Before the ceremony
Convocation: Rabbi Sara
Welcome! We are gathered here today to share in a celebration of love, and to join together forever the hearts of Monisha and Andrew. Today in the presence of God, family and friends, Monisha and Adamwill join their lives together, two beautiful spirits sharing the most sacred and tender of human relationships.
They stand before you bound by their love for each other, and the desire to share this expression of their love with you and with the world.
We, their families and friends, form a community of love that together we may support and encourage them with our abundance of prayers and blessings on this day and for all of their lives.
Every marriage ceremony is unique, and today, not only are two special people being joined together, but two cultures, as well.
Today, Monisha and Adamcome together to appreciate the Hindu and Jewish traditions; to learn the best of what each has to offer, while appreciating their differences, and confirming that love, which is spoken of in all religions, is our true home, our true meeting place. It is their promise to be open, honest, loyal and devoted to one another, to be faithful friends, companions, life partners, and to comfort one another through life’s sorrows and joys. Honoring each other’s individual needs, cherishing and loving one another for a lifetime is a joyous responsibility. This responsibility speaks of faith, the faith you have in one another, in the support and friendship of those who love you.
The Chuppah (Jewish) and the Mandap (Hindu)
The Couple Weds Under the Chuppah and sometimes on a Mandap
The wedding mandap is a temporary structure constructed for the purpose of the marriage ceremony. It may appear on an elevated platform and is decorated with anything from flowers and greenery to fabric and crystals.
In a Jewish wedding, The Chuppah – a drape of cloth suspended on four poles, under which the Wedding Blessings are said – is our Sanctuary.
Surrounded by loved ones whose joy and prayers are with you, you stand at this chuppah, a symbol of your new home. Its four sides are open, symbolizing the importance of community and of participation in each other’s lives.
May friends and family always fill your home, and may your home be a shelter against the storms, a haven of peace, a stronghold of faith and love.
Memorial: A moment of silence
We would also like to honor and remember all those who could not be here with us physically today.
Although death has separated us physically, faith and love have bound us eternally. Though we cannot see you, we know you are here.
Though we cannot touch you, we feel the warmth of your smile, as we begin a new chapter in our lives.
Today we pause to reflect upon those who have shaped our character, molded our spirits and touched our hearts.
May this moment of be a reminder of the memories we have shared; a representation of the everlasting impact you have made upon our lives.
The Chuppah and first blessing: Shehecheyanu
The first Wedding Blessing said under the Chuppah is a very special prayer for joyous occasions, called the Shehecheyanu. The Shehecheyanu expresses our gratitude for being able to celebrate new occasions. It is my pleasure now to recite the Shehecheyanu:
Blessed are you, creator of the universe, who has given us life, sustained us, and permitted us to celebrate this joyous occasion.
Hindu wedding blessings – Canadian
Monisha and Adamare both so happy to have found each other and how wonderful they are together. Their connection is easy, comfortable and strong! They cherish their relationship; and how much it allows them both to grow. They support each other and encourage each other through everything that life brings!
Monisha and Adam have invited you here today because you are their dearest family and friends.
Many of you have traveled long distances to be here today, and for that Monisha and Adam are truly grateful.
All of you are those closest to them; you have contributed to who they are, and you will continue to have important influence in their lives in the years to come. Friends and family here today remind them of landmarks in their lives – good and bad, easy and tough – all that you have shared with them leading up to this great day. Your presence with us today is essential.
Marriage has always been about family and community. Having you all here with them today is what truly makes their marriage real. To stand before all those we love most in the world, and promise to love another person openly and trustingly, without limits or preconditions, for a lifetime, is perhaps the bravest thing two people will ever do. Monisha and Adam would like to send out their heartfelt thanks to you for your continued love, support, and encouragement throughout their lives.
Throughout their relationship Monisha and Adam have grown together, and they are perfect complements and partners! Together they balance each other, and they are always on the same page, they embrace and support each other’s passions in life.
Monisha and Adam: The story
“Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get, only with what you are expecting to give—which is everything.” —Katharine Hepburn, actress
Adam and Monisha met each other _____years ago. (personalized story of the couple will take place here).
Within their relationship they have learned that communication, patience, understanding, passion, and laughter were vital to their relationship. But what holds all this together the core of their relationship is the strong love that they have for each other.
Together Monisha and Adam are best friends and they support and encourage each other every day. Together, they love to …
Here please add the things you love to do together, Mutual hobbies, travel, food, music, books, or anything else you share and love to do together.
Together, they have fun no matter what they are doing. As long as they are together they are happy and content.
