“From my experience as a parent, several of whose children have had interfaith weddings, I know how valuable the contents of this book are. It is an excellent resource, not only as a guide for the celebration, but also for the healing of families and the creation of a solid foundation for a successful relationship. Marriage, like any relationship, takes work because two people are creating something that goes beyond their personal interests. This book will start the couple and their families off in the right direction. I know from my life that when we learn from the wisdom and experience of others we save ourselves from having to become strong at the broken places. Read on and create a marriage strong enough to withstand life's difficulties.”
Bernie Siegel, M.D.
Author of Love, Medicine & Miracles
and Prescriptions For Living
“This lovely book is a rarity in a sea of wedding books. In addressing the issues of interfaith/ intercultural weddings, Rev. Macomb focuses on the true essence of what a marriage is about; the joining of two souls, their families and their communities.”
author of Weddings For Dummies
“A literal Godsend. What a generous and practical offering of inspiration, comfort, and support for couples anxious to make the best decisions about every detail of their wedding ceremonies.”
Nothing Left Over: A Plain and Simple Life
“Instantly indispensable for couples and clergy alike, this richly textured interfaith and intercultural wedding guide is as inspirational as it is practical--truly a gift of the spirit.”
The Rev. Forrest Church
All Souls Unitarian Church in New York City
author of Bringing God Home
“As an event planner, who has had the great pleasure of working with Rev.Macomb, I have also watched the union of a many couples from a third person perspective just as a Minister or Rabbi does. I found that Joining Hands and Hearts is just what every couple can use as a wonderful and insightful tool prior to marriage or even after. A good marriage starts with strong building blocks and continues to build. It is just that strength of foundation that is so intimately expressed throughout this book."
author of A Passion for Parties
“Perhaps the only way we will ever have peace on this planet is to join hands and hearts, one couple, and one family at a time... until we are truly all one human family! Susanna Macomb's book shows us how to celebrate our common humanity, while never forgetting our glorious individuality! This is a most important and timely book.”
Co-author and photographer of
Jefferson's Children the
Story of One American Family
"Joining Hands and Hearts is a splendid book... very well-written, exciting, informative, and spiritual. It is especially helpful for priests, rabbis, and ministers of all faiths who are called upon to officiate at interfaith marriages. I will definitely add this to the official booklist for students of the All Faiths Seminary International. Bravo!"
Rabbi Gelberman, Ph.D.
Founder and President of
All Faiths Seminary International,
Founder and past President of The New Seminary in New York City, and author of Physician of the Soul
“Having coordinated and witnessed many weddings throughout my career there are a few very special ceremonies that I remember most. I recall them so specifically because their words moved me emotionally and left me feeling that I truly knew the couple. Joining Hands and Hearts provides an indispensable guide for authoring your own very personal story. Susanna’s approach gently leads the bride and groom through a process of self-awareness and celebration of the most meaningful parts of their lives together and provides a beautiful foundation for the commitment of marriage. A few years have passed since Susanna led my husband and me through this wonderful experience but after reading Joining Hands and Hearts I am reminded of how fortunate we were to have her join our hands and hearts in the most perfect way imaginable."
Tracey L. Brown
Wedding Planner and
Assistant Director of Catering, The Waldorf Astoria
“Rev. Susanna Stefanachi Macomb's calming words offers peace to brides and grooms from different religious backgrounds and cultures. Susanna radiates light as they come to the altar; her ceremonies are inspiring and uplifting to all who participate. Weddings ceremonies are challenging under the best of circumstances. Joining Hands and Joining Hearts will help couples create the sacred and joyous event of a lifetime!”
Wedding Planner and Director of Catering,
The Essex House, New York
“Through my years of being a wedding planner at the Rainbow Room and the St. Regis, Susanna Macomb has been an incredible source of information and insight. Reading her book just confirms how wonderful it is to work with her. She is always there with a kind word and helpful guidance in every way that she can. She truly sees to the heart of any situation.”
Meg W. Joyce
Wedding Planner, St. Regis Hotel
“I've seen Rev. Macomb in 'action' and it is obvious to me and everyone at the ceremony that we are witnessing something extraordinary. She has the ability to 'see' (know and hear) a couples love and commitment and that becomes their ceremony. Through the miracle of their differences, Joining Hands and Hearts reminds us that with love all things are possible.”
President of Elegant Events Ltd
“Intimate yet encyclopedic in the variety of customs and family concerns that it addresses, Joining Hands and Hearts is an insightful guide that will be welcome to so many couples nowadays who want their wedding ceremonies to be as rich and deep as their commitment. Brilliant!”
Wedding Planner, Kate Edmonds Events
Reviews from our Readers!
I read your book and LOVE it! A friend who recently got married gave me your book. We're getting married in April in Ventura, CA in a sunset beach ceremony. Before reading your book, I had no clue what I wanted and how I pictured our wedding. I learned so much that I didn't know I needed to know while reading the book.
