Category Archives: interfaith wedding

A Greek Orthodox – Jewish Wedding Ceremony


The mother of a groom contacted me over a year ago from outside of Baltimore.  She was Greek Orthodox, and was experiencing considerable trouble
 finding a Greek Orthodox officiant to work with a Rabbi.  The bride’s family was Jewish and open to having both faiths represented.  The groom’s mother, having read my blog from a few years back about combining these two faiths into one ceremony, believed I would be the right officiant for the couple.

So, we started the “get-to-know-you” process.  The bride and her sister took a bus into NY in the dead of winter and we began to draft the service. Then, this spring, I traveled down by train to Baltimore to sit down with the families. We had many telephone conversations, all the while developing a warm and close relationship. 

Mothers of the bride and the groom

The Greek woman, a religious person, sent me links to Greek Orthodox wedding customs;  I read 50 pages of texts and, thanks to her, learned a great deal about their customs.  I was amazed to see the similarities to Judaism: in circling, wine drinking and treating the bride and groom as king and queen for the day.

I drove down to the wedding this Memorial Day weekend and felt like I had known these people for a long time.  The best man, or “kumbaro”  in Greek, did the exchange of crowns for the couple.  The crowns are joined by a ribbon which symbolizes the unity of the couple as royalty for the day.

I recited the Kiddish Scheckyanu and Seven Wedding Blessings and we said the benediction in both Hebrew and Greek.  It felt like a seamless ceremony and as the groom broke the glass the audience yelled Mazel Tov and Syncharintiria,  the Greek equivalent.  How wonderful to be able to be present in this moment in time for two special families who will be my friends going forward!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Down on the Farm with an Interfaith Wedding

 Feb 11 2015 blog 3

A Boston-based couple called me to officiate their interfaith wedding. They decided to take over a ten-acre farm and hold the ceremony and reception in a restored barn. The cottages on the acres had been remodeled and were exquisite as was the main farm house. The barn was huge and beautifully beamed.

I happen to have a brother who lives near Boston so in visiting him I met with the couple twice in their loft apartment. Then they came down to New York to visit relatives, so we had opportunities to establish a good relationship. They were both tech managers: brilliant, hard working and on an intensive traveling schedule. They had been together for a number of years and their ease together was apparent. They were tremendous foodies as well and I loved hearing about their latest culinary adventures.

Feb 11 2015 blog 2The farm was close to Lenox Massachusetts, which is a beautiful village in the Berkshires. I came up the night before the ceremony and met both families at a local bar.  Everyone was so friendly and welcoming. We had written the service to include a reading by the bride’s aunt from Mark Twain on marriage. The groom’s uncle did a John Lennon reading of the song Love.

After the ceremony there was an 8-piece band rocking the night away. I danced and celebrated with them and the barn atmosphere made it feel “down home” and comfortable. They had it catered and of course, the Bar B Q, Mac and Cheese and salads were to die for. Their food expertise showed.

Feb 11 2015 blog 1It was one of the most warm and loving weddings. Walking the beautiful grounds, having the ceremony in a rustic elegant farm and eating and drinking first class made it all very special. The couple’s infectious warmth and friendship made it most memorable indeed.