Celebrant: Dearly beloved, we gathered here today in the presence of God, to witness and celebrate the marriage of NAME and NAME. Marriage is an honorable estate, instituted in antiquity and revered since time immemorial as the noblest and tenderest of human relationships. It is therefore not to be entered into lightly, but with faith and forethought.
Today, we have gathered here surrounded by happy memories and loving spirit, to be joyful, in celebration of the relationship of NAME and NAME. By their commitment to marry each other, they are opening to life, to themselves, to family and friends, and to the future.
A wedding ceremony is an outward form. To be true, it must be a symbol of something inner and real. To last, the marriage of these two must be a consecration of each to the other, and of both to the wider community of which they are a part.
NAME and NAME, have you come here in this place of home and family to affirm your commitment to each other?
Bride and Groom: We have.
A Reading by NAME
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 discover and learn from the ever-unfolding lessons of marriage, and help us to realize that everywhere we turn we meet our selves. May your journey be blessed with wisdom.
Please repeat after me: We nourish each other and ourselves in living….
– by, in every way we can, allowing our deepest Self to appear.
– by taking full responsibility for our own life, in all its infinite dimensions.
– by affirming our trust in the honesty and wisdom of our own body, which with our love and reverence always shows us the true way.
– by being committed to embrace all parts of us, including our deepest fears and shadows, without shame, that they may become a source of light.
– by being ever willing to keep our heart open, even in the midst of great pain.
Now NAME will sing Ava Maria:
Every choice is always the wrong choice,
Every vote cast is always cast away –
How can truth hover between alternatives?
Then love me more than dearly, love me wholly,
Love me with no weighing of circumstance,
As I am pledged in honor to love you:
With no weakness, with no speculation
On what might happen should you and I prove less
Than bringers-to-be of our own certainty.
Neither was born by hazard: each foreknew
The extreme possession we are grown into.
Celebrant: Marriage is a birth, as is each triumph that comes with taking risks and opening up to each other, each birth serving to renew these vows ever being born and born again.
Now NAME and NAME will take their marriage vows. Let us bear witness.
Bride: I, NAME, take you, NAME, to be my husband, in equal love, as a mirror for my true Self, as a partner on my path, to honor and cherish, in sorrow and in joy, for all that I am and all that I shall ever be. I promise to make every effort to live in awareness and share our love with all upon this earth.
Groom: I, NAME, take you, NAME, to be my wife, in equal love, as a mirror for my true Self, as a partner on my path, to honor and cherish, in sorrow and in joy, for all that I am and all that I shall ever be. I promise to make every effort to live in awareness and share our love with all upon this earth.
Celebrant: Do all of you gathered here today pledge your support and encouragement for the commitment NAME and NAME have made to one another?
Witnesses: We do.
A Reading by NAME
After a while, you learn the subtle difference
between holding a hand and sharing a life
and you learn that love doesn’t mean possession
and company doesn’t mean security
and loneliness is universal
And you learn that kisses aren’t contracts
and presents aren’t promises
and you begin to accept defeats
with your head up and your eyes open
And you learn to build your hope on today
as the future has a way of falling apart in mid-flight
because tomorrow?s ground can be too uncertain for plans
yet each step taken in a new direction creates a path
toward the promise of a brighter dawn
And you learn that even sunshine burns
if you get too much
so you plant your own garden
and nourish your own soul
instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.
And you learn that love, true love
always has joys and sorrows
seems ever present, yet is never quite the same
becoming more than love and less than love
so difficult to define
And you learn that through it all
you really can endure
that you really are strong
that you do have value
and you learn and grow.
Exchange of Rings.
Celebrant: May I have the rings please? Rings are an ancient symbol, blessed and simple. Round like the sun, like the eye, like arms that embrace. Circles, for love that is given comes back round again and again. Therefore, may these symbols remind you that your love, like the sun, illumines; that your love, like the eyes, must see clearly; and that your love, like arms that embrace, is a grace upon this world.
Groom: NAME, I give this ring as a symbol of my love.
Bride: NAME, I give this ring as a symbol of my love.
Celebrant: NAME and NAME have declared their love and purpose before this gathering, and have made their pledge each to the other symbolized by the holding of hands and the giving and receiving of rings.
You may kiss the bride.
Please let us welcome NAME and NAME LAST NAME into our community as husband and wife. (Applause) Let all honor them and the threshold of their house. May they continue to share in their marriage the love and awareness they have cultivated since they fell in love.
A Reading by NAME
I believe that God brings
certain people into our lives for a reason.
Sometimes, it’s to help us
see something new and wonderful.
Sometimes, it’s to encourage us
and strengthen our purpose.
And sometimes, it’s just to remind us
that we are never truly alone
and that it is important to share our smiles,
our dreams and even our tears.
Whatever reason He had in bringing us together,
I’m glad that He did.
You have been a real source of understanding
and happiness in my life
and you matter very much to me
More than any words could really say.
Celebrant: May the blessings of this day be with you for the rest of your lives. The ceremony has ended, go in peace and love.
Please feel free to use any part of this ceremony as part of your own. Vikki Anderson is available to perform interfaith ceremonies such as weddings, baptisms, welcoming ceremonies as well as naming and handfasting ceremonies. See http://www.VikkiAnderson.net under Interfaith Minister for more information about ceremonies and weddings. 973-492-3110. Email: Starscape50@optonline.net.