BEFORE THE CEREMONY
HAVE WINE AND TWO WINE GLASSES AVAILABLE
SIGN KETUBAH WITH TWO WITNESSES
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CELL PHONES
THE BRIDE STANDS TO THE RIGHT OF THE GROOM, FACING THE RABBI’S LEFT. PARENTS STANDING NEAR CHUPPAH OR GIVEN OPTION TO BE SEATED.
RABBI and XXX AND CHUPPAH HOLDERS ALREADY IN FRONT
GROOMSMEN AND BRIDESMAIDS
SOMEONE TO PULL THE RUNNER?
PLEASE RISE FOR THE BRIDE
GIVING AWAY THE BRIDE
Who gives this woman to be married to this man?
“I do”, or “her mother and I do”.
STEP UNDER CHUPPAH
Barucha Ha ba-ah! Welcome and blessed be the Bride!
Baruch Ha-ba! Welcome and blessed be the Groom!
Mee adir al ha-kol, mee baruch al ha-kol, mee gadol al ha-kol, y’varech chatan v’kalah. May He who is supremely mighty, He who is supremely blessed, He who is supremely great, may He bless the groom and the bride.
Optional: Blessed are You O Lord our God, King of the universe, who has sanctified us with Your commandments and commanded us concerning forbidden relations. You have prohibited us from taking those to whom we are merely betrothed, but permitted us to take those to whom we are married through Chuppah, the marriage canopy, and Kiddushin, consecrated marriage. Blessed are You O Lord, who sanctifies Your people Israel through the marriage canopy and consecrated marriage.
Or: Blessed are You O Lord our God, King of the universe, who has sanctified us with Your commandments and commanded us concerning forbidden relations. You have prohibited us from having sexual relations with those to whom we are merely engaged, but permitted us to enjoy sex with those to whom we are legally married. Blessed are You O Lord, who sanctifies Your people through legal and holy marriage.
In ancient days there were two separate ceremonies: the betrothal or engagement ceremony, that was sealed with a cup of wine. Then some time later the nisu-eeyn, the actual marriage ceremony took place, and was also sealed with a cup of wine. Nowadays a Jewish wedding has the engagement and marriage ceremonies combined together, which is why we drink two cups of wine. Among the Jewish people, wine is used as a symbol for joy. By drinking this first cup of wine, we are asking God to bless this engagement and marriage with much happiness.
In ancient days among the Jewish people, there were two separate ceremonies related to marriage: the engagement ceremony, that was sealed with a cup of wine. Then some time later the actual marriage ceremony took place, and was also sealed with a cup of wine. Nowadays a Jewish wedding has the engagement and marriage ceremonies combined together, which is why we drink two cups of wine.
THE FIRST CUP
Blessed are you O Lord our God, King of the universe, Creator of the fruit of the vine. Baruch Ata Adonai Elohaynu Melech HaOlam, Boray p’ree hagafen.
DRINK THE FIRST CUP OF WINE
XXX and YYY, as together you have shared the wine from this cup, so may you, in enduring union and devotion to each other, draw contentment, comfort, and happiness from the cup of life. May you find life’s joy heightened, its bitterness sweetened, and all things hallowed by true companionship and love together in the Lord.
STATEMENT OF FAITH
XXX and YYY want everyone here to know that they are Believers in the Messiah. They believe that Yeshua – Jesus, is the promised Messiah of Israel and the Savior of the world. They are not turning their backs on Judaism or the Jewish people because of their faith in Messiah Yeshua. No, instead quite the opposite, their want their Jewish identity to be strengthened. They see their Judaism fulfilled in light of their faith in Israel’s Messiah. That is why they have asked me, a Messianic rabbi, to perform a Jewish wedding.
XXX and YYY would like everyone to know that they are believers in Yeshua – Jesus. They believe that He is the promised Messiah of Israel and the Savior of the world. They have personally placed their faith in Him, and believe that He has brought them together. They understand Yeshua to be the fulfillment of Judaism, and they intend to build their lives and their family and their home on Jewish tradition and culture.
XXX and YYY would like everyone to know that they are believers in the God of Israel and the Lord Jesus. They believe that He is the promised Messiah of Israel and the Savior of the world. They have personally placed their faith in God and Messiah. They believe that God has brought them together. It is their heart-felt desire that everyone here today come to know and love and serve God – know Him personally, and serve Him with their whole heart.
