Interfaith Weddings

July 23, 2009 - 5:52 pm 21 Comments

The Wedding Service
For
Aryn Tristine Browne and Joseph Hathaway Morse
July 10, 2004
42 Sleepy Hollow Road
Essex, Vermont

Prelude
Processional

Opening words and the ceremony: The Rev. Peter E. Lanzillotta, Ph.D.

What greater joy is there for two human souls, than to feel they are joined together to strengthen one another in all their labors? Joined, but not constrained or confined; willing to minister to one another in all sorrow, sharing in all gladness, and desiring to be with one another, in the creation of countless, unspoken, intimate memories.

On this day of your marriage, you stand apart from all other human beings. You stand within the charmed circle of your love, and this is as it should be. But love is not meant to be a possession of two people alone. Rather, it should serve as a source of common energy, in which you find strength to live your lives with courage. From this day onward, you must come closer together than ever before. You must love one another in sickness and in health, for better or for worse. But at the same time, your love should give you strength to continue your unique destinies, to make your special contribution to the world.
This celebration is but an outward sign of an inward union of heart, mind and spirit. This is a celebration of the joining of two souls already attuned to each other. When such a true bond already exists between a man and a woman, it is fitting that an outer acknowledgment be made. We are here to bear witness to the entry into the closer relationship of husband and wife of these beloved friends who are already one in spirit.
Music?
Words To The Couple:
It is our hope that your marriage will give you the strength and commitment to face all of life’s adversities. But equally important, let us hope that it will enhance your sensitivity to all that is wondrous and beautiful. Your home should be a place to share the joys of life. Your home should also be a place where the pain and tragedies of life can be overcome. We hope that you will find a deep sense of security; security which comes as each of you learns to understand, to accept, and to forgive the other person, and any differences and distances you might have between them, and then, as each of you learns to understand, to accept, and to forgive yourself, a true marriage can exist.
The German metaphysical poet, Rainer Marie Rilke has offered us many words in support of loving relationships. He has said that love is two solitudes protecting each other, and that we are to live in the questions of our lives with courage and with patience. He also stated this about the truth of relationships:
“Once the realization is accepted that even between the closest
human beings, infinite distances continue to exist, a wonderful side
by side can grow up,
If they succeed in loving the distance between them,
which then makes possible for each to see the other
as whole against the sky.”

As the Western Scriptures remind us, love is the most perfect gift; it is the sustaining grace and the strength behind all deep and meaningful relationships. We remember these words that describe love:
“Love is patient. Love is kind and envies no one. Love is never boastful, nor conceited, nor rude, never selfish, nor quick to take offense. Love keeps no score of wrongs; does not gloat over others’ sins, but only delights in truth. There is nothing that love cannot face; there is no limit to its faith, its hope, or its endurance. In a word, there are three things that will last forever: faith, hope, and love; but the greatest of these things is love.” I Cor. 13
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Ben – Reading*

(We’re not 100% sure about the wording of the first sentence that follows, but we might just keep it as is:)

You are now taking into your care and keeping the happiness of the one person in all the world whom you love best. You are adding to your life not only the affection of each other, but also the companionship and blessing of a deep trust as well. You are agreeing to share strength, responsibilities and to share love. ……

Music?

Wedding Vows (please turn, face one another, and hold hands…)

Joe, do you take Aryn to be your wedded wife; to live together in marriage, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and respect always? “I DO”

Aryn, do you take Joe to be your wedded husband; to live together in marriage, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and respect always? “I DO”

Exchanging Rings
Q: What do you offer as a symbol of your love and care for one another?
May these rings be forever a sign of your unbroken circle of love. Love freely given has no beginning and no end, no giver and no receiver, for each is the giver and each is the receiver. May these rings always remind you of the vows you have taken today.
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“Aryn, I offer you this ring as a sign of my enduring love, absolute honesty, and complete devotion.”

“Joe, I offer you this ring as a sign of my enduring love, absolute honesty, and complete devotion.”

Concluding Words and Pronouncement

Blessing Of The Apaches:
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 to the other. Now you are two persons, but there is only one life before you. May beauty surround you both in the journey ahead and through all the years, may happiness be with you and your days together be good and long upon the earth.

Aryn and Joe have chosen to be married here today, in God’s natural light and surroundings. As we breathe in the moment of happiness, and the wonder of lasting peace, harmony, and true heartfelt contentment.

Now, in the glad recognition of two souls who have found each other, who are in love, and who have pledged their loyalty and affection to one another by the exchanging of rings, by the power invested in me by the state of Vermont, by the blessings and good wishes of all these witnesses, and by the eternal Spirit that lives in, with and among us all, I gladly pronounce that you are now husband and wife!

Joe, you may kiss your bride! Congratulations, and go in peace! So BE IT!

