Modern Jewish Ceremony Sample
This ceremony courtesy of Miriam McCarty, OCP, Parker, Colorado Officiant's Note: "This is what I call Jewish "Light". Religious but not too heavy. No bedeken or circling. There is room for a chupah and ketubah but they can be taken out for an interfaith couple. Anything can be added, deleted or changed."
Blessed are you who have come here in the name of God. Serve God with joy; come into God’s presence with song. We rejoice that (bride’s name) and (groom’s name) join in marriage in the presence of God and loved ones. O glorious and blessed God, grant your blessings to these two people that love each other.
Surrounded by loved ones whose joy and prayers are with you here (if there is a chupa insert "you stand at this chupa, symbol of the home"). May your home be a shelter against the storm, a haven of peace, a stronghold of faith and love.
Let us all join in our prayer of gratitude.
We praise You God, Ruler of the universe, who has given us life, sustained us and brought us to this joyous time.
Baruch Ata Adonai Eloheinu Melech ha’olam, shehecheyanu, v’kiyemanu, v’higi’anu lazeman hazeh.
(if the couple chooses Judaism as their mutual faith insert here "Because you chose Judaism as your faith and chose it for your home, we stand under this chupa to celebrate your marriage and we drink from the Kiddush Cup to sanctify this marriage.")
We praise You God, Ruler of the universe, creator of the fruit of the vine.
(bride and groom drink)
May the joys of your life together be as plentiful and sweet as the fruits of the vine. Though even in this day of joy, we must remember those who are not as fortunate as you are. At this time we pour out a few drops of wine in hopes that one day all people will be allowed to pledge their love as you do today.
We praise You God, Ruler of the universe, who hallows us with your blessings and consecrates this marriage. We praise You God, who sanctifies us through the sacred rite of marriage at the chupa.
And now I ask you, in the presence of God and this assembly:
Do you (groom’s name) take (bride’s name) to be your wife, to love, to honor and to cherish?
Do you (bride’s name) take (groom’s name) to be your husband, to love, to honor and to cherish?
(groom’s name) and (bride’s name), speak the words and exchange the rings that make you husband and wife.
(groom’s name), as you place the ring on the finger of the one you love, recite the words that formally unite you in marriage.
Be consecrated to me with this ring as my wife: in keeping with the heritage of our faith: and the laws of Moses and Israel.
(bride’s name), as you place the ring on the finger of the one you love, recite the words that formally unite you in marriage.
Be consecrated to me with this ring as my husband: in keeping with the heritage of our faith: and the laws of Moses and Israel.
(Raise wine cup for the 7 blessings)
(the translation is the traditional one – modern translations due exist; one follows this service)
Baruch ata Adonai elohainu melech ha’olam, sh’hakol bara lichvodo.
You are blessed, Lord our God, the sovereign of the world, who created everything for His glory.
Baruch ata Adonai elohainu melech ha’olam, yotzer ha’adam.
You are blessed, Lord our God, the sovereign of the world, the creator of man.
Baruch ata Adonai elohainu melech ha’olam, asher yatzar et ha’Adam b’tzalmo, b’tzelem d’Mut tavnito, v’hitkin lo mimenu binyan adei ad. Baruch ata Adonai yotzer ha’adam.
You are blessed, Lord our God, the sovereign of the world, who created man in His image, in the pattern of His own likeness, and provided for the perpetuation of His kind. You are blessed, Lord, the creator of man.
Sos tasis v’tagel ha’akarah, b’kibutz bane’ha l’tocha b’simcha. Baruch ata Adonai, m’same’ach tzion b’vaneha.
Let the barren city be jubilantly happy and joyful at her joyous reunion with her children. You are blessed, Lord, who makes Zion rejoice with her children.
Same’ach t’samach re’im ha’a’huvim, k’samechacha y’tzircha b’gan E’den miKedem. Baruch ata Adonai, m’same’ach chatan v’kala.
Let the loving couple be very happy, just as You made Your creation happy in the garden of Eden, so long ago. You are blessed, Lord, who makes the bridegroom and the bride happy.
Baruch ata Adonai elohainu melech ha’olam, asher bara sasson v’simcha, chatan v’kalah, gila rina, ditza v’chedva, ahava v’achava, v’shalom v’re’ut. M’hera Adonai elohainu yishma b’arai y’huda uvchutzot Y’rushalayim, kol sasson v’kol simcha, kol chatan v’kol kala, kol mitzhalot chatanim m’chupatam, unarim mimishte n’ginatam. Baruch ata Adonai m’same’ach chatan im hakala.
You are blessed, Lord our God, the sovereign of the world who created joy and celebration, bridegroom and bride, rejoicing, jubilation, pleasure and delight, love and brotherhood, peace and friendship. May there soon be heard, Lord our God, in the cities of Judea and in the streets of Jerusalem, the sound of joy and the sound of celebration, the voice of a bridegroom and the voice of a bride, the happy shouting of bridegrooms from their weddings and of young men from their feasts of song. You are blessed, Lord, who makes the bridegroom and the bride rejoice together.
7. Baruch ata Adonai elohainu melach ha’olam, borei pri hagafen.
You are blessed, Lord our God, the sovereign of the world, creator of the fruit of the vine.
(Bride and groom sip)
As you have shared the wine from a single cup, so may you, under God’s guidance, share contentment, peace and fulfillment from the cup of life. May you find life’s joys heightened, its bitterness sweetened, and each of its moments hallowed by true companionship and love.
(if there is a Ketubah show it, explain it and read it)
In the presence of these witnesses and in keeping with our tradition, you have spoken the words and performed the rites that unite your lives.
(get glass ready)
Y’varech’cha Adonai v’yish’m’recha. Ya’eir Adonai panav eliecha vi’y’chuneka. Yisa Adonai panav eilecha v’yasem l’cha shalom.
May God bless you and keep you. May God’s presence shine upon you and be gracious to you. May God’s presence be with you and give you shalom; peace.
There are several meanings of breaking a glass at a Jewish wedding. The one given most is that it symbolizes the destruction of the Temple and the diaspora, the scattering of the Jewish people all over the globe. Another explanation is the irrevocability of broken glass. The glass shatters into many pieces, the action cannot be taken back. Just as the vows you have spoken to each other today can not be taken back. It is irrevocable, permanent.
(count to 3)
*** a "modern" translation of the sheva brachot
Blessed are You, God, Light of life, who created everything for Your glory.
Blessed are You, God, Spirit of all things, who has created the human being.
Blessed are You, God, Foundation of every life, who fashioned humanity in Your likeness and prepared for us a shape and form in Your image, from one generation to the next and for all eternity. Blessed are You, God, who has created human beings.
Israel will surely celebrate and exult in the coming together of her children. Blessed are You, God, who brings joy to Israel through her children.
Give pleasure to these beloved companions as You did to Your creation in the Garden of Eden so long ago. Blessed are You, God, who makes the hearts of this couple rejoice.
Blessed are You, God, Source of the universe, who has created each of these two people, their delight and their happiness, their rejoicing and singing, dancing and festivity, love and friendship, peace and pleasure. O God may the voices of this celebration be heard in the streets of our cities and the hills of our countryside. May the words of this couple go out with gladness from their wedding chuppah, and may the music of their friends and guests surround them. Blessed are you, God, who brings joy to the hearts of this couple.
Blessed are You, God, Source of the world, who creates the fruit of the vine.