Ceremony – Vows by Dr Suess

Groom: Yes, I will have, and I will hold,
Just as I have at this time told,
Yes, I will love her all my life
As I now take her as my wife.

Pastor: Will you love through good and bad?
Whether you’re happy or sad?

Groom: Yes, I’ll love through good and bad,
Whether we’re happy or sad,
Yes, I will have and I will hold
Just as I have already told,
Yes, I will love her all my life,
Yes, I will take her as my wife!

Pastor: Will you love her if you’re rich?
Or if you’re poor, and in a ditch?

Groom: Yes, I’ll love her if we’re rich,
And I will love her in a ditch,
I’ll love her through good times and bad,
Whether we are happy or sad,
Yes, I will have, and I will hold
(I could have sworn this has been told!)
I promise to love all my life
This woman, as my lawful wife!

Pastor: Will you love her when you’re fit,
And also when you’re feeling sick?

Groom: Yes, I’ll love her when we’re fit,
And when we’re hurt, and when we’re sick,
And I will love her when we’re rich
And I will love her in a ditch
And I will love through good and bad,
And I will love when glad or sad,
And I will have, and I will hold
Ten years from now a thousandfold,
Yes, I will love for my whole life
This lovely woman as my wife!

Pastor: Will you love with all your heart?
Will you love till death you part?

Groom: Yes, I’ll love with all my heart
From now until death do us part,
And I will love her when we’re rich,
And when we’re broke and in a ditch,
And when we’re fit, and when we’re sick,
(Oh, CAN’T we get this finished quick?)
And I will love through good and bad,
And I will love when glad or sad,
And I will have, and I will hold,
And if I might now be so bold,
I’ll love her my entire life,
Yes, I WILL take her as my wife!

Pastor: Then if you’ll take her as your wife,
And if you’ll love her all your life,
And if you’ll have, and if you’ll hold,
From now until the stars grow cold,
And if you’ll love through good and bad,
And whether you’re happy or sad,
And love in sickness, and in health,
And when you’re poor, and when in wealth,
And if you’ll love with all your heart,
From now until death do you part,
Yes, if you’ll love her through and through,
Please answer with these words:

Pastor and Groom: I DO!

Pastor: You’re married now! So kiss the bride,
But please, do keep it dignified.

 

 

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Reading – Taming the Fox from The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery

The fox:”…But if you tame me, it will be as if the sun came to shine on my life. I shall know the sound of a step that will be different from all the others. Other steps send me hurrying back underneath the ground. Yours will call me, like music, out of my burrow. And then look: you see the grain-fields down yonder? I do not eat bread. Wheat is of no use to me. The wheat fields have nothing to say to me. And that is sad. But you have hair that is the color of gold. Think how wonderful that will be when you have tamed me! The grain, which is also golden, will bring me back the thought of you. And I shall love to listen to the wind in the wheat . . .”

The fox gazed at the little prince, for a long time.

“Please–tame me!” he said.

“I want to, very much,” the little prince replied. “But I have not much time. I have friends to discover, and a great many things to understand.”

“One only understands the things that one tames,” said the fox. “Men have no more time to understand anything. They buy things all ready made at the shops. But there is no shop anywhere where one can buy friendship, and so men have no friends any more. If you want a friend, tame me . . .”

 

 

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Reading – quote from Children of Dune by Frank Herbert

The future remains uncertain and so it should, for it is the canvas upon which we paint our desires. Thus always the human condition faces a beautifully empty canvas. We possess only this moment in which to dedicate ourselves continuously to the sacred presence which we share and create.

This would work well for those doing a unity painting as part of their ceremony.

PaintingQuoteFrankHerbert

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Reading – From The Princes Bride by William Goldman

Westley:

“Do I love you? My God, if your love were a grain of sand, mine would be a universe of beaches… I have stayed these years in my hovel because of you. I have taught myself languages because of you. I have made my body strong because I thought you might be pleased by a strong body. I have lived my life with only the prayer that some sudden dawn you might glance in my direction. I have not known a moment in years when the sight of you did not send my heart careening against my rib cage. I have not known a night when your visage did not accompany me to sleep. There has not been a morning when you did not flutter behind my waking eyelids…

I love you. Okay? Want it louder? I love you. Spell it out, should I? I ell-oh-vee-ee why-oh-you. Want it backward? You love I…


Westley: Hear this now; I will always come for you.

Buttercup: But how can you be sure?

Westley: This is true love – you think this happens every day?


The Impressive Clergyman –

Mawage. Mawage is wot bwings us togeder today. Mawage, that bwessed awangement, that dweam wifin a dweam…And wuv, tru wuv, will fowwow you foweva…So tweasure your wuv.

 

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Reading – The Sandman, Vol. 9 by Neil Gaiman

Have you ever been in love? Horrible, isn’t it? I makes you so vulnerable. It opens your chest and it opens up your heart and it means that someone can get inside you and mess you up. You build up all these defenses, you build up a whole suit of armor, so that nothing can hurt you, then one stupid person, no different from any other stupid person, wanders into your stupid life…You give them a piece of you. They didn’t ask for it. They did something dumb one day, like kiss you or smile at you, and then your life isn’t your own anymore.

 

 

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Reading – Vows of Drogo and Daenerys from Game of Thrones

Khal Drogo: You are the moon of my life. That is all I know and all I need to know. And if this is a dream, I will kill the man who tries to wake me.
Daenerys Targaryen: Until the sun rises in the west and sets in the east, until the rivers run dry and the mountains blow in the wind like leaves. You are my sun & stars.

 

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Reading – quote from “Scenes from The Song of Hiawatha” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

(Note, this is not a traditional Iroquois reading. This is from an epic poem written in 1855, which was inspired by the life of Chief Hiawatha, co-founder of the Iroquois Confederacy.  There is virtually no connection, apart from name, between Longfellow’s hero and the real Chief Hiawatha.   It is a work of American Romantic literature, not a representation of Native American oral tradition.  With that in mind, these are still beautiful words for a wedding, if authenticity to Native American tradition is not a consideration in your ceremony.).

 

Come join us in celebration, those who love sunshine on meadow,Who love shadow of the forest,love the wind among the branches and the palisades of pine trees,and the thunder in the mountains whose innumerable echoes flap like eagles in their eries.
Listen to this song of marriage. How, from another tribe and country came a young man, “give me as my wife this maiden, and our hands be clasped more closely, and our hearts be more united.
Thus it is, our daughters leave us, those we love and those who love us.
When a youth with flaunting feathers beckons to the fairest maiden.
From the sky the sun benignant looked upon them through the branches, Saying to them, “oh, my children life is checkered shade and sunshine.”
The two figures man and woman Standing hand in hand together, with their hands so clasped together that they seem in one united. And the words thus represented are, “I see your heart within you.” Sing them songs of love and longing
Now, let’s feast and be more joyous.

 

 

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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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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 – “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 – 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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