They share generous and caring spirits, common goals and values, a love of family and a mutual love of their life and an excitement to begin this new chapter of their lives! They are a great team, better together than they are apart!
In Yiddish, there’s a word “beshert” which means “it is meant to be.” Monisha and Adam are each other’s “bashert” which means: It is meant to be. They are a great team, better together than they are apart!
The Father of the Bride pours water through the Bride’s hand as he gives her away
The moment the father gives the bride away is known as the kayadanda. In the Hindu tradition, no man can claim a woman until she is offered. During the ceremony, the father of the bride places his daughter’s hands into the groom’s hands as a gesture of giving her away. The father of the bride may also pour water into the bride’s hand, which will flow through her fingers and into the hand of her groom.
The Bride and Groom’s Garments are Tied Together as They Circle a Fire
The Santagati is an important ritual in North Indian Hindu weddings
Saptapadi (English: seven steps) is the most important rite of a Hindu marriage ceremony. The word, Saptapadi means “Seven steps”. After tying the Mangal sutra, the newlywed couple take seven steps around the holy fire, that is called Saptapadi. After the seventh step, the couple legally become husband and wife.
Cords Are Tied to the Wrists of the Bride and Groom During Raksha Bandhan
Cords are tied to the wrists of both the bride and the groom. Marriage is considered to be an arduous stage in life, and the cords are meant as protection.
12. The Groom Adorns the Bride with a Necklace Called the Mangala Sutra
The groom places a necklace of black and gold beads on the bride. Traditionally, Lakshmi, the Hindu goddess of wealth, fortune and prosperity, is invoked in the Mangala sutra and the bride is said to receive blessings throughout her marriage.
Marriage is an honorable estate and the most tender of human relationships. Into this holy estate these two persons come now to be joined.
I ask you both, as you stand in the presence of your family and friends, to remember that love, loyalty and compassion alone will avail as the foundation of a happy and enduring home. No other human ties are more tender, no other vows more sacred than those that you will now assume. If these sacred vows are honored and kept close to your hearts, and you endeavor to always live according to the best that is within each of you, your life together will be full of joy, peace and love.
In the presence of God, family and friends, I ask you to state your intentions.
Monisha and Adam, have you come here freely and without reservation to give yourselves to each other in marriage?
Will you love and honor each other as husband and wife for the rest of your lives?
Monisha and Adam respond: I will.
Adam, would you speak your vows to Monisha now?
Adam, would you speak your vows to Adam now?
Then: I do form of vows
Do you Adam, take Monisha to be your wife. Do you promise to be true to her in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health? Will you love her and honor her all the days of your life?
response: I will
Do you Monisha, take Adam to be your husband. Do you promise to be true to him in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health? Will you love him and honor him all the days of your life.
response: I will
Exchange of Rings: Rabbi Sara
There is no greater statement of devotion in Judaism than “Ani L’dodi V’Dodi Li” – “I am for my Beloved, and my Beloved is mine”.
Our bride and groom will put the rings on each other’s right hand- index finger.
The reason for using the right hand is that oaths —traditionally (and biblically) are performed with the right hand. The tradition of using the pointing finger is served to point out to all the guests who are the witnesses that the bride and groom have received and accepted the ring.
After speaking their vows, they will move the ring to the left hand- ring finger.
People believed that the vein in the ring finger on the left hand ran directly to the heart. Because of this belief, they called that vein”the vein of love”.
Adam, as you placed this ring upon the index finger of Monisha’s right hand, speak to her these words:
“Monisha, I give you this ring as a sign of my love and faithfulness with all that I am and all that I will ever be, with these words: ‘I am my beloved and my beloved is mine!’
Ani Le-dodi ve-dodi lee
Monisha, as you placed this ring upon the index finger of Adam’s right hand, speak to him these words:
Adam, I give you this ring as a sign of my love and faithfulness with all that I am and all that I will ever be, with these words: ‘I am my beloved and my beloved is mine!
Ani Le-dodi ve-dodi lee
The SHEVA BRACHOT (Seven Blessings)
“The Seven Blessings are a key part of a traditional Jewish wedding ceremony. The blessings are adapted from ancient rabbinic teachings, beginning with the blessing over the wine and ending with a communal expression of joy.
Jewish circling – optional
Monisha will circle 3 times around Adam to symbolize that he is the center of her life.
Then, Adam will circle 3 times around Monisha to symbolize that she is the center of his life. For the last blessing, the seventh blessing the couple will hold hand and circle together to symbolize that their life together is at the center of the universe!
