Meet the “Jewish-Catholic-Wedding Dream Team!”
Last night, I drove 13 hours round trip up and back in the same day, just to co-officiate the wedding of Alex and Blake, an adorable couple from Gainesville, FL, in St. Augustine. Now normally, I would never accept a wedding 2 days before Rosh Hashanah, most especially out of town – and most definitely not with an up and back in one day! But this wedding was different. See, I would go to the ends of the earth to share an altar with Father Tim Lozier, my most incredibly favorite Catholic Priest in this world. Father Tim and I co-officiated our first Jewish Catholic wedding a few years ago for Dan & Bethann, and then for Michelle and Brian last year. Last night was the 3rd time, for Alex and Blake.
It’s been hard to put into words what makes Father Tim my favorite.
First, his incredible willingness and ease in sharing the roles and equally including both of us in the most special, wonderful ways in the ceremony makes him so easy to work with. His wonderful, loving, caring soul makes him so easy to love and get along with. And I really get a kick that he grabs my arm and leads me right up to the bar to get us a cocktail to celebrate! What a guy! But last night, I understood what makes Father Tim really so special. In any other co-officiated wedding, I would be deeply concerned over the inclusion of the “J-word” in a ceremony, but with Father Tim, he makes special points to mention “Rabbi Jesus”, and he takes all of the discomfort out of the obvious elephant in the room. And as I stand there next to him, reciting The Lord’s Prayer word for word along with him, I can feel the palpable energy of unity flowing through the room. It is the ultimate point in what I do that makes me so happy to work with Father Tim.
“What unites us, not what divides us”
Focusing on what unites us – the values of love and caring, we can dissolve the concepts of what divides us. In that space, in his white robes and in my tallit, with the words of Jesus on his lips and the Sheva Brachot on mine, we are one. We are brother and sister in G0d’s eyes, and we share the same source. In this moment and time, there are no differences. The Lord’s Prayer is as much mine as it is his, and the power of that thought has been what has transformed the 3 weddings we have performed together, and will continue to do so every time in the future. I adore Father Tim, and I adore my couples who I marry. I adore my family, my loved ones, and human kind. And oh, I adore the thought of all of us living and sharing this planet, loving and caring for each other, as brothers and sisters in God’s eyes. I have a dream…