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Wedding Intensive: The Art of Marriage Ceremonies
Instructor: Rev. Susanna Stefanachi Macomb
Meetings: 3 Thursday Meetings
Dates: July 23rd, 2020 through August 6th, 2020
Time: 6:30PM - 9:30PM EST
Format: Live Online
Audience: All welcome
Description: Weddings are likely the most common form of ceremony that Interfaith Ministers perform. This is an in- depth intensive for planning, creating and performing various types of wedding ceremonies from both a spiritual and practical perspective. The art of of a truly memorable ceremony requires knowledge and presence. Moreover, it must be a love story!

Additional information about the Wedding Intensive is available in the YouTube video.

Goals: At the end of the intensive, students will:
  • Have an expanded understanding of ceremony in general with an emphasis on weddings as ceremony.
  • Know how to script a wedding (through homework/prep and inclass activities).
  • Understand the importance of, and have tools for being, present (i.e., grounding before ceremony, presence during ceremony, invoking the Divine, radiating the light of love).
  • Be able to work with couples in terms of preparing the wedding, dealing with issues that may arise, and possible future interactions (interfaith and spiritual counseling. house blessings, baby blessings, funerals etc.).
  • Learn special personal touches that make a ceremony truly memorable for decades to come, many of which Susanna has personally developed over 24 years of ministry.
  • Have a better understanding of how to work with Interfaith, Intercultural marriage situations and sensitivities.
  • Have an overview of popular wedding rituals, their meaning and significance.
  • Have a clear understanding of practicalities involved.
  • Discussion of licensing and spiritual marriage certificates.
  • Have an understanding of what is involved regarding performing Out-of-State Weddings.
  • Have an understanding of how to perform Zoom weddings.
Other: Homework:
  • Read Joining Hands and Hearts: Interfaith, Intercultural Wedding Celebrations: A Practical Guide for Couples (Simon & Schuster)
  • You will be given an assignment to write a complete ceremony for a given situation. Each student will be given a different scenario.
  • An interview: Find a couple you know— they could be dating or already married—and interview them. The goal is to hear their love story so you can custom create their ceremony. Refer to the questionnaire on pages 36-28 of Joining Hands and Hearts.
  • Do the following for your specific couple/situation:
  • Write the ceremony (Procession to Recession) for a couple with the backgrounds of your assigned scenario. This must be done at least two days before the third class and sent to Rev. Susanna via email.
  • Take the results of your personal interview of the dating or married couple (using the personal elements from the questionnaire in Rev. Susanna's book) and write the more personal parts of the ceremony – opening words, words to couple, honoring family (if they choose to include the latter in their ceremony). In other words, when writing the ceremony, you are to speak from what you learned about the couple, interlacing those words as you see fit. In this way, when you speak, you can better speak to the couple's hearts, reflecting the beauty of the couple – who they are and what they believe. Again, this must be done before the third class and sent to Rev. Susanna via email.
  • Students will receive copies of all the participants' written weddings for future reference.
  • Students may contact Susanna with any questions when performing their first wedding ceremony.
  • All Faiths Seminary International will confer upon the student/participant a certificate for completing the elective.

Breakdown of the three classes:
Class 1 (July 23rd) will cover: We begin with meditation, prayer and invocation. This first class covers how to interview a couple, collaborate with and prepare a couple, how to prepare and perform the ceremony, licensing requirements and procedures, spiritual certificates, various types of ceremonies, spiritual and interfaith counseling during the wedding process, issues that may arise as well as the importance of spirituality and practicality. Question and Answer to follow.

Class 2 (July 30th) will cover : The art of ceremony, a review of universal and faith traditions from around the world—their beauty, meaning and significance, commonality and differences, the power of speaking from the heart, making it a love story, how to inspire and uplift, important personal touches. Question and Answer to follow.

Class 3 (August 6th) will cover: Performance day! Students will perform aspects of the ceremony that they have written. Discussion to follow. The session ends with Rev. Susanna personally bestowing a blessing upon the participants and their future ceremonies and services. We ask all students to be present for this 3rd class.

A note from Rev. Susanna: If we do our job right, we serve as a sacred mirror, reflecting all that is good, beautiful and Divine back to those we serve. Our hope, aim and prayer is that the participants leave basking in the light of love, which is the light of God. In a wedding, it is reflected through the light of the couple – and that day is a reflection of God's light.
If there is anything in particular a student would like me to address during our intensive, or should you have a question, feel free to contact me directly before the class.

Looking forward to connecting with you, heart to heart,
Rev. Susanna Stefanachi Macomb
Cell: 917-856-0422
Office: 212-663-1044
Fee: $412.00

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