Secular Weddings

July 23, 2009 - 5:53 pm 25 Comments

The Wedding Service for
Alexandra Weldon and Ralph Scott, Jr.
The Collier Athletic Club
November 18, 2000 6:30 PM

Prelude
Processional

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

Welcome…. Tonight we have come together to be with Ralph and Alexandra as they begin their married lives. It is through our participation as witnesses that Alex and Ralph help us to renew our faith in the human capacity to love, to honor and to respect another human being- for this covenant is the essence of marriage.
The union between a husband and wife is a unity of heart, mind and body that was intended by God and is for their mutual inspiration and joy. It is a genuine quality of togetherness that gives support and comfort to one another and that can uphold their bonds and hold them close to one another through both prosperity and adversity- throughout all the situations and circumstances of human life.
Therefore, marriage is not intended to be entered into lightly, or without sufficient forethought, insight and wisdom…. It is intended to be established and upheld consciously and deliberately. The promise and vows of marriage depend on our reverence and our respect: Our reverence for God and what is holy, and our respect and caring for one another.
As a special part of this service, Ralph and Alex would first like to thank their family and their friends for traveling so far so that they could share in this happy occasion. Also, they would like to offer a special thanks to Alex’s parents who have been so gracious and so supportive, patient, and helpful in their efforts so that this day will be so memorable….

2
Because a wedding service connects families and hearts in a timeless way, we also ask each person here pause for a moment in prayer to remember those who we wished could be here among us. We especially recall Scott, Alex’s brother, and Ralph and Rose, Ralph’s parents. We know that if they were with us now, they would approve of the love that we see, and the dedication and devotion that is present in the start of this new family….. AMEN
Words To The Couple:
Ralph and Alex, I believe that it was no accident that your souls have been drawn together for this lifelong sacred journey- that heartfelt pathway which is a living opportunity that your marriage can become. Marriage has within it, a special grace that can only be found in being with a loved one. This involves living each day hereafter as a joint expression of your minds, the ripening of your souls, and the deepening of your heart’s affections. Alex and Ralph, marriage is the companionship that is based on an abiding mutual trust, and it grows from an understanding of spirituality. May this companionship always serve to uplift and bless you, and be an inspiration for the children who will live with you.
The excitement of your future lives is nurtured by the mystery it holds;
And its beauty is fed by having someone to explore with and discover its answers. When you look into one another’s eyes, you see not only the love you have for one another, but you also see all your hopes and dreams for tomorrow, and the promise that you will learn to treasure every moment that you are together.

Selected Readings: ” On Loving” and “The Dance of Relationships”
As Rainer Maria Rilke put it in his Letters To A Young Poet:
“For one human being to love another, that perhaps is the hardest of all our tasks; its life’s ultimate test or proof, the work for which all other work is but preparation…. Love…. Is a high inducement to the individual to ripen, to become something in themselves, to become…. A world to him or herself, for another’s sake. Human love consists of this; that two solitude’s protect and touch and greet each other.”
3
“The deep knowledge of another is not something that can be achieved in
a short time. Real understanding of the other feelings can develop fully only with years of intimacy. This wonderful knowledge of another person grows of really caring for the other, sharing not only joys and successes, but also the burden of sorrows and failures. To be known in this way is a priceless thing. While marriage is the intimate sharing of two lives, it can yet enhance the differences and individuality of each partner.
A good relationship has a pattern, like a dance, and is built on some of the same rules. The partners do not need to hold on tightly, because they move confidently in the same pattern, intricate but happy and swift and free.
To touch heavily would be to arrest the pattern, and freeze the movement;
to check the endlessly changing beauty of its unfolding. There is no place here for the clinging arm, and heavy hand; only the barest touch in passing. Now, arm in arm; now face to face; now, back to back, it does not matter which, because they know they are partners moving to the same rhythm, creating a pattern together, and being invisibly nourished by it.
Anne Morrow Lindbergh from Gifts from the Sea
Family Pledge
Before we get to the marriage vows, there is a need to establish the bonds of a new family by including each adult , and both of the children
in this new relationship. Jennifer, Scott’s daughter, and Taylor and Tory, Alex’s children will also be a part of a new family. From this day forward, there will be a bond created and shared….. I ask you now, “Will you support Alex and Ralph in their new life together? Will you love, cared for and respect each other as sisters and brother? Will you love, honor and care for each other as a new family?
” WE WILL”

4
The Wedding Vows (Please turn, face one another and hold hands….)
Ralph and Alex, will you take one another as husband and wife? Will you love and respect one another? Will you trust one another, always? Will stand by one another and face whatever may come with strength, patience and love?
“WE WILL”

I, Alex, from this day forward, I choose you, Ralph, as my friend,
my confidant, my lover, to be my husband…. I give myself to you, the good with the bad, to build our lives together, and to share our future, whatever it may bring. I will cherish all the seasons of life that we will share together.
I vow to laugh with you in the good times, to grieve with you in sorrow, to share with you all that is the essence of me… And to help you to bring out the best in you through my encouragement, my understanding, trust, respect and above all else, my love.

