A Modern Minister
Commitment or Civil Union Ceremony

First Ceremony

Good afternoon, and welcome to the ceremony that will unite _____ and _____ in marriage. We gather here today to celebrate their union, and to honor their commitment to not just gazing at one another, but to looking outward together in the same direction. Today _____ and ____ proclaim their love to the world, and we rejoice with and for them.

In marriage, we give ourselves freely and generously into the hands of the one we love, and in doing so, each of us receives the love and trust of the other as our most precious gift. But even as that gift is shared by two people who are in love, it also touches the friends and family members who in various ways support and contribute to the relationship. All of you are _____ and _____'s community, and each of you has played some part in bringing them to this moment. This is why gathering as a community is such an important part of a wedding ceremony. Because _____ and _____ are now taking a new form as a married couple, and in this form, they become part of their community in a new way.

_____ and _____, we are here to remember and rejoice with you and to recount with one another that it is love that guides us on our path, and to celebrate as you begin this journey together, it is in this spirit that you have come here today to exchange these vows.

VOWS

_____, repeat after me:

I _____ take you _____ to be my spouse.
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 and pledge my love, devotion, faith and honor as I join my life to yours.

Repeat for _____

RINGS

The wedding ring is an unbroken, never-ending circle, as your commitment and love for each other is never-ending. These simple bands are not of great value in themselves, but are made precious by what they represent. They are a symbol to you and the world of your union. Your rings say that you are two individuals bound together. When you look at these rings, remember the commitment that you have to each other today.

_____, place the ring on _____'s finger, and repeat after me:

Just as this circle is without end, my love for you is eternal. Just as it is made of indestructible substance, my commitment to you will never fail. With this ring I take you to be my partner for life.

Repeat for _____

WEDDING VASE

As you may have noticed by now, this union brings together different cultures. From Walter, the jewish traditions are represented by the chuppa that we are standing under. The chuppa, or "canopy." is held above the couple's heads by loved ones, and represents a sacred, enclosed space under the stars, symbolic of the home that Mark and Walter share.

(OPTIONAL with any tradition)

Since one of you are Native American tradition is represented here by this wedding vase, which symbolizes the joining together of _____ and _____'s spirits. As each one drinks from opposite sides, they share one cup, are joined by one love to one life, while in communion with the great spirit.

(_____ and _____ sip as each member of the wedding party recites a line from the Apache chant):

Now you will feel no rain, for each of you will be shelter for the other. Now you will feel no cold, for each of you will be warmth for the other. Now you are two persons, but there is only one life inside you. Go now to your dwelling to enter the days of your life together. And may your days be good, and long upon the earth.

PRONOUNCEMENT

_____ and _____, although I'm officiating here today, it is not truly in my power to sanctify, legitimize
or bless your relationship in any way, because the two of you have already done that in your hearts. So, by joining hands now and looking into each other's eyes, let it be known that you are joined, body and soul in this lifetime, and that this bond is sacred and eternal. And now it gives me gives me great pleasure to pronounce that you are and will continue to be partners for life.

Second Ceremony

Hello, and welcome to the celebration of the unique and magical union between _____and _____. Today, in front of friends and family, they honor their commitment to not just gaze at one another, but to looking outward together in the same direction. Today _____and _____ proclaim their love to the world, and we rejoice with and for them.

_____ and _____, in presenting yourselves here today you perform a remarkable act of faith. This faith can grow and mature and endure, but only if you both determine to make it so. A lasting and growing love is never automatic, nor guaranteed by any ceremony.

If you would have the foundation of your union be the pure love you have for each other, not just at this moment, but for all the days ahead, then honor faithfully the statements and commitments that you bring here today. Faults will appear where now you find contentment, and wonder can be crushed by the routine of daily living. But today you resolve that your love will never be blotted out by the commonplace, obscured by the ordinary, or compromised by life's difficulties.

Stand fast in that hope and confidence, and believe in your shared future just as strongly as you believe in yourselves and in each other today. Only in this spirit can you create a partnership that will sustain all the days of your lives.

_____ and _____, we are here to rejoice with you and to recount with one another that it is love that guides us on our path, and to celebrate as you begin this journey together It is in this spirit that you have come here to today to exchange these vows.

VOWS

_____, repeat after me:

I _____take you _____ to be my partner for life.
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,
and pledge my love, devotion, faith and honor
as I join my life to yours.

REPEAT FOR _____

RING EXCHANGE

Wedding rings are made precious by our wearing of them.
Your rings say that even in your uniqueness you have chosen to be bound together. Let these rings also be a sign that love has substance as well as soul, a present as well as a past, and that despite its occasional sorrows, love is a circle of happiness, wonder, and delight.

_____, take _____'s ring and put it on her finger, and repeat after me:

Just as this circle is without end my love for you is limitless.
Just as it is made of indestructible substance
my commitment to you will never fail.
With this ring I take you to be my best friend, lover,
and partner for life.

REPEAT FOR _____

PRONOUNCEMENT

_____ and _____ Your lives and spirits are joined in a union of love and trust. Above you are the stars and below you the earth. Like the stars your love should be a constant source of light, and like the earth, a firm foundation from which to grow. As you have consented in this ceremony in the presences of friends and family to be partners for life, I now pronounce you married and bound together body and soul.


 

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