The timeless urge for human beings to perform ritual is a necessary part of demonstrating and proclaiming your union to family and friends. Spirituality is another way of declaring our faith not only in God, The Divine, Nature (or whatever term you wish to give to the Ultimate Being or Force offering meaning to our existence) but also your devotion to one another.
Faith plays an important role within a marriage/blessing ceremony. You are committing to one another because you wish to express your faith in the other person, in your relationship and future journey through life together. Hopefully this kind of faith is held mutually, otherwise you wouldn’t feel the need to take the most important decision of your lives and proclaim it to the world by marrying your partner.
Surrounding your faith in one another exists the kind of faith that reflects who we are and how we interact with the world. Spiritual belief and Religious faith are questions which sometimes leave couples feeling baffled and unduly stressed. There seem to be more questions than solutions when it comes to honouring and integrating belief within the body of your joint ceremony. These beliefs may be shared to some extent but you may disagree on certain points or even entirely. However you may wish these beliefs to be represented in order to reflect the inner parts of yourselves but also to say that these differences can be overcome and combined to create a beautiful and meaningful marriage.
Through the rhythm and meaning of a personally constructed ceremony it is also possible to involve and appease both families. In fact many of the mixed faith blessing ceremonies we have performed have been some of our most touching and profound experiences.
The beauty of such a ceremony is the way in which it is able to transcend boundaries, cut through prejudice and demonstrate that ultimately the many belief systems known to man are simply different branches of the same tree. On a personal level this is fulfilling for the Celebrant, who feels the joining together of different cultures and spiritual ideals to be an important goal for mankind as a whole. It is one of the main reasons why we both decided to pursue the vocation of Celebrancy in the first place.
There are many pressures surrounding the representation of faith within a ceremony but fortunately blessings are not bound by strict religious constraint. It is quite possible to incorporate different elements of one another’s belief or indeed non belief systems and achieve a beautiful and meaningful service.
There are many readings and poems by writers throughout the centuries which are suitably spiritual in tone if you prefer allusions to the Divine without classifying It in terms of a religious text. There is of course wisdom and beauty within all systems of faith whether it be found in Abrahamic Religions which encompass the teachings of Judaism, Christianity and Islam or Indian Religions including Hinduism, Sikhism or Buddhism. There are of course many other religions within these categories and beyond. It is a joy for us to highlight the poignancy of words which will punctuate a ceremony with wisdom. After all a marriage ceremony is the declaration of a wise choice in terms of a partner whom you will cherish throughout your life, sharing a special bond and the rest of your lives… all of this is a question of faith.
© 2004 Giuseppe Rossi