Archive for the ‘Rites of Passage’ Category

Marriage Ceremony of James and Shay

August 21, 2016

This is the wedding of James and Shay, August 14, 2016 at Champoeg State Park, near Portland Oregon. They asked me to officiate.




Welcome everyone to this beautiful place and joyous occasion — the uniting in marriage of Shay Walker and James Clarke

To all the guests – family and friends – I thank you on their behalf for being here to witness the pledging of their everlasting love.

You are present not only to witness this sacred ceremony but also to support with your energy James and Shay’s intention as they begin a new chapter in their lives. Will everyone please respond with a rousing “Yes!” to this question: “Do you wholly and excitedly join Shay’s and James’s happiness today?”

Response: “Yes!”


james shay ceremony 1

As you join us today, we ask for your blessings upon this couple as they unite in marriage.

Let all their days together be happy and all their words to each other be sweet.

Though their paths are intertwined, let them be aware of each other’s separateness. Bless their home and allow it to be a place of joy and serenity.

Remind them to nurture each other with mutual love, honor and respect.

As they learn from one another, may they grow stronger as individuals and closer as a couple.

Unity Candle

As you light this candle of unity, you symbolize the flame of your own individual selves joining to light the partnership of marriage.

As Shay and James, your flames are separate, yet they feed the same fire. (Both light the Unity Candle.)


From this day onward, may you bask in the light of your love, may its light shine bright and steady upon your path together and may its heat keep you warm through all the days of your lives.

James’ Vow

james vows

I promise to always care for you, protect you and honor you. I promise to keep growing with you, and always bring you the best of me. I promise that as we grow old together, our hearts will remain young and free. I promise that as we move through life, I’ll always be on your team. I promise that the sun will always shine on our house and our love. Most of all, I promise to always be your best friend and to never stop loving you.

Shay’s Vow

My Jamesbear, my best friend, I love you. You’ve always been such an inspiration to me. You are truly the sweetest soul I have ever come to know.

shays vows

You’ve been nothing but a big ball of warmth and love in my life. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t feel your kindness radiating towards me.

You have the most beautiful lovely smile that I get to see every morning as I open my eyes to begin my day.

Ever since I met you, when we were nothing but wee little fourteen-year-olds, I knew that you were something special, and I wanted nothing more than to be with you for as long as you would put up with me.

I vow to you that I’ll be there whenever you need me. Weak or strong, I will be there for you, to build you up when you feel low, and to encourage you to always reach for the stars because I know that together we can achieve anything.

A quote that I’ve always wanted to dictate to you says, “I wish I’d done everything on Earth with you,” and I hope to make that quote as true as I can in our future life together.

I love you.

Introduction to Exchange of Rings

May these rings symbolize your inherent wholeness and unity with one another, giving you the strength to happily honor your commitments to each other.

May they remind you that marriage is not a destination but a journey, with no
beginning and no end, just a moment-to-moment opportunity to love and be loved to the best of your ability.

Exchange of Rings

James, as you place the ring on Shay’s finger, please repeat after me:

I offer my vow to you in the form of this ring,
So that my word and my love
Will always be with you,
Close to your heart.

ring ceremony

Shay, as you place the ring on James’ finger, please repeat after me:

I offer my vow to you in the form of this ring,
So that my word and my love
Will always be with you,
Close to your heart.

Blessing of the Marriage

From Kahlil Gibran

You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore.
You shall be together when the white wings of death scatter your days.
Ay, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God.
But let there be spaces in your togetherness,
And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.

Love one another, but make not a bond of love:
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf.
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,
Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.

Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
And stand together yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.

Pronouncement of Marriage

Shay and James, you have heard the words about love and marriage. You have exchanged your vows and made your promises, and celebrated your union with the giving and receiving of rings.

May the blessings of life, the joy of love, the peace of truth, and the wisdom and strength of Spirit, be your constant companion, now and always, as husband and wife.

I now pronounce you husband and wife.

You may now kiss the bride!

wedding kiss

Presentation of Couple

And now, to all the friends and family who have come to celebrate this union, I take great pleasure in presenting, for the first time anywhere, the united couple Mr. and Mrs. Clarke.

wedding carry

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