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Sample Vow Renewal Ceremonies

There are a lot of guides for how to do a wedding ceremony online, but there actually aren’t very many for vow renewals. Of course all one has to do is follow a wedding ceremony and swap some words around, but I find it helpful to read the wording of the ceremonies other people have done to get an idea for the feel of mine. Here are a couple I have done. Some of each are original and some of each are stolen from other ceremonies. Feel free to steal whatever you like from either example. In the second example, most of the work is mine, so if you feel weird about stealing from unknown parties, the second example is safer.

This first one is strictly secular, with lots of family members participating:

WELCOME

Welcome family, friends, and loved ones. We gather here today to celebrate the marriage of GROOM and BRIDE. Twenty years ago today, many of us here gathered together to share in the formal commitment they made to one another, to offer our love and support to their union, and to help GROOM and BRIDE start their married life together surrounded by the people dearest and most important to them. Today we are gathered for the same reason; we will also help them celebrate the memory of all those years, and to celebrate their decision to reaffirm their commitment to one another. We celebrate, as well, the legacy of their marriage–NAMES OF CHILDREN HERE. So welcome to one and all, who have traveled from near and far. BRIDE and GROOM thank you for your presence here today, and now ask for your blessing, encouragement, and continued support for their marriage.

 

ADDRESS

Marriage is perhaps the greatest and most challenging adventure of human relationships. No ceremony can create your marriage; only you can do that – through love and patience; through dedication and perseverance; through talking and listening, through helping and supporting and believing in each other; through tenderness and laughter; through learning to forgive, learning to appreciate your differences, learning to make the important things matter, and learning to let go of the rest. What this ceremony can do is to witness and affirm the choice you made to continue to stand together as lifemates and partners.

No marriage is perfect. As you continue in yours, you already know that it will take a lot of love, hard work, and dedication to make your relationship an ongoing success. As you continue on your journey together, I ask you to remember this advice:

Let your love be stronger than your anger
Learn the wisdom of compromise, for it is better to bend than to break.
Look for the best in your partner rather than the worst.
Confide in each other and ask for help when you need it.
Never take one another for granted
And remember to say “I love you” every day

 

READING BY OLDEST CHILD

Officiant: I will now ask the couple’s eldest CHILD, NAME, to give a personal reading for HIS/HER parents.

 

CANDLE LIGHTING FOR LOST LOVED ONES

Officiant: Thomas Campbell once said, “To live in the hearts of those we love is never to die.” Therefore, at this time we remember NAMES OF LOVED ONES, who have passed on. Though they cannot be with us physically, we acknowledge that they are here in spirit sharing in our joy. The light of their memory can never be extinguished in the hearts of those who loved them.

(This last line is your cue to light the candles in their memory.)

 

READING BY FAMILY MEMBER

Officiant: BRIDE and GROOM have learned many things over the course of their marriage. There have been many things they have done and seen and heard and read which have resonated with them, and they would like to share one such passage with you today. I will now ask NAME/RELATION to read TITLE from SOURCE.

 

VOWS

Officiant: We now come to the part of the ceremony that holds the greatest significance for BRIDE AND GROOM–the vows. A vow is a sacred promise. The most valuable possession you could ever give another person is your word.

GROOM AND BRIDE, you have each kept faithfully to the promises you made to each other when you committed yourselves to this marriage twenty years ago. You have never forgotten the promises you made, and if we return to this spot twenty years hence, those promises will be remembered still. Today, BRIDE and GROOM have decided to recommit themselves to their marriage with promises both new and old, and have written personal vows they would now like to express to one another.

GROOM, what promises do you make?

[GROOM’S VOWS]

BRIDE, what promises do you make?

[BRIDE’S VOWS]

Officiant: Do you both, before these witnesses, pledge to do all in your power to continue to make this a happy and enduring union?

BRIDE AND GROOM: We do.

 

READING BY CHILD OR FAMILY MEMBER

Officiant: As we reflect on the importance of love and faith, I will now ask NAME/RELATION to contribute a reading from SOURCE.

 

RINGS

Twenty years ago, GROOM AND BRIDE chose rings as an outward symbol of the commitment they made to each other.

From earliest times, the ring has been a symbol of wedded love. It is an unbroken and never-ending circle which symbolizes a commitment to love that is also never ending. Today we will ask them to reaffirm the promises they made to each other the first time they exchanged rings.

Do you, BRIDE, affirm your wish to keep this man, GROOM, as your husband — to continue to join with him in matrimony — offering your friendship and loving care — cherishing and respecting him, loving and embracing him in times of adversity and in times of joy? If so, answer now, “I do.”

