Non-Religious. Love Can Be One of the Highest Experiences

MARRIAGE CEREMONY # 5
Love can be one of the highest experiences

GREETING AND OPENING REMARKS

Family and friends of __________ GROOM and __________ BRIDE, we are gathered here to join together this man and woman in matrimony, which is an honorable estate among all people, and therefore is not to be entered into lightly, but reverently, discreetly and advisedly.

Both __________ GROOM and __________ BRIDE wish to make a public statement regarding their relationship. Insomuch as they have given a great deal of thought as to whether they have sufficient maturity and commitment to share their lives in marriage, what they say and do here in our presence reflects the honesty and integrity of the decision and the genuine love that they bring to it.

Love can be one of the highest experiences that comes to humankind. At its best, it reduces our selfishness, deepens our personalities, and makes life far more meaningful. The day to day companionship, the pleasure in doing things together, or in doing separate things but delighting to exchange experiences, is a continuous and central part of what a man and a woman who love each other can share.

All significant experiences are of concern to our fellow men and women. Two people in love do not line in isolation from the wider embraces of humanity; for love is a way of being with the world. So it is that the institution of marriage is ordained as a public recognition of the private experience of love and as a sanctifying of its greatest purposes.

Love is so selfless that it never gets irritated or upset; it never keeps books on the wrongs done. Love is never glad for the failure of the other, but rather, with understanding, forgiveness and trust, builds the other up.

Love is not for the half-hearted or the sentimental. To live by love is one of the most difficult things to do. It takes the most strength, the most discipline, the most commitment, and the most faith of anything in this life. But, without love, we are nothing.

I remind you that marriage holds each of you to obligations and responsibilities. Marriage is an institution. Marriage is the foundation of the family and society. Marriage is a noble bond of human life.

Marriage is a contract, and agreement, a commitment to each other to share with the other life itself, the joys, the sadness, the successes and the tragedies, forever. _____________ and ____________, knowing these things, is it the wish and desire of you both that we proceed with this marriage? If so, please answer YES.

VOWS

(TO THE GROOM) __________, will you have this woman to be your wedded wife? Will you love her, comfort her, honor her and keep her, in sickness and in health, forsaking all others, keeping yourself only unto her so long as you both shall live? “I WILL”

(TO THE BRIDE) __________, will you have this man to be your wedded husband? Will you love him, comfort him, honor him and keep him, in sickness and in health, forsaking all others, keeping yourself only unto him so long as you both shall live? “I WILL”

DECLARATION

Please join hands and face each other, and repeat after me.

(TO THE GROOM) I, __________ GROOM, take you, ___________ BRIDE, 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 cherish, until death do us part.

(TO THE BRIDE) I, __________ BRIDE, take you, __________ GROOM, 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 cherish, until death do us part.

EXCHANGE OF RINGS

(TO THE GROOM) As you place the ring on her finger, please repeat after me. This ring I give you as a symbol of my love, devotion and respect.

(TO THE BRIDE) As you place the ring on his finger, please repeat after me. This ring I give you as a symbol of my love, devotion and respect.

The exchange of rings is meant to show your mutual love for each other, and to remind yourselves of the obligations that you have assumed toward each other today in our presence.

CLOSING REMARKS AND PRONOUNCEMENT

May these two people, now married, fulfill this covenant which they have made. May they openly give and take from each other, encouraging each other in whatever trials may befall them, sharing in each other’s joys, helping each other as each occasion requires. Having grown to trust themselves and each other, may they be unafraid to trust and welcome life’s experiences.

Insomuch as _____________and ____________have consented together to be married and have witnessed the same before this company, [and have declared the same by the giving and receiving of rings] I now pronounce them husband and wife.

You may now kiss the bride.

Ladies and Gentlemen I introduce Mr. and Mrs. _________________