבָרֶכְךָ יהוה וְיִשְׁמְרֶךָ:

Minister: “May the Lord bless you and guide you.”

Rabbi: יָאֵר יהוה פָּנָיו אֵלֶיךָ וִיחֻנֶּךָּ

Minister: “May the Lord shine his face upon you and be gracious to you.”

Rabbi: יִשָּׂא יהוה פָּנָיו אֵלֶיךָ
וְיָשֵׂם לְךָ שָׁלוֹם:

Minister: “May the Lord lift up his face to you and give to you peace.”

Rabbi: “Rick and Lyn, you have promised each other the joy of all your days, and it gives us great honor and pleasure to now pronounce you husband and wife!”

Groom steps on glass breaking it., everyone claps,

“Mazal Tov!”

Minister: “You may kiss your beautiful Bride!”

Bride and Groom kiss and exit!