THE WEDDING CEREMONY
HOLLY LOUISE O’CONNELL MCGRATH
WILLIAM ROBERT WARD
Saturday, 6 September 1997
The Rev. John D. Ickes, Presiding
MINISTER: Beloved family members of Bill and Holly, we are gathered here together today to join these two in marriage and to announce publicly the union which they have forged together, and will keep building throughout the remainder of their lives.
Marriage is a bond of intimacy built on a foundation of honesty, integrity, and forgiveness. Do not lie to or act to deceive one another: lies act as a wedge to drive you apart. However, you must bear in mind that mistakes do happen and humans have weaknesses, and that however painful it may be to forgive, it is far worse to allow the intimacy to be forever broken.
Marriage is not a freezing in time, but rather a commitment to an ongoing process. As you pass through life, you will certainly find yourselves changing in various ways. This in itself is not a bad thing. However as a married couple you must be on the lookout for these changes, so that the tow of you can change together, thus strengthening rather than weakening the bond you have forged.
STATEMENT OF INTENT
MINISTER: Holly, is your true desire and intent to be united each to the other, in this time and in this company, as partners in life and love? As Bill’s wife, will you cherish, encourage, and support him in whatever life may bring you? If so answer, “I will.”
HOLLY: I will.
MINISTER: Bill, is your true desire and intent to be united each to the other, in this time and in this company, as partners in life and love? As Holly’s husband, will you cherish, encourage, and support her in whatever life may bring you? If so answer, “I will.”
BILL: I will.
[BILL and HOLLY take up a small candle each, which the MINISTER lights. The MINISTER then holds up the Unity Candle]
MINISTER: To symbolize the joining of your two lives and loves into one marriage, we will now light this Unity Candle. The light of the flame symbolizes the power of your love to drive away the darkness that life’s hardships can bring. The heat of the flame symbolizes the passion of your love as it brings warmth and richness to your lives. Bringing together the two candles you each hold, we light this Unity Candle, to burn brighter and longer than the smaller candles could do separately. As you light this candle, please repeat after me:
[BILL and HOLLY light Unity Candle]
MINISTER, with BILL and HOLLY echoing: “We light this candle to strengthen the light of our love to drive away life’s darknesses, and the passion of our love to bond us closer together.”
MINISTER: While this candle may not burn forever, may your love last forever. May the flame you have lit today burn forever in your harts.
EXCHANGE OF VOWS
MINISTER: Join your right hands, and repeat after me:
MINISTER, with BILL echoing: “I, Bill, take you, Holly, to be my lawfully wedded wife, to have and to hold, for better and for worse, for richer and for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love, honor, and cherish, until death do us part.”
MINISTER, with HOLLY echoing: “I, Holly, take you, Bill, to be my lawfully wedded husband, to have and to hold, for better and for worse, for richer and for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love, honor, and cherish, until death do us part.”
EXCHANGE OF RING
MINISTER: May I have the ring?
[BILL gives ring to MINISTER]
MINISTER: Take this ring, Bill, and place it on the third finger of Holly’s left hand, saying these words: “With the giving of this ring, I thee wed.”
[BILL places ring on finger]: With the giving of this ring, I thee wed.
MINISTER: Holly, will you say: “With the receiving of this ring, I thee wed.”
HOLLY: With the receiving of this ring, I thee wed.
MINISTER: Whom love hath joined together, let no one break asunder. For as much as you two have consented to live together in marriage and have pledged yourselves to each other, and have declared the same by the lighting of this candle, the giving and receiving of a ring, and joining of hands, I therefore by the power invested in me by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, do pronounce you husband and wife. You may kiss.
[BILL and HOLLY kiss.]
MINISTER: Let us conclude this ceremony with an ancient Apache blessing:
May you feel no rain, for each of you will be shelter to the other.
May you feel no cold, for each of you will be warmth to the other.
May there be no loneliness for you.
Now you are two bodies, but there is one life before you.
Go now to your dwelling-place, to enter into the days of your togetherness.
And may your days be good, and long upon the earth.