Rabbi Ken and Melissa

of

Congregation Yeshuat Yisrael

Presents

 

A Messianic Jewish Wedding Guide

   

Pre-Ceremony Ketubah Signing

The Ketubah is signed in a private ceremony with the Bride, Groom, family and the wedding party.  This can actually happen at the rehearsal the evening before.

 

Click here for a  PDF/Wedding Program.pdf you can print this and use this as a guide.

 

As long as the bride (Kallah) and groom (Chatan) are standing under the Chuppah (canopy), the marriage ceremony can take place almost anywhere -- in a synagogue, the bride or groom’s home, in a public venue such as a hotel or even on a beach.

 

You can marry at any time of the day, though it is most usual to marry in the afternoon or evening. Most people choose to marry on a Sunday or a Tuesday -- a particularly significant day, as this was when God blessed His creation double.

 

Under Orthodox law, it is generally forbidden to get married in the 49 days between the moveable feasts of Passover and Pentecost, and during three weeks between July and August. It is also forbidden to marry on the Sabbath or on festival days. If you want to get married on a Saturday, the ceremony is not allowed to begin until after sundown.

 

 

 

Pre-Ceremony Badekkin - Veiling

The pre-ceremony ritual is the veiling of the Kallah (Bride). It is often done with the Bride, her attendants and female guests. The Chatan (Groom)  lowers the veil over the Kallah's face. This custom recalls Rebecca and Issac's first meeting when Rebecca modestly concealed her face in a veil.

It also recalls the biblical story of Rachel and Jacob. Rachels father Laben substituted his elder daughter Leah, for Rachel. The Chatan lowers the veil over the Kallah to be sure not to make the same mistake Jacob did and by "dressing" his Kallah with a veil, the Chatan is assured that she is the one he has chosen, and thereby sets her apart from all others.  Most brides do not want to allow the groom to see his bride until the ceremony, but this is only for superstitious reasons.

 

Suggested Prelude Wedding Music

Erev Shel Shoshanim 

Adonai Sfatai Traditional

Ma’oz Tzur (Traditional Hanukkah Song

Jerusalem of Gold 

Y’did Nefesh Ani Le Dodi 

Sunrise Sunset

Sabbath Prayer

HaTikvah

 

Seating of the Grandmothers

Brides side is on the right.

The Wedding Ceremony

 

Kiddushin - The Wedding Ceremony

The Jewish wedding is called kiddushin, meaning sanctification related to the word kadosh (holy). 

The kiddushin is composed of two distinct ceremonies: the erusin and nisuin or nuptials.

 

Erusin - The Betrothal

The Betrothal ceremony has been combined in modern times with the second service nisuin.  It is during the erusin ceremony that the kallah (bride) and chatan (groom) are formally and publicly betrothed to one another. A blessing over a cup of wine is said, followed by a second blessing that reminds us of the holiness of unity as well as the integrity of the bonds of marriage. Both the kallah and chatan drink from the same cup of wine, accepting life's joys, as well as responsibilities. 

 

Blowing of the Shofar

In Biblical times the shofar was blown to announce important events, such as a call to worship, a wedding, the alarm of war or the coming of peace.

The shofar was sounded during the greatest event in all Jewish history, The giving of  the Torah to Moses at Mount Sinai.  The blowing of the Shofar will also be used to proclaim the coronation of the King Messiah the Son of David.
Today the bride is a queen, and the groom a king.

 

Baruchim Haba'im Bashem Adonai

Blessed are they who come in the name of the Lord.  

Processional of the Torah (Optional)

Music: Hatikvah The Hope– Israel’s National Anthem

As long as the Jewish spirit is yearning deep in the heart,

With eyes turned toward the East, looking toward Zion,

Then our hope - the two-thousand-year-old hope - will not be lost:

To be a free people in our land, the land of Zion and Jerusalem.

 

This unique feature of this very special day is a statement that the Torah,

the Word of G-d should lead the way in any marriage.

We find in the words of this holy book the instructions for life.