Please repeat after me: (GENERALLY THIS IS ONLY DONE IF EXCHANGING NEW RINGS)

With this ring / I thee wed. / Take it as a sign / of my everlasting / and unconditional love / with all that I am / and all that I have / from this day forward / as your wife.

Do you GROOM, affirm your wish to keep this woman , BRIDE, as your wife — to continue to join with her in matrimony — offering your friendship and loving care – cherishing and respecting her, loving and embracing her in times of adversity and times of joy? If so, answer now, “I do.”

Please repeat after me: (IF EXCHANGING NEW RINGS)

With this ring / I thee wed. / Take it as a sign / of my everlasting / and unconditional love / with all that I am / and all that I have / from this day forward / as your husband.

Love freely given has no giver and no receiver. You are each the giver and each the receiver. The wedding ring is a symbol, in visible form, of the unbroken circle of your love, so that wherever you go, you may always return to your shared life together. May these rings always call to mind the power of your love.

 

FAMILY MEMBER READING

Officiant: BRIDE and GROOM, we have all come together today to witness the reaffirmation of your love. NAME has been a friend of your family for these past twenty years, and would like to contribute to your happiness today by reading TITLE from SOURCE.

 

PRONOUNCEMENT

GROOM and BRIDE, in the presence of your family and friends who have joined you to share this moment of joy, you have declared your deep love and affection for each other. You have reaffirmed your wish to live together, always open to a deeper, richer friendship and partnership. You have formed your union, based on respect and honor. Therefore, it is my joyful responsibility to officially re-acknowledge your union as “Husband and Wife.” You may now seal your marriage with a kiss.

 

FINAL BLESSING

May the glory which rests upon all who love you, bless you and keep you, and fill you with happiness and a gracious spirit. Despite the changes of fortune and time, may that which is noble and lovely and true remain abundantly in your hearts, giving you strength for all that lies ahead.

 

INTRODUCTION

Ladies and Gentlemen, it is my privilege to present to you Mr. and Mrs. GROOM and BRIDE SURNAME!

 

Here is the second ceremony. There is some God crap in it, but usually couples getting married or remarried like some bible thrown in. I mean they’re paying me, I guess I can toss some in:

 

WELCOME

Family and friends, we have gathered here today to joyfully acknowledge the vow renewal of GROOM and BRIDE, on this day, the tenth anniversary of their marriage. They have requested your presence on this memorable occasion in order that you might share with them the pledging of their everlasting love on this day of re-commitment. GROOM and BRIDE thank you for your presence here today, and ask for your blessings and well wishes for the continued success of their marriage. We come together today not to mark the start of a relationship, but to recognize a bond that already exists. This marriage is one expression of the many varieties of love, though its expressions are infinite.

 

ADDRESS

It is fitting to speak briefly about love. We live in a world of joy and fear and search for meaning and strength in the seeming disorder.  We discover the truest guideline to our quest when we realize love in all its magnitudes. Love is the eternal force of life. Love is the force that allows us to face fear and uncertainty with courage. The giving of our self in love is difficult, for you must learn to give your love without the knowledge of whether or not it will be cherished. When love culminates in marriage, the risk is proved worthy by the reward. Therefore, in your giving, give your joy, your sadness, your interest, your understanding, your knowledge – all expressions that make up a life.

GROOM and BRIDE, for ten years you have traveled together along the road of marriage. Together, you have laughed and cried, been sick and well, been happy and angry, and have shared and grown. You have undertaken the ultimate test of love by bringing two beautiful daughters into the world, NAME and NAME. All of these things are the core of your marriage and why you are here today.  It has taken trust to know in your hearts that you truly want the best for each other.  It has taken dedication to stay open and honest with one another.  It has taken faith to go forward together without knowing exactly what the future will bring.  And it has taken commitment to hold true to the journey you both promised to share together on this day ten years ago.  An intimate and secure relationship is not based on promises, but rather on trust, respect, faithfulness, and the ability to forgive. A lasting marriage is based on all of these, bound together by love.

 

READING FROM THE BOOK OF RUTH

Ten years ago today, GROOM and BRIDE made a vow to each other to have and to hold, to help and to support, and to love and to cherish each other on that first day of marriage, and for every day thereafter, for the rest of the days of their lives. At their wedding on that day, they had a reading from the Book of Ruth. I would like to read it to you all now, to remind GROOM and BRIDE before they reaffirm their vows, and indeed all who are gathered here, about the value of loyalty and of love.

“When Naomi heard in Moab that the Lord had come to the aid of his people by providing food for them, she and her daughters-in-law prepared to return home from there. With her two daughters-in-law she left the place where she had been living and set out on the road that would take them back to the land of Judah.

Then Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, “Go back, each of you, to your mother’s home. May the Lord show you kindness, as you have shown kindness to your dead husbands and to me.  May the Lord grant that each of you will find rest in the home of another husband.” Then she kissed them goodbye and they wept aloud and said to her, “We will go back with you to your people.”

But Naomi said, “Return home, my daughters. Why would you come with me? Am I going to have any more sons, who could become your husbands?  Return home, my daughters; I am too old to have another husband. Even if I thought there was still hope for me—even if I had a husband tonight and then gave birth to sons— would you wait until they grew up? Would you remain unmarried for them? No, my daughters, it is more bitter for me than for you, because the Lord’s hand has turned against me!”

At this they wept aloud again. Then Orpah kissed her mother-in-law goodbye, but Ruth clung to her. “Look,” said Naomi, “your sister-in-law is going back to her people and her gods. Go back with her.”

But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.  Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.”

 

VOWS

As I’m sure you’ve learned over the past ten years, marriage is not a legal document. No judge or pastor or justice of the peace can perform a marriage because a marriage, truly, is nothing except the promises made and kept between two individuals. Today GROOM and BRIDE stand before us in a desire to publicly declare their love and to share with us their renewed marriage promises.

Officiant: GROOM, what promises do you make? (hands him his card to read from)

BRIDE, from the moment I first saw you, I knew you were the one I wanted to share my life with. Your beauty, heart, and mind inspire me to be the best person I can be. Ten years ago, I promised to love you for eternity, to respect you, honor you, be faithful to you, and share my life with you. This was my solemn vow then, and I make it to you again today. Let me be the shoulder you lean on, your friend, your lover, and your confidante. With you I will walk my path from this day forward.

Officiant: BRIDE, what promises do you make? (hands her a card to read from)

My dearest husband, as we stand here today, I think back to all the wonderful memories we have shared. There is no greater feeling in life than to have your best friend by your side every day. Though we have had our struggles, our love has been strong enough to conquer it all. I am thankful for you being in my life each and every day. You make every day on earth a day worth waking up for. My wish today is that as we say these renewals, you, my love, will once again say “I do”. For you I give my heart, my soul, and my mind every second of every day. I take you today not only as my husband yet again, but as my best friend, my confidante, my shoulder to cry on, and the person whose arms I could not picture being without. Today I pledge to be by your side, to be understanding, and to keep being the wife you deserve. I have been blessed for the last ten years and I am thrilled that I get to spend the rest of my life with you. I love you.

Officiant: Do you both, before these witnesses, pledge to do all in your power to continue to make this a happy and enduring union?

GROOM and BRIDE reply: We do.

 

SAND CEREMONY

Today GROOM and BRIDE have chosen to commemorate their marriage on this, their tenth wedding anniversary, through the celebration of the sand ceremony. This ceremony symbolizes the inseparable union of GROOM and BRIDE into an eternal marital relationship. Their beautiful daughters, NAMES, will also participate in the ceremony in order to celebrate the union of the couple into a family of four. GROOM, BRIDE, and the children will pour separate containers of sand into a common vessel. When they pour their separate containers of sand into the vessel, the family will be creating a memento for the future that will, every time they see it, remind them that no matter where they are or what may happen to them, they will always have each other to count on as long as they all may live.

GROOM and BRIDE have chosen the following passage from I Corinthians in order to underline what their marriage means to them. The family will take turns pouring their sand individually, and then at the end of the passage they will all pour together.

Love is patient, love is kind. [GROOM pours one of three colors–say white]

It is not jealous, it is not pompous, [BRIDE pours one of three colors–say red]

It is not inflated, it is not rude, [girls pour one of three colors–say yellow]

It does not seek its own interests, [GROOM pours white sand]

It is not quick-tempered, it does not brood, [BRIDE pours red sand]

It does not rejoice over wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. [girls pour yellow sand]

It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never fails. [all pour until vessel is filled]

GROOM, BRIDE, CHILD, AND CHILD, just as the grains of sand can never be separated into their individual containers again, so will your family be unified together, never again separate and alone.

 

RINGS

Ten years ago, GROOM and BRIDE chose rings as an outward symbol of the commitment they made to each other. From earliest times, the ring has been a symbol of wedded love. It is an unbroken and never-ending circle which symbolizes a commitment to love that is also never ending. Today we will ask them to reaffirm the promises they made to each other the first time they exchanged rings.

(NO NEW RINGS ARE BEING EXCHANGED, SO WE WILL DO THE SHORTENED VERSION OF THE CEREMONY; SEE ABOVE FOR FULL CEREMONY)

Do you GROOM, affirm your wish to keep this woman, BRIDE, as your wife — to continue to join with her in matrimony — offering your friendship and loving care – cherishing and respecting her, loving and embracing her in times of adversity and times of joy? If so, answer now, “I do.”

Do you, BRIDE, affirm your wish to keep this man, GROOM, as your husband — to continue to join with him in matrimony — offering your friendship and loving care — cherishing and respecting him, loving and embracing him in times of adversity and in times of joy? If so, answer now, “I do.”

Love freely given has no giver and no receiver. You are each the giver and each the receiver. The wedding ring is a symbol, in visible form, of the unbroken circle of your love, so that wherever you go, you may always return to your shared life together. May these rings always call to mind the power of your love.

 

PRONOUNCEMENT

GROOM and BRIDE, in the presence of your family and friends who have joined you to share this moment of joy, you have declared your deep love and affection for each other. You have reaffirmed your wish to live together, always open to a deeper, richer friendship and partnership. You have formed your union, based on respect and honor. Therefore, it is my joyful responsibility to officially reacknowledge your union as “Husband and Wife.” You may now seal your marriage with a kiss.

 

FINAL BLESSING

GROOM and BRIDE, if there is anything you remember of this marriage ceremony, may it be the love that brought you here today.  It is only love which can make it a glorious union, and by love which your marriage shall endure.  May you be a blessing and comfort to each other, sharers of each other’s dreams, conscience of each other’s sorrows, and helpers to each other in all of life’s challenges.  May you encourage each other in whatever you set out to achieve.  May you trust each other, trust life and be unafraid.  May you love each other and offer love and support to those around you.  May your marriage bring you all the happiness a marriage should bring, and may life grant you patience, tolerance, and understanding.

 

INTRODUCTION

Ladies and Gentlemen, it is my privilege to present to you Mr. and Mrs. GROOM and BRIDE SURNAME!

 

And that’s all, folks!

wedding-ring-clipart-wedding-rings-clip-art

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Posted by on July 17, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

An oldie but goodie…The Poopie List!

I am one of those juvenile people who enjoy toilet humor. I think they are the best kinds of jokes and I think TV shows that do primarily fart and toilet jokes are the best kinds of TV shows. I first read this list when I was a junior in high school. My cousin Michelle Herioux (now Oliver) passed this list up to me in English class one day and I stupidly started reading it, not knowing that it would make me howl like a maniac until I had tears running down my face. My teacher wasn’t too impressed with my behavior, but then he rarely was. I was thinking about this list while I was on the toilet today (because I was enjoying one of these poopies, but I won’t say which one because apparently, as my friend Charlotte said when I texted her about it, that’s just T.M.I.) and I thought I should post it for all to enjoy! I haven’t read this list in maybe 5 years, and I was STILL laughing until I cried over it because it’s just that funny…and most of these do happen to everyone. Enjoy!

THE POOPIE LIST

Ghost Poopie
The kind where you feel the poopie come out, but there is no poopie in the toilet.

Clean Poopie
The kind where you poopie it out, see it in the toilet, but there is nothing on the toilet paper.

Wet Poopie
The kind where you wipe your butt 50 times and it still feels unwiped, so you have to put some toilet paper between your butt and underwear so you won’t ruin them with a stain.

Second Wave Poopie
This happens when you’re done Poopie-ing and you’ve pulled up your pants to your knees, and you realize that you have to Poopie some more.

Pop-A-Vein-In-Your-Forehead-Poopie
The kind where you strain so much to get it out, you practically have a stroke.

Gassy Poopie
It’s so noisy, everyone within earshot is laughing.

Lincoln Log Poopie
The kind of Poopie that is so huge you’re afraid to flush without first breaking it into little pieces with the toilet brush.

Corn Poopie
Self-explanatory.

Gee-I-Wish-I-Could-Poopie Poopie
The kind where you want to Poopie but all you do is sit on the toilet and fart a few times.

Spinal Tap Poopie
That’s where it hurts so badly coming out, you would swear it was leaving you sideways.

Wet Cheeks Poopie (The Power Dump)
The kind that comes out of your butt so fast, your butt gets splashed with water.

Liquid Poopie
The kind where yellowish-brown liquid shoots out your butt and splashes all over the toilet bowl.

Mexican Poopie
It smells so bad your nose burns.

The Surprise Poopie
You’re not even at the toilet because you are sure you’re about to fart, but oops…….a Poopie!!!

THE NOTORIUS DRINKER POOPIE
The kind of poopie you have the morning after a long night of drinking.
Its most noticeable trait is the skid mark left on the bottom of the
toilet bowl after you flush.

