Your Interfaith Wedding
Interfaith wedding officiant, Rev. Laurie Sue Brockway, talks about marrying couples of all faiths and backgrounds.
Interfaith marriages are becoming more common worldwide. But unlike marriages between couples who hold the same religious or cultural beliefs, interfaith marriages have some unique challenges. Unsurprisingly, these often emerge as couples kickstart their wedding planning. We spoke with leading interfaith wedding officiant and author the Rev. Laurie Sue Brockway about interfaith couples and her recently published book, Your Interfaith Wedding: A Guide to Blending Faiths, Cultures, and Personal Values into One Beautiful Wedding Ceremony. Below, she talks about how interfaith couples can overcome these challenges through thoughtful planning and teamwork.
Q: What exactly is an interfaith marriage?
A: People tend to think of “interfaith” as Jewish and Christian but it is actually an umbrella term for many diverse pairings. The combinations are unlimited. When any two people of differing faith or cultural backgrounds decide to marry it is considered interfaith. On one end of the spectrum is a Catholic marrying a Lutheran – both are Christians but technically of different faiths. Or it could be a union between a Hindu from Trinidad and an African-American Jehovah’s Witness. In that scenario there is a blending of both religions and cultures. The most recent Pew study tells us that about 37 percent of all marriages are interfaith.
Q: Is there a common thread between these couples?
A: The common denominator boils down to a four-letter word: LOVE. They love each another, therefore, they are willing to rise up against the odds, or ignore them, and build a life together.
Q: You have officiated many interfaith weddings. Looking back on your extensive career, what have been some of the most surprising lessons you’ve learned?
A: It has been a great delight to discover that a “wedding chapel” can be created anywhere—on a beach, in a park or hotel, or even in a castle. The love between the couple creates an energy that radiates and it is very holy. Another delightful lesson: Families tend to get very stressed and demanding when it comes to planning a wedding but they settle down by the wedding day—after the ceremony.
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