The Torah is G-d’s Covenant or Marriage Contract to the people of Israel.

 

Processional of the Groomsmen then Best Man

Processional of the Groom, the Chatan

Groom alone or escorted by both his father and mother  

 

Music: 

 

Baruch Ha Ba Traditional

Hodu L'Adonai Ki Tov

 

 

Processional of the Brides Attendants

Brides Maids

Maid (Matron) of Honor

Ring Bearer

Flower Girl

 

Processional of the Bride

Do not use the Christian Traditional  piece "Here Comes The Bride" or "The Wedding March" because it was composed by Richard Wagner.

*Please remain seated. It is not customary within a Jewish wedding to stand when the bride enters.

 

Bride is escorted by her father and mother

Suggested Music: Dodi Li

 

Encircling of the Groom

The Bride circles her beloved seven times, taken from Jeremiah 31:22b, "a woman shall compass (revolve around, surround) a man." Seven times is significant because of its scriptural reference of perfection and completion; the reference in Hosea 2:19-21 of God’s seven-fold betrothal to His people, Israel; the reference in Revelation 4:5 to the seven Spirits of God; and as a reflection of the Bride’s desire to be as the seven prophetesses of Israel: Sarah, Miriam, Deborah, Hannah, Abigail, Hilda, and Esther.

The position of the bride on the right side of the groom is based on an interpretation of Psalm 45:10 "the queen stands on your right hand in fine gold of ophir". In Jewish tradition the bride is a queen, and the groom a king.  

Suggested Music: Sunrise Sunset

Bride encircles groom seven times.  

 

Bride and Groom Enter the Chuppah

 

The bridal canopy is a multifaceted symbol: it is a home, and a reminder of the tent of our Patriarchs. It is open on all sides to recall the tent of Abraham and Sara, who had doors on all sides of his dwelling to welcome guests. Entrance under the Chuppah (Wedding Canopy)

This is symbolic of the marriage coming under the Holy covering of God. 

The covering represents protection, mercy, and grace.

 

Ma Tovu Numbers 24:5

How beautiful are your tents, O Jacob,

Your dwelling places, O Israel!

 

Blessing of the Bride and Groom - Mi Adir

 

Mi Adir al hakol.  Mi baruch al hakol. Mi gadol al hakol.

Hu y'vareykh et he'khatan v'et ha'kalah

 

He who is supremely mighty, 

He who is supremely blessed

He who is supremely sublime

May He bless the Groom and the Bride.

 

Groom lifts the veil to take a peek. This is  to verify that she is his wife and not another, avoiding the mistake that Jacob made with Leah.

 


Reading of the Ketubah (Marriage Contract)

 

The wedding canopy is symbolic of the marriage coming under the holy covering of God. The chuppah also represents the home the bride and groom will build together.

The "chuppah" may also represent the home of Abraham and serve as a reminder that he was a foreigner in a strange land, looking for the place God had promised to him. The sides are open to show that friends and family are always welcome.

In Biblical times, Jewish weddings were comprised of two separate components; the betrothal ceremony and the actual wedding ceremony. These two ceremonies usually took place about a year apart. The Written Torah is G-d’s Ketubah ( Covenant Contract ) to the People of Israel.  

The Ketubah is a pre-nuptial marriage covenant that has replaced the ancient Bride Price. This covenant and marriage is only valid when signed by the presence of two witnesses. The rabbis in ancient times insisted that the marriage couple entered into the Ketubah as an assurance for the wife’s well being during the first stage of the engagement.

 

The Bride and The Groom have written their Ketubah based on love and spiritual

commitment instead of material things.  A relationship centered on G-d, love and

mutual respect for each other will last longer than any man-made contract.

 

The bride lived apart from the groom until the actual marriage ceremony, which would take place in a tent or a bridal chamber that the groom had set up for her.

Later in history, the two ceremonies were combined and the marriage ceremony started to be performed publicly. At this new ceremony, the chuppah, or the portable marriage canopy, was included as a symbol of the chamber within which marriages originally took place.  

