Civil03

CIVIL WEDDING CEREMONY #3

BridalVows.ca

A NEW LEVEL

PRESENTATION OF THE BRIDE
Who is it that brings this woman to this man? / Who gives this woman in marriage? “I do”

OPENING WORDS
We are gathered here today, to witness the beginning of a new level of commitment and devotion in the lives of two people who are very important to us. By our presence here, we all accept responsibility for helping _(Bride)_  and _(Groom)_ and for encouraging them in the new relationship into which they are about to enter. We are called to rejoice with them in their happiness and to help them when they have trouble.

TO COUPLE
Marriage is a supreme sharing experience, and an adventure in the most intimate of human relationships.
It is the joyous union of two people whose companionship and mutual understanding have flowered in romance. Today _(Bride)_ and _(Groom)_ proclaim their love and commitment to the world, and we gather here to rejoice, with and for them, in the new life they now undertake together.

The joy we feel now is a solemn joy, because the act of marriage has many consequences, both social and personal. Marriage requires “love,” a word we often use with vagueness and sentimentality.
We may assume that love is some rare and mystical event, when in fact it is our natural state of being.

So what do we mean by love? When we love, we see things other people do not see. We see beneath the surface, to the qualities which make our beloved one special and unique. To see with loving eyes, is to know inner beauty. And to be loved is to be seen, and known, as we are known to no other. One who loves us, gives us a unique gift: a piece of ourselves, but a piece that only they could give us.

We who love, can look at each other’s life and say, “I touched his life,” or, “I touched her life,” just as an artist might say, “I touched this canvas.” “Those brushstrokes on the canvas of this magnificent mural, those are mine. I was a part of this life, and it is a part of me.”

Marriage is to belong to each other through a unique and diverse collaboration, like two threads crossing in different directions, yet weaving one tapestry together. The secret of success in love and marriage is the emergence of the larger self. It is the finding of one’s life by losing it. Such is the privilege of husband and wife – to be each himself, herself and yet lost in another, to face the world strong, with the courage of two. To make this relationship work, therefore, takes more than love. It takes trust – to know in your hearts that you want only the best for each other. It takes dedication – to stay open to one another, to learn and grow, even when it is difficult to do so. And it takes faith – to go forward together without knowing what the future holds for you both.
While love should be our natural state of being, these other qualities are not as easy to come by.
They are not a destination, but a journey.

The true art of married life is an inner spiritual journey. It is a mutual enrichment, a give and take between two personalities, a mingling of two endowments which diminishes neither, but enhances both. I would like to read to you a poem about this mingling, called “Married Love,” which was written by a medieval poet about seven hundred years ago. In the English translation, it reads:

You and I
Have so much love,
That it burns like a fire,
In which we bake a lump of clay
Molded into a figure of you
And a figure of me.
Then we take both of them,
And break them into pieces,
And mix the pieces with water,
And mold again a figure of you and a figure of me.
I am in your clay.
You are in my clay.

As the poem shows, mingling in marriage is a mutual dedication, a cooperative venture in every sense.
It is a relationship based on love, respect, and a determination by both partners to adjust to each other and support one another, in health and in sickness, in joy and in sadness, in ease and in hardship.

Through this co-operation, we give ourselves, our lives and love, into the hands of the one we love.
We do so trustingly and generously. And so, each of us receives a gift: the life and love of the other.
We receive this gift, not only from the one we love, but also from the parents who brought us into the world, and from our friends and families as well.

TO GUESTS
And so, as _(Bride)_ and _(Groom)_ ‘s friends and family, we are here to share with them this joy and hope, and to see them off on the path they will walk together. May it be a path of blessedness, bright with flowers of prosperity and spiritual awakening; a path of ever deepening, ever broadening love that they will travel, arm in arm.

DECLARATION

_(Bride)_ and _(Groom)_, if you know any reason why you may not be legally married, I ask you to declare it now.

OR

_(Bride)_ and _(Groom)_, if there is any reason why you may not lawfully be married, I charge you now to declare it? For the marriage covenant must be made in a spirit of honesty and openness.

OR

_(Bride)_ and _(Groom)_ are about to commit themselves in marriage to each other. If anyone knows of just cause why they may not be lawfully joined in marriage, let them declare it or else forever hold their peace.

THE COMMITMENT
_(Groom)_ and _(Bride)_ , this celebration is the outward token of your sacred and inward union of hearts, which the state make legal, but which the state cannot create nor annul. It is a union created by your loving purpose and kept by your abiding will. It is in this spirit and for this purpose that you have come here to be joined together.

_(Bride)_ , please pass you bouquet to your Maid of Honor.
Face each other, and join hands?

VOWS

_(Groom)_ , would you please repeat after me your wedding vows to your bride?

_(Bride)_ , with joy and in love
I take you to be my wife,
to be the mother of my children,
and the companion of my days.
I promise to share with you
in whatever happiness or sadness,
abundance or want,
adversity or blessing
that may be a part of our lives.
I intend that our lives
should together be woven
into a single tapestry
of love and mutual concern
for as long as we both remain alive.

Now, you as well, _(Bride)_ . Repeat your vows after me to you groom.

_(Groom)_ , with joy and in love
I take you to be my husband,
to be the father of my children,
and the companion of my days.
I promise to share with you
in whatever happiness or sadness,
abundance or want,
adversity or blessing
that may be a part of our lives.
I intend that our lives
should together be woven
into a single tapestry
of love and mutual concern
for as long as we both remain alive.

EXCHANGE OF RINGS
Traditionally, the marking of the passage to marital status of husband and wife is marked by the exchange of rings. These rings are a symbol of the 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.

May I have the rings please?

_(Groom)_ please place the ring on your bride’s finger and repeat your commitment after me to _(Bride)_ .

This ring I give you
represents the unending love
which I pledge to you.
It represents my intention
to honour you with my body
and to share all my worldly goods with you.
May it at all times
visibly serve to remind you
of my solemn vows to you
on this day of our marriage.

Now, _(Bride)_ , as you place your ring on your grooms finger, would you please repeat your commitment after me to _(Groom)_ .

This ring I give you
is an expression of,
and a pledge of
my constant faith
and abiding love.

PRONOUNCEMENT
Inasmuch as you have consented together in this ceremony to live in wedlock and have sealed your vows in the presence of this company and by the giving of these rings, by virtue of the powers vested in me by the Province of Ontario, it gives me great pleasure to pronounce that you are Husband and Wife.

You may kiss the bride!

BLESSING
Now you will feel no rain, for each of you will be the shelter for each other.
Now you will feel no cold, for each of you will be the warmth for the other.
Now you are two persons, but there is only one life before.
Go now to your dwelling to enter into the days of your life together.
And may your days be good and long upon the earth.

SIGNING OF DOCUMENTS

SPECIAL MUSIC

ANNOUNCEMENT

It gives me great delight to introduce Mr. and Mrs. ——— .

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