Ceremony – Blessing of the Coins

Minister: (Minister takes the coins in hand.) Now we will continue with the Blessing of the Coins.  The13 coins in this ceremony represent Jesus and his 12 disciples. The coins also represent different values that the couple desires to share between themselves: love, harmony. cooperation, commitment, peace, happiness, trust, respect, caring, wisdom, joy, wholeness and nurturing. In presenting the bride with these coins, the groom symbolically recognizes his responsibility as a provider, and pledges to support and care for his wife, as well as declares his trust in her. In receiving the coins, the bride accepts that trust and confidence unconditionally with total dedication, responsibility, and prudence. In the name of our Heavenly Father, I bless these coins, knowing that they are also a symbol of the good in store for this loving couple. I accept this for Bride’s Name and Groom’s Name, and so it is, Amen.
(Pause for Minister to pour the coins into the groom’s hands.  Groom holds his hands over the Bride’s hands.)

Minister to the Groom: Groom’s Name, please repeat after me.
I, Groom’s Name, give you Bride’s Name, these coins as a symbol of the unquestionable trust and confidence I place in you as my beloved wife. As we unite our lives today I share all material responsibility with you. (Pause as groom pours coins into bride’s hands,)

Minister to the Bride: Bride’s Name, please repeat after me.
I Bride’s Name, accept these coins and assure you, Groom’s Name, of my total dedication in looking after you and your possessions and pledge my unconditional love to you.

Minister: In exchanging these coins, Bride’s Name and Groom’s Name have agreed with each  other, what is his is hers and what is hers is his. May these coins be a symbol of this couple’s mutual love, fidelity and trust.
(Pause to hand off the coins to wedding attendant.)

 

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Ceremony – Lasso

Minister: Bride’s Name and Groom’s Name have chosen to incorporate the Lasso ritual into their wedding ceremony. The Lasso is a wedding ritual in which the couple is bound together with a ceremonial rosary. Lassoing is a declaration of intent, where the bride and groom clearly state that they are marrying of their own free will.
Bride’s Name and Groom’s Name, since your lives have crossed, you have formed and eternal and sacred bond. As you enter this state of matrimony you should strive to make real the ideals that give meaning to this ceremony.

With full awareness, know that within this Lasso you are not only declaring your intent to be bound together before your friends and family, but you speak that intent also to God.

The promises made today and the ties that are bound here greatly strengthen your union and will cross all the years or your lives.

Bride’s Name and Groom’s Name, I ask you to hold hands and look into each others eyes.
Will you honor and respect one another, and seek to never break that honor?
Will you share each other’s pain and seek to ease it?
Will you share the burdens of each so that your spirits may grow in this union?
And will you share each other’s laughter, and look for the brightness in life and the positive in each other?

Bride & Groom: We will.

(Pause while Lasso is draped in the form of a figure 8 around the Bride and Groom by parents or wedding attendants.)

Minister: Bride’s Name and Groom’s Name, as you are bound together now, so too your lives and spirits are joined in a union of everlasting love and trust. Above you are the stars and below you is 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.

Minister: Let us pray.
Father in heaven, You ordained marriage for your children, and You gave us love. We present to You Bride’s Name and Groom’s Name, who come this day to be married. May the covenant of love they make be blessed with true devotion and spiritual commitment.

Bless this marriage, O God, as they begin their journey down the road of life together. We know not what lies ahead, for the road has many turns and bends, but we are grateful to you for helping them to make the best of whatever comes their way.

We are thankful that they can continue to enjoy each other as they did when they first met and for helping them to realize that nothing and no one is perfect and to look for the good in all things and all people including themselves.

Thank you for helping them to respect each other’s likes and dislikes, opinions and beliefs, hopes and dreams and fears, even though they may not always understand them.

Thank you for helping them to learn from each other and to help each other to grow mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

Thank you for helping them to realize that no matter what happens to them they will hold on to each other and know that things have a way of working out for the good.

Thank you for helping them to create a peaceful, stable home of love as a foundation on which they can build their lives.

But most of all, dear God, thank you for helping them to keep lit the flame of love that they now share, so that by their loving example, they may pass on the light of love to their children and to their children’s children forever and ever.
And so it is. Amen
(Pause while Lasso is removed by the same people who placed it)

 

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Reading – “Fidelity” by D.H. Lawrence

Man and woman are like the earth,
that brings forth flowers in summer, and love,
but underneath is rock.
Older than flowers, older than ferns,
older than foraminiferae,
older than plasm altogether is the soul underneath.
And when, throughout all the wild chaos of love slowly a gem forms,
in the ancient, once-more-molten rocks of two human hearts,
two ancient rocks, a man’s heart and a woman’s,
that is the crystal of peace,
the slow hard jewel of trust,
the sapphire of fidelity.
The gem of mutual peace emerging from the wild chaos of love.

 

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Reading – “Apache Indian Wedding Blessing” from Broken Arrow

(Note: This was written for the 1950s Western movie Broken Arrow. There is no known connection to the traditions of the Apache or any other Native American nation.)

Now you will feel no rain
For each of you will be shelter for the other.
Now you will feel no cold,
For each of you will be warmth for the other.
Now there is no more loneliness.
Now you are two persons, but there is only one life before you.
Go now to your dwelling, to enter into the days of your life together.
And may your days be good and long upon this earth.

