Q: I am currently preparing a couple for marriage. The bride is a lifelong Catholic and comes from a very strong Catholic family. The groom is Jewish. They are wanting to know what, if anything, from his tradition could be incorporated in the rite of marriage. Perhaps there is something that could be done before or after the Catholic ceremony? Is is possible for them to be dispensed from the canonical form and have their marriage in a synagogue? Any help and guidance would be much appreciated.
Thank you for your time.
A: Yes, either solution is possible. Some Jewish elements could be incorporated into the Catholic wedding, or the bride may apply for a dispensation from canonical form to allow the wedding to take place in a synagogue.
If the former, I’d ask what from the Jewish ceremony would be meaningful. Then I’d figure out how best to include it.
Nonetheless, they might be very pleased with the Catholic ceremony as outlined in Chapter III of the Order of Celebrating Matrimony. It bends over backward not to offend non-christians who are in the room. At the ring ceremony, for example, the couple do not have to mention the names of the Trinity. I’ve written a detailed commentary on the OCM if you want an even nerdier response.
God bless you for working with them.