Wedding Sermon

Opening Words

Friends and family, we have been invited here today to share with Nathaniel and Elissa a very important moment in their lives. 

In their time together, their love and understanding of each other have grown and matured. 

Having found their soul mate in each other they have chosen to enter into matrimony. 

If any can show just cause why these two shall not be joined together as one, let them speak now or forever hold their peace.

Opening reading

1 Corinthians Ch 13

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 

If I have the gift of prophecy and can understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 

If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to be burned so that I may boast, but do not have love, I am nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.

It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.

Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love…Love never fails.

The definition of marriage

As I reflect on the words of the Apostle Paul I am reminded of the power of love. 

If we have love in our intentions, if the meaning of our words is backed with love, if our thoughts and our actions are centered in love then we can find true happiness in this world.

I often say that luck, good or bad, exist at the intersection of preparation and opportunity. 

The times you have suffered, your heartbreak and pain, your triumphs and joy throughout your life have been your preparation for this moment. 

Love the good and love the bad. 

Love the trials and tribulations of your life so far for without them you could not experience the joy you feel today. 

Love your pains and your losses for without them you could not feel the elation you feel today.

Lucky are those few who find the true deep love that you both feel for one another. 

You are here today to seize the opportunity to testify your love for each other in front of your friends and family. 

Do not enter into this lightly. 

In confessing your love for each other in front of us gathered here today you are entering into the most sacred of contracts. 

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You are accepting that you are no longer individuals.  That you are of one body, one mind, one soul together. 

You are becoming the combination of your strengths and of your weaknesses. 

The testimony you are about to dedicate to one another is yet another preparation for your life, now together, forever inseparable.  Keep growing the flame of love you have here today. 

This will be the source of your luck going forward…because love…love never fails.

Wedding vows

Let us witness as the Nathaniel and Elissa share the vows they have prepared.

Second reading

A poem I wrote to celebrate this occasion

Love me as I love you

Love me in my success AND in my failure

Love me with the brightness of the sun in the meadow

Love me in my darkest winter hour

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Love me from the top of the mountains and in the valley of despair

Love me for as long as the trees grow

Love me as fierce as the fire that returns the trees to ash

Love me in your breath and in your words

Love me in your anger

Love me in your joy

Love me in your silence and in your noise

Love me with the gentle stillness of a mountain pond

Love me with the raging power of a waterfall

Love me as I change and in my stubbornness

Love me as I grow

Love me in my delusions

Love me as if I am a part of you and you are a part of me

Love me because we are one

Love me because of our differences

Love me in this way for this is how I love you. 

Love me as we grow together chasing the unattainable goal of perfect love. 

Love me as I love you because love…love never fails.

Exchange of rings

The exchange of wedding rings represents the vows and promises the bride and groom have exchanged.  They signify to the world that they belong to someone special and someone special belongs to them.

Nathaniel, as you place the ring on Elissa’s finger repeat after me:

As a sign of my love for you,

of choosing to share my whole life’s journey with you,

and of my knowledge that in marrying you

I shall become much more than I am,

I give you this ring, with the pledge

That I, with you, shall become one

as unending as the infinite circle.

Elissa, as you place the ring on Nathaniel’s finger, repeat after me:

As a sign of my love for you,

of choosing to share my whole life’s journey with you,

and of my knowledge that in marrying you

I shall become much more than I am,

I give you this ring, with the pledge

That I, with you, shall become one

as unending as the infinite circle.

May these rings remind you that your love, like the sun, warms all that it touches, like the moon, brightens the night, and like the eye, is a gateway to your innermost soul.

And your love, like the arms that embrace you, makes everything right with the world because love…love never fails.

Tree planting ceremony

The Bride and Groom will now take part in a Tree Planting Ceremony, to symbolize the roots of their relationship, and the continued growth of their love, as they become each other’s family today.

Love is the essence of human experience and emotion.  It is the root of all and everything we, as humans, do.

Love richens our experience and fills our lives with meaning.  It gives us a firm base from which to grow, to learn, and change. 

Let your relationship and your love for each other be like this tree you plant today.

Let it grow tall and strong. Let it stand tall during the harsh winds and rains and storms, and come through unscathed.

Like a tree, your marriage must be resilient. It must weather the challenges of daily life and the passage of time.

And just like the tree you are planting, marriage requires constant nurturing and nourishment.

Bride and Groom, would you please water the sapling?

Remember to nourish each other, with words of encouragement, trust, and love. This is needed on a daily basis so you each can grow and reach your fullest potential – just like this tree.

The Bride and Groom will plant this tree in their backyard to always be a symbol of their love for each other.

Sanctioning of marriage

Love is the greatest gift we can offer one another.

Love is what makes marriage so wonderful.  This marriage, here and now, is cause for each of us in attendance to celebrate. 

It is my personal hope and prayer that, as you witnessed this celebration of love, perhaps it strengthened the memory of your happy day and reminds you of the meaning of the vows you once took. 

And that, while your love grows daily, perhaps today, today that flame that has been growing between you, it will shine a bit brighter having witnessed the vows and dedication of love that Nathaniel and Elissa have shared. 

As you depart today, take this gift that they have given us on their wedding day.

Dry your tears, share their smile, and depart knowing that love…love never fails.

Declaration of marriage

By the power vested in me by the state of Colorado, I now pronounce you husband and wife. 

You may now kiss.

I present to you Mr. and Mrs. Nathaniel and Elissa Maes

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