Beloved family and friends, colleagues, accomplices, witnesses, we have come here to celebrate the marriage and the intertwining of the destinies of Michele and Martin, who, through being ruthlessly and wonderfully themselves, have fallen in love and chosen to get married. It is a joyous occasion, for, as George Eliot wrote,
"What greater thing is there for two human souls to feel hat they are joined together for life, to strengthen each other in all joy, to rest on each other in all sorrow, to be with one another in silent unspoken memories?"
Michele and Martin believe that a life mate should be someone for whom you not only care for and love, but also someone with whom you share a real understanding - someone with whom you feel the comfort of being able to say, "finally, someone understands!" and one faithful friend in a sometimes indifferent world. As Plato has written in "The Symposium"
"Original human nature was not like the present but different. The sexes were not as they are now but originally three in number; there was man, woman, and the union of the two....Now when one of them meets his other half, the actual half of himself, the pair are lost in amazement of love and friendship and intimacy...these are people who search their whole lives for each other...the reason is that human nature was originally one and we were a whole, and the desire and pursuit of the whole is called love...human nature will not easily find a better helper than love. And therefore I say that every man ought to honor it, walk in its ways and exhort others to do the same, and praise the the power and the spirit of love, now and ever. "
It is in this spirit that Michele and Martin marry, to celebrate that they found each other despite spending the first part of their lives in different countries, 3000 miles apart, but also because the composite of their experiences has brought them to the place where they are ready to fulfill what is theirs to accomplish in life, to join the forces of their individual spirits, capabilities , and backgrounds for the purpose of accomplishing together and individually what is theirs to do
Ecclesiastes 4:9 -12
"Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow; but woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up. Again if two lie together, they are warm, but how can one be warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him."
In the quiet of this very special moment, we pause to give thanks for all the rich experiences of life that have brought Michele and Martin to this point in their lives. We are especially grateful for the values which have flowed into them from those who have loved and taught them. We are grateful as well for values which they found by their own adventures. We rejoice to see that within them is a great love and a dream to use that love as a resource in creating a home that shall endure. And today as they make their promises to each other, may they make them with the deepest insight into their meaning and with the fullest sincerity.
Expression of Intent
Do you, ______, want to marry ______, to love him (her) and comfort him (her), honor and keep him (her) in sickness and in health, to hold him (her) above all others and have him (her) as your life partner?
Answer: I do.
Vows (Kept secret from each other until now)
Presentation of the Rings
Rings are made precious only by our wearing them. They symbolize the meaning we have given them Your wedding rings are special because they say that you have chosen to be bonded, to allow the presence of another human being to enhance who you are. Your rings carry a potent message: We are individuals and yet we are not alone. As you wear them through time, they will reflect not only who you are but also the union you are making, the fact that through the rest of your lives each of you will be imprinted by the other, yet as yourself remain. May the love that these rings symbolize be, to the end of your days, your most precious possession.
Exchanging of Rings
Michele: Dearest Martin, you are my beloved, and you are my friend. With this ring, I marry you.
Martin: Dearest Michele, you are my beloved, and you are my friend. With this ring, I marry you.
The Pronouncement of Marriage
Now, because you have chosen one another, honored each other with the gift of your rings, and pledged love to each other for all the days of your lives, It gives me great joy to pronounce that you are husband and wife. You may now kiss.
May your love continue to go strong; may you live long and happily in one another's arms. Now go from this place with joy in your hearts.
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