Theist/Ecumenical Weddings

July 23, 2009 - 5:51 pm 36 Comments

The Wedding Service for
Rosemarie Drier and Michael Jackson
The Planter’s Inn, Charleston, SC
October 11, 2008 5:00 PM The Rev. Peter E. Lanzillotta, Ph.D.
Music
WORDS OF WELCOME:
Welcome friends and family. Michael and Rosemarie have invited us here today to share in the celebration of their marriage – their wedding, They have come here today from varied life experiences to make public their commitment to each other and to combine their two separate lives into one. Let us join together with them on this happy day and let this be a day of gladness, thanksgiving, possibilities and great good fortune.
OPENING ADDRESS
What greater joy is there for two human souls than to feel they are joined together to strengthen one another always? Joined, but not constrained or confined; willing to minister to one another in all sorrow; nurturing each other, physically, emotionally, and spiritually; sharing in all gladness and desiring to be with one another in the creation of countless unspoken intimate memories.
In marriage, two persons turn to each other in search of a greater fulfillment than either can achieve alone Marriage is a going-forth, a bold step into the future, a journey together. It is risking what we are for the sake of what we can become. Only in giving of oneself and sharing with another can the mysterious process of growth take place. Only in loyalty and devotion bestowed upon another can that which is eternal in life emerge and be known. Two among us, who have previously stood apart, come together now to declare their love and be united in marriage.
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So welcome one and all! We are here to celebrate, to honor, to laugh, to dance, and to be glad because the miraculous has happened. Love is alive and Michael and Rosemarie are here as proof of it and we are here to share in their joy.,

WORDS TO THE COUPLE
No minister, priest, rabbi or public official can marry you. They can preside, officiate, but the true meaning of marriage is found in your love and loyalty.
Michael and Rosemarie, only you can marry each other by your mutual trust and commitment to love one another your whole life long. You will continue to work toward creating an atmosphere of caring and consideration, honor and respect. By your willingness to face the tensions and anxieties that underlie human life, you make your wedded life come alive and stay alive.
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 the possession of just two people Rather it should serve as a source of common energy, as a form and as a structure that gives each person the strength to live their lives with courage.
From this day forward, you will become closer than ever before. But, at the same time, your love should seek out its own unique destinies and make your personal contributions to the world and family.
Marriage symbolizes the ultimate intimacy between a man and a woman yet such closeness must not diminish or lessen the individuality of either person, A lasting marriage is one that welcomes change and finds that it can adjust and has more room to grow.

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First Reading given by Cherie Ann Vallance Tucker The Art of Marriage
I want to share a few words for Michael and Rosemarie. Since I am new to this journey, they are especially meaningful to me. The words are from a poem called, “The Art of Marriage.” I think Michael and Rose have been doing exactly that, and are starting a new chapter in their wonderful relationship that I have seen grown over the last 6 years:
A good marriage must be created. (it doesn’t just happen)

In the art of marriage, it is the little things that are the big things

It means never being too old to hold hands.

It is remembering to say, “I love you,” once every day

It is never going to sleep angry.

It is having a mutual sense of values and objectives;

It is standing together and facing the world

It is forming a circle of love that gathers in the whole family

It is speaking words of appreciation, and demonstrating gratitude in thoughtful ways.

It is having the capacity to forgive and forget

It is find room for the things of the Spirit, and thanking God together for your blessings.

It is a common search for the good and the beautiful.

It is not in marrying the right partner; it is being the right partner.
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MINISTER- WORDS TO THE CONGREGATION
The most important line in the poem is the last.
It is not in marrying the right partner; it is being the right partner.
When we think of a good marriage, we naturally think of love. In fact, we are here today to publicly share your love for each other.
So let us focus on the meaning of love. In a Christ-like marriage, the kind of love we talk about and the model for love that we base all love on is the love that God has for each one of us.
For God’s love for us is a grace filled love; it loves each one of us no matter who we are and God’s love for us is a forgiving love, it forgives and keeps on loving us, no matter what we have done.
Each one of us wants to be loved like this. We want this kind of accepting, trusting forgiving love; not just from God but, from our partner. But, you will find, that in marriage, the way to get love is to give love. The
only way to get this kind of accepting, trusting forgiving love is to give this kind of accepting, trusting, forgiving love. This is the challenge and it can be attained by focusing on what you need and want from your partner; focus on what you can give your partner,
Hear again, that poignant quote:
A truly good marriage is based not on finding the right partner, but on being the right partner. Amen

The Wedding Service for
Norman Norem & Jennifer Fichter
Osprey Point, Kiawah Island SC
5:30 PM 6/13/09
Introduction: Good Evening, and Welcome!
This afternoon, we have gathered here to share in one of the most special occasions that any two people can have or experience: Their wedding service.
For Nathan and Jennifer, this time shared before their family and friends is truly a turning point: For it marks both an ending and a new beginning.

Prayer: Bradley Rogers

Affirmation of Families: Rev. Peter
Q: Will the parents of Nathan and Jennifer please step forward? As Nathan and Jennifer now join their lives in marriage, they also bring to you a new relationship, creating new bonds of trust, and new ties of caring and affection. Will you give them your blessing?
Will you give them your love and support? If you do, please express your consent by saying “WE WILL”

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Affirmation of friends and family:
Q: Friends, the Bride and groom have invited you here because you are important people in their lives… Your love and support for each of them , and for their relationship is valuable. Will you now, give and express your love, blessing and support to them? “WE WILL”

Reading: Chris Norem
An excerpt from “The Prophet” by Khalil Gilbran
You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore. You shall be together when the white wings of death scatter your days.
Ay, 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.

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.

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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.

Reading: Robert Cuneo “Sonnets from the Portuguese, XIV” by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
If thou must love me, let it be for nought
Except for love’s sake only. Do not say
‘I love her for her smile– her look– her way
Of speaking gently,– for a trick of thought
That falls in well with mine, and Certes brought
A sense of pleasant ease on such a day’–
For these things in themselves, Beloved, may
Be changed, or change for thee,– and love, so wrought,
May be unwrought so. Neither love me for
Thine own dear pity’s wiping my cheeks dry,–
A creature might forget to weep, who bore
Thy comfort long, and lose thy love thereby!
But love me for love’s sake, that evermore
Thou mayst love on, through love’s eternity.
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Words To The Couple: Rev. Lanzillotta and Brad Rogers

The spiritual capacity to grow closer together is before you today. Honesty must precede all your endeavors, while embracing all the complexity of two human souls. Let the independence that brought each of you here and that will soon bring you together, remain an essential part of your marriage. In creating that faithfulness, and that fortitude that preserves and protects your marriage, you will learn many powerful things. These lessons will add depth and breath and height to your feelings for one another.
These experiences will fill the canvass of your lives, and give it both color and texture, which increases the value and the dimensions that are possible in your choice to be married. Together, you will design a world of life and love.
On this day, you will multiply your life by two. You will profess your love to each other before God, family and friends. I ask you to understand that this declaration of wedding vows serves you best as a goal and as an ideal; promised words and deeds that become a strong, reliable and trustworthy cornerstone that builds and supports your life together.

Words from Brad…
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The Wedding Vows:
Nathan and Jennifer, will please turn and face one another and hold hands… and please repeat your wedding vows after me…

Jennifer: I , Jennifer, take you, Nathan, to be my wedded husband: to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and respect always. I promise you my absolute honesty, and complete devotion.

Nathan: I, Nathan, take you, Jennifer, to be my wedded wife: to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and respect always. I promise you my absolute honesty, and complete devotion.

Exchange of the Rings:
What do you offer as a symbol of your love and loyalty? THESE RINGS”

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A circle is the symbol of the sun and the earth, and the universe… It is a sign of wholeness, perfection and peace. May these rings be forever the symbol of your unbroken circle of love. Love freely given has no beginning and has no end. Love that is freely given has no giver and no receiver. For each is the giver, and each is the receiver.
May these things remind you always of the vows you have taken today.

With this ring, I pledge my faithful and everlasting love

With this ring, I pledge my faithful and everlasting love

Prayer: The Lord’s Prayer Brad

Brad’s Charge to the Couple

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Pronouncement: Rev. Lanzillotta

With Nature’s beauty as our backdrop, granting us its simple, yet supernal blessings, with wind and surf clapping hands, Let us wish that all that life brings to you, Jennifer and Nathan, will serve to strengthen the bonds you have declared here today. May the promises you have made never be broken, and may the peace and joy of your lives together always be preserved. Now in glad recognition of your promises to one another, attested by vows, and sealed with the two rings, by the privilege entrusted to me, by the state of So. Carolina and the grace of God, I gladly pronounce that you are now husband and wife!

You may kiss the bride!

Family and Friends …
It is my distinct pleasure to introduce to you… for the first time as husband and wife, Nathan and Jennifer!

Congratulations … Make you always go in peace, and live your lives with joy

Reading: Chris Norem
An excerpt from “The Prophet” by Khalil Gilbran
You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore. You shall be together when the white wings of death scatter your days.
Ay, 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.

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.

Reading: Robert Cuneo
“Sonnets from the Portuguese, XIV”
by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

If thou must love me, let it be for nought
Except for love’s sake only. Do not say
‘I love her for her smile– her look– her way
Of speaking gently,– for a trick of thought
That falls in well with mine, and Certes brought
A sense of pleasant ease on such a day’–
For these things in themselves, Beloved, may
Be changed, or change for thee,– and love, so wrought,
May be unwrought so. Neither love me for
Thine own dear pity’s wiping my cheeks dry,–
A creature might forget to weep, who bore
Thy comfort long, and lose thy love thereby!
But love me for love’s sake, that evermore
Thou mayst love on, through love’s eternity.

The Wedding Ceremony
for
Rob Stowe and Lilli Jacob
Gardiner’s Resort and Tennis Club
Paradise Valley, Arizona
July 12, 1997

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

Welcome… We are gathered here in the sight of God and these witnesses to unite Rob and Lili in holy matrimony.
As believers in Christ Jesus, they recognize that it was God who instituted marriage, and who said, “It is not good for man to be alone. I will make a helpmate suitable for him.”
(Genesis 3 NJV) The God who made and redeemed them also instituted this relationship they are about to enter.

