What Does Interfaith Mean?
God is one,
names are many.
Religion is one,
but its ways are many.
Spirituality is one,
But religions are many.
Humanity is one,
but human beings are many.
spiritual paths originate from
and lead to
The same place
|"First of all we want to thank you for everything you did to make our wedding just perfect. We had so many wonderful comments on the wedding including the ceremony which so many thought was so beautiful. You certainly had a large part in making our day special.
Again, thank you so much for everything you did for us. It was great planning the wedding with you, having you preside at the ceremony and just having you there. You’re very special to us."
- Warren and Barbara
Interfaith is not a religion. It walks among the religions. Interfaith begins when a bridge is created between one set of beliefs and traditions and another. We start by listening to one another, and to the humanity in all of us. Interfaith emphasizes the universal principles and spiritual compassion taught by all schools of divinity and ethics. Each religion is an instrument for the divine, and together the world's religions form a glorious symphony. Interfaith is the acceptance and celebration of humankind in all its magnificent faiths, colors, cultures, and traditions. It is the acknowledgment that there is but one light that burns brightly through each faith and within each heart. In its essence, this light is love. Interfaith does not take sides. “We are made for complementarity,” says South African Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu. “I have gifts you do not; and you have gifts that I do not.”
Congratulations on your upcoming marriage! What a life-affirming choice that is, one that must fill you with hope and excitement. Now that the big decision has been made, your attention has naturally turned to planning your wedding, which includes the ceremony.
A ceremony involves not only your beliefs but those of both your families. It has to do not only with religion but also with cultural and personal elements of significance to you.
An interfaith ceremony completely reflects you as a couple—your love, your relationship, your beliefs and values. It is a collaborative creation celebrating the traditions and beliefs of two people in a universal context, a ceremony that emphasizes spirituality over religion.
An interfaith ceremony does not imply uniformity. It is intended to retain your personal beliefs and philosophies and reach out to the beliefs and philosophies of another. In doing so, we expand. We become richer inside. We hear the essence within each of us, the essence that supports and sustains us all.
As an interfaith minister, David has had the privilege to officiate at wedding ceremonies for couples coming from an amazing variety of backgrounds. Interacting with people of so many cultures, colors, and creeds has enriched him. These couples have been an inspiration. It is sacred walking with these couples during the preparation and celebration of their weddings.
An interfaith marriage represents one of the universal best hopes of moving toward a place where people of all religions, creeds, and colors live side by side, hand in hand, honoring and celebrating both their uniqueness and their commonality. No “us versus them.” Or “me versus you.” When David stands before an interfaith couple and looks out at the families and guests of the celebrating couple, he sometimes feels: This is where it starts. This is our hope for peace.
Questions arise for the engaged couple regarding their ceremony.
Engaged couples ask themselves questions, for I have heard them many times.
You may have some of the same:
- How do we have a wedding that is a reflection of us, our love and our relationship?
- How do we remain true to ourselves and still make our families happy?
- How can we create a ceremony that merges our religious, spiritual, cultural,and personal beliefs?
- Can we do this without offending anyone?
- What issues are likely to arise?
- How do we talk to and work with our parents?
- Which rituals do we include?
- Who will officiate at our ceremony?
- Where will it take place?
- What will it look like?
- What will people think?
- Has this been done before?
There is a Jewish Legend that says: 40 days before a child is born, his or her spouse is selected in heaven. When these two souls are created, an angel cries out: This man is made for that woman, that woman for this man. Should these two souls meet on earth and recognize one another for who they really are, they will fall in love. From that moment on, they shall become as one and no hardship can alter the strength of their enduring love.”
A Chinese legend holds that two people are connected at their births by an invisible thread; the thread shrinks over the years until the two are brought together in marriage.
Know that in connecting with yourself and connecting with another you create a sense of spirituality that will unite you to yourselves, and to that sense of something larger than yourself. Your union supersedes all the questions and concerns. And attention will be given to them.