XXX and YYY want everyone here to know that they both believe that Yeshua – Jesus, is the promised Messiah of Israel and the Savior of the world. They have personally placed their faith in Him, and believe that He has brought them together, and will keep them together. XXX is proud of being Jewish, and believes Messianic Judaism is the kind of Judaism he wants to practice. And YYY wants to encourage XXX in their common Faith, and blend their heritages and cultures together.
YESHUA’S FIRST MIRACLE
Weddings are so special. They are one of the happiest occasions in life. Hopefully, the wedding goes off smoothly, and is beautiful. The reception and party go as planned, and everyone has a wonderful time, and the memories of this joyous day last for a lifetime.
But sometimes there are problems. Not all weddings go smoothly. Sometimes there are problems at the reception. I’d like to tell you a story – but it’s a true story that actually occurred some 2,000 years ago. We know all the details, because it is recorded in the New Testament. It’s the story of a Jewish wedding and a reception that didn’t go so smoothly. But, it had a very happy ending.
The story begins with Yeshua – Jesus, who was a young carpenter-turned rabbi. He had just begun traveling around Israel with His first disciples. At that time there was a wedding in northern Israel, up in the Galilee, in the city of Cana, not too far from Nazareth, where Yeshua grew up. Yeshua and His family were invited to this wedding.
But a problem developed at the reception. The wine ran out. Can you imagine going to a wedding and the wine runs out? What a disaster! What a embarrassment! Miriam – Mary, Yeshua’s mother was there, and told Yeshua that there was no more wine left.
Then something very unusual took place. It just so happened that six large stone water-jars were in the home. Each jar was able to hold some twenty or thirty gallons of water.
Yeshua told the servants to fill these containers with water. The servants did what Yeshua asked, and filled the water-jars up to the brim. That means that there was 120 to 180 gallons of water in the jars. That’s a large amount of water!
After they had filled the jars with water, Yeshua said to the servants, “Withdraw some and take it to the man in charge of the banquet.” The servants did as Yeshua asked, and a miracle took place – the water had turned to wine!
When the man in charge of the banquet tasted the water that had turned into wine, he was delighted! The wine was delicious, and there was so much of it! The banquet and the family’s reputation were saved!
Then the man in charge of the banquet went to the groom, and complimented him, and said to him, “Normally, everyone serves the good wine first, and when the people have had a lot to drink, they serve the cheaper wine, because then they can’t tell the difference; but you have kept the best wine for last.”
John, who was there and was an eyewitness to this event, tells us that this was Yeshua’s first of many miracles, and this caused His disciples to start believing that Yeshua was no ordinary rabbi, but much more – the long awaited Messiah of Israel.
God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, thank You that through Your Spirit You are present with us at this marriage ceremony. May You make known Your glory through this marriage, even as You did at the marriage at Cana in Galilee, when Messiah Yeshua performed His first miracle and turned the water into wine. Bring blessing and joy to this ceremony, the bride and the groom, and to all who are gathered here.
THE FIRST MARRIAGE
There is so much confusion about marriage today. Some don’t even know that marriage must take place between a man and a woman! We don’t need to be confused, because the Owner’s Manuel – the Word of God, gives us the information we need to have a successful and blessed marriage. The very first marriage is recorded in the book of Genesis. It gives us the pattern that we are to follow. Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him…”so the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh at that place. And the Lord God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man. And the man said, “This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘ishah’ – woman, because she was taken out of ‘ish’ – man.” For this cause a man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.
With the creation of Eve, a special work of divine creation took place. Out of the undifferentiated humanity of Adam, male and female emerged. She was not made out of nothing, like the universe was, nor out the dust of the ground, like Adam had been, but out of Adam himself.
Adam woke from his sleep to behold a reflection of himself, a complement to himself, indeed, a very part of himself.
God Himself then brought this special creature to Adam, much as today the father gives the bride away. Adam spontaneously spoke the first love poem, saying that now at last there stood before him a creature of such beauty in herself, and similarity to him, that she appeared to be made for him.
Then we are told the lesson: for this cause a man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.
