I once had a thousand desires, but in my one desire to know you, all else melted away.
Heidi's Philosophy on Ceremonies
Many couples, and their families come from different backgrounds, different faiths, and sometimes even different languages, so the harmonizing component in creating a "from the heart" ceremony is the love of the couple.
Ceremonies are "creations" of the couple and begin from the first meeting. During this initial session, discuss your first date; your courtship; your decision to marry; your spiritual beliefs; your families; and what songs, readings, and rituals are meaningful to the two of you. The most important factor is the significance of each aspect of the ceremony to each of you. Rev. Heidi Alfrey has performed weddings in such unique and elaborate settings as a French castle as well as simple ceremonies in a private home, and because of the couple's personal connection to the service - they are always heartfelt.
Finally, to ensure the ceremony flows well, it is a good idea for your officiant to attend the rehearsal, usually the evening before. This ensures that each member of the wedding party is comfortable with their role, and leads to a "calm and collected" wedding day.
So take the time to reflect on your union, what brought you together, what aspects of your lives you want to incorporate into your wedding ceremony, and how each of you "visualize" your wedding day. Make it your unique memory! Contact Rev. Alfrey for assistance in creating a ceremony expressly for you.
Spiritual Ceremony #1
Beloved family and friends, we have come together today to share a very precious and sacred moment, the joining in marriage of _____________and ______________.
____________and ____________, in the presence of the indwelling Spirit of Truth and before these loved ones and friends, have you come to be married of your own free will and out of your love for each other?
If so, answer together: WE HAVE
Let us pray:
Dear God, Creator of us all, we thank you for your Loving Presence in our lives. Today we especially thank you for the gifts of Love made real among us this day; the beauty of laughter, the tears of joy, the warmth of touch made real in this moment of marriage.
We rejoice that _____________and __________have found in each other a loving companion and friend. That through each other the path of life will always have meaning, even when it is at it’s steepest. Open our hearts and our senses to the brightness of the Love that lives within these two precious souls. Amen
This Is Friendship
I love you, not only for what you are, but for what I am when I am with you.
I love you for the part of me that you bring out.
I love you for putting your hand into my heaped up heart and passing over all the frivolous and weak things you can’t help seeing there and drawing out into the Light all the radiant things that no one else has looked quite far enough to find.
I love you for ignoring the possibilities of the fool in me and laying firm hold of the possibilities of good in me.
I love you for closing your eyes to the discords in me and adding to the music in me by worshipful listening.
You are each other’s best friend!
___________and _____________, you have shown great faith and trust in your love for each other, by making the commitment to join your lives. You have also shown your love for and faith in God, by making this commitment more than legal, by making it spiritual!
As individuals, you both have talents and gifts and the expression of these talents and gifts is a demonstration of your love for God and for each other the longer that you are together and the more you develop as individuals, the more you will have to contribute to each other and to your new life together.
___________ and ___________, the building of a marriage is not unlike the building of a house. If it is to be strong and if it is to fulfill its purpose in your lives, it must be built on a strong foundation. As you speak your vows, you will speak of four things which I believe are the foundation for a strong, creative marriage.
The first is honesty and trust. Honesty in marriage is more than speaking words which are true. It is thinking thoughts which are true about yourself and about each other. Honesty in marriage means the creating of a safe space where each of you discover and be who you truly are, without pretense or fear.
Trust is first of all a choice. We choose to trust and as we do, we find that trust becomes a gift that we receive in return.
As you speak your vows, you are saying in essence, "I trust you to think and speak honesty. I trust you to always be yourself and to allow me to be myself. I trust you and I commit myself to thoughts, words and actions that will keep your trust in me strong."
The second cornerstone is faith. To be faithful in marriage means more than affectionate fidelity. It means to be there in body, in mind, and in Spirit. It means to be there in loving, open communication. It means to believe in the value of each other as persons and in the value of your marriage, recognizing that your marriage is in itself, an entity that must be nourished and cared for.
