Opening prayer& Gathering Words
Let us lift our hearts together as one in jubilant celebration of the marriage union we are about to witness between Partner #1 & Partner #2.
As they enter into the sacred and joyous covenant of marriage, we are blessed to witness the magnificence of their love, their open hearts, and their vibrant and willing spirits.
Inspired by their love, let each of us rededicate ourselves to the loving relationships in our own lives. May we all be enriched for having shared this day together.
Dearest and beloved God, we pray for Partner #1 and Partner #2 as they enter into the sacred vows of marriage, that they may live according to their promises each to the other and that they may create a marriage that is filled with joy and tenderness. We pray that they may enter into the deepest mysteries and wonders of love and therein create a safe haven in their hearts for each other. May they know the peace that comes from truly being received and known and accepted by another.
May their love for each other enrich them as individuals and provide a safe and loving environment for the family they are creating through this union.
Guide them and bless them, Beloved, that they may know that there is nothing more priceless than the gift of loving one another as they journey through life side by side.
Partner #1 and Partner #2 are truly blessed to be surrounded by their dearest family and friends. They are so grateful to you for all of the unconditional love, joy, support, and guidance you have given them over the years.
They deeply appreciate having you all here with them today to share their joy and to celebrate their marriage.
Remembrances & Acknowledgments
At this time, Partner #1 and Partner #2 would like us all to remember with them a very special person, __________, a loving wife, mother, and great friend, who, while unable to be here with us today, is carried now and forever in our hearts.
At this time, Partner #1 and Partner #2 would like to make a special acknowledgment of Partner #2's parents, __________ and __________, who are celebrating their fortieth wedding anniversary this very day!
Happy Anniversary to you!
Partner #1 and Partner #2 have asked that we take a moment to honor the memory of those loved ones who could only be here today in spirit.
Readings & Songs
Final Blessing & Benediction
Let the earth of my body be mixed with the earth my beloved walks on.
Let the fire of my body be the brightness in the mirror that reflects his face.
Let the water of my body join the waters of the lotus pool he bathes in.
Let the breath of my body be air lapping his tired limbs.
Let me be sky, and moving through me the cloud-dark Shyama, my beloved.
-- Hindu Love Poem
The Couple's Tao Te Ching: "See Clearly"
Lau Tzu, sixth century B.C.E. | Interpreted by William Martin
Your love is a great mystery.
It is like an eternal lake
whose waters are always still and clear like glass.
Looking into it you can see
the truth about your life.
It is like a deep well
whose waters are cool and pure.
Drinking from it you can be reborn.
You do not have to stir the waters
or dig the well.
Merely see yourself clearly
And drink deeply.
"My Luve's Like a Red, Red Rose"
Robert Burns, eighteenth century
O, my luve's like a red, red rose
That's newly sprung in June;
O, my luve's like the melodie
That's sweetly played in tune.
As fair thou are, my bonnie lass,
So deep in luve am I;
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
Till a' the seas gang dry.
Till a' the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt wi' the sun;
I will luve thee still, my dear,
While the sands o' life shall run.
Christina Rosetti, nineteenth century
My heart is like a singing bird
Whose nest is in a watered shoot;
My heart is like an apple-tree
Whose boughs are bent with thick-set fruit;
My heart is like a rainbow shell
That paddles in a halcyon sea,
My heart is gladder than all these,
Because my love is come to me.
Raise me a dais of silk and down;
Hang it with vair and purple dyes;
Carve it in doves and pomegranates,
And peacocks with a hundred eyes;
Work it in gold and silver grapes,
In leaves and silver fleur-de-lys;
Because the birthday of my life
Is come, my love is come to me.
Bride/Groom, will you take Groom/Bride to be your husband/wife; love, honor, and cherish him/her now and forevermore?
I, Bride/Groom, take thee, Groom/Bride, to be my wedded wife/husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part, according to God's holy ordinance; and thereto I pledge thee myself to you.
I, Bride/Groom, take you, Groom/Bride, to be my wife/husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and health, until death do us part.
I, Bride/Groom, promise to always keep my love for you alive and out in front of all I do. I promise to be faithful and true no matter what challenges may come our way. I promise to nurture you as my wife/husband, my lover, and my best friend. I will continue to love you and cherish you, walking through this life, together, hand in hand.
Bride/Groom, you will always be surrounded by my love. From this day forward, I promise: to be by your side, to be your partner, your husband/wife, and your very best friend. Let my love comfort you always.
