I have had the privilege of officiating many interfaith marriages. I have yet to find a couple who did not believe their different faiths would help them find common values, make important compromises, and lead to a meaningful life together. Interfaith marriage poses a challenge, no doubt, but no more than facing the other beliefs, just as powerful but less conscious, that we live by every day. It is the role of the pastor to help couples and their families to become more conscious of their beliefs and how they will impact their marriage and life together.
Sean assured his mother of his love: no one would ever take her place in his life. But he was marrying Brianna. He fervently hoped she would give her heartfelt blessing at their wedding ceremony and be an important part of their life. It was up to her. At the rehearsal dinner I made sure I talked with Sean's mother, asking open-ended questions, and listening carefully for her longings, hopes, fears. I was able to tell her my favorable impression of her son, his soon-to-be bride, and their clear-eyed and deep-well love for each other, and to acknowledge the difficult of letting go that every mother must face when her son marries. Just in case, the groomsmen were ready and willing to gently escort Sean's mother out of the sanctuary if she chose to disrupt the ceremony. But after talking with her I was convinced she had found a good place to stand. At the ceremony she beamed like any proud, loving, and faithful mom would.'
Tim Mooney is a Presbyterian Pastor, a Spiritual Director, and a Fine Artist. Much of Rev. Mooney's artwork has been created for and in various liturgical settings. His work can be seen at www.timmooneystudio.com.