I’d like to welcome all of you to this very special occasion and I’d like to thank Shannon and Derek for inviting me to officiate at their wedding. I am very honored and feel truly blessed to be here.
We are gathered here today to witness and celebrate an act of true love. Shannon and Derek, in their devotion, respect, and love for each other wish to unite in the holy bond of marriage, and to dedicate themselves to each other’s happiness. On behalf of them, I welcome all of you.
I remind all of our guests that you have been invited here for a purpose – not just to witness, but to participate fully with your good wishes and prayers, asking God to bless this couple and their married life. You represent their friends and family, now and forever. They have chosen this act of marriage and this public, holy ceremony to proclaim it. Together we all thank the Higher Power that brought them together and ask Him always to guide their way.
Let us now close our eyes and bring to mind any love ones who could not be here today, especially for Kellie, the mother of the bride who is here in spirit with the couple. Though they are absent physically, we invoke, through our thoughts and prayers, their loving presence. We pray God might multiply beyond measure the blessings from these loved ones to this loving couple. Now, from our hearts, we ourselves visualize and sanctify all the blessings we would bestow on Shannon and Derek in their lives as a couple.
I belong in your arms - by Deborah Bridea
I belong in your arms
Finally, I have found a place
Into which I fit Perfectly, Safely
And securely with no doubts,
No fears, No sadness, No tears.
This place is filled with happiness and laughter
Yet it is spacious enough, to allow me
The freedom to move around,
To live my life and be myself.
This wonderful place, which I never believed really existed,
I have found Finally
Inside your arms, Inside your heart, inside your love.
Let me explain that Shannon and Derek have not come here today only to make a solemn promise. For love has no requirements or conditions. That’s what makes it Love. If your love for one another carries requirements or conditions, then it is not love at all.
What Shannon and Derek have come here to do is to declare their choice to live and grow together – out loud and in your presence, out of their desire that we will come to feel a very real and intimate part of their decision, and thus make it even more powerful.
Derek and Shannon, is it your firm understanding that you are not entering into this marriage for reasons of security……that the only real security is not in owning or possessing, nor in being owned or possessed.
…not in demanding or expecting, and not even in hoping, that what you think you need in life will be supplied by the other…..
But rather, in knowing that everything you need in life…..all the love, all the wisdom, all the insight, all the power, all the knowledge, all the understanding, all the nurturing, all the compassion, and all the strength, already resides within you…..
Is that your firm understanding today?
(They say, “It is.”)
And Shannon and Derek, is it your firm understanding that you are not entering into this marriage as a means of in any way limiting, controlling, hindering or restricting that which is the highest and best within you – including your love of God, your love of life, your love of creativity, or any aspect of your being which genuinely represents you, and brings you joy.
Is that still your firm understanding today?
(They say, “It is.”)
Finally, Derek and Shannon, is it your firm understanding that you do not see marriage as producing obligations, but rather as providing opportunities…..opportunities for growth, for full Self expression, for lifting your lives to your highest potential, for healing every false thought or small idea you ever had about yourself, and for ultimate reunion with your Creator through the communion of your two souls…
And this is truly a Holy Communion….a journey through life with one you love as an equal partner, sharing equally both the authority and responsibilities inherent in any partnership, bearing equally what burdens there be, basking equally in the glories.
Is that the Vision you wish to enter into now?
(They say, “It is.”)
Now those were the agreements and understandings of Earthly things…..how life will be within the physical structure called marriage.
Let us now exchange larger understandings…..your spiritual nature and your spiritual Truth….the purity of your real and Highest Self, and the purity of Divine Love, which shines upon you now and always.
Derek, please repeat after me…..
I, Derek, ask you, Shannon…..to be my partner, my lover, and my wife……I promise to be faithful, supportive, and loyal…..and to give you my understanding and love….. throughout all the changes of our life….and I will always treasure you as being my other half…..I promise to celebrate all the happy times with you and be your courage and strength during the hard times…..I promise to support your dreams and stand beside you always….From this day forward….. I will be you proud husband and your best friend….. It is my intention to be with you forever…..sharing all that is good within me…..with all that is good within you.
(The minister turns to Shannon)
Shannon, do you choose to grant Derek's request that you be his wife?
(She answers, “I do.”)
Now Shannon, please repeat after me…..
I, Shannon…..ask you, Derek….to be my partner, my lover, and my husband……I promise to be faithful, supportive, and loyal…..and to give you my understanding and love….. throughout all the changes of our life….and I will always treasure you as being my other half…..I promise to celebrate all the happy times with you and be your courage and strength during the hard times…..I promise to support your dreams and stand beside you always….From this day forward….. I will be you proud wife and your best friend….. It is my intention to be with you forever…..sharing all that is good within me…..with all that is good within you.
(Minister turns to Derek)
Derek, do you grant Shannon’s request that you be her husband?
(He answers, “I do.”)
And now would the best man please bring up the rings?
These rings and their circular nature are the symbol of holiness, perfection, and peace.
These rings exchanged today are also the symbol of never-ending love. Love that must first begin with each of us as Self Love, then radiates out to another and allows their love to return in full measure….completing the circle of love without end.
Lastly, these rings are the symbol of the eternity of spiritual life and truth….that which has no beginning and no end.
The precious nature of the metal and stones of these rings represents the wonderful essence they find in each other and the wonderful essence they find individually, through their mutual love, respect, and support of each other.
To both of you, I enjoin you to release at this time all impediments to your joy. In this moment may you forgive each other any past transgressions, that you might enter this marriage reborn. Allow the waters of forgiveness to wash you clean. You are given the chance to begin your lives again this day, as God grants you radical renewal through the power of this commitment. You commit to a compelling future for yourselves and your children, and to any part you might play in the healing of the world. Receive fully God’s gifts on this day, as He receives so fully the gift of your love for each other. May you rejoice in Him, as He rejoices in you.
EXCHANGE OF RINGS
(The minister gives the rings back to Shannon and Derek)
Now, Shannon and Derek, please take these rings you wish to give one another and repeat after me:
With this ring…..I thee wed….that we may bond in body, mind, and spirit….take now the ring you give to me…..and give it a place upon your finger…..that all may see and know….. of my love for you.
And so now, in as much as you, Shannon, and you, Derek, have sanctified your union by announcing your truths that are already written in your hearts, and have witnessed the same in the presence of these, your family and friends, and God, through the power vested in me, I now pronounce you husband and wife.
You may kiss the bride. (KISS)
Let us now join in an Irish blessing for our closing prayer.
May the road rise to meet you. May the wind always be at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face, the rains fall soft upon your fields. May the light of friendship guide your paths together. May the laughter of children grace the halls of your home. May the joy of living for one another trip a smile from your lips, a twinkle from your eyes. And, when eternity beckons, at the end of a life heaped high with love, may the good Lord embrace you in the arms that have nurtured you the whole length of your joy-filled days. May the gracious God hold you both in the palm of His hand. And today, may the spirit of love find a dwelling place in your hearts.
Ladies and gentlemen,, let me proudly present to you, our newlyweds Mr. and Mrs. Derek Slattery