THE CROWD PLEASER
This poopie is so intriguing in size and/or appearance that you have to
show it to someone before flushing.

THE MOOD ENHANCER
This poopie occurs after a lengthy period of constipation, thereby
allowing you to be your old self again.

THE AFTERSHOCK POOPIE
This poopie has an odor so powerful than anyone entering the vicinity
within the next 7 hours is affected.

THE “HONEYMOON’S OVER” POOPIE
This is any poopie created in the presence of another person.

THE GROANER
A poopie so huge it cannot exit without vocal assistance.

THE FLOATER
Characterized by its floatability, this poopie has been known to
resurface after many flushings.

THE RANGER
A poopie which refuses to let go. It is usually necessary to engage in
a rocking or bouncing motion, but quite often the only solution is to
push it away with a small piece of toilet paper.

THE PHANTOM POOPIE
This appears in the toilet mysteriously and no one will admit to
putting it there.

THE PEEK-A-BOO POOPIE (Also known as The Prairie Dog Poopie)
Now you see it, now you don’t. This poopie is playing games with
you. Requires patience and muscle control.

THE SNAKE CHARMER
A long skinny poopie which has managed to coil itself into a frightening
position – usually harmless.

THE BACK-TO-NATURE POOPIE
This poopie may be of any variety but is always deposited either in the
woods or while hiding behind the passenger side of your car.

THE PEBBLES-FROM-HEAVEN POOPIE
An adorable collection of small turds in a cluster, often a gift from
God when you actually CAN’T poopie.

PREMEDITATED POOPIE
Laxative induced. Doesn’t count.

ENERGIZER vs DURACELL POOPIE
Also known as a “Still Going” poopie.

THE ROCKET POOPIE
The kind that comes out so fast, you barely get your pants down when
you’re done.

THE LIQUID PLUMBER POOPIE
This kind of poopie is so big it plugs up the toilet and it overflows all
over the floor. (You should have followed the advice from the Lincoln Log
poopie.)

THE PORRIDGE POOPIE
The type that comes out like toothpaste, and just keeps on coming. You
have two choices: (a) flush and keep going, or (b) risk it piling up to
your bum while you sit there helpless.

THE “I’M GOING TO CHEW MY FOOD BETTER” POOPIE
When the bag of Doritos you ate last night lacerates the insides of your
rectum on the way out in the morning.

THE “I THINK I’M TURNING INTO A BUNNY” POOPIE
When you drop lots of cute, little round ones that look like marbles and
make tiny splashing sounds when they hit the water.

THE “WHAT THE HELL DIED IN HERE?” POOPIE
Also sometimes referred to as The Toxic Dump. Of course you don’t warn
anyone of the poisonous bathroom odor. Instead, you stand innocently
near the door and enjoy the show as they run out gagging and gasping for
air.

THE “I JUST KNOW THERE’S A TURD STILL DANGLING THERE” POOPIE
Where you just sit there patiently and wait for the last cling-on to drop
off because if you wipe now, it’s going to smear all over the place.

...as Rodin should have sculpted him...

…as Rodin should have sculpted him…

 

 
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Posted by on December 17, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Do you, [Name], take Me, Heather, to be your atheist minister?

I’ve been meaning to post this for a while now, but my memory isn’t the greatest (lie–I’m actually a huge fan of “I’ll do it tomorrow”) and I’m just now getting around to it. I performed a wedding ceremony last weekend and some of my friends were all, “How can an ATHEIST perform a wedding ceremony?!?” Well my friends, atheists get married all the time. We are good people. We honor our vows. Just because we don’t believe in a higher power who will punish us when we’re naughty doesn’t mean we can’t make and keep promises. Anyone can get ordained on the internet from the Universal Life Church and you can take any title you want (I took Grand Master Brain Wizard because it sounds so…GRAND!), and no one makes you prove your belief in any god. Even if you just go through life believing that you should try to be the best person you can be, and to make the most of the experiences you get to have because when you’re dead you’re dead, that’s good enough for the ULC!

In point of fact the people who were married by me are Christians; they were just desiring a brief ceremony involving their immediate families and sometimes you just can’t get that from an established church. The ceremony I performed this past weekend was wholly secular, but I could have thrown down a couple of verses from Corinthians or such if the couple desired it–when you perform a marriage ceremony the crap you say doesn’t have to mean anything to you personally, but the people getting married better be feeling it! So here is the ceremony from start to finish. Feel free to borrow it if you ever find yourself in the position of being asked to perform a marriage (hell, it’s about 60% plagiarized from the internet anyway…okay, 80%!).