S., my fiancé, and I are different as can be. That also includes our backgrounds. I am Iranian-born, Texan and Muslim (by birth). Although not religious, I love to pray and meditate in Catholic churches. S.'s family is from New York and is Jewish. We do not consider ourselves religious at all and do not practice any formal religion.
To me, culture and customs are more important than religious beliefs. I am very curious about other people's ways and beliefs and so is S. So, when we got engaged, we knew that we wanted elements of both cultures in our ceremony. I find it hard to do that, b/c the Persian culture has been to mixed w/ Islamic idea that I cannot figure out how to separate the two. I specifically do not want any Islamic rituals or any reference of Koran in the ceremony. I have looked into hand fastening, since that would be a custom purely "Persian" and completely separate from Islam. I am also setting the Sofreh in the reception area for all to see.
So, many thanks for this wonderful and inventive book!
Reverend Macomb, your book truly shaped my special day. I found it online and after reading the first chapter, I knew I had to meet you. You are tremendously knowledgeable about a wide array of cultures and rituals. As a Black American woman marrying an Indian American man, I knew that I wanted to infuse both of our backgrounds in our wedding ceremony. Your book provided all I needed to do that. Then after reading your book I contacted you. When we went to your home office, I felt so at home with you. In minutes I felt I had known you for years. Throughout my wedding planning everything had been a difficult decision - what photographer to use, which venue to hold the reception, where to have the ceremony. The only simple decision was to have Rev. Macomb officiate our wedding. You asked all about us, and you told us all about herself. You interlaced our words in our ceremony. You incorporated our families into the ceremony as well - having them take part in certain rituals and reading our words of love to them. We poured libation, tied the knot, exchanged rings and garlands, took the seven steps, jumped the broom, and of course kissed. You gave us a number of readings associated with each ritual that I was able to choose from. Everything was absolutely perfect thanks to you and your book. We have built a relationship that is very dear to my heart. You genuinely care about me and my family. You were a great comforter when my grandmother was ill this summer. Your kind human spirit comes through in your book as well as in person. I can not recommend your book or your services more passionately.
We went out and bought your book the very same day I read your reply. It's fabulous! We got some wonderful ideas and combined them and reworded them and now we have more than half of our ceremony written up! We just need to fit the vows in there somewhere and write up an introduction and we're finished! Thank you so much! We were so worried about having a boring old traditional ceremony, or one that flew by way too quickly, and now we have something that reflects our relationship perfectly, is meaningful enough to make me cry and my fiance get more excited than ever as we proofread it, and it even includes our parents! YAY!
I just wanted to let you know how much our conversation on the phone a month ago touched my heart and I ordered your book, and it has been so much help and support. Thank you so much for compiling such a great book, it is truly so refreshing for interfaith couples!! A. I decided to get married in November, we found a reverend in the VA area that will perform our wedding using some of the tools suggested in your book. I will be in NYC next week-end, and I know how busy you must be but I was wondering if you would not mind meeting A. and I just for some time to perhaps give us some insight and advice on marriage. I know your time is precious, and I would love to have a counseling session with you, if we can arrange that.
Please let me know if you have some time, I would be very grateful, especially in this time of utmost stress a month before the wedding, and I could totally use some of your words of wisdom.
I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed your book. I have just begun working as a celebrant, and although pagan myself, am looking forward to conducting ceremonies of different faiths and spiritualities. I have found your book to be a wonderful resource tool and am hoping to build on many of your suggestions. Await other publications with joy.
Thank you for your healing and inspirational website. I am a Muslim born American woman to be married to my best friend, who is a non-denominational Christian. I am not yet sure what I am looking for, but I just bought your book to help my loved ones and me with my wedding journey. Thank God for you!!
Peace Be with You,
Dear Rev. Macomb:
I am a Indian-Hindu Bride marrying a Spanish-Catholic Groom. I just purchased your book last Friday on interfaith and intercultural weddings. You have done a wonderful job in the setup of the book. Everything is slowly starting to format in my head, I just have to start writing everything down so I don't forget. I have not yet finished reading the book yet, however I have been deeply engrossed in trying to read a little bit of it everyday. I was very happy to see that you wrote a book about intercultural marriages. I honestly did not think I was going to be able to find a book about it. Thank you so much!!!
Hello My Dear Susanna,
As you may remember, I recommend your book "Joining Hands and Hearts" to all my couples. For those that like to get involved in the creative process of the wedding ceremony, your book is inspiring, thought provoking (in a beautiful way), and helpful in every aspect of their ceremony. I just received an email from a couple who just booked for next year. I thought you would like to know some of her words to me...
Hi Rev. Laura,
First of all, I wanted to let you know that I have been reading Joining Hands and Hearts, and I absolutely love it. It is so inspirational, and if I ever feel stressed, this book puts me at peace. When reading the stories about the other couples, I get tears in my eyes, and then I always feel silly because I am usually reading it on the train ride to or from work. And of course, I have been making notes for J. to read too.
