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Our Wedding Ceremony (text)

In case anyone else was interested, here is the text from our ceremony (including the bridesmaid readings).  We LOVED our cermony!

Introduction:

We are joyfully gathered today to witness and celebrate the joining of two lives in marriage. GROOM and BRIDE have invited you to be with them, and to rejoice with them in the making of this important commitment. The essence of this commitment is the honoring of another person in their entirety as life partner, everlasting lover, heart companion and soul friend. It is therefore a decision which is undertaken with great consideration and respect.

Bridesmaid Readings:

BRIDEMAID #1 (The Prayer, by St. Francis of Assisi)

Lord, make us instruments of your peace.

Where there is hatred, let us sow love; 

Where there is injury, pardon; 

Where there is discord, union; 

Where there is doubt, faith; 

Where there is despair, hope; 

Where there is darkness, light;

Where there is sadness, joy; 

O Divine Master,

Grant that we may not so much seek To be consoled as to console, 

To be understood as to understand, 

To be loved as to love. 

For it is in giving that we receive; 

It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;

And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

BRIDEMAID #2 (An excerpt from "Gift From The Sea"by Anne Morrow Lindbergh)

"When you love someone, you do not love them all the time, in exactly the same way, from moment to moment. It is an impossibility. It is even a lie to pretend to. And yet this is exactly what most of us demand. We have so little faith in the ebb and flow of life, of love, of relationships. We leap at the flow of the tide and resist in terror its ebb. We are afraid it will never return. We insist on permanency, on duration, on continuity; when the only continuity possible, in life as in love, is in growth, in fluidity - in freedom, in the sense that the dancers are free, barely touching as they pass, but partners in the same pattern.

The only real security is not in owning or possessing, not in demanding or expecting, not in hoping, even. Security in a relationship lies neither in looking back to what was in nostalgia, nor forward to what it might be in dread or anticipation, but living in the present relationship and accepting it as it is now. Relationships must be like islands, one must accept them for what they are here and now, within their limits - islands, surrounded and interrupted by the sea, and continually visited and abandoned by the tides."

BRIDEMAID #3 (from an Apache Wedding Blessing)

"Treat yourselves and each other with respect, and remind yourselves often of what brought you together. Give the highest priority to the tenderness, gentleness and kindness that your connection deserves. When frustration, difficult and fear assail your relationship - as they threaten all relationships at one time or another - remember to focus on what is right between you, not only the part which seems wrong. In this way, you can ride out the storms when clouds hide the face of the sun in your lives - remembering that even if you lose sight of it for a moment, the sun is still there. And if each of you takes responsibility for the quality of your life together, it will be marked by abundance and delight."

Statement and Questions of Intent:

GROOM and BRIDE have come together in the hope that the love which brought them to this union may go out beyond itself into the lives of others. Thus, we ask that the promise and hopes of this union be realized. May you both be granted the patience to listen, the capacity to understand, the compassion to give comfort, and the joy to laugh and to be yourselves. Let your marriage make a home, where neither person is ever lonely. Let it offer illumination and the excitement of shared discoveries. Let it be large enough to endure the difficult times. May life's challenges bring you closer together and may you always be able to turn to each other.

GROOM do you take BRIDE to be your wife and equal? Will you share your life openly with her and promise to love, honor and stand beside her always, in times of joy and times of conflict?

BRIDE  do you take GROOM to be your husband and equal? Will you share your life openly with him and promise to love, honor and stand beside him always, in times of joy and times of conflict?

A circle is the symbol of sun, the earth, the universe, of wholeness, perfection, peace and of unity. Like circles, your rings have no beginning and no ending. They are symbols of the growing relationship you have come to celebrate and confirm.

As a sign of your faithfulness, place the ring on her finger and repeat after me: "I take you BRIDE as my wife through all of the experience life holds for us, in faith and love".

As a sign of your faithfulness, place the ring on his finger and repeat after me: "I take you GROOM as my husband through all of the experience life holds for us, in faith and love".

Having heard the vows you have made to each other, witnessed by these loved ones, by the power vested in me by the territorial court of the Virgin Islands, I now pronounce you husband and wife.

You nay now kiss the bride.

Family and friends, I now introduce to you Mr. GROOM and Mrs. BRIDE!

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