As you speak your vows, you are saying, "I will be faithful to you. I will give conscious thought and attention to those things which will keep the flame of our Love clear and bright."
The third element in a vital, fulfilling marriage is joy. Joy is more than surface laughter or happiness. Joy expresses as a positive attitude an attitude that looks for what is good and right. Joy includes a sense of humor and a gracious personality. Joy gives taste and flavor to marriage. It has been said, "Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be." I invite you both to make up your minds to be joyful, for things from without cannot give you what must come from within.
When you speak your vows, you are saying, I make a commitment to joy! I choose to see those things that will lend grace and light to our lives to our lives together.
And, at last, we come to the cornerstone of marriage , Love. So many have tried to describe it. Certainly, Love is more than feelings, though it can express as loving feelings. It is more than thoughtful actions, though it will expressed as thoughtful actions. It is more than passion, though it will be expressed as passion. Love is the harmonizing gift of God, and as such, it will make your marriage beautiful to behold.
Perhaps Love is defined as well as it can be in these words from 1st Corinthians: I may speak with the tongues of men or of angels, but if I am without Love, I am a sounding gong or a clanging cymbal. I may have the gift of prophecy and know every hidden truth, and if I have all faith to move mountains, but have not Love, I am nothing Love is patient and Love is 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 and endures all things. Love never ends.
I, ____________, embrace you, ___________, as my wife, friend and lover beside me, apart from me, in laughter and in tears in conflict and in serenity asking that you be no other than yourself .loving what I know of you trusting what I do not yet know in all the ways that life may find us.To Bride:
I, __________, embrace you, _____________, as my husband, friend, and lover .beside me, apart from me ,in laughter and in tears, in conflict and in serenity asking that you be no other than yourself ..loving what I know of you trusting what I do not yet know in all the ways that life may find us.
May I have the rings?
These rings symbolize the sacred commitment made by each of you today, for they represent the unending circle of life. Let their strength and beauty serve to remind you that your love is also unending and strong enough to withstand what ever may come May your love, like these rings, shine brightly all the days of your life together and may it illumine the unfoldment of your dreams.
Ring exchange: Groom, to Bride, Bride to Groom
______________, with this ring, I promise to grow with you, to build our Love, to speak openly and honestly, to listen to you, and to love and cherish you now and forever. From this day forward you shall not walk alone, my heart will be your shelter and my arms will be your home.
Reading: A Blessing for a Marriage
May your marriage bring you all the exquisite excitements a marriage should bring, and may life grant you also, patience, tolerance and understanding. May you always need one another, not so much to fill your emptiness as to help you to know your fullness. A mountain needs a valley to be complete, the valley does not make the mountain less, but more, and the valley is more a valley, because it has a mountain towering over it. So let it be with you ____________, and you ______________.May you need one another, but not out of weakness, May you want one another, but not out of lack. May your entice one another, but not compel one another. May you embrace one another, but not encircle one another. May you succeed in all important ways with one another and not fail in the little graces. May you look for things to praise and often say, "I Love You", and take no notice of small faults. If you have quarrels that push you apart, may both of you have good sense enough to take the first step back. May you enter into the mystery,which is the awareness of one another's presence, no more physical than spiritual, warm and near when you are side-by-side and warm and near when you are in distant cities. __________and______________ may you have happiness and may you find it making one another happy and may you have love and may you find it loving one another!
It is my privilege to affirm verbally what you two have affirmed through the exchange of your vow sand rings. By the power of the Holy Spirit, who performs very true ceremony, Now pronounce you husband and wife. Those who God has joined together let no one put asunder. You may now exchange a kiss for the first time as Mr. And Mrs.___________________!!!
Spiritual Ceremony #2
Optional Lei exchange
We come together today because love gathers us; and especially because love has found you, _______________ and _______________, and woven you together side by side in the wonderful tapestry of life.
