Unaffiliated with Houses of Worship with Unique, Personalized Ceremonies
More and more engaged couples find themselves with a quandary. Who will marry them if they no longer belong to a house of worship, or have left the faith traditions of their families of origin? Life-Cycle Celebrants® like Deborah Belaus fill a growing need to serve couples with creative, personalized wedding ceremonies reflecting this trend. An extensive new survey by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life details statistics on religion in America and explores the shifts taking place in the United States’ religious landscape. More than one quarter of American adults (28%) have left the faith in which they were raised in favor of another religion or no religion at all. Among Americans ages 18-29, one in four say they are not currently affiliated with any particular religion.
“Older teens and young adults appear to be abandoning organized religion on a large scale,” says Belaus. “When couples come to me to be married they often describe themselves as spiritual, but not religious. Many individuals have drifted away from the religion of their youth and find that getting married raises serious questions.” With the rise of internet dating sites, more single people are meeting others from different denominations and cultures. The result: An increasing percentage of married couples are interfaith, multicultural, interracial, same gender, agnostic and atheist.
This changing shift in attitudes leads to several questions such as where to get married and by whom. That’s where a Life-Cycle Celebrant® like Belaus comes in. “When a couple is getting married outside this jurisdiction of any specific church or religious organization,” explains Belaus, “they are free to customize the ceremony to their own needs.” Celebrants like Belaus bring the balance and healing often required to help build the bridge of acceptance between diverse backgrounds.
“The celebrant’s role is to listen without judging,” says Belaus, “to recognize couples’ needs, present possible solutions, and care for all parties involved. As the Celebrant gathers information, a ceremony is born.” If you are celebrating an interfaith marriage, such as a Jewish/Christian ceremony, couples can include rituals or traditions specific to their religious heritage and then adapt and weave both traditions to reflect their modern, current lives. Blending, modernizing, adapting, and personalizing these age-old rituals offers couples from different backgrounds a way to create something that speaks to their unique partnership as an interfaith family.
Belaus received her training in a rigorous program with the Celebrant Foundation & Institute, studying the art of ceremony creation, storytelling, comparative ritual, ceremony management, and oratory. Her customized ceremonies are a wonderful opportunity for couples to express themselves and declare the power of love in their lives.