 

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Ceremony – Ring Exchange – adapted by Arwen Freer, Minister

I give you this ring as a symbol of my love and faithfulness.
As I place it on your finger, I commit my heart to you.
I pledge to you all that I am and all that I will ever be as your (wife/husband).
Let this ring be a reminder that I am always by your side
and may it remind you always that you are surrounded by my love.
In sickness and in health, in poverty or in wealth, for better or worse,
I choose you to be my (wife/husband) this day and forevermore.

 

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Reading – “We Are One” from Babylon 5

The universe speaks in many languages, but only one voice.
It speaks in the language of hope.
It speaks in the language of trust.
It speaks in the language of strength, and the language of compassion.
It is the language of the heart and the language of the soul.
But always it is the same voice.

It is the voice of our ancestors speaking through us.
And the voice of our inheritors waiting to be born.
It is the small, still voice that says we are One.

No matter the blood, no matter the skin,
No matter the world, no matter the star,
We are One.

No matter the pain, no matter the darkness,
No matter the loss, no matter the fear.
We are One.

Here, gathered together in common cause
We agree to recognize this singular truth and this singular rule:
That we must be kind to one another.
Because each voice enriches us and ennobles us,
And each voice lost diminishes us.

We are the voice of the universe,
the soul of creation,
The fire that will light the way to a better future.
We are One.

 

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Reading – quote from Devine Comedy by Dante Alighieri

The love of god, unutterable and perfect, flows into a pure soul the way light rushes into a transparent object. The more love we receive, the more love we radiate; so that, as we grow clear and open, the more complete the joy of loving is. And the more souls who resonate together, the greater the intensity of their love, for mirror-like, each soul reflects the other.

 

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Reading – Scottish Wedding Prayer

 

Lord help us to remember when we first met and the strong love that grew between us.

To work that love into practical things so that nothing can divide us.

We ask for words both kind and loving and hearts always ready to ask forgiveness as well as to forgive.

Dear Lord, we put our marriage into your hands.

 

 

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Reading – “To Be One With Each Other” by George Eliot

What greater thing is there for two human souls
than to feel that they are joined together
to strengthen each other in all labor,
to minister to each other in all sorrow,
to share with each other in all gladness,
to be one with each other in the silent unspoken memories?

 

 

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Reading – The Bible – John 15: 9-12

In John 15: 9-12, Jesus says:

As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue in my love.

If you keep my commandments, you shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.

These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.

This is my commandment, that you love one another, as I have loved you.

 

 

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Reading – quote from Union from The Beginning to End by Robert Fulghum

You have known each other from the first glance of acquaintance to this point of commitment. At some point, you decided to marry. From that moment of yes to this moment of yes, indeed, you have been making promises and agreements in an informal way. All those conversations that were held riding in a car or over a meal or during long walks — all those sentences that began with “When we’re married” and continued with “I will and you will and we will”- those late night talks that included “someday” and “somehow” and “maybe”- and all those promises that are unspoken matters of the heart. All these common things, and more, are the real process of a wedding. The symbolic vows that you are about to make are a way of saying to one another, ” You know all those things we’ve promised and hoped and dreamed – well, I meant it all, every word.” Look at one another and remember this moment in time. Before this moment you have been many things to one another – acquaintance, friend, companion, lover, dancing partner, and even teacher, for you have learned much from one another in these last few years. Now you shall say a few words that take you across a threshold of life, and things will never quite be the same between you. For after these vows, you shall say to the world, this – is my husband, this – is my wife.

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Reading – “The Art Of Marriage” by Wilferd A. Peterson

Happiness in marriage is not something that just happens.
A good marriage must be created.
In the art of marriage the little things are the big things…
It is never being too old to hold hands.
It is remembering to say “I love you” at least once a day.
It is never going to sleep angry.
It is at no time taking the other for granted;
the courtship should not end with the honeymoon,
it should continue through all the years.
It is having a mutual sense of values and common objectives.
It is standing together facing the world.
It is forming a circle of love that gathers in the whole family.
It is doing things for each other, not in the attitude of duty or sacrifice, but in the spirit of joy.
It is speaking words of appreciation and demonstrating gratitude in thoughtful ways.
It is not looking for perfection in each other.
It is cultivating flexibility, patience, understanding and a sense of humour.
It is having the capacity to forgive and forget.
It is giving each other an atmosphere in which each can grow.
It is finding room for the things of the spirit.
It is a common search for the good and the beautiful.
It is establishing a relationship in which the independence is equal, dependence is mutual and the obligation is reciprocal.
It is not only marrying the right partner, it is being the right partner.
It is discovering what marriage can be, at its best.

 

 

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Ceremony – Hands

Please face each other and take each other’s hands.

These are the hands of your best friend, young and strong and full of love for you, that are holding yours on your wedding day as you promise to love each other today, tomorrow and forever. These are the hands that will work alongside yours as together you build your future.

These are the hands that will passionately love you and cherish you through the years, and with the slightest touch will comfort you like no other.

These are the hands that will hold you when fear or grief comes to you.

These are the hands that will wipe the tears from your eyes countless times; tears of sorrow and tears of joy.

These are the hands that will tenderly hold your children, the hands that will join your family as one.

These are the hands that will give you strength when you need it, support and encouragement to pursue your dreams, and comfort through difficult times.

And lastly, these are the hands that, even when wrinkled and aged, will still be reaching for yours, still giving you the same unspoken tenderness with just a touch.

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