The bridal party and bride walk up the aisle to the altar, accompanied music.
I’d like to welcome all of you to this very special occasion and I’d like to thank James and Aria for inviting me to officiate at their wedding. I am honored and truly blessed to be here.
We are gathered here today to witness and celebrate an act of deep love. James and Aria, 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 and well-being as partners in life. On behalf of them, I welcome all of you. And on behalf of all of us invited here today – James and Aria, we welcome you to this moment in your lives and the place you have come to in each other’s hearts.
I remind all of our guests that you have been invited here for a holy purpose – not just to witness, but to participate fully with your thoughts and prayers, asking God to bless this couple and their married life. You are here because this couple feels close to you and asks that you join them in this dedication of sacred purpose. You represent symbolically all the people in the world who will be touched in any way by the life of this couple. 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. 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, and any children who might one day be a part of this union. Now, from our hearts, we ourselves visualize and sanctify all the blessings we would bestow on James and Aria in their lives as a couple and a family. And in our sincere desire to bless, we in turn, are blessed too. Be blessed.
from the Corinthians
Love is patient; love is kind. Love is not jealous, it does not put on airs, it is not snobbish. Love is never rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not prone to anger; neither does it brood over injuries. Love does not rejoice in what is wrong but rejoices with the truth. There is no limit to love’s forbearance, to its trust, its hope, its power to endure.
Love never fails. Prophecies will cease, tongues will be silent, knowledge will pass away…. There are in the end three things that remain: faith, hope and love, but the greatest of these is love.
Let me explain that James and Aria have not come here today only to make a solemn promise or to exchange a sacred vow. 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 James and Aria have come here to do, is to make public their love for each other; to declare their choice to live and partner 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.
They’ve also come here today in the further hope that their ritual of bonding will bring us all closer together.
James and Aria, 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…..
And you are not marrying each other in hopes of getting those things, but in hope of giving these gifts, that the other might have them in even greater abundance.
Is that your firm understanding today?
(They say, “It is.”)
And James and Aria, 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 people, your love of creativity, your love of work, 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, James and Aria, 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.
James, please repeat after me…..
I, James, ask you, Aria, to be my lawfully wedded wife, to have and to hold from this day forward. I promise to be true to you in good times and in bad, for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part. I will love you and honor you all the days of my life.
Minister turn to Aria.
Aria, do you choose to grant James’ request that you be his wife?
(She answers, “I do.”)
Now Aria, please repeat after me…..
I, Aria, ask you, James, to be my lawfully wedded husband, to have and to hold from this day forward. I promise to be true to you in good times and in bad, for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part. I will love you and honor you all the days of my life.
(Minister turns to James)
James, do you grant Aria’s request that you be her husband?
(He answers, “I do.”)
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, and may you enter this marriage reborn.
EXCHANGE OF RINGS
(The minister gives the rings back to James and Aria)
Now, James and Aria, 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….,radiating out love to improve the quality of all of life….I 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, James, and you, Aria, 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.
Family and Friends, let me proudly present to you, our newlyweds, Mr. and Mrs. James Gibbons
(Bride and Groom Exit to Music)