For a successful and God-blessed marriage, several things must take place:
Both the man and the woman need to leave father and mother, becoming independent from mom and dad. XXX and YYY, you are officially leaving your father and mother, and establishing your own family unit.
And the man must cleave to his wife means that marriage is an exclusive union between two individuals, a loving, cleaving commitment or covenant, which is permanent. XXX and YYY, you need to make and keep your marriage vows and covenant.
And they must become one flesh: means that marriage must be consummated physically, emotionally, spiritually, financially, one in every way. The union of man and woman is more than a union of bodies – it is a blending of personalities, and the blending of a deeper spiritual complementarity. XXX and YYY, you need to become more and more one in each of these areas.
Being married under the Chuppah is symbolic of the bride leaving her father’s house and entering her husband’s house as a married woman. It is also symbolic of God spreading His shelter over them. God is a partner in building this new home with XXX and YYY.
The God of Israel is a God who wants to be with us, and make a home with us. He walked in the Garden of Eden with Adam in Eve in the cool of the day. The history of the Tabernacle and the Temple is the history of God making a home with us in the world. The coming of the Messiah – Yeshua – epitomizes God’s desire to dwell among us, and make His home with us.
XXX and YYY, like God, you are building a house together in this world. Build your house with God and in God. Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it. In the Psalms, Moses declared: Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were born, or You gave birth to the Earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.
XXX and YYY, for a truly successful marriage and home, you need to draw near to God. Worship Him together, read the Bible together, pray together, serve Him together, be part of a good community of those who really know Him. Make God your dwelling place, and your earthly home will be an eternal success.
Especially build your home on the instructions of Messiah Yeshua. Everyone who hears His words and acts on them is like the wise man who built his home on the rock. The rains descended, the floods came, the winds blew, yet the home stood firm.
In this fallen world there will inevitably come rain, flood and winds, maybe even hurricanes, that will try to tear down your new home. Build your marriage on a strong foundation. Build it wisely on the Torah of Messiah, and your home will never fall.
RABBI PAUL’S UNDERSTANDING OF LOVE
Many people today don’t know what love is. Love is not sex. Love is not the same as romantic feelings. Love is the desire to help or do something good for the one you love; to help the one who is loved reach his maximum potential. Let me remind us of the words of Rabbi Paul and what he taught us about true love.
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have and if I deliver my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends; as for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For our knowledge is imperfect and our prophecy is imperfect; but when the perfect comes, the imperfect will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall understand fully, even as I have been fully understood. So faith, hope, love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
CHARGE TO THE BRIDE AND GROOM
God has designed women so that they want to be loved by their husbands. Love is to characterize the husband’s relationship to his wife. Husbands are to care for those amazing and mysterious and beautiful creatures that the Lord has entrusted to their care.
God has designed men so that they want to be respected, especially by their wives. Yielding to the God-ordained authority of the husband and giving him respect is to characterize the woman’s relationship to the husband. YYY, love XXX. Treat him like a king and he will make you the queen of his home. Be a helper that is fit for him. Help him fulfill all the things that God is calling him to be and do. Encourage him, be patient with him, submit to him and respect him.
Husbands are to love their wives with a love that nurtures and improves, helping her be her best, just like Messiah did for us. This same kind of sacrificial love that educates and elevates and helps her reach her potential, and be as beautiful and holy as she can be, is to characterize the way a man loves his wife. XXX, love YYY. Follow the example that Yeshua set for us with His sacrificial love. He redeemed mankind at great cost to Himself. He willingly gave up His life us. Love YYY in the same way as Messiah loves His Community of Salvation. Get close to God and continue to grow spiritually, so she can follow you and your example. If you do you will always have in her a treasure far above rubies and gold.
XXX and YYY, commitment and sacrificial love are the keys to a good marriage. Love one another. Be patient with one another and forgive one another. Seek each others best interests, and not just your own. Commit yourself sacrificially to the good and well-being of your spouse. Commitment will enable you to keep on working for the good of the other even when it becomes inconvenient or difficult at times.
Support and embrace his/her Jewish identity and help pass it on to the children God may give you. Being part of the Chosen and Holy People is a very special honor. Treat it as something very special.