Rob and Lili, the vows your are about to take are not to be taken without careful thought and prayer. For in them, you are committing yourselves exclusively to one another for as long as you both shall live. This love is your heartfelt declaration of depth and permanence. It is a love that is not to be diminished by difficult circumstances, and it is only to be dissolved by death.

Let me remind you, Rob and Lili, your home will never be what God intends for it to be if you leave him out of your relationship. As you are obedient to the Word of God, and as you allow God’s reality and grace God to control your relationship, your home will become that place of joy and testimony to the world that God has intended for you.

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The Wedding Vows
(please join right hands…)
I Rob, take you, Lili, to be my wife, before God who brought us together, through the pressures of the present and the uncertainties of the future, I promise to be faithful to you. I promise to love, guide, and protect you as Christ does his Church, as long as we are both alive. According to Ephesians 5, and with His enabling power, I promise to show you the same kind of love as Christ showed the Church when he died for it, and to love you as a part of myself because in His sight we shall be one.

I, Lili, take you Rob, to be my husband, before God who brought us together, through the pressures of the present and the uncertainties of the future, I promise to be faithful to you. I will love, serve, and obey you as long as we are both alive. Christ told us that the wife must submit herself unto her husband as unto the Lord. For as Christ is Head of His Church, so is the husband head of the wife. Rob, I submit myself to you.

The Exchange of Rings and Vows
As you exchange rings, let them be to each of you a constant reminder of these commitments you have made.
Clergy to Bride: Please repeat these words after me…

“I give you this ring, Rob, as a symbol of my love, and with it, I pledge my loyalty and devotion as long as we both shall live.”

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Clergy to Bride: Please repeat these words after me…

“I give you this ring, Lili, as a symbol of my love, and with it, I pledge my loyalty and devotion as long as we both shall live.”

Closing Words/ Benediction/Introduction

Let us gather, for a moment, to pray and to affirm this new marriage. Let us offer a blessing for it…
Most gracious and loving God, we give thanks for Your presence that will bless the new union of Rob and Lili. We ask that you bless them, uphold and uplift them, defending their union as they learn the lifelong process of honoring you and respecting and cherishing each other. Let Your grace
strengthen their love, and make be a protective “seal upon their hearts that no doubt, or fear can ever break.” (Song of Songs)
Bless them in their work for our world, and it their companionship; help them to appreciate and care for their families and to triumph over any of life’s challenges and pain.
We ask that they may always know and remember the privilege of being loved by you, by their families and friends, and by one another. AMEN.

May I now present to you, Mr. Rob and Mrs. Lili Stowe.
Congratulations…

The Wedding Service for
Karen E. N. Shaffer and Michael L. Norris
The Unitarian-Universalist Fellowship of Centre County
October 2, 1999 at 4:30 PM

Processional: Adiemus-Octavo

Opening Words and Welcome: The Reverend Peter Edward Lanzillotta, Ph.D.
To all the family and friends of Karen and Michael who have gathered here today, welcome… welcome to this celebration of love and romance. We meet today to witness a blessed event-
a time when two souls will be joined as one– in the company of family, friends and in the presence of God, and we trust, in the loving regard and graces of those souls who cannot be with us.
Marriage is a relational bridge between the past and the future. Crossing that interpersonal bridge requires leaving the behind what has been and opening up to receive what lies ahead. Michael and Karen were each venturing down a a path of individuality, without any thought to finding a lasting connection. But then the gracious intervention of entities and energies greater than any human being has allowed them to find
one another. Now, they have come to this day, to declare publicly what they have already decided in their hearts, for from this time onward, they will travel the same path of life together. Their decision to follow this common road has already had a profound effect on them, and on all those who closely surround them. This wedding is a public affirmation of the commitment that Karen and Michael have already made to one another.

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Chalice Lighting:
When we light our chalice for a wedding ceremony, we use its light to symbolize the bright hope of a shared tomorrow, and the spark of new beginnings. For Unitarian-Universalists, it is the light of the soul’s individual freedom, which includes the liberty to decide to live together in an intimate and lasting
way. It is for us, the flame of passion, the torch of commitment, and the light of love that blesses and uplifts all who desire to live a life of respect, caring and compassion.
By lighting the chalice together, Karen and Michael create a symbol of the faith- it is a physical representation of that greater Spirit that has brought them together and that will continue to influence and guide their lives. May the light of this chalice and all that it represents, stay lit in their hearts forever.
Acknowledgment:
Everyone present here today has had a meaningful influence on the lives of these two- whether it be by raising and nurturing them, growing up with them, encouraging and helping them to develop themselves and their professional skills, or by being a friend through both the good times and the bad, at work or at play. So it is especially meaningful that you are here today, witnessing our happiness and sharing in our joy.
Words To The Couple:
Karen and Michael… I ask you to remember that both of you are fragile in certain ways, strong in certain ways, gifted in certain ways, and for a relationship to last, it is vital that you become tender, compassionate, and peace loving in response to one another. Karen and Michael, I ask that you let the desire to love and uphold peace rule in your hearts when dealing with one another. I ask this because I believe that your spiritual and emotional compatibility is crucial to your success.

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One of the greatest blessings you can give to one another is your willingness to support each other’s spiritual growth- growth in values, character, and in service to one another, your family and our world. As a vital part of this commitment to caring is the willingness to forgive, to accept that each of you is an unfinished, ever-changing person whose ability to love grows only as ones ego and fears diminish.
I ask that you consider my words carefully and take them into each day of your lives. As I understand it, your tasks in marriage are to listen, to talk, and the grow…
To listen comes first, because what the other person has to say matters deeply… To talk, because through your willingness to express yourself, you also share yourself and offer all the thoughts, feelings, and experiences of who you are and how you feel toward one another … to grow, to grow in dignity, self worth, mutual respect, and in the qualities of patience and kindness. To grow that kind of love- that is your supreme goal. Marriage involves the kind of growth in love that can sustain itself and confirm itself each new day, and it will, as long as you remember to listen, talk, and grow in love for one another.

Musical Interlude: “Love Me Tender”

Statement of Intention:

Karen and Michael, please turn, face one another and hold hands…. The hands you offer are extensions of yourselves. They link your mutual love. Cherish its touch, for you touch another’s life and another’s heart. … Do you now freely enter into marriage, and do you declare that you both freely desire to become husband and wife?
“WE DO”

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Marriage Vows:

Now please repeat after me….

I, Karen, take you Michael, to be my wedded husband, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better , for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and health, to love and to cherish, as long as we both shall live. I will honor and respect you, comfort and encourage you, always.

I, Michael, take you Karen, to be my wedded wife, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better , for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and health, to love and to cherish, as long as we both shall live. I will honor and respect you, comfort and encourage you, always.

Exchange of Rings:

Q: What do you offer as a symbol of your eternal love and loyalty? “These Rings”

The circle is the symbol for wholeness and perfection. Love freely given is circular; it has no beginning and no end. May these rings remind you always of the vows you have taken here today. …

Q: Karen, will you take this ring and wear it as a symbol of Michael’s love and respect for you? ” I WILL”

Q: Michael, will you take this ring and wear it as a symbol of Karen’s love and respect for you? ” I WILL”

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Pronouncement and Blessing:

Karen and Michael, may all that life brings to you strengthen the bonds you have declared here today. May the promises you have made never be broken and the peace and joy of your home together always be preserved.
Now that you both have pledged your loyalty and love before God and their families and friends, by the privilege of law, and by the faith entrusted to me, I gladly pronounce that you are now husband and wife.

You may kiss!

Benediction:

May God bless you and keep you. May God look upon you with kindness and mercy and give you peace. …
Family and friends… I now gladly present to you… Mr. and Mrs. Michael Norris
Congratulations… Go in peace…

Recessional: ” Spirit of Life”

The Wedding Ceremony
For James Butler and Stephanie Hess
932 109th Ave NW
Coon Rapids, MN
August 20, 2005 4:00 P.M.

Prelude: (Music-Grow Old With Me)

Opening words and the Marriage Ceremony
The Reverend. Peter Edward Lanzillotta, Ph.D.

Welcome, Family & friends! We are gathered here today to share in this celebration of Jim & Stephanie’s marriage & the blending of their families.
Jim & Stephanie would like to thank all of you for your love, time and support in their decision to unite their families and their lives together, especially their children who stand with them today.
Reading 1 Ecclesiastes 4: 9-12
Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But, how can one keep warm alone? Tho one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves.
Reading 2 Corinthians 13: 4-7
Love is patient, Love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects , it always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.
(Music-I will be here)
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Intentions And Vows:
Jim to Stephanie:
Stephanie, we have known each other for only a short time, I feel like I have known you forever. You have taken my heart and caressed it with your love not only for me but for my children as well. I vow with all that I am to love you, support you, care for you and to walk with you where ever life may lead us.
To give all of myself to you to help you be the best you can be in this world.

Stephanie to Jim:
We have known each other a short time but I to feel we have known each other forever. You have taken my heart too & caressed it with your love not only for me but for my children as well. I vow with all that I am to love you, support you, care for you and to walk with you wherever life may lead us.
I give all of myself to you to help you be the best you can be in this world.

Exchange of Rings:
Jim to Stephanie:
This wedding band I give you has no beginning and no end, as it symbolizes my unending love for you forever & for always.

Stephanie to Jim:
This wedding band I give you has no beginning and no end, as it symbolizes my unending love for you forever & for always.

(Music-Wedding Song)
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(Family candle ceremony)
This wedding ceremony represents more than just the joining of Jim & Stephanie, we are also witnessing the blending of their families. I Invite Jim’s children and Stephanie’s children to join their parents at the Unity Candle.

Jim, Stephanie, Natasha, Natalie, Miranda, Mikhail and Caleb to symbolize your unity as a family, you will now join in lighting the family unity candle. This symbolizes the unity of family and how all of your lives will be richer because of your common bond of love. From this moment forward may the light of life shine bright for you all.

Pronouncement:
Jim and Stephanie have declared before us that they will live together in marriage. They have made special promises to each other and to their children. They have symbolized their union by taking vows and exchanging rings. Therefore, I now declare them to be husband and wife! …
Jim, you may kiss your bride!