Be Well and Stay Blessed,
Always with Love,
The wedding was fabulous! Thank you so much for everything. I couldn't have done this without you and your book. You and it were great resources.
Once again, thank you, thank you, thank you.
A Newly Ordained Minister
We really loved your book and we're using it to help guide our ceremony for our Eastern Indian/American wedding will take place in Santa Rosa, Ca in September.
A.R. and A. L.
Bay Area, California
Dear Reverend Macomb,
We have been reading your book "Joining Hands and Hearts" and looking at your website. And we both felt excited by your understanding of love and spirituality. Many of the traditions you mention are aspects we had decided to incorporate into our ceremony.
R. R. and T.V.
Of all the books on weddings I have, and I have many, many that I have collected over this last year on ceremony, yours is my most favorite!!! It is a tremendous service you perform by writing this book and putting all this great stuff out there so that it adds beauty to the world. I really do appreciate that!
Love and best wishes,
Hello, I was ordained as an Interfaith Minister in London. I am reading Joining Hands and Hearts, for which I am deeply grateful. I have just been approached to do my first Wedding Blessing, and I am finding your sharings a great support.
The couple comes to the monthly worship services which I hold, they are both Christian & Hare Krishna.
With Boundless Gratitude and Love & Blessings to you.
Hi, Rev. Susanna -
I'm an interfaith minister and have found your book to be a wonderful resource for adding personal touches to weddings. Your book has been a real blessing and help to me.
Rev L. H.
Dear Rev Macomb,
Thank you for your book "Joining Hands and Hearts". I read it with great interest and found it very inspirational and uplifting. It makes such a nice change to receive some supporting and optimistic feedback after a long line of "no's" and discouragement. I gives me hope that the world is after all moving into the right direction.
Heartfelt warm wishes from,
Dr. S. D.
U.K. / Berlin
When we first got engaged we ordered 2 copies of your book. It has given me a lot of relief knowing that what we envision for one of the most beautiful days of our lives can be done with the right guidance and assistance.
We are on very similar paths and heart-waves.
I honor and salute your beautiful work, and the vast ripple effect you have made with the great venues you have chosen! Wonderful work, Susanna!
My name is L., and my fiance P. and I are getting married in Newport, Rhode Island. I came across your book on amazon.com, and I really enjoyed reading about wedding rituals from different cultures and how you were able to incorporate them together so smoothly.
Pete's family is Catholic, and mine is Muslim. We did not want a religious ceremony, but we want a cultural one. My background is Persian, and my mother, aunts, and grandmother are already talking about the sofreh. I love the idea of it, but wanted a ceremony that is truly about both of us--not just me.
Thanks so much for your time, and for writing such a wonderful book!
Newport, Rhode Island.
My name is J. M. and I recently read your book, "Joining Hands and Hearts." First, thank you for writing it because it really gave me lots to think about and reflect upon. Although we do not actively practice our religions we are both spiritual people who want a meaningful spiritual connection for our wedding ceremony. Your book gave me inspiration for what our ceremony could be given our differences and shared experiences.
I am getting married in London, UK and have found your book ' Joining Hands and Hearts' to be invaluable. We are having a Sufi wedding with a Universal Worship service followed by the Wedding Ceremony.
We both loved the quote you included from the Hadith:
"When a man looks upon his wife and she upon him, God looks mercifully on them. When they join hands together, their sins disappear in the interstices of their fingers. When they love, the angels encircle the earth."
Many thanks for your help.
With best wishes
L. L. D.
I just bought your book two days ago and LOVE it!
Thank you so much for all the great advice. My fiancee and I are not very religious and are planning an outdoor wedding up in Lake Tahoe, California. I really would like to have someone marry us with similar beliefs and experience as yours.
Thank you very much for your help!
I have actually been performing wedding ceremonies, still using your book and your class as my Bible!
Your work and words are so beautiful! After reading (and re-reading) your uplifting and helpful book—I can honestly say that I can not wait for our ceremony (and the stardust!) Please know that your book has changed my life. Even though my husband and I follow different faiths—your book is our "new bible". It has given me hope, strength and happiness. My mother is now reading it and I think for first time even she is happy for me! The hand of God has definitely reached into your soul. God bless you as you continue to bless others!
R. , Astoria, NY
I am newly engaged and I just picked up a copy of your book, Joining Hands and Hearts, and I cannot even begin to tell you how flooded with emotion I have become reading the beauty of your words (and I am only on page 28!).
While I was raised in a devoutly Roman Catholic home, I would no longer call myself a practicing Catholic. My fiancé, Charlie, was not raised in a religious home. I have struggled with our decision not to be married in the church, largely for fear of offending my parents and relatives. To my surprise, both of my parents have been very supportive of our decision. I have also worried that I would not be able to find an officiant who would be able to express the magnitude of our sentiment and passion for each other without relying on religion overtones or seeming overly new-agey. Your book has shown me that a gifted officiant, such as yourself, is able to craft a beautiful ceremony reflective of a couple's intricacies and individuality, while celebrating their love in as valid a way as any religious ceremony could.
