On June 20th at about or on 4:20 PM I was given the pleasure of uniting two of my best friends together in Holy Matrimony. It was my first wedding as an officiant. It has become a highlight of my life.
I chose to be ordained by the ULC in 2004. I probably did this as rebellion from the mainstream faiths as I had become extremely annoyed by them. I did not understand how they could insist that God was separate from his children when God is his children. We are all the Divine.
I never thought that I would get to perform any of the functions that a community needs from a spiritual guide. I thought I would just follow my own path.
Last year when my friends mentioned that they were having some difficulty finding a minister I immediately offered my services. It just jumped out from me before I could realize what I was saying. I just knew that I needed to provide them with this gift. I chose to be ordained this is a duty I must perform for people that were so deserving. They accepted my offer. I was elated.
Below is the following ceremony I performed:
Welcome friends, families, and honored guests. We are here to celebrate love. Love organizes our large and sometimes unpredictable world. It is that which enshrines and ennobles our human experience. It is the basis for the peace of family, and the peace of the peoples of the earth. The greatest gift bestowed upon humans is the gift of love freely given amongst one another.
In marriage, two people turn to each other in search of a greater fulfillment than either can achieve alone. Marriage is a bold step, taken together, into an unknown future. It is risking who we are for the sake of who we can be. Only in giving of ourselves fully, and sharing our lives with another, can the mysterious process of growth take place. Only in loyalty and devotion bestowed upon another can that which is eternal in life emerge and be known. Two among us, who have stood apart, come together now, to declare their love and to be united in marriage.
Consent of the Families:
Doubly blessed is the couple which comes to the marriage altar with the approval and blessings of their families and friends. Who has the honor of presenting this woman to be married to this man?
(I do or Her Mother and I do)
Charge to the couple:
Chris and Amanda, I counsel you, as husband and wife, to always give respect to one another even when you disagree, to bear with each other’s weaknesses, to comfort each other in times of trouble or sorrow, to work with generous hearts to provide for the material needs of each other and the household, and to help one another experience spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical comfort.
Have you come here freely and without reservation to give yourselves to each other in marriage?
(Yes we have)
Do you, Chris, take Amanda to be your lawfully wedded wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; from now until death do you part?
Do you, Amanda, take Chris to be your lawfully wedded husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; from now until death do you part?
For thousands of years lovers have exchanged rings as a token of their commitment to one another. These rings say that in your uniqueness, you have chosen to be bound together. Let these rings be a pledge to protect one another from fear, ails, and sorrow.
Marriage is a state in which two people come together and create a union which is greater than the sum of its parts. It is difficult to express in words the profound relationship that is love. The ring has long been a symbol of the sincerity and permanence of a couple’s love for one another and regard for their marriage. As the circle can begin anew at any point, so a good marriage can pick any point to renew itself. These rings are symbols of your eternal love.
Please present each other with the rings.
Bride’s Father Hand Blessing:
I would now like invite Mr. Lappine to the front to perform a hand blessing
Amanda, please hold Chris’s hands palms up, so you may see the gift that they are to you. These are the hands of your best friend, young and strong and vibrant with love, that are holding yours on your wedding day, as he promises to passionately love you and cherish you through the years, for a lifetime of happiness. These are the hands that will work along side yours, as together you build your future, as you laugh and cry, as you share your innermost secrets and dreams.
These are the hands that will countless times wipe the tears from your eyes; tears of sorrow and tears of joy. These are the hands that will comfort you in illness, and hold you when fear or grief engulfs your heart. These are the hands that when wrinkled and aged will still be reaching for yours, still giving you the same unspoken tenderness with just a touch.
These are the hands that will tenderly lift your chin and brush your cheek as they raise your face to look into his eyes; eyes filled completely with his overwhelming love and desire for you.
Chris, please hold Amanda’s hands palms up, so you may see the gift that they are to you. These are the hands of your best friend, smooth, young and carefree, that are holding yours on your wedding day, as she promises to passionately love you and cherish you through the years, for a lifetime of happiness. These are the hands that will massage tension from your neck and back in the evenings after you?ve both had a long hard day. These are the hands that will hold you tight as you struggle through difficult times. These are the hands that will comfort you when you are sick, or console you when you are grieving.
These are the hands that when wrinkled and aged will still be reaching for yours, still giving you the same unspoken tenderness with just a touch. These are the hands that will give you support as she encourages you to chase down your dreams. Together as a team, everything you wish for can be realized.
Today, this relationship is symbolized through the pouring of these two individual containers of sand into one vessel; one representing you, Amanda, and all that you were, all that you are, and all that you will ever be, and the other representing you, Chris, and all that you were and all that you are, and all that you will ever be. As these two containers of sand are poured into the third container, the individual containers of sand will no longer exist, but will be joined together as one. Just as these grains of sand can never be separated and poured again into the individual containers, so will your marriage be, united as one for all of your days.
It is love that brings you here today. It is love that makes yours a glorious union. And it will be love that makes your marriage endure. Love has given you wings, and your journey begins today. This is a journey no two have traveled before, it is unique to you. Wherever life may take you, you will stay by each other’s side. I therefore join with everyone gathered today in our wish for your relationship to flourish and grow throughout a long and happy life together.
By the powers vested in me by the State of New Jersey and by the Divine, I pronounce you husband and wife.
With greatest pleasure, I present to you for the first time, Mr. & Mrs..
I tried my best to deliver the ceremony that the bride requested. The Moment flew by in a flash. Joy filled the room and was nearly overwhelming. A great time was then had by all at the reception late into the evening followed by brunch the next day.
Now I know I must offer my services to the friends who need them. Our spirituality is changing and we need people who walk similar spiritual paths to administer our oaths and help others along the paths that they choose.
Even if they are still walking and stumbling along their own path.
May you never step in any puddles and if you do may you remember that it is only water.
*Takes off the Reverend hat and sticks it away for later*