“Rituals exist to give
meaning and context to our lives.” says
Rabbi Marcia Grappa. Your decision to marry touches everyone’s
life. “When you
decide to get married, your love flows out to everyone
in your community, inviting them
to become witnesses to that love. At your wedding, your
community surrounds you with support, and that presence
gives more strength to your vows.”
The ceremony tells the world
what your love means and where you want it to go, “so
it’s also a blueprint for
your relationship,” says Rabbi Rappaport. “Your
vows speak of your hopes and dreams for your life together.
And by exchanging vows and choosing to marry in the presence
of your family and friends, it becomes a communal experience.”
As you recite your
vows, “you’re expressing
the heart and soul of your commitment, the promises weaving
together the fabric of your lives. It is the moment that
whole wedding its very meaning. It’s
also the moment when the spiritual, cultural, religious,
and legal aspects all meet.” Rabbi Rappaport
describes the vows as almost magical ritual. “It’s
a true transformation: two
people are becoming family in front of their witnesses
If you choose to write your own vows, she helps you identify the unique qualities that define you and your relationship, and then give unique expression to those qualities.
"There is no right or wrong way to write vows," says Rabbi
Rappaport. "They can be traditional, non -traditional, or a combination. The only requirement is that your vows
come from your heart, and that they resonate with both of you."
As inspiration for writing your vows, Rabbi Rappaport encourages her brides
and grooms to look at poetry, books, and lines from their favorite songs. "Most
importantly, think about the qualities you love in the
As a child, Rabbi Rappaport
accompanied her father to temple and was fascinated by
the chanting and emotionalism of the services. "I
also discovered black gospel music! That form gave me permission
to express the joy of spirit, and
I wanted to bring that spirit back to my community."
"I identify with all aspects of Judaism, and I also serve as a co-officiant for interfaith couples. My role is to bring communities together."