Wedding Customs & Traditions Forum

Incorporating Jewish Tradition in a Catholic Ceremony?

I was raised and am still Roman Catholic, I'm getting married in my grandparent's church in Jersey, it's a Polish Parish and the ceremony will be performed by the priest who baptized me; all things that are really important to me and my family. 

My fiancé on the other hand is agnostic, raised in a mixed faith household, father's side being Catholic and his mother's side being Jewish.  I know his mom's side would really appreciate my incorporating some of their beliefs into our wedding.

I was wondering if anyone had any ideas or experiences in incorporating some Jewish traditions or practices into a ceremony?  It is a traditional church meaning I can't bring in a Chuppah or anything, and he hasn't been bar mitzvahed so having a rabbi would be complete overkill, if anything it would mostly be for his family.

Would it be too much and should just let the thought go, or what do you guys think?
Wedding Countdown Ticker image

Re: Incorporating Jewish Tradition in a Catholic Ceremony?

  • NYCMercedesNYCMercedes BOS, NYC, DC. Forever a city girl member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Talk to your priest, being a Bible scholar. He should be able to find plenty in the Old Testament, which is the area we Christains and Jews share. Talk also to your FMIL, as she may have favorite passages or traditions. Present this to the Jewish Board, to the left under Cultural Boards.
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    Having a rabbi doesn't require your FI to have had a bar mitzvah, so I don't see where your idea that "having a rabbi would be complete overkill" is coming from.

    Some rabbis won't do interfaith weddings, though-especially Orthodox and some Conservative ones.
  • The reason a rabbi would be overkill is because it would be for his family and not for him, I'm also pretty sure my church wouldn't be okay with it (could be wrong though). Thanks for the info Mercedes, I'll try posting there and see what they have to say! :)
    Wedding Countdown Ticker image
  • My BIL (Jewish) stepped on a glass at his wedding (Catholic wife, Catholic wedding).  You could see if your officiant would be ok with that.  I think you should talk to your FI about what he wants to incorporate.  

    Also, I don't know if the family would really appreciate seeing Jewish traditions incorporated.  For me, if it's a Catholic wedding, it's a Catholic wedding.  A random shout out to Judaism is fine if you and your FI want it, but it doesn't feel inclusive or anything like that.

  • Ditto the OT reading - It's a book both religions share. Is there anything that you could do at the reception? As PPs have stated, Catholic ceremonies are pretty strictly guided.

    Does he want to include some Jewish references? I know it's for his family, but is it for HIM?
     Daisypath Anniversary tickers
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_customs-traditions_incorporating-jewish-tradition-in-a-catholic-ceremony?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:36Discussion:8d0c9fc2-e7c4-4eb9-9f2a-dea0cf8d4b4ePost:e18b9b41-f58f-4051-8cc7-f40238236e27">Re: Incorporating Jewish Tradition in a Catholic Ceremony?</a>:
    [QUOTE]Ditto the OT reading - It's a book both religions share. <strong>Is there anything that you could do at the reception? </strong>As PPs have stated, Catholic ceremonies are pretty strictly guided. Does he want to include some Jewish references? I know it's for his family, but is it for HIM?
    Posted by sydaries[/QUOTE]

    <div>You could do the hora at the reception.  I would definitely ask him about this first and talk to his family before you decide on doing it, though.  </div>

  • The breaking of the glass is a great start.  If you want to incorporate more, you can ask a rabbi to bless your wedding, there is an engagement prayer that I've seen performed and it's very nice.  The final way to incorporate both sides is to personalize your prayers for intentions.  You can add in family members that have passed on both sides.  Are you having music sung prior to the wedding, the 15 minutes before everything?  That music doesn't have to be Catholic, so you could have a song sung in hebrew, especially if his mother has a favorite song.  I definitely think the breaking of the glass at the end would be an awesome touch.
  • itzMSitzMS member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers First Anniversary
    edited February 2013
    Just a different spin here, but instead of incorporating your FMIL's religious traditions, could you ask to borrow a piece of her jewelry or carry a handkerchief (or whatever) of hers with your bouquet?

    I'm sure she'd be honored to be part of your "something old" or "something borrowed".

