A wedding is largely about symbols; symbols are important and helpful because they make an idea and a value concrete and physical - something we can see and touch. They're helpful because they serve as a powerful reminder of a time and place and a memory - a feeling and even a promise - that may have faded over time.
Handfasting is a symbol like this. It's one of the world's oldest wedding traditions and it's found in cultures all over the world. In joining hands, the couple symbolizes how they freely offer their lives to one another. And in fastening their hands together, the ribbon symbolizes how the couple leaves with their lives now bound up together - how after today, and idea of two stories comes together and two sets of hopes and desires for the future are joined in commitment and intention.
So, without giving away any names, thank you for the honour of allowing me to be part of your ceremony.
Now, onto today's wedding reading. I think it should be The Art of Marriage by W. A. Peterson. Here it is.
"Happiness in marriage is not something that just happens.
A good marriage must be created. In marriage the little things are the big things.
It is never being too old to hold hands.
It is remembering to say “I love you” at least once a day.
It is never going to sleep angry.
It is at no time taking the other for granted; the courtship should not end with the honeymoon, it should continue through the years.
It is having a mutual sense of values and common objectives.
It is standing together facing the world. It is forming a circle of love that gathers the whole family.
It is doing things for each other, not in the attitude of duty or sacrifice, but in the spirit of joy.
It is speaking words of appreciation and demonstrating gratitude in thoughtful ways.
It is not looking for perfection in each other.
It is cultivating flexibility, patience, understanding and a sense of humour.
It is having the capacity to forgive and forget.
It is giving each other an atmosphere in which each can grow old.
It is a common search for the good and the beautiful.
It is establishing a relationship in which the independence is equal, dependence is mutual and the obligation is reciprocal.
It is not only marrying the right partner; it is being the right partner."