CHARGE TO THE BRIDE AND GROOM
Marriage forms the basis of the family and society. Unfortunately marriage is not held highly by most of our Society. The vows are often taken lightly and broken easily. Without good marriages, our society will ultimately disintegrate. Marriage is also important to the Creator of mankind. He regards marriage as holy, as something very special. As followers of the Messiah, we are committed to hold marriage in the highest esteem.
XXX and YYY the Lord has been gracious to both of you. He is giving you both a second chance. See to it that you don’t take your vows to each other lightly. You have the beginning of a good relationship. But marriage is a long term proposition. The way to keep a healthy marriage is to build your lives on God’s teachings.
The covenant of marriage was established by God in creation, and our Lord Jesus Christ adorned this manner of life by His presence and first miracle at the wedding in Cana of Galilee. It signifies to us the mystery of the union between Christ and His People, and Holy Scripture commends it to be honored among all people.
The union of husband and wife in heart, body, and mind is intended by God for their mutual joy; for the help and comfort given one another in prosperity and adversity; and, when it is God’s will, for the procreation of children and their nurture in the knowledge and love of the Lord. Therefore marriage is not to be entered into unadvisedly or lightly, but reverently, deliberately, and in accordance with the purposes for which it was instituted by God.
XXX do you take YYY to be your lawfully wedded wife?
XXX: I do.
XXX, please repeat these vows after me.
I XXX take you YYY, to be my lawfully wedded wife. I promise to love and honor you, using as my example, the love which the Messiah has for His bride, the Holy Community of all His followers. I will try to love you in the same way that He loved her and sacrificially gave Himself for her. I promise to make my home with you, and to provide for your material needs; and to bring you affection and companionship; and to give to you all that is rightfully due, a wife from her husband. I promise to do these things with all my strength, for better or for worse, in sickness or in health, in riches or in poverty, according to God’s holy commands, and forsaking all others, to give myself only and always to you, until death do us part.
YYY do you take XXX to be your lawfully wedded husband?
YYY: I do.
YYY, please repeat these vows after me.
I YYY, take you XXX, to be my lawfully wedded husband. I promise to love and honor you, and to submit to you as I submit to the Lord; and to be a helper that is fit for you; and to provide those things in our home which are necessary for your comfort and well-being; to bring you affection and encouragement, understanding and companionship, and to give to you, all that is rightfully due a husband from his wife. I promise to do these things with all my strength, for better or for worse, in sickness or in health, in riches or in poverty, according to God’s holy commands, and forsaking all others, to give myself only and always to you, until death do us part.
XXX and YYY, the Lord, who is a Judge and a Rewarder of those who do well, and a Punisher of those who do evil, has heard these vows, will hold you these vows. He will reward you for keeping them, and punish you if you dare break them. Fear God, and keep your vows, or suffer the consequences.
EXCHANGE OF RINGS
A ring is made from a precious metal that is valuable. Serious commitment requires more than words – it is sealed with a costly gift. Being circular and without an end, the ring is a sign of unending happiness which we pray will characterize your marriage. Like a circle, the ring both includes and excludes. It is a circle around the two of you, a complete union in which love, intimacy and confidence are reserved for husband and wife, with all others excluded.
XXX, what do you offer as a symbol of your love for and commitment to YYY?
XXX: This ring.
XXX, place the ring on her finger and repeat after me. With this ring, you are wedded to me, in accordance with the law of Moses and Israel. Haray at m’kudehshet lee b’tah-ba-at zoh k’dat Moshe v’Yisrael.
YYY, what do you offer as a symbol of your love for and commitment to XXX?
YYY: This ring.
YYY, place the ring on XXX’s finger and repeat these beautiful words from Shir HaShirim, the Song of Songs, one of the most beautiful love songs ever written, after me.
Ani l’do-dee v’do-dee lee: I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine (Song of Solomon 6:3).
Or: With this ring, you are wedded to me, in accordance with the law, of Moses and Israel.
Haray atah m’kudash lee b’tah-ba-at zoh k’dat Moshe v’Yisrael.
FAMILY MEDALLION CEREMONY
Marriage is usually viewed as the union of two individuals. In reality, marriage is much more. It is also the coming together of two families. In recognition of this reality, XXX and YYY want to recognize *** and his important place in their new family.
