Host: How does an Interfaith ceremony work?
Rev Bill Cochran: Well Interfaith can mean different things. If we are talking Christian it could be Catholic, Protestants, it could be Christian and other faith. It is difficult to find somebody who is expert in every faith. Generally you will find an Officiant who is more proficient in one over the other. But it is good to find an Officiant who is very opened and accepting of other faiths and of those traditions and is going to help you to look for ways to celebrate and to recognize the different traditions for which each of you have come.
In the case of say Catholic and Protestant, I have discovered that invariably in the Catholic background there is someone who is horrified that it is not going to be done at the Church by a priest and couple have their reasons why they are not doing it that way. So it is important for me as the Officiant to help the couple to understand that there is some kind of expectations here from somebody and maybe there is something we can do to help them at least feel comfortable at least recognize that this probably is a legal wedding and God may even show up, if that's important to them.
In the case of Interfaith it's equally important to recognize there could be some people who are bothered by this Interfaith marriage. But it wasn't their decision. So we want to recognize, we want to be sensitive to where everybody is coming from. But I always tell a bride and groom, I work for them. So I am not in position to say you can't do that, you have to do this. I am in a position to ask a lot of questions and to help guide them in thinking through the process. But it is important for the Officiant to remind the bride and groom that we want to please as many people as we can, at least try not to offend them or we still recognize that it's really their wedding and their decisions to make.