Thursday, July 16, 2009

Ceremony: Our Order of Service

Here is the order our ceremony followed. While we have the "key" photos, we weren't able to get any pictures of most of the ceremony. There are no photos of our readers, for example. But based on the pictures you have seen, you can see the emotions of the ceremony.

I am going on memory, guided by the program. However, I may not remember it exactly as it occurred.

The bridal procession was set to "Suit bergamasque" (better known as "Clair de lune") by Debussy. Sigh. I love this song - it's so romantic and filled with emotion.

After the bridal procession, there was a Greeting and Introduction to our guests. The minister, Rev. Don explained a little bit about the meaning of marriage, then asked us to Declare our Intent. (That's where we say the "I do"s, or rather the modern promise of "I will".) Then Rev. Don explained about the commitment of marriage and how it needs support. He called on our family and friends to rise and asked if they promised to support us when we need it.

Next, there was a prayer, entitled the “Prayer of Approach”. I don't remember what Rev. Don said, to be honest. I listened to his words and was amazed at how true they were. And I was amazed that everyone in the church at that moment was saying a prayer for Wade and me. That they loved us so much, that they would gather in one spot together and pray for our happiness and longevity, and not feel for one moment that we didn’t deserve it but genuinely feel it with their love.

And I remember thinking, "Wow, I'm getting married. Right now. I wish this moment would last forever." It was as if at the moment, the love I felt for Wade, and the love he felt for me, and the love of our fiends and family present (and the love of those who weren't with us) was just overtaking me in this absolute experience of joy and ecstasy. It was amazing. And no where near as clichéd as my description makes it sound!

Then there were readings.

First, my Mom read from "The Prophet" (On Marriage) by Khalil 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.

When my mom finished her reading with tears in her eyes and said "That was for you guys" and sat down. It was so sweet.

Then Wade's Mom read Song of Solomon 8:6-7
Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave. It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame.
Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot wash it away. If one were to give all the wealth of his house for love, it would be utterly scorned.

And finally, my good friend Emily read 1 Corinthians 13:1-13
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Then Rev. Don talked more about the commitment of marriage, I think. We don't have the video yet, so I am trying to recall these details. I was nervous and excited because of what was coming. Wade and I read poems to each other.

Wade read "A Red, Red Rose" by Robbie Burns to me
Oh my luve is like a red, red rose,
That's newly sprung in June:
Oh my luve is like the melodie,
That's sweetly play'd in tune.
As fair art thou, my bonie lass,
So deep in luve am I;
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
Till a' the seas gang dry.
Till a' the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt wi' the sun;
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
While the sands o' life shall run.
And fare thee weel, my only luve!
And fare thee weel a while!
And I will come again, my luve,
Tho' it were ten thousand mile!

I read from the "Sonnets from the Portuguese" (Sonnet XLIII) by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways!
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of being and ideal grace.
I love thee to the level of every day's
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for right.
I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints. I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

Next, Rev. Don talked about the sacrament of marriage. He explained how it was at a wedding feast the Jesus turned water into wine, a miracle, and how the wedding (and its feast) was as important an event then as it is now.

Then Wade and I said our vows to each