Basic Ceremony #1

(Please note that any readings, vows, prayers and any other ceremony elements can be changed, rearranged, substituted, deleted or added as necessary.)

~ Processional ~

(Groom) waits with Minister in front.
(Mothers) light the Unity Candle.

Bridesmaids & Groomsmen
Maid of Honor & Best Man
Flower Girls & Ring Bearer
(Bride) & Escort

(Escort) lifts veil and joins (Bride) & (Groom)’s hands together.

~ Welcome and Introduction ~

Minister: Ladies and Gentlemen, we have gathered together this day to celebrate the marriage of (Bride) and (Groom).

Marriage is the promise between two people who love each other, who trust that love, who honor one another as individuals in that togetherness, and who wish to spend rest of their lives together. It enables the two separate souls to share their desires, longings, dreams, and memories, their joys and sorrows, and to help each other through all uncertainties of life.

Marriage is the union of two divinities… It is the union of two souls, attracted to each other by a strong love and a need to abolish the illusion that they are separate. It is the higher unity, that which is eternally whole and complete, which fuses the separate energies within two spirits.

It is the golden ring in a chain whose beginning is a simple glance and whose ending is eternity.

~ Readings ~

Minister: And now (Reader 1) and (Reader 2) will present us with a few words of inspiration and contemplation.

Reader 1: “On Marriage,” by Kahlil Gibran:

Love one another, but make not a bond of love. Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of our souls. Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone, even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music. Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping, for only the hand of life can contain your hearts. Stand together but not too near together. For the pillars of the temple stand apart and the oak and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.

Reader 2: “Love is always,” by Melissa Jaggard:

Love is an ocean of discovery
A multitude of experiences to treasure
It is the alliance of two lives for always
Not to become one life, but to be two hearts beating in time

Love will hold you near to one another
So that you never feel alone
It will keep you warm within
So that there never be frost around your hearts
Love will grow, will ripen and be ever strong
So that there never be emptiness in your souls

Love is the most precious gift to bestow
A resplendent gift to receive
And MARRIAGE is the promise to cherish your love
To guide its path and never let its glory pass unnoticed
Love is the rapture of this day that will be with you always
Fulfilling you, shining through you ALWAYS

(Maid of Honor takes Bride’s bouquet.)

~ Vows ~

Minister: (Bride), (Groom), I now ask you to join both of your hands together and affirm your vows of marriage to one another.

(Bride), do you take (Groom) to be your husband? Do you promise to love him, comfort him, honor and protect him and forsaking all others be faithful to him until death you do apart?

(Bride): I do.

Minister: (Groom), do you take (Bride) to be your wife? Do you promise to love her, comfort her, honor and protect her and forsaking all others be faithful to him until death you do apart?

(Groom): I do.

~ Ring Blessing ~

Minister: From traditions innumerable, it has become customary to exchange an item of worth to validate the promise of the marriage vows. In our society, the most common form of this practice is the exchange of rings.

Rings are an ancient symbol, blessed and simple. Round like the sun, like the eye, like arms that embrace.

Circles; for love that is given comes back around again and again. Therefore, may these symbols remind you that your love, like the sun, illumines; that your love, like the eye, must see clearly; and that your love, like arms that embrace, is a grace upon this world.

~ Ring Exchange ~

Minister: (Bride) and (Groom), I now ask you to exchange the rings you have selected to represent your union with the words you have chosen. (Repeat after me.)

(Bride): (Groom), I give you this ring to wear with love and joy. As a ring has no end, neither shall my love for you. I choose you to be my husband this day and forevermore.

(Groom): (Bride), I give you this ring to wear with love and joy. As a ring has no end, neither shall my love for you. I choose you to be my wife this day and forevermore.

~ Unity Candle ~

Minister: Earlier in our ceremony, ___________ lit these two tapers that sit alongside this Unity Candle. These two candles are symbolic of two people, as two separate people in their own right. By the joining of two candles into one, this symbolizes the strength and unity of two into one, depicting, (Bride) and (Groom)’s belief that together they can become greater than each could alone.

Minister: ((Bride) and (Groom) take the tapers and light the Unity Candle. I suggest that you do not blow out the tapers, so as to keep the symbolism of your individuality alight.)

~ Pronouncement and Kiss ~

Minister: (Bride) and (Groom), now that you have been joined together in matrimony, may you strive always to meet this commitment with the same spirit you now exhibit.

May the happiness that you have brought to this hour never lose its freshness, but ripen into fuller flower and deepen until it is absorbed into the very roots of your being. May you grow ever closer from this day forward, in work and in play, in hope and in counsel, in laughter and in tears. In all of the changes and chances of life, may you be true helpers to each other.

We, your family, friends and loved ones have borne witness to this ceremony you have just performed, and we now rejoice as we all bless this union, and recognize you for the very first time by those old and respected titles of husband and wife.

You may now express your eternal commitment of love for one another with a kiss.

~ Recessional ~

(Bride) & (Groom)
Maid of Honor & Best Man
Bridesmaids & Groomsmen
Flower Girls & Ring Bearer