    ETA: As a Catholic, I don't think the breaking of the glass/shouting of Mazel Tov would be appropriate. Maybe they could do this at the reception? The OP really needs to ask her priest.
  • itzMS I'm Catholic, not sure why the breaking of the glass would be an issue.  There are various interpretations as to the meaning of it.  
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_customs-traditions_incorporating-jewish-tradition-in-a-catholic-ceremony?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:36Discussion:8d0c9fc2-e7c4-4eb9-9f2a-dea0cf8d4b4ePost:d3f7b3dc-8ea0-411b-85c6-373da5af1ae8">Re: Incorporating Jewish Tradition in a Catholic Ceremony?</a>:
    [QUOTE]Just a different spin here, but instead of incorporating your FMIL's religious traditions, could you ask to borrow a piece of her jewelry or carry a handkerchief (or whatever) of hers with your bouquet? I'm sure she'd be honored to be part of your "something old" or "something borrowed". ETA: <strong>As a Catholic, I don't think the breaking of the glass/shouting of Mazel Tov would be appropriate. Maybe they could do this at the reception? The OP really needs to ask her priest.</strong>
    Posted by itzMS[/QUOTE]

    <div>Yes, I suggested that she talk to her officiant about it.  Just a note, no one thought to shout "mazel tov" after the glass breaking at the Catholic wedding I attended that did this.  I would think it was weird to incorporate Jewish wedding ceremony traditions at the reception, though.  </div>

  • daria24daria24 member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary First Answer
    edited February 2013
    Jewish weddings usually have the parents of the groom escort him up the aisle, as well as the bride escorted by both of her parents. As long as your priest is OK with that, I think that would be a good nod to your FI's family. 

    If you are having a prayer/blessing before your reception meal, you could ask someone (or multiple people) to say the 7 Blessings, it doesn't have to be a rabbi. 

    If you want to wear a blusher, you could do the traditional veiling before your ceremony. 
    image
  • Honestly, as someone who is Jewish, I think I would feel a little uncomfortable with this.  I feel like it's one thing to have a truly interfaith wedding that incorporates two cultures but to throw in a tradition that has signifigance for me but none for you into your religious ceremony in a church would make me cringe a bit.  Same as I wouldn't throw in a Catholic tradition into my Jewish wedding even though FMIL's family is Catholic.  We wouldn't be honoring it in the proper way.  I do like the idea of including something in the reception though.  And I could be the minority here.  If FMIL's family is all for it then go for it.
    IMG_1428
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_customs-traditions_incorporating-jewish-tradition-in-a-catholic-ceremony?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:36Discussion:8d0c9fc2-e7c4-4eb9-9f2a-dea0cf8d4b4ePost:1483e3f8-1ca6-4ee6-a8e2-9a6eb2f01a23">Re: Incorporating Jewish Tradition in a Catholic Ceremony?</a>:
    [QUOTE]Jewish weddings usually have the parents of the groom escort him up the aisle, as well as the bride escorted by both of her parents. As long as your priest is OK with that, I think that would be a good nod to your FI's family.  If you are having a prayer/blessing before your reception meal, you could ask someone (or multiple people) to say the 7 Blessings, it doesn't have to be a rabbi.  If you want to wear a blusher, you could do the traditional veiling before your ceremony. 
    Posted by daria24[/QUOTE]
    This is actually often considered a viable option for a Catholic wedding, as well.  In fact, the most traditional entry for a Catholic wedding is the bride and groom entering together.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker

    One thing to remember: The wedding is just one day. The marriage is all the rest of them.

