Saturday, January 3, 2009

Our Ceremony and Vows

Please be seated.

On behalf of D__ and C___, I would like to welcome you and thank you for coming today to share in the joy of their wedding.

Who presents this woman to be married? (Her father)

Love is what brings us here today. Your love for D____ and C____ and their love for each other.

Love is a simple word which describes an extremely complex component of the human condition. A component so personal it derives from deep within our most private and spiritual core.

Webster’s dictionary defines love as to cherish, to feel a passion, devotion or tenderness for…

We know it’s not quite so simple to describe or explain what love is in just a few words or a short phrase.

In fact, psychology researchers cannot agree on what constitutes love and how to measure it.

One would think that such a familiar concept would be easier to describe.

Expressions of love can be found in literature through out the centuries. The Song of Solomon found in the Hebrew Bible or Old Testament is one of the oldest written portrayals of passionate love.

Ancient Egyptian love poetry is also found during this time.

The Greek historian Homer wrote of the love saga of Ulysses and Penelope and the anguish and sorrow of separated lovers. The story has a happy conclusion and illustrates true love as enduring and capable of overcome seemingly impossible obstacles.
These works of literature endure because love triumphs and because they provide us with an accurate representation of what true love and passion is. Something we find extremely complicated to describe.

Love is so difficult to illustrate that it is the most common theme in the creative arts. We often turn to poets and musicians to help us express the complexity of our feelings. Apparently we as humans long to hear in words the description of our deepest and most guarded emotions.
In the 1800’s, the English poets Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning fell deeply in love. During their courtship, they wrote to each other on a daily basis for nearly two years.

Their romance continued into their marriage as each published literary works inspired by the love for the other.

D____ and C____have selected the poem written by Elizabeth Barrett Browning,
How do I love thee as an illustration of their love for eachother.
Poem – Read by KM

It’s inspiring to hear such moving expressions of deeply felt love. Love isn’t always described in such beautiful and cerebral ways.

The one panel comic strip entitled Love is … has run daily for nearly forty years and has been translated into over a dozen languages. The strip identifies what love is in just one simple sentence, but is a different sentence each and every day.

Artists are often blessed with the ability to express love easier than most; which brings me to the fact that D____ and C____ are both teachers.

What does a teacher and an artist have in common you may say?
Well, teaching is an art form. And teaching in many ways, is an expression of love. D____ and C_____ express love everyday they teach.

The great author John Steinbeck wrote;
“I have come to believe that a great teacher is a great artist. Teaching might even be the greatest of the arts since the medium is the human mind and spirit”.

Both D____ and C_____ left far more lucrative careers in order to make something way more important than a lot of money.

They make a difference.

They touch the lives of young people in a profoundly deep and lasting way. They give of themselves. It’s been said that a good teacher is like a candle – it consumes itself to light the way for others.

D____ and C_____ love teaching, and it shows everyday. I myself had the opportunity to bring my sophomore son to the high school where Christina and I both teach.

The first teacher I chose to guide my often challenging son was C______. When I asked her, she quickly said yes.
I explained to her some of the challenges of teaching him and she said I don’t care, I’ll take him.

My son not only did well in her class, but Miss R____ became my son’s favorite teacher. When I asked him why, he said “because I can tell she really cares about me as a person”.

D____ and C_____ are both examples of the quote of unknown origin; “that the best teachers teach from the heart, not from a book”.
Although they also use books.

On the last page of your program you will find a Venn diagram (a teaching tool) which describes the attributes of both D____ and C_____ .

The Venn diagram illustrates perfectly which personality traits they have individually (they are the parts of the two circles on the left and right) and which personality traits they share (indicated by the combined area of the two circles.

After the ceremony is over, I encourage family and friends to add to the Venn diagram any personality traits that you may feel should be included, either on C_____’s side or D____’s or in the combined areas.

We can compare notes during the reception.

While looking at the diagram you can plainly see that they have some distinct differences. For example, C______ is emotional while D____ is practical.

They also have several things in common. The most important being that they love each other.

Which brings us back to our lesson on love and why we are all here.

Without the capacity to love in a variety of ways, humans would not exist. Humans are programmed to love. As I stated earlier, love is an essential element of the human condition.

There are many different types of love.

In researching for this ceremony I discovered that the list of different types of love is extremely varied and long.
Here are just a few…

There is Familiar Love or family love. The type of love which we have for our family members like the love of a brother or sister or the love between a parent and child.