 

The Wedding Ceremony
for Denise S. Forman and Jeffrey Jay Neal
The Boulders Conference Center and Resort
October 11, 1997 5:00 PM

Processional:

Opening Words and the Ceremony:
The Reverend Peter Edward Lanzillotta, Ph.D.

Welcome… Today we have come together to be with Denise and Jeff as they begin their married lives. It is through sharing in such a journey that we, too, can discover the very essence of the human capacity to love, honor, and respect another human being.
Denise and Jeff wish to thank all of you for coming here today, and for your willingness to share in this special celebration with them. The history you bring together for them, as friends and as members of their family, defines much of who they are as individuals, and what they can become as a couple. You have helped them to arrive here today as happy, healthy, and loving people; two individuals who are willing and ready to share their lives together.
The commitment of marriage sometimes demands going beyond the boundaries of the self alone; it means giving up one’s personal desires for the needs of the other or for the good of the relationship. Yet, there is the necessity of always maintaining a delicate but resilient balance… so that neither partner feels overpowered or absorbed by the other. Out of respect for both the value of the union and the value of the separateness, a mature love is born and will always be reborn.

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Words To The Couple:

Denise and Jeff, many paths have led you to this time, e and destination. It is the place where you know that you belong. Your journey has brought you here to the day that marks the beginning of the rest of your lives. Your dreams are something you have never compromised, and in your coming together, that has never been more true than here and now.
Let the desire to love and uphold peace rule in your hearts… Denise and Jeff, one of the greatest blessings you can give to one another is the willingness to support each other’s growth; growth in values, character, and in service to one another and to our world. A vital part of this commitment is the willingness to forgive and to accept that each of you is an unfinished, growing person whose love grows as their ego and their fears diminish.
The excitement of the future lies in the mystery it holds, and its beauty is in having someone with whom to explore and discover it. When you look into each other’s eyes, may you not only see the love you have for one another, but all your hopes and dreams of tomorrow, and may you find something to treasure in every moment you are together.
Only you can truly marry yourselves. By the mutual commitment to love each other and to work toward creating an atmosphere of caring, consideration and respect, and by your willingness to face the tensions and anxieties that underlie human life , soon each day will become a new discovery of love, of life, and of your future.

Selected Readings: “Overcoming Evil With Love”
“Love, The Greatest Of Gifts”

Some of you might not know this, but there is a strange and wonderful connection between this particular day and the lives of Denise and Jeff… Unknown to them, they chose a day in the Hindu and Balinese culture that celebrates the overcoming of evil and the majesty of love. It is the festival of Dasshera; it is where the goddesses of Durga and Rama defeat all evil and doubt, and replace them with love and joy.
Since Denise and Jeff were in Indonesia when they decided on marriage and were taken by the rich spiritual traditions of Bali, this reading and this day hold a synergy and a special meaning for them:
“[All that is evil, Savitri, God, send away from us, and send us only that which is good! … Under God, we think only of beautiful things, … whose power lies in the truth.]” Rig Veda 5
“[Love is the firstborn, loftier than all other gods of humankind, and it is to you, O Love, that we pay homage… in many forms of goodness, O Love, you show your face. grant that these forms and manifestations penetrate our hearts, sending away all malice and grief. For greater than the breath of the earth, the heights of the heavens, the depths of the sea, are you, O Love]”
Atharva Veda 9:2. 19-25
I Corinthians 13 1-2; 4-7

If I speak with the eloquence of men and angels but have not love, I become no more than blaring brass or crashing cymbals. If I have the gift of foretelling the future, and hold in my mind all human knowledge and if I also have that absolute faith which can move mountains but have no love,
I amount to nothing…

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This love of which I speak is slow to lose patience– It looks for a way of being constructive. It is not possessive; it is neither anxious to impose,
nor does it cherish inflated ideas of its own importance. It is glad when the truth prevails.
Love knows no limits to its endurance, no end to its trust, no dashing of its hope; it can outlast anything. It is, in fact, the one thing that still stands when all else has fallen.

Musical Selection: “A Wedding Song” by Ron Smith

Children’s Statement :
As you know, today begins a new family. It is a time when you accept Denise as a new and important person in your lives. It is a time when you pledge to treat her and your new family with respect, love, and unselfishness. I ask , can you now welcome Denise, and her marriage to your father, and be willing to be together as a family in love , trust, and cooperation? “WE WILL.”

The Statement of Intention And The Marriage Vows:
Denise and Jeff, please turn, face one another and hold hands … The hands you offer are extensions of yourselves, for they link your mutual love. Cherish this touch, for in doing so, you touch another’s heart and another’s life as well.
Be sensitive to its pulse, and seek always to understand its flow and respect its rhythm.

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Jeff: Will you have this woman to be your wedded wife, to share your life with her, and do you pledge to love, honor and tenderly care for her, throughout the varying experiences of your lives? “I WILL.”

Denise: Will you have this man to be your wedded husband to share your life with him, and do you pledge to love, honor and tenderly care for him, throughout the varying experiences of your lives? “I WILL.”

