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Vows

Just beautiful! I cry every time I read them!   The Wedding of Taylor and Juan Carlos Opening Reading I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where, I love you simply, without problems or pride; I love you in this way because I don’t know another way of loving but this,  in which there is no I or you, So intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand So intimate that when I fall asleep, it is your eyes that close.” From poet Pablo Neruda Statement of Intent Before you, Taylor and Juan Carlos, are joined together in marriage, in my presence and in the presence of the witnesses, I am bound to remind you of the serious and the binding nature of the new relationship to which you are about to commit to today. The ancient rite of marriage as most of us understand it, is the voluntary, deliberate and full commitment of two individuals to one another to become partners for a lifetime. It is made in the deepest sense possible, to the exclusion of all other and it is entered into with the desire, the hope and the firm intention that it will last forever.   Taylor and Juan Carlos, Have you come here freely and without reservation to give yourselves to each other in marriage? Taylor and Juan Carlos: We have    Celia: That is GREAT! Ring Warming William Blake wrote; That it is possible: To see a world in a grain of sand, And a heaven in a wild flower, Hold infinity in the palm of your hand, And eternity in an hour. It’s even easier to see it in a wedding ring, in the palm of each of your hands. Please hold your partners ring dear. As we move through the ceremony, warm and infuse them with your hopes and wishes for your future together. Before you exchange them, we’ll all touch them with our hearts and hands, adding our kind and loving thoughts to your union. As you enter into this marriage, you bring to each other the history and lifetime of the gifts given to you. One of those gifts is the necklace that belonged to Taylor’s Grandma Finch. As it was given to her grandma by her grandfather, it was given to her with the understanding that she would wear it for the first time on her wedding day. Let us take a moment to remember all the people who have gone before us, leaving their dreams for us to complete.  We know they rejoice with us on this beautiful day. Address Love at first sight; it’s such a delightful, romantic notion. We think of all those great Hollywood musicals, the silver screen couples…..Fred and Ginger….Gene Kelly and Cyd Charise….Tracy and Hepburn…….some enchanted evening, you may meet a stranger…across a crowded room.  Okay, so  you didn’t meet in a crowded room, and it wasn’t exactly love at first sight, but there is something about that sweet, old fashion notion of love that really does define your relationship.  The gentle patterns  of time  together and time apart  brought  you to this day gradually and naturally; Throughout these past nine years, you have overcome the obstacles in your path and created a life together, reinventing yourselves along the way.  Your  story is one of enduring love and togetherness amid a constant swirl of creative change. That red painting that formed the backdrop of your engagement  couldn’t have been a more appropriate choice.  Of course, the Museum of Modern art was the setting for your first sorta date, but much of what can be said about   Barnet Newman’s “Heroicus Sublimis”  could be said of love, specifically your relationship. It was his largest and most overwhelming work at that point in his career. At it’s first showing, in 1951  Newman tacked to the wall a notice that read, “There is a tendency to look at large pictures from a distance. The large pictures in this exhibition are intended to be seen from a short distance.” Newman believed deeply in the spiritual potential of abstract art. The Latin title of this painting means “Man, heroic and sublime.” He likened the experience to a human encounter: "It's no different, really, from meeting another person. One has a reaction to the person physically. Also, there’s a metaphysical thing, and if a meeting of people is meaningful, it affects both their lives." I think it is safe to say that your first encounter in Italy evolved miraculously, and has affected both  of your lives in a sublime and heroic way. As you certainly appreciate the big picture, it is perhaps the details, the small things of everyday life that paint that picture so poetically.  Just remember life isn’t perfect, none of us are perfect, but together, you can be pretty close! Reading From the Prophet by Kahlil Gibran 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 the same cup Sing and dance together and be joyous But let each of you be alone Even as the string of a lute are alone Though they quiver with the same music Give you 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.   The Asking Marriage begins in the giving of words. We cannot join ourselves to one another without giving our word. And this must be an unconditional giving, for in joining ourselves to one another we join ourselves to the unknown. No human ties are more tender, no other vows more sacred than those that you now assume. Marriage is a partnership that thrives when each person gives all they can without concern of what will come back. Each partner gives love in freedom, knowing that loving well is a gift that is its own reward. It is a promise to look at every day with gratitude, even a day that is full of challenges. Juan Carlos Do you take Taylor to be you lawful and wedded wife? Do you promise to love and respect her, to be honest with her, always be her strength and her sanctuary, and stand joyfully beside her in whatever the future may bring?  Juan Carlos: I do Taylor Do you take Juan Carlos to be you lawful and wedded Husband? Do you promise to love and respect him, to be honest with him, always be her strength and her sanctuary, and  stand joyfully beside him in whatever the future may bring?  Taylor: I do The Exchange of Vows Celebrant to Taylor: repeat after me; I,  Taylor, take you  Juan Carlos to be my partner, my friend and my husband; to laugh loudly and to cry softly; to work and to play; to create a life together that cannot be imagined separately.  I vow to be your strength and your sanctuary, as long we shall live. Juan Carlos, please repeat after me; I,  Juan Carlos,  take you  Taylor to be my partner, my friend and my wife; to laugh loudly and to cry softly; to work and to play; to create a life together that cannot be imagined separately. I vow to be your strength and your sanctuary, as long we shall live. The Gift  of the Rings Rings are an ancient symbol, blessed and simple Round like the sun, like the eye, like arms that embrace. Circles, for love that is given comes back round again and again. Therefore may these symbols remind you that your love, like the sun, illuminates, that your love, like the eye, must see clearly. And that your love, like arms that embrace, is a grace upon this world. (We’ll pass the rings around to everyone in attendance.) Your rings have been touched and blessed by each of the people you have chosen to share this day. Whenever you catch a glimpse of them on your fingers, may you always remember that you start this journey of marriage with their love and support. Now I ask Juan Carlos to take the ring and place it on the fourth finger of Taylor’s left hand and repeat after me; “Taylor, this ring I give  you is my personal gift, my personal promise of love, friendship, commitment and pride that we have chosen to share our life.  It is a symbol of the trust we have together, and the beauty and strength we will find in each other.  May my heart be your shelter and my arms be your home.” Taylor, please take this ring and place it on the fourth finger of Juan Carlos’s left hand and repeat after me; “Juan Carlos, this ring I give you is my personal gift, my personal promise of love, friendship, commitment and pride that we have chosen to share our life.  It is a symbol of the trust we have together, and the beauty and strength we will find in each other.  May my heart be your shelter and my arms be your home.” Pronouncement of Marriage Taylor and Juan Carlos, you have created a union marked by taking vows and exchanging rings. You have declared that you trust each other’s kind intentions that you will be true to each other as long as you both shall live. It is my honor and my joy to pronounce you husband and wife. You may kiss the bride!  (Or, ‘you may kiss each other!) Final Words May all that life brings to you strengthen the bond that you have declared here today. May it continue to grow stronger every day, as you nurture and call each other to an even deeper dimension in your relationship. May all your loved ones continue to rejoice and be inspired by the warmth of the love that has united you.  May you continue to dream together, to hope together, and to always follow the music of your hearts. Here our ceremony ends, and a new life of joy and love begins!!!

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