I want you to know that your book has touched me, and I am sure, many others. Thank you for your words, and your desire to share them with all of us.
I'm returning your wonderful, delightful, insightful (Shall I go on?) book Joining Hands and Hearts to my local library, two weeks overdue in a few hours because I just couldn't read enough of it and make enough notes from it. Your book is full of enriching, and inspiring material. I think I'll buy it for a loaner to any couples who engage me.
Good Morning! I just finished reading your book and am ever so inspired!
I have to admit that I cried while reading all the personalized ceremonies at the end.
(Tears of happiness, of course.) My wonderful R. came downstairs to find me in
a puddle on the couch. He sat down next to me and we read them together.
So many wonderful ideas!
San Diego, California
Ahhh Susanna- thank you for your book. It truly was and is a gift, and one that I have been asking for. I just finished it—treacherously reading and walking in downtown San Francisco on my way home, but it captivated me and has helped me begin to frame the ceremony that my sweetheart and I want to create when we marry.
Thank you so much!
S.R., San Francisco, CA
Dear Rev. Macomb:
It is so heartening and wonderful to know that there is someone who understands the challenges of interfaith weddings. Being a Hindu woman, my desire to marry a Muslim man has met with its own share of challenges (and wonderful moments too!). I have read your book "Joining Hands and Hearts" and found it to be very inspirational. I only wish that I had discovered this wonderful book long before!
Rev. Stefanachi Macomb
Your book, Joining Hands and Hearts, is beside me. I went to our local small town library last Saturday in the late afternoon, and there was your book on the shelf of recent acquisitions. It is fascinating and beautiful reading. I'm already a better rabbi for the borrowing of this book. I've made notes of what I want to do at my son's wedding in June of 2004.
Retired Army Chaplain, Collinsville,OK
I am currently reading Joining Hands and Hearts and have found it to be of immense comfort. Your insight helps a lot. My fiancé and I are getting married and we are an interfaith, interracial, and intercultural couple. We both have broad views of religion and the purpose it is meant to serve in this world and accept each other's faith traditions openly. I know that we fit together in ways that we can only begin to understand as human beings. This relationship has been the most exhilarating process of challenging myself to be honest and question what was keeping us apart. We've both been humble, creative, and brave at every turn to stay together. Managing our relationship seemed difficult before we were engaged, and now that we are, all of the past seems easy. We know we are each other's life partner.
Thank you again for your words and your book.
Hello Rev. Susanna,
My name is D. N. I am Christian and my husband to be is Iranian Muslim. We wanted a ceremony that was spiritual but not religious and I feared that our dream would never be realized. Can you imagine my joy then in finding and reading your book? For us, it has been priceless. I hope you do not think this too forward, but I feel in you we have found a soul mate, someone who feels and thinks so much the way we do.
Thank you again and again!
I read your book and enjoyed it very much. Your soul is immense. I agree with you when you say, “When I stand before an interfaith couple and look out at their families and guests, I sometimes feel, this is where it starts. This is our hope for peace."
I wish you could come to Italy.
Dear Rev. Macomb:
I ordered your book this summer and I found it to be an excellent aid in creating difficult ceremonies. I was able to find the right words to make even the most contentious bride happy! I am receiving more and more leads from interfaith couples and I have no problem proposing just the right ceremony samples for them; they are amazed at how I was able to avoid the problem of two faiths looming above them, when neither of them really cared about religion, it was the parents that had the problem. Your book helped me with that issue also.
I have purchased many books like yours, and haven't used some at all because they aren't what they advertised to be. Yours is true to the description, which I truly appreciate.
Thank you for writing a book which really helps me be a versatile interfaith minister.
Rev. E. M.
I have just contracted my first wedding. I am so excited. The bride is Jewish and the groom is Catholic but he has participated in Buddhism, Course in Miracles, etc. He is a Reiki master and owns a wellness center. I recommended that he buy your book to look at before we design the service. He was thrilled to hear such a book existed. Thanks to you it does!
I think this will be a great first wedding. I am co-officiating with a Rabbi friend.
Just wanted to share my joy!
Dear Reverend - I am writing on behalf of my good friend G. D. who is such a huge advocate of your beliefs. G., a Roman Catholic, recently became engaged to her fiancée S., a Turkish Muslim (and who's family strongly opposes this interfaith marriage), as a gift, was given your book Joining Hands and Hearts and she swears it has been the greatest engagement gift given. She had gotten the book from her friend and called me saying "your company publishes THE GREATEST book." (I wish I had the ingenious idea of giving her your book) Mostly, because she has found comfort in your words and feels there is someone out there who understands her and her situation.
Not sure if you remember me, but I had contacted you as I wanted you to marry me and my now husband on September 5, 2004. You were busy, and told me about your book.