You may now say your vows to each other… please repeat after me:

“I, Denise, pledge to you, Jeff, the rest of my life as your wife, your lover, and your friend. To laugh with you in joy; to grieve with you in sorrow; to grow with you in love. I offer you my love and my self.

“I, Jeff, pledge to you, Denise, the rest of my life as your husband, your lover, and your friend. To laugh with you in joy; to grieve with you in sorrow; to grow with you in love. I offer you my love and my self.

The Ring Blessing and The Exchange of Rings:
Q: What do you offer as a sign of your love and loyalty?
“These Rings”

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The circle is the symbol for the earth, the sun, and the universe. It is the image of wholeness perfection, and peace. may these rings be forever a symbol of your unbroken love. Love freely given has no beginning and has no end. Love freely given has no giver and has no receiver, for each is the giver and each is the receiver. May these rings remind you always of the vows you have taken her today.
(Please take these rings and repeat after me…)

“I, Jeff, offer you this ring as a sign of my enduring love. Knowing that love is precious and fragile, yet strong. I ask that you take this ring and wear it, so that all may know that you are touched by my love.”

“I, Denise, offer you this ring as a sign of my enduring love. Knowing that love is precious and fragile, yet strong. I ask that you take this ring and wear it, so that all may know that you are touched by my love.”

The Pronouncement and Blessing:
May these two people, now married, keep this covenant and become a blessing and a comfort to each other. May they share in each other’s joys, be consolers in each other’s sorrows, and helpers to each other throughout all the vissitudes of life. May they encourage each other to accomplish whatsoever they seek to achieve. May they, trusting in each other, also learn to trust life and not to be afraid. May they not only accept and give affection between them, but together have affection and consideration for others.

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We who are present, and those absent thinking of these two people share in the inspiration of this time and it will not be forgotten. may Denise and Jeff love each other forever!
Now, in the recognition of your desire to link your lives in mutual love and affection, I most happily pronounce that you are husband and wife. You may kiss the bride!

Ladies and gentlemen… it is my privilege to introduce for the first time, Mr. and Mrs. Jeffrey Jay Neal… Congratulations and go in peace….

Recessional:

The Wedding Service for
Nathan Andrew Powers and Sukuma Ratna Buradagunta
Old Saybrook Point Inn and Spa
July 4th 2003 at 5:30pm

Opening Words and The Ceremony: The Reverend Peter Edward Lanzillotta, Ph.D.

Q: Who gives permission and their blessing to their daughter for this wedding
service? A: Her Mother and I Do.

We are gathered here this evening to celebrate the union of Nathan and Sukuma. Having decided to enter into a lifelong commitment, Nathan and Sukuma have invited you here to share in thejoy they feel; to share in their marriage ceremony, to share in the knowledgethat they have found a deep and enduring love. Let us celebrate their love and joy for it touches each of us here today.

Nathan and Sukuma would first like to acknowledge their parents, Gary and Susan, and Venugopal and Indira.You have given them the affection and the encouragement to arrive here today in peace, ready and willing to follow your loving examples. You have provided them with your caring support, everlasting guidance, constant strength, and your openhearted understanding. From you, they have learned how to love, and for this they will be forever grateful.

Sukuma and Nathan also wanted me to thank all of you for coming here today to share in their celebration. The history you bring to this moment, as their friends and family members, defines much of who they are as individuals and what they can becomeas a couple. You have helped them arrive here, today, as happy and healthy, loving people. Thank you.

Heritage Candles: Will the Mothers please come forward and light a candle to bind these two families together and commence the ceremony. …

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Readings: Ms.Keisha Gatison and Mr. Jamie VanKirk will now share some thouhts on loving and relationships…

KIESHA GATISON’S READING: For Sukuma & Nate

Hearing the melodic tunes of wisdom, that he plays with every string, She is so captivated by the sound that it moves her to sing. Her angelic voice and beauty have him positively memorized. Unknowingly, they embraced their future with one look into each other’s eyes. Their hearts play a song together to last the next three years.
Continuously playing through their happiness and joy, as well as their tears. Until engulfed by the love they feel, they know what they must do. So they leave behind their yesterdays and start their lives anew. ThankYou, Keisha

JAMIE VANKIRK”S READING: I Cor. Chapter 13 (NAB)

If I speak in human and angelic tongues but do not have love, I am a resounding gong or a clashing cymbal.
And if I have the gift of prophecy and comprehend all mysteries and all knowledge; if I have all faith so as to move mountains but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away everything I own, and if I hand my body over so that I may boast but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, love is not pompous, it is not inflated. It is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury. It does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth.

