Ceremony Outline

Our ceremony and party was fabulous. I will write a more complete post on the experience soon, but first I wanted to simply post our ceremony outline, as a resource for other looking to put together an open/poly friendly ceremony.

The Wedding of K and J
August 3, 2013
Processional “Home”
           
           – Each Friend of Honor will walk in separately
– K & J will walk in together
Welcome/Opening Words/Introduction
Family and Friends, we have been invited here today to share with K and J a very important moment in their lives. In the years they have been together, their love and understanding of each other has grown and matured, and now we are gathered here to celebrate their love and life together.  And for them, it is very fluid and very alive.
           
In her book “Gift From the Sea” – American Author Annie Morrow Lindbergh         says:
“When you love someone, you do not love them all the time, in exactly the same way, from moment to moment. That is an impossibility. It is even a lie to pretend to. And yet this is exactly what most of us demand. We have so little faith in the ebb and flow of life, of love, of relationships that we leap at the flow of the tide and resist in terror its ebb. We are afraid it will never return. We insist on permanency, on duration, on continuity – But the only continuity possible, in life as in love, is in growth, in fluidity – in freedom, in the sense that the dancers are free, barely touching as they pass, but partners in the same pattern.
The only real security is not in owning or possessing.  It is in not in demanding or expecting, not in hoping, even.
Security in a relationship lies neither in looking back to what was in nostalgia, nor in looking forward to what it might be in dread or anticipation.  Security lies in living in the present relationship and accepting it as it is now.
Relationships must be like islands, one must accept them for what they are here and now, within their limits – islands, surrounded and interrupted by the sea, and continually visited and abandoned by the tides.”
Family and Friends, J and K are so glad that you are here with them today as they celebrate their love, their life and their relationship.  The bravery, the honesty, the commitment to living with the ebb and flow of life that they bring to this moment – come from the love and support with which you have supported them over the years.  They appreciate so much what you have given them – and they honor also the many others, both living and dead, who have helped shape their lives.
Readings
To Love is Not to Possess – James Kavanaugh,
“To love is not to possess,
To own or imprison,
Nor to lose one’s self in another.
Love is to join and separate,
To walk alone and together,
To find a laughing freedom
That lonely isolation does not permit.
It is finally to be able
To be who we really are
No longer clinging in childish dependency
Nor docilely living separate lives in silence,
It is to be perfectly one’s self
And perfectly joined in permanent commitment
To another–and to one’s inner self.
Love only endures when it moves like waves,
Receding and returning gently or passionately,
Or moving lovingly like the tide
In the moon’s own predictable harmony,
Because finally, despite a child’s scars
Or an adult’s deepest wounds,
They are openly free to be
Who they really are–and always secretly were,
In the very core of their being
Where true and lasting love can alone abide.”
            FromGifts from Eykis -Wayne Dyer
“Your love is located within you. It is yours to nurture and savor, to give to others in any way you choose. Love must be without qualifications or demands. You must learn to find ecstasy in other peoples happiness. Once you feel love for yourself, it is quite normal to give it away.”
From The Prophet -Kahlil Gibran
“Let there be space in your togetherness.
And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.
Love one another but make not a bond of love.
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone.
Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.
Give your 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.”
Song “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”
Affirmation of Intentions
            J and K – I will now ask you to affirm your intentions in coming before us today.
            J – do you come here of your own free will to declare your commitment to Kas her very own person, to declare your commitment to your relationship to her as your partner, friend and lover, and to celebrate your commitment with beloved family and friends.
                        Response:  I do
            And do you promise to make this relationship a top priority in your life –
            doing the work through intentional and compassionate communication,
            to keep this relationship alive, positive and strong between you.
                        Response:  I do
            K – do you come here of your own free will to declare your commitment to Jas his very own person, to declare your commitment to your relationship to him as your partner, friend and lover, and to celebrate this commitment with beloved family and friends.
                        Response:  I do
            And do you promise to make this relationship a top priority in your life –
            doing the work through intentional and compassionate communication,
            to keep this relationship alive, positive and strong between you.
                        Response:  I do
Wedding Vows
Having so affirmed your intentions, I will ask you now to join hands and repeat your wedding vows.
            I, K take you, J, to be my friend, partner and lover and I take you to be no one other than yourself. Loving what I know of you, trusting what I do not yet know, with respect for your integrity and with faith in your love for me, I promise to bring my very best to our relationship, through all our years together and in all that life may bring us.
            I, J take you, K, to be my friend, partner and lover and I take you to be no one other than yourself. Loving what I know of you, trusting what I do not yet know, with respect for your integrity and with faith in your love for me, I promise to bring my very best to our relationship, through all our years together and in all that life may bring us.
Rings
May I now have the rings?
The ring is a circle, and the circle is the symbol of the sun and the earth and the universe, of wholeness, and perfection, and peace. The ring you give and receive this day is also the symbol and the circle of shared love into which you enter together.
J and K – as you wear these rings upon your finger and as you look at them throughout your life – may they always remind you of this day, this celebration of love, and this commitment to each other and your own best hearts.
Placing the Rings.
K, I J, give you this ring as a symbol of my love, my commitment to you and my commitment to the life we share together.
J, I K give you this ring as a symbol of my love, my commitment to you and my commitment to the life we share together.
Silence and Blessing
            Let us now pause for a moment and in silence just drink in the beauty and the   promise of these two young people.
Now hear these words of Reflection – From Psychologist Erich Fromm
“Can any of us really have love?
If we could, love would need to be a thing, a substance that we can have, own, possess.
But the truth is, there is no such thing as “love.” “Love” is an abstraction, perhaps a goddess or an alien being, although nobody has ever seen this goddess.
In reality, there exists only the act of loving. To love is a productive activity. It implies caring for, knowing, responding, affirming, enjoying: the person, the tree, the painting, the idea. Love means bringing someone or something to life, increasing his/her/its aliveness.
Love is a process, that is self-renewing and self-increasing. . .To say “I have a great love for you” is meaningless. Love is not a thing that we can have.  It is a process, an inner activity that we are the subject of. I can love, I can be in love, but in love I have . . .nothing. In fact, the less I have the more I can love.”
Jeffrey and Katie may you be the subject of a great love.  And may the love in your hearts give you joy. May the greatness of life bring you peace. and may your days be good, and your lives be long upon the earth.
Pronouncement
Family and Friends – I now present you K & J – stunning individual human beings and now a stunning couple – committed to their own souls, to one another and to the betterment of life for all living things.
K and J – you have been building your relationship with mindfulness, bravery and compassion for years and today you have declared your love and commitment to one another and to us all.
The Kiss
            I invite you now to seal this ceremony with a kiss.
Benediction
            Now J and K – May the blessing that rests upon all those love well rest also upon you and fill you both with lightness and grace. May the power of the love that unites you continue to grow and evolve and be strong.  May you so grow and love and work together that your lives will be enriched by a true and deepening comradeship of heart and mind. May you have a lot of fun every step along the way. And may you bring a great deal of joy to the world wherever you go – for years and years to come.  AMEN
Recessional “Heart Strings”

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