I bought your book and I must tell you that it is/was just incredible and we used so much in there to brainstorm our own ideas and use some of which we read for our ceremony. You are amazing!! I loved the book so much, I can only imagine the warm, generous, loving person you must be. And I appreciate that you are you and that you took the time to write to me and help us find a direction.
Our ceremony that was truly magnificent. Everything we wanted!!
So thank you Susanna for being you and for bringing love to the world and making it a better place.
I am feeling so much better lately as the stress is off. I'm trying to think positive thoughts as much as I can. People like you help all the time.
With warmest wishes,
Hello, Rev. Susanna.
We, B. and K., have been reading your book and have found ourselves inspired by your insights into interfaith and intercultural wedding ceremonies. Being of different religious upbringings and cultural backgrounds, we are feeling empowered by the potential we know we have to create our own special ceremony. The warmth and candor of your writing has made an exciting impression on us!
B. and K.
Hello Reverend Macomb,
We just wanted to write to thank you for your wonderful book on interfaith marriage. I am Jewish and my new husband (actually my high-school sweetheart!) is a non-practicing Catholic (agnostic) and we had some challenges structuring our wedding ceremony. We thought of a few compromises on our own, such as first having a legal, non-religious, ‘official’, ceremony in Manhattan, followed by a destination, vow-exchanging ceremony with 75 of our closest family and friends in beautiful Bermuda. Because we had trouble finding a rabbi in Bermuda, we actually officiated the ceremony ourselves, incorporating the customs and traditions from many of the cultures described in your wonderful book. We invited our immediate families to come up and say blessings and perform our favorite non-religious readings. We included such religious traditions as the Chuppah, the seven Jewish blessings, the Jewish circling ceremony, the Irish blessings, the handfasting ceremony, the glass breaking, and the Catholic passing of the peace. Thanks to your book, we were able to create a ceremony of inclusion and tolerance for both of our families, helping them both remain satisfied with our compromises. Anyhow, we are happy give you a copy of the ceremony if you wish and we would love to take you for coffee or dinner to thank you for your guidance if you are ever interested/available.
P.S. If my sources are correct, we will be featured in the New York Post wedding section this Sunday - check it out!!
K. & J. C.
My name is H. and I just picked up your fantastic book today. I was so compelled by your warmth and deep spirituality!
Thank you, thank you for your wonderful book, what a gem!
Dear Reverend Susanna Stefanachi Macomb,
I would first like to thank you for writing your book because I was extremely confused about how to put my ceremony together. My fiancé and I are not practicing any religion and we were worried that we would have a non-meaningful union. My friend recommended your book and I am now in the beginning stages of trying to put my ceremony together. I am using your book to guide me through. It is our hope to find an officiant that offers your same philosophies and awareness!
Dear Rev. Susanna,
Your book is great! I performed my first ceremony on Valentine's Day at sunset on the beach at this beautiful resort. I have written several ceremonies since getting this book and another book. Yours is by far the more superior and half the cost. I plan to buy more copies for my brides-to-be from time to time!
Peace in Paradise,
I must tell you that I still recommend your book at LEAST once or twice a week!
Rev.Dr. S. K.
D. and my son love your book, Joining Hands and Hearts! With the knowledge they and I gain from the book, they will have a beautiful and very meaningful wedding!
My name is E. S., owner of Event Design House and a Certified Wedding Coordinator. I just want to extend my thank you on such a delightful book of knowledge. It has really covered the entire aspects of a wedding and aided me in many times.
I will be speaking this weekend on a panel of the Austin Wedding and Event Coordinators organization, and I will be quoting from your expert knowledge. I will pass this wonderful book along.
Event Design House
Certified Wedding Consultant
I just went and picked up your awesome and informative book. What a great work the book is, and exactly what I need at this point to crystallize the most important part of the day, our union. Your spirit will definitely be a part of our ceremony. Thank you!
Best Wishes -
Dear Reverend Susanna,
Please accept this as a “Thank you” for your support and guidance. Of course, you don’t know who I am or what I am talking about, so I’ll tell you. My name is L. T. I was ordained as an interfaith minister just three years ago. Personally, I was completely out of the “loop” regarding wedding ceremonies and their traditions. I was not able to find direction from someone who held these couples sacred. Instead I only found officiators that were “out for the money” of it all. Then I found your book. I know you’ve written it for the couples, but I found it to be so helpful as a handbook for the officiators as well. You wrote with love in your heart and consideration for all. How blessed I feel for coming across your book, Joining Hands and Hearts. I have recommended it to all my couples and two other ministers as well. All of us have used it to get our creative juices going and to also guide us along the way. Because of your book, I feel I have been able to assist the couples that chose me in being included in society instead of being ostracized for being interfaith. I have assisted their families in each co-creation so that they felt heard and honored, as well as their children. We have laughed, cried and loved together and all of it was and is beautiful.
Thank you with all of my heart,
Rev. L. T.
