Thursday, March 29, 2012

Expression of Intent for Marriage Anew

Knowing that your heart has been bruised,
That the path of marriage has not always brought you joy,
That because of your sorrows you have doubted your wisdom
And the wholeness of the self that did the choosing,
Do you choose now, with fresh joy and new love,
To marry __________ for the long unfurling future,
and for the ever-remaining seasons of your life?
Answer: I do

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Vows from the year 1100

      Here is a Medieval French vow for you to enjoy.  It is fun to see how similar and yet different they are from traditional vows today.  The French employed some more earthy reminders of the pleasures of the marriage bed.

     "I take thee as my wife/husband and my spouse, and so I join thee in faith to my body, that I may bring thee faithfully and loyally to my body and my belongings; and so I will keep thee in health and in sickness and in whatever state that Our Lord deigns thee to be in, and neither for better nor for worse will I replace thee with another, all the days of my life."

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Song of Solomon

Come My Beloved

Behold my beloved speaketh to me,
"Arise, make haste, my love, my dove,
My beautiful one, and come. 
For winter is past, the rain is over and gone. 
The flowers have appreared in our land.
The fig tree hath put forth her green figs;
The vines in flower yield their sweet smell.
Arise, my love, my beautiful one and come.
My dove in the clefts of the rock, in the hollow of the wall,
Show me thy face, let thy voice sound in my ears.
For thy voice is sweet, and thy face comely."
"My beleved is mine and I am his who feedeth among the lilies."

Song of Solomon 2:10-14, 16

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Dove Poem

Two doves meeting in the sky
Two loves hand in hand eye to eye
Two parts of a loving whole
Two hearts and a single soul.
Two stars shining big and bright
Two fires bringing warmth and light
Two songs played in perfect tune
Two flowers growing into bloom.
Two doves gliding in the air
Two loves free without a care
Two parts of a loving whole
Two hearts and a single soul.

Monday, March 12, 2012

The Heart is a Deep Wild Rock

Go deeper than love, for the soul has greater depths,
Love is like the grass, but the heart is deep wild rock
Molten, yet dense and permanent.

Go down to your deep old heart and lose sight of yourself.
And lose sight of me, the me whom you turbulently loved.

Let us lose sight of ourselves, and break the mirrors.
For the fierce curve of our lives is moving again to the depths out of sight,
In the deep living heart.
D.H. Lawrence, from "Know Deeply, Know Thyself More Deeply"

Friday, March 9, 2012

The Procession

       From ancient times, the procession was part of celebrations and worship.  The celebrants would march through town with music and singing rejoicing in the occasion or suffering together for the loss of a loved one.  The procession would end at the church or temple, where upon the priest, pastor or rabbi would continue the ceremony. 

     The procession is symbolic of moving from one state of being to another.  The traditional wedding march up the isle of the church or other venue, is one of the few remaining processions we have today.  For a bride, it transitions her departing from her past and entering into her future as a married woman.  The attendants and parent or friend who accompanies her are the celebrants to join and witness her physical movement towards her new life.  As she joins her betrothed at the alter, she enters a intimate circle of teaching where the nature, obligations and privileges of marriage are discussed and promises of the future are expressed. 
     The procession is often a very emotional experience bringing tears to both the bride and groom and many guests.  Deeply symbolic, the actual process of the procession, carries us emotionally, step by step through all the nuances of meaning in the ceremony.  We all move with the bride and groom, from recognizing their singleness to celebrating their union.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Wedding Ring

“I’m engaged”, the young woman brightly announces to her girlfriend.  “Let me see your ring!” exclaims her best friend.  The diamond engagement ring worn on the third finger of the left hand is the traditional symbol for American and Northern European weddings. Traditions for the ring have varied over the centuries and countries.  Here are just a few.

Ancient Romans believed that the vein in the third finger of the left hand ran directly to the heart, thus the placement of the ring on this finger.  However, Egyptians wore wedding rings on the middle finger of the left hand.   Medieval bridegrooms invoked the Holy Trinity while placing the ring first on the thumb saying “The Father”, then the index saying “The Son”, then middle finger saying “The Holy Spirit” and finally on the third finger, left hand while saying “Amen”.  Puritans disapproved of a ring in the ceremony and quietly put it on afterward.  In some European countries wedding rings are worn on the right hand.  A Greek woman wears her ring on her left hand while engaged, then on the right after marriage.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

A Deep Unity

         "Being in love is a good thing, but it is not the best thing.  There are many things below it, but there are also things above it.  You cannot make it the basis of a whole life.  It is a noble feeling, but it is still a feeling…who could bear to live in that excitement for even five years?... But, of course, ceasing to ‘be in love’ need not mean ceasing to love.  Love in a second sense – love as distinct from ‘being in love’ – is not merely a feeling.  It is a deep unity, maintained by will and deliberately strengthened by habit; reinforced by the grace which both parents ask, and receive, from God.  They can have this love for each other even at those moments when they do not like each other; as you love yourself even when you do not like yourself.  They can retain this love even when each would easily, if they allowed themselves, be ‘in love’ with someone else.  ‘Being in love’ first moved them to promise fidelity; this quieter love enables them to keep the promise.  It is on this love that the engine of marriage is run; being 'in love' was the explosion that started it."
C.S. Lewis

Friday, March 2, 2012

The Journey of Marriage

"I will remember always that marriage, like life, is a journey -- not a destiation - and that its treasures are found not just at the end but all along the way."