    April 2012 Siggy Challenge: Cake Inspiration
    Image and video hosting by TinyPic
  • I think an Old Testament reading would be just perfect. My fiancée is very involved in the wedding plans and although he is indifferent in terms of religion he is very devout to his family and making them feel comfortable is beyond important for us to have at our wedding, which is why I even asked. Daria I adore the idea of having his parents walking him down the aisle as well as having both of my parents walk me, this is a necessity anyway my father has Parkinson's and is very uncomfortable with the idea of having to walk me without the comfort of my mother being there. Thanks all.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker image
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_customs-traditions_incorporating-jewish-tradition-in-a-catholic-ceremony?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:36Discussion:8d0c9fc2-e7c4-4eb9-9f2a-dea0cf8d4b4ePost:2d2e7b05-ee60-4f6a-8f6f-952c4ee93b01">Incorporating Jewish Tradition in a Catholic Ceremony?</a>:
    [QUOTE]I was raised and am still Roman Catholic, I'm getting married in my grandparent's church in Jersey, it's a Polish Parish and the ceremony will be performed by the priest who baptized me; all things that are really important to me and my family.  My fiancé on the other hand is agnostic, raised in a mixed faith household, father's side being Catholic and his mother's side being Jewish.  <strong>I know his mom's side would really appreciate my incorporating some of their beliefs into our wedding.</strong> I was wondering if anyone had any ideas or experiences in incorporating some Jewish traditions or practices into a ceremony?  It is a traditional church meaning I can't bring in a Chuppah or anything, and he hasn't been bar mitzvahed so having a rabbi would be complete overkill, if anything it would mostly be for his family. Would it be too much and should just let the thought go, or what do you guys think?
    Posted by Danthedoor[/QUOTE]
    Does <em>he </em>care about incorporating Jewish traditions? If he doesn't care, then skip it. Otherwise, why don't you ask him what he wants to do? Or ask his mother. She might not feel at all appeased having some traditions thrown in there, instead of having the whole thing. She might not view it as a nice gesture like you hope. I have no idea what her mindset is, though.

    And, of course, ask your priest at the church what their limits are.

    You might want to keep it simple, like asking his mother to do a reading from the OT and having the hora later on at the reception. 
    image
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_customs-traditions_incorporating-jewish-tradition-in-a-catholic-ceremony?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:36Discussion:8d0c9fc2-e7c4-4eb9-9f2a-dea0cf8d4b4ePost:149eef6d-0151-4cfa-ba76-0e60cf82825d">Re: Incorporating Jewish Tradition in a Catholic Ceremony?</a>:
    [QUOTE]Honestly, as someone who is Jewish, I think I would feel a little uncomfortable with this.  I feel like it's one thing to have a truly interfaith wedding that incorporates two cultures but to throw in a tradition that has signifigance for me but none for you into your religious ceremony in a church would make me cringe a bit.  Same as I wouldn't throw in a Catholic tradition into my Jewish wedding even though FMIL's family is Catholic.  We wouldn't be honoring it in the proper way.  I do like the idea of including something in the reception though.  And I could be the minority here.  If FMIL's family is all for it then go for it.
    Posted by abbygettingmarried[/QUOTE]

    I have to ditto this.

    If your fiance is Jewish, and cares about his Jewish background, then by all means, try to integrate his faith into the Catholic ceremony as much as possible and make it interfaith.

    But putting in Jewish traditions just to appease mom?  We always tell brides on here that not only is the ceremony for you and not your parents, but that incorporating little religious traditions into a ceremony this is NOT that religion can actually be more offensive than not doing anything at all. 

    Of course the ceremony will have an OT reading, so ask mom if she has any favorites or even wants to do the reading.  But don't just artificially insert Jewish traditions if it has no relevance to FI.

    SaveSave
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_customs-traditions_incorporating-jewish-tradition-in-a-catholic-ceremony?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:36Discussion:8d0c9fc2-e7c4-4eb9-9f2a-dea0cf8d4b4ePost:02a7a14d-41c6-4263-a694-6bb9c4c25878">Re: Incorporating Jewish Tradition in a Catholic Ceremony?</a>:
    [QUOTE]<strong>The reason a rabbi would be overkill is because it would be for his family and not for him,</strong> I'm also pretty sure my church wouldn't be okay with it (could be wrong though). Thanks for the info Mercedes, I'll try posting there and see what they have to say! :)
    Posted by Danthedoor[/QUOTE]

    Don't do it, but don't call it "overkill" either.  That's offensive to people who are Jewish and/or do want a rabbi there to preside over Jewish elements in their wedding ceremonies.


  • Most Catholic churches are very strict about what you can and can't do. Ditto PPs that maybe you can incorporate his family traditions in the reception (if fiance wants to)
This discussion has been closed.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards