the ceremony

What greater thing is there for two human souls, than to feel that they are joined for life – to strengthen each other in all labour, to rest on each other in all sorrow, to minister to each other in all pain, to be one with each other in silent unspeakable memories at the moment of the last parting? George Eliot

we sat down with our marriage commissioner, Mac, to discuss our ceremony. you have some options about what you want to have and not have in your ceremony, and you can imagine, some couples get all the way up to the meeting with their marriage commissioner and find out they are imagining two very different ceremonies! we have the good fortune to be on the same page, and piecing together a meaningful ceremony was very very easy for us. every decision that had to be made, we thought the same thing! even Mac was amazed by how in sync our wishes were. it was like we had the same ideas in two heads!

My name is J. McRee (Mac) Elrod, a Unitarian minister. It is my honour to officiate at the wedding of Krista and Jessica.

We who gather here today share with Krista and Jessica, their celebration of a memorable moment in their lives. The marriage between them is not created by you or me. It is created by themselves, through the mutual love and commitment they already share, and will now put into words in the presence of us all.

The ceremony in which we now join marks neither a beginning nor an end in your relationship, but one step in a continuing process of change and growth. Growth is an essential part of marriage as it is an essential part of life. Your relationship must keep unfolding into new dimensions, but if you can keep in step as you go forward together, your marriage will remain a source of new strength and insight.

he asked, “Krista, do you now declare your willingness to take Jessica to be your wife?” and she said I do! then he asked, “Jessica, do you now declare your willingness to take Krista to be your wife?” and i said I do!

The vows through which you accept each other have no hidden power in themselves. only to the extent that they express in words your continuing intention and commitment do they have meaning.

In a world where the pressures pushing people apart often seem stronger than those drawing people together, your commitment to each other will need to be re-expressed in many different ways in the coming days and years. The expression in your vows today is simply a visible milestone in your journey together.

I invite you now to join hands as you repeat your vows. The hand offered by each of you is an extension of self, just as is your mutual love. Cherish the touch, for you touch not only your own, but another life. Be sensitive to it’s pulse. Seek always to understand and respect it’s rhythm.

thank goodness we got to join hands at this point, because my hands were shaking so badly. i thought everyone could see it, but krista told me later that it was not obvious at all.

we repeated after Mac, “I, Krista, now take you, Jessica to be my wife.” and then, “I, Jessica, now take you, Krista, to be my wife”

for our reading, we agreed on “Come Travel With Me,” from Walt Whitman’s Song of The Open Road. initially i think we both were against the idea of a reading, since we wanted a quick ceremony, but at the last minute we both felt like these words were important to us.

Listen! I will be honest with you,
I do not offer the old smooth prizes, but offer rough new prizes.
These are days that must happen to you:
You shall not heap up what are called riches,
You shall scatter with lavish hand all that you earn or achieve.

Come, we must not stop here,
However sweet these laid up stores,
However convenient this dwelling,
However sheltered this port and however calm these waters, we must not anchor here,
However welcome the hospitality that surrounds us,
We are permitted to receive it but a little while.

Come, I give you my hand.
I give you my love more precious than money,
I give you myself before preaching and law;
Will you give me yourself?
Will you come travel with me?
Shall we stick by each other as long as we live.

Since you, Krista, and you, Jessica, have joined yourselves in marriage, and have signified your commitment to each other in the joining of hands and exchanging of rings, you are now and henceforth married. Go now to walk the ways of the world together and may your days be good and long upon the earth.

we signed the book. our witnesses signed the book. we were hitched!

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