It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.
So faith, hope, love remain, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
Thank You, Jamie

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Words To The Couple:
Nathan and Sukuma, many paths have led you to this destination, this place where
You know you belong. Your journey has brought you here, to the beginning of the rest of your life. Let the desire to love and uphold peace rule in your hearts, for as the Psalmist puts it, ” It is out of the abundance of uour hearts that righteousness and peace , love and respect can flow… And as suprenal truth is universally one, we also can read read in the Hindu Vedas, ” I am He, You are She;
I am Song; You are Verse; I am Heaven; You are Earth. We shall here together dwell…
Enshrine me in your heart and let one spirit dwell within us….( Artharva 7; 14)
Nathan and Sukuma, one of the greatest blessings you can give one another is the willingness to support each other spiritual growth; growth in values, character, and in service to one another and our world. As a vital part of this commitment is the willingness to forgive; to accept that each of you is an unfinished, growing person whose love grows as their ego and fears diminish.
>From the essentials teachings of Jesus about the nature of God, we are given these words, ” We love, because God first loved us…” So When youlook into each other eyes, may you see not only your love for one another, but also all your hopes and dreams of tomorrow, and may you find something to treasure in every moment you are together.

Thali Ceremony:

Today, we are binding with love, not only two individuals, but two separate cultures.

Cultures that, on the surface, appear so vastly different, yet when examined and understood from the wisdom and truth each has and holds as Sacred Scripture and
guidance for compassionate relationships, we find many supportive and compliementary teachings and practices that uphold the sacred dimension that can be found through the commitment of marriage:

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In the tradition of Indian matrimony, Nathan will offer to Sukuma an Indian symbol of
love, the THALI. The THALI is a necklace that will forever hold the two lovers together
with three promises. Each promise will be represented by one knot made by Nathan to
secure its place above Sukumas heart.

1. We will let you know what these are

2.

3.

The Marriage Vows: We will let you know what these are

Sukuma: To Nathan Andrew Powers

On this day, before our loved ones, beneath our creator’s sky,
And by his majestic sea, I pledge to you my ever-lasting love.
Nathan, you are my blessing from God and a gift from the heavens
>From the moment we met the strength of your love has given me great joy and comfort
And has helped me to withstand times of great difficulty

I believe that you and I are standing here today because of our devotion to one another,
Our faith in each other’s love, Our incredible friendship, And by the grace of our almighty God, and those who love us

Throughout our life’s journey together, In times of happiness and sorrow,
As your wife, I promise you these things
I will always…be honest with you; I will always be faithful to you; I will always comfort you with my mind, body, and spirit. I will always be your strength when you are weak
I will always encourage you to achieve your dreams and realize your aspirations
I will always support your physical, mental, and spiritual health.
I will always believe in you; I will always defend your honour and respect you, as long as we both shall live….
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Nathan: To Sukuma Ratna Buradagunta,

On this glorious day,before our friends and family,beside this beautiful sea,
I pledge to you my ever-lasting love.

SueBee,

Your Spirit, Your Smile, Your Laughter, Your Love
Your Friendship, Your Faith, Your Goodness, Your Grace

All these things, And all that you are
Are the greatest gifts I shall ever receive…
I promise to cherish them with all my heart.

Throughout our life’s journey together, In times of happiness and sorrow,
As your Husband, I promise you these things

I will always :
Be honest with you, Be faithful to you, Comfort you with my mind, body, and spirit
Be your strength when you are weak. I will encourage you to achieve your dreams and realize your aspirations, support your physical, mental, and spiritual health,
Believe in you, Defend your honor and Respect you, as long as we both shall live.

The Ring Prayer:

MAY I HAVE THE RINGS-(BEST MAN BEN)

Love is eternal, like the circle of a ring. The circle is the symbol for the Sun, the Earth,
and the Universe. It is the image of wholeness, perfection, and peace. May these rings be forever a symbol of your unbroken love. Love freely given has no giver and no
receiver, for each is the giver, and each is the receiver. May these rings remind you
always of the vows you have taken today.

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Ring Vows:

Sukuma: With this ring, I thee wed, and pledge my faithful love

Nathan: With this ring, I thee wed, and pledge my faithful love

Lighting of The Unity Candle:

Your mothers began this service by lighting candles that represented the merging of two families, their lives, and their traditions. Now it is your turn to affirm and carry on this connection, this blending of families, as you start a new family of your own. By lighting this unity candle together, you symbolize that the bond of your families has been formed, and that in your heart, there is now only one life to share.

Pastoral Prayer/ClosingPrayer:
Let us pray. Heavenly Father,send your blessings upon this man and this woman, and bless the life that they will build. Keep them close, in mind and in heart. May their days together bring them lifes joys. May they grow together, helping one another to become all that each can be. May their marriage promote both security and serenity and may the spirit of your Life, Truth, and Love be always theirs.

