Ceremonies provide us the opportunity to acknowledge important stages in our lives. Buddhist ceremonies can help you to open to joy, sorrow, deep intention, love, and letting go. MZMC clergy can work with you to plan a service that best honors the occasion and helps you and loved ones to embrace the life changes that the ceremony marks.
We have priests at MZMC that can help to create customized ceremonies either here or at the site of your choice. You do not need to be Buddhist in order to have one of our priests officiate your ceremony; we are open to working with you regardless of your background. (Please note that guiding teacher Tim Burkett is available to perform ceremonies on a limited basis for members only.)
Weddings or Commitment Ceremonies
We can help you create a ceremony that best expresses your own relationship, values, and vision for your partnership. We can create a ceremony that uses a standard Buddhist wedding format or your own outline. We can provide a priest and a ceremonial attendant if needed. Usually, the priest will do the following to insure a wonderful wedding or commitment ceremony for you:
Meet with you as a couple at least twice before the wedding to get to know you and explore your ideas for your ceremony
Work with you to create a ceremony that expresses your values, beliefs and spiritual journey
Ensure that the proper paperwork is finished for the legal registration of your marriage, if applicable
Attend and participate in the rehearsal, providing direction or assistance as needed/desired
Arrive at least one hour prior to the wedding to ensure the proper set-up
Help with any last-minute details
Arrange for an attendant to help with the rehearsal and ceremony if necessary
Bring all ceremonial supplies for outdoor venues
Suggested donations for these services range from $400 – 800, depending on the services requested and the site of the ceremony. Please discuss the services you are interested in with the priest of your choice as well as the suggested donations for those services. Many of our priests are willing to negotiate a solution that will work with your financial situation.
Wedding/commitment ceremony with rental of MZMC
This includes all of the elements of the basic wedding/commitment ceremony (above) plus rental of MZMC space for the wedding and/or reception. Reception must be self-catered and the couple must provide two to three people to come early to help with set-up and stay later to help with clean-up. MZMC space rental is only available for small weddings (Max limit: 50 people).
Priests at MZMC are available to help you plan a traditional Zen service, or a service that has a Buddhist tone but is made by you and your family. This can be at the Zen Center or a place of your choice. Various options are available.
Memorial Services in the context of Morning Meditation
A short service including offerings, chants and a dedication to the deceased can be done at MZMC or at a place of your choosing. Frequently this is done as part of a morning meditation at the Zen Center. These ceremonies are individualized according to your situation and needs. For members of MZMC, these services are provided completely by donation. For non-members, we will suggest an amount based on the time involved in preparing and performing the ceremony.
Large Memorial Services
For a memorial service involving a large number of guests or significant preparation time, the standard suggested donation is $500 (or $800 if it is to be at MZMC).
Small Memorial Services
For smaller memorial services, the suggested donation is based on $50 per hour for the priest's time in preparing and performing the ceremony. Please ask about home memorials and follow-up pastoral counseling.
For other ceremonies, such as ceremonies for those who are ill, baby welcoming ceremonies, vow ceremonies, or "custom" ceremonies to fit your particular situation (please ask! we are creative!) the suggested donation is based on $50 per hour for the priest's time in preparing and performing the ceremony.