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A CONTEMPORARY CEREMONY
By Ron Ramey
(A Twenty Minute Ceremony)


A CALL TO CELEBRATION

We have gathered here for the marriage of _____and_____. May they continue to grow together and to strengthen their love throughout their lives.

Who presents _______ in marriage?

ADDRESS

Marriage begins in the giving of words. You cannot join yourselves to one another without giving your word. This must be an unconditional giving, for in joining yourselves to each other, you join yourselves to tomorrow, the unknown and the ever changing season of life.

I would like to extend my joy to you on this occasion. You are about to take a new step forward into life. It is my hope that your fulfillment and joy in each other and in yourselves increase with each passing day.

Marriage is one of the most important obligations that two people can commit to in their lifetime. A good marriage is dependent upon many factors, but the first prerequisite is a strong bond of friendship and respect for each other. Your love for each other will grow with each passing day, but your willingness to accept each other's strong and weak points with understanding and respect, this is the sure foundation for a happy life together.

The marriage union is the closest relationship that exist between two people. When a man and a woman decide to join together in marriage, they should do so with a full realization of their responsibilities. Marriage is a serious commitment. When a man and a woman come together to make a public confession of their love and devotion, pronouncing vows and pledging their lives to each other, it is a threefold union. They are joined together spiritually, legally and physically.

Are you fully prepared to be faithful to his lifetime commitment?

PRAYER (Optional)

Gracious God, we call upon you in the midst of this celebration to be with this man and woman and walk with them during their days together as husband and wife. Grant that they both be filled with faith and trust. Give them grace to live with each other in peace and harmony. May they always bear one another's weakness and grow from each other's strength. Help them to forgive one another's failings and grant them patience, kindness, cheerfulness and the spirit of placing the well-being of one another ahead of one's self. Amen

READING (a special reading my inserted)

CONSECRATION

You both have had dreams of the potential of your tomorrow's believing that anything is possible. As you set out to live in this world and make a difference in it, your hearts are full of joy in knowing that you will be by each other's side; your desire for redeeming the promises of tomorrow is strong.

Having found each other, you have decided that there is no moment in your life more significant than this one, the moment you offer yourself and all that you will become to each other completely. May you share with each other, from this day on, the unending joy of growth and discovery together.

For many years to come you will remember this beautiful day; yet, beyond the fragrant flowers, beyond the melodious music, beyond the expressions of joy and encouragement from family and friends, beyond albums filled with picturesque memories, may your celebrate through the years that which is most fundamental about your union. You are joining because of love,  respect and honor, and because you are committed to sharing equally in the triumphs and trials of the days to come.

As you begin this new chapter in your lives, remember, all of your yesterdays have led you to today, and your love will lead you into tomorrow.

DECLARATION OF INTENT

_____(Groom/Bride), do you promise to love, respect and care for _____(Bride/Groom) for life, remaining faithful to your love as it enters into new meanings and definitions?
 

READING

"Sooner of later we begin to understand that love is more than verses, valentines, or romance in the movies.  We begin to know that love is here and now, real and true, the most important thing in our lives.  For love is the creator of our favorite memories, and the foundation of our fondest dreams.  Love is a promise that is always kept, a fortune that can never be spent, it is a seed that can flourish even in the most unlikely places.  And this radiance that never fades, this mysterious and magical joy, is the greatest treasure of all, one know only by those who love."  Author Unknown

VOW & RING CEREMONY

May I have the rings please?

Rings are an ancient symbol, blessed and simple. Round like the sun, round like the eye, and round like arms that embrace. May these rings symbolize that your love, like the sun, illuminates and warms the others heart, like the eye, you must see clearly even amid the adversity of life, and like arms that embrace as grace upon the world. May they also remind you that love given comes back around again and again.

_____,(Groom/Bride) take this ring and place it on _____(Bride/Groom) finger and repeat after me.

I,_____, (Groom/Bride) take you, to be my wife/husband, in equal love, as a partner and companion, to have and to hold, to honor and to cherish, in joy and in sorrow, from this day forward.
 

THE UNITY PAINT CEREMONY Optional)

Every marriage starts out as a blank canvas and every day is a splash of color.  The blank canvas represents the day of the wedding and a new beginning.  The colors signify the experiences that lie ahead.  Each color a moment to be had; colors of joy and sorrow, blessing and heartache.  The colors are _______ & _______milestones, celebrations, tribulations, passion and dreams.  They are the moments that becomes days that make up the years.

As _______ & _______ pour the paint onto the canvas there will be places where the colors blend and mix, flowing together, creating a new color of experiences shared.  There will be places when the colors stay separate and stand alone and independent; yet, still a compliment to the bold color by its side.  There will be places of contrast.  There will be parts of the canvas that will look dark or messy and not at all to the couple's liking.  Other areas will remain blank and bare.  However, when you step back and look at the canvas in its entirety, you will see that it is clearly an original masterpiece; unlike anything you have ever seen before.  Each color, contrast, shadow and blend as unique and beautiful as _______ & _______ relationship.

 

READING:  "THESE ARE THE HANDS"

These are the hands of your best friend, young and strong and full of love for you. These are the hands that are holding yours on your wedding day as you promise to love each other today, tomorrow and forever.  These are the hands that will work along side yours as together you build your future.  These are the hands that will passionately love you and cherish you through the years and with the slightest touch will comfort you like no other.  These are the hands that will hold you when fear or grief wracks your mind.  These are hands that will countless times wipe tears from your eyes, tears of joy and tears of sorrow.  These are the hands that will tenderly hold your children.  These are the hands that will help hold your family together as one.  These are hands that will give you strength when you need it.  These are the hands that even when wrinkled with age will still be reaching for yours, still giving the same unspoken tenderness with just a touch.

PRONOUNCEMENT

_____and_____ have chosen each other, declared their love and purpose before family and friends, and have made their pledge to each other, symbolized by the giving and receiving of rings. By virtue of the authority vested in me by the law of the State of Texas, I pronounce you husband and wife. 

You may kiss!

ANNOUNCEMENT

I present Mr. & Mrs. _____ _____