Hindu circling – optional
Circling around the flame – Explanation
The Bride and Groom’s Garments are Tied Together as They Circle a Fire
The saptapadi is an important ritual in North Indian Hindu weddings. During the saptapadi, the bride and groom have their garments tied together. In South India, the couple walks seven steps together to signify their friendship. In North Indian tradition, they make seven circles around a ceremonial fire, each round signifying a specific blessing they request of the gods. The main significance of saptapadi is establishing friendship, which is the basis of a Hindu marriage.
We will now recite the Seven Blessings:
1. ברוך אתה ה’ אלהינו מלך העולם, בורא פרי הגפן .
Blessed is the ruler of the Universe, Creator of the fruit of the vine
2. ברוך אתה ה’ אלהינו מלך העולם, שהכל ברא לכבודו.
Blessed is the glory of all creation.
3. ברוך אתה ה’ אלהינו מלך העולם, יוצר האדם.
Blessed is the creation of the Human Being
4. ברוך אתה ה’ אלהינו מלך העולם, אשר יצר את האדם בצלמו, בצלם דמות תבניתו, והתקין לו ממנו בניין עדי עד. ברוך אתה ה’, יוצר האדם.
Blessed is the design of the Human Being, united in heart and the search for love.
5. שוש תשיש ותגל עקרה, בקיבוץ בניה לתוכה בשמחה. ברוך אתה ה’, משמח ציון בבניה.
Blessed is the joy of our gathering. May rejoicing resound throughout the world as the homeless are given homes, persecution and oppression cease, and all people learn to live in peace with each other and harmony with the earth.
6. שמח תשמח רעים האהובים, כשמחך יצירך בגן עדן מקדם. ברוך אתה ה’, משמח חתן וכלה.
Let these loving companions rejoice. May their joy be as paradise on earth.
7. ברוך אתה ה’ אלהינו מלך העולם, אשר ברא ששון ושמחה, חתן וכלה, גילה רינה, דיצה וחדווה, אהבה ואחווה, ושלום ורעות, קול ששון וקול שמחה, קול חתן וקול כלה, ברוך אתה ה’, משמח חתן עם הכלה.
Blessed is the creation of joy and celebration, Bride and Groom, delight and cheer, love and solidarity, peace and companionship. Blessed and praised is this love and this marriage.
ברוך אתה ה’ אלוהינו מלך העולם בורא פרי הגפן
Groom and Bride drink wine.
Option #2 – Hindu Seven steps
The Bride and Groom take seven steps to symbolize the beginning of their journey together for life. These steps represent seven principles and promises to each other for a happy and long life.
1. Let us provide for our household, stay in good health and carry out our duties and responsibilities to each other, our families and our tradition.
2. Let us develop our mental and spiritual powers
3. Let us increase our wealth and comfort by righteous and proper means
4. Let us acquire knowledge, happiness and harmony by mutual love, respect and trust
5. Let us be blessed with contended family of strong, virtuous and heroic children
6. Let us be blessed with long lives
7. Let us remain true companions, committed only to each other
Breaking of the glass explanation
Adam and Monisha have chosen to honor a tradition that is a part of the Jewish heritage; the breaking of the glass. It is a time-honored tradition in the Jewish Faith. The breaking of the glass at the end of a wedding ceremony serves to remind of the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem.
It’s a reminder for us that the world needs our awareness and attention to make it a better place.
There are many other symbolic meanings to this ritual, but today we envision the breaking of the glass as the shattering of your old lives, your individual paths, to start a new path together, a new beginning!!
“For those of you witnessing this for the first time it is appropriate to clap, yell, or shout Mazal Tov! when the glass is broken.
Hindu – Breaking of the clay pot
Bride then leaves and Groom steps down on a clay pot breaking it into pieces, demonstrating that he has the power to overcome all obstacles.
Hindu wedding blessing
Final blessings: The Priestly blessing
יְבָרֶכְךָ יהוה וְיִשְׁמְרֶךָ
May the Lord Bless you and guide you
יאֵר יהוה פָּנָיו אֵלֶיךָ וִיחֻנֶּךָּ
May the Lord shine his face upon you and be gracious to you
יִשָּׂא יהוה פָּנָיו אֵלֶיךָ
וְיָשֵׂם לְךָ שָׁלוֹם:
May the Lord lift up his face to you and give you peace.
Pronouncement of Marriage
Now that you Adam, and you, Monisha, have promised to give yourselves to one another and to love each other through your sacred vows and through the giving and receiving of these rings, it gives me a great honor and pleasure to now pronounce you husband and wife.
Breaking of the clay pot
Breaking of Glass
You may now kiss your beautiful bride!