I, Ralph, from this day forward, I choose you, Alex, as my friend,
my confidant, my lover, to be my wife…. I give myself to you, the good with the bad, to build our lives together, and to share our future, whatever it may bring.
I will cherish all the seasons of life that we will share together.
I vow to laugh with you in the good times, to grieve with you in sorrow, to share with you all that is the essence of me… And to help you to bring out the best in you through my encouragement, my understanding, trust, respect and above all else, my love.

The Exchange and Blessing of The Rings:
Q: What do you offer as your pledge of love and loyalty?
“THESE RINGS”
5
A circle is the symbol fro 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 that is freely given has no beginning and has no end. Love that is 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 tonight….
Alex: ” I offer you this ring as a sign of my enduring love, knowing that love is precious and fragile, yet strong. I ask you to take this ring and wear it, so that all might know that you are touched by my love.”
Ralph: ” I offer you this ring as a sign of my enduring love, knowing that love is precious and fragile, yet strong. I ask you to take this ring and wear it, so that all might know that you are touched by my love.”

Pronouncement:
Ralph and Alex have chosen to be married this evening in this simple setting made glorious by the presence of their family and friends. ….
They feel both the beauty of their love, and the warmth and support from each of you and are thankful. …
May Ralph and Alex’s marriage bring them peace and contentment. Security and serenity, growth and grace…. May their marriage be resilient and grow ever stronger throughout their years together, and may all who love them and live with them and share in friendship and feel mutually blessed….
Now, in the glad recognition of your desire to link your lives and hearts in true affection, I pronounce that you are husband and wife….
Ralph, you may kiss your bride!
Ladies and gentlemen… Ralph and Alex Scott! Congratulations!

A toast by Jim and Dave….

The Wedding Ceremony for
Erin Marie Shekan and Edmund Read
Charlestown Landing
May 25, 2008
The Rev. Peter E. Lanzillotta, Ph.D.

Opening Words:

Good Evening, and welcome to all the family and friends of Erin Marie and Edmund who have come together from great distances to be with us here tonight…
Welcome to this celebration of love and romance. We meet here in the evening light and springtime warmth of this garden setting to witness a special event- a time when two souls will be joined as one- in the company of family, friends, in the presence of God, and in the loving regard and graces of those souls who cannot be with us.
The union of husband and wife is a unity of heart, of mind, and body, intended for their mutual inspiration and joy. It is a togetherness that gives support and comfort to one another in prosperity and adversity, in all situations and circumstances of human life. Therefore, marriage is not to be entered into lightly, or without sufficient insight and wisdom, but it is to be established, and then upheld deliberately in an abiding respect for one another.

2
Edmund and Erin thank all of you for coming here tonight to share in this union. The history you bring together for this couple, as their friends and family, defines much of who they are as individuals and what they can become as a couple.
They are grateful for the enduring values that have been bestowed and examples that have been given to them from those who have loved and nurtured them along life’s way. With and through these intimate associations of the past, they have been given a solid foundation for a lasting marriage.

Readings: #1
An excerpt from “The Master Speed” by Robert Frost
Two such as you with such a master speed
Cannot be parted, nor be swept away
From one another, once you are agreed
That life is only life forevermore,
Together, wing to wing, and oar to oar.

#2
What greater thing is there for two human souls than to feel that they are joined together? Joined, but not restrained, in order 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 creation of silent unspoken memories.
3
Words to the couple:

Erin and Edmund, you have come a long way to reach this moment. You know one another well, that is why you are here among family and friends to celebrate your marriage.
Yet you still have a long way to go, and much to discover about each other, and the forces that bind you to one another, to your families and to your friends.

I repeat, the sacred bond of marriage is not to be entered into lightly, but I think you know this. A good marriage is a relationship of love. Essentially, to love is to have another’s best interests in one’s heart always and foremost. It is to live in the life of that person, feeling his or her joys and sorrows as if they were your own.

