Blessing of Love Celebrating the Respect for Marriage Act

queer couple - one in a white bridal gown and one in a blue suit - embracing under a chuppah with a rabbi wearing a rainbow tallit

The traditional seven blessings of the Jewish wedding ceremony overflow with synonyms for happiness (e.g., gilah, rinah, ditzah, hedvah, etc. – joy, gladness, cheer, delight, etc.), expressing the heights of joy and hopefulness one feels at the joining of two loving souls. Now that President Biden has signed into law the Respect for Marriage Act (December 13, 2022), protecting the rights of same-sex and interracial couples to marry, we mark this historic occasion with a joyful blessing. The Shehekheyanu blessing acknowledges the singular importance of this moment. The traditional Hebrew blessing formula refers to God as “Sovereign of the world.” I have adapted this language to refer to God as one who “loves this whole world.”

Blessing of Love Celebrating the Respect for Marriage Act
With joy, gladness, cheer, delight,
With song, pleasure, love, fellowship, and peace,
We thank you, God, friends, and community,
For bringing us to this day.
We celebrate the triumph
Of love over hate
Of compassion over fear
Of equality for all.
We pledge to continue to take action
To protect the rights of all who are oppressed.
May we see the day when all people throughout the world
Are recognized as created in the image of the Divine,
Free to love and be loved in safety and peace.
May love continue to win, over and over again.


Adapted Shehekheyanu Blessing with Masculine God Language

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה, יְיָ אֱלֹהֵינוּ, אוֹהֵב הָעוֹלָם, שֶׁהֶחֱיָנוּ וְקִיְּמָנוּ וְהִגִּיעָנוּ לַזְּמַן הַזֶּה

Barukh atah, Adonai Eloheinu, ohev ha-olam, shehekheyanu, v’kiy’manu, v’higiyanu laz’man hazeh.

Blessed are You, Adonai our God, who loves this whole world, who has kept us alive, sustained us, and brought us to this season.

Adapted Shehekheyanu Blessing with Feminine God Language

בְּרוּכָה אַתְּ יָהּ אֱלֹהֵינוּ, אוֹהֵבת הָעוֹלָם, שֶׁהֶחֱיָתְנוּ וְקִיְּמָתְנוּ וְהִגִּיעָתְנוּ לַזְּמַן הַזֶּה

Berukhah at Yah, Eloheinu ohevet ha-olam, shehekheyatnu, v’kiy’matnu, v’higiyatnu laz’man hazeh.

Blessed are You, Yah our God, who loves this whole world, who has kept us alive, sustained us, and brought us to this season.

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