Jody and Robert’s Wedding Ceremony

Procession:

Reading:

Dance me to your beauty with a burning violin.

Dance me through the panic ’til I’m gathered safely in.

Lift me like an olive branch and be my homeward dove.

Dance me to the end of love.

Welcome:

Welcome guests, family and friends, full of good cheer and happy hearts. Welcome to this special day and event: the celebration of two lives joined together in heart and hand. We are here to witness, to acclaim, and to celebrate the union of Robert Knight and Jody Allard. And what is more, as guests and witnesses, we are called, just as they are, into a transformation: to recognize and to support, in public and private, Robert and Jody as husband and wife, together, in their dance of love.

And welcome, Jody and Robert; Jared, Camden, and Emilia; Alice and Charlotte; (and two draft picks to be named later) to a day that you, and those who love you, both those who are able to be here and those who are not, have looked forward to. We are honored to be invited to take part in this day, as we celebrate and honor your love for, and your commitment to, each other. Today, through public declaration and celebration, your lives, your hopes and your dreams, and your families combine with our own.

Reading:

Dance me to the wedding now, dance me on and on.

Dance me very tenderly and dance me very long.

We’re both of us beneath our love, we’re both of us above.

Dance me to the end of love.

Address.

In his Letters to a Young Poet, Rainer Rilke writes that “to love another human being … is perhaps the most difficult task that has been entrusted to us, the ultimate task … the work for which all other work is merely preparation …  [and] for which human lives are as yet barely large enough.”

And though we spend a great deal of life yearning for this work, to love and to be loved, it takes time to learn and to be ready for the pleasures and the challenges, the richness and utter vulnerability, that love avails and demands of us. Rilke suggests that, paradoxically, to love well one must be prepared by solitude, what he calls “a hightened and deepened kind of aloneness.” Solitude, he says, allows us “to ripen [and] become something in [ourselves], to become world for the sake of another person.” Only then, Rilke contends, can love — a kind of mutual and fruitful merging, surrendering, and uniting of full persons – take place, in which “two solitudes protect and border and greet each other.”

Though love does not need marriage to exist, in marriage love emerges from the strength of its mutual solitude into an open and formal public relationship and declares its place in the world. In the wedding it proclaims its new borders; it greets family and friends, and is recognized and greeted by them. That is what we are all doing here today: recognizing, welcoming, and entrusting you to the work of love, and celebrating the profound relationship that you now have openly with each other and with us all.

Declaration / Vows:

Wedding rituals, for all their variation, almost always contain two things: the public declaration of vows by the couple, and the public exchange of tokens marking them as husband and wife. And so, I ask you, Robert and Jody, to make that declaration, repeating in turn after me, starting with Robert:

  • I, Robert, take you, Jody, as my wife, to cherish and uplift, to console and to lean on, to share our lives, our journeys, and our family, together, until the end of our days.

And now you, Jody, repeat after me:

  • I, Jody, take you, Robert, as my husband, to cherish and uplift, to console and to lean on, to share our lives, our journeys, and our family, together, until the end of our days.

Reading:

Dance me to the children who are asking to be born.

Dance me through the curtains that our kisses have outworn.

Raise a tent of shelter now, though every thread is torn.

Dance me to the end of love.

The Rings:

Since ancient times, rings have symbolized the completeness of love and the exchange of rings a sign of complete love for one another. The third finger of the left hand was thought to have a direct connection to the heart, and so a ring placed on that finger has special significance, uniting heart and hand, feeling and action, inner and outer self, in love pledged and in love accepted.

Now, Jody, place this on Robert’s finger and repeat after me:

  • Robert, take and wear this ring, a sign of my commitment to you, and a token of the trust that we have placed in one another.

And Robert, place this ring on Jody’s finger and repeat after me:

  • Jody, take and wear this ring, a sign of my commitment to you, and a token of the trust that we have placed in one another.

The Kiss. You may now kiss the bride.

Reading:

Oh let me see your beauty when the witnesses are gone.

Let me feel you moving like they do in Babylon.

Show me slowly what I only know the limits of.

Dance me to the end of love.

Dance me to your beauty with a burning violin.

Dance me through the panic till I’m gathered safely in.

Touch me with your naked hand or touch me with your glove.

Dance me to the end of love.

The presentation:

Honored Guests: I present to you Mr. and Mrs. Robert and Jody Knight. Let the dance continue, and let the party begin!

Recession.

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