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Same-Sex Ceremony Text

Procession

Welcome
Friends and family, what a joy it is to welcome you here, for we have come to celebrate the miracle of love and to witness the union of this couple into the bond and contract of Matrimony. ANGELA and AMY, every experience you have ever had, everything you have ever done, and every twist and turn in life has miraculously brought you to this very moment as you now stand before these witnesses to take each other as husband and wife.

Charge to the Bride & Groom
I ask you both to remember that love and loyalty alone will stand as the foundations of a happy and enduring home. If the vows you make today are kept, your life together will be full of joy and peace, and the home which you make shall thrive through whatever the future may hold. In this new life together, I encourage you to always remember the thrill of your early love. Cherish the visions and hopes you have on this day, and do not let them be tarnished by common events or routine habit. I ask you both to make your love for each other a growing part of your lives, nurturing it every day in every way possible. But, it is also necessary to recognize that marriage is a relationship of two people, neither of whom are always at their best. During these hard and trying times, I implore you to always act with charity, understanding, and compassion toward one another. And finally, I ask you both to remember this day as the most important day in your lives--as the day in which you promised, before these witnesses and each other, that you will love each other no matter what for all the days of your lives.

Optional Prayer
Let us pray. Lord, we ask that you bless the marriage of ANGELA and AMY.
When there is injury, help them find comfort
When there is discord, help them find harmony
When there is doubt, help them find faith
When there is despair, help them find hope
When there is darkness, help them find light
When there is sadness, help them find joy
Show them that it is only in giving that they will receive
It is only in forgiving that they are forgiven
and It is only in dying that they are born to eternal life.
We ask this not just for ANGELA and AMY but for all of us here today as well as those not here that we now name in our hearts. [pause] We ask that you and those that have gone before watch over them and be with them for all the days of their lives.
In your name we pray, AMEN.

 

 

 

 

 

Betrothal
ANGELA and AMY, the two of you are about to become married. You are about to pledge everything you have and everything you are to each other. This is not a commitment that either of you should take lightly. The vows you are about to take do not come with an asterisk or fine print that says “unless I change my mind” or “unless I’m having a bad day” or “until it becomes too difficult.” The promises you are about to make to each other must be honored every moment of every day for the rest of your lives. But…these promises come with the greatest reward you could possibly imagine - true and honest love.

With this knowledge, ANGELA, do you take AMY to be your wedded wife, and in the presence of these witnesses do you vow that you will do everything in your power to make your love for her a growing part of your life? Will you continue to strengthen it from day to day and week to week with your best resources? Will you stand by her in sickness or in health, in poverty or in wealth, and will you shun all others and keep yourself to her alone for as long as you both shall live?  If so, answer “I Do.”

AMY, do you take ANGELA to be your wedded wife, and in the presence of these witnesses do you vow that you will do everything in your power to make your love for her a growing part of your life? Will you continue to strengthen it from day to day and week to week with your best resources? Will you stand by her in sickness or in health, in poverty or in wealth, and will you shun all others and keep yourself to her alone for as long as you both shall live?  If so, answer “I do”.

One Family
As much as this wedding is a celebration of the joining of two lives together into one, it is also a celebration of family. More than just relatives, this family also includes the friends that love or care about AMY and ANGELA.

It only takes two people to make a marriage…but it takes an entire family to make a marriage work. There will be times when both AMY and ANGELA feel like giving up. There will be times when they are so angry or hurt that they simply don’t want to continue being married. It will be up to all of you, their family, to help them through these times. You will need to be there to listen to them and to let them vent their frustrations. You will also need to be there to push them back together and hold them accountable for the vows they are taking today. Doing this, you will help them make their marriage work.

I now ask you, ANGELA and AMY’s extended family, will you be there to support them , to encourage them, and to help them through the difficult times? And will you also be there to share their joy during the best times? If so answer, ‘We Will’.

Optional Reading 1 –
Optional Reading 2 –

Message to the Couple
Every time a couple comes to me and asks me to marry them I ask them one simple question: “Why do you want to get married?” Almost every couple I’ve ever asked has answered my question the same way – “because we’re in love.” I then ask “But what happens when you’re no longer in love?” More often than not, they just stare at me blankly.

I invite you to ask any couple here today if they’re still in love. Most will answer that they are. But if you ask them if they’ve been in love every minute of every day that they’ve been together, I guarantee you that they will tell you there have been days that they haven’t been in love.

There is a difference between being IN LOVE, which the two of you are right now, and what REAL love actually is. Being IN LOVE is incredible – it’s your heart skipping a beat when you catch a glimpse of each other from across the room, it’s the anticipation you feel the moment before you kiss, it’s the longing you feel when the other isn’t around.

If you’ve ever been to a wedding, you’ve most likely heard the minister read the passage from first Corinthians chapter 13 which says that “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” The reason this passage is chosen so frequently is that many brides and grooms feel that it fits nicely in a wedding ceremony. The truth, though, is even deeper than they think.

This passage was originally written to the Greeks in the Greek language and the Greek language actually has four different and unique words for different kinds love. One is sacrificial, one is passion, one is friendship, and one is fondness. The love that this passage refers to is not the “IN LOVE” passion kind or even the “friendship” or “affection” kind; it is the sacrificial kind.