I am honored to introduce for the first time, Mr & Mrs. James Butler.

Recessional:
(Music-From This Moment On)

The Wedding Service of Wendy D’Agostino and Greg Surber
The Unitarian Church in Charleston, Charleston, South Carolina
April 25, 2009 at 5:30 p.m.
The Reverend Peter E. Lanzillotta, Ph.D.

Prelude/ Procession: Ave Maria

Procession: Cannon in D

Opening Words/ Giving Away of the Bride

Dearly beloved, we have come together in the presence of G d to witness the joining of James Gregory Surber and Wendy Michelle D’Agostino in holy matrimony. G d established the covenant of marriage in Eden and Holy scripture commands it to be honored among all people. It is a union intended by G d for the mutual joy of husband and wife; to find in their relationship with each other a greater fulfillment than either can achieve alone. In joining together, they are risking what they are for what they can become through respect, commitment and a mutual love for each other and the Lord. Therefore, marriage is not to be entered into unadvisedly or lightly, but reverently, deliberately, and in accordance with the purposes for which it was instituted by G d.

Who presents Wendy in marriage to Greg?
– Her mother and I do.

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Reading

I now ask Jordan Karnes to come forward to share a reading from the Song of Solomon.

Song of Solomon: 2:10-13,16; 8:6-7
10 My lover spoke and said to me, “Arise, my darling,
my beautiful one, and come with me.

11 See! The winter is past; the rains are over and gone.

12 Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come,
the cooing of doves is heard in our land.

13 The fig tree forms its early fruit; the blossoming vines spread their fragrance. Arise, come, my darling; my beautiful one, come with me.”

16 I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine;
he who rejoices among the lilies.

6 Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm;
for love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave. It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame.
Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot wash it away.
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Statement of Intention
And now I ask, Greg, do you take Wendy to be your lawfully wedded wife? Do you promise to love her, comfort, honor, and keep her, in sickness and in health; and forsaking all others, to keep yourself only unto her as long as you both shall live? ” I Do. ”

Wendy, do you take Greg to be your lawfully wedded husband? Do you promise to love him, comfort, honor, and keep him, in sickness and in health; and forsaking all others, to keep yourself only unto him as long as you both shall live? “I Do. ”

Vows
Greg and Wendy, please face each other, and joining hands, repeat after me:

I, James Gregory Surber, take you Wendy Michelle D’Agostino to be my wedded 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 to cherish, until death do us part.

I, Wendy Michelle D’Agostino, take you James Gregory Surber to be my wedded 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 to cherish, until death do us part.
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Ring Blessing
What do you offer as a symbol of your vows? “These rings. ”

Lord, bless these rings so that they may forever serve to remind Greg and Wendy of this day and of the sacred vows which have bound them together in your presence. Amen.

Jewish Ring Ceremony
Wendy and Greg have decided to have two ring ceremonies to honor the individual faiths in which they were raised. They will now exchange their wedding bands for the first time, placing them on the index finger of each other’s right hand in accordance with the Jewish tradition.

Greg, please take Wendy’s right hand, and placing this ring on her index finger, say to her: With this ring be consecrated to me as my wife.

– With this ring be consecrated to me as my wife.

Wendy, please take Greg’s right hand, and placing this ring on his index finger, say to him: With this ring be consecrated to me as my husband.

– With this ring be consecrated to me as my husband.
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Traditional Ring Ceremony

In this second ring ceremony, Greg and Wendy will now move their wedding bands to their permanent home – the ring finger of each other’s left hand.

Greg, please remove Wendy’s wedding band from her index finger, and placing it on the ring finger of her left hand, say to her: With this ring, I thee wed. – With this ring, I thee wed.

Wendy, please remove Greg’s wedding band from his index finger, and placing it on the ring finger of his left hand, say to him: With this ring, I thee wed. – With this ring, I thee wed.

Prayer
Let us pray.

Lord, as Greg and Wendy begin on this journey together, help them to find in themselves the patience, faithfulness, wisdom and grace needed to make their marriage a successful and lifelong commitment. Guide them as they build a life together. In your service and in each other, may they find life’s deepest meaning and richest happiness. Bind their lives inextricably together in sanctity and unending devotion. Amen.

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Pronouncement
Greg and Wendy, in as much as you have each pledged to each other your lifelong commitment, respect, and devotion, by the authority vested in me, I now declare you to be husband and wife.

What G d has joined together, let no man put asunder.

Greg, you may now kiss your bride.

Ladies and gentlemen, it is my honor to introduce to you for the first time, Mr. and Mrs. James Gregory Surber.

The Wedding Service of Wendy D’Agostino and Greg Surber
The Unitarian Church in Charleston, Charleston, South Carolina
April 25, 2009 at 5:30 p.m.
The Reverend Peter E. Lanzillotta, Ph.D.

Prelude/ Procession: Ave Maria
Entering in the following order –
Greg Surber and Reverend Peter Lanzillotta
Jim Reed
Mildred Surber escorted by Paul Bogese
Clara and Herman Diagostino
Anne Surber escorted by Geary Surber
Tammi and Aaron D’Agostino

Procession: Cannon in D
Entering in the following order –
Jennifer Tiarsmith and Wes Bell
Marissa Pizzini and Jeff Cronise
Ashley and Cary Taylor
Jessica Meuchel and Paul Bogese
Emily Lynn and Geary Surber
Wendy and Anthony D’Agostino

Opening Words/ Giving Away of the Bride

Dearly beloved, we have come together in the presence of G d to witness the joining of James Gregory Surber and Wendy Michelle D’Agostino in holy matrimony. G d established the covenant of marriage in Eden and Holy scripture commands it to be honored among all people. It is a union intended by G d for the mutual joy of husband and wife; to find in their relationship with each other a greater fulfillment than either can achieve alone. In joining together, they are risking what they are for what they can become through respect, commitment and a mutual love for each other and the Lord. Therefore, marriage is not to be entered into unadvisedly or lightly, but reverently, deliberately, and in accordance with the purposes for which it was instituted by G d.

Who presents Wendy in marriage to Greg?
– Her mother and I do.

Reading

I now ask Jordan Karnes to come forward to share a reading from the Song of Solomon.

Song of Solomon: 2:10-13,16; 8:6-7

10 My lover spoke and said to me,
“Arise, my darling,
my beautiful one, and come with me.

11 See! The winter is past;
the rains are over and gone.

12 Flowers appear on the earth;
the season of singing has come,
the cooing of doves
is heard in our land.

13 The fig tree forms its early fruit;
the blossoming vines spread their fragrance.
Arise, come, my darling;
my beautiful one, come with me.”

16 I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine;
he who rejoices among the lilies.

6 Place me like a seal over your heart,
like a seal on your arm;
for love is as strong as death,
its jealousy unyielding as the grave.
It burns like blazing fire,
like a mighty flame.

7 Many waters cannot quench love;
rivers cannot wash it away.

Statement of Intention
And now I ask, Greg, do you take Wendy to be your lawfully wedded wife? Do you promise to love her, comfort, honor, and keep her, in sickness and in health; and forsaking all others, to keep yourself only unto her as long as you both shall live?

– I do.

Wendy, do you take Greg to be your lawfully wedded husband? Do you promise to love him, comfort, honor, and keep him, in sickness and in health; and forsaking all others, to keep yourself only unto him as long as you both shall live?

– I do.

Vows
Greg and Wendy, please face each other, and joining hands, repeat after me:

I, James Gregory Surber,
take you Wendy Michelle D’Agostino to be my wedded 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 to cherish, until death do us part.

I, Wendy Michelle D’Agostino,
take you James Gregory Surber to be my wedded 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 to cherish, until death do us part.

Ring Blessing
What do you offer as a symbol of your vows?

– These rings.

Lord, bless these rings so that they may forever serve to remind Greg and Wendy of this day and of the sacred vows which have bound them together in your presence.

Amen.

Jewish Ring Ceremony
Wendy and Greg have decided to have two ring ceremonies to honor the individual faiths in which they were raised. They will now exchange their wedding bands for the first time, placing them on the index finger of each other’s right hand in accordance with the Jewish tradition.

Greg, please take Wendy’s right hand, and placing this ring on her index finger, say to her: With this ring be consecrated to me as my wife.

– With this ring be consecrated to me as my wife.

Wendy, please take Greg’s right hand, and placing this ring on his index finger, say to him: With this ring be consecrated to me as my husband.

– With this ring be consecrated to me as my husband.

Traditional Ring Ceremony

In this second ring ceremony, Greg and Wendy will now move their wedding bands to their permanent home – the ring finger of each other’s left hand.

Greg, please remove Wendy’s wedding band from her index finger, and placing it on the ring finger of her left hand, say to her: With this ring, I thee wed.

– With this ring, I thee wed.

Wendy, please remove Greg’s wedding band from his index finger, and placing it on the ring finger of his left hand, say to him: With this ring, I thee wed.

– With this ring, I thee wed.

Prayer
Let us pray.

Lord, as Greg and Wendy begin on this journey together, help them to find in themselves the patience, faithfulness, wisdom and grace needed to make their marriage a successful and lifelong commitment. Guide them as they build a life together. In your service and in each other, may they find life’s deepest meaning and richest happiness. Bind their lives inextricably together in sanctity and unending devotion.

Amen.

Pronouncement
Greg and Wendy, in as much as you have each pledged to each other your lifelong commitment, respect, and devotion, by the authority vested in me, I now declare you to be husband and wife.

What G d has joined together, let no man put asunder.

Greg, you may now kiss your bride.

Ladies and gentlemen, it is my honor to introduce to you for the first time, Mr. and Mrs. James Gregory Surber.

The Wedding Service
For
Andi Smith and Jim Ramser
Wild Dunes, Isle of Palms
October 12, 2007
The Rev. Peter E. Lanzillotta, Ph.D.

