Ceremony #1


Opening Words
Holy and beautiful is the custom which brings us together today to unite _____ _____ _____ and _____ _____ _____ in marriage. Here in this circle of affection and rejoicing, we hallow a place and a moment for Michael and Jeanne to speak what is in their hearts. No other human ties are more tender, no other vows more sacred, than those these two people shall now assume. They are not to be entered into unadvisedly or lightly, but discreetly, and with due reverence.

Therefore, let it be with solemn joy that we lend our presence to this timeless ritual. As we bear witness to their pledge of love and loyalty, may we renew our own faith in life’s generosity, our own hope for love, and our own power to gladden the lives of others.

Enter now into this celebration, to rejoice in the happiness of this hour, and to honor the love of these two people.

Chalice Lighting
The chalice is a central symbol in the Unitarian Universalist faith which _____and _____ share. As _____ lights the chalice, please join in reading the words printed in your order of service.

May this flame kindle within us
the warmth of compassion,
the glow of love,
the fire of commitment,
and the light of truth.

Community Blessing
No person, no relationship, grows in isolation. We are fed and nurtured and warmed by the dear ones in our lives. And so it is appropriate that Michael and Jeanne have asked you, their family and friends, to share this day with them.

They wish you to be here not only as observers, but as participants, for it is in your company they will live out the covenant they make today. Within this ceremony you will be asked to affirm your support for this relationship, to bless it, and finally, to pronounce that they are indeed husband and wife. I will guide you through your parts. As you participate, please do so with the joy and enthusiasm appropriate to this celebration. Let us now make an affirmation and a blessing.

It is from you, their family and friends, that _____and _____ have learned to give and to value the love and commitment they offer to each other today. With gratitude for what you have taught, they now ask for your blessing. If you are willing, in the days and years ahead, to continue your example, and to support them, in their efforts to increase their commitment and deepen their love, please give your affirmation by saying, “We will.”

(We will)

Rose Ceremony
Amid this ceremony of joy, we remember sorrow, too, for those loved ones in each generation who have died but whose spirits we carry in our hearts. Especially we honor ____’s parents ____________.

To all in the _____ and _____ families, _____and _____ express their appreciation. Imperfect as all families are, these have been places of continuing deep love and care. _____and _____ thank you for your consistency, for your support of their relationship, and for the great welcome each family has given to this new partnership. As a symbol of their gratitude, they offer you roses. Would those named and present please stand.


From Gift From The Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh

A good relationship has a pattern like a dance and is built on some of the same rules. The partners do not need to hold on tightly, because they move confidently in the same pattern, intricate but gay and swift and free, like a country dance by Mozart.

To touch heavily would be to arrest the pattern and freeze the movement, to check the endlessly changing beauty of its unfolding. There is no place here for the possessive clutch, the clinging arm, the heavy hand; only the barest touch in passing.

Now arm in arm, now face to face, now back to back – it does not matter which. Because they know they are partners moving to the same rhythm, creating a pattern together, and being invisibly nourished by it.

The joy of such a pattern, is not only the joy of creation or the joy of participation, it is also the joy of living in the moment. Lightness of touch and living in the moment are intertwined.

_____and _____ each have some words for each other for this occasion. …

Address to Couple/Homily

You never know what questions might change your life. Even a simple question like “What about that short one?” asked during coffee hour after church one Sunday. The asker, I don’t think, ever imagined such a simple question would lead him to the one, finally, he could let in to know his heart and mind. And the short one, she probably didn’t even know about the question at first, but she was ready … ready to be let in, and ready to welcome the right person into that same kind of deep and knowing relationship. With one simple question, a new dance began.

_____and _____, you stand before me and before these gathered loved ones this day to make a pledge of love and faith: Faith in one another, faith in your relationship together, and continuing faith in your own selves as individuals.

To balance these three things – self, relationship, and other – is a grand dance. Like a dance, like a circle, like a question that opens new futures, our lives don’t travel in straight lines or keep an even temperature of happiness. Rather, they swing and they sway.

The essence of this ceremony - of the vows that will make you husband and wife - is your recognition of this natural movement and pattern, and your commitment to each other to work together through the low times, and to revel together in the high times, and to live with some measure of contentment together through the daily-ness of your lives.

Give yourselves fully to this dance of your lives, _____and _____. That is the advice I would give to you today: give yourselves to the dance, to the force that when twirling and spinning, draws you together. Trust that whatever comes, you will meet it as one. And most of all, keep asking questions. There’s no telling what wonderful mysteries will open before you.

Now we come to the moment that is the grand mystery of this day: the exchange of a few words - the making of a covenant - that will bind you to one another and guide your days together.

_____and _____, are you ready to exchange these vows?

Join hands please.

I, _____, take you, _____,
to be my wedded wife/husband/.
To live together in laughter and tears,
in sickness and in health,
in hardship and in ease,
as my wife and equal,
whom I will love and cherish always.

Blessing & Giving of Rings
May I have the rings, please.

The ring, as a circle, is an unending line of unity enclosing all of your lives together. As you give, receive and wear these rings, may you keep everlasting faith with the covenant you make today.

