Tomorrow afternoon, on the anniversary of their wedding so many years ago, my dear friends Sally and Marv will renew their commitment to each other. They have graciously asked me to officiate at the ceremony, which will be held in the Peace Chapel at Unity of Fort Wayne Spiritual Center. Please hold these lovely people in your prayers as they renew their love and commitment. As a way of honoring their faith tradition, I just finished editing the ceremony we will use tomorrow:
Deep abiding affection,
the magical impulse
that makes us seek each other’s company,
is among the greatest gifts of the human experience.
Any of us who has been fortunate enough to find and express
the kind of loving devotion that we are celebrating here today
knows that it is an awesome and beautiful thing.
This understanding brings me to the first of three blessings
I will offer to you, Marv and Sally.
First, I bless you with gratitude. May you be always grateful for this precious person who chose to make a life with you.
Second, I bless you with daily kindness.
The world can be a tough place
and any of us can be subject to rough handling.
Be generous with compliments. Be attentive and helpful.
As you have come to know, your tenderness toward each other makes your home a place of light and refuge.
Last, and perhaps most importantly,
I bless you with truth.
A happy, loving marriage is built on trust and respect.
That trust and respect can only be sustained
if you are both deeply committed to always being open and truthful
in every exchange no matter how small.
My hope for you is this:
that you have many long years to delight in each other’s company,
to feel gratitude for your great good fortune
for having found and loved each other,
and to love and be loved by the friends and family
who mean the most to you.
MARRIAGE STATEMENT OF INTENT/CONSENT
Marvin and Sally, do you once again present yourselves willingly and of your own accord to be joined in marriage?
Will you promise to care for each other in the joys and sorrows of life,
come what may, and to share the responsibility for growth and enrichment of your life together?
VOWS (repeat after me, saying them in unison)
“In the years that I have learned to love you
for who you have been, who you are and for the many possibilities that lie before us, I thank you for coming this far with me. Thank you for always seeing in me the person I strive to be, even when I have stumbled along the way.
Thank you for your trust and support, thank you for being my sanctuary, my comfort, my light when my life is dark. Above all else, thank you for your courage in continuing to take this chance to journey with me.
Today I promise you again that though the world may change
and though we may change with it,
I will always love you, always treasure you and will always share my life
and all that I am with you.”
Marvin and Sally, please hold each other’s hands and realize the gift they are to you.
These are the hands of your best friend, strong and vibrant with love,
the hands that have held your own since your wedding day, the hands that will hold you all the days of your life.
These are the hands that will passionately love you and cherish you through the years, and with the slightest touch will comfort you like no other.
These are the hands that will work alongside yours, as you continue to build your future together.
These are the hands that will hold you whenever illness, fear, or grief may find you.
These are the hands that will give you strength when you need it.
These are the hands that, even as age changes their outward appearance, will always be reaching for yours.
Marvin and Sally, you have renewed your commitment to each other. In the honesty and sincerity of what you have said and done here today, and in the presence of the Living God whose Christ you yourselves incarnate, it is my honor and joy to declare you, once more, to be husband and wife.
Now, may the love of Christ that has brought you together
Continue to grow and enrich your lives.
May you meet with courage the problems that arise to challenge you
And may your relationship always be one of love and trust.
May the happiness you share today be with you always
And may every word you have pledged here be a living truth in your lives. Amen.