Opening Words/Invocation

Beloved Creator, Essence of Love, and Source of Hope, Open our hearts, and fill us with Your Presence. You graciously give to us the longing for love and the capability of loving, and we give you thanks for Andi and Jim, for their beautiful hearts and willing spirits, and for the example of love that they embody here today.
Elevate us to an awareness of the Sacred and the Eternal, as we celebrate this miraculous moment in their lives. Be with them on this joyous occasion, of showing their love and making their vows; and be with us, their witnesses, that we might all be inspired by the blessings and vows being shared today. Amen

Welcome:
Good evening. It is truly a blessing from heaven for two people to find one another and to love so deeply that they embrace the holy bond of marriage. That is why we are all here today, to witness and celebrate Andi and Jim’s commitment to their union. On behalf of them, I welcome you all.

Foundation
Marriage is a supreme sharing, perhaps the greatest and most challenging adventure in the most intimate of human relationships. It is the joyful uniting of a man and a woman whose care and affection and understanding have flowered into a deep and abiding love. Those who take its sacred vows have their lives blended together into one, as the waters of two rivers are joined when they come together to form an even greater one.

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A true spiritual marriage is an act of metamorphosis, a profound mystery of creation and rebirth, as two become one. It is not a giving up or loss of oneself, but rather a giving over of oneself to something greater transformation of self in which each one can say, “I am no longer only I but also we.” It is a process in which each can be challenged to discover new possibilities in themselves and each other.
In such a marriage, the wedding ceremony is the gateway into this mystery. For the lives the two of you have lived up until this moment are, in some sense, now truly completed and over. Together you now live within the creation of something wholly new and transcendent, something which has never existed before your miraculous marriage an expression that is at once public and private, precious, sacred, and truly unique to the two of you. In this act, you open yourselves to a fuller experience and expression of the great, vast miracle of love.

No ceremony can create your marriage. Only you can do that through love, patience, dedication, perseverance through talking and listening and trying to understand through helping and supporting and believing in each other through learning to forgive, learning to respect and appreciate your differences, and learning to make the important things matter and to let go of the rest.
What this ceremony can do is to witness and affirm the choice you have made to begin a new life today as husband and wife.

The Questions
Andi and Jim, If you are ready to step into the holy circle of matrimony, assuming all its rights, obligations and abundant joys, please so indicate by joining hands.
Do you, Andi take this man, Jim as your husband, to love him and to honor him, to nurture, serve and support him, in times of joy and in times of difficulty? Do you promise to remain by his side regardless of what trouble befalls you, and in the presence of temptation to forsake this love, do you promise to remain steadfast and true? Do you promise with all your heart and soul to honor this vow till death do you part? If so, answer now, “I do.” (Bride answers, “I do”)
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Do you, Jim take this woman, Andi as your wife, to love her and to honor her, to nurture, serve and support her, in times of joy and in times of difficulty? Do you promise to remain by her side regardless of what trouble befalls you, and in the presence of temptation to forsake this love, do you promise to remain steadfast and true? Do you promise with all your heart and soul to honor this vow till death do you part? If so answer now, “I do.” (Groom answers, “I do”)

Ring Ceremony
And so we come Andi and Jim, to the presentation of rings by which you symbolize and bind your love.
The circle has long been a symbol of spirit and the power of God. The sky and the earth are round. The wind in its greatest power whirls. The sun and moon, both round, come forth and go down again in a circle. Even the seasons form a great circle in their changing and always come back again to where they were. Without beginning or end and with no point of weakness, the circle is a reminder of the eternal quality of God and of unending strength. Let the seamless circle of these rings become the symbol of your endless love and unending faithfulness. Your wedding rings are most special because they say that even in your uniqueness you have chosen to be bonded, to allow the presence of another human being to enhance who you are. Your rings carry a potent double message: We are individuals and yet we belong; we are not alone. As you wear them through time, they will reflect not only who you are but also the glorious union that you are now creating.
God, bless these rings and the two who exchange them. Fill them with your Holy
Presence. Keep them safe in the circle of Your protection and love.
Andi, place the ring on Jim’s finger and repeat after me: “With this ring, I pledge my love and faithfulness to you, today, tomorrow and always.”
Jim, place the ring on Andi’s finger and repeat after me: “With this ring, I pledge my love and faithfulness to you, today, tomorrow and always.”
Wear these rings as the enclosing bond of reverence and trust. Fulfill the circle of love that now makes you one.
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Vows
Please join hands, look into each other’s eyes, and repeat after me:

I, Jim, take thee, Andi, for my lawful wedded wife, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health as long as we both shall live.
I, Andi, take thee, Jim, for my lawful wedded husband, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health as long as we both shall live.

Minister’s Blessing
Andi and Jim, you now have the opportunity for expressing through your union and partnership, God’s glory, love and healing. How could this be? Through devotion and service to each other. Through patience, kindness, total acceptance of each other, tempered by the willingness to change. You will be tempted, as time goes by, to take for granted the love which today seems so precious and dear, to speak to and treat each other in ways that do not reflect the highest good in both of you. Resist it. Promise to always see the goodness in your partner, even when it’s especially difficult. God will provide you the way, if you are willing. He is the key to your success as a married couple. Call on Him devotedly and consistently to guide your thinking and bless your home. May this marriage be to you a heavenly sanctuary. God bless you.

Pronouncement
Andi and Jim, in the presence of God, your family and friends today, you have spoken the words and performed the rites which unite your lives. It is my legal right as a minister and my greatest joy and privilege to declare you husband and wife. You may now kiss the bride.

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Benediction (The Irish Wedding Blessing)

May the road rise to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon the fields.

May the light of friendship guide your paths together.
May the laughter of children grace the halls of your home.
May the joy of living for one another trip a smile from your lips, a twinkle from your eye.
And when eternity beckons,
at the end of a life heaped high with love,

May the good Lord embrace you
with the arms that have nurtured you
the whole length of your joy-filled days.

Conclusion:
And now, ladies and gentlemen, it is my pleasure to present to you for the first time, Mr. and Mrs. Ramser.

The Wedding Ceremony
for Amy Dixon and Tom Kessler
Dunes West Country Club,
October 3, 2008
Music

Prelude:
Winter,Vivaldi
Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring, Bach
Minnet, Mozart
Air on the G String, Bach
5th Symphony in C Minor, Beethoven
Arioso, Bach
Canon in D Major, Pachelbel
Prelude in C II, Bach

Family Processional:
Ava Maria, F. Schrubert
Bridesmaids Processional
Trumpet Voluntary
Bride Processional:
Con Te Partiro, David Chamberlin

Tom, Nelson and Rev. Peter are standing up there already.

Welcome & Ceremony: The Rev. Peter E. Lanzillotta, Ph. D.

Good evening! We gather here tonight to witness and celebrate an act of deep love. Amy and Tom, in their devotion, respect and love for each other wish to unite in the hold bond of marriage and to dedicate themselves to each other’s happiness and well-being as life mates and partners. On behalf of them, I welcome you all.

Q: “Who gives this woman to be the bride of this man? (Pop stands up and responds, “We do.” Or “Her Mother and I do” Sits back down.)

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Although this is their day, it is also a tribute to all of you. For knowing you and interacting with you has helped to make our Bride and Groom who they needed to be to find each other. They would like to thank you all for that. All of you are the threads of which are woven the tapestry of their lives. Each one of you is an important piece in the story it tells. It is the fabric that they wrap around themselves and take comfort in when the world seems cold. And on days like today when everything is right in their world, that tapestry is proudly spread out and displayed for everyone to see, with all the glorious colors and textures that your diversity adds. You all hold a place in their hearts reserved for those that they have chosen to call ‘Family’ and ‘Friends’ and they are deeply grateful for each and every on of you here today.

Foundation/Homily:
Marriage is a supreme sharing; perhaps the greatest and most challenging adventure in the most intimate of human relationships. It is the joyful uniting of a man and a woman whose care and affection and understanding have flowered into a deep and abiding love. Those who take it sacred vows have their lives blended together into one, as the waters of two rivers are jointed when they come together to form an even greater one.
A true spiritual marriage is an act of metamorphosis, a profound mystery of creation and rebirth, as two become one. It is not a giving up or loss of oneself, but rather a giving over of oneself to something greater-a transformation of self in which each on can say, “I am no longer only I but also we.” It is a process in which each can be challenged to discover new possibilities in themselves and each other.
In such a marriage, the wedding ceremony is the gateway into this mystery. For the lives the two of you have lived up until this moment are, in some sense, now truly completed and over.

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Together, you now live within the creation of something wholly new and transcendent, something which has never existed before-your miraculous marriage-
Which is heartfelt expression that is at once public and private, precious, sacred, and truly unique to the two of you. In this act, you open yourselves to a fuller experience and expression of the great, vast miracle of love.
No ceremony can create your marriage. Only you can do that thought love, patience, dedication, perseverance-Through talking and listening and trying to understand-through helping and supporting and believing in each other –through learning to forgive, learning to respect and appreciate your differences, and learning to make the important things matter and to let go of the rest. What this ceremony can do is to witness and affirm the choice you have made to begin a new life today as husband and wife.

Parental Honoring:
Amy and Tom want to acknowledge their parents on this occasion, Dan, Diane, Nelson and Peggy. Amy and Tom offer their profound gratitude to their parents for all the love and care they showed in raising them. The unconditional gifts of love and support that you have continually offered have inspired them to become who they are today, and they thank you, from the bottom of their hearts, for guiding them to this celebration of love here today. Without you, this day would not be possible.

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Readings/Poems/Prayer:

–Aunt Pam to give “On Friendship” by Roy Croft

I love you, not for what you are, but what I am, when I am with you.
I love you not only for what you have made of yourself, but what you are making of me.
I love you for the part of me that you bring out.

I love you for putting your hand into my heaped up heart and passing over all the frivolous and weak things that you cannot help seeing there, and for drawing out into the light all the beautiful and radiant things that no one else has looked quite far enough to find…

I love you because you have done more than any creed could have done to make me good, and more than any fate could have done to make me happy.

You have done it without a touch, without a word, without a sign.
You have done it by being yourself.
Perhaps that is what being a friend means after all.

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–Christy York to give “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 demonstration gratitude in thoughtful ways.
It is not expectation the husband to wear a halo or the wife to have wings of an angel.
It is not looking for perfection in each other.