____, please repeat after me as you place the ring on ____ finger
Accept this ring as a sign of my love and trust,
now and in the years to come.

Candle Lighting Ceremony
Just as a circle is an ancient symbol, so too, the lighting of candles is an ancient ceremonial custom.

_____and _____, as you bring your separate identities to this marriage, you are also linking together two families, which, henceforth, are to be interconnected forevermore. So, let this candle-lighting you are about to undertake symbolize the beginning of a new family and the beginning of the new connections between families.

M & J light tapers from previously lighted flaming chalice and then simultaneously proceeds to light a single candle.

Would the congregation please rise and join me in blessing _____and _____ with the responsive reading in your program.

The Blessing (Adapted from an Apache song)
Jill: Now you will feel no rain
All: for each of you will be shelter to the other

Jill: Now you will feel no cold
All: for each will be warmth to the other

Jill: Now there will be no loneliness for you
All: for each will be family to the other

Jill: Now you are two bodies
All: but there is only one life before you

Jill: Go now to your dwelling place
All: and enter your days together

Jill: And may your days be good
All: and long upon the earth

Pronouncement & Kiss

_____and _____, inasmuch as you have freely chosen to unite in marriage, have declared your love and purpose before this gathered assembly, and have made your pledges each to the other, what you desire has come to pass. I ask the congregation to join me in this pronouncement. The words are in your program.

We, your family and friends, now pronounce you husband and wife!

______, you may kiss the bride.


For you, _____and _____, and for all of us:

May life bless us and keep us;
May the light of life
shine upon us,
and out from within us,
and be gracious unto us,
and bring us peace.

For this is the day;
This is the one wild and precious life
we are given;
So let us find a way,
to rejoice,
and be glad in it.


Ceremony #2


If it were possible to begin this ceremony by gathering together all the wishes of happiness for and from all present here . . .
if we could gather together those precious wishes of affection and our very fondest hopes and turn them into music, we would be
listening now to a most inspiring anthem, composed of the most harmonious notes possible to produce.
Even though this is not possible, just speaking of it should assure_________ and_________that our hearts are attuned to theirs in
these moments so meaningful to all of us. For what greater thing is there for two human souls than to feel that they are joined together
to strengthen each other in all labor, to minister to each other in all sorrow, to share with each other in all gladness.

This Affirmation of Love is a personal commitment between these two souls. It is an Affirmation of an important relationship that
exists between two human beings; the construction of their love and trust into a single growing energy. It is a commitment that
requires and deserves daily attention as well as a life-long consecration to the ideal of loving kindness, backed with the will to make it

True love gives nothing but itself and takes nothing from itself.
Love does not possess, nor would it be possessed.
For love is sufficient unto love.
Love has no other desire but to fulfill itself.
To awake at dawn with a winged heart and
Give thanks for another day of loving.
To rest at noon and meditate love's ecstasy;
To return home at eventide with gratitude,
And then to sleep with a prayer for the beloved in your heart
And a song of praise upon your lips.

(Special Readings or thoughts may be added here.)

Please hold hands and __________ repeat after me:
(This is done one line at a time.)
I commit my life to our partnership.
I promise to comfort you,
To encourage you in all walks of life.
I promise to express my thoughts and emotions to you,
And to listen to you in times of joy and in times of sorrow.
I love you, and you are my closest friend.
Will you let me share my life and all that I am with you?

(Partner answers "I will".)

And __________ repeat after me:
(This is done one line at a time.)
I commit my life to our partnership.
I promise to comfort you,
To encourage you in all walks of life.
I promise to express my thoughts and emotions to you,
And to listen to you in times of joy and in times of sorrow.
I love you, and you are my closest friend.
Will you let me share my life and all that I am with you?

(Partner answers "I will".)

What token of your devotion do you offer your beloved?
(rings are handed to minister).

May these rings be blessed as the symbol of this affectionate unity. These two lives are now joined in one unbroken circle. Wherever
they go, may they always return to one another in their togetherness. May these two find in each other the love for which they yearn.
May they grow in understanding and in compassion. May the home which they establish together be such a place of sanctuary that
many will find there a friend. May these rings, on their fingers, symbolize the touch of the spirit of love in the heart.

(Minister hands ring to one)

________, in placing this ring on _______'s finger, repeat after me:
(This is also done one line at a time.)
I give you this ring as the pledge of my love
And as the symbol of our unity." (ring is placed on finger)

(Minister hands second ring to the other)

________, in placing this ring on _______'s finger, repeat after me:
(This is also done one line at a time.)
I give you this ring as the pledge of my love
And as the symbol of our unity." (ring is placed on finger)

Inasmuch as _______ and ________ have affirmed their love together before this company; have pledged their faith and declared their
unity by each giving and receiving a ring -- and are now joined in mutual esteem and devotion, I, as an ordained Minister of the Church of Love and Commitment proclaim this Affirmation of Love.

Now you will feel no rain,
For each of you will be shelter to the other.
Now you will feel no cold,
For each of you will be warmth to the other.
Now there is no more loneliness for you.
Now there is no more loneliness.
Now you are two bodies,
But there is only one life before you.
Go now to your dwelling place,
To enter into the days of your togetherness.
And may your days be good and long upon the earth.

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