Holy One, look graciously on them, and strengthen them sufficiently so that they might
keep the vows and covenant between them; may they love, honor,and cherish each
other always. May the home they build, be a haven of patience and a shelter of
faithfulness, through Christ Jesus, our Lord, AMEN.
May we recite together the universal prayer Jesus gave to all humanity:
Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come,Thy will be
done, on Earth as it is in Heaven. Give s us this day, our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who have trespassed against us. And lead us not into
temptation but deliver us from evil. For Thine is the kingdom, the glory, and the power
forever and ever. AMEN.
Pronouncement: In the glad recognition of your mutual desire to unite your hearts in love and affection, by the power invested in me, I most happily pronounce that you are now husband and wife. … You may now Kiss the BRIDE!. Congratulations! Peace! +

Wedding Ceremony for
Karen Kaye and Doug Burum
January 24, 2004
Martha-Mary Chapel, Longfellow’s Wayside Inn,
Sudbury, MA

Prelude (organ music)
Processional

Opening Statement and the Wedding Service
Welcome everyone! Doug and Karen come here today in our presence, to declare their love for each other and to be united in marriage.
In marriage, two people turn to each other in search of a greater fulfillment than either can achieve alone. Marriage is a going forth, it is a bold step into a united future. It is a transformation from what we are to what we can become. Only in a giving of oneself and through the sharing with another, can the mysterious process of growth ever take place. Today, we have come to be with Karen and Doug as they celebrate the making of a very special union.
In this wedding ceremony, we have gathered to celebrate the love that is between them, for it touches each one of us today.

Words to the Couple:
Doug and Karen, the miracle of love is that love is given to us to give back to one another. Essentially, to love means to hold one another’s best interests first and foremost in your hearts. It is to live your lives together, feeling each other’s joys and sorrows as if they were your own. It is to give fully of oneself, allowing two to become one. Love is a nurturing force which allows each partner to grow into their fullest potential.

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The deep knowledge of one another is not something that can be achieved in a short time. Real understanding of each other’s feelings can only develop with years of intimacy. To be known in this way is a priceless thing. As marriage unfolds and blossoms, it becomes the intimate sharing of two lives, as it progresses towards its maturity, it also serves to reconcile the differences it finds while, at the same time, provides the support that enhances the individuality of each partner.

Heritage Candle Ceremony:
Doug and Karen would first like to acknowledge their parents, Peter and Barbara, and Dolores.
You have given them the affection and the encouragement to arrive here today in peace, ready and willing to follow your loving examples. You have provided them with your caring support, everlasting guidance, constant strength, and your openhearted understanding. From you, they have learned how to love, and for this they will be forever grateful.
Will the Mothers please come forward and each light a candle to represent their respective families and the individual lives of Doug and Karen.
(Light organ music as the mothers step up and light the candles)

Readings and Incense Lighting
In joining their lives together, Doug and Karen each bring to the marriage their devotion to their individual, spiritual traditions of Christian Science and Buddhism. Representing these two religious traditions, Doug and Karen have asked us to offer a few brief readings the two spiritual streams of thought. First will be from the Bible and from the Chapter entitled “Marriage” in the Christian Science Textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy.
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The Bible, Revised Standard Edition
(I John 4:7,8,12 If,16,18 (to :))
Beloved, let us love one another; for love is of God, and he who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God; for God is love. If we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.

So we know and believe the love God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.

Science and Health (S&H 66:14;60:6-8,16-18; 64:17 (only); 65:3)
Each successive stage of experience unfolds new views of divine goodness and love. The beautiful in character is also the good, welding indissolubly the links of affection. Marriage should signify a union of hearts.

May Christ, Truth, be present at every bridal altar to turn the water into wine and to give to human life an inspiration by which man’s spiritual and eternal existence may be discerned.
Buddhist Offering
Arranged on the alter are six offering bowls in the Buddhist tradition, each of which represents one of the “Paramitas” or virtues that are central to the Buddhist faith.
Karen will now light the candle on the alter and offer a stick of incense to signify her devotion to these virtues. They are, from left to right: Generosity (represented by food), Patience (represented by incense), Discipline (represented by saffron water), Joyful Exertion (represented by a flower), Meditation (represented by a candle), and Wisdom (represented by a bell).
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Karen’s aspiration as she makes this offering, is to follow the practice of bringing these 6 Paramitas into her everyday life and into her relationship and marriage to Doug.

Alison now reads this text as Karen lights a candle, then offers incense.
LIGHTING A CANDLE
Respectful of countless Buddhas, I calmly light this candle, Brightening the face of the earth. (Thich Nhat Hanh, “Present Moment, Wonderful Moment”, p. 23)

OFFERING INCENSE
In gratitude, I offer this incense to all Buddhas and bodhisattvas throughout space and time. May it be fragrant as Earth herself, reflecting my careful efforts, my wholehearted awareness, and the fruit of understanding, slowly ripening.
May I be companions of Buddhas and bodhisattvas.
May I awaken from forgetfulness and realize my true home.
(Thich Nhat Hanh, “Present Moment, Wonderful Moment”, p. 25)

THE FIVE AWARENESSES

This is the moment when [Doug and Karen] will make the vow to practice the Five Awarenesses together and thus become husband and wife. We understand that all life is one, and that happiness is not an individual matter. By living and practicing awareness, we bring peace and joy to our lives and the lives of those related to us.

