Zen Wedding Ceremony #11

Woodcliff Manor

January 23, 2010

3:30 PM

  • Have DJ play calming or wedding music while people are finding their seats.
  • Groom’s mother is escorted and seated to the right, front row.
  • Bride’s mother is escorted and seated to the left, front row.  She is the last one to be seated before the bride appears.

Processional:

  • Bridesmaids’ Entrance.
  • Flower girl throws rose petals on the runner.
  • Bride enters and walks to the altar to Canon in D.

Celebrant:

Who gives this woman to this man?

Your Sons:

We do. (Sons kiss their mom and Bride  joins hands with Groom and the couple faces each other).  Bride gives bouquet to Matron of Honor to hold.  Flower girl goes to her seat in the front row.

Three bells. Offering of incense and bows.  All bow.  The celebrant lights a large white candle which symbolizes the Source/Universe/Spirit.  Bells ring three more times.

A few moments of silence.

Candle lighting ceremony.  The bride and groom, each holding a white candle approach the Source candle and bow.  First the Bride, then the Groom, light their candles from the source candle and put them in the other two holders on the altar. This symbolizes the illumination of their hearts from the source of light.

Celebrant:

We have come together for the marriage of Bride’s name and Groom’s name.  May they continue to deepen their life and love for one another.

Marriage begins with the giving of words. We cannot join ourselves to one another without giving our word.  And this must be an unconditional giving, for in joining ourselves to another, we join ourselves to the unknown.

Let us all extend our joy to you on this happy occasion as you are about to take a new step forward into your lives.  This day is made possible not only because of your love for each other, but through the grace of your parents, grandparents and generations of ancestors.  It is our hope that your fulfillment and joy in each other and in yourselves will grow with every passing year.

First Reading by Rumi will be by Lisa , Bride’s best friend and Matron of Honor:

The minute I heard my first love story

I started looking for you, not knowing how blind that was.

Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere.

They’re in each other all along.

Celebrant:

Courtesy and consideration even in anger and adversity are the seeds of compassion.  Love is the fruit of compassion. Trust, love and respect are the sustaining virtues of marriage.  They enable us to learn from each situation, to grow and realize that everywhere we turn we meet ourselves.

Celebrant:

The Celebrant takes a small bowl of water and, with a leaf, flicks a few drops of wisdom water on both the bride and groom.

We nourish ourselves and each other in living by the five precepts:

  • In every way we can, we allow our deepest Self to appear.
  • We take full responsibility for our own life, in all its infinite dimensions.
  • We trust in the honesty and wisdom of our body, which with our love and reverence always shows us the true way.
  • We are committed to embracing all parts of ourselves, including our deepest fears and shadows, so they can be transformed into light.
  • We affirm our willingness to keep our hearts open, even in the midst of great pain.

The Second Reading authored by Pablo Neruda will be given by Laurence, Groom’s best friend and best man:

Two happy lovers make one, single bread,

One single drop of moonlight in the grass,

When they walk, they leave two shadows that merge,

And they leave one single sun blazing in their bed.


Celebrant:

Now Bride’s name and Groom’s name will exchange their wedding vows.

Celebrant to the best man:  Laurence, may I have the rings please?

Ring Blessing from Celebrant:

May these rings always bind you to one another and keep the love between the two of you for the rest of your days and sign of the cross.

Groom to Bride:

From this day on, I choose you, my beloved ___________, to be my wife.

I promise to love you with an open heart,

and to laugh with you with abandon.

To be at your side, and sleep in your arms;

to be joy to your heart, food for your soul, and wine to your spirit;

to encourage the best in you always,

and, for you, to be the most that I can be.

I promise to laugh with you in good times, to stand alongside you in bad;

to console you when you are downhearted;

to wipe your tears with gentle fingers;

to comfort you with my body;

to mirror you with my soul;

to be your loving companion beyond the walls of life and beyond the bounds of time.

Celebrant:

Please place the ring on Bride’s finger.

(Groom puts ring on Bride’s finger)

Bride’s Vows to Groom:

From this day on, I choose you, my beloved ______________________, to be my husband.

I promise to love you with an open heart,

and to laugh with you with abandon.

To be at your side, and sleep in your arms;

to be joy to your heart, food for your soul, and wine to your spirit;

to encourage the best in you always,

and, for you, to be the most that I can be.

I promise to laugh with you in good times, to stand alongside you in bad;

to console you when you are downhearted;

to wipe your tears with gentle fingers;

to comfort you with my body;

to mirror you with my soul;

to be your loving companion beyond the walls of life and beyond the bounds of time.

Celebrant:

Please place the ring on Groom’s finger.

(Bride puts the ring on Groom’s finger).

The Third Reading entitled “Apache Song” will be given by Larz, the Bride’s sister:

Now you will feel no rain,

For each of you will be a shelter to the other.

Now you will feel no cold,

For each of you will be warmth to the other.

Now there is no loneliness for you,

for now there is no more loneliness.

Now you are two bodies,

but there is only one life before you.

Go now to your dwelling place

And enter into your days together.

And may your days be good

And long on earth.


Celebrant:

________________  and _______________ celebrate their love and proclaim their union. Their rings of precious metal represent the subtle and wonderful essence they find by losing themselves in each other, and the subtle and wonderful essence they find individually, through their mutual love, respect, support and joy. May they cultivate a long life together, not only in years, but in all the infinite dimensions of each moment they share.

Live long in good health and joy.

You may kiss the bride.  (Bridal couple kisses and turns to face everyone).

Celebrant:

Please welcome for the first time into our community, Mr. and Mrs. _________________________________.

Three bells.

Recessional Music.

Flower girl follows the processional to the back of the hall to the Receiving Line.

Celebrant:

You may give your congratulations and best wishes to the bridal couple at the back of the room and then please proceed to the cocktail hour to the door directly to my left.

See http://www.VikkiAnderson.net under Interfaith Minister for more information about ceremonies and weddings.  973-492-3110.

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