Marriage is a commitment.
It is to take joy deep, deeper than happiness,
deep into the discovery of who you most truly are.
It is a commitment to a spiritual journey, to a life of becoming -
in which joy can comprehend despair; in which even rivers of pain can be overcome and turned once more into joy.
But marriage is even deeper than commitment.
It is a covenant - a covenant that says:
I love you - I trust you - I will be here for you when you are hurting,
and when I am hurting I will not leave.
It is a covenant intended not to provide a haven from pain or anger or sorrow.
Life offers no such haven.
Instead, marriage is intended to provide a sanctuary safe enough to risk loving; to risk living and sharing from the centre of oneself.
This is worth everything.
Love is the greatest gift of life and its threads can be seen woven throughout our lives creating a tapestry that forms a living picture of caring and compassion, selflessness and generosity. It weaves a cloth of esteem and respect. It wraps us in a blanket of warmth and security.
Love brings with it the wealth of being alive, the purpose and hope for tomorrow.
Love crosses all boundaries, all seas, all difficulties.
Love sets us free to be ourselves.
As a butterfly emerges from being a chrysalis,
so love gives us wings with which to fly.
Love is the sunlight that warms our hearts and lives.
Love is the rainbow that promises us hope no matter what storms batter us.
Neil do you take Sanja to be your wife?
Will you love her, comfort her, honour and protect her and forsaking all others
be faithful unto her for as long as you both shall live?
I, Sue, take you, Phil to be no other than yourself. Loving what I know of you, trusting in what I don’t yet know, with respect to your integrity and faith in your love for me, through our years together and in all that life may bring us, I accept you as my partner in life.
I, Helen Elizabeth Jones, take you Christopher Stephen Montgomery,
to be my soulmate and best friend for life.
To love you always – both through our likenesses and through our differences.
To grow in admiration and respect,
As we begin the story of our life together.
Chris, I choose now to stay this path with you,
Wherever it leads, whatever the outcome;
To travel with you through the adventures of life,
Loving you at my side; in all that we find,
I pledge my friendship, my faith and my love.
Exchange of Rings
I give you this ring as a sign of our marriage.
With my life I honour you and all that I have I share with you.
God grant that I be your ever-true and faithful husband.
This ring is a symbol of all that I am.
Receive and treasure it as a pledge of the love I have for you.
From this day forward we are as one.
The couple take a flame from the lighted candles and light the single central candle. They extinguish the first two candles so as to symbolise the passing of their former lives and now they hold together the one light to symbolise their shared union from this day forward…
From every human being there rises a light that reaches straight to heaven. And when two souls that are destined for each other find one another, their streams of light flow together and a single brighter light goes forth from their united being.
Your love burns today as a flame within your hearts. So join now those burning hearts and light up a torch of love. Guard well this flickering light of love, that burning bright through happy days and darkest nights, it may forever provide your warmth, your direction and your hope.
Candle Lighting Ceremony
The lighting of seven candles [representing eternity]. Each candle is lit with a sentence of hope for the future or a prayer.
We bring together many uncertainties, many sorrows, many joys, much wonder. We bring together many candles, many lights. May our separate lights become one flame, that together we may be nourished by its glow.
Signing and Presentation of Certificate
Please note this is not a marriage license but a witnessed statement of the heart felt vows taken on this day.
The celebrant will write especially for you something very special and meaningful.
Paula and Stephen had, what I think of as one of the loveliest ways of meeting, – they met over the World Wide Web. That mystical infinity of cyberspace where great waves of thoughts and feelings are expressed …
….We are conscious of the many meanings of this hour and overjoyed at its promises. We hope that the Spirit of trust, understanding and love may enrich your relationship in all the years that lie ahead. Whatever problems and worries confront you find the time to talk and listen to each other, respecting and honouring each other's integrity.
Let no one take from you this moment of love and joy and closeness.
But remember Love is an eternal memory and no matter what lays ahead of you nothing can destroy the memories and passion of today.
As you build your home together may it be a sanctuary from the stresses of daily living and a source of strength and security.
May the years deal gently with you, and in being together may you find far more in life than either of you would have found alone.
….So, just for one moment I want us all to remember what it was like to fall in love.
Have you noticed that when we love we too feel loved,
and when we feel loved we want to love the whole world?
Love is the sunlight that warms our hearts and lives. Blessings
Love is a gift from God and marriage is a sacred mystery where two individuals are united by a spiritual bond by the means of God’s grace. ..
…Send your Holy Spirit to pour out the abundance of your blessing on Sonia and Neil who have this day given themselves to each other in marriage. Bless them in their work in their companionship; in their sleeping and their waking; in their joys and in their sorrows; and make their home a haven of peace. Let their love for each other be a seal upon their hearts, a mantle about their shoulders, a crown upon their foreheads.
As Chris and Helen have given themselves to each other by solemn vows,
with the joining of hands, and with the exchange of rings, in the presence of this company, it gives me great pleasure to pronounce them husband and wife!
We can offer you a communion service which is open to everyone regardless of faith or creed.
We share in passing a cup of wine, bread and grapes one to another. [or can provide you with a more familiar and traditional practise if you so wish such as the 1662 prayer book service]
is an ancient Celtic wedding symbol in which the couples' hands are tied together with a ceremonial ribbon or cloth It's often done in modern times with a beautiful ribbon chosen by the couple. It's tied in a bow with an opening loose enough so that the hands can come out freely. The couple save the tied bow as a memento of their wedding.
Smudge the couple with incense.
Be blessed by the ancient and mystical element of air
Sprinkle the water from the chalice over their heads.
Be blessed by the ancient and mystical element of water
Anoint their foreheads with rose oil
may the divine spirit of love
bless you with togetherness
honesty and spiritual growth
for as long as you both shall live
for Love is a sacred union uniting two souls eternally
For love crosses all boundaries, all seas, all difficulties …