This flame you ignite before us today is strong and shining brightly. May you tend it well so that it may shine throughout your lives. May the warmth of the love it symbolizes forever bring you courage, reassurance, and comfort and fill you both with strength and joy.
(RevFrau turns to the east) Blessed be by the element of air. May you be blessed with communication, intellectual growth, and wisdom.
(RevFrau turns to the south) Blessed be by the element of fire. May you be blessed with harmony, vitality, creativity, and passion.
(RevFrau turns to the west) Blessed be by the element of water. May you be blessed with friendship, intuition, caring, understanding, and love.
(RevFrau turns to the north) Blessed be by the element of earth. May you be blessed with tenderness, happiness, compassion, and sensuality...
Love has its seasons, the same as does the Earth. In the spring of love is the discovery of each other, the pulse of the senses, the getting to know the mind and heart of the other; a blooming like the buds and flowers of springtime.
In the summer of love comes the strength, the commitment to each other, the most active part of life, perhaps including the giving of life back to itself through children; the sharing of joys and sorrows, the learning to be humans who are each complete and whole but who can merge each with the other, as the trees grow green and tall in the heat of the sun.
In the fall of love is the contentment of love that knows the other completely. Passion remains, and ease of companionship. The heart smoothes love into a steady light, glorious as the autumn leaves.
In the winter of lover, there is parting, and sorrow. But love remains, as do the stark and bare tree trunks in the snow, ready for the renewal of love in the spring as life and love begin anew.
Now is the time of summer. Bride and Groom have gathered before their friends to make a statement of their commitment to each other, to their love.
(Couple faces each other) Do you now commit to each other to love, honor, respect each other, to communicate with each other, to look to your own emotional health so that you can relate in a healthy way, and provide a healthy home for children if you choose to have them; to be a support and comfort for your partner in times of sickness and health, as long as love shall last?
Partner #1 & Partner #2: We do.
(After the vows and ring exchange, the couple's hands are bound together in a "love knot.") With this cord, I bind you to the vows that you each have made.
Partner #1 and Partner #2 have expressed to me the importance of actively involving all of you in their wedding celebration. We are going to share a ritual, the Friendship Circle, that originated in the Quaker tradition.
In a moment, I'm going to ask you all to get up and form a circle around the chairs. Then, anyone who wishes to may share their thoughts and feelings about Partner #1 and Partner #2 coming together in marriage. You may want to offer them your blessing or to share a story about them, a reflection of a time you have shared together. Whatever comes forward is just fine.
So now, let us form our circle of family and friends.
These rings are circles, and circles are symbolic of the sun, earth, and the universe.
As arms that embrace, these wedding rings you give and receive this day reflect the circle of shared love into which you enter as partners in life.
May you always be blessed, and may you abide in peace and love.
Wedding rings are symbolic reminders of the unbroken circle of a healthy and abiding love. Within the safety and comfort of a true marriage, love freely given has no beginning and no end. Love freely given has no separate giver and receiver. Each of you gives your love to the other and each of you receives love from the other. And the circle of love goes around and around.
May these rings serve to remind you of the freedom and the power of your love.
These rings are symbols of the love that joins you spirit to spirit. They represent the oneness, eternity, and renewal inherent in the marriage union.
May these rings serve you and those who see them upon your fingers as reminders of the vows you have made here today and of our need to be faithful in all our relationships.
Giver: May this ring encircle your finger as my love does your heart.
Receiver: I will treasure your love always.
As a sign of my love and my knowledge that in marrying you, I am becoming much more than I am, I give you this ring with the promise that I will love you and keep my heart open to you all the days of my life.
I give you this ring as a sign that I choose you to be my lover, my partner, and my best friend today, tomorrow, and always.
May your feet be firmly rooted in the earth. May the air you breathe be sweet and fresh. May your lives flow together like two streams into a graceful river. May the flame of spirit burn strong within you. May you know God's presence in your lives. And may God bless your life together.
Partner #1 and Partner #2, may the road rise to meet you. May the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face, the rains fall soft upon your fields, and, until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hand.
Beloved God, source of love, light, and sound, pour your grace down upon Partner #1 and Partner #2, that they may fulfill the vows they have made today through their love and faithfulness to each other.
Partner #1 and Partner #2, go in peace and love, seeing in each other the face of God smiling upon you and blessing you each and every day.