It's a Wedding!
The transcript of Melissa and I’s wedding ceremony in Key Largo, FL
We have been called together as witnesses to the happiness which this couple has found together, and to the pledges they will make, each to the other, for the mutual service of their common life. We rejoice with them that out of all the world they have found each other, and that they will henceforth find the deeper meaning and richness of human life in sharing it with each other.
Drew and Melissa, have you come here freely and without reservation to give yourselves to each other in marriage?
As our sons and daughters find partners and found the homes of the next generation, each family is enlarged. Do you, who have nurtured them, give your blessing to their union and their home?
We will now do the first reading…
Marriage is a vital social institution. The exclusive commitment of two individuals to each other nurtures love and mutual support; it brings stability to our society. For those who choose to marry, and for their children, marriage provides an abundance of legal, financial, and social benefits. In return it imposes weighty legal, financial, and social obligations.
Civil marriage is at once a deeply personal commitment to another human being and a highly public celebration of the ideals of mutuality, companionship, intimacy, fidelity, and family. It is an association that promotes a way of life, not particular causes; a harmony in living, not particular faiths; a bilateral loyalty, not commercial or social projects. Because it fulfills yearnings for security, safe haven, and connection that express our common humanity, civil marriage is an esteemed institution, and the decision whether and whom to marry is among life’s momentous acts of self-definition.
In the quiet of this very special moment, we pause to give thanks for all the rich experiences of life that have brought Drew and Melissa to this significant point in their lives. We are grateful for the values which have flowed into them from those who have loved them, nurtured them, and pointed them along life’s way. We are grateful that within them is the dream of a great love and the resources to use that love in creating a home that will endure. We are grateful for the values which they have found by their own strivings.
We will now do the second reading…
“What is real?” asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. “Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?”
“Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but really loves you, then you become Real.”
“Does it hurt?” asked the Rabbit.
“Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. “When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.”
“Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,” he asked, “or bit by bit?”
“It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”
“I suppose you are real?” said the Rabbit. And then he wished he had not said it, for he thought the Skin Horse might be sensitive. But the Skin Horse only smiled.
“The Boy’s Uncle made me Real,” he said. “That was a great many years ago; but once you are Real you can’t become unreal again. It lasts for always.”
And now, as they make their promises to each other, may they make them with the deepest insight into their meaning and with their fullest sincerity. May this be but the beginning of a relationship that will grow and mature with each passing year, so that the later days become even more wonderful than the early ones.
I promise to be true to you in sickness and in health, in joy and in sorrow, to love you without reservation and to serve you with tenderness and respect.
I promise to be rational with you. I promise to let you inside my head no matter what the state. You know me better than anyone and in committing to you I am committing to share your life, and to let you share mine.
I take you as my partner to learn and grow with, to come to in both happiness and sorrow, to confide in and trust above all others.
I promise to respect you in everything as an equal partner, but above all, to love you with all of my being.
Melissa, I cannot imagine finding any person better suited to me than you. You make me feel warm and at peace. You’re beautiful, sensitive, and blindingly smart. You let me take the lead, yet you know exactly when and how you should lead me. I’m still finding new facets of your depth, and it excites me so much to learn I still have more of you to discover. You’ve given me such amazing experiences, and of all the adventures we’ve had, I know our best one is just beginning.
I promise to nurture you. I promise to respect you. I promise to never take you for granted and never hold a grudge. I promise to strive for an ever-deeper, ever-stronger connection between us. I promise to make you my full partner in life, and love you with all of my being.
Do you, Melissa, affirm the words you have just spoken, and take Drew to be your lawful husband, with all attendant commitments and responsibilities, from this day, until the last day?
Do you, Drew, affirm the words you have just spoken, and take Melissa to be your lawful wife, with all attendant commitments and responsibilities, from this day, until the last day?
We will now exchange rings
Receive this ring as a seal upon my vows to you. With all that I am, and all that I have, I honor you.
Will all who are present witness this covenant between Drew and Melissa, respect their marriage, and sustain them with your friendship and care?
And so we witness the joining of two into one common life, a joining of complementary minds and spirits, a joining of families across continents. We ask for Drew and Melissa a full life – a life rich in meaning, purpose, caring, and joy. We ask that your marriage be one of ever-growing depth and fulfillment. May you meet the problems that will arise to challenge you with courage and strength. May your marriage bring you peace and inspiration, both to you and those who know you. May you both stay true to yourselves and your individuality, yet lose yourselves in your common bond, explore each other, depend on each other, and attain a richness of existence you never thought possible.
Congratulations Drew and Melissa, you are now husband and wife. You are two people but there is only one life before you. Live it well.
Melissa will now do the closing reading…
There was a sort of gallery structure in the roof space which held a bed and also a bathroom which, Fenchurch explained, you could actually swing a cat in, “But,” she added, “only if it was a reasonably patient cat and didn’t mind a few nasty cracks about the head. So. Here you are.”
They looked at each other for a moment.
The moment became a longer moment, and suddenly it was a very long moment, so long one could hardly tell where all the time was coming from.
For Arthur, who could usually contrive to feel self-conscious if left alone long enough with a Swiss cheese plant, the moment was one of sustained revelation. He felt on the sudden like a cramped and zoo-born animal who wakes one morning to find the door of his cage hanging quietly open and the savanna stretching gray and pink to the distant rising sun, while all around new sounds are waking.
He wondered what the new sounds were as he gazed at her openly wondering face and her eyes that smiled with a shared surprise.
He hadn’t realized that life speaks with a voice to you, a voice that brings you answers to the questions you continually ask of it, had never consciously detected it or recognized its tones until it now said something it had never said to him before, which was,
ssh on smartphone…
Logs into webserver…
Special thanks to the Unitarian Universalist Church
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