Dear Rev. Susanna,
I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for writing your wonderful book. I am an Indian Hindu woman marrying a Middle-Eastern Muslim man. When I begin searching for material for our wedding ceremony, I found your book to be the only one that addressed my situation. It has helped us tremendously. We will be quoting it throughout our wedding ceremony which will be performed by a judge (and friend).
So many do not understand principle interfaith precepts. Your book is head and shoulders above anything out there!
Dr. E. G., Cantor
You are FANTASTIC!
How's that for an opener?
I cannot tell you how deeply your words have resonated within me and I am a person who trusts their instincts implicitly. I ADORE your book and am giving it absolutely anyone even thinking about an interfaith ceremony!
B. S., NY
Dear Rev. Susanna,
I bought your book and read it cover to cover over the weekend. It was
really wonderful...very helpful, endearing, beautiful! It has changed how
I plan to do my ceremony. Thank you!
Best, D. F.
I received your book from Amazon and have been reading it. You should be very proud of yourself. You've written a wonderful book. Helpful, wise, great selections, beautifully articulated.
I will use it often and thank you for the enhancement of my professionalism it will no doubt provide.
A bouquet of roses to you Reverend.
Rev. T., Santa Barbara, CA
I wanted to let you know that I purchased your book, and found it not only very useful for finding out about Shinto, but fascinating to read about wedding traditions across cultures. A wonderful book! Thank you for your help.
Your book is terrific. I stayed up the night and read it cover to cover! It is a wonderful book---informative, helpful, inspiring, funny, touching, thoughtful. Like your paintings, it is truly a work of art.
A., Washington D.C.
Well done! You just have such an amazing talent for communication. You make spirituality accessible and personal and integratable--a gift that many clergy people lack. It is so appreciated.
I am an wedding officiant based out of Florida. I want you to know that your book is the best wedding resource book out there!
I wanted to take a moment to thank you for your dedication and intercultural sensitivity while writing your book Joining Hands and Hearts. As a newly ordained minister who is dedicated and believes in mindfulness, adaptability, and collaboration as key to sustaining a peaceful and just world, it is inspiring to hear about your experience and commitment to serving couples. I loved the book so much I plan to look into bulk purchasing to offer it to my future clients as a gift.
Thanks for providing wonderful examples and material that have inspired me in putting together my own ceremonies for couples.
Rev. Dr. S. F.
What a service you have provided. Do you have any idea how many people you will help, comfort and allow to create beauty and meaning in their wedding ceremonies and with their families? You have a right to be very very proud.
I don't praise effusively easily, only when I see excellence. Rest and bask in the knowledge that your efforts have mined gold for everyone who will have the pleasure of owning and reading your book.
I will recommend it to all my couples.
I just wanted you to know that I ordered, received, and read your book. I thoroughly enjoyed every page. It was so easy to feel the love for what you do with and for couples through the pages of the text...what a blessing!
Yours in interfaith,
Dr. R.E., Fortworth, TX
Hi Fellow Traveler,
I bought your book a couple of months ago, so I can honestly join in the praise.
Best wishes, G.
We bought your book off Amazon. It was so good and so helpful! I love the selections you include for prayers, blessings, readings, etc.
Dear Rev. Macomb,
You give me hope and inspiration because of your empathy and helpfulness. Thank you so much. God bless you and shower you with his blessings.
Very truly yours,
Makati City, Philippines
Good evening Susanna:
Today I had an interfaith couple come in. He is Iranian and she is American. They looked at your book, which I had on the table for them as reference and were just thrilled to find the detailed information on the table setting and the meaning of all the objects thereon and the sugar cones, etc. for an Iranian ceremony. It was perfect and may well have contributed to their deciding to use me as their officiant. So Thank you!!
Susanna - Just a quick word of thanks for every bit of inspiration, I wrote our entire ceremony based from bits and pieces of your book and it was stunning! People are still talking.
With love and much gratitude,
"As you know, there are so many wedding books and so many of them seem alike, that it can be one big blur when you visit that section of the book store. I have been looking for something new, fresh and really inspirational. So when I saw your book, I felt that I found the author I would love to feature in my next Bridal Showcase-you! With so many couples coming from different cultural and religious backgrounds, this really hits home, specially in South Florida, where 9 out of 10 couples are foreigners marrying either a local (American) or another foreigner of a different country".
- H. R. Professional Event Designer
To be honest with you, YOU are exactly what I thought didn't exist but wanted to believe would be out there.
C. C. and C.O.
Your book is MAGNIFICENT!
As I was raving about it to my husband, including reading him full passages, he said, "Y' know, it sounds like you think she's brilliant at least in part because she thinks how you think, uses pretty much all the same ceremonies and rituals you do, and words things in really similar ways!"... and he's right!
This is a fabulous resource for couples and clergy alike--loving congratulations on such a work of art and heart! In my previous life I was a professional writer, so I love both what you wrote and the way you wrote and organized it!
I truly loved your book!
Rev. Dr. S. K.