From this day forward, you must unite. You must love, trust, and support one another but at the same time, your love should give you the strength to stand apart, to seek out your unique destiny and to make your own special contribution to our world. When love is accompanied by deep intimacy, we give rise to the highest level of human experience. Yours becomes one life together.

4
Marriage Vows:

Priest: “Do you take Edmund as your lawful husband, 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 cherish until death do you part?” Bride: “I do”

Priest: “Do you take Erin as your lawful wife, 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 cherish until death do you part?” Groom: “I do”

Ring Ceremony: May I have the rings….

May these rings be forever the symbol of your unbroken circle of love. Love freely given has no beginning, and has no end. May these rings remind you always of the vows you have taken here.

Repeat after me:

(Edmund) Erin, I give you this ring as a symbol of my vow – and with all that I am and all that I have – I honor you…

(Erin) Edmund, I give you this ring as a symbol of my vow – and with all that I am and that I have – I honor you…
5
Pronouncement:

Erin and Edmund have chosen to be married here in God’s natural light and surroundings. As we breath this moment of happiness, let us appreciate the wonders of nature and of God.

Erin and Edmund, may your love grow always stronger, and may life together always bring peace and contentment.

You may now kiss the bride.

May I now present to you all, Mr. and Mrs. Edmund Read!

Congratulations! May you live with joy and go in peace!

The Blessing Ceremony for
Neil David Jenkins and Cynthia Ellen Tenhouse
Sullivan’s Island, SC
June 20, 2008

Opening: Solstice Poem by the Unitarian, e.e. cummings
i thank you god for most this amazing day:
for the leaping greenly spirits of trees, and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything which is natural,
which is infinite, which is yes
i who have died, am alive again today, and this is the sun’s birthday; this is the birth day of life and love, (now the ears of my ears awake and now the eyes of my eyes are opened)

Neil & Cynthia — 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 together.
This public declaration of your love is neither an end, nor a beginning, but rather a momentary pause celebrating what has already occurred. It is a blessing upon the love, spirit, and commitment that already exists in your hearts, souls, and minds.

2
Marriage symbolizes the giving of a gift to one another.
It is a gift of oneself as a companion for life; someone who will listen and not judge; someone who will offer support and unconditional love. It is the gift of someone who will share your dreams and disappointments, your achievements and defeats. Marriage is a growing together – it is the task of making a strong, secure couple out of the best that each person can be. Marriage combines the unifying forces and independent wills of two people who choose to live together, and then together, reach further into the future than either could attain separately.

Words of Appreciation
At this time, Neil and Cynthia wish to thank all of you for being here tonight to share in this special celebration with them. The history you bring together for them defines much of who they are as individuals and what they can become as a couple. You have helped them arrive here today as happy, healthy, and loving people, willing and ready to share their lives together. From you, they have learned love, and for this they are forever grateful.
With your blessing tonight, they feel complete.
3
Words to the Couple
Neil and Cynthia, the spiritual capacity to grow closer together is before you tonight. One of the greatest blessings you can give to one another is the willingness to support each other’s growth; growth in values, in 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.

Cynthia and Neil, 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 that you have 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.
By the mutual commitment to love each other, and to work toward creating an atmosphere of caring, consideration, and respect, each day will become a new discovery of love, of life, and of your future.

4
Let both the independence and desire to love that brought each of you here remain an essential part of your marriage. In creating that faithfulness and fortitude, that interdependence that serves and preserves your marriage, you will learn many powerful things. Let the good times be joyous, and allow the difficult times to weave their meaning into your hearts. These lessons will add depth and breadth to your feelings for one another. These experiences will color your lives and texture your life. Together you will design a world of life and love.

Selected Reading: “The Prophet” by Kahlil Gibran
In your life together, be reminded of the words of Lebanese Christian poet, Kahlil Gibran and the importance of finding space in your togetherness.
You were born together, and together you shall be for evermore. You shall be together when the white wings of death scatter your days.
Aye, you shall be together, even in the silent memory of God. But let there be spaces in your togetherness, And let the winds of heavens dance between you.
5
Love one another, but make not a bond of love:
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf. 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.
And stand together yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart, And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.

Exchange of Rings: (Peter invites parents Neil’s father, David Jenkins, & Cynthia’s mother, Helen Tenhouse to come up to present the rings.)
Blessing: Love is eternal, like the circle of a ring. The circle is the symbol for the Sun, the Earth, and the Universe. It has no beginning and no end. It is the image of wholeness, perfection, and peace. Love freely given has no giver and no receiver. May these rings be forever a symbol of the unbroken circle of your love.
6
Lighting of the Chalice
Light represents life, spirit, and hope. This flame represents the life that has been passed to you. It symbolizes the spirit of your love for one another. It represents the bright hope of a shared tomorrow, and the spark of new beginnings. Neil and Cynthia, may the light of this chalice and all it represents, stay lit in your hearts forever.

