Two Religions, One Wedding Ceremony

SCENARIO

We received this as a question from a young bride-to-be. She and her fiancé are from two different religious backgrounds. Neither of their families want a blended religious ceremony, yet this young couple is paying for their own wedding and cannot afford two ceremonies. They would like to make this a happy occasion for both their families and wonder how they can do it.

What would you do in this situation? We’d love to hear your comments.

CONSIDER THIS

JILL:
Perhaps the parents are worried that a blended ceremony will disrespect the meaning and traditions of their faiths. Possibly by outlining for them how the two religions would be represented, this could change their minds. In today’s world interfaith ceremonies are done in a very respectful and tasteful manner. Do some research and speak to planner who specializes in these types of marriages. With the details on paper the bride, groom and both sets of parents should come together to discuss this style of ceremony.

If that doesn’t work look at having a civil, non-denominational or spiritual marriage. No one can afford two ceremonies and one of those choices may be the only way to keep both families happy. Write your own vows. Keep everything simple but meaningful. Taking religion out of a service no longer means that the event has to be cold or impersonal. Another option is a destination wedding and not necessarily to another country. It could be held in another state or province or a pretty little town that is only a few hours away. Afterwards the reception could be a blend of both family’s traditions and backgrounds.

It is important to remember that the very essence of a marriage is the joining of two people who love one another. If however the couple is feeling somewhat incomplete they can meet with religious person who has guided them each through the years and ask for their blessing on the union.

VICKI:
My first thought is what does the couple wish to do? I certainly understand that family pressure can be a huge issue and that we all wish to please the ones we love. However there comes a time where, no matter how challenging, everyone needs to put their family’s values behind them and live by their own value system.

If the couple wish to make the situation work all around then…in order to make this economical the only suggestion I have is to have the ceremony take place in a hall, etc. and literally have one religious ceremony after the other; without an official pronouncing this couple married until after the second ceremony.

Should Religion Be A Factor In Friendship?

QUESTION

My best friend doesn’t have a religion. I have one, the same I’ve had since I was a kid. I worry about her constantly. I’ve brought her to church with me but she just doesn’t want a religion. Is it wrong to have a friend who doesn’t have a religion?

ANSWER

VICKI:
This is one of those questions that no one can answer for you because the answer depends upon what you believe in your heart and soul. I would love to tell you that there is nothing wrong with having friends from all religious and spiritual practices, including those without a religion, however, that answer would be based on my belief system.

My suggestion is that you talk to the person or people who give the sermons at your church to learn how your particular religion sees this topic. Should the answers you receive not feel right to you please take the time to go within yourself and ask some questions to discover how you feel, because not even your religious leaders can tell you what feels right for you. If you meditate then meditate on the following questions.

Keep in mind while asking these questions that your faith is meant to help you feel good about yourself and all life around you:

1. Is there only one correct path to God or my Higher Power?
2. Does God love all his or her children equally?
3. Do I feel good with what my religion teaches about others with different spiritual beliefs or who have no particular religious practices?
4. Is it my place to judge others on their belief system?
5. What action can I take that would make my soul sing with joy?
6. What would love do now?

One last personal comment is that we must remember that when we hold the attitude that our way of doing something is the only right way this is how conflicts begin.

JILL:
I am going to come out and say, quite honestly, that at this point in my life I don’t have a religion. I am a person who is searching for answers to my religious and spiritual questions. I still consider myself a good person with ethics and integrity. What I’m trying to say to you is that even though your friend doesn’t have a religion that doesn’t necessarily make them unworthy of your friendship.

You have had your religion since you were a child and since you are practicing the same religion, I assume, that you are one of those fortunate people who have found peace & strength from it. The friendship in question, seems to bring you to a point of conflict founded in those religious beliefs. Have you been able to articulate what the foundation of this turmoil is? If you cannot find the answer I would recommend that you turn to a religious leader for guidance.

While life has given you what may feel like a dilemma; there is the possibility that the answer may change some of your world views. Consider that there may also be a middle area of compromise that will allow you both a resolution and a friendship.