Mark and Elena’s wedding was a Ecumenical Jewish-Christian wedding.
Bride and groom: Elena and Mark
Officiants: Father Andres and Chazan Danny
Event Venue: Batres Castle
Date: April 2022
A beautiful and emotional ceremony with elements of both religions.
To prepare this Ecumenical Jewish–Christian wedding we had several meetings throughout the previous months.
The bride and groom, the catholic priest and myself participated in these meetings.
First, we always look for ways to integrate the traditions of both families.
At the same time, we respected both beliefs so that everyone could enjoy the Judeo-Christian wedding without any discomfort.
The wedding ceremony
The ceremony included the main Jewish traditions, such as the reading and signing of the ketubah, the 7 blessings and the breaking of the glass.
Also included in this wedding were Catholic traditions such as the reading of the Gospels, Psalms and the giving of the arras.
Planning the wedding was a very enriching and rewarding experience.
We wanted faith to be a part of the ceremony and we also wanted to make sure it represented and was welcoming and inclusive to the family and friends invited.
Although I have nearly 40 years of experience officiating Jewish prayers, rituals and ceremonies; and over 10 years celebrating mixed, interfaith, egalitarian and ecumenical weddings; I understand that each couple is unique.
Therefore, I prepare each wedding according to the requests, wishes and illusions of the bride and groom.
The ceremony is the first real opportunity to reflect how the religion will be in the newly formed family.
What is important is that the new household, with respect to religion, is formed with understanding, respect, love and flexibility.
As each couple is unique, the ceremony should be personal and genuine.
In the middle of the ceremony, a councilman read the articles of the civil code and thus this marriage was made official.
Additionally, the entire ceremony was celebrated under a beautiful chuppah.
The chuppah, also written as Chupa or huppah, is a nuptial canopy, fundamental in the Jewish wedding ceremony, which has an opening on all 4 sides.
Basically, a traditional chuppah consists of a square cloth made of silk, wool, velvet or cotton, supported by four poles.
The poles are placed on the ground or can also be held by friends of the bride and groom. Many times the couple decides to decorate the poles with flowers, personalizing it to their liking.
Certainly, the chuppah symbolizes the couple’s new home. The ancient rabbis compared the chuppah to Abraham’s tent.
Abraham was famous, not only for his kindness, spirituality and wisdom, but also for his hospitality. His tent had entrances on all four sides so that travelers coming from any direction would have a door to enter.
According to the Midrash, Abraham’s house was open for all people, for those who were on their way and for those who were returning to their homes. Every day people came to his house to eat and drink.
Abraham welcomed them all. He gave food to the hungry and drink to the thirsty. He gave clothing to the needy. Once the traveler regained his energy and strength, Abraham would ask him for a blessing before sending him away. The stranger would ask, “What shall I say?” and Abraham would reply, “Praise the Lord, the Eternal God.”
Castle of Batres
The ceremony was held outdoors at the Batres Castle in Batres, Madrid.
The Batres Castle is a unique and singular setting to celebrate events.
Just to say that the great poet Garcilaso de la Vega, Lord of Batres, composed some of his best verses here, would be all that can be said about the charm of this setting.
In addition, this Renaissance castle, declared a Historic-Artistic Site in 1970, is located in an enchanting natural setting.
The Sotillo stream runs through its domains and empties its waters into the Guadarrama River.
Its gardens are a forest of Mediterranean and continental species where the sense of time is lost, its quadrangular plant, crowned by a splendid Tower of Honor, takes us to another era.
Batres is a legendary castle, a unique environment at the height of its history.
In addition, it is surrounded by olive trees that produce a unique olive oil and where you can hear the concert of birds.
In Batres Castle everything seems to stop.
To officiate a Judeo-Christian ecumenical wedding is a precious experience because it allows us to put love above all else.
I hope that sharing how we unite two faiths in an interfaith ceremony will help anyone else who wants to have a similar wedding.
If you would like information on how you can have the ceremony of your dreams, contact me.
I will be happy to talk with you.