As we gather here today.
We have come to this garden together,
To celebrate and witness this joining.
We have been blessed through the years,
As we’ve lived with our joys and pains.
We give thanks for the love of each other
And we pass it on again.
We are thankful for our faith
And the heritage we bear.
Let us pass to our sons & daughters,
This richness that we share.
For though we are first generation,
Or second, or third, or more;
We carry the pride and tradition
of those who first came to this shore.
So today as we honor love,
We ask blessing on our own.
Let us learn form their many years,
To hold sacred our family & home.
For their marriage pays homage to You, Lord,
As does love for their family and friends.
Bless our joy as we share in this day,
Let this love we share never end.
(based on “Our Own” by Cait Finnegan)
ERIC and TAMARA, in presenting yourselves here today to be joined in marriage, you perform an act of faith. This faith can grow and develop and last, but only if you both decide to make it so. A lasting and growing love is not guaranteed by any ritual.
If you would have the foundation of your marriage be the devotion you have for one another, not just at this moment, but for all the days to come, then treasure the hopes and dreams that you bring here today. Establish that your love will never be blotted out by the common nor obscured by the ordinary in life. Faults will surface where now you find comfort, and admiration can be shattered by the routine of daily life.
Dedication, love, and joy can grow only when you nourish them together. Stand fast in that hope and confidence, having faith in your shared destiny just as strongly as you have faith in yourselves and in one another today. Only with this spirit can you forge a union that will strengthen and endure all the days of your lives.
I, ERIC, take you, TAMARA, as my friend and love, beside me and apart from me, in laughter and in tears, in conflict and tranquility, asking that you be no other than yourself, loving what I know of you, trusting what I do not know yet, in all the ways that life may find us.
ERIC places the ring on TAMARA’s finger and says:
TAMARA, I give you this ring as a symbol of my vow, and with all that I am, and all that I have, I honor you.
I, TAMARA, take you, ERIC, as my friend and love, beside me and apart from me, in laughter and in tears, in conflict and tranquility, asking that you be no other than yourself, loving what I know of you, trusting what I do not know yet, in all the ways that life may find us.
TAMARA places the ring on ERIC’s finger and says:
ERIC, I give you this ring as a symbol of my vow, and with all that I am, and all that I have, I honor you.
With this statement made of love and trust, which we have just heard, I now wish you to greet ERIC and TAMARA as husband and wife.
May this day shine eternally in your lives.
May it add brilliance to every achievement and cast a divine light over any misfortune.
May you care for each other in all sadness.
May you give cheer to each other.
May you give vitality to each other in all undertakings.
May all that is virtuous, beautiful and honest, remain with you always.
(based on: The Ceremony "May This Day Shine Eternally")
In the past, the rose was considered a symbol of love and a single rose always meant only one thing - it meant the words "I love you." So it is appropriate that for your first gift - as husband and wife - that gift would be a single rose.
Please exchange your first gift as husband and wife.
In some ways it seems like you have not done anything at all. Just a moment ago you were holding one small rose - and now you are holding one small rose. In some ways, a marriage ceremony is like this. In some ways, tomorrow is going to seem no different than yesterday. But in fact today, just now, you both have given and received one of the most valuable and precious gifts of life - one I hope you always remember - the gift of true and abiding love within the devotion of marriage.
ERIC and TAMMY, I would ask that on each anniversary of this truly wonderful occasion you both bring a rose to this garden both as a recommitment to your marriage - and a recommitment that THIS will be a marriage based upon love.
In every marriage there are times where it is difficult to find the right words. It is easiest to hurt who we most love. It is easiest to be most hurt by who we most love. It might be difficult some time to words to say "I am sorry" or "I forgive you"; "I need you" or "I am hurting". If this should happen, if you simply can not find these words, leave a rose at this garden which both of you have selected - for that rose then says what matters most of all and should overpower all other things and all other words.
That rose says the words: "I still love you." The other should accept this rose for the words which can not be found, and remember the love and hope that you both share today.
ERIC and TAMMY, if there is anything you remember of this marriage ceremony, it is that it was love that brought you here today, it is only love which can make it a glorious union, and it is by love which your marriage shall endure."
(based on: "The Rose Ceremony")