 

Welcome:

Welcome family, friends, and loved ones. We gather here today to celebrate the wedding of [Name and Name]. You have come here to share in this formal commitment they make to one another, to offer your love and support to this union, and to allow [Name and Name] to start their married life together surrounded by the people dearest and most important to them. So welcome to one and all, who have traveled from near and far. [Name and Name] thank you for your presence here today, and now ask for your blessing, encouragement, and lifelong support for their decision to be married.

Address:

Marriage is perhaps the greatest and most challenging adventure of human relationships. No ceremony can create your marriage; only you can do that – through love and patience; through dedication and perseverance; through talking and listening, through helping and supporting and believing in each other; through tenderness and laughter; through learning to forgive, learning to appreciate your differences, learning to make the important things matter, and learning to let go of the rest. What this ceremony can do is to witness and affirm the choice you make to stand together as lifemates and partners.

[Name and Name], in the days ahead of you, there will be times of difficulty and times of conflict. When you find yourselves in these situations, I ask you to reflect on this marriage advice:

Let your love be stronger than your anger.
Learn the wisdom of compromise, for it is better to bend than to break.
Look for the best in your beloved rather than the worst.
Confide in your partner and ask for help when you need it.
Remember that true friendship is the basis for any lasting relationship.
Give your spouse the same courtesies and kindnesses you bestow on your friends.
And say “I love you” every day.

Rock Ceremony

[Name and Name], before you met, your lives were on different paths with different destinations, but love has brought you together and joined these separate paths into one. Each one of your friends and family here today have been given a small polished stone that represents their unique individuality and their presence at your wedding today. You also each have a stone of your own that symbolizes your previous separate lives, separate sets of friends, separate families and the different life’s journeys you once traveled.

I will now ask that everyone please take out the stone you have been given and pause to make a wish or blessing for happiness and good will for the couple for the future of their marriage.

PAUSE

Now, we will collect the stones and the couple will then add their individual stones to the container as well.

PAUSE

With the combining of these stones, you have now symbolically joined your once separate lives. As the stones have been combined with love into one container, so now are your friends and family joined, through you, into one. Your life paths are now joined. All that was once separate is now shared, and in this sharing you both will find new strength and joy as together you forge a new life path and destination.

PAUSE (to put the jar somewhere…)

Parent/Family Blessing:

People have been united in marriage in all lands and all cultures. In marriages everywhere, two individuals leave the families that raised them to begin a new family. At this time, we ask the parents of the bride and groom to stand and bless this marriage.

Do you, [Parent Names], who have lovingly raised and nurtured these two individuals, offer your blessing for their marriage, promising to support them, understand them, and encourage them in their solemn endeavor in the years ahead? If you agree, please say, “We do.” [Parents respond.]

And to the witnesses and honored guests here today, I ask the same question. Do you offer your blessing for their marriage, promising to support them, understand them, and encourage them in their solemn endeavor in the years ahead? If you agree, please say, “We do.” [Audience responds]

Vows:

[Name and Name], you have known each other from the first glance of acquaintance to this point of commitment. Before this moment you have been many things to one another — acquaintance, friend, companion, and even teacher, for you have learned much from one another in these last few years. Now you shall say a few words that will take you across a threshold of life, and things will never quite be the same between you two. For after these vows, you shall say to the world, this — is my husband, this — is my wife. (Abridged from a Robert Fulghum quote)

These are sample vows; I found a million online and let the couple choose the ones that resonated best.

I, [Name], take you, [Name], to be my friend, my partner, the mother of my children and my wife. I will be yours in times of plenty and in times of want, in times of sickness and in times of health, in times of joy and in times of sorrow, in times of failure and in times of triumph. I promise to cherish and respect you, to care for you and protect you, to comfort and encourage you, and stay with you, for all eternity.

[Name], I love you. You are my best friend. Today I give myself to you in marriage.
I promise to encourage and inspire you, to laugh with you, and to comfort you in times of sorrow and struggle.
I promise to love you in good times and in bad, when life seems easy and when it seems hard, when our love is simple, and when it is an effort. I promise to cherish you, and to always hold you in highest regard.
These things I promise to you today, and all the days of our life.

Bridal Couple to kids

This marriage is not just the joining of [Name and Name]; it is also the joining of [Children Names] as one family. [Name and Name], do you promise to love [Children Names], to nurture them and to protect them, to teach them and cherish them for now and forever?”

Kids to each other/bridal couple

[Children Names], do you promise to love [Parent Names] as your parents, and do you promise to respect them and cherish them and each other for now and forever?”

Rings:

[Name and Name] have chosen rings as an outward symbol of the commitment they make today.

From earliest times, the ring has been a symbol of wedded love. It is an unbroken and never-ending circle which symbolizes a commitment to love that is also never ending.