 

The Ketubah - Certificate of Marriage

This is to certify that on the 22nd day of the month of Kislev

in the year 5758, corresponding to the 20th day of December, 1997,

the holy Covenant of Marriage was entered into between the

Bridegroom, _____________, and his Bride, _________________.

 

The groom made the following declarations to the bride;

"Be my wife according to the law of Moses and Israel and the Messiah Yeshua. I will, love, honor, and cherish you as Messiah loved the holy congregation. I will provide for you as is proper for a husband to do according to the teachings of the word of God."

The Bride has accepted his words and dedicated herself to him, saying;

"I will respect, honor, and cherish you in the same manner as the holy congregation is to love the Messiah."

 


Nisuin - The Nuptials

The second part of the ceremony after the erusin is the  nisuin.

This ceremony forms the second half of the wedding service. Even though the chatan and kallah are legally bound to each other as husband and wife at the completion of the eursin, the wedding ceremony is not yet complete. During this part of the ceremony, God's presence is acknowledged in the new relationship. This acknowledgement is made by chanting seven blessings called the sheva b'rachot. Like the erusin ceremony, the sheva b'rachot are chanted over a cup of wine. After the blessing for wine, the remaining six blessings acknowledge God as the creator of the world, the creator of love and as the One who brings redemption to the world.

 

The Seven Wedding Blessings

 

1. Baruch Ata Adonai Elokainu Melech HaOlam, SheHakol Barah Lichvodo

    Blessed are You, Lord our G-d, the sovereign of the world, who created everything for his glory.

2. Baruch Ata Adonai Elokainu Melech HaOlam, Yotzer Ha'Adam

    Blessed are You, Lord our G-d, the sovereign of the world, the creator of man.

3. Baruch Ata Adonai Elokainu Melech HaOlam, Asher Yatzar Et Ha'Adam Betzalmo, b'Tzelem Dmut Tavnito, VeHitkon Lo Mimenu Binyan Adei Ad. Baruch Ata Adonai Yotzer Ha'Adam

      Blessed are You, Lord our G-d, the sovereign of the world, who created man in His image, in the pattern of His own likeness,

     and  provided for the perpetuation of his kind.  Blessed are You, Lord, the creator of man.

4. Sos Tasis VeTagel HaAkarah, BeKibbutz Bane'ha Letocha BeSimchaa. Baruch Ata Adonai, Mesame'ach Tzion BeVaneha

    Let the barren city be jubilantly happy and joyful at her joyous reunion with her children.  Blessed are You, Lord, who makes Zion rejoice with her children.

5. Sameach TeSamach Re'im Ahuvim, KeSamechacha Yetzircha BeGan Eden MiKedem. Baruch Ata Adonai, MeSame'ach Chatan VeKalah

    Let the loving couple be very happy, just as You made Your creation happy in the garden of Eden, so long ago.  Blessed are You, Lord, who makes the bridegroom and the bride happy.

6. Baruch Ata Adonai Elokainu Melech HaOlam, Asher Barah Sasson VeSimcha, Chatan VeKalah, Gila Rina, Ditza VeChedva, Ahava VeAchava, VeShalom VeRe'ut. MeHera  Adonai Elokeinu Yishama BeArei Yehudah U'Vchutzot Yerushalayim, Kol Sasson V'eKol Simcha, Kol Chatan V'eKol Kalah, Kol Mitzhalot Chatanim MeChupatam, U'Nearim Mimishte Neginatam.  Baruch Ata Adonai MeSame'ach Chatan Im Hakalah.

    Blessed are You, Lord our G-d, the sovereign of the world, who created joy and celebration, bridegroom and bride, rejoicing, jubilation, pleasure and delight, love and brotherhood, peace and friendship.  May there soon be heard, Lord our G-d, in the cities of Judea and in the streets of Jerusalem, the sound of joy and the sound of celebration, the voice of a bridegroom and the voice of a bride, the happy shouting of bridegrooms from their weddings and of young men from their feasts of song.  Blessed are You, Lord, who makes the bridegroom and the bride rejoice together.

