Bilingual weddings – readings (IV)
Wedding readings are an essential part of your ceremony. Depending on where you get married, you will have access to a whole range of readings. Religious ceremonies must feature religious readings, while readings at civil ceremonies in the UK cannot make any religious or spiritual references and must be approved by the registrar. However, if you have the added element of getting married in a bilingual ceremony, what are your options?
With religious readings, you probably have the easiest solution. In a Christian wedding, for example, the choice is clear. The Bible has been translated wholly into over 400 languages, while there are many more translations of specific parts and other religiously-themed texts. Discuss possible texts with the person who will marry you and consider having a reading of the same text in both languages.
If you get married in a civil ceremony, check with the registrar in terms of the use of non-official languages. With the ok from him or her, readings can actually become one of the best ways to include a foreign language in your ceremony.
Perhaps, instead, you would prefer to use poems or readings that are meaningful to you in one language but not in the other.
In both cases, it might be a good idea to include a translation of the reading in the order of service.
And remember – if there is a reading that you both truly love but that does not exist in both languages, you can also get it translated yourselves, although you should contact official bodies, like the Institute of Linguists, to find a good literary translator.
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