It is cultivation flexibility, patience, understanding and a sense of humor.
It is having the capacity to forgive and forget. Remembering that it is in giving to
each other that creates an atmosphere in which each can more easily 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.

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The Hands Ceremony:
Amy and Tom Please face each other and take each other’s hands, so that you may see the gift that they are to you.
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 along side 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 temporarily comes your way.
These are the hands that will countless times wipe the tears from your eyes, tears of sorrow and tears of joy. These are the hands that will tenderly hold our children. These are the hands that will give you support and encouragement to chase down your dreams.
These are the hands that will hold you tight as you struggle through difficult times. These are the hands that will give you strength when you need it.
These are the hands that lift your chin and brush your cheek as they raise your face to look into the eyes that are filled with overwhelming love for you.
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.

Silent Blessing:
We now close our eyes and bring to mind any loved ones who could not be here today. Though they are absent physically, we invoke, through our thought and prayers, their loving presence. We pray that God might multiply beyond measure the blessings from these loved ones to this loving couple, and any children who might one day be part of this union. …

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Now, from our hearts, we ourselves visualize and sanctify all the blessings we would bestow on Amy and Tom in their lives as a couple and a family. And in our sincere desire to bless, we in turn, are blessed also. Blessed Be.

The Questions or The Statement of Intention:
Do you, Amy take this man, Tom as your husband, to love him and to honor him, to nurture, serve and support him in times of joy and in times of difficulty? Do you promise to remain by his side regardless of what trouble befalls you, and in the presence of temptation to forsake this love; do you promise to remain steadfast and true? Do you promise with all your heart and soul to honor this vow till death do you part? If so, answer now, “I Do.” –Amy

Do you, Tom take this woman, Amy as your wife to love her and to honor her to nurture, serve and support her, in times of joy and in times of difficulty? Do your promise to remain by her side regardless of what trouble befalls you, and in the presence of temptation, to forsake this love, do you promise to remain steadfast and true? Do you promise with all your heart and should to honor this vow till death do you part? If so, answer now, “I Do.” —Tom

Vows:
From this day forward, I choose you to be my beloved soul mate,
to live with you and laugh with you; to stand by your side and sleep in your arms; to be joy to your heart and food to your soul; to bring out the best in you always;
to be the best I can be, just for you;
to celebrate with you in the good times; to struggle with you in the bad;
to care for you with my entire being; to share with you everything that I have;
as we treat each other with tenderness, compassion and love now and forever.

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Ring Ceremony:

And so we come Amy and Tom, to the presentation of rings by which you symbolize and bind your love.
The circle has long been a symbol of sprit and the power of God. The sky and the earth are round. The wind in its greatest power whirls. The sun and moon, both round, come forth and go down again in a circle. Even the seasons form a great circle in their changing and always come back again to where they were. Without beginning or end and with no point of weakness, the circle is a reminder of the eternal quality of God and of unending strength. Let the seamless circle of these rings become the symbol of your endless love and unending faithfulness. Your wedding rings are most special because they say that even in your uniqueness your have chosen to be bonded, to allow the presence of another human being to enhance who you are. Your rings carry a potent double message: We are individuals and yet we belong; we are not along. As you war them through time, they will reflect no only who you are but also the glorious union that you are now creating.

God bless these rings and the two who exchange them. Fill them with your Holy Presence. Keep them safe in the circle of your protection and love.

Amy, place the ring on Tom’s finger and repeat after me: “With this ring, I pledge my love and faithfulness to you, today, tomorrow and always.
Tom, place this ring on Amy’s finger and repeat after me: “With this ring, I pledge my love and faithfulness to you, today, tomorrow and always.
Wear these rings as the enclosing bond of reverence and trust. Fulfill the circle of love that now makes you one.

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Pronouncement:

Forasmuch as you, Amy and you, Tom, have openly declared your wishes to be united in marriage, and in the presence of these witnesses have pledged love to each other, and have confirmed the same by joining hands, exchanging rings and declaring your vows, I as a minister and legally authorized to do pronounce that you are now husband and wife. You may now kiss the bride!! (Smooch!)

Conclusion: And now, ladies and gentlemen, it is my pleasure to present to you for the first time, Mr. and Mrs. Kessler!

Recessional:

“Wedding March,” by F. Mendelssohn starts and we walk down the isle followed by the bridal party, parents, grandparents and then family/friends.

The Wedding Ceremony
For
Alisha Drakulic and Joseph Aiken
May 17th 2009
Harbor Club, Patriot’s Point
Mount Pleasant, SC

Prelude
Processional
Presentation: Q: Who gives this woman to be married to this man?
A: “Her mother and I do”

Opening Words/Welcoming The Guests
Good evening. It is truly a blessing from God for two people to find one another and to love so deeply that they embrace the holy bond of marriage. That is why we are all here today, to witness and celebrate Alisha and Joe’s commitment to each other. Although this is their day, it is also a tribute to all of you. For knowing you and interacting with you has helped to make our Bride and Groom who they needed to be to find each other. You all hold a special place in their hearts reserved for those that they have chosen to call “Family” and “Friends” and they are deeply grateful for each and every one of you here today. They would like to thank you all for that. On behalf of them, I welcome you.

Reflection on Marriage:
Marriage is a gift from God, a miracle. It is obvious that you already know some of the great blessings marriage has to offer. It is an opportunity to feel the joy of taking care of someone who takes care of you, to be challenged towards growth yet gently nurtured, to love deeply and receive it in return.
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It is about trust, friendship and having a partner to share all life has to offer. It is a commitment to participate in a process of mutual evolution, understanding and forgiveness. It is indeed a sacred union to be treated with reverence.

Alisha, Joe is a gift to you from God, but he is not a gift for you alone. It is God’s will that in your love, this man might find within himself a greater sense of who he is meant to be. You are asked to see the good in this man, to accept him for who he is and who he shall be. In this way, God’s purpose shall be accomplished in this relationship.

And so it is with you also Joe, that although Alisha is God’s gift to you, she is not a gift intended for you alone. You are asked by God to so love this woman, that in your love she might find herself as God has created her, so beautiful and strong and brave and true, that the entire world might be blessed by the presence of a woman who shines so. May she relax in your arms as she has never relaxed before. May she know, from now on, that she can depend on your love forever.

No ceremony can create your marriage. Only you can do that through love, patience, dedication, perseverance through talking and listening and trying to understand, helping and supporting, believing in each other, learning to forgive, learning to respect and to appreciate your differences, coming to the realization that only the important things matter and to be free to let go of the rest.
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What this ceremony can do is to witness and affirm publicly the choice you have made to begin a new life today as husband and wife.
As long as you two are drawn together by God, marriage will be a natural unfolding of that relationship.

Parental Honoring
Alisha and Joe want to acknowledge their parents on this occasion, Greg and Andrea and Marty and Sue. Alisha and Joe offer their profound gratitude to their parents for all the love and care they showed in raising them. The unconditional gifts of love and support that you have continually offered have inspired them to become who they are today, and they thank you, from the bottom of their hearts, for guiding them to this celebration of love here today. Without you, this day would not be possible.

Silent Blessing
We now close our eyes and bring to mind any loved ones who could not be here today. Though they are absent physically, we invoke, through our thought and prayers, their loving presence. We pray that God might multiply beyond measure the blessings from these loved ones to this loving couple, and any children who might one day be a part of this union. Now, from our hearts, we ourselves visualize and sanctify all the good we would bestow on Alisha and Joe in their lives as a couple and a family. And in our sincere desire to bless, we in turn, are blessed So It is. Blessed Be. AMEN
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Ring Ceremony
The circle has long been a symbol of the perfection and completeness of God. Without beginning or end and with no point of weakness, the circle is a reminder of the eternal quality of God and of unending strength. Let the seamless circle of these rings become the symbol of your endless love.
Your wedding rings are most special because they say that even in your uniqueness you have chosen to be bonded, to allow the presence of another human being to enhance who you are. As you wear them through time, they will reflect not only who you are but also the glorious union that you are now creating. May God bless these rings and the two who exchange them. Fill them with your Holy presence. Keep them safe in the circle of Your protection and love.

Vows:
From this day forward, I choose you to be my soul mate,
to live with you and laugh with you,
to stand by your side and sleep in your arms,
to always kiss you goodnight, to be the best I can be, just for you,
to celebrate with you in good times,
to struggle with you in the bad,
to care for you with my entire being,
to share with you all that I have to give,
to be your best friend. I give you my heart,
May we feel this love forever.
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Minister’s Blessing
Alisha and Joe, promise to always see the goodness in each other. You will be tempted, as time goes by, to take for granted the love that which today seems so precious and dear; to speak to and treat each other in ways that do not reflect the highest good in both of you.
Resist it wholeheartedly! Always look to God for help and for God’ inspiration and grace to provide a way. Having an ongoing trialogue with the Spirit is the key to your success as a married couple. Call on the Divine consistently to guide you in your thoughts, and to bless your home. As long as you both have God in your hearts, you will always be protected. God Bless you.

Sand Ceremony
Joe and Alisha, today you join your separate lives together. The two separate bottles of sand symbolize your separate lives, separate families and separate sets of friends. They represent all that you are and all that you’ll ever be as an individual. They also represent your lives before today. As these two containers of sand are poured into the third container, the individual containers of sand will no longer exist, but will be joined together as one. Just as these grains of sand can never be separated and poured again into the individual containers, so will your marriage be.”

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Pronouncement
Joe and Alisha, in the presence of God, your family and friends you have openly declared your love for each other. You have repeated vows, offered rings, and are now ready to begin your lives together.
Therefore, by the privilege entrusted to me, by the authority of the state of South Carolina, and by the grace of God, I gladly pronounce that you are now husband and wife! Congratulations!
Joe, you may kiss your bride!

Benediction (from a Traditional Gaelic or Irish Blessing)

May the road rise to meet you. May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon the fields.

May the light of friendship guide your paths together.
May the laughter of children grace the halls of your home.
May the joy of living for one another trip a smile from your lips, a twinkle from your eye.
And when eternity beckons, at the end of a life heaped high with love,
May the good Lord embrace you with the everlasting arms that have nurtured you the whole length of your joy-filled days.