Dear Rev. Susanna,
We believe God sent your book to us! Your book has provided us with the perfect framework for our multi-cultural, interfaith union.
I was browsing in Joining Hands and Hearts. Well done! It's a terrific resource, and I look forward to using it.
Author and Interfaith Minister
Your book wisdom is guiding us - I am so grateful - It really is an awesome thing the way the universe delivers exactly what one needs - Thanks again
Joining Hands and Hearts is a touching work. Reading through it I felt the respect your ceremonies give to people of all different backgrounds. You stand as proof to other women and men that one doesn't have to be male to be a spiritual leader.
I had bought your wonderful book and started to read it piece by piece. So far, it's wonderful! Thank you for sharing it with all of us.
Hope your healing and art work are coming along!
Please keep me on your mailing list. I recommend your book to English-speaking couples and look forward to being able to use your suggestions for celebrating a life (beginning and end) in the next books coming out!
May God continue to bless your work!
Thank YOU for all your valuable input!
I was so glad to see that since I bookmarked your web page you've written a book. I ran right out and bought it. I've read it cover to cover. I was so deeply moved by your thoughts and words! I love the readings, vows and especially the questionnaire. Such beauty!
I LOVE YOUR BOOK! I have been referring it to ALL my couples as it is a “bible” on the “how to’s” for all their questions.
Rev. A. B.
Just a note to let you know that we got your book and I love looking through it. It's so comprehensive and open-minded and open-hearted.
Dear Susanna,(pardon the informal salutation, but we feel like we know you already!)
On a whim, I bought your book for my fiancé S. and I to read before our wedding in September. Your book immediately struck a cord and resonated deeply with us. So, first off, we wanted to thank you for writing such an elegant and thoughtful work.
We are in the process of selecting an officiant for our September ceremony, and wanted to solicit any advice and/or recommendations that you might have for us. We are getting married on the Sunday of Labor Day weekend in a beautiful wine country wedding in Sonoma, California. (If we thought we could afford to hire you and convince you to come out to California to officiate, we would do it in a heartbeat.) As it is, though, we were wondering if you knew of anyone in the Bay Area who might meet our needs, or if you could offer some advice on how to go about looking for someone.
Here's some background about us:
I was raised conservative Jewish and S. was raised Protestant. While neither of us are particularly devout, both of us have a strong sense of God, family and tradition. Because the guests at our wedding will span the religious spectrum (from a Muslim bridesmaid to Jewish groomsmen; from evangelical Christians to conservative Jews), we wanted to incorporate non-religious traditions (such as a chuppah, unity candle, and breaking the glass) into the ceremony, but keep the rhetoric neutral and non-preachy (i.e., no Hebrew prayers and references to God only in the abstract sense). Mostly we just want the ceremony to be a loving, fun, and light-hearted "hug-fest." (At least that's the word that keeps coming to mind).
In an officiant, we would want someone who is articulate, tolerant, and aware of "interesting" family dynamics. Anyhow, any advice you could provide us would be greatly appreciated. Thank you once again for providing information and inspiration to those of us in this situation. It's good to know that we are not the only ones out there going through this.
S.L. and S. T.
I’m a Jewish cantor and one of the interfaith couples I'm marrying this summer gave me your book as a gift, and I'm really enjoying it! What a rich resource!
I want to congratulate you on a splendid piece of work. The research and detail are impressive, and must be so helpful to couples searching for a way to bridge two different worlds.
I also enjoyed the tone of the book, which is warm and reader-friendly. Well done!
I am reading your book and I find it extremely fascinating and would now like an interfaith, intercultural officiant for my wedding! I find the book extremely helpful and it is making the planning of my wedding more enjoyable to know that both faiths and cultures will be represented for this type of ceremony needs to be handled very carefully. Thank You,
(*Palestinian Muslim/ Sicilian Catholic union)
I am a wedding celebrant trained through the Celebrant USA foundation in New Jersey. (www.celebrantusa.com)
I have found your book to be one of the most intelligent and useful out there! It is inspirational! Thank you.
Where do I sign up for your events?
Thank you so much for your time,
M. P. K.
Thank you for your book. It helps me organize ceremonies here in Switzerland, even though most of them are in French!
All the best in your work,
Joy be yours,
J. G. L.
I use your book every single week! Just raved about it on the TNS Alum website!
Rev. Dr. K.
My goodness, Rev. Macomb, your book is fantastic!
It is so well written, detailed and researched.
I bought your book some time ago so that I could do some work on the ceremony for J.'s and my upcoming wedding. Our situation is doubtless less complicated than many, but requires some sensitivity to religious and cultural differences just the same: I am from Christian background with an Arabic mother and German father, he is from Jewish background with a (divorced) Swiss mother and American father.
I was extremely impressed with your book. I asked J. to read it, too, and he also thought you were great.