Karen and Doug, please repeat the Five Awarenesses after me, and say “Yes, we do” firmly if you intend to make the vow to practice them. After each Awareness, when you hear the sound of the bell, please bow before the Three Jewels.
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THE FIRST AWARENESS
“We are aware that all generations of our ancestors and all future generations are present in us.”
This is the first of the Five Awarenesses. Do you make the vow to receive and practice it? Karen and Doug: Yes, we do.Æ [Bow] D

THE SECOND AWARENESS
“We are aware of the expectations that our ancestor and our descendants have of us.”
This is the second of the Five Awarenesses. Do you make the vow to receive and practice it? Doug and Karen: Yes, we do. Æ [Bow] D

THE THIRD AWARENESS
We are aware that our joy, peace, freedom and harmony are the joy, peace freedom and harmony of our ancestors and our descendants.
This is the third of the Five Awarenesses. Do you make the vow to receive and practice it? Doug and Karen: Yes, we do. Æ [Bow] D

THE FOURTH AWARENESS
We are aware that understanding is the foundation of love.
This is the fourth of the Five Awarenesses. Do you make the vow to receive and practice it? Doug and Karen: Yes, we do. Æ [Bow] D

THE FIFTH AWARENESS
We are aware that blaming and arguing can never help us and only create a wider gap between us; that only understanding, trust and love can make us change and grow.
This is the fifth of the Five Awarenesses. Do you make the vow to receive and practice it? Doug and Karen: Yes, we do. Æ [Bow] D

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Buddhist reading: ABIDING LOVE
True love contains respect. When you practice this, your love will last for a long time. True love also contains both romantic love, which is passionate, and abiding love, which is calmer, more understanding, more faithful. You are not as passionate, but your love is deeper and more solid. You are more willing to sacrifice to make the other person happy. Abiding love is the result of shared difficulties and joys over a long period of time.
You begin with romantic love, but, living with each other, you learn to deal with difficulties, and your love deepens. The passion diminishes, but abiding love increases all the time. You understand the other person better, and you feel a lot of gratitude: “Thank you for being my husband (my wife), for having chosen me as your companion to share your best qualities as well as your suffering. While I was having difficulties and remained awake deep into the night, you took care of me. You showed me that my well-being is your own well-being. You did the impossible to help me get well. I am deeply grateful.” When a couple stays together for a long time, it is because of abiding love. Abiding love is the kind of love we really need for our family and for our society. With abiding love, you are sure the other person will love you and take care of you “until your hair becomes white and your teeth fall out.” Abiding love is built by both of you in your daily life.
Adapted from Thich Nhat Hanh, Teachings on Love (Parallax Press, 1997), pp. 65-66, by Andrew JiYu Weiss.

MUSIC
(Solo by Bethany (“Brood O’er Us” by Mrs. Eddy)

7
Introduction to the Vows:
As you know, no minister, priest, or rabbi can marry you… only you can truly marry yourselves. Only through a mutual commitment to love each other, to work toward creating an atmosphere of care, consideration and respect, and by your shared willingness to face the tensions and anxieties that underlie much of human life, you will make your wedded life genuinely come alive.
The vows you are about to exchange will serve as a verbal and public representation of the love you feel and have already pledged to each other. For it is not the words you speak here today that will bind you together as one, but the inner sense of love and commitment to those words you have already spoken within your souls.

Intentions and Vows: (Minister asks Doug and Karen to face one another and hold hands…)
Doug and Karen, will you take one another as husband and wife? Will you love and respect each other? Will you be honest with each other, always? Will you stand by one another through whatever may come? Will you commit yourselves to growing together, and as a family, will you share your lives in a continual, caring relationship? “WE WILL”
Please repeat these words after me…
“I Doug, take you Karen, to be my wife. To love and to cherish, to comfort and respect. I give myself to you, in times of harmony and of challenge, to build one life together, to share our future… whatever it may bring. I will be there for you each day… To listen, to try to understand, to encourage and support you, to honor our family, to be a trusted confidante and companion. With loyalty and devotion, I pledge you my love.”

8
“I Karen, take you Doug, to be my husband. To love and to cherish, to comfort and respect. I give myself to you, in times of harmony and of challenge, to build one life together, to share our future… whatever it may bring. I will be there for you each day… To listen, to try to understand, to encourage and support you, to honor our family, to be a trusted confidante and companion. With loyalty and devotion, I pledge you my love.”
Exchange of Rings:
Q: What do you offer as a symbol of these vows?
A: “THESE RINGS”

Love is eternal, like the circle of a ring. May these rings be a symbol of your love …

Karen: “With this ring, I thee wed, and pledge my faithful love.”

