Contemporary 1

Friends, we are gathered here to witness and to celebrate the coming together of two separate lives.

We have come to join  __________, and  _________, in marriage, to be with them in the making of this important commitment.

The essence of this commitment is the taking of another person in their entirety, as lover, companion, and friend. It is therefore a decision which is not to be entered into lightly, but rather undertaken with great consideration and respect for both the other person and oneself. Having made this decision,__________and_________ may feel justly proud.

Possible Reading

Marriage symbolizes the intimate sharing of two lives, yet this sharing must not diminish but enhance the individuality of each partner.

A marriage that lasts is one which is continually developing and in which each person is individually developing, while growing in understanding of each other. Deep knowledge of another human being is not something that can be achieved in a short time, and real understanding of the other’s feelings can develop fully only with years of intimacy.

This wonderful knowledge of another person grows out of caring for the other so much that one wants to understand as completely as possible what the other is feeling. Thus, it is possible to share, not only joy and successes, but also the burden of sorrows and failures. To be known in this way is a priceless thing, because such understanding and acceptance increase life’s joy and make it easier to live with all of life’s problems.

But again, while marriage is the intimate sharing of two lives, it can yet enhance the differences and individuality of each partner. We must give ourselves in love, but we must not give ourselves away.

As Gibran wrote in The Prophet:
“You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore.
You shall be together when the white wings of death scatter your days.
Aye, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God.
But let there be spaces in your togetherness,
And let the winds of heaven 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.
Fill each other’s cup, but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread, but eat not from the same loaf.
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.”

We are here today to give social recognition to the decision _________and _________have made to accept each other totally and permanently, and to celebrate the love which they have for each other.

“Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” (I Corinthians 13)

_________and _________come now to be united in marriage.

Repeat after me: I,_________ take thee _________to be my _______, to have and to hold, from this day forth, to love, honor, and cherish, for better and for worse, in joy and in sadness, so long as we both shall live.

Repeat after me: I, _________, take thee _________, to be my _________, to have and to hold, from this day forth, to love, honor, and cherish, for better and for worse, in joy and in sadness, so long as we both shall live.

                   and_________ wish to exchange rings as symbols of their vows.

Repeat after me: This is my beloved and this is my friend. With this ring I thee wed and join my life with yours.

Before these loved ones and friends,_________and _________have pledged themselves to each other and have symbolized this by giving and receiving rings. By the authority vested in me by the State of Georgia, I pronounce you as _________ and ________!

You may Kiss

Couple may or may not be introduced as: __________________________

Sample Dialogue