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Jennifer E. Thomas
j3nny3lf
...... .:::.:.:

Waterfalls
It's almost like there are these periods where our relationship is smooth and steady, and then there are times when it's like standing on the edge of this gorgeous, wonderful waterfall and just letting yourself drop, knowing that there's a safe pool of water ready to catch you at bottom. You take the plunge and you're in wayyyy over your head, but oh man, it's exhilarating, it's breathtaking, it's just incredible and you feel better than you ever have before and the water is cool and refreshing and exactly what you needed.

Sam is my waterfall.

- LJ entry from 8/2005





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Wedding vows

Sam and I found a site with some really beautiful wedding ceremonies on it. We're going to combine a couple of elements from a couple of the ceremonies,

Minister:

Welcome. Today is a very special day. We are celebrating the marriage of (Bride’s Name) and (Groom’s Name). A day that they proclaim their love and commitment to each other.

Today is a celebration for the rest of us as well, for it is a pleasure for us to see love in bloom, to participate in the wedding of two people so suited to one another. Therefore, (Groom’s Name) and (Bride’s Name), we thank you. You’ve brightened our day and shown us that love can bloom, that marriage is a worthy enterprise when happy, open- hearted people enter into it joyously.

Let us open with a prayer.

Dear God, fill this space with your supreme light and love. May your Divine grace pour through our hearts to infuse this ceremony with joy and magic. May your blessings fall on (Bride’s Name) and (Groom’s Name) today and always and may you remain in their hearts and provide the guidance necessary for them to grown closer to you and to each other in their journey together. Amen.

We always marvel at how small the world is, even when it seems so vast. (Bride’s Name) and (Groom’s Name) meeting is a unique and divine orchestration of the universe, entering each other’s lives at just the right moment, each having been prepared by the experiences of their lives.

The happiness they have today is built on the ordinary life they’ve shared together since then. Unlike a young love that burns like a brilliant fire and produces bitterness and sadness as the flames diminish, their relationship has burned slowly and steadily, like coal, giving them time to find peace and comfort with calmness that comes after the excitement of first love.



Guests’ Vow of Commitment

Minister:

You have been invited here today because this couple feels close to you. It is with you they share their joys, accomplishments and dreams, for both themselves and their future. They also share their concerns and fears and turn to you for advice and support. When giving counsel, remember the promises they will make today, and encourage them to grow together through challenging times. (Bride’s Name) and (Groom’s Name) ask that you not just witness the ceremony, but participate fully with your thoughts and prayers.

If you agree that you will do so, respond by saying, “I will.”

Guests’ Response:

I will.



The Commitment of Marriage

Minister:

It is written in Ecclesiastes that it is better not to vow than to make a vow and not fulfill it. That vow that (Bride’s Name) and (Groom’s Name) make today is to give their love to each other freely, unconditionally, self-sacrificially. Making this choice is extraordinary. Making and keeping that choice again and again, day after day, is nothing short of miraculous.

(Groom’s Name) and (Bride’s Name), I remind you that the God who brought you together and nurtured this relationship is the key to your success as a married couple. May you allow into your marriage this presence, which shall guide your thinking and actions. Call on Him consistently and often.

When differences present themselves, take counsel together in secret, lest others magnify a speck into a mountain. Harbor not in your hearts any grievance, but rather explain its nature to each other with such frankness and understanding that it will disappear, leaving no remembrance. Let there be no secrets one from another. Choose fellowship and amenity and turn away from jealousy and hypocrisy.

The bond that unites hearts most perfectly is loyalty. True lovers once united must show forth the utmost faithfulness to one another. You must dedicate your knowledge, talents, fortunes, bodies, and spirits to God and to each other.

Your thoughts must become lofty, your ideals luminous, your minds spiritual, so that your soul may become a dawning place for the Sun of Reality. Let your hearts be like two pure mirrors reflecting the stars of the heaven of love and beauty.

Make your home a haven of rest and peace, a place of happiness for all who enter it, where the old and the young are renewed in each other’s company; a place for music and for laughter, for growing and sharing, for prayer and love.

GROOM'S NAME and BRIDE'S NAME, we live at a time when very little in life is considered sacred. One thing must remain so, however, or all the world disintegrates. That is and shall be, an agreement between two people. This day we celebrate a sacred agreement between the two of you.

I congratulate you on the journey of your lives, on the strength and courage it has taken for each of you to make your way to this place. Both of you have found a way to put away childish things and embrace a very serious love. You receive on this day the blessings thereof, for yourselves and all the world.

We live in times that are beset with problems. This marriage is not to be an escape from the world, but indeed it is to be a commitment to greater service to the world. You shall not exclude the world but include it in your love. Together, in this marriage, you shall contribute more fully, for you shall be more full.

BRIDE'S NAME, GROOM'S NAME is God’s gift to you, 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 by God to see the good in this man, to accept him for who he is and who he shall be, that thus he might be healed and made strong. In this way, God’s purpose shall be accomplished in this relationship. May this man find, literally, the kingdom of heaven through the love you share.

