Queerly Wed: Which Traditions Will You Follow?

Posted by Azure on February 10th, 2010
Special to OneWed by Stacy Jacobs of Queerly Wed
The groom breaks the glass at this traditional Jewish wedding ceremony from the 1960s.

The author's parents' traditional Jewish wedding


Despite the fact that I have forgotten most of the Hebrew I ever learned, I still identify as a “Cultural Jew.” These days, neither Melissa nor I are tied to one faith and at first thought many of the typical wedding traditions would have to be thrown out the window for us. However, we decided that we should go ahead and pick the rituals that we felt would signify our relationship with each other and our families. The Chuppah

The Jewish tradition of having a Chuppah (wedding canopy) symbolizes the home the couple will build together. We are ignoring the part of the definition that says a man now takes control and demonstrates his ability to take care of his woman. Instead, we are looking towards the story of Abraham and Sarah, who always allowed guests to stay in their home. This act demonstrates the couple's commitment to establish a home that will always be open to guests. The Breaking of the Glass

The breaking of the glass is said to have many different types of symbolism attached to it. One explanation of this custom seemed to speak to our social activist selves: “ It is a reminder of the broken and fragmentary nature of reality, and hence a reminder to engage in spiritual repair of the world. I feel that this speaks to our passion for social activism. We found in the beginning of our relationship that both of us are very passionate about fighting for the good in the world. The Unity Candle

A Christian tradition, the unity candle is meant to signify the joining of two families and seemed to fit us as this is very important to both of us. We are actually very lucky to have loving and supportive families who will be participating in the ceremony.

What about you? Which traditions will you be following? Melissa Johns and Stacy Jacobs are an engaged couple. They run QueerlyWed.com, the premier nationwide directory of queer friendly businesses for people planning their wedding or commitment ceremonies. Helpful Links: What to Expect at a Jewish Wedding Jewish Wedding Accessories Unity Candles

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