Friends, welcome to the wedding of Groom and Bride. Robert Browning has written these loving lines:
Grow old along with me! The best is yet to be,
The last of life, for which the first was made.
Our times are in His hands
Who said, “A Whole I planned;
Youth shows but half.”
Trust God, see all, nor be afraid.
You two have found this love in your so-called ‘sunset years’ and are now desirous of spending all your remaining golden hours together. Therefore, these lines seem most fitting to denote the spirit in which you two are now preparing to make your commitment. This is a covenant of joy, of love and devotion, spoken in the presence of God, your children and your friends.
Nothing is easier than saying words; and, as you know, nothing is more challenging than living the meaning of those words day after day. You have discovered that true love is something beyond the warmth and glow, the excitement and romance of being deeply in love. It is caring – caring as much about the welfare, happiness and spiritual growth of your marriage partner as about your own. True 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 involved with life in ways you dared not risk alone.
Happiness in marriage is not something that just happens. A good marriage must be created.In 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 each day.It is never going to sleep angry.It is never taking the other person for granted. The tenderness of courtship should not end with the honeymoon. It should continue through all the years.
Marriage is having a mutual sense of values and common objectives. It is standing together facing new worlds.It is forming a circle of love that gathers into itself the whole family. It is doing things ‘with’ each other, not in the attitude of duty or sacrifice, but in the spirit of joy. Marriage is speaking words of appreciation and demonstrating gratitude in thoughtful ways. It is not expecting the husband to wear a halo or the wife to have the wings of an angel.It is not looking for perfection in each other. It is cultivating flexibility, patience, understanding and a sense of humor. It is giving each other an atmosphere in which to grow.Marriage is cultivating the capacity to give, and to forgive. It is finding room for things of the spirit.It is a common search for the good and the beautiful. It is establishing a relationship in which independence is equal, dependence is mutual, and obligation is reciprocal. It is not only marrying the right partner, it is ‘being’ the right partner which is the difference between getting married and being married.
Is it difficult? It has its moments! But it offers grand rewards. It provides order and gives resonance to events.It links one day with the next. Best of all, it allows for the great comfort of simplicity – and maybe that is what accounts for the renewed appeal of marriage now, for its intense attraction for men and women who cherish their days, who are emphatic about the quality oftheir moments.Marriage lets us refine out the essential from the trivial, from the paltry. It keeps us from squandering ourselves on petty things. It lets us use ourselves on things that matter, things that make a life.
Will you two now face one another and join hands please.
Groom, in committing yourself to Bride, you must promise to continue to be sensitive to her needs and to listen when she explains their nature. You must promise to be there when she needs you and to do everything in your power to insure her security, happiness and peace of mind.You must promise to share with her your joy of living and be a loving companion. Do you so promise? I do.
Bride, in committing yourself to Groom, you must promise to continue to be sensitive to his needs and to listen when he explains their nature. You must promise to be there when he needs you and to do everything in your power to insure his security, happiness and peace of mind. You must promise to share with him your joy of living and be a loving companion.Do you so promise? I do.
Then you are given each to the other. May I have the ring, please? This ring is a symbol in this, your wedding ceremony, and in your marriage of two things. First, it is made of a material that does not tarnish and this symbolizes your love for one another remaining forever pure and untarnished. Second, it is made in a complete circle, having no beginning and no ending. This, too, symbolizes your love for one another, remaining forever.
So, as you place this ring on the third finger of your Bride’s left hand, please repeat after me: With this ring * I thee wed.* Let it ever be to us a symbol of our eternal love.
And in receiving this ring, would you please repeat after me: With joy I give it place upon my hand. Would you join with me in a moment of prayer? Infinite Father-Mother-God: Bless these two that stand before us now, as they have committed their love and their lives to one another. Be with them in their thoughts, their words and their deeds. Bless their lives with health, with happiness, with peace and prosperity, and with a love that continues to grow and to endure. I give thanks that it is already done. And so it is! Amen.
By the authority vested in me by my church and by the state of __________, I now pronounce you husband and wife! You may kiss each other!