7. Baruch ata Adonai, Eloheynu Melech HaOlam Borey Pree Hagafen.

 

Blessed are You O Lord our God, King of the Universe who creates the fruit of the vine, the symbol of joy. Blessed are thou, O Lord, who has hallowed thy people Israel by the blessing of the marriage canopy, the Chuppah and the sacred covenant of marriage.

 

Bride and Groom Drink from the Cup of Wine 

 

It is the “Fruit of the Vine” that is a symbol of G-d’s creation.

God created mankind from the dust of the earth by his creative power.

 

The first miracle of the Master’s hands occurred at a Jewish wedding when the

Holy One, Blessed be He, transformed water into wine.

 

 

Lighting of the Seven Branch Menorah (Optional)

Somewhat replaces the “unity” candle.  Bride and groom can light each side separately and work their way to light the center servant candle together.

The menorah is a seven branched candelabrum and has been a symbol of Judaism for over 3000 years. It is also a symbol of the burning bush as seen by Moses on Mount Horeb  (Exodus 3:2 ). Great care was taken to replenish the oil , trim the wicks and keep it lit by the priests in the Tabernacle and in the Temple in Jerusalem. 

It also reminds us of an ancient story of the ten virgins waiting for their groom. 

When the groom came for his bride, some were ready and some were not.

According to Zechariah, two “anointed ones” continuously

replenished the holy menorah with the fresh oil from the two olive trees.

The central light is known to represent the Shamash or Servant.

 

By lighting the menorah, Lauren and Terry are prepared and  willing to serve

one another in order to keep the fire of their relationship burning.

 

Marriage is like a fire, it goes out if left unattended.

 

May their light always shine just as the eternal light shines in the heavens.

The Rabbi’s Message

The sermon or charge should be a personal message to the bride and groom by the Rabbi with challenges and commitments to the Holy One. 

 

 

Exchanging of the Vows

I would encourage the bride and groom to write their own vows and read them at the ceremony. It is more personal and meaningful.  If they are not comfortable reading aloud then here is a "repeat after me" example.

 

(Groom)______________, will you have (Bride)__________ to be your wife?

Will you love her, honor her, comfort and keep her, and forsaking all others remain true to her as long as you both shall live?

"I will."

(Bride)___________, will you have (Groom)___________ to be your husband?

Will you love him, honor him, comfort and keep him, and forsaking all others remain true to him as long as you both shall live?

"I will."

(Turn and face each other)

(Groom)___________, please repeat after me.

 

I, (Groom)___________

take thee (Bride)___________,

To be my wedded wife,

And I do promise and covenant,

Before God and these witnesses,

To be thy loving and faithful husband,

In plenty and in want,

In joy and in sorrow,

In sickness and in health,

As long as you both shall live.

 

(Bride)___________, please repeat after me.

 

I, (Bride)___________

take thee (Groom)___________,

To be my wedded husband,

And I do promise and covenant,

Before God and these witnesses,

To be thy loving and faithful wife,

In plenty and in want,

In joy and in sorrow,

In sickness and in health,

As long as you both shall live.

 

Ring Ceremony  

Do we have a ring for the Bride?

(Groom)________________, repeat after me:

 

Harey at

Me-ku-de-shet li

B'taba'at Zo

K'dat Moshe, 

v' K'dat Moshiach

And with this ring I do thee wed.

 

 

Behold thou art consecrated unto me

With this ring

According to the Law of Moses, 

And the Law of Messiahl

And with this ring I do thee wed.

 

 

Do we have a ring for the Groom?

(Bride)___________, repeat after me:

Harey ata

Me-ku-desh il

B'taba'at Zo

K'dat Moshe

v'K'dat Moshiach

 

 

Behold thou art consecrated unto me

With this ring

According to the Law of Moses

and the Law of Messiah.

And with this Ring, I do the wed.

