“How do you feel about using the word ‘God’ in your ceremony of marriage?”

I had successfully avoided the question–buried in the 10-page survey that our officiant had us fill out–for a full week.

The answer was so obvious and at the same time so unclear, that I couldn’t bring myself to address it. P and I want a spiritually minded ceremony for our June wedding–for us love is inherently linked to something higher. But we’re also connected to our families: mine non-practicing Italian Catholic/Jewish and his non-practicing, but big-talking Irish Catholic. In choosing the person to marry us, we wondered (read: worried) if it would be possible to create a ceremony that would embrace a spiritual sensibility cultivated through yoga, meditation, and devotional practice without alienating mostly agnostic family members.

P suggested a light-hearted Catholic priest. I nixed him as too mono-religious. I suggested a friend who teaches meditation and practices South American shamanism. His vote: “Too out there.” After weeks of searching for a person who falls somewhere between rabbi and Buddhist nun (I’ve always dreamed of being married by Pema Chödrön), one morning I suggested we have a judge marry us. “I refuse to be married by anyone who also sends people to jail,” he said without looking up from his cereal.

Then we found Norma. An ordained wedding officiant and a reverend, she’s also a spiritual counselor, a mother of kids our age, and just plain cool. On her card she promises to design “creative, personalized ceremonies that reflect the essence of the love you are celebrating,” and she’s even better in person. Funny and sassy, she’s willing to help us strike a balance between our spiritual lives and the family members who ask, “You still doing that yoga stuff?”

I eventually answered the question: Yes, I’m comfortable with the word “God.” Even if rest of the family might not be.

–- Guest blogger Marisa Lowenstein

More from Beliefnet and our partners
Close Ad