Now it begins! Go in Peace, and Live with Joy!

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 Service for Kim Steere and Jeff Thompson
The Saybrook Point Inn
November 9, 2002 at 5:30 PM
Old Saybrook, Connecticut

A Call To Celebration
Opening Words and the Wedding Service
The Reverend Peter Edward Lanzillotta, Ph.D.

To all the family and friends of Kim and Jeff, and to all who have shared their lives with them, and to all who have traveled so far to be here today so that you might share in the happiness and joy of this occasion, welcome.

Candles of Heritage (Jeff and Kim’s parents come forward to light family candles)
Jeff and Kim will soon be pledging their love and support to each other in the joyful state of matrimony. Before they do, we would like to acknowledge their families, and the love and light that has been given to them….
Through a spiritual understanding of marriage, their combined destiny will become certain in a single moment- an instant that will shape the rest of their lives. It is, therefore, most fitting and appropriate that you all are here to witness and participate in the most important day of their lives.
Marriage is both a coming home and a going-forth, a bold step into the future. It is risking what we are for what we shall become. Matrimony symbolizes the ultimate intimacy between a man and a woman; yet the closeness should not diminish but reinforce the individuality of each partner. This ability to
love and respect one another, while still evolving and growing as individuals … therein lies the true strength and resiliency of a marriage.
Now, two among us who have stood apart, come together, in public and in our presence, to declare their love, and to be united in marriage.

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Selected Readings
1) Rose Ann Miller will read “The Master Speed” from Robert Frost)
No speed of wind or water rushing by
But you have speed far greater. You can climb Back up a stream of radiance to the sky, and back through history up the stream of time.
And you were given this swiftness, not for haste, nor chiefly that you may go where you will, but in the rush of everything to waste,
that you may have the power of standing still–
Off any still or moving thing you say. 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) Andrew Fleischmann will read the last stanza of T.S. Eliot’s Four Quartets
We shall not cease from exploration and the end of all our exploring
will be to arrive where we started And know the place for the first time.
Through the unknown, remembered gate when the last of earth left to discover Is that which was the beginning; At the source of the longest river the voice of the hidden waterfall and the children in the apple-tree not known, because not looked for but heard, half-heard, in the stillness between two waves of the sea.
Quick now, here, now, always– A condition of complete simplicity
(Costing not less than everything) And all shall be well and All manner of thing shall be well …. When the tongues of flame are in-folded into the crowned knot of fire, and the fire and the rose are one.

Words to the Couple:
Kim and Jeff, 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.
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You know that only you can marry yourselves. And you marry each other by a mutual commitment to love each other, by working together toward creating an atmosphere of care and consideration and respect, by a willingness to face the tensions and anxieties that underlie human life. If you do this, then soon every day will become a new discovery of love, of life, and your future.
So I now ask that the desire to love and to uphold peace rule in your hearts, Jeff and Kim, for one of the greatest blessings you can give to one another is the willingness to support each other¹s spiritual growth; growth in values, character, and in service to one another and to our world.
As 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 fears diminish.
The excitement of the future lies in the mystery it holds, and its beauty is found in having someone to explore it with. When you look into each others eye, may you see not only your love for one another, but all glimpse your hopes and dreams of tomorrow, and may you find something to treasure in every moment you are together.

Statement of Intention for Family and Friends:
Minister speaks to the guests
You who are the family and friends of Kim and Jeff, who have been invited here tonight, are an essential part of this ceremony and of the union of these two people. By your friendship and love, you are entrusted to support this relationship as it continues to thrive and grow. Will you agree to nurture this union, and will you do your best to keep it strong in the face of whatever may come? WE WILL.

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Statement of Intention:

Kim and Jeff, please join your right hands (Kim passes flowers)

The hand offered by each of you is an extension of yourself, it links your mutual love. Cherish its touch, for you have touched another’s heart and another’s life. Be sensitive to its pulse. Seek always to understand its flow and respect its rhythm.
Jeff and Kim, will you take one another as husband and wife? Will you love and respect one another? Will you trust one another and always be true? Will you stand by one another and face whatever may come with strength, patience, love, and compassion? “WE WILL.”

Wedding Vows (The Bride and Groom will now exchange their personally written vows…)
Now, please repeat your vows after me….

Kim: Jeff, I stand before you today With friends and family as my witness
To pledge my love for you through our union in marriage, To promise to share my life with you, to create a peaceful home to celebrate happiness, to share sorrow, and as this autumn day marks a change in seasons, I vow to help you change and grow throughout all the seasons of our lives, so we may grow stronger as one.
Now, as we join hands by these waters May we, too, move forward in harmony, and know each day as an eternal beginning And in our hearts make our home.

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Jeff: Kim, I stand before you today With friends and family as my witness
To pledge my love for you through our union in marriage, To promise to share my life with you, to create a peaceful home, to celebrate happiness, to share sorrow, and as this autumn day marks a change in seasons, I vow to help you change and grow throughout all the seasons of our lives, so we may grow stronger as one.
Now, as we join hands by these waters May we, too, move forward in harmony
And know each day as an eternal beginning And in our hearts make our home.

Q: What to you offer as a symbol of your love and loyalty? “THESE RINGS”

The Ring Blessing
The circle is the symbol of the sun, the earth, and the universe, of wholeness, perfection, and peace. May these rings be forever a sign of your unbroken circle of love. Love freely given has no beginning and no end. Love freely given has no giver and has no receiver, for each is the giver and the receiver. May these rings remind you always of the vows you have taken here today.

Kim, please repeat after me: Jeff, please repeat after me:
“With this ring, I thee wed” “With this ring, I thee wed”
Unity Candle (Bride and groom take the flame of their family candles and lit one candle together to symbolize the start of a new family….)

Guitar Solo

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Pronouncement and Blessing
In the glad recognition of your desire to unite your hearts in mutual love and affection, I most happily pronounce you husband and wife. May these two people, now married keep this covenant that they have made. May they be a blessing and a comfort to each other, sharers of each other’s joys, consolers in each other’s sorrows, helpers to each other in all the vicissitudes of life. May they encourage each other in whatever they set out to achieve. May they make each other laugh and share ideas with open minds. May they, trusting in each other, trust life and not be afraid. Yet may they not only accept and give affection between themselves, but together have affection and consideration for others.
We, who are present, and those who are absent, thinking of these two people, hope that the inspiration of this hour will not be forgotten.
May Kim and Jeff love one another forever.

Congratulations! You may kiss the bride!

The Wedding Service for
Diana Raymond and David Bell
4258 Lorraine Road Bonita Springs, Florida
December 30, 2000 5:15 PM

Prelude
Processional

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

Sometimes you have to go half way around the world to find someone you love. As we, who are gathered here, have come to celebrate such a journey of the heart, and the marriage of Diana and David, who by their love have proven that distance did not make such a difference that two souls who were truly mated would not have found a way to be together. On their behalf, I welcome all of you, and especially those who have traveled far to be with us this day. …

Statement of Betrothal:

Don: “I Do.”

Introduction to the Intentions for Marriage:

Marriage is not to be entered into lightly. It is a serious commitment, one in which you both freely and willingly give yourselves completely to one another. The wedding ceremony symbolizes life at a crossroads; where the experiences of the past meet with the promise of the future. It is a letting go, a releasing of the past and a receptive, opening to what is ahead, for marriage is risking who you are for what you can become together. It is when two people turn towards each other in search of a greater fulfillment than either can achieve alone.
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Today, through your wedding vows, you give each other a special security … You give yourselves as a companion for life, to be one whom you can trust; someone who will listen and not judge, who will respect and support you, while sharing your dreams and disappointments, your achievements and your defeats, and through the ideals of marriage, be for one another, that person who will help you to become the best that one can be….

Statement of Intention:

Minister: Is it your intention to have this life together?
Dave and Diana: IT IS.

Selected Reading/Reflection on Love:

Many have spoken about love, but few more meaningfully than Kahlil Gibran in his book, The Prophet. Dave and Diana have asked me to share the following reading with you:
“And a woman spoke and said, ‘What of marriage?’ And he answered, saying,” You are born together and together you shall be forever. 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 the heavens dance between you.
Love one another, but make not a bond of love. Rather let it be like a moving sea between the shores of your souls. Sing and dance together, and be joyous, but let each other be alone, just as the strings of a lute are alone, even though they quiver with the same music. Give your hearts, but not into another’s keeping, for only the hand of the life can contain your hearts. And stand together, yet not too near together, for the pillars of the temple stand apart and to oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.”

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Preface to The Wedding Vows:

Dave and Diana have chosen to be married here today, in God’s natural light and surroundings. As we breathe in this moment of happiness and the wonder of nature that attends this time, it is our hope that Dave and Diana’s marriage will bring them lasting peace, harmony, and a true, heartfelt happiness….

Dave and Diana, please turn, face one another and hold hands…
The hands you offer are extensions of yourselves; they link your mutual love; Cherish its touch, for you touch another’s heart and another’s life. Be sensitive to its pulse, and seek always to understand its flow and respect its rhythms.

Dave: Will you have this woman be your wedded wife?
Will you share your life with her, and do you promise that you will love, honor and care for here throughout your lives?
Will you be a good husband, loving and nurturing her spirit? And will you be at her wing as you both fly to meet the promise of tomorrow?
DAVE: “I WILL”

Diana, will you have this man to be your wedded husband?
To share your life with him, and do you promise that you will love, honor, and care for him throughout your lives?
Will you be a good wife, loving and nurturing his spirit?
And will you be his safe harbor, his constant and steady home, though the changing waves of life move all around him?

DIANA: “I WILL”

Now will you please repeat your vows after me…..

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The Exchange of Vows:

I, Diana, take you David, to be my lawfully wedded husband, to have and to hold, for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish until death do us part.
I, David, take you Diana, to be my lawfully wedded wife, to have and to hold, for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part.

The Exchange of Rings:

Q: What do you offer as your pledge of love and loyalty? “THESE RINGS”

A circle is the symbol for the Sun, the Earth, and the universe; of wholeness, perfection and peace. May these rings be forever the 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 serve to remind you always of the vows you have spoken here today.
Diana: ” WITH THIS RING, I THEE WED, AND PLEDGE MY FAITHFUL LOVE.”
Dave: “WITH THIS RING, I THEE WED, AND PLEDGE MY FAITHFUL LOVE.”