Do you [Bride], accept this man, [Groom], as your husband — joining with him today in matrimony — offering your friendship and loving care — cherishing and respecting him, loving and embracing him in times of adversity and in times of joy? If so, answer now, “I do.”

Please repeat after me:

With this ring / I thee wed. / Take it as a sign / of my everlasting / and unconditional love / with all that I am / and all that I have / from this day forward / as your wife.

Do you [Groom], accept this woman, [Bride], as your wife — joining with her today in matrimony — offering your friendship and loving care – cherishing and respecting her, loving and embracing her in times of adversity and times of joy? If so, answer now, “I do.”

Please repeat after me:

With this ring / I thee wed. / Take it as a sign / of my everlasting / and unconditional love / with all that I am / and all that I have / from this day forward / as your husband.

Love freely given has no giver and no receiver. You are each the giver and each the receiver. The wedding ring is a symbol, in visible form, of the unbroken circle of your love, so that wherever you go, you may always return to your shared life together. May these rings always call to mind the power of your love.

Pronouncement:

[Name and Name], in the presence of your family and friends who have joined you to share this moment of joy, you have declared your deep love and affection for each other. You have stated your wish to live together, always open to a deeper, richer friendship and partnership. You have formed your own union, based on respect and honor. Therefore, it is my joyful responsibility to officially acknowledge your union as “Husband and Wife.” You may now seal your marriage with a kiss.

Final Blessing:

May the glory which rests upon all who love you, bless you and keep you, and fill you with happiness and a gracious spirit. Despite all changes of fortune and time, may that which is noble and lovely and true remain abundantly in your hearts, giving you strength for all that lies ahead.

Introduction:

Ladies and Gentlemen, it is my privilege to present to you for the very first time, Mr. and Mrs. [Groom and Mrs. Groom’s names]!

 
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Posted by on May 10, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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No, you’re not REALLY crazy!

I had a little episode of sleep paralysis this morning and I thought I would share the details of it with you all in case you too have episodes of sleep paralysis and you don’t know WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU! First of all, sleep paralysis is scary. Your brain is awake but you can’t move anything or say anything. When you don’t know what’s happening to you, it’s a really frightening experience. Even when you do know what’s happening to you, it’s still scary. Here’s a brief overview of the disorder:

What is sleep paralysis?

Sleep paralysis consists of a period of inability to perform voluntary movements either at sleep onset (called hypnogogic or predormital form) or upon awakening (called hypnopompic or postdormtal form).

Sleep paralysis may also be referred to as isolated sleep paralysis, familial sleep paralysis, hynogogic or hypnopompic paralysis, predormital or postdormital paralysis

What are the symptoms?

  • A complaint of inability to move the trunk or limbs at sleep onset or upon awakening
  • Presence of brief episodes of partial or complete skeletal muscle paralysis
  • Episodes can be associated with hypnagogic hallucinations or dream-like mentation (act or use of the brain)

Polysomnography (a sleep recording) shows at least one of the following:

  • suppression of skeletal muscle tone
  • a sleep onset REM period
  • dissociated REM sleep

Is it harmful?

Sleep paralysis is most often associated with narcolepsy, a neurological condition in which the person has uncontrollable naps. However, there are many people who experience sleep paralysis without having signs of narcolepsy. Sometimes it runs in families. There is no known explanation why some people experience this paralysis. It is not harmful, although most people report feeling very afraid because they do not know what is happening, and within minutes they gradually or abruptly are able to move again; the episode is often terminated by a sound or a touch on the body.

In some cases, when hypnogogic hallucinations are present, people feel that someone is in the room with them, some experience the feeling that someone or something is sitting on their chest and they feel impending death and suffocation. That has been called the “Hag Phenomena” and has been happening to people over the centuries. These things cause people much anxiety and terror, but there is no physical harm.

What else can you tell me about sleep paralysis?

  • Some people with disrupted sleep schedules or circadian rhythm disturbances experience sleep paralysis
  • A study found that 35% of subjects with isolated sleep paralysis also reported a history of wake panic attacks unrelated to the experience of paralysis
  • Sixteen percent of these persons with isolated sleep paralysis met the criteria for panic disorder

How can I stop the sleep paralysis?

