Thursday, October 14, 2010


Last weekend, I performed a wedding ceremony of a colleague. The couple grew up with families that had different religious expressions. One grew up in a catholic home, while they other is a part of a Jewish family.

In order to honor both traditions, I included elements of a traditional Christian wedding as well as some of the blessings that are often said at a traditional Jewish wedding. These blessings are call the seven blessings and are said in Hebrew. Since many of the people at the wedding didn't speak Hebrew, I also said them in English.

The people that spoke Hebrew, to include grandma that traveled here from Israel, were more than pleased to have these blessings included. And said in Hebrew no less.

Truth be told, I only gave three of the seven and included another that is not traditionally said at weddings, but that I thought was appropriate and would enhance the ceremony. It was not the whole traditional ceremony, it was a gesture to honor that tradition and to honor the new family. The blessings also pointed out God as the creator of the universe and the one that brings us joy.

While this worked well for the ceremony and I am glad that I was a part of it and was able to include these blessings, it made me think about gestures like these. Not the type we do at weddings and other ceremonies, but the gestures we make in our lives.

For instance, we like to take the time to pray before our meals together as a family. This is an important gesture for us to acknowledge that God provides for us. But, if the rest of our lives do not reflect a belief that God is real and that he does care for us, then this gesture is hollow.

I guess the thing to do is to continue to make these gestures, but live a life that makes them real.

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