Listen now to this prayer of togetherness:
Now you will feel no rain, for each of you will be a shelter to the other… Now you will feel no cold, for each shall be warmth to the other… Now there will be no loneliness, for each shall be companion to the other… Now you are two persons, but there is only one life before you. May beauty surround you in the journey ahead and through all the years. May happiness be your companion and your days together be good and long upon the earth.

The Kiss- With a single kiss, you seal this bond. Congratulations! Live, love, and laugh with each other, and be at peace. Amen… So Be It!

25 Responses to “Secular Weddings”

  1. Backlinks Says:

    Interesting thoughts here. I appreciate you taking the time to share them with us all. It’s people like you that make my day 🙂

  2. willow basket with liner Says:

    Very exciting article, and your article helped me a great favor, I have been looking for this topic for my thesis preparation. Thank you!

  3. holiday rentals Says:

    Hey, I like what you wrote, but only up to a point. Still, it’s all good reading. Well done!

  4. snow kite Says:

    I used to be heading to jot down a similar web site concerning this subject, you beat me to it. You did a good task! Many thanks and I very well create your RSS to our blogs. With thanks so much

  5. Toney Harrop Says:

    Major thanks for the article post. Keep writing.

  6. Department of Motor Vehicles Says:

    Prime thought! Your insights are very steadying. Thank you!

  7. kitty cat Says:

    Excellent indeed. I have been looking for this information.

  8. mother of the bride dress Says:

    Your site is certainly full of amazing knowledge as well as is really extremely pleasant to read through.Correctly carried out:)

  9. website creator Says:

    Great Post!! Thank you very much!

  10. who is search Says:

    this post is very usefull thx!

  11. dizi tekrari Says:

    This is really interesting, You’re a very skilled blogger. I’ve joined your rss feed and look forward to seeking more of your excellent post. Also, I’ve shared your site in my social networks!

  12. on line perscriptions for cipro Says:

    I was wondering if you ever considered changing the layout of your blog? Its very well written; I love what youve got to say. But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could connect with it better. Youve got an awful lot of text for only having one or two images. Maybe you could space it out better?

  13. amoxil cheap no perscription Says:

    I feel like you could probably teach a class on how to make a great blog. This is fantastic! I have to say, what really got me was your design. You certainly know how to make your blog more than just a rant about an issue. Youve made it possible for people to connect. Good for you, because not that many people know what theyre doing.

  14. Dorinda Navar Says:

    Great read. Thanks for the info!

  15. Cat Training Says:

    Websites you should visit…

    […]below you’ll find the link to some sites that we think you should visit[…]……

  16. How to make dubstep Says:

    Thanks you…

    There are some interesting points in time in this article but I donft know if I see all of them center to heart. There is some validity but I will take hold opinion until I look into it further. Good article , thanks and we want more! Added to FeedBur…

  17. Lawrence Timmons Jersey Says:

    I derive pleasure reading it. I need to learn more on this subject.. Thanks for the sake letter this amazing post.. Anyway, I am gonna subscribe to your silage and I wish you despatch again soon.

  18. minalbie Says:

    Any suggestions on sites to start a blog where I can BS sports and another happenings?…

    I’m just looking for place to start up a blog with a friend where we talk sports in Chicago as well as other things going on nationwide….just for fun. Any suggestions on sites would be great. Thanks…..

  19. tattoo removal Says:

    Regards for sharing Secular Weddings | with us keep update bro love your article about Secular Weddings | .

  20. Toronto Maple Leafs Vesa Toskala Jersey Says:

    awesome website, very articulate. I like it in deed. I come acoss the website by MSN search engine. I might read your site daily and forward it to my classmates. Please keep it fresh. Keep on the good work. – A ipad lover

  21. crossover Says:

    Hi, this is a great blog!

  22. Dorathy Kidwell Says:

    You did the a great work writing and revealing the hidden beneficial features of

  23. Darmowe konto w banku dla dzieci Says:

    Beatiful blog! How did you get that design?

  24. Izzykonto Says:

    Awesome blog! Where have you get that awesome design?

  25. adedoAlmomb Says:

    louis vuitton wallet

    http://www.lvcanadaoutlet.com