Closing Prayer/Pronouncement:

Out of this tangled world, O God, two souls have found one another, and now, in being married, their lives shall henceforth be of one design. Let the days and the years deepen the joy of their union, and hold them even closer in love throughout their days.
Dave and Diana, in the recognition of your vows, and by the power invested in me, I gladly pronounce that you are now husband and wife….
Dave, you may kiss your bride…. Congratulations! Go in Peace!

The Marriage Ceremony for
Deanna Esposito and Christopher Gilbert
Pittsfield Country Club
Pittsfield, Massachusetts

Prelude: “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring”

Processional: “Here Comes The Bride”

OPENING REMARKS:

Today, we have come to be with Deanna & Christopher as they join in marriage and to celebrate with them, the making of a very special commitment. The essence of this commitment is the taking of another person as friend, companion, and lover.
Marriage is one of the most sacred obligations that any two people can share and be responsible for in their lifetime. Marriage offers the greatest challenges to overcome, but, in return, marriage gives us love, strength, and the support of one another.
A strong marriage is dependent on many factors. Beyond the love and respect a couple shares for one another, there must be a strong sense of loyalty that bonds them together. And above all, a true friendship, and a willingness to communicate with one another is essential to a successful marriage.
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WORDS TO THE COUPLE:
Deanna and Christopher I believe that it was no accident that your souls have been drawn together for this lifelong sacred journey. 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 of each others happiness are something you’ve never compromised. 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…..
Deanna and Christopher, one of the greatest blessings you can give to one another is the willingness to support each others growth; growth and 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 it’s beauty is in having someone with whom to explore and discover it. When you look into each others eyes, may you not only see the love you have for one another, but all your hopes and dreams of tomorrow, and you may find something to treasure in every moment you are together.

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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 your future.

A READING: for the Epistle to the Corinthians 1:13
Though I speak with the tongues of men and angels, If I am without love, then I am a sounding gong or a clanging cymbal. I might have the gift of prophecy and know every hidden truth; I may have the faith strong enough to move mountains; but if I do not have love, I am nothing.
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.
There is nothing that love cannot face; there is no limit to it’s faith, it’s hope, and it’s endurance. Love will never come to an end.

(lighting of the unity candles by our Mothers)
Music

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STATEMENT OF INTENTIONS:
Deanna and Christopher, have you come here freely and without reservation to give yourselves to each other in marriage? WE HAVE.
Will you love each other as husband and wife for the rest of your lives? WE WILL.

CONSENT:
Since it is your intention to enter into marriage, join your hands and declare your consent before God and the people gathered here today before you.

THE WEDDING VOWS:
(the couple now turns and faces each other holding hands) Repeat after the Reverend:

“I take you, Christopher, to be my husband, to love and cherish, to comfort and respect. I give myself to you, the good, with the bad, to build our lives together, to share our future, whatever it may bring. I will open my heart to you always; to listen, to try to understand, to laugh and to enjoy, to be your best friend. With my whole heart and complete devotion, I pledge my love to you.”

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” I take you, Deanna, to be my wife, to love and cherish, to comfort and respect. I give myself to you, the good, with the bad, to build our lives together, to share our future, whatever it may bring. I will open my heart to you always; to listen, to try to understand, to laugh and to enjoy, to be your best friend. With my whole heart and complete devotion, I pledge my love to you.”
BLESSING AND EXCHANGING OF THE RINGS:
Lord, bless and consecrate Deanna and Christopher in their love for each other. May these rings be a symbol of true faith in each other, and always remind them of their love.
Christopher: In the presence of the Lord and those before Deanna, take this ring as a sign of my love and fidelity.
Deanna: In the presence of the Lord and those before Christopher, take this ring as a sign of my love and fidelity.

(Bride and Groom light unity candle)
PRONOUNCEMENT:
With blessings of all the family and friends who present, and by the privilege entrusted to me by the Commonwealth and God, I most happily pronounce that you are now husband and wife.

The Wedding Service
For
MIKAL DALY AND BENJAMIN DAVIS
Dunes West Isle of Palms, SC
August 16th , 2008
The Rev. Peter E. Lanzillotta, Ph.D.
Prelude
Processional: Vivaldi “Spring”
Canon in D Pacebel

Q: Who gives this woman to be married to this man? “Her mother and I do.”

Opening Words & Welcome:
In marriage, two people turn to one another in search of a greater fulfillment than neither can achieve alone. It is through such dedication, that a lasting devotion allows love to grow and strengthen. It is our common wish, and it is our shared prayer, that Ben and Mikal will have such faith in one another, and the confidence in themselves to nurture consistently the new life they have chosen- as husband and wife.
Today, Mikal and Ben have stopped thinking of themselves as only individuals, and instead, have begun to think of themselves as something larger, something greater. But this day is not just for them, nor is just about them. Each of you, Ben and Mikal’s family, are an important part of their lives. They wish to acknowledge this reality, and to thank each of you wholeheartedly for all that you have given them over the years. They are deeply honored that you are here, and for how much you care about them, and for their happiness. Thank You!
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Both Mikal and Ben realize that a good marriage requires work and a lasting commitment from both partners. It requires compromise without surrender; it needs a dedication that doesn’t waver and it requires love that gives a more unconditional support. In short, it is placing the good of the relationship above all else. It is holding on to one another through thick and thin.

Irish Blessing- Colin Daly
Scriptural Reading:
Before we continue with the vows, I would like to take a moment to read a passage that Mikal and Ben chose as an expression of what love means to them. St. Paul said it best when he describes the qualities of love, and the gifts of love in these words:
” Love is patient. Love is kind and envies no one. Love is never boastful, not conceited, nor rude; never selfish, nor quick to take offense. Love keeps no score of wrongs; does not gloat over other ones sins, but only delights in the truth. There is nothing that love cannot face; there is no limit to its faith, its hope or its endurance… a few words there are three things that will last forever: faith, hope, and love; but the greatest of these things is love.”

Wedding Vows:
Of the many ways each of you could choose to define yourselves, remember that your actions to and for one another will best define those qualities that are most successful in marriage. In loving, we touch the feelings and the values that are both the most human and the most holy.

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Ben, you have asked Mikal to be your wife.
Do you promise to love her, comfort her, honor and keep her, in sickness and in health; and forsaking all others, to be faithful to her as long as you both shall live? “I Do”
Mikal, you have accepted Ben to be your husband.
Do you promise to love him, comfort him, honor and keep him, in sickness and in health; and forsaking all others, to be faithful to him as long as you both shall live? “I Do.”

Please repeat after me…
I, Benjamin, take you Mikal, to be my lawfully wedded wife, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish so long as we both shall live…

I, Mikal, take you, Benjamin, to be my lawfully wedded husband, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish so long as we both shall live…

Blessing and Exchange of Rings:
Q: What do you offer to one another as a sign of your enduring love and loyalty? “THESE RINGS”

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Lord, bless and consecrate Mikal and Benjamin in their love for each other. May these rings be a symbol of true faith in each other, and always remind them of their love.

Benjamin : “In token and pledge of the vow made between us, with this ring, I thee wed; in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen”

Mikal : “In token and pledge of the vow made between us, with this ring, I thee wed; in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen”

Reception of Consent:
“You have declared your consent before the Lord and these people. May the Lord in His goodness, strengthen your consent and fill you both with His blessing. As it has been written in the book of Genesis: What God has joined together, no man put asunder.”

Now, by the power vested in me by the State of South Carolina, I pronounce that you are now you husband and wife. You may now kiss the bride! Congratulations! Live with Joy, and Go In Peace

Recessional: All You Need Is Love

The Wedding Service
for
Laura Phibbs and Thomas Inman November 1, 1997
The Wrigley Mansion
Phoenix, Arizona 4:30 PM

I. Processional and Presentation

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

A wedding, is when two, inspired to be as one, gather together their friends and family, to publicly acknowledge and affirm the love they share. Thomas and Laura have invited you to be here with them today, in the presence of God, to see and to know the love they have for each other. To This Moment In Time,
they offer the fullness of their hearts as a treasure to share with one another.
To This Moment In Time they offer the dreams which continue to bind them together. And To This Moment In Time they offer that particular personality and spirit uniquely their own, from which their future will blossom together.
When a husband and wife are united in heart, in body and in mind, the most wonderful ingredients of life are added to them as intended by God.
A True marriage is the type of relationship which can only really be entered into with great reverence, and with a gratitude for all that has come before and for whatever will unfold. It has been said that no person should ever attend a wedding without giving thanks to God for the institution of marriage itself and so I I take this moment out now to invite each and every one of you to renew this ideal in your heart of what marriage means to you what vows mean to you,
so that you might more closely share in this marriage as you witness them being taken for the first time by Thomas and Laura.

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A Prayer for a Holy Occasion:

Let us now bring our hearts together, and come into a sense of being in the Oneness …
Let us allow God’s joy and peace to flow through our hearts as fully as it can flow, as it desires to flow. We are so grateful to be here to witness the celebration of the union of Thomas & Laura and we ask that the Light and grace of the Holy Spirit surround, fill, guide and protect them and be with each of us here this afternoon …. allowing only that which is of the Highest Good to come forward. With humility, we call ourselves forward into your presence now, as we are willing to be healed and made whole in our own consciousness. Holy God, we ask you to bless Thomas and Laura; May your Love, your Light and your Wisdom be the guiding power through their lives as husband and wife. We ask this in and through the Power of the your Presence that dwells within and among us all.
And so it is, Amen.

Charge to the Bride and Groom

Thomas & Laura, your desire to marry is one of the greatest opportunities a person could ever consider, because it is an opportunity, a invitation from God to participate in the deepest and most intimate relationship on Earth.
This opportunity will allow you to attain and maintain such closeness as you make and keep this commitment in your heart and between yourselves.
As separate individuals who are choosing to be together, to give to each other freely and gladly for the sake of sustaining your love, you have made it know that you want to be united in true marriage. I ask you now that if either of you is aware of any reason why you should not join together and come into this marriage, that you declare it now. Pause.

