“An Interfaith Wedding Minister can become one of the closest connections for an individual or couple to begin opening up to the possibilities of finding a path to spiritual healing – rediscovery or reconnecting to their spiritual roots.”
When I began Vows & Kisses, wedding ministers and more, I had no idea how profound a simple wedding officiant business would become. Quickly I learned how many of my clients were starved to heal religious wounding, and yearned for connection – a re-connection – with God. When I “got this” I fell to my knees in gratitude and humility as I realized the importance of this work – serving people in weddings became a path to help them rediscover a deep spiritual connection with authentic self and their relationship in/of/with the Divine. Blessed Be!
Planning a wedding is a huge undertaking for most. Many things are stirred up that the couple had no idea they would be facing, together. Having the support of an Interfaith Minister can become a very intimate relationship where truth is not censored and the work of tending to a marriage, begins. Often, folks that have the help of a dedicated, professional interfaith minister begin contemplating questions about their spirituality. It may begin within the complimentary consultation discussing details of the ceremony, the personal meaning of marriage or to consider readings and poems they might want to include: religious or not.
Often this leads to discussion about their faith, lack of faith or a desire to “someday, find a church”, one they can both relate to. Or, there may be a desire to develop a personal spiritual practice. Often, one of the two has never had any exposure to spirituality and would like to. Or, one of the two is hoping the other will so that when they have children they agree on a spiritual foundation to raise them upon. It is important as an Interfaith Minister to know how to help couples that are truly interfaith, perhaps a Christian/Jewish, Buddhist/Catholic, Agnostic/Muslim, navigate this – to truly respect both paths.
Many ministers and people I know have expressed to me (judged) how superficial and expensive weddings are. It became apparent to me that weddings are not superficial, (ok, for some folks it is all about the dress or reception – that’s annoying), AND, ceremony preparation is a valuable opportunity for couples to discover their communication skills (or lack of), how they will manage financial budgets (or not), and try to make decisions – together. This may be the first time they have had to work with “in-laws” that may feel like “out-laws”, or fear the first kiss in front of everyone – guests that have never witnessed a same gender union.
An Interfaith Wedding Minister can become one of the closest connections for an individual or couple to begin opening up to the possibilities of finding a path to spiritual healing, rediscovery or reconnecting to their spiritual roots. With Spiritual Life Coaching sessions these things can be explored. It is also becoming more common for folks to want to create their own spiritual practice by blending different faith traditions. This emerging trend is called “interspiritual”; a wonderful way to create authentic expression and communion with the Divine. And often, a couple re-contacts me for Spiritual Life Coaching sessions when they hit their first serious bump in the marriage.
There are many wonderful books for folks to read about marriage and relationship. I also find that so many couples are too busy to read (or exhausted). Having a relationship with an Interfaith Minister is a means of obtaining life coaching, spiritual coaching and to have a “family minister” that is there for a baby-blessings and/or celebration of life ceremonies.
One day, a wedding couple that also continued with Life Coaching Sessions sent me a text; “our sweet bunny has passed. Would you do a service for us?. “Absolutely” I responded (I still haven’t learned all the acronyms “kids” use on text). When I arrived to their home and they retrieved the little box from the freezer, we sat in a circle where we lit candles, offered readings and prayers and then buried their dear friend. From the initial consultation to the ceremony conclusion I treated it with the full respect and details of a wedding ceremony. We had a consultation, the ceremony and rituals were written out and the couple had their keepsake copy for endearing memories.
They continued with Spiritual Life Coaching sessions, have returned to their original, family church. During our sessions we discuss some of the things they still “wrestle with” as they embrace some of the traditions of the church and reject others that no longer serve them.
It is my hope that wedding couples take the time to research, interview and engage with a dedicated Interfaith Officiant as it may lead them to a Divine Path – navigating this thing called life and deepening a Spiritual connection with Divine. And I hope to encourage ministers to see the beauty and possibilities that evolve from weddings.