Jewish Wedding Ceremony
The Chuppa (Wedding Canopy) is held by friends and relatives of the couple. This represents the community that will help the bride and groom establish a home. The Chuppa is a symbol of the home to be built and shared by the couple. It is open on all sides to welcome friends and relatives in unconditional hospitality.
Hakafot (Circling) In an update of an ancient custom, the Bride will circle the Groom three times upon arriving at the Chuppa. Circling is a symbolic means of protection and also of creating the space that we will share. In true egalitarian fashion, the Groom will then circle the Bride three times. Then they will make one circle together.
Let us pray:
"Blessed be you who come in the name of the Lord: we bless you out of the house of the Lord. Give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good: for his loving kindness endures forever."
"He who is mighty, blessed and great above all beings, may he bless the bridegroom and the bride."
Friends, family, loved ones, we are gathered here today to witness the Union of GROOM and BRIDE in the bond of Holy Matrimony. True marriage is more than joining two persons in the bonds of matrimony. In its right relation, it's the uniting of two souls already attuned to each other. When such a true bond already exists between a man and a woman, it is fitting that an outer acknowledgment be made. This acknowledgment is the prime objective of this gathering and this ceremony. We are here to bear witness to the entry into the closer relationship of husband and wife of these beloved friends who are already one in spirit.
IV. First Cup: The Betrothal Blessings
Throughout time, the sharing of food and drink has joined people together with love and trust. GROOM and BRIDE have chosen to symbolize their trust and love for each other by partaking from One Cup.
"Blessed art thou, O Lord our God, King of the universe, who createst the fruit of the vine. Blessed art thou, O Lord our God, King of the universe, who hast sanctified us by thy commandments. Blessed are thou, O Lord, who sanctifiest thy people by the rite of the canopy and the sacred covenant of wedlock."
“Drink you each from the same as a reminder that from this time on you share the same cup of life, whatever it may bring.”
(The Rev. motions the two people to be handfasted to join him before the altar.)
(Couple faces the altar.)
Rev: Do you, GROOM, take BRIDE, whose hand you now hold, choosing her alone to be your lawfully wedded wife? Will you love her always with kindness, understanding and respect?
Groom : Yes
Rev: Do you, BRIDE, take GROOM, whose hand you now hold, choosing him alone to be your lawfully wedded husband? Will you love him always with kindness, understanding and respect?
(Couple turns to face each other)
GROOM, repeat after me:
I, GROOM, take you, BRIDE, to be my wife, secure in the knowledge, that you will be my friend, my faithful partner in life, and my one true love. I promise to love you, to laugh and cry with you, to grow with you in mind and spirit, and to cherish you always.
BRIDE, repeat after me:
I, BRIDE, take you, GROOM, to be my husband, secure in the knowledge, that you will be my friend, my faithful partner in life, and my one true love. I promise to love you, to laugh and cry with you, to grow with you in mind and spirit, and to cherish you always.
Here before these witnesses GROOM and BRIDE have sworn vows to each other. With this cord I bind them to the vows they each have made.
(Wraps cord loosely around couple's arms)
However, this binding is not tied, so that neither is restricted by the other, and the binding is only enforced by both their wills.
May I have the rings?
The wedding ring is the outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual bond, which unites two loyal hearts in endless love. The wedding ring is the most significant ring a person can wear in this day and time. Above all, the wedding ring denotes purity, loyalty, and spiritual grace. It is made of the purest metal to speak of the purity of the marriage and is made in a circle to note the never-ending commitment you are about to enter. "
"Haray aht m'kudeshet li b'taba'at zo k'dat Moshe v'Yisrael."
Translated, the phrase means, "By this ring, you are consecrated
to me, in accordance with the laws of Moses and
(Place ring on Bride's finger)
BRIDE, repeat after me :
Here I offer you this ring as a symbol of all that we share and all that we are together. Please accept this ring as a symbol of my constant faith and abiding love and devotion.
By this ring, you are consecrated to me, in accordance with the laws of the Lord."
(Place ring on Groom's finger)
The minister will now read aloud the Ketubah
"On the First day of the week, the 1th day of the month of Month in the year five thousand, seven hundred and sixty seven since the creation of the world, the era according to which we are accustomed to reckon here in the city of City. Now Adam, son of Jacob said to this maiden Rachel: 'Be thou my wife according to the law of Moses and of Israel, and I will work for thee, honour, support and maintain thee in accordance with the custom of Jewish husbands who work for their wives, honour, support and maintain them in truth. And I herewith make for thee the settlement of virgins, two hundred silver zuzim, which belongs to thee, according to the law of Moses and Israel; and I will also give thee thy food, clothing and necessaries, and live with thee as husband and wife according to universal custom'".
"And Rachel this maiden consented and became his wife. The wedding outfit that she brought to him from her father's house, in silver, gold, valuables, wearing apparel, house furniture, and bedclothes all this Adam the said bridegroom accepted in the sum of one hundred silver pieces and Adam the bridegroom consented to increase this amount from his own property with the sum of one hundred silver pieces, making in all two hundred silver pieces. And thus said Adam the bridegroom: "The responsibility of this marriage contract, of this wedding outfit, and of this additional sum, I take upon myself and my heirs after me, so that they shall be paid from the best part of my property and possession that I have beneath the whole heaven, that which I now possess or may hereafter acquire. All my property, real and personal, even the mantle on my shoulders, shall be mortgaged to secure the payment of this marriage contract, of the wedding outfit, and of the addition made thereto, during my lifetime and after my death, from the present day and forever." Adam the bridegroom, has taken upon himself the responsibility of this marriage contract, of the wedding outfit and the addition made thereto, according to the restrictive usages of all marriage contracts and the additions thereto made for the daughters of Israel, in accordance with the institution of our sages of blessed memory. It is not to be regarded as a mere form of our promise with mental reservation, or as a mere form of a document. We have followed the legal formality of symbolical delivery (kinyan) between Adam the son of Jacob the bridegroom, and Rachel the daughter of Rebecca this maiden, and we have used an article legally suitable as an instrument whereby all herein is duly and properly confirmed."
art thou, O Lord our God, King of the universe, who createst
the fruit of the vine."
"Blessed art thou, O Lord our God, King of the universe, who hast created all things to thy glory."
"Blessed art thou, O Lord our God, King of the universe, creator of man."
"Blessed art thou, O Lord our God, King of the universe, who hast made man in thine image, after thy likeness, and hast prepared for him, out of his very self, a helpmate forever. Blessed art thou, O Lord, creator of man."
"May she who was barren, be exceedingly glad and exult, when her children are gathered within her in joy. Blessed art thou, O Lord, who makest
"O make these loved companions greatly to rejoice even as of old thou didst gladden thy creature in the garden of Eden. Blessed art thou, O Lord, who makest bridegroom and bride to rejoice."
"Blessed art thou, O Lord our God, King of the universe, who hast created joy and gladness, bridegroom and bride, mirth and exultation, pleasure and delight, love and brotherhood, peace and fellowship. Soon may there be heard in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem, the voice of joy and gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the jubilant voice of bridegrooms from their canopies, and of youths from their feasts of song. Blessed art thou, O Lord, who makest the bridegroom to rejoice with the bride."
(GROOM breaks glass wrapped in cloth)
All Present : “Mazel Tov”
These two lives are now joined in one unbroken circle. Wherever they go, may they always return to one another in their togetherness. May these two find in each other, the love for which all men and women long. May they grow in understanding and in compassion. May their home be such a place of sanctuary that all will find there a friend.
In the name of God
and the State of
I now present to you Mr. and Mrs. ____________.