XXX and YYY say: ***, you are an essential part of our family. That’s why we wanted to include you in our marriage ceremony. We desire that our life as a family, from the very beginning, be the three of us – not just the two of us. We love you and pledge ourselves to your well-being and happiness. We promise to always include you into our lives and hearts.
LIGHTING THE UNITY CANDLE
When you marry, you marry not just your husband or wife, but you also marry into their family as well. These unity candles are symbolic of these two families. XXX and YYY have asked members of their families to each light a candle. Then XXX and YYY will light the one remaining candle symbolically joining these two families together.
READING THE KETUBAH
THIS IS TO CERTIFY that on the 12th day of in the year 5754, corresponding to the day of 1995, in Michigan, the holy covenant of marriage was entered into by the groom XXX and his bride YYY.
THE GROOM has declared to his bride that he will be her husband according to the law of Moses and Israel as set forth by the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He has promised to love her with an everlasting love, to cherish her, to support her, to care for her with lovingkindness, even as God has covenanted with Israel. In his desire to please the Lord, he has covenanted to follow the example of Yeshua, the groom, and his bride, the community of all who believe in his atoning death and resurrection, by giving himself as a covering for her. He has said he believes it is God’s will to be her husband and he has prayed for God’s strength and guidance to fulfill his obligations and to serve her with wise leadership.
THE BRIDE has truthfully promised herself to him in affection and sincerity. She has agreed to respect and obey him as head of the household, for she believes it is God’s will for her to do so. She has promised to honor him, to cherish him, and to strive with God’s help, to comfort and inspire him unto the Lord’s service, for the glory of the God of Israel, so long as he gives her breath.
THIS COVENANT of marriage was duly executed and witnessed this day according to God’s law of everlasting love in the Messiah.
THE SHEVA BRACHOT THE SEVEN WEDDING BLESSINGS (Click Here)
DRINK THE SECOND CUP OF WINE
Since XXX and YYY have bound themselves together in holy marriage and have declared this before God and in the presence of their friends and relatives, they are now husband and wife. What God has joined together let no man separate.
KISS THE BRIDE
XXX, you may now kiss the bride.
God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, You are the Holy One of Israel and the Creator of the whole world. Bless this groom and his bride. May they always find grace and favor in Your eyes and in the eyes of all who meet them. May You prosper their marriage and cause them to establish a praiseworthy house among God’s people. May peace reign in their home, and may contentment and happiness be in their hearts all the days of their lives.
O Lord God, Holy One of Israel, we thank You that you are the One that created us male and female. You are the One who created marriage, to meet our needs for friendship and companionship, and so that we will not be alone. May this marriage of XXX and YYY fulfill their needs for friendship and companionship. May they raise a blessed home together. May YYY be a helper suitable for XXX. May XXX be a husband suitable for YYY. May XXX and YYY be inseparable from this day forward, bone of bone and flesh of flesh. May they cleave to one another and become one flesh. I pray that You work Your perfect unity into their lives.
Y’va-rech’cha Adonai v’yish-m’reh-cha. May the Lord, the Eternal God who is the Source of Life, Being and Existence, bless you by doing good things for you, bringing good things into your life and the life of those you love! May He keep you, protect you and watch over you!
Ya’er Adonai pa’nav ay’ley-cha vee-chu-neh-ka. May the Lord, the Creator of the universe, who was, who is and who is to come, make His face shine on you, like the face of the sun shines on the Earth, bringing warmth, heat and light, making life grow and flourish and making sight possible! May He be gracious to you, adding His grace and unmerited favor to your life, doing lots of good things for you that you really don’t deserve, but He will do it anyway!
Yi’sa Adonai pa’nav ay’ley-cha, v’yah-saym l’cha shalom. May the Lord, the Self-Existent One, lift up His face on you with recognition and with approval, like a good and generous man lifts up his face when he sees a beloved family member or a dear friend that he is pleased with, and wants to do something nice for them! And may He give you peace, restoring wholeness, adding well-being and integrity to your life, and supplying you with everything that you need for life and godliness!
BREAK THE GLASS
I an pleased and honored to present to you, XXX and YYY last name.
XXX is man’s name
YYY is woman’s name