in Portland and Central Oregon
Terri Daniel, Interfaith Officiant
and Wedding Planner
549-4004 or (503) 387-5092
Although I'm straight, I'm a tireless activist on behalf of the rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender couples to marry. I was raised by very progressive parents in an environment of freethinkers and bohemians that included several same-sex couples who were among my childhood friends and role models.
At this writing, several U.S. cities and states have made heroic efforts to recogize same-sex marriage. Hopefully this will set a precedent, but it may take several generations to enlighten the masses about the sanctity of all unions, regardless of gender configuration. But while the political process is painfully slow, we can make huge strides on a spiritual level by acknowledging same-sex partnerships in ceremony.
Gathering together in ritual with friends and family who offer love and blessings is an act that harnesses huge amounts of energy and leads to subtle changes in the rigid structures of the material world. While many states and counties offer "domestic partnership" certificates, a ceremony that publicly declares your intent and commitment is extremely powerful, both socially and spiritually.
Mark and Walter's Ceremony
Good afternoon, and welcome to the ceremony that will unite Mark and Walter in marriage. We gather here today to celebrate their union, and to honor their commitment to not just gazing at one another, but to looking outward together in the same direction. Today Mark and Walter proclaim their love to the world, and we rejoice with and for them.
marriage, we give ourselves freely and generously
into the hands of the one we love, and in doing so, each of us receives the love and trust of the other as our most precious gift. But even as that gift is shared by two people who are in love, it also touches the friends and family members who in various ways support and contribute to the relationship. All of you are Mark and Walter's community, and each of you has played some part in bringing them to this moment. This is why gathering as a community is such an important part of a wedding ceremony. Because Mark and Walter are now taking a new form as a married couple, and in this form, they become part of their community in a new way.
Mark and Walter, we are here to remember and rejoice with you and to recount with one another that it is love that guides us on our path, and to celebrate as you begin this journey together, it is in this spirit that you have come here today to exchange these vows.
Mark, repeat after me:
Mark take you Walter to be my spouse/
I promise above all else to live in truth with you/
and to communicate fully and fearlessly/ I give you my hand and my heart /as a sanctuary of warmth and peace/and pledge my love, devotion, faith and honor as I join my life to yours.
Repeat for Walter
wedding ring is an unbroken, never-ending circle,
as your commitment and love for each other is never-ending. These simple bands are not of great value in themselves, but are made precious by what they represent. They are a symbol to you and the world of your union. Your rings say that you are two individuals bound together. When you look at these rings, remember the commitment that you have to each other today.
Mark, place the ring on Walter's finger, and repeat after me:
Just as this circle is without end, my love for you is eternal/ Just as it is made of indestructible substance/ my commitment to you will never fail/With this ring I take you to be my partner for life.
Repeat for Walter
As you may have noticed by now, this union brings together different cultures. From Walter, the jewish traditions are represented by the chuppa that we are standing under. The chuppa, or "canopy." is held above the couple's heads by loved ones, and represents a sacred, enclosed space under the stars, symbolic of the home that Mark and Walter share.
From Mark, the Native American traditions are represented by this wedding vase, which symbolizes the joining together of Mark and Walters spirits. As each one drinks from opposite sides, they share one cup, are joined by one love to one life, while in communion with the great spirit.
(Mark and Walter sip as each member of the wedding party recites a line from the Apache chant):
Now you will feel no rain, for each of you will be shelter for the other. Now you will feel no cold, for each of you will be warmth for the other. Now you are two persons, but there is only one life inside you. Go now to your dwelling to enter the days of your life together. And may your days be good, and long upon the earth.
and Mark,, although I'm officiating here today,
it is not truly in my power to sanctify, legitimize
or bless your relationship in any way, because the two of you have already done that in your hearts. So, by joining hands now and looking into each other's eyes, let it be known that you are joined, body and soul in this lifetime, and that this bond is sacred and eternal. And now that you have exchanged these rings and these vows, and have sipped from the wedding vase under the chuppa, it gives me gives me great pleasure to pronouncethat you are and will continue to be partners for life.
Dawn and Stephanie's Ceremony
and welcome to the celebration of the unique and magical union between Dawn
and Stephanie. Today, in front of friends and family, they honor their commitment
to not just gazing at one another, but to looking outward together in the
same direction. Today Dawn and Stephanie proclaim their love to the world,
and we rejoice with and for them.
Stephanie and Dawn, in presenting yourselves here today
you perform a remarkable act of faith. This faith can grow and mature and endure, but only if you both determine to make it so.
A lasting and growing love is never automatic, nor guaranteed by any ceremony.
If you would have the foundation of your union be the pure love you have for each other, not just at this moment, but for all the days ahead, then honor faithfully the statements and commitments that you bring here today. Faults will appear where now you find contentment, and wonder can be crushed by the routine of daily living. But today you resolve that your love will never be blotted out by the commonplace, obscured by the ordinary, or compromised by life's difficulties.
Stand fast in that hope and confidence, and believe in your shared future just as strongly as you believe in yourselves and in each other today. Only in this spirit can you create a partnership that will sustain all the days of your lives.
Dawn and Stephanie, we are here to rejoice with you and to recount with one another that it is love that guides us on our path, and to celebrate as you begin this journey together It is in this spirit that you have come here to today to exchange these vows.
repeat after me:
I Dawn take you Stephanie to be my partner for life/
I promise above all else to live in truth with you/
and to communicate fully and fearlessly/
I give you my hand and my heart /
as a sanctuary of warmth and peace/
and pledge my love, devotion, faith and honor
as I join my life to yours.
REPEAT FOR STEPHANIE
rings are made precious by our wearing of them.
Your rings say that even in your uniqueness you have chosen to be bound together. Let these rings also be a sign that love has substance as well as soul, a present as well as a past, and that despite its occasional sorrows, love is a circle of happiness, wonder, and delight.
Stephanie, take Dawn's ring and put it on her finger, and repeat after me:
as this circle is without end/my love for you is limitless/Just as it is made
of indestructible substance/
my commitment to you will never fail/
With this ring I take you to be my best friend, lover,
and partner for life.
REPEAT FOR DAWN
Stephanie and Dawn, Your lives and spirits are joined in a union of love and trust. Above you are the stars and below you the earth. Like the stars your love should be a constant source of light, and like the earth, a firm foundation from which to grow. As you have consented in this ceremony in the presences of friends and family to be partners for life, I now pronounce you married and bound together body and soul.
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