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to want a religious wedding?

(126 Posts)
flaquark Sun 29-Sep-13 11:13:35

I had always promised DP that if I ever got pregnant we would get married - so we are getting married.
He is letting me decide all the bits and things. I came to the decision that I wanted to get married in a Jewish ceremony.
We are both jewish but both raised secular and dont believe in a God. But do and did all the other bits.
DP doesnt mind either way so there we go.

I have had more than a couple of comments from people that we shouldnt be doing this, that it is distrispectful things like that.

And it has me doubting and thinking that people will think we are just doing it for a 'pretty' wedding day.

Because I think it's relevant - I'm adopted and dont look 'jewish' (being black with white parents does that) (technically means I'm a convert) so I think I tend to wear my Jewness on my sleeve a bit.


roweeena Sun 29-Sep-13 13:19:37

If you don't 'believe it' don't get married in a religious ceremony - simples

hackmum Sun 29-Sep-13 14:20:27

There are lots of people who have a cultural attachment to religion, even if they don't believe. Belonging to a church or synagogue roots you in a particular community. There are loads of people who are ethnically Jewish who, while being non-believers, still love observing the different holy days because it gives them a sense of belonging to a longstanding tradition.

I imagine the rabbi would be happy with the OP's decision, on the basis that, if she still clings to the old rituals, she may still come back to the faith in the end.

Kemmo Sun 29-Sep-13 14:24:49

If you don't believe in god then there will be parts of any religious ceremony she you will effecting be lying.
IMO this would undermine the marriage related promises.

And yes I think it is offensive to people who do truly believe.
I come from a very religious family and there is no way I could have got married in church without trivialising and insulting their beliefs.

cantreachmytoes Sun 29-Sep-13 14:30:07

OP - do you truly not believe in the existence of God, or do you really mean that you're non-practicing, which would imply a faith, but not a very strong one?

LaFataTurchina Sun 29-Sep-13 14:33:00

I believe (Catholic) but I'm not in the least bit offended. I can understand the wanting to keep hold of your culture even if you don't believe in God.

I am planning to the whole shabang of big church wedding, baptising future children, then sending them to catholic schools - but it's probably only about 25% to do with religious conviction, and the other 75% with wanting to stay a part of my culture (Italian living in England) and making my future children have a similar childhood to mine (advent services etc.)

HopeS01 Sun 29-Sep-13 14:41:36

I am a Christian, and I won't marry in a church unless my husband is a Christian too.
Nor will I attend Christenings of atheists' children!!! angry

Why would you, like everyone has asked, want a religious ceremony when you are not religious!? Just because its "pretty"?! hmm

nonmifairidere Sun 29-Sep-13 14:41:38

Lafata - my x is Italian and seems to manage to keep in touch with his native culture without the assistance of the Catholic Church.

LaurieFairyCake Sun 29-Sep-13 14:51:22


I'm a Christian and don't believe that God gives a shiny shit about where you get married. Can't even imagine God being 'offended', that's just fuckwitted.

A cultural reason is a fine reason to choose your Shul/church - at some point you may 'believe' again or more than now.

I don't want to preach but God loves you whether you know him now or not - and his followers built that building for you to use as part of the community.

HopeS01 Sun 29-Sep-13 15:00:20

Laurie, it's not about where it's about the promises you make, and whether you mean them or are reciting a script you don't even believe!

LaurieFairyCake Sun 29-Sep-13 15:05:08

Not for me

I don't believe in everything I say in church
- afterlife, getting to reside with Jesus in heaven for example - that was in the church marriage service.

The essence of what they will say, they will likely believe - loving each other, bringing up the children in the Jewish faith, serving their community etc

LaurieFairyCake Sun 29-Sep-13 15:08:35

Also, they're culturally Jewish - it's much less common to be culturally Christian

Apologies if I'm describing the Jewish faith not brilliantly but my friends who are culturally Jewish have Judaism in their life day to day - in the food, the celebrations , the concept of community or family

It's much more integrated into the fabric of every day life in a way that nominal Christianity is not.

HopeS01 Sun 29-Sep-13 15:09:35

You're a Christian and you don't believe that Jesus is your Saviour and you will spend eternity with him?
Oh my... hmm

Anyway, I don't want to hijack this thread talking about the difference between Christians and "Christians".

LaurieFairyCake Sun 29-Sep-13 15:12:19

I do believe you can't read or interpret

I said I didn't believe in an afterlife or in heaven - that's pretty common amongst liberal Christians I know

MrsTerryPratchett Sun 29-Sep-13 15:15:17

A know a couple of atheist Jewish people. I think there is a lot of emphasis on maintaining Jewish culture which is very important in a way that maintaining Christian culture isn't. Talk to your Rabbi. If s\he is happy, and you are happy, sod the haterz grin

HopeS01 Sun 29-Sep-13 15:23:31

I can do both.
I do believe you haven't read or interpreted the Bible.

LaurieFairyCake Sun 29-Sep-13 15:28:43

I'm not a bible literalist

It's fine if you are, Christianity is a broad church.

LaurieFairyCake Sun 29-Sep-13 15:29:12

How about you show me the same courtesy.

LookingThroughTheFog Sun 29-Sep-13 15:29:51

^ I think it is offensive to people who do truly believe.^

I'm another truly believer, and I'm not offended.

To be honest, I think that it's wrong to turn away anyone who wants to stand before God in any capacity.

geekgal Sun 29-Sep-13 17:20:04

Jewish atheism is a thing, you know (speaking as one...):

I say go for it, it's great to have a wedding that acknowledges your roots!

Chunderella Sun 29-Sep-13 18:52:15

Yanbu. Unfortunately, as this thread shows, there are a lot of people who can't and/or won't understand why a non-believer might want to have a ceremony for cultural reasons, or because they find meaning and importance in continuing the rituals of their family and ancestors. Some of them will insist on sharing it with you.

SamG76 Sun 29-Sep-13 19:05:23

As always when religion is being talked about, 75% of what is being said on the thread is b******s. Being a bride at a Jewish wedding is not a speaking part, and the groom doesn't say much. Vows and the like are therefore irrelevant. There is a contract that is signed by the witnesses (not even the partners) in which the groom agrees to make certain financial provision for the bride during the marriage and in the case of divorce.

It follows that no Jewish person could possibly be offended by atheists getting married under the auspices of a rabbi - quite the opposite. And similarly, the rabbi, as long as he recognises both parties as Jewish and capable of marriage, has no power to tell the parties that he won't marry them.

Good luck to the OP! Mazeltov!

WestieMamma Sun 29-Sep-13 20:36:15

I think how you marry is about your culture. it is your culture to get married in a trad jewish ceremony so do so rather than specific beliefs.

^^ this.

It's the same reasoning behind my baby being baptised. My culture (Irish Catholic) involves babies being baptised. My belief is in adult baptism.

sonlypuppyfat Sun 29-Sep-13 20:46:21

Who would you say your vows too? Would they mean anything

LouiseAderyn Sun 29-Sep-13 21:02:21

I am an atheist who got married in a church. I honestly believe that if god did exist he/she would have no problem with me wanting a pretty location for my wedding. What people think of it is of no consequence to me.

I dont feel like a hypocrite, because I was making my vows to my dh, not to god.

If it is important to you from a cultural perspective, then that is what matters, not the judgement of other people.

Besides, church weddings tend to keep the parents and grandparents happy!

SamG76 Sun 29-Sep-13 21:09:57

Sonlypuppyfat - there are no vows at a Jewish wedding. Problem solved!

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