 

Gadlu La Shem Psalm 34:3

O’ Magnify the LORD with me,

And let us exalt his name together.

Music: Gadlu La Shem

 

 

Havdalah—Distinction (Only on Saturday night, Optional)

Havdalah, literally means 'separation' - a ceremony involving a special multi-wicked candle, wine and spices that marks the ending of Shabbat.

 The Blessing of the Cup once again reminds of the creative power of the Master’s hands.  Because of the Joy of this wedding and the joy of Shabbat we allow our cup to overflow as a symbol of the abundant life and the fruit of the Spirit given to us as gifts.

 Baruch atah Adonai Elohaynu melech ha-olam, borei p'riy ha-gafen.

 Blessed are You, Lord, our God, King of the Universe, who creates the fruit of the vine.

 Spices

The second blessing is recited over fragrant spices. These spices represent the spices used for the altar of incense in the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. It was spices that were offered as gifts to the Messiah King. In ancient times spices are used to prepare the body for burial. This is God’s version of “aromatherapy”.

 Baruch atah Adonai Elohaynu melech ha-olam, borei minei b'samim.

Blessed are You, Lord, our God, King of the Universe, who creates varieties of spices.

 

Fire

The third blessing is recited over the special, multi-wicked Havdalah candle.

 Baruch atah Adonai Elohaynu melech ha-olam, borei m'orei ha-aish

Blessed are You, Lord, our God, King of the Universe, who creates the light of the fire.

 

Havdalah Blessing

 

Baruch atah Adonai Elohaynu melech ha-olam, ha-mavdil bayn kodesh l'chol,

Blessed are You, Lord, our God, King of the Universe, who distinguishes between the sacred and the secular, between light and darkness, between Israel and the nations, between the seventh day and the six days of labor.

Blessed are You, Lord, who distinguishes between the sacred and the secular.  

 

Extinguish the Fire.

 

The Pronouncement -

Ladies and Gentlemen, as witness to the covenant of marriage according to the Law of Moses and the Law of the Messiah of Israel, I would like to pronounce to you Mr. and Mrs. (Groom)____________________ , husband and wife. You may kiss the bride.

 

Everyone Please Stand  

The Breaking of the Glass -

 

A Traditional end to a Jewish wedding serves as a reminder of the fragility of life, even during the most joyous of celebrations. Life is fragile. We break this glass as a symbol of our past. In the theater that say go break a leg. In a Jewish wedding we break a glass. Forgiveness is an end to a shattered past. As the Groom smashes the glass everyone will shout Mazel Tov! Which means Good Fortune, may your lives here on out not be shattered, but full of fortune and joy.

 

Everyone responds with Mazel Tov.

 

The Bridal Party may dance around the Bride and Groom

Music: Simon Tov, Mazel Tov or another lively selection.

 

Tallit Covering and Blessing -

The Birchat HaKohanim - Numbers 6:24-26

 

The Lord bless you, and keep you;

The Lord make His face shine on you, And be gracious to you;

The Lord lift us His countenance on you, And give you peace.

 

Presentation of the Bride and Groom

Ladies and Gentlemen: I now present to you Mr. And Mrs. _____________

Husband and Wife.  You may now kiss the bride.

   

Recessional –

 

The Wedding March Recessional by Mendleson (a Jewish Believer)

Bride and Groom  (Stop halfway down the aisle and dip and give her another kiss.

Best Man and Maid of Honor

Groomsmen and Bridesmaids

Flower girl, Ring Bearer

Groomsmen escorts the Bride's Mother (Father follows behind)

Groomsmen escorts the Groom's Mother (Father follows behind)

Groomsmen escorts the Grandmothers

 

Cheder Yichud - Private Room

 

A brief period of seclusion for the bride and groom to absorb the events of the ceremony where they spend their first moments alone together as husband and wife. Yichud has been described as a period of bonding, a time of privacy and peace before the public celebration begins. It is nice to have the room and food prepared for them as a special surprise to their private moment.  

