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Traditional Rite of Marriage Ceremonies
Across our Nations, Religions, and Cultures



Marriage is one of the seven sacraments in the Catholic Church and is therefore considered to be a lifelong commitment. Prenuptial counseling is recommended because of the importance given to marriage. Required also ire a baptismal, a confirmation and the first Holy Communion certificate. If either the bride or groom-to-be have been married previously the individual must go through the annulment process in order for a second marriage to be permitted in the Catholic Church.

There are three traditional marriage rites in the Catholic Church:

  • Rite of Marriage during Mass - both parties are Catholic
  • Rite of Marriage outside Mass - Catholic marrying another Christian
  • Rite of Marriage - Catholic marrying a person who is not a Christian


As the practices and traditions vary between denominations they should be discussed with the clergy of the church you select.


Jewish tradition holds that marriage is a sanctification of life. There are some variations among Orthodox, Conservative, and Reformed denominations, however the three main parts are as follows:

  • The wedding contract or Ketubbah
  • The Ring
  • The huppah, a canopy symbolizing the bridal chamber an unity of the couple

It is traditional to fast during the wedding day until the reception. Most Rabbis will not perform an interfaith ceremony -- the non-Jewish person should be converted.


Each of three Buddhist denominations has its own method of officiating ceremonies:

  • Zen - stresses mediation
  • Jodo Shinshuu - ceremony similar to the Protestant ceremony
  • Nishi-ren
  • In the traditional ceremony after the bridal party enters and is settled, the Three Treasures and Nembutsum are recited. Then the Minister chants Sutra and Three Treasures prior to reading the wedding text. Following the vows and exchange of rings the Minister recites the Buddhist "ojuzu" bride and groom. Then incense is offered by the bride and groom.


A Muslim woman is forbidden to marry a non-Muslim man, however a Muslim man may marry a non-Muslim woman. The bride and groom make a statement of intention and promise to follow the terms of the marital agreement. The bride pledges obedience and faithfulness to the groom, and the groom pledges faithfulness and helpfulness to the bride. Following this the officiant offers a final prayer.


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