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Declaration of Acceptance

Laura, we now stand in the presence of God , and these witnesses, and I ask that you declare your commitment now to true marriage with Thomas and do you choose him be your beloved partner and to love him always?
Do you give your self to him and receive the blessed gift of self which he offers you? Do you pledge your commitment to endure any challenges whatsoever that may arise for the sake of your beloved relationship? “I DO”

Thomas, in the presence of God and I ask you, do you declare your commitment now to true marriage with Laura and choose her to be your beloved partner and to love her always? Do you give your self to her and receive the blessed gift of self which she offers you? Do you pledge your commitment to endure any challenges whatsoever that may arise for the sake of your beloved relationship? “I DO”

Homily/Message

At a wedding such as this it is an opportunity to rejuvenate our own loving. When Thomas & Laura make their promises to each other, those of you who are married can remember how you felt On your own wedding day… You are invited to take the opportunity here with us to renew your vows and reaffirm the commitment involved. Those of us who are not married can contemplate what marriage really is, and pay tribute to the ingredients you deem necessary for a loving marriage. In the larger sense, when I have think about it we are all married because to be alive, or to live one’s life means that we are constantly in relationship: to others, our families, friends, our culture, nature, and to ourselves. Each is its own special, active and lifelong commitment. The very nature of love is such that it is not static. At any given point in time, Love can be present, growing, expanding, and deepening among us.

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Thomas & Laura, I feel that it has been no accident that your two souls have been drawn together for the opportunity to share your lives together. Marriage is the blessing of being together, of choosing loving and living each day to the breadth, and depth a heart can hold. The real and most sincere marriage is a remarkable way of discovering just how deep and how unconditional true love really is.
Thomas and Laura, marriage is a companionship of confidence. It is a companionship of respect and of deep trust and of spirituality that you have chosen to live with each other this day forward. may this always be a profound blessing and joyous blessing for you both..
Today, Thomas and Laura have stopped thinking of themselves as only individuals, and instead started thinking of themselves as part of something greater. They have grown to appreciate the nearness and intimacy that comes from being friends. but this day is not just about them, for it is also about each of you, their loved ones, their dear friends and family members. Thomas & Laura acknowledge and salute each and every one of you here for all that you have given of yourselves over the years. They are deeply honored that you are here and that you care the way you do. Thank You.

Exchange of Vows

Thomas and Laura, please turn, face one another and join hands Please repeat these words after me….:

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“From this day forward, I, Laura take you, Thomas, to be my lawful wedded husband, to have and to hold, for better or for worse, in sickness and in health until death do us part.”
” From this day forward I, Thomas, take you, Laura, to be my lawful wedded wife, to have and to hold, for better or for worse, in sickness and in health until death do us part.”

Ring Blessing and Ring Exchange
Do you have the rings?
Let us Pray… Holy God, The One Reality that all lives and all hearts share, we ask for a special blessing upon these rings; a blessing that uplifts and supports both the giver and the receiver; that they will ever abide in Your good purposes, and be ever conscious of Your Love which mirrors and reflects their true selves, and all that they can share with each other. Amen
May these rings always be a reminder to you both, of this hope and this prayer; may you wear these rings as a symbol of these vows for the outside world to witness and to honor.
Brides Ring to Groom: Groom puts ring on bride’s finger and repeats these words: “WITH THIS RING, I THEE WED.”
Groom’s Ring to Bride: Bride puts ring on groom’s finger and repeats these words: WITH THIS RING ,I THEE WED.

Pronouncement
Thomas and Laura, in as much as I have witnessed your consent together in bonds of matrimony before God and each person present, by the authority vested m me through the State of Arizona, with honor and delight, now officially pronounce you HUSBAND and WIFE….
You may kiss the Bride! Introduction: Allow me to present to you, in great joy and happiness, for the first time, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Inman…. Congratulations…. Go in peace…

The Wedding of Christina Martin and Benjamin Catt
The Unitarian Church in Charleston
March 24, 2007 at 5:00pm
Presiding Clergy: The Reverend Peter Edward Lanzillotta, Ph.D.

1. Processional (seating of the mothers & grandmothers): Air, from “Suite in D”-Johann Sebastian Bach

2. Processional of the Bridal party & Bride: Canon in D-Johann Sebastian Bach

3. Greeting/Opening Words: The Rev. Peter E. Lanzillotta

Welcome everyone… Today we come together to witness a precious union between two people. It is through such a union we can discover the very essence of the human capacity to love, honor, and respect another human being.
Christina and Benjamin would like to thank all of you for coming here today to share this celebration with them. They would also like to remember those who are no longer with them, but who reside in their hearts always. The history you bring together for them, as their friends and as members of their families, defines much of who they are as individuals, and what they can become as a couple. Each of you has unselfishly given of yourselves. You have helped them to arrive here today as happy, healthy, and loving people, willing and ready to share their lives together.
With and through these intimate associations of the past, they have been given a solid foundation for a lasting marriage. The love and friendship which has surrounded them has led them to this turning point – the ceremony of marriage, from which they will begin to create their united future.

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At this time, Christy and Ben would like to acknowledge their parents. You have given them the affection and encouragement to arrive here today in peace, ready to follow in your loving examples. You have provided them with your caring support, everlasting guidance, constant strength and openhearted understanding. From you, they have learned of love, and for this they are forever grateful.

Both sets of parents stand: (followed by lighting of the unity candle)
Minister: “Parents, are you willing, now and always to support and strengthen this marriage by upholding both Christina and Benjamin with your love and concern?”

Parents: “We are” (Mothers light the Unity Candle)

Minister: “Will Kimberly and Mary please come up and light the candles?” Thank you.

Words to the couple:
Christy and Ben, 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. Your dreams are something you’ve never compromised, and that has never been truer than now.
Let the desire to love and uphold peace rule in your hearts…. Christy and Ben, one of the greatest blessings you can give to one another is the willingness to support each other’s spiritual 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 fears diminish.
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Real love is something beyond the warmth and glow, the excitement and romance of being deeply in love. It is caring as much about the welfare and happiness of your marriage partner as about your own. But real love is not total absorption in each other; it is looking outward in the same direction—together. Love makes burdens lighter, because you divide them. It makes joys more intense because you share them. It makes you stronger so you can reach out and become more involved with life if ways you dared not risk alone.
The excitement of the future lies in the mystery it holds, and its beauty is having something with whom to explore it. When you look into each other’s eyes, may you see not only your love for one another, but all your hopes and dreams of tomorrow, and may you find something to treasure in every moment you are together.

1st Reading: Read by: Bernadette McCabe; 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 a blaring brass or crashing cymbals. If I have the gift of foretelling the future, and hold in my mind all of human knowledge, and if I have that absolute faith which can move mountains, but have no love, I amount to nothing…
This love of which I 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, no dashing of its hope; it can outlast anything. It is, in fact, the one thing that still stands when all else has fallen.”

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2nd Reading: read by Erin Donnelly; The Prophet, On Marriage

You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore. You shall be together when the wings of death scatter your days. Ay, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God. But let there be spaces in your togetherness, And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.

Love one another, but make not a bond of love: Let it be rather 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 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.

3rd Reading: a poem by Lori Rizzo; read by Lori Rizzo

TBD

Unison Prayer: The Lord’s Prayer

Musical piece to follow prayer: “Fire and Ice”, Ben Harper
Andy Snyder on guitar; Tom Hynes vocalist

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Statement of Intention:

“Christina and Benjamin, you have come together so that the Lord may seal and strengthen your love in His presence, In the presence of your families and in the presence of your friends. The Lord abundantly blesses this love. He now enriches you and strengthens you so that you may assume the duties of marriage in mutual and lasting fidelity. And so in the presence of the Lord and the people gathered here before you, I ask you to state your intentions.”

Christina and Benjamin, have you come here freely and without reservation, to give yourselves to each other in marriage? We have
Will you love each other as husband and wife for the rest of your lives? We will
Will you accept children lovingly from God, and bring them up according to the laws of God? We will

Wedding Vows:

(Benjamin to Repeat) I, Benjamin, take you Christina, to be my wife, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, until death do us part.”

(Christina to repeat) I, Christina, take you Benjamin, to be my husband, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, until death do us part.”

Reception of Consent:

“You have declared your consent before the Lord and these people. May the Lord in His goodness, strengthen your consent and fill you both with His blessing. As it has been written in the book of Genesis: What God has joined together, no man put asunder.”

Blessing and Exchange of Rings

Pastor: Lord, bless and consecrate Christina and Benjamin in their love for each other. May these rings be a symbol of true faith in each other, and always remind them of their love.

Benjamin: “In token and pledge of the vow made between us, with this ring, I thee wed; in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen”

Christina: “In token and pledge of the vow made between us, with this ring, I thee wed; in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen”

Unity Candle

“Earlier in the service, the mother’s lit candles that signify the tradition, heritage, and generations of the family that are being united at this wedding ceremony. Each marriage represents a blending and a unifying of families, and the light of these two candles represents the gifts and graces that these two families can now give and share with each other, and offer to the new generation to come. Now, Christina and Benjamin will light the candle of unity in marriage. This act symbolizes the spirit and the future of a new family that they begin here tonight.”
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Wedding Prayer/Blessing:

Holy Father, Christina and Benjamin have chosen each other and have promised each other their love and devotion and have symbolized this by exchanging rings. May all that life brings to them strengthen that bond they have declared this day. May all their loved ones, those present and those unable to be here, continue to rejoice in the love that has united them. May they be comfort and joy, counsel and strength to each other. May the home they build shed its peace on them and all who seek shelter with them. May the importance of being married inspire Christina and Benjamin with new energy and invigorate them throughout their lives. We ask this through our Lord. Amen

Pronouncement:

Benjamin and Christina, by the power vested in me, I now pronounce you husband and wife. You may kiss the bride.

Family and friends I present to you:

Mr. Benjamin & Mrs. Christina Catt

Recessional: 1.Wedding March from “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”
2. Trumpet Voluntary
3. Spring from “Seasons”

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