They will also break their fast before returning to the community to celebrate. The bride and groom will need about 20-30 minutes to enjoy the moment.

 

Reception Grand Entrance- 

 

Welcome the Bride and Groom with a great entrance.  Perhaps music leading up to the opening of the door.  Bubbles blown as they have a "reverse" reception line.  Everyone is lined up on each side of the path as they enter.  They can greet everyone as they make their way to the dance floor for their first dance. Next Bride will dance with her Father, then Groom with his Mother.

 

Seudat Mitzvah - The Festive Meal

 

Begin the meal with reciting the blessing over the wedding challah, the traditional braided bread.
Baruch ata Adonai, Eloheynu Melech Ha-Olam, hamotzi lechem min ha-aretz.

Blessed are You Adonai, our God, ruler of the universe, who brings forth bread from the earth.  

 

Perhaps one of the most distinctive and enjoyable aspects of the traditional Jewish wedding is the dancing and mitzvah (commandment) to make the kallah and chatan happy. 

   

  • The next thing that happens is the MC introduces the wedding party into the room. Traditional order: bride’s parents, groom’s parents, bridesmaids and groomsmen in couples, the maid of honor and best man, then the flower girl and ring bearer. 
  • You'll notice that there are no firm rules here because it's party time. But everything needs to be planned and an MC needs to know what the plans are so you can keep the "party" moving.  The Bride and Groom will be so inundated with guests they will not be able to plan what happens next.  Although they should be aware of the order of events.
  • Also, if you are planning on cutting short your photographer's hours, getting the first dance over with now allows the photographer to get a few good shots.
  • Next play classic songs from your parents era such as Big Band or Swing... This will make the older guests feel comfortable and they may not want to stay late just to dance to the "oldies" The Swing dances will get everyone ready for the Jewish Dances.
  • No Jewish wedding would be complete with out dancing the Hora or Lifting the bride and groom up in the chair.  
  • Hava Nagila is the classic, or play the Wedding Music from Fiddler on the Roof and perhaps get some men to do the Hassadic Bottle Dance.
  • (The chair dance should be planned ahead of time, eight strong men should be selected to lift the chairs. Shorter guys in the back so they don't tip the bride and groom out to their chair. They should even practice so they know how long and what to do. Remember to keep the Bride and Groom at the same level) Do this dance before the dinner, because the Bride and Groom do not want to be tossed around on a full stomach.
  • Before you eat, the best man makes a toast to the happy couple. Other Toasts can follow or wait until dinner has stopped.
  • If you have invited your Rabbi or other honored guest say the HaMotzie or grace before the meal. 
  • We find that if you are having more then 4 speeches, it’s more entertaining when they’re given between courses, but that's up to you. If you want to have the speeches said one after the other, that can be done after the meal. 
  • Speeches and dinner are done, now it's time for dancing.  You and your wedding party should start the dancing. You can also cut your cake and have the parent’s dance now too. Try not to stop your DJ too often, it’s hard to get everyone back on the dance floor once it’s been cleared.
  • An hour after that cut of the cake. You don’t have to announce this, it can be done anytime during the evening. Just make sure that the views of your photo & video people aren’t blocked. To save money on your photographer, do a fake cutting of the cake earlier and cut down on the amount of time they have to be at the reception.
  • At around 11:00pm its time to toss your bouquet. I know you like it when I type HUSBAND, I bet you're smiling right now. 
  • The sweet table or late-night buffet can start right after the tosses.
  • Lastly, change into your going away outfit (if you're doing that), have your last dance, say your goodbyes and leave.

 

 

 

The voice of joy
the voice of gladness
the voice of the bridegroom,
the voice of the bride,
and the voice that praise God.

 

Ani.JPG (84651 bytes)

Mazel Tov from Rabbi Ken and Melissa

 

Contact Rabbi Ken for information and wedding consulting. halleluyah@aol.com

Rabbi Ken and Melissa in 1997

 

Rabbi Ken and Melissa in 1998

 

 

 
Yeshuat Yisrael - The Salvation of Israel