Figuring out the details of our ceremony has been probably the most difficult part of J.''s and my wedding planning (so far, anyway!), and you should know that your book really helped to unlock our thinking on what the ceremony could/should be about generally. So our heartfelt thanks for writing the book.
Very truly yours,
Dear Rev. Susanna,
Just a note to let you note that here in England there is a minister who thinks your book is phenomenal!
Rev. P. B.
Thank you, Susanna,
On Sunday evening, I conducted my #2 son's wedding to his Portuguese-American bride in Lakeville, MA, using hand fasting, which I learned from your beautiful Joining Hearts and Hands. I had the bride's father, welcome everyone in Portuguese and English, for some of his older relatives understand English, but prefer communication in their first language. He also read Corinthians 13 in Portuguese after his #2 daughter read the passage in English. I had pre-fabbed a chuppah and brought it with me. I can now say, "Have chuppah; will travel." And perhaps, the fact that the caterers didn't bring the rolls with them, but had dessert, I blessed the bread after the ceremony using a miniature éclair, which resembled a roll. So I am grateful for the inspiration of your book, which a second edition, revised title might be "Lovingly Joining Hearts and Hands"! Someday I hope we meet or co-solemnize a wedding or anniversary for someone.
Love and peace,
I was just re-reading that passage from your book, "Joining Hands and Hearts". It brought back such a good feeling. It's been 4 terrific years, and now having my daughter just puts the "Huge" cherry on the cake. The words in that passage have lived throughout these years of marriage. While 4 years may not seem much, we still very much feel the love and devotion to one another. I think of you very often with fondness and much respect. I thought you should know that, and perhaps it would bring a smile to your day.
All my best
To: Rev. S. M.
From: Rev. U. B.
I found your book on the webpage about two years ago and use it regularly as a resource. Thank you.
I want to thank you for the wonderful book you wrote. I have found it helpful on numerous occasions.
Rev. E. K.
I just checked out your book and now your website. I am riveted!! What a privilege to know someone like you!
Blessings upon all your good work,
Last year I became a wedding officiant for a small company based out of Denver. Although I love the work, I had a difficult time connecting with the owner of the company, and subsequently stopped working for her. Wanting to continue officiating, I thought I would read more about the subject and thus I came upon your book. Thank you for writing it. Right away I knew this book spoke to me on a level that I did not know existed. Of course the topic is extremely helpful, but it is the interfaith aspect that has me hooked.
In the past two years I have become very spiritual, and although I am interested in all religions I am not a practitioner of any one in particular. When I look at the bookshelf next to my bed, all of the books are about faith, Taoism, Buddhism, the Bible; (so many books, so little time); I can't get enough of it. After reading just a few pages of your book, I was filled with the knowing that being an interfaith minister was the path I want to follow. Doing the work that you describe, speaks to me on a level that I did not know existed. I want to do what you do. I want to help people spiritually as well as walk with them during the most important times of their lives. As I write this, the feeling is so strong that I feel my heart is going to jump out of my chest and tears are filling my eyes. I can't find the words to express how I feel.
Thank you for your work and any help is appreciated
Your book was my first inspiration, when I started working with my husband on updating our Jewish Interfaith ceremonies. Since then we have performed many different types of interfaith and multi cultural ceremonies. A few years back, I launched Sacred Events to work with not only the ceremony but planning the entire wedding celebration.
At the moment, I'm working on a Vietnamese -Jewish Wedding for the fall.
Y., San Francisco
Hi Rev. Macomb,
We're an engaged couple, R. A. and W.L.W. We read your book Joining Hands and Hearts and love it. It provides valuable information and knowledge on interfaith/ intercultural marriage and wedding. Thank you.
R. is Italian-Cuban. He was raised in Roman Catholic (parents are Roman Catholic). He now considers himself an atheist and a spiritual person.
L. is Chinese. She is a Christian and was baptized.
Again, thank you for your wisdom and knowledge from your book.
L. and R.
I am currently a correspondence student with All Faiths Seminary and will be ordained in June. I am in need of information about the Zoroastrian wedding ceremony rituals for an interfaith ceremony with a Christian. Are you able to help me with this? (Rev. Susanna responded: The information you need is found in my book under the Zoroastrian section.) Thank you. I enjoyed the lecture you gave to the seminary that we now give to corresponding students. It is wonderful to hear your voice in addition to reading your book!!
Dear Rev. Macomb,
My fiancé and I have been devouring the manifold words of wisdom found in Joining Hands and Hearts. We are an Irish Catholic woman and an Indian Sikh man. We are seeking a very special intimate and personal interfaith wedding ceremony which incorporates both our traditions in a non-traditional manner. Many heartfelt thanks for all your guidance and suggestions.
P. D. and R. J.
I am so delighted to have spoken to the author of such a special book that brings so much love into the world.
It was a special blessing to speak with you this afternoon about our spiritual journeys and the incredible holistic way that God works in, with and through each of our lives.
I will hold you and your book in my heart and hope that our paths may intersect in person one day.
Many abundant blessings and love to you.