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Gathering Words:

We are gathered here today to witness the coming together of two people, Bride and Groom, whose hearts and spirits are entwined as one. They now desire to profess before all the world their intention henceforth to walk the road of life together.

To these two people, this marriage signifies the birth of a new spirit, a spirit which is a part of each of us, yet not of any one of us alone. This "birth of spirit" reminds us of spring, the season when all life is reborn and looms again. It is appropriate, therefore, that this wedding of Bride and Groom be in the spring, and that it be under the open sky, where we are close to the earth and to the unity of life, the totality of living things of which we are part.

The Giving in Marriage:

Will the parents of the bride and the parents of the groom please stand. (Parents of Bride) have nurtured and cared for their daughter in a multitude of ways. Likewise (Parents of Groom) have nurtured and cared for their son. We express gratitude for the inspiration of your love that enabled you to bring forth your children for us all to know and enjoy. As you have held them close, fitting them for maturity, will you now willingly and freely release them to love and care for each other? And will you support and encourage their life together that it, too, may be a blessing for generations to come? (Response in unison: We do).

Opening Reading:

The beliefs and thoughts about love which motivate these two people are perhaps best expressed in the words of poet Kahlil Gibran:

"You were born to be together, and together you shall be forevermore.
You shall be together when the wings of death scatter your days.
Ay, you shall be together even in your silent memory.
But let there be spaces in your togetherness,
And let the winds of the heaven dance between you.
Love one another, but make not a bondage of love.
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Fill each other's cup, but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread, but eat not of the same loaf.
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each of you be alone,
Even as the strings of a lute are alone, though they quiver with the same music.
Give your hearts, but not into each other's keeping,
For only the hand of life can contain your hearts.
And stand together, yet not too near together,
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in shadow."

Meaning of Marriage:

Marriage is perhaps the greatest and most challenging adventure of human relationships. No ceremony can create your marriage; only you can do that – through love and patience; through dedication and perseverance; through talking and listening, helping and supporting and believing in each other; through tenderness and laughter; through learning to forgive, learning to appreciate your differences, and by learning to make the important things matter, and to let go of the rest. What this ceremony can do is to witness and affirm the choice you make to stand together as life mates and partners.

The Affirmation:

Bride and Groom, do you find within you a love that has fused your lives together?  (We do.)

Do you find within your love the courage to meet the challenges that may confront your relationship?  (We do.)

Do you then affirm your devotion to each other, and your willingness to love one another into unique fullness, taking the risks and assuming the vulnerability of love again and again?  (We do.)

Vow/Ring Exchange

Officiant to Groom:
Do you Groom, knowing this woman's love for you and returning it, realizing her strengths and learning from them, recognizing her weaknesses and helping her to overcome them, take Bride to be your lawfully wedded wife?

Groom:
I do.

Officiant:
Place the ring on her finger.

Officiant to Bride:
Do you Bride, knowing this man's love for you and returning it, realizing his strengths and learning from them, recognizing his weaknesses and helping him to overcome them, take Groom to be your lawfully wedded husband?

Bride:
I do.

Officiant:
Place the ring on his finger.
Let these rings serve as locks
- not binding you together - but as keys, unlocking the secrets of your hearts for each other to know, and thus bringing you closer together forever.

Second Reading:

And now Bride and Groom, seeking the fulfillment of love and marriage, find again that the poet Gibran speaks for them:

"Love has no other desire but to fulfill itself.
To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks to another day of loving.
To rest at the noon hour and meditate love's ecstasy;
To return home eventide with gratitude, and then sleep with a prayer
For the beloved in your heart and a song of praise upon your lips."

Pronouncement:

Before these witnesses, you have joined yourselves in solemn matrimony. May you strive all your lives to meet this commitment with the same love and devotion you now possess. For love is truly the greatest gift we are given to share. Delight in each other's company and never take each other for granted. Now that Bride and Groom have given themselves to each other by the promises they have exchanged, I pronounce them to be husband and wife. You may kiss your bride.

The Introduction:

It is my pleasure to introduce to you, for the very first time, Mr. and Mrs. [Last Name].

 

 

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