What’s the difference between a religious and non-religious wedding ceremony?

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 25,477
    Rev. Bill Cochran discusses the difference between a religious and non-religious wedding ceremony.

    Rev. Bill Cochran: Hi, I am Rev. Bill Cochran. The name of my company is Say 'I do' your way. I know that you probably haven't done much of this your self and so a good wedding officiant is there to help you in planning all the details of your ceremony. And that's what I would really like to discuss with you in the next few minutes because I know you probably have a lot of questions about that ceremony.

    Host: What is the difference between a religious and non-religious wedding ceremony?

    Rev. Bill Cochran: I would suppose that the answer to that question seems rather obvious and it kind of is but I am surprised even yet after all the years I have been doing this of brides and grooms will say to me we want a non-religious ceremony. When I talk to them about what that means to them, I discover it has different definitions.

    Let me give you a basic definition that you probably already understand and we will deal with some of the nuances of it. The basic definition would be of course, a religious ceremony has a lot of religious practices and traditions in it. Prayers, scriptures readings, if it is Christian or if we are talking about Hindu or Islam or Judaism or whatever. They all bring in their own traditions of practices that make it uniquely a part and a ritual of that religion.

    A non-religious ceremony on other hand would not have many or any of those traditions in it and would be pretty much what we call a civil ceremony in other words just a non religious ceremony that helps the couple to tight a knot and those of course can be any where from very, very simple to a elaborate. So we will try to answer some questions you may have about what that means, the difference between simple to elaborate.