Monday, May 02, 2005

The ChaliceWedding

Since Scott at Boy in the Bands is talkin' wedding, I thought I'd post the script from mine.

Yep, she's a humanist.

It is one of life's richest surprises when the accidental meeting of two lives leads them to proceed together along the common path of husband and wife, and it is one of life's finest experiences when a casual relationship grows into a permanent bond of love. This meeting and this growth bring us together today.

Members of the families of both the bride and groom are here today being constant in their love for these two people before us.

Gary and Carolyn, will you pledge the goodwill of these families to this couple, and will you present your daughter Suzyn, for marriage to Ian?

I will.

Leigh and Barry, will you pledge the goodwill of these families to this couple, and will you present your son Ian, for marriage to Suzyn?

I will.

We are gathered here to unite in the bonds of matrimony two persons, who in mutual love and trust, have resolved to unite their lives that they may better accomplish our great human task of complete and noble living.

The ceremony which we are about to perform will not unite you in marriage. Only you can do that. The union which you are here about to publicly formalize is not a casual one, and not one to be taken lightly, but one of the most important into which you will ever enter. If the relationship between two people which is symbolized in our culture by the state of marriage does not already exist between you, this ceremony will not create it. This ceremony is the public announcement of the existence of that bond. The state or the church can but give its recognition to the bond between you -- they have no power to create it. As you give public announcement to the existence of the bond uniting you by means of the ceremony which we are about to perform, be ever mindful that you -- not an official, not the state, not the public -- created this marriage.

Pam Case:

1 Corinthians 13

Love is patient; love is kind
and envies no one.
Love is never boastful, nor conceited, nor rude;
never selfish, not quick to take offense.
There is nothing love cannot face;
there is no limit to its faith,
its hope, and endurance.
In a word, there are three things
that last forever: faith, hope, and love;
but the greatest of them all is love.

Joe Harris:

When two individuals meet, so do two private worlds. None of our private worlds is big enough for us to live a wholesome life in. We need the wider world of joy and wonder, of purpose and venture, of toil and tears. What are we, any of us, but strangers and sojourners forlornly wandering through the night time until we draw together and find the meaning of our lives in one another, dissolving the fears in each others courage, making music together and lighting torches to guide us through the dark? We belong together. Love is what we need. To love and to be loved. Let our hearts be open' and what we would receive from others, let us give. For what is given still remains to bless the giver -- when the gift is love.

-A. Powell Davies

Don Cooper:

I knew some time ago that Ian and Suzyn expected me to contribute a reading to their wedding. Although I looked extensively for a suitable one, I couldn’t find one that matched well what I wanted to say. Last Tuesday evening, Suzyn and Ian saved me the trouble of coming up with a suitable reading. Accidentally, I overheard a discussion between the two of them, both tired after a long day. At first, a voice was raised, partly frustrated and upset. Then the voices quieted, wedding details were sorted out between the two of them, plans and assignments were changed. Their voices grew more comfortable, and there were laughing and happy exchanges between them. By the time Ian came into the bedroom where I have been staying to check a detail, I realized something fundamental about what I had just overheard.
During the years that Suzyn and Ian have been together, they have learned to work together, to play together, and to love one another. They have made a marriage. Today, we, among their friends, coworkers, teachers, relatives, and other members of their human community, have assembled to wish them joy in the marriage that they have created.

A marriage ceremony does not create a relationship; it only recognizes what has already developed. We are here today, then, to celebrate the love which Suzyn and Ian have for each other, and to give social recognition to their decision to accept each other totally. Into this state of marriage, these two people have come to be united.

Ian, will you have this woman to be your wife, to live together in marriage; will you love her, comfort her, honor her and keep her, in sickness and in health, in sorrow and in joy, so long as you both shall live?

I will.

Suzyn, will you have this man to be your husband, to live together in marriage; will you love him, comfort him, honor him and keep him, in sickness and in health, in sorrow and in joy, so long as you both shall live?

I will.

What shall be the token of this pledge?

Groom: This ring. With this ring I thee wed, with my body I thee worship, and with all my worldly goods I thee endow.

Bride: This ring. With this ring I thee wed, with my body I thee worship, and with all my worldly goods I thee endow.

Let the love, patience and craftsmanship which tamed these rings serve as a model for your marriage. Let these rings be an outward expression of your inner affection, and may these rings ever be a reminder of the past, a devotion to the present, and a confidence in the future.

Out of this tangled world two souls have found each other; a mutual love has drawn them firmly together; and, joining in marriage, they have pledged each to the other their faith. Their destinies shall now be woven of one design, and their perils and their joys shall not be known apart. As they increase in mutual understanding, may their joy stand victoriously against the storm of circumstances which beats impartially at all people's doors. From the rich encouragement of their affection may they complete the unfinished patterns of their true selves. Even as they have chosen each other from the world's multitudes, so let the days and years, now veiled by time, deepen the joy of that choice, and make it abidingly true.

Forasmuch as you have made your mutual pledges, and have given and received rings in token of the same, I, by virtue of the authority vested in me, pronounce you husband and wife. May all that is noble, lovely and true abide with you forever.

(I’ll leave appropriate wording to Katy)

Nothing else matters much --
not wealth, nor learning,
nor even health --
without this gift:
the spiritual capacity to keep
zest in living.

This is the creed of creeds,
the final deposit and distillation
of all human faith:

That we should be able to believe in life.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing this. Weddings are always touching -- with or without God in them.
You mentioned that the wedding is just an acknowledgement of a relationship that already exists -- so, how long have you been together?

Chalicechick said...

December 5, it will be six years.


Anonymous said...

Quite beautiful CC.