The Wedding

This is a transcription of the ceremony. There will be DVDs and pictures available, as soon as the Newly Wedded Couple get settled in a little.

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Ladies and Gentlemen, Friends and Family,

We are gathered here today to witness the union of this man, Bradley Stiles, and this woman, Jennifer Howard, in holy matrimony.

There is a belief, echoed through countless cultures and ages, that humans began their spiritual lives as single entities. As time marched on, the need for balance and, thus, for movement became more and more clear. And God, in Its infinite wisdom, split the human spirit apart into dichotomous opposites, each taking away from the whole a little of the good and a little of the bad, a little of the strong and the weak, and the happy and sad, and the angry and peaceful. And it’s right and just that it should be this way, for we have no day without night, no light without darkness, no movement without potential, and no recognition of love without first knowing loneliness.

In this sacred ritual that you are here to take part in, keep this joining of opposites in your hearts. We strive from the moment we are aware of ourselves to find our opposite, our mate, the one of many that may somehow perfectly fill in our missing pieces. A human alone does not know its lacking except by contrast, and our mates are meant to contrast and complement our strengths and weaknesses.

By opening our eyes to the human that contains our other side, we are bound by the spiritual laws of the cosmos to approach that other human with Love and Honor and Respect. This applies to all humans everywhere, for we are all one. In choosing a single mate, we take that Love and Honor and Respect many steps further and allow ourselves to see the God in each other.

There is no other recourse when looking into the face of God but to rejoice and surrender in the perfection and glory of Divinity. Love – true love – is the human-level expression of that, and this is what we are now here to observe between these two crazy kids.

From Edmond O’Neil’s Marriage is a Promise of Love:

“Marriage is a commitment to life, to the life that is engendered as two individuals come together and swear their commitment to a partnership that lasts a lifetime.

“Marriage deepens and enriches every facet of life. The joy that you feel increases; the passion intensifies; and even anger is felt more keenly, yet passes away more easily.

“Marriage understands and forgives the mistakes life is unable to avoid. It encourages and nurtures new life, new experiences, and new ways of expressing love through the seasons of life.

“When two people pledge to love and care for each other in marriage, they create a spirit unique to themselves, which binds them closer than any spoken or written words. Marriage is a promise, a potential, made in the hearts of two people who love, which takes a lifetime to fulfill.”

As the Buddhist teachings point out, love and compassion are easy words to say, but understanding that the practice of them is based on patience and perseverance is sometimes a lot harder. Our first blessings are for Brad and Jenn to know the depth of the Buddha’s patience and the span of his perseverance, as the mountain stands before the storm, enriched and blessed by the vicious gale as much as the gentle breeze. May you each be both mountain and wind.

And now, from Khalil Gibran’s The Prophet:

Then Almitra spoke again and said, And what of Marriage, Master?
And he answered saying:
You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore.
You shall be together when the white wings of death scatter your days.
Ay, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God.
But let there be spaces in your togetherness,
And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.

Love one another, but make not a bond of love:
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf.
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,
Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.

Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
And stand together yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.”

Marriage is a solemn institution that is not to be entered into lightly or in jest. Though Bradley and Jennifer may hold in their minds their own determination, we call forth their advocates to affirm the choices that have been made.

Who will stand forward and speak for Jennifer Howard?

Advocates Stephanie and Jason step forward: “I will.”

And would you say that her choice is sound, her heart clear, and her spirit certain?

They affirm.

And who will stand forward and speak for Bradley Stiles?

Advocates Nate and Courtney step forward: “I will.”

And would you say that his choice is sound, his heart clear, and his spirit certain?

They affirm.

Very well. The foundation of the marriage is laid on the stone of community. This is a good foundation.

{ RINGS }

Two (three) circles, as perfect as the human hand can make them, symbolic of the eternal nature of the spirit and indicative of the depth of love, passion, and respect that these two humans stand to invest in this new experience. With these rings, your souls will forever be touching. Are you prepared to make that step?

{ affirmation }

Please repeat after me:

I, Bradley Stiles/ Jennifer Howard, take this woman/ man, Jennifer/ Bradley, to be your wife/ husband,
To hold your marriage
In Perfect Love and Perfect Trust,
To Honor and Cherish,
To Respect and Hold,
In Sickness and Health,
Light and Darkness,
Good times and bad,
Come Hell or high water,
Forsaking all others,
So long as we both shall live.

{ affirmation and puts the ring on her finger, “With this ring, I thee wed.” }

{ places the hands on top of one another }

In observation of the most sacred and ancient traditions, I hold before you a ribbon of silver, symbol of the sacred feminine, the Goddess, the quiet potential of life, and the contemplation of the stars. And here I hold before you a ribbon of gold, symbol of the sacred masculine, the God, the realization of potential, and the spinning of the cosmos. Without these two elements coming together, potential is never realized, movement is never guided, and chaos tears asunder all order without real growth. Co-joined, life is created, both figuratively and literally.

Cherokee blessing:
“Great Spirit, please protect the ones we love.
We honor all You have created as they pledge their hearts and lives together.
We honor Mother Earth – and ask for their marriage to be abundant and grow stronger through the seasons.
We honor Fire – and ask that their union be warm and glowing with love in their hearts.
We honor Wind – and ask that they sail though life safe and calm as in our father’s arms.
We honor Water – to clean and soothe their relationship, that it may never thirsts for love.
With all the forces of the universe You created, we pray for harmony and true happiness as they forever grow young together. Amen.”

With the binding of these hands, we witness the commitment of these two souls to create life, both within themselves and within each other. As the Lord and Lady, Father and Mother, God and Goddess, Heaven and Earth, watch on in love and approval, we now pronounce Brad and Jennifer HUSBAND AND WIFE!

You may now kiss your spouse.

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I would totally tell you all about it and regale you with tales of my grand adventures, but I had *so* much fun that I forgot the charger to my laptop. When it gets here, I’ll give you the Straight Dope.

In the meantime, go get falkonn and nifaerieous to update by harassing them shamelessly.

And, in typical Me fashion, I now go to start the next round of sewing projects, mostly for Magestock, but some to be completed by the time we leave for Texas. Woo-hoo.

3 Replies to “The Wedding”

  1. I was browsing through journals and found yours. It sounds like you have had a lovely ceremony. It seems we share some similiar beliefs. Would you mind if I added you to my friends list?

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