Planning a Religious Ceremony

Many religions have rules and traditions surrounding the wedding ceremony. Below is a list of major religions and some of their customs. Your Officiant will be able to provide you with a much more specific list, but this is a good start if you are unacquainted with the wedding practices of your faith.
Protestant Weddings

* Often portrayed in movies, the Protestant wedding is the most familiar ceremony to Americans.
* Most denominations allow a couple to get married outside of their place of worship.
* After the processional, the service begins with a greeting and call to worship by the minister. Readings, a short sermon, the exchange of vows and the lighting of a unity candle follow this. The ceremony concludes with a prayer of Thanksgiving, the benediction and finally, the recessional.

Roman Catholic Weddings

* A wedding ceremony is one of the seven sacraments in the Catholic faith.
* Before getting married, the couple must attend marriage counseling, called “pre-cana programs”.
* The Bride and Groom get married at her parish.
* The ceremony must include the nuptial blessing, prayers and at least three readings.
* As the vows are being exchanged, the entire congregation stands.
* Mass is often included in the ceremony.

Jewish Weddings

* Wedding cannot be held on the Sabbath day or on major holidays.
* The couple is allowed to have their wedding ceremony outside of the synagogue, but the ceremony must take place under a Chuppah. This symbolizes a husband bringing his wife into their home.
* The highlight of the ceremony is the exchange of rings. Other memorable elements are the blessing of the wine, the reading of the Ketubah and the breaking of the glass.

Muslim Weddings

* The ceremony is the signing of the wedding contract. It lasts only for about five minutes.
* The public celebration can last for days afterwards.
* The celebration begins with a Walima, which is a feast where chicken, fish and rice are served.
* Toward the end of the festivities, the bride is often lifted like royalty and “displayed” for the crowd to see. Afterwards, she is given to the groom and the public celebration is considered over.

Buddhist Weddings

* Ceremonies are usually designed by the couple and are quite simple.
* An O jujo, a 21-bead strand, is used to offer prayers and incense to Buddha.