We gather to remember and to rejoice that it is love-always love-Divine Love, that leads us to our true destination and to celebrate that you have arrived at this sacred place in one another’s hearts. Indeed we are here to celebrate your union; to honor the beginning of your new life.
In this holy and joyful moment we call upon the Highest in you _______________ and _______________, the Divine Inner Presence that always knows exactly what you need, that gives and asks the best of you; that brought you to love and has chosen for you this sacred commitment you are about to make. For you we ask every blessing of this moment: a confirmation of the wisdom of your choice; great happiness on the path that is set before you; protection and guidance as you walk upon it; strength to live out your purpose; grace and peace through each step of your journey; and beloved friends to support you. May you be filled with joy; may you keep your promises with ease; may love abide with you always. Amen.
Reading (This one or choose from the list)
I love you! Not only for what you are, but for what I am when I am with you.
I love you! Not only for what you have made of yourself, but for what you are making of me.
I love you , for the part of me that you bring out.
I love you, for putting your hand into my heaped-up heart and passing over all the foolish, weak things that you can’t help dimly seeing there;
And for drawing out into the light, all the beautiful belongings that no one else had looked quite far enough to find.
I love you because you are helping me to make of the lumber of my life, not a tavern but a temple; Out of the works of my every day, not a reproach but a song!
_______________ and _______________, one thing must be considered sacred. That is and shall be, an agreement between two people. This day we joyfully celebrate a sacred agreement between the two of you. An agreement to be steadfast in your intention to love one another through all things.
As you live your marriage, you will find that your relationship has moods and seasons; wonderful times as well as challenges. From time to time the delightful spirit of this wedding day may not be with you, and you will have the opportunity to make the decision to reach for something deeper within yourselves; for the love that is stronger - the love that is truer. I ask you to remember that any difficulties you may encounter are but an invitation to explore the more profound reaches of compassion, of tender caring, of selfless nurturing. This is the maturing of love through time; love’s highest calling - it’s finest work, and it’s own reward.
Remember too, that a relationship is a progression. A wondrous journey that will take you to unexpected places within yourselves. Separately and together you are becoming more than you were. So be excited, open-minded, curious, available, and inquiring about who you are coming to be. Trust that your experiences will turn you into the highest form of yourselves, that you will become the best and the most, and that you will do things that only you two together could possibly do!
You are promising to love for the long and unknown future. If you can hold to this intention, you will ride out any storms with confidence and faith. Above all, choose love. For it is love that will prevail. It is the love you hold for one another that will be the answer to any difficulties. Choose love. Return to love. For that is who you are. In love you shall forgive. In love you shall be healed. In love you shall join as partners, as one anothers teachers; in love you will find and be the beloved help-mate. In love, together, you will know the Divine.
Now in and through the power of the Divine, may every desire you have for your love be fulfilled; may you be given the vision to behold one another with the eyes of love, and the endless generosity of spirit with which to nurture one another’s soul and sweetly keep the promises you make here today. Amen.
The Expression on Intent
Now that you have heard the high calling of this holy union, do you _______________ choose _______________ to be your honored and cherished mate, to live with [him/her] and love [him/her] in blessed union?
And _______________, likewise having heard the high calling of this holy union, do you choose_______________ to be your honored and cherished mate, to live with [him/her] and love [him/her] in blessed union?
I will now ask you to say publicly your declaration of love and commitment to one another.
[Please face one another and repeat after me:]
I, __________, embrace you, __________, as my wedded husband and best friend. in doing so I commit my life to you and our relationship, encompassing all joys and sorrows, all triumphs and hardships, all the experiences of life. a commitment made in Love, kept in faith , lived in hope and always made new.
I, __________, embrace you, ___________, as my wedded wife and best friend, in doing so I commit my life to you and our relationship, encompassing all joys and sorrows, all triumphs and hardships, all the experiences of life. a commitment made in Love, kept in faith , lived in hope and always made new.
