Spiritual Humanist Officiant

pastor-dave.org
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Tie the Knot

with

Pastor Dave

(425) 954-KNOT (5668)
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An Example of a Custom Ceremony


If you want your ceremony to be completely unique and to set the perfect tone for your special day, then you should choose to have a "Custom Ceremony"($100).  Pastor Dave will spend an hour or so with you looking at dozens of ceremonies, readings, special additions and more.  Editing them to meet your personal needs, and creating transitions so that your ceremony flows smoothly and consistently, your ceremony will be yours and yours alone.  All officiants construct custom ceremonies from passages they have used before.  This process lets you take as much control of the creative process as you like.  This is example was for a same sex couple, S and J.  They chose parts of 7 different ceremonies, two readings (one one the Wedding Readings page, and one from a different source), and a Special Addition.  The result was a substantial ceremony of about 1600 words that took about 16 minutes for just what was read and done, with another several minutes for the processional and recessional.  Please note, this is different from a "Personalized Ceremony" when Pastor Dave learns your love story and infuses it into your ceremony.  Your ceremony can be Custom, Personalized, both, or neither.  You get to choose.

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[This first section is from the Contemporary Ceremony from the Four Simple Ceremonies.  It starts the ceremony with a modern feel.  The optional "Presentation of the Bride" was removed.  No bride today!  But the Opening Words and Officiant's Address were kept]

OPENING WORDS

Please be seated.  Welcome to this day of celebration, it's great to have all of you here to witness the union of S and J as husbands before your caring gaze. Together, we will share in the joys of their wedding, both with the outward celebration of this occasion and with an internal appreciation for the love that surrounds us.

OFFICIANT'S ADDRESS
S and J, take a moment to sense the tremendous amount of love radiating throughout this space. As you stand here today, before the Universe, before those gathered here in your honor, and before one another,
take note that after you speak your vows this day your lives will never be the same. Marriage, regardless of any preconceived notions you might have, has the capacity to deepen and challenge and strengthen you and your relationship in ways that you never thought possible.

The joy you'll find as you pursue your shared lives will fuel you to face head-on the challenges you'll encounter on this Earth. On your journeys together, keep your spouse in the space of highest priority in your heart.  Learn to work together, to laugh together, and to love together. Don't get caught up in worldly things that will draw you apart. Instead, focus on your shared devotion and turn inward. As your relationship strengthens you will find that you come to share a remarkable love; a love that is both abundantly given and freely accepted.  

S and J will always be waiting and there for each other no matter what is happening around them.

[Here the Contemporary Ceremony normally has a quotation, but J and S chose a reading, instead.  While it was not from the Wedding Readings list directly, it was found on a BuzzFeed list of suggested readings liked at the bottome of the Wedding Readings page.  This was a really fun reading that pastor Dave delivered with great gusto!  Because it was originally to be about one person dedicated to waiting for another, we edited it to make it about two people waiting for each other.  The Custom Ceremony is about more than just using pre-written building blocks to construct your ceremony, it is about creating a smooth and flowing tribute to your uniqueness!]

READING 1
I now read from Neil Gaiman.
That Day, the saucers landed. Hundreds of them, golden, silent, coming down from the sky like great snowflakes,
And the people of Earth stood and stared as they descended,
Waiting, dry-mouthed, to find out what waited inside for us,
And none of us knowing if we would be here tomorrow.
But neither of you noticed because . . .

That day, the day the saucers came, by some some coincidence,
Was the day that the graves gave up their dead,
And the zombies pushed up through soft earth
or erupted, shambling and dull-eyed, unstoppable,
Came towards us, the living, and we screamed and ran.
But neither of you noticed this because . . .

On the saucer day, which was zombie day, it was ragnarok also,
And the television screens showed us a ship built of dead-men’s nails, a serpent, a wolf,
All bigger than the mind could hold, and the cameraman could not get far enough away, And then the Gods came out,
But you did not see them coming because . . .

On the saucer-zombie-battling-gods day the floodgates broke,
And each of us was engulfed by genies and sprites offering us wishes and wonders and eternities and charm and cleverness and true brave hearts and pots of gold,
While giants feefofummed across the land,
And killer bees,
But neither of you had any idea of any of this because . . .

That day, the saucer day, the zombie day, the Ragnarok and fairies day, the day the great winds came,
And snows and the cities turned to crystal, the day all plants died, plastics dissolved,
The day the computers turned, the screens telling us we would OBEY,
The day Angels, drunk and muddled, stumbled from the bars,
And all the bells of London were sounded,
The day animals spoke to us in Assyrian, the Yeti day, the fluttering capes and arrival of the Time Machine day,
Neither of you noticed any of this because -
You were sitting in your rooms, not doing anything
Not even reading,
Not really,
Just looking at your telephones,
Each wondering if the other was going to call.

