It used to be the case that people of religious backgrounds married only within the boundaries of their faith, but in our increasingly diverse society it is becoming more common for couples to push those constraints. With marriage now uniting couples of different races and cultures more than ever, are mixed faith weddings also as accepted?
It does, of course, depend on the religions in question. While the Churches of England, Scotland and Wales and Free Churches are accepting of inter-denominational marriage, there is still a stigma attached in many churches. Jewish marriages taking place with strict practices and within a synagogue require any non-Jewish soon-to-be-wed to convert. Also, though the Roman Catholic church has relaxed it’s rules and you now do not have to convert to marry, the clergyman will ask you to sign a statement that all children resulting from the marriage will be brought up within the faith. So, is all this leading to an acceptance of mixed faith weddings, or is religion the last stand on marriage?
While civil weddings are another forum entirely, religious ceremonies to bless a marriage are a personal and committed union, not only to your partner but to your religion. But when two people fall in love, what are the options for those of differing religions?
One is obviously for a compromise on one partner’s behalf. While this might seem easy if one is not religious, it seems a hugely giving commitment. Not only are you allowing your faith’s wedding traditions to take a back seat, but if you are required to convert you are taking on a whole new belief system. A stunning gift to any partner, but not one to be taken lightly.
The other option is of course for a mutual compromise. While it seems unheard of to many, there are couples out there who have differing religious views and whose relationship is unmarred. The best option it seems is civil ceremony, respecting the faith of both parties and still allowing a celebration of marriage.
In my experience, I’ve seen many couples stay true to their personal beliefs and still come out the other side fulfilled. While faith still plays a part in the marriage of those I’ve seen, the respect and love for each other allows their differences to exist together. I can’t help but hope that I’ve been afford a view of the future of mixed faiths. A harmonious one.
Religion is often a tricky topic, but it seems that maybe, just maybe, sometimes it can fit into any loving relationship, no matter the trials. How you make it fit into your wedding is entirely up to you. Oh, and your husband of course.
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