In severe cases, where episodes take place at least once a week for 6 months, medication may be used. You may be able to minimize the episodes by following good sleep hygiene:

  • getting enough sleep
  • reduce stress
  • exercise regularly (but not too close to bedtime)
  • keep a regular sleep schedule

 

Even though I know now what is happening to me, I still have to work to control my breathing and talk myself out of panicking. This morning’s episode happened while I was just coming out of REM, so my eyeballs were moving rapidly back and forth and I had no control over them. That’s the first time that’s ever happened, and I have to say I’m not looking forward to that happening to me again. I find that sleep paralysis most often happens to me after I’ve had a migraine or a severe headache. I’m not sure if it’s a result of the headache, the medication I take to relieve the headache, or just a coincidence, but there is some evidence to suggest that sleep paralysis is a symptom of a migraine.

In addition, the paralysis may be accompanied by terrifying hallucinations (hypnopompic or hypnagogic) and an acute sense of danger. Sleep paralysis is particularly frightening to the individual because of the vividness of such hallucinations. The hallucinatory element to sleep paralysis makes it even more likely that someone will interpret the experience as a dream, since completely fanciful or dream-like objects may appear in the room alongside one’s normal vision. Some scientists have proposed this condition as an explanation for alien abductions and ghostly encounters. A study by Susan Blackmore and Marcus Cox (the Blackmore-Cox study) of the University of the West of England supports the suggestion that reports of alien abductions are related to sleep paralysis rather than to temporal lobe lability.

In surveys from Canada, China, England, Japan and Nigeria, 20% to 60% of individuals reported having experienced sleep paralysis at least once in their lifetime. A study conducted by Sedaghat-Hamedani F. et al. has investigated the prevalence of sleep paralysis among Iranian medical students. 24.1% of students reported experiencing sleep paralysis at least once in their lifetime. The same result was reported among Japanese, Nigerian, Kuwaiti, Sudanese and American students.

Many people who commonly enter sleep paralysis also suffer from narcolepsy.

Some reports read that various factors increase the likelihood of both paralysis and hallucinations. These include:

  •     Sleeping in a face upwards or supine position
  •     Increased stress
  •     Sudden environmental/lifestyle changes
  •     A lucid dream that immediately precedes the episode.
  •     Excessive consumption of alcohol coupled with lack of adequate sleep.

I’m lucky enough not to experience the hallucinations, but the frustration of not having control over your own body is enough to contend with without having hallucinations along with it! My suggestion is to try to talk yourself into going back to sleep so at least you’ll be unconscious and not panicking. I couldn’t talk myself into it this morning though, and when I finally did jerk fully awake and had spent several long seconds flexing my hands to assure myself that I did have control back of my body, I was reminded of that poem A cat falls asleep and dreams she is a woman. When the cat awakes she is no longer sure if she is a cat or a woman. Am I awake right now? Am I really typing this? Are you really reading it? Is anything really real? Maybe you ARE really crazy! Or I am…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Article souces:

http://www.stanford.edu/~dement/paralysis.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sleep_paralysis

 

 
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Posted by on August 27, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

It looks like rain…but it isn’t raining…

I was at work today doing my usual thing (doing a little work, playing a lot of Hearts) when something a little unusual happened–the phone rang and it WASN’T someone who wanted to annoy me (that would be pretty much everyone who calls DATA). It was *gasp* a police officer of the law! He started asking me some pretty weird questions–do we track or audio record our phone calls or keep any kind of paper records of our phone calls, how many phone lines do we have ringing into the office (answer: FOUR!), and is it plausible that someone could try to call us three times in a row and not be able to get through to a live person?

So I’m thinking to myself, “You have GOT to be kidding me! Don’t EVEN tell me that someone who wanted a bus ride went down to the police station to report DATA for not answering the phone, and now the cop is ACTUALLY investigating it!?!” I mean that’s really what he made it sound like, like someone couldn’t get a bus and was pissed and wanted to file charges against us. For what? I couldn’t say. Negligence? Misappropriation of public funds? Criminal playing of Hearts instead of doing actual work? I don’t know. So I told him that we don’t really keep much in the way of records, that people just call in and we only keep the people in the computer system if they actually take the ride. If they call and cancel it, or if it’s a cash fare no show, the ride just gets deleted or never entered.

I could tell the cop was getting frustrated with me (mainly because he was muttering about not wanting to have to get a search warrant for our phone records), so I said to him that maybe he should just lay the case straight out and I would do my best to help him. So he told me the situation (which I won’t blog about!), but which was basically that he wanted to track a person’s ride and/or phone call from April of this year and was it possible to do that? I told him that it was possibly possible, and I would look into it and get back to him. So I looked into it and it took a surprisingly short amount of time to find the paper record of the call, so now he’s all happy (or he will be when he gets back to work in the morning since he called me at 3:56 and said he got done with work at 4:00) and I’m all happy because…woohoo, the cops weren’t actually investigating why someone couldn’t get a bus ride!

 
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Posted by on August 24, 2011 in Uncategorized

 
 
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