Blessing of the Rings
And so we come _______________ and _______________, to the presentation of rings by which you symbolize and bind your love:
May these rings be your most treasured adornment. May they serve as a symbol of the sacred promise you make today, and remind you day after day that you are loved and have been chosen.
Exchanging of the Rings
_______________, please place the ring on _______________’s finger, then - while holding hands, please repeat after me:
Please receive this ring. I give it to you as a symbol of my steadfastness and joy in loving you, and as a pledge to honor you, with all that I am, and all I shall become, for my whole life.
_______________, please place the ring on _______________’s finger, then - while holding hands, please repeat after me:
Please receive this ring. I give it to you as a symbol of my steadfastness and joy in loving you,
and as a pledge to honor you, with all that I am, and all I shall become, for my whole life.
Reading (choose from the list)
The Pronouncement of Holy Union
And now _______________ and _______________, because you have chosen one another, honored each other with the precious gift of your rings, and pledged to love each other for all the days of your lives, it is my honor and delight to pronounce you forever joined in Holy Union.
May you live out your days in joy; may you live in one another’s company in peace, and may your days be filled with the rewards of a deep and abiding love. May the Divine Presence guide and protect you on your way. Go forth with jubilation in your hearts and gladness in your feet. May you live happily ever after! Amen. You may seal your covenant with a kiss!
Aloha, me ke aloha pumehana hoa pili male ana
The Exchanging of Leis (Optional)
In Hawaii, it is the custom to give the exchange of leis as a symbol of love and sharing. At this time, ______________and _____________ will exchange their leis as a symbol of their shared love and the joining of their lives.
A warm welcome to our friends on this occasion of their wedding. (Minister places leis around bride and groom's neck.)
We are gathered here to share in the marriage of ___________and __________. Marriage is the coming together of a man and a woman, two parts of the whole, transcending the illusion of separateness and symbolizing the unity of all humanity.
Marriage is a physical representation of a shared dream of unity, coming forth through this union. It is a conscious state of being, where we choose our dream of love which is our right, and extend ourselves to another person, to grow in this love and awareness together.
Marriage is a special place as well as a state of being. A place of safety, where you can find your true home, and feel free to be able to express your true feelings, thoughts and emotions to each other the same.
The unity of marriage is the very foundation of family life...and so in forming this union, _________and____________are beginning a new family as well as strengthening and perpetuating their historical family.
It is a great transformation for the individual, a courageous act, this coming out...this affirmation...Yes, I take this person to be my partner in life, to share all my experiences, to be my teacher, my student, my companion and my friend.
In this world which can be so troubled and which can appear to be so fragile, it is in acts such as marriage that we see the continuing force of human good..the power of love which is truly our guide.
Reading (choose from list)
_____________, will you take _______________ to be your wedded wife, to love, to cherish, to have and to hold, for richer and for poorer, in sickness and health, in sadness and in joy, to share together as long as you both shall live?
_____________, will you take _______________ to be your wedded husband, to love, to cherish, to have and to hold, for richer and for poorer, in sickness and health, in sadness and in joy, to share together as long as you both shall live?
Hawaiian Water Sharing Ceremony (Optional)
Apache Wedding Blessing
Now you will feel no rain, for each of you will be shelter for the other.
Now you will feel no cold, for each of you will be warmth to the other.
Now there will be no loneliness, for each of you will be companion to the other.
Now you are two persons. But there is only one life before you.
May beauty surround you both in the journey ahead and through all the years.
May happiness be your companion and your days together be good and long upon the earth.
Treat yourselves and each other with respect, and remind your selves often of what brought you together. Give the highest priority to the tenderness, gentleness and kindness that your connection deserves. When frustration, difficulties and fear assail your relationship, as they threaten all relationships at one time or another, remember to focus on what is right between you, not only the part that seems wrong. In this way, you can ride out the storms when clouds hide the face of the sun in your lives – remembering that even if you lost sight of it for a moment, the sun is still there. And if each of you takes responsibility for the quality of you life together, it will be marked by abundance and delight.
Reading: When a Man and a Woman are in Love
When a man and a woman are in Love,
His life lies within hers and her life lies within his.
Each lives as an individual, yet they also live for one another.
Each strives for independent goals, but they also work together to achieve their goals.
When a man and a woman are in Love,
They will give to one another what they need to survive and help fulfill each other’s wants.
They will turn one another’s disappointment into satisfactions
They will turn one another frustrations into contentment
They will work as a mirror, reflecting to each other their strength sand weaknesses
They will work together to alleviate the emotional walls that may separate them.
They will work together to build a better understanding of one another
They will learn to lean on one another, but not so much as to be a burden on the other
They will learn to reach out to one another, but not so much as to suffocate the other.
They will learn when it is time to speak and when it is time to listen
They will be there to comfort each other in times of sorrow.
They will be there to celebrate together in times of happiness
They will be one another’s friend; guiding each other to the happiness that life holds
They will be one another’s companion, facing together the challenges that life may present.
When a man and a woman are in Love, his life lies within hers and her life lies within his.
Together they will love one another for the rest of their lives and forevermore.
Reading: Marriage is a Promise of Love
To the best that two people can find and bring out in each other
It offers opportunities for sharing and growth no other human relationship can equal,
A physical and emotional joining that is promised for a lifetime.
Within the circle of its love, marriage encompasses all of life’s most important relationships
A wife and a husband are each other’s best friend, confidant, lover, teacher, and, listener.
There may come times when one partner is heartbroken or ailing, and the love of the other may resemble the tender caring of a parent for a child
Marriage deepens and enriches every facet of life.
Happiness is fuller; memories are fresher; commitment is stronger; even anger is felt more strongly, but it passes away more quickly
Marriage understands and forgives the mistakes that life is unable to avoid. It encourages and nurtures new life, new experiences, and new ways of expressing love through all the many seasons of life.
When two people, such as yourselves, pledge to love and care for one another in marriage, they create a spirit unique to themselves, which binds them closer than any spoken or written words could ever do.
Marriage is a promise, a potential, made in the hearts of two people who love and it certainly does take a lifetime to fulfill.
Reading: A Blessing for a Marriage
May your marriage bring you all the exquisite excitements a marriage should bring, and may life grant you also, patience, tolerance and understanding. May you always need one another, not so much to fill your emptiness as to help you to know your fullness. A mountain needs a valley to be complete, the valley does not make the mountain less, but more, and the valley is more a valley, because it has a mountain towering over it.
Reading: On Marriage
The Almitra spoke again and said, “And what of Marriage Master?”
And he answered saying, “You were born together and together you shall be forevermore. You shall be together when the white wings of death scatter your days. Yes, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God. Let there be spaces in your togetherness. And let the winds of the heavens 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 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.
Reading: By the Sea
As the two of you become one,
by the border of this constant and unlimited force
As these waters may your love be limitless, flowing and ever changing.
May your Love forever redefine itself.
May your Love hold within it the essence of life
In pledging your lives and love to one another
for all the days that remain to you two,
you acknowledge the changes in your existence,
and celebrate your commitment to
your strong , aware relationship.
May your love touch and enrich all those with whom you come into contact
As these waters touch the many shores of the earth.
Reading: On Friendship
I love you, not only for what you are,
But for what I am when I am with you
I love you not only for what you have made of yourself,
But for what you are making of me.
I love the part of me that you bring out.
I love you for putting your hand into my heaped-up heart
And passing over all the frivolous and weak things you can not help seeing there.
And drawing out into the Light, all the beautiful radiant things
That no one else has looked quite hard enough to find.
I love you for ignoring the possibilities of the fool in me
And laying hold of the possibilities of good in me.
I love you for closing your eyes to the discords in me,
And adding to the music in me by worshipful listening.
You have done it without a touch, without a sign, without a word,
You have done it by being yourself.
You are each other’s best friend!
Reading : True Love