Writing Samples

Sample of a Welcome Speech

CELEBRANT:

Dear family and friends – let your hearts be glad and your spirits rejoice, for we are gathered together to witness the marriage of Jennifer and Daniel.  You, their family and friends, each have been invited here for a holy purpose, not just to witness, but to participate fully with your thoughts and prayers, and to bless this couple and their married life.  No one comes to love with empty hands.  Jennifer and Daniel have chosen this ceremony of marriage because they wanted to include you as their witnesses, their community, and their friends.  Homer wrote: “There is nothing nobler or more admirable than when two people, who see eye to eye, keep house as man and wife, thus confounding their enemies and delighting their friends.”  You are those friends.  You are welcome here today.

Daniel and Jennifer, your friends and family join with you on this day, as you pledge that from this time forward you shall be husband and wife; that you will carry each other within you, wherever you may go; that no matter what life may bring, you will walk it hand-in-hand, committed as husband and wife. Marriage will be your fortress of well-being.

Sample of a ceremony speech

CELEBRANT:

Now, to the story of Frances and Jonathan.  The Sufi poet Rumi wrote: “The minute I heard my first love story I started looking for you, not knowing how blind that was.  Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere.  They’re in each other all along.”  To me this quote feels just right for Frances and Jonathan.  For them to come together, however, took many miles of travel, years of growth and one wonderful hairdresser.  Yes, I said hairdresser.  Samantha is not only an excellent hairdresser, she also has an excellent ear and eye.  She understands her clients so well that she has developed a small sideline by matching them up.  Frances and Jonathan are the ninth couple!

The date was set for a bar where Jonathan arrived early so he could watch the Yankee game.  He remembers that he didn’t see Frances when she walked in, but he did notice that a few of the other guys at the bar actually looked over at the doorway in the middle of an impossible 5-4-3 double play – which apparently is not something guys normally do –  so Jonathan turned to look as well.  When Jonathan saw Frances and her enormous smile he thought: God, I know we haven’t talked for a while, but please tell me this woman is my date! The next thing he knew, Frances was introducing herself and Jonathan was thinking he should talk with God more often!

Their relationship was easy and light from the beginning.  Effortless is the word.  Jonathan thought he might be in love the first time he heard Frances laugh.  And, after three dates Frances was still having a good time, which was a milestone for her.

As their relationship developed they began to appreciate the good fortune that had blessed their lives.  The odds against people finding a perfect match are staggering.  The odds against people growing up on opposite sides of the planet and still finding one another are astonishing.  Frances was born in Cambodia, and the basic freedoms that Jonathan took for granted were an improbable dream for her.  The every day courage she has made part of her life is an inspiration and source of amazement for Jonathan.  She is the smartest, bravest person he knows.  Frances understand this and sees every day that Jonathan accepts and appreciates her for the person she is.  In Jonathan, Frances has found a very worldly and worthy person.  His honesty, loyalty to his family and friends, positive attitude in life, and his inner strength assures her that he is a man who honors his commitments.

And their connection from the start was laughter.  Humor continues to be the energy that drives them.  They laugh at each other’s jokes.  They laugh at each other when they lose their tempers and stomp around in a huff.  She laughs at his crazy passion for discussing sports.  He laughs when she buys and enormous chocolate bar – supposedly for him – and then eats the whole thing herself.  And sometimes they turn together and laugh at the world.  The world can be very funny when you have somebody with whom to share the laughter.

Sample of a Story

Terry and Thomas are ready to recognize publicly what they already have privately.  They are choosing marriage because they believe in being responsible for and to one another in a formal way.  They feel a sense of rightness with one another and cannot imagine a life without the other.   They believe that marriage is a way to announce to the world that the two of them are a family.  This is a total commitment.  These are not merely two people pledging to each other, but two people declaring themselves to their community.

Sample of Ring Vows

CELEBRANT:

These rings are a symbol of love, which is a symbol of eternity.  Love wipes out all sense of time, destroying all memory of a beginning and all fear of an end. It is a circle like these rings.  May they always remind you that your love is a grace upon this world.

David, please place the ring on Holli’s finger and repeat after me:

DAVID:

Holli, with these rings, I marry you.

Take and wear them as a pledge of my love, And as a symbol of all we share.

CELEBRANT:

Holli, please place the ring on David’s finger and repeat after me:

HOLLI:

David, with this ring, I marry you.

Take and wear it as a pledge of my love, And as a symbol of all we share

CELEBRANT:

These rings will endure.  So may it be with your love.

Sample of a Blessing with Humor

CELEBRANT:

The secret to a good marriage is a secret.

It is not enough to find a good partner; you must also be a good partner. The road ahead is  open to you.  As you step forward together I offer you this blessing.

May you never go to bed angry.  May you always stay up and fight.

May you never hesitate to seize a single morsel of life.  Remember all those people on the Titanic who passed up the dessert tray.

And together may you always find Life an adventure when you are lost and a treasure when you are found.

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