[S and J chose to make their Declaration of Intent to Marry together, instead of one after the other.  Because they were both husbands it required some light editing.  This was also the first time they selected a passage from the Assorted Ceremonies page.  This was from Ceremony H]

DECLARATION OF INTENT
S and J, do you each of you take the other to be your husband? Will you love, honor, and cherish each other, in good times and in bad, and do you promise to stay true to each other as long as you both shall live? (I do.)

[S and J chose to pledge their vows to each other with a selection from Ceremony C.  Again light editing was needed to make them appropriate for a same sex couple.]

VOWS
S, please repeat after me.
I S take you J to be my husband/
I promise above all else/
to live in truth with you/
and to communicate/
fully and fearlessly/
I give you my hand and my heart/
as a sanctuary/
of warmth and peace/
and pledge my love and devotion/
faith and honor/
as I join my life to yours.

J, please repeat after me.
I J take you S to be my husband/
I promise above all else/
to live in truth with you/
and to communicate/
fully and fearlessly/
I give you my hand and my heart/
as a sanctuary/
of warmth and peace/
and pledge my love and devotion/
faith and honor/
as I join my life to yours.

[S and J couldn't decide which ring exchange they liked better.  Why choose?  Use everything you like.  So the introduction to the exchange came from Ceremony D, and the promises they repeated to each other contained lines from both Ceremony A and Ceremony C.]

RING EXCHANGE
May we have the rings?

The wedding ring is a traditional symbol of lasting commitment and enduring love, a universal expression of that which is without beginning and without end.  This ring expresses two other ideals – the ring itself, apprehensible to hand and eye, and the center, less tangible, and yet its essence.  At the center lies love, on which this marriage must put its faith, and from which it draws its sustenance and inspiration.  The center will hold as long as there is love.

S, as you place this ring on the finger of your beloved, please repeat after me,  
"I give you this ring,
to wear upon your hand,
as a symbol
of my endless commitment
and love for you."
May it belong to your hand
as my heart belongs to you,
separate but close,
simple yet miraculous.

J, as you place this ring on the finger of your beloved, please repeat after me,  
"I give you this ring,
to wear upon your hand,
as a symbol
of my endless commitment
and love for you."
May it belong to your hand
as my heart belongs to you,
separate but close,
simple yet miraculous.

[S and J also wanted a Special Addition to their wedding.  They chose the Sand Ceremony from the Special Additions page.  Again edited for their personal needs.]

SAND CEREMONY
Today, S and J have chosen to commemorate their marriage through the celebration of the Sand Ceremony. Please note the empty glass. Glass, itself, is made from sand and the sands of time have come together, melting into one piece to make this vessel. The sands of time should remind us all of our eternal love and our mortality.

S and J, today you join your separate lives together. The two separate bottles of sand symbolize your separate lives, separate families and separate set of friends. They represent all that you are today and all that you will ever be as an individual. They also represent your lives before today. As these two vessels of sand are poured into the third vessel, the individual vessels of sand will no longer exist, but will be joined together as one. Just as these grains of sand can never be separated and poured again into the individual vessels, so will your marriage be.

Repeat after me in one voice.
You are my love for eternity.
I blend with you.
My heart is like
these grains of sands,
merging with yours.
I am yours.
You are mine.
We are together forever
like the sand,
like the wind.
We will forever be one.

[S and J wanted a secular, non-religous ceremony.  Doubtless one of the reasons they chose to Tie the Knot with Pastor Dave.  However they both grew up in a Roman Catholic tradition.  Many of their guests were still active in the church, and they wanted to be respectful of their beliefs.  So they returned to the Wedding Readings page, and the special section of non-religious readings from religious sources.  The prayer of St. Francis is an important statement within the Catholic church.  But with a one word edit (changing the word God to Peace in the first line) it becomes both completely secular and a moving and spiritual addition to any wedding.]

READING
From Fancis of Assisi
In your marriage endeavor to be instruments of peace.
Where there is hatred, instead sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is discord, union;
Where there is doubt, trust;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy;
Strive that you may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console,
To be understood as to understand,
To be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned.

[S and J chose the closing words from Ceremony M, putting a nice cap on a delightful and completely Custom Ceremony.]

CLOSING WORDS
This is your day!  Love is the only sane and satisfactory answer to the problem of human existence. Yet most of us are unable to develop our capacities for love on the only level that really counts — a love that is compounded of maturity, self-knowledge, and courage. Learning to love, like other arts, demands practice and concentration. Mature love is union under the condition of preserving one's integrity. In love, the paradox occurs that two beings become one, and yet remain two.

The affirmation of one's own life, happiness, growth, and freedom is rooted in one's capacity to love. Genuine love is an expression of productiveness and implies care, respect, responsibility, and knowledge.

Family and friends, in the name of Humanity, in the presence of this company, in honor of those who have come before, by the power vested in me by the State of Washington and the Humanist Assembly of Washington State, I am pleased to pronounce S and J married.  You may seal your marriage with a kiss.



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