There is the love associated with friendship. Some of us in this room have been blessed with the ability to develop loving friendships with an individual or close group of friends.

In some ways the love we develop as friends is often as powerful although different, from the family love we received from the first day of our existence.

After all, you can’t choose your family, but you certainly do choose your friends.

There is
Courtly Love which was a medieval European conception of love as a noble venture, which began at the end of the eleventh century in the royal courts. This love is associated with courtship, chivalry and courtesy and is an ideal we pursue to this day.

Religious Love which is used to express the devotion a follower has to God or God toward the follower and all the earth.

Platonic Love a non sexual but affectionate type of love used to describe the feelings of the one you wanted so desperately, only to be told that he or she loved you “like a friend”.

The list of types of love goes on and on and if we include the types of love written in songs throughout the years, we would discover more inventive and colorful types such as “Jungle Love” “Muskrat Love” and “Radar Love” which apparently combines the elements of love, longing, distance and highway travel at dangerous speeds.

But the type of love that we are here to witness today is an awesome, powerful type. The love between a man and a woman who long to share their lives with each other and desire to give themselves exclusively to one another.

Yes, I am talking about romantic love.

Romantic Love is a profound longing.
A deep emotional and spiritual recognition and regard for the value of another person and your relationship with that person.

The search for romantic love is a quest of the spirit.

From the moment of birth, we begin looking for lights that will brighten our journey, provide us with purpose and meaning, and make our struggle worthwhile.

After all, life can be a struggle. And a spouse is our helpmate through the daily struggles of life. Those of us in this room who have been married for many years fully understand that definition.

The lifelong search of D____ and C_____ is over. They have found each other and have fallen deeply in love. They met the old fashion way, on the internet. And although they hadn’t met yet, they just clicked.

Today, in front of their family and friends, they desire to give themselves completely to one another as a lifelong gift.

The act of uniting a man and a woman in matrimony is one of the oldest, most sacred and dearest ceremonies known.

Today the bride and groom extend the bonds of friendship to include the vows of marriage.


D____ and C_____ , today you will marry your friend. The one that you will live with, laugh with, dream with and love. The person who knows all about you, and loves you just the same.

With these vows comes an ultimate commitment between two people, which should not be entered upon lightly, but with a deep realization of its obligations and responsibilities.

Try to remember …

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 a day.

It is at no time taking the other for granted; romance and courtship should not end with the honeymoon, but should continue through all the years.

It is having a mutual sense of values and common objectives.

It is forming a circle of love that gathers in both sides of the family.

It is doing things for each other, not in the attitude of duty or sacrifice, but in the spirit of joy.

It 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 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 having the capacity to forgive.

It is giving each other an atmosphere in which each can grow.

It is a common search for the good and beautiful.

It is establishing a relationship in which the independence is equal, dependence is mutual, and the obligation is reciprocal.

It is not only marrying the right partner, it is being the right partner.

With that being said,

D____ and C_____ , before your family and friends, I ask you to proclaim publicly your willingness to enter this relationship of marriage and share all the joys and sorrows of husband and wife, whatever the future may hold.

Do you have the rings?

And so D____, please repeat after me.

I D_____, take you C_______ to be my wife.

My partner in life and my one true love.

I will cherish our union …

and love you more each day than I did the day before.

I will trust you and respect you …

laugh with you and cry with you,

loving you faithfully through good times and bad …

regardless of the obstacles we may face together.

I give you my hand, my heart, and my love,

from this day forward to all eternity.

(Groom puts ring on brides finger)

C_____ please repeat after me.

I C_____, take you D_____ to be my husband …

my partner in life and my one true love.

I will cherish our union …

and love you more each day than I did the day before.

I will trust you and respect you …

laugh with you and cry with you …

loving you faithfully through good times and bad …

regardless of the obstacles we may face together.

I give you my hand, my heart, and my love…

from this day forward to all eternity.

(bride puts ring on grooms finger)

D____ and C_____ , before your family and friends, you have pronounced yourselves “husband and wife” and us in attendance today have had the honor to witness these promises.

D______l, you may kiss your bride.

Ladies and gentlemen, family and friends, it is my sincere pleasure to present to you the world’s most recently married couple;

Mr. & Mrs. D____ and C_____ S_______