Sunday, August 2, 2009

Separate Ceremonies

Taken from Pagan Blog Prompts:
If you were to plan your own Wedding or Funeral ceremony, would you create two separate ceremonies for pagan and non-pagan folk, or would you just plan a ceremony around your own personal beliefs? How would you feel if any non-pagan friends or family did not wish to attend such a ceremony?

My cousin got married on August first, which is also the day I’m writing this. Her husband’s parents are both Christian ministers, and thus the ceremony was obviously Christian.
The church, funny enough, was the same church my parents got married in. It is a nice enough church, but very old fashioned. On the main altar, there was the triple moon symbol, which made me laugh, because it’s a symbol of the Triple Goddess. What really freaked me out was the “Flag of a Christian Nation” they had right beside the Canadian flag. I didn’t expect it.

So, this begs the question, what would I do for my wedding?
I actually have a couple of scenarios.

Let’s say I marry someone with a very open mind, and is willing to have a pagan ceremony. First off, I’d work on finding a pagan priest or priestess who was legally recognized by the province of Ontario. I know there are some, probably in Toronto. If I was unable to find a priest or priestess who is officially licensed by the country, I would have a small civil ceremony at a courthouse with the immediate family, and the witnesses (if they weren’t a sibling), and have a religious ceremony after the fact.
I would like to get married in the early fall, dead winter, or late spring, so mid-October, January, or the end of March. For the legal pagan ceremony, I would opt for late spring or early fall, so we can have the wedding outdoors.
I would rent a good hall (I’ll let my mom handle that one!), and make sure it would have a nice set of grounds attached or right near there, so we would have the actual ceremony outside. Then, we would have some photography there, or some at a studio. Dinner would then be served in the hall which would be decorated in Egyptian fashion using Egyptian colours like gold and lapis blue. We would have good food (Italian if we can get it). On the table, there would be plates as centerpieces with little glass votive holders for lit candles, and instead of a mirror, or glass beads, I would have Jordan almonds as decoration around the candles for people to munch on throughout the night. As a take-away, I would give everyone a votive candle in one of my “colours”. Wrapped around each candle would be a piece of paper with a general wellness candle spell. If people don’t want the spell, they can just toss the paper and keep the candle.
I wouldn’t have traditional “pagan” music, because I don’t like that sort of thing, but I would probably have Egyptian/Arabic belly dance music because I love it!
Also, instead of clinking glasses or something like that to get us to kiss, I would suggest naming a deity from the Egyptian pantheon. People know the main ones, and if people know ahead of time, they can just Google “Egyptian pantheon” and write a few down.
I would probably be a little disappointed if my non-pagan family chose not to come to my wedding, because they are my family and I have respected their beliefs for ceremonies like weddings and funerals, no matter how insulting I find them. So, if I respect them, I would hope that for my wedding, they would respect me.
I’ve mentioned before that I’m very lucky in the fact that my family is generally open minded, and for something like this they would let me have 100 percent say because it’s my wedding, and I could have a pirate, or a superhero wedding, and they would respect it.
My mother has mentioned before: as long as my marriage is legal, either through the religious ceremony, or a small legal “signing of documents” in the courthouse, it doesn’t matter what I do. As long as it’s legal.

Of course, knowing my luck, I’ll marry someone with
A) Religious parents
B) Is rather religious himself
C) A combination of both
Okay, so, I don’t mind that much. In this case, I would do one of two things.
In the first case, we still have the more Egyptian pagan reception, and I would agree to be married in the religious ceremony of my future husband. I would make the request to change “God” to “Spirit”, and maybe ask if they could say “in the name of the Father, Son, and Sage or Spirit” instead of “Holy Ghost”, if the religious leader would agree to that. I know that my childhood ministers would agree to adapt a marriage ceremony to fit my needs, so I would hope that the groom’s religious leaders would be willing to have a more blended ceremony. I would still be okay if they did not want to d a blended ceremony. I would, however, request something along these lines, with just a rough guide for times
1pm-groom’s religious ceremony, probably the “legal” ceremony as well.
2pm-pagan ceremony
6pm-dinner and reception
In this case, if non-pagans did not want to go to the pagan ceremony, or non-(insert groom’s religion) did not want to go to that ceremony, I don’t think I would be as upset, because they would at least go to one wedding, and of course to the reception which would be Egypt themed, not really pagan themed (except the candle take-away).

In the best case, I would assume and hope that my fiancée and his family would at least respect my wishes to have my religious beliefs at least honoured in a wedding ceremony, either by combining beliefs, or having two ceremonies.

I suppose we’ll deal with that hurdle when we get there.


Anonymous said... My pagan blog. Also, my answer to this question :)

Connie Mitan said...

Love to see how much you've thought it out, and for everyone's sake, I hope you do end up with someone open-minded. Sounds lovely!

~Sunfire, Pagan Blog Prompts


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