From This Moment On
By Ron Ramey
(A Twenty-five Minute Ceremony)
A MOMENT FOR REFLECTION
Standing upon the threshold of a new beginning _____and_____ have invited you here to share their joy as they offer themselves to each other from this moment on to become life partners in a new millennium of untold adventure and happiness. It is the dawning of a new day. It is the most important day of their lives. We are surrounded by a golden aurora of happiness. And you ask, "how much do they love each other?" I point to the sky, I stretch out my hand toward the sea, I look into the far reaches of the universe and reply, "their love for each other like these is immeasurable." _____and_____ have found in each other an endless love as their dreams unfold may they find and experience in one another a fulfillment that will bring them into the paradise of their shared existence, now and forever.
Who presents _____ in marriage?
(by Ellen Breneman)
"I wonder if you know how special you are to me. I wonder if it shows how wonderful I think you are. Or how many times a day I think of you. Or how excited I feel whenever I look forward to being with you and holding you close. I wonder if you can read my mind or see into my heart and know how happy I am to have you in my life. Sometimes I don't know how to let you know. I always imagined someone perfect for me, to be my love, and share my life, that someone is you. I just wondered if you knew?"
A MOMENT FOR COMMITMENT (Repeat after Officiate)
I,_____, accept you, _____, as my wedded partner, to love, respect, and honor. I promise to listen to you and encourage open and honest communication. When you need strength, I will offer mine. When you need words of encouragement, I will listen and provide support. When you need solace and comfort, I will understand. I place you in my heart today before all others, and I pledge to work from this moment on to make our marriage a sound and challenging one.
A MOMENT FOR SENTIMENT (Special Music or Reading may be added)
A MOMENT FOR PRAYER
(By Robert Lewis Stephenson)
"Lord, behold our family assembled here. We thank you for this place in which we dwell, for the love the unites us, for the peace accorded to us this day, for the hope with which we expect the morrow, for the health, the work, the food, and the bright skies that make our lives delightful; for our friends in all parts of the earth."
A MOMENT FOR EXHORTATION
You are standing together on the tallest peak of the mountain range of human relations. You have climbed to the height of mutual commitment. Now with every fiber of your being you are reaching into the depths of you soul to offer to one another all that you are and all that you will become. There lies before you a path, your marriage, and it can be an adventurous journey. Understanding adventure to mean direction rather than destination, possibilities instead of limitations, opportunity to achieve and contribute, not confinement by narrow controls and restrictions. Your wedding is the commencement of endless possibilities.
Divine blessing of your marriage does not lessen the need for human cooperation if your union is to become an adventure. It has been observed that marriage is like a violin. After the music stops, the strings are still attached. The traditional phrase has been well spoken, "for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part."
Learn to explore together the endless possibilities of your relationship. Make each day count. Communicate your feelings and accept each other unconditionally with understanding and respect. Take time for one another and allow each other the space for uniqueness and individuality. Provide each other with a daily abundance of love and never let a day escape your grasp without reminding the other of the love you hold close to your heart. Let your heart be as a bubbling fountain flowing freely with the gift of love.
If you fly to the distant reaches of your dreams, fly together. If you walk among the obstacles of the earth, walk hand in hand. And should you stumble, hold out your hand to steady the other, remembering your love and the promise it holds to renew and begin again. Should you fly, or walk, or stumble, or stand certain of nothing but your love in the days to come...you are not alone in your journey. You are there for each other remaining faithful forever.
A MOMENT OF SILENCE
In honor of _____and _____let us all spend a moment in silence. And in silent whispers of this moment let us all make a heartfelt wish for their happiness.
A MOMENT FOR ACCEPTANCE
_____, do you accept, as your wife/husband? Will you love her/him with constancy? Will you honor and respect her/him? Will you remain loyal and true to her/him for the rest of your life? (Answer: "I do.")
A MOMENT FOR SYMBOLISM
Have you a symbol of your love for each other? These rings have been carefully chosen as a symbol of your love. They represent something precious, something significant, something priceless. May you hold precious your love and guard it with your soul for the rest of your life. May you find significance in becoming all that you can be and never take for granted the deepest meaning of respect an honor. May you always remember the priceless gift you offer on this your wedding day, your lives, your love, your all.
A MOMENT FOR A RING EXCHANGE
_____, take this treasured gift and place in on _____'s finger and repeat after me (these vows can be replaced with other choices and repeated a few words at a time after the celebrant).
There is no comprehension that surpasses our understanding of each other; there is no person, precondition. or approval I value more than our love; there is no obstacle I would not overcome to reach you. I give myself, without reservation, to our union. I, _______, welcome you, _______, as my partner in life. May our love keep us strong.
A MOMENT FOR UNITY
You will need a wood wine box with a lock, a bottle of your favorite wine, and two love letters sealed in separate envelopes with the name of your partner on the outside.
Before the wedding, write a letter to one another, expressing your love, dreams, desires and the qualities you found in the other. Include your hopes and dreams for the future! Do not read what the other has written. You can also include in the box a favorite picture of you together, and other mementos making it your own time capsule.
On your wedding day you will now approach the box and add to your special mementos the letter that you hold in your hand. You will lock the box together and the box should not be open until your fifth anniversary. There is only one reason to open the box before your fifth anniversary. If there should come a time when you experience difficulties in your marriage that will pull you apart, open the box, share, the wine, pictures, and mementos. Go do separate rooms, and read the letters you have written to each other. In this special moment you will be reminded of the reasons you chose one another and all the things that helped shape the life that you have created together. Hopefully the box will not be opened until the fifth anniversary!
A MOMENT FOR SENTIMENT
("Two Trees" by Janet Miles)
"A portion of your soul has been entwined with mine. A gentle kind of togetherness, which we separate we stand; as two trees deeply rooted in separate plots of ground; while their topmost branches come together, forming a miracle of lace against the heavens."
A MOMENT FOR DECLARATION
Because _____and_____ have pledged vows of love and given to each other a symbol of their love, I pronounce that they are husband and wife. You may seal your vows with a kiss.
It is my pleasure to present to you Mr. & Mrs. _____ _____ _____.
A MOMENT FOR ANNOUNCEMENT
You are invited to a reception in honor of the newly weds (any pertinent information can be shared at this time).