PART A: Opening
Friends and family, thank you all for coming! We have been invited to share in and witness the exchange of marriage vows between Gabrielle and Andrew.
We know that we are here on Earth to love God with all our heart, with all our mind, and with all our strength and to love one another as ourselves. We also know that love is just as recognizable as a full moon in a cloudless night sky.
Through terrible trials and great joys, Gabrielle and Andrew’s love for one another has matured and grown, leading to the decision to unify their lives in marriage today, the 15th of April, 2018.
Do you, (parents' names) bless and support your children in this marriage?
PART B: Thoughts for the Couple
Gabrielle and Andrew, two sentences of the vows you have written distinguish your words from others I have heard. You are on the brink of pledging:
I promise above all else to live in truth with you
And to communicate fully and fearlessly,
I give you my hand and my heart
As a sanctuary of warmth and peace.
“From my experience of you, I believe you have the inner strength and generosity to love and live in truth with one another, to know when to speak up and when to stay quiet.
Today, in front of so many witnesses, you are committing to a lifetime together. Gabby's uncle Freddy guided me with these words and would surely say them to you, “Just have an experience together. Take it one day at a time, one moment at a time.”
To do that, I invite you to envision a triangle, the strongest of all shapes, with God at the top, each of you at the other two corners. Each of you maintains a heart connection to the other and to God. With an understanding of this sacred triangle, many marriages endure through the most challenging trials, be they sickness, differences of opinion, inevitable self-centeredness, or drives home after tiring events.
Your love has already endured through the severest of trials, having lost your beautiful son, Greyson, who was unable to live a full life but his spirit surely watches over the priceless gift of love you have, and will remind you always to remember it is a true sanctuary or warmth, peace, and unity.”
We will now have a sand ceremony to symbolize that unity.
Part C: Exchange of Rings
We are now here at the exchange of rings.
The circular shape of the ring can represent many concepts and ideas.
The circle might represent the world. It is said that marriage, the family, is the cornerstone of society, a liberating sanctuary that frees each member to go out and, as Ghandi said, “be the change we want to see in the world.”
The circle can represent zero, nothing. Where there is nothing, there is potentiality: an empty womb receives new life, an empty tomb heralded ever-lasting life, a lost job means the opportunity for a new one, an empty mind invites the next creative thought.
A circle also represents infinity, what never ends. We heard it said, “Love never ends.” The ring reminds us to clear away what is blocking us from the truth of God’s infinite love, be it anger, fear, jealousy, pride. Get back to communication in truth and love.
Part D: Vows and Closing
Gabrielle and Andrew, are you ready to pledge to the unity of this marriage?
Gabrielle and Andrew: Yes. (Daniel and Josh give rings and the couple puts them on each other.)
Repeat after me.
May God bless your marriage and protect it powerfully from all evil. In the name of Almighty God, I now pronounce you husband and wife. You may now kiss one another!
"Each day, my friend's simple talk in our kitchen multiplies itself in a widening circle of peace on earth and good will to men." (BB page 16)
"It is he who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers; who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them like a tent to dwell in..." (Isaiah 40:22)