Doug: “With this ring, I thee wed, and pledge my faithful love.”

Candle Ceremony (The couple now goes to the unity candle …)
Doug and Karen will now light a candle that symbolizes a new life that is shared as one.

Closing Words:
To paraphrase St. Paul… “[This love of which we speak is slow to lose patience. It looks for a way to be constructive; it is not possessive. It is neither anxious to impose nor does it cherish inflated ideas of its own importance. It is glad when truth prevails. Love knows no limits to its endurance, no end to its trust, non dashing of its hope; it can outlast anything. It is, in fact, the one thing that stands, when all else has fallen.]” May your love for each other always stand triumphant.
9
Pronouncement: With the blessings of all the family and friends who are present, under the authority vested in me by the State of Massachusetts, I now pronounce that you are husband and wife. You may kiss the bride!

Ladies and Gentlemen, I gladly present to you, Doug and Karen Burum…… Congratulations! Go In Peace!

Recessional (Organ Music) …. Soap bubbles**
**(Chapel contract allows for blowing soap bubbles instead of throwing rice. Bubbles may now fly through the air as Doug and Karen slowly walk down the aisle to greet guests. Some post-ceremony pictures OK at this point)

Wedding Ceremony for
Karen Kaye and Doug Burum
January 24, 2004
Martha-Mary Chapel, Longfellow’s Wayside Inn,
Sudbury, MA

Prelude (organ music)
Processional

Opening Statement and the Wedding Service
Welcome everyone! Doug and Karen come here today in our presence, to declare their love for each other and to be united in marriage.
In marriage, two people turn to each other in search of a greater fulfillment than either can achieve alone. Marriage is a going forth, it is a bold step into a united future. It is a transformation from what we are to what we can become. Only in a giving of oneself and through the sharing with another, can the mysterious process of growth ever take place. Today, we have come to be with Karen and Doug as they celebrate the making of a very special union.
In this wedding ceremony, we have gathered to celebrate the love that is between them, for it touches each one of us today.

Words to the Couple:
Doug and Karen, the miracle of love is that love is given to us to give back to one another. Essentially, to love means to hold one another’s best interests first and foremost in your hearts. It is to live your lives together, feeling each other’s joys and sorrows as if they were your own. It is to give fully of oneself, allowing two to become one. Love is a nurturing force which allows each partner to grow into their fullest potential.

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The deep knowledge of one another is not something that can be achieved in a short time. Real understanding of each other’s feelings can only develop with years of intimacy. To be known in this way is a priceless thing. As marriage unfolds and blossoms, it becomes the intimate sharing of two lives, as it progresses towards its maturity, it also serves to reconcile the differences it finds while, at the same time, provides the support that enhances the individuality of each partner.

Heritage Candle Ceremony:
Doug and Karen would first like to acknowledge their parents, Peter and Barbara, and Dolores.
You have given them the affection and the encouragement to arrive here today in peace, ready and willing to follow your loving examples. You have provided them with your caring support, everlasting guidance, constant strength, and your openhearted understanding. From you, they have learned how to love, and for this they will be forever grateful.
Will the Mothers please come forward and each light a candle to represent their respective families and the individual lives of Doug and Karen.
(Light organ music as the mothers step up and light the candles)

Readings and Incense Lighting
In joining their lives together, Doug and Karen each bring to the marriage their devotion to their individual, spiritual traditions of Christian Science and Buddhism. Representing these two religious traditions, Doug will offer a few brief readings the two spiritual streams of thought. First will be from the Bible and from the Chapter entitled “Marriage” in the Christian Science Textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy.
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The Bible, Revised Standard Edition
(I John 4:7,8,12 If,16,18 (to :))
Beloved, let us love one another; for love is of God, and he who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God; for God is love. If we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.

So we know and believe the love God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.

Science and Health (S&H 66:14;60:6-8,16-18; 64:17 (only); 65:3)
Each successive stage of experience unfolds new views of divine goodness and love. The beautiful in character is also the good, welding indissolubly the links of affection. Marriage should signify a union of hearts.

May Christ, Truth, be present at every bridal altar to turn the water into wine and to give to human life an inspiration by which man’s spiritual and eternal existence may be discerned.
Buddhist Offering
Arranged on the alter are six offering bowls in the Buddhist tradition, each of which represents one of the “Paramitas” or virtues that are central to the Buddhist faith.
Karen will now light the candle on the alter and offer a stick of incense to signify her devotion to these virtues.
They are, from left to right: Generosity (represented by food), Patience (represented by incense), Discipline (represented by saffron water), Joyful Exertion (represented by a flower), Meditation (represented by a candle), and Wisdom (represented by a bell).
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Karen’s aspiration as she makes this offering, is to follow the practice of bringing these 6 Paramitas into her everyday life and into her relationship and marriage to Doug.

