While nothing beats the excitement of new love and the prospect of a lifelong commitment to your soul mate, there comes a point where we realize that marriage also poses a lot of challenges. This is especially true for interfaith couples, who have different religious traditions that may clash with one another or traditionally bar them from a union altogether. While modernity with its attitudinal changes and increased religious tolerance has lifted many of the restrictions posed on interfaith marriages, this is not to say that such commitments are completely without hardship. If you're lost and looking for advice on how to get through the planning process, this guide is a good place to start.
Answering Important Questions
There are important questions that any couple should ask themselves before committing to marriage. From having children to where to live and dealing with money , people have set views on substantial issues that often need to be discussed and compromised upon before they decide to take the proverbial plunge. But with an interfaith couple, these issues may become a bit more complicated.
- Children . If you decide you want children in the future, how will you deal with their religious upbringing? Some religions require a child to be baptised and raised within that faith. How will you and your spouse compromise on these basic religious principles?
- Holidays . How will you celebrate your religious holidays? Will you celebrate individually, collectively or not at all? Will your children participate in these celebrations?
- Death . Different religions have different traditions for dealing with death. If a member of your family passes away, both sides of the extended family will probably attend the funeral. How will they react to seeing different religious practices at work? Will they be offended?
- Extended Family. How will your families react toward one another during celebrations like birthdays? Will you need to have separate visits with each side of the family to keep the peace?
- Tolerance. Will your spouse-to-be allow you to practice your faith freely and comfortably? Will your different religions be sources of conflict or tension in your relationship?
Avenues for Help
If you're having a tough time deciding what practices should be included in your wedding ceremony, try these helpful aids:
- Consult with clergy. No one is more experienced in your faith than your priest, your rabbi or other authority figures at your place of worship. Ask for spiritual guidance and suggestions on how to make your ceremony acceptable within the confines of your particular religion.
- Interfaith marriage books . Like any important project, it doesn't hurt to do some research on your marriage. There are many books out there that address with the typical issues couples of differing faiths face when entering into a marriage.
- Experienced Wedding Planners. Seek out a wedding planner who has experience with interfaith marriages. He or she may have great suggestions on secular ceremony practices or ways to uniquely combine various religious traditions.
Some other things you may have to consider when planning your wedding: