first ceremony - text
Thank you all for coming…. We are gathered here today to witness the marriage of these two people, Rich & Rachel, who stand before you in love, in trust, in joy and in hope. They ask us to be present with them and to rejoice in their companionship and their love.
Love is not meant to be the possession of two people alone. It serves as a source of common energy, as a form in which you find the strength to live your lives with courage. It’s the original perpetual motion machine once you set it going. Its energy sustains families, communities and ultimately the world. It’s a great thing you’ve got here. From this day onward, you will come closer together than ever before; you will carry on loving one another in sickness and health, for better and for worse, when you’re close and when you’re far away.
Your love also gives you the strength to stand apart, to seek out your unique destinies, to make your special contributions to the world. It is a thing which is always part of us… and more than us. On this day of your marriage, you stand within the charmed circle of your great love and the greater circle of those who love you.
- Reading 1 Rich Fairbanks (personal recollection)
- Reading 2 Rachel Westbook (Falling in Love is like Owning a Dog by Taylor Mali)
- Reading 3 Seth Westbrook (excerpt from Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, by Louis de Bernières)
- Reading 4 Jessamyn West (Union by Robert Fulghum)
Please repeat these vows after me
I, _____________, take you, ______________, to be my wife/husband.
I give you my hand and my heart.
I pledge to share my life openly with you and to speak loving truth to you.
I promise to respect and honor you, care for you in tenderness, support you with patience and love, and walk with you through all the seasons of our lives.
Will you Rich Fairbanks have Rachel Westbrook to be united as one in your civil marriage?
Will you Rachel Westbrook have Rich Fairbanks to be united as one in your civil marriage?
[to guests/friends/family] Do you promise to support Rich & Rachel, to give them the wisdom of your counsel, the loyalty of your heart, the fairness of your mind and the walking of their dogs?
By the authority vested in me by the voters of Randolph & the state of Vermont, I pronounce you husband and wife. Congratulations.