As a child growing up in Oklahoma, I attended a traditional Presbyterian Church. During the “casual” Sunday service, one of the most intimate moments was the “Passing of the Peace.”
In a service filled with folk and popular music, the participation of children, and other contemporary elements, this ritual provided an immediate connection among congregants. Each individual turned to those around him or her and clasped hands repeating the simple words, “Peace be with you,” to which the other person responded, “And also with you.” For those who knew each other, the greetings might be longer and more personal, or accompanied by a hug, but it was a heart-warming experience for all.
In reading Daphne Rose Kingma’s helpful book Weddings from the Heart, I noticed that she suggested the same ritual during a wedding ceremony. I think it is a lovely idea, whether coming from a place of religious faith or secular community building. Consider including this simple, but powerful, gesture as a way to connect your wedding guests.