Friday, April 03, 2009

Wedding ceremony, vows and a photo

I've been pondering how this all made/makes me feel. It's hard to put this into words, but one thing I do know: getting married has strengthened my resolve to fight for marriage equality. I already had thrown my support behind the fight for our civil rights, but it really hit home this week. I already believed that civil unions weren't enough, but it has a very personal impact now that has touched me to the core.

So on this day when another state's Supreme Court has acknowledged our rights--"If gay and lesbian people must submit to different treatment without an exceedingly persuasive justification, they are deprived of the benefits of the principle of equal protection upon which the rule of law is founded"--I will happily share more from our wedding of just two days ago. (What we say is in italics, if I didn't screw that up.) :)

The ceremony
We have come together here in celebration of the joining together of Marc and Jess. There are many things to say about marriage. Much wisdom concerning the joining together of two souls has come our way through all paths of belief, and from many cultures. With each union, more knowledge is gained and more wisdom gathered. Though I am unable to give all this knowledge to both of you standing here, I can hope to leave with you the knowledge of love and its strengths and the anticipation of the wisdom that comes with time. The law of life is love unto all beings. Without love, life is nothing, without love, death has no redemption. Love is anterior to Life, posterior to Death, initial of Creation and the exponent of Earth. If we learn no more in life, let it be this.

Marriage is a bond to be entered into only after considerable thought and reflection. As with any aspect of life, it has its cycles, its ups and its downs, its trials and its triumphs. With full understanding of this, you have come here today to be joined as one in marriage.

Please join hands with your partner and listen to that which I am about to say...

Above you are the stars, below you are the stones, as time doth pass, remember...

Like a stone should your love be firm; like a star should your love be constant. Let the powers of the mind and of the intellect guide you in your marriage, let the strength of your wills bind you together, let the power of love and desire make you happy, and the strength of your dedication make you inseparable. Be close, but not too close. Possess one another, yet be understanding. Have patience with one another, for storms will come, but they will pass quickly. Be free in giving affection and warmth. Have no fear and let not the ways of the unenlightened give you unease, let peace be with you always.

Stand fast in your 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.

The Vows
Marc and Jess, we are here to rejoice 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…

Jess, repeat after me:

I, Jess, take you Marc 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.


Marc, repeat after me:

I, Marc, take you Jess 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.


Rings
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.

Jess take Marc's ring and put in on his 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.


Marc take Jess's ring and put in on his 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.


Pronouncement
Marc and Jess, 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. If you would have the foundation of your marriage be the devotion you have for one another, not just at this moment, but for all the days to come, then treasure the hopes and dreams that you bring here today. Stand fast in that hope and confidence, having faith in your shared destiny just as strongly as you have faith in yourselves and in one another today. Only with this spirit can you forge a union that will strengthen and endure all the days of your lives.

As you have consented in this ceremony to be partners for life, and in accordance with the law of CT and by the virtue of the authority vested in me by the state of CT, I now pronounce you partners in marriage. Congratulations!

Candle lighting
Within each human being burns the spark of the Divine. When two people love one another with devotion and freedom, they kindle the awareness of that spark in each other as nothing else quite can do. The lighted candle is symbolic of the cosmic creation and the light and truth in the human heart, mind and soul. Fire also symbolizes both purity and passion.

Take into your hearts the warmth, radiance and light that the flame represents. Let it light your way on the journey of life that you are about to embark on.

If at this time you wish to affirm your free choice to unite as partners in marriage, please light the unlit candle together now. (We lit candle together) As you bring your individual flames together to symbolically form the new and greater flame of your marriage, never forget that the light of your union is made up of your unique, individual expressions of light and is continually sustained and renewed by your connection to each other. May the light of your marriage be a beacon in the night, a safe harbor from the storms of life. May your future be made infinitely brighter by the light and the love that you share.

------------------------------------

And that was it. Marc had some tears in his eyes, and I fought hard not to start crying myself, since I thought that would make both of us emotional wrecks. Still, it was quite an amazing feeling.

By the way, if anyone wants to get married in Connecticut, let us know. We'll be glad to give you the contact information for Maureen Davis, the Justice of the Peace who officiated at our wedding. She did a lovely job.

To close this post, here's a photo with the Justice of the Peace:

6 comments:

Greg said...

Okay, officially, this is me crying at your wedding.

So happy for you guys. I wish you unbearable happiness whenever possible, patience with each other the rest of the time...and love throughout.

Mazel tov!

tornwordo said...

What a lovely ceremony script. Great photo, congratulations guys!

Jeff said...

Oh wow, how lovely! Thanks for sharing. Congratulations again!

ATG said...

Reading that made my eyes well up. Such a nice, simple ceremony.

Mazel tov!

Greg said...

Congratulations!!!!!

Tobey said...

I am just now getting the chance to chime in here with the others. I am so happy for you two! CONGRATS and your ceremony made me cry too! lol