Alison now reads this text as Karen lights a candle, then offers incense.
LIGHTING A CANDLE
Respectful of countless Buddhas, I calmly light this candle, Brightening the face of the earth. (Thich Nhat Hanh, “Present Moment, Wonderful Moment”, p. 23)

OFFERING INCENSE
In gratitude, I offer this incense to all Buddhas and bodhisattvas throughout space and time. May it be fragrant as Earth herself, reflecting my careful efforts, my wholehearted awareness, and the fruit of understanding, slowly ripening.
May I be companions of Buddhas and bodhisattvas.
May I awaken from forgetfulness and realize my true home.
(Thich Nhat Hanh, “Present Moment, Wonderful Moment”, p. 25)

Buddhist reading: ABIDING LOVE
True love contains respect. When you practice this, your love will last for a long time. True love also contains both romantic love, which is passionate, and abiding love, which is calmer, more understanding, more faithful. You are not as passionate, but your love is deeper and more solid. You are more willing to sacrifice to make the other person happy. Abiding love is the result of shared difficulties and joys over a long period of time.

5
You begin with romantic love, but, living with each other, you learn to deal with difficulties, and your love deepens. The passion diminishes, but abiding love increases all the time. You understand the other person better, and you feel a lot of gratitude: “Thank you for being my husband (my wife), for having chosen me as your companion to share your best qualities as well as your suffering. While I was having difficulties and remained awake deep into the night, you took care of me. You showed me that my well-being is your own well-being. You did the impossible to help me get well. I am deeply grateful.” When a couple stays together for a long time, it is because of abiding love. Abiding love is the kind of love we really need for our family and for our society. With abiding love, you are sure the other person will love you and take care of you “until your hair becomes white and your teeth fall out.” Abiding love is built by both of you in your daily life.
Adapted from Thich Nhat Hanh, Teachings on Love (Parallax Press, 1997), pp. 65-66, by Andrew JiYu Weiss.

MUSIC
(Solo by Bethany (“Brood O’er Us” by Mrs. Eddy)

Introduction to the Vows:
As you know, no minister, priest, or rabbi can marry you… only you can truly marry yourselves. Only through a mutual commitment to love each other, to work toward creating an atmosphere of care, consideration and respect, and by your shared willingness to face the tensions and anxieties that underlie much of human life, you will make your wedded life genuinely come alive.

6 The vows you are about to exchange will serve as a verbal and public representation of the love you feel and have already pledged to each other. For it is not the words you speak here today that will bind you together as one, but the inner sense of love and commitment to those words you have already spoken within your souls.

Intentions and Vows: (Minister asks Doug and Karen to face one another and hold hands…)
Doug and Karen, will you take one another as husband and wife? Will you love and respect each other? Will you be honest with each other, always? Will you stand by one another through whatever may come? Will you commit yourselves to growing together, and as a family, will you share your lives in a continual, caring relationship? “WE WILL”
Please repeat these words after me…
“I Doug, take you Karen, to be my wife. To love and to cherish, to comfort and respect. I give myself to you, in times of harmony and of challenge, to build one life together, to share our future… whatever it may bring. I will be there for you each day… To listen, to try to understand, to encourage and support you, to honor our family, to be a trusted confidante and companion. With loyalty and devotion, I pledge you my love.”

“I Karen, take you Doug, to be my husband. To love and to cherish, to comfort and respect. I give myself to you, in times of harmony and of challenge, to build one life together, to share our future… whatever it may bring. I will be there for you each day… To listen, to try to understand, to encourage and support you, to honor our family, to be a trusted confidante and companion. With loyalty and devotion, I pledge you my love.”
7 Exchange of Rings:
Q: What do you offer as a symbol of these vows?
A: “THESE RINGS”

Love is eternal, like the circle of a ring. May these rings be a symbol of your love …

Karen: “With this ring, I thee wed, and pledge my faithful love.”

Doug: “With this ring, I thee wed, and pledge my faithful love.”

Candle Ceremony (The couple now goes to the unity candle …)
Doug and Karen will now light a candle that symbolizes a new life that is shared as one.

Closing Words:
To paraphrase St. Paul… “[This love of which we speak is slow to lose patience. It looks for a way to be constructive; it is not possessive. It is neither anxious to impose nor does it cherish inflated ideas of its own importance. It is glad when truth prevails. Love knows no limits to its endurance, no end to its trust, non dashing of its hope; it can outlast anything. It is, in fact, the one thing that stands, when all else has fallen.]” May your love for each other always stand triumphant.

Pronouncement: With the blessings of all the family and friends who are present, under the authority vested in me by the State of Massachusetts, I now pronounce that you are husband and wife. You may kiss the bride!
Ladies and Gentlemen, I gladly present to you, Doug and Karen Burum…… Congratulations! Go In Peace!
Recessional (Organ Music) …. Soap bubbles**

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