Nonreligious Ceremony

 

The Convocation

Good evening, welcome to this most important moment in the lives of this couple. We invite you to leave behind the worries and concerns of everyday life and join us in the celebration of their marriage.  This is an opportunity for us to share not only in the joy of ___ and ___’s love but also to reaffirm and appreciate the love and the friendship we experience in our own lives. May we all celebrate by being fully present during our short time together.

 

___ and ___ have chosen this setting in which to be married because it provides an appropriate backdrop for the public affirmation of their love.  They view marriage as a coming together at all levels of being – mind, body, and spirit. A marital commitment includes the willingness to be open and vulnerable, and the courage to take risks.

 

Marriage is a conscious act of will. To remain in marriage we must continually renew our will to be married. Marital partners accept the challenges that living together in love offer. They decide that they will face the fears that are a necessary part of establishing and nurturing an intimate relationship. And you, ___ and ___ have made the commitment to create and recreate this conscious partnership.

 

Those of us who are married or in relationships may take this moment to consciously reaffirm our commitment to our partners and ourselves.

 

Marriage consists of entrusting our deepest selves into the loving care of another. It is a public and legal act to be sure. It is also an emotional and spiritual act. The spiritual aspect of marriage must be embraced openly, seriously, and completely for the marriage to endure.

 

___ and ___ commit themselves today to each other in sacred trust. They promise to embrace conflict as well as peace; to work as well as play; to struggle as well as coast; to give as well as receive; and to be with, stay with, and move towards one another.

 

Address

___ and ___, I counsel you, as a married couple, to always give respect to one another even when you disagree, to bear with each other’s weaknesses, to comfort each other in times of trouble or sorrow, to work with generous hearts to provide for the material needs of each other and the household, and to help one another experience spiritual, mental, emotional and physical comfort.

 

Expression of intent

Your marriage begins with the vows and promises you speak to one another today. The marriage vow is a promise of fidelity and honesty.

 

___, do you love ____ willingly and completely, withholding nothing? Will you protect (her/him), and give (her/him) your deepest considerations of (her/his) feelings, desires, and needs?   “I will”

 

Will you strive to keep your love flexible and adapt to changing circumstances in the marriage? And will you be ___’s counselor, helpmate, sweetheart and lover, and (her/his) best friend, from this day forward? “I will”

 

The Consecration

Long ago, people believed the human soul shared characteristics with all things celestial. They therefore designated virtues to the East, South, West, and North, in keeping with that age-old tradition.

 

We bless this marriage with the virtues of the East: communication between your hearts, minds, and bodies; fresh beginnings with the rising of every day’s Sun; and the value of the wisdom of sharing silences.

 

We bless this marriage with the virtues of the South: a warm and welcoming home; the delight of your hearts’ passion; and the ability of both to lighten the darkest of times.

 

We bless this marriage with the virtues of the West: the deepness of the lake; the swift flow of the river; the newness after rain; and the all-encompassing fervor of the sea.

 

We bless this marriage with the virtues of the North: a firm foundation to enrich your lives; a constant home to which you will always return.

 

Each of these blessings emphasizes things that will help you build a happy and successful marriage. But remember, they are only tools; tools you must both use – individually and together, in order to have what you seek from this marriage.

 

Let the image of water and the romance of your story always flow in your hearts in strong waves, knowing they are guiding you towards a goal fulfilled, a dreaming that is true.

 

The Vows

I, ____, take you, ____, to be my (wife/husband/spouse)

To share all that I am and all that I have,

For all time to come,

And I promise to do all in my power to keep my love as deep and as strong as it is today.

 

The Ring Symbolism

Marriage is a state in which two people come together and create a union that is greater than the sum of its parts. It is difficult to express in words the profound relationship that is love.

 

Since the beginning of time, the ring has been an emblem of the sincerity and permanence of a couple’s love for one another and regard for their marriage.

 

As the circle can begin anew at any point, so a good marriage can pick any point to renew itself. These rings are symbols of your eternal love.

 

Exchange of Rings

As you place the ring on (her/his) finger, please repeat after me:

 

I give you this ring as a reminder that I will love, honor, and cherish you,

In all times,

In all places,

And in all ways, forever.

 

Pronouncement of Marriage

Throughout this ceremony, ___ and ___ have vowed, in our presence, to be loyal and loving towards each other. They have formalized the existence of the bond between them with words spoken and with the giving and receiving of rings.

 

Therefore, it is my pleasure to now pronounce them (husband & wife, wife & wife, husband & husband, legally married).

 

The Benediction

The many shapes and colors of nature constantly remind us of Life’s endless possibilities. I therefore wish you both all the natural pleasures of life that touch the heart and refresh the spirit.

May your future together be filled with joy, happiness, excellent health and success.

And may the blessings of humankind be upon you now and forever.

 

The Kiss

You may now kiss.

 

Presentation of the Newlyweds to the Guest

Ladies and Gentlemen, family and friends, it is my pleasure to present, for the first time anywhere, _____ and ______ the newlyweds, Mr. & Mrs. ____ Mrs. & Mrs. ___, Mr. & Mr. ____.