A Prevalent Misunderstanding

I sometimes speak with brides who tell me they want their wedding to be “non-denominational.” When I ask what they mean by that, they will

A prevalent misunderstanding
A prevalent misunderstanding

often tell me that they have a really diverse guest list and family – some are Jewish, some are Roman Catholic, and others are “non-denominational,” by which they really mean “spiritual but not religious.” When they say they want a “non-denominational” wedding, what they really mean is that they want a wedding where everybody can feel comfortable – by which they either mean interfaith, ecumenical, or spiritual but not religious – settings which most truly non-denominational people would not feel comfortable at all, and in which they might even feel compelled to try to convert the other guests.

As more and more of the world voluntarily leaves the Church and raises children outside the Church, those of us who are sympathetic to their cause and work with them need to do subtle education around the terms we use to describe our spirituality. We may need to develop new terms that better describe our beliefs and practices to ensure that we don’t end up with a wedding we never intended to have!

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