It may be hard to imagine today, but there will days when you will not be IN LOVE. Some of those days will be easy – just those gloomy, cloudy, rainy kind of days. Other days will be harder – the lightning flashing, thunder crackling, river rising kind of days. There will be days when you feel so frustrated and angry with the other that you feel like simply giving up. There will be days you feel so hurt by the other that it feels as if your heart will tear in two. There will be days you feel so guilty for something you’ve done that you don’t feel worthy of being loved by the other. During these times, it is the sacrificial kind of love that will see you through. This is what the passage really means:

Love is patient. It is choosing to endure what we do not want to endure for the good of the other. It is taking the full brunt of all the frustration and anger that has built up in the other; it is giving the other space and time when it is needed, and it is doing these things without even a single word in defense or in response.

Love is kind. It is seeing the other at their very worst and not passing judgment. It is not saying “I told you so.”

It does not envy. It is celebrating the good that comes to the other instead of begrudging them because it did not come to us.

It does not boast. It is not blowing our own horn or singing our own praise. It is being so completely enthralled by the other that we would rather listen to and learn about them and their day than share about ourselves.

It is not proud. It is not saying to the other ‘look how much I love you; I’ve done all of these things for you today. I’ve taken out the trash, I’ve mowed the lawn, I’ve vacuumed the carpet, I’ve done the dishes, I’ve folded the laundry, and I’ve cleaned the bathrooms because I love you.” It is doing those things quietly without wanting recognition because they will make the other happy. But for the record, if you do happen to do all those things, the other will be VERY happy.

It does not dishonor others. It is not building yourself up by tearing the other down. It is not sharing with your friends the shortcomings of the other no matter how funny they may be.

It is not self seeking. It is serving the needs of the other before serving the needs of your own self. It is remembering to say “yes, dear” instead of “but honey.”

It is not easily angered. It is understanding that what is said and what is done is not always what is meant. It is knowing that the other is human – mistakes are made.

It keeps no records of wrongs. Each day is a fresh start, a clean slate.

It always protects. It is creating a safe environment for the other; an environment in which each can be herself openly and freely.

It always trusts. It is knowing that the other will love us no matter what.

It always perseveres. If both of you do all of these things, your love will see you through those times when you’re not IN LOVE.

Hands
ANGELA and AMY, please turn and face each other and take the other’s hands in yours. Look down at the hands you are now holding. These are the hands of your best friend, young and strong and full of love for you, that are holding yours on your wedding day as you promise to love each other today, tomorrow and forever. These are the hands that will work alongside yours as together you build your future. 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 hold you when fear or grief temporarily comes your way. These are the hands that will countless times wipe the tears from your eyes, tears of sorrow and tears of joy. These are the hands that will give you support and encouragement to chase down your dreams. These are the hands that will hold you tight as you struggle through difficult times. These are the hands that will give you strength when you need it. These are the hands that will lift your chin and brush your cheek as they raise your face to look into eyes that are filled with overwhelming love for you.
And lastly, these are the hands that even when wrinkled and aged will still be reaching for yours, still giving you the same unspoken tenderness with just a touch.

Sharing of Vows
ANGELA, please repeat after me.
From this moment,
I, ANGELA, take you, AMY,
as my wife forever and always
I pledge to honor you
encourage you, and support you
through our walk together.
When our way becomes difficult,
I promise to stand by you
and uplift you,
so that through our union
we can accomplish more
than we could alone.
I promise to work at our love
and always make you
a priority in my life.
With every beat of my heart,
I will love you.
This is my solemn vow

AMY, please repeat after me.
From this moment,
I, AMY, take you, ANGELA
as my wife forever and always
I pledge to honor you
encourage you, and support you
through our walk together.
When our way becomes difficult,
I promise to stand by you
and uplift you,
so that through our union
we can accomplish more
than we could alone.
I promise to work at our love
and always make you
a priority in my life.
With every beat of my heart,
I will love you.
This is my solemn vow

Exchange of the Rings
The wedding ring serves three purposes. First, it shows the entire world that your heart and your life belong to someone else. Second, it is your first gift to each other as husband and wife. The precious metal and gems from which the ring is made signifies how precious you are to each other. Third, and most importantly, it is worn every moment of every day to remind you of the promises that you’ve just made to each other.

ANGELA please place the ring on the finger of your bride and repeat after me:

AMY, I give you this ring//as a symbol of my love//and faithfulness to you.

By the same token AMY, please place the ring on the finger of your bride and repeat after me:

ANGELA, I give you this ring//as a symbol of my love//and faithfulness to you.

Pronouncement
AMY and ANGELA, you have chosen to enter into the promise of marriage with each other by pledging your love and devotion with your vows and sealing those vows with the exchange of the rings. Therefore, with the power vested in me by the State of Wisconsin, I now pronounce you married. You may now kiss your bride.

Presentation of the Bride & Groom
Friends and family, it is with great pleasure that I introduce to you ANGELA & AMY LASTNAME

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