Officiant: Welcome, to all of you who have gathered today to share in this ceremony with [Name] and [Name].
The words that will be spoken here today are significant, though they are not what join these two. Nor is it this ceremony. For we are not here to mark the start of a relationship but to recognize a bond that already exists. [Name] and [Name] have already joined themselves together, and we have gathered to bear witness to the love that has grown between them.
We are here to witness their statement of love and commitment. This is an act as ancient as the human race and, at the same time, as new as each morning. For it speaks of the past and hopes for the future, of the life of the individual and the existence of the community. Marriage is a going forth; a giving up of one way in search of a greater fulfillment than either can achieve alone, risking what they are for what they might be.
Declaration of Intentions
Officiant: [Name] and [Name], do you come with joy and anticipation to
this moment when you will be legally joined in marriage? Do you pledge
to treat each other with kindness, respect and compassion, to listen to
each other and to speak to each other with honesty, today and always?
Response: We do.
Recognition of the Gathered Company
Officiant: Each of you has been invited here because you are a special
person in the lives of [Name] and [Name]. You have come to celebrate
with them and to witness their commitment to one another. Will you,
their friends and family, do all in your power to support this couple
now, and in the years ahead?
Response: We will.
Words to the Couple
Officiant: You have come to love each other deeply and sincerely. That
love has given you the desire to unite in marriage and to establish a
home together. In this ceremony you are dedicating yourselves to give
happiness and well-being, each to the other. Your marriage is an act of
trust. It must not be based on the vain hope of what the other will do
or will not do, might become or might not become. It must be based on
the firm belief in your own individual worth and that of the other. Your
pledge today is an expression of your devotion. The words spoken in
this ceremony will validate your marriage only if your love and
commitment to one another are strong enough to sustain it. Today you
announce your love for each other in the presence of families and
friends. We rejoice with you and we wish you well.
Other words (Apache Wedding Blessing)
Officiant: May the sun bring you new energy by day;
May the moon softly restore you by night;
May the rain wash away your worries
And the breezes blow new strength into your being,
And all the days of your life may you walk gently through the world and know its beauty.
Now you can feel no rain, for each of you will be shelter for the other.
Now there will be no more loneliness,
Now you are two persons, but there is only one life before you.
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.
Repeat after Officiant:
I, [Name], take you, [Name], to be my spouse/partner/husband/wife; to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse; for richer, for poorer; in sickness and in health; to love and to cherish; until the end of our days.
Presentation of Rings
Officiant asks for and receives the rings saying:
The ring is the symbol of the unbroken circle of love. Love freely given has no beginning and no end. Love freely given has no giver and no receiver for each is the giver and each is the receiver. May your rings always call to mind the freedom and the power of this love!
[Name]: I give you this ring as a sign of my love and commitment.
[Name]: I accept this ring as a sign of your love and commitment.
Officiant: [Name] and [Name], inasmuch as you have pledged yourselves,
each to the other, and inasmuch as you have declared the same in the
presence of this company by exchanging vows and by giving and receiving
rings, I do now pronounce you husband/wife/legally married/life
You may seal your covenant with a kiss.
With abiding confidence and deep affection,
We send you forth on life’s journey together.
May love and peace be yours always.
A peace which the world can neither give nor take away,
A love which the world cannot destroy.
May you have courage, wisdom and peace in your future years together.
And may the happiness you share today be with you always.
Ladies and Gentlemen: I present to you [Name] and [Name] as [husband/wife/married/life partners/legally married/etc].