And so it is with you also, GROOM'S NAME, that although BRIDE'S NAME 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 there is one on whose love she can depend forever.

Our prayer for both of you is that you might find in each other’s love such profound acceptance and total release, that together you might experience the forgiveness that shall free the world. May you create, with God, a piece of heaven on earth. Into a darkened world the Lord has sent your love for one another, accomplished between you, the miracle that will heal us all.

Exchange of Vows

Bride and Groom to turn and hold hands, facing each other

MINISTER:

Do you GROOM'S NAME take BRIDE'S NAME to be your wife – to live together after God’s ordinance – in the holy estate of matrimony? Will you love her, comfort her, honor and keep her, in sickness and in health, for richer, for poorer, for better, for worse, in sadness and in joy, to cherish and continually bestow upon her your heart’s deepest devotion, forsaking all others, keep yourself only unto her as long as you both shall live?

GROOM:

I will.

MINISTER:

Do you BRIDE'S NAME take GROOM'S NAME to be your husband – to live together after God’s ordinance – in the holy estate of matrimony? Will you love him, comfort him, honor and keep him, in sickness and in health, for richer, for poorer, for better, for worse, in sadness and in joy, to cherish and continually bestow upon him your heart’s deepest devotion, forsaking all others, keep yourself only unto him as long as you both shall live?


BRIDE:

I will.

Exchange of Rings

Minister:

Do you each have a ring to offer the other as a token of the vows you have made here today? (Rings are presented to Minister.)

These rings symbolize all the circles we dance through out lives. The circle symbolizes the continuity of life, the never-ending nature of the universe and the constancy of this couple’s love for one another.

(Groom’s Name), (Bride’s Name) is God’s gift to you but she is not a gift 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 world might be blessed by her presence. May she know, from now on, that there is one on who love she can depend forever. By placing this ring on (Bride’s Name) finger, you accept this to be true.

Groom places ring on Bride’s finger

Minister:

And so it is with you also (Bride’s Name), that although (Groom’s Name) is God’s gift to you, he is not a gift intended 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 by God to see the good in this man, to accept him for who he is and who he shall be, that through your love he might be healed and made strong. In this way God’s purpose shall be accomplished in this relationship. May this man find the kingdom of heaven through the love you share. By placing this on (Groom’s Name) finger, you accept this to be true.

Vow of Commitment to Stepchild

Minister:

Today you join your lives together and begin a new family. The circle and substance of family is not made by blood alone but by love, respect and commitment. Indeed, the circle of family made by choice can be as stronger or stronger than that of blood.

(Bride or Groom’s Name), as you have made promises to (Bride or Groom’s Name), you also enter a covenant with (Stepchild/ren Names). Do you have a token of this covenant to offer?

(Bride or Groom’s Name)

I do.

Stepchild/ren to come forward

Minister:

(Bride or Groom’s Name), please repeat after me:

“I promise to always to treat you with love and respect. I promise to foster my relationship with you and always be there for you in any way I can. I promise to support you in your relationship with both your mother and father and I promise always to listen. I also promise always to treat your parent with love and respect and model for you a healthy, loving and supportive relationship with the belief that one day you too will find such happiness in love.”

Minister:

May I have the ring(s) please?

(Bride or Groom’s Name), as you place this ring on your stepchild’s finger, please repeat after me:

“Please accept this ring as promise of my friendship, love and loyalty.” (in place of rings, we will be giving the children leis)

The Blessing

Minister:

Let mutual love and respect be the foundation of this family. Let them be as one, living, loving and growing together, dancing and singing together, laughing and crying together, and let no secrets divide the circle of family.

Let us bow our heads in prayer.

Heavenly Father, out of this whole world these two souls have found each other. Their destinies shall now be woven into one design and their perils and their joys shall not be known apart.

May those who are nearest to them be constantly enriched by the beauty and the bounty of your love for them and their love for each other. May their work be a joy that serves the world and may their days be good and long upon the earth.

Bless this couple and their married life. May they minimize each other’s weaknesses, be swift to magnify and praise each other’s points of strength, and see each other through a lover’s kind and patient eyes. May they never take their love for granted but find reasons to thank you for the gift of each other.

May they serve happily, faithfully together and when the sun is setting and life is over, may they be found then as they are now, hand in hand, until at last one shall lay the other into your peaceful arms. Amen.

Minister:

We recognize with full awareness that only a couple can administer the sacraments of marriage to each other, and only a couple can sanctify it, declaring what only two hearts can declare, and what only two souls can make real.

And so now, inasmuch as you (Groom’s Name) and you (Bride’s Name) have announced the truths that are already in your hearts, and have witnessed the same in the presence of your family, friends and God, we observe joyfully that you have declared yourself, and pronounced by me, to be husband and wife. What God has put together, let no man tear asunder.

(Groom’s Name), you may kiss your Bride.



It needs some editing to personalize it a bit more and make it a bit shorter, but overall, that boils down to what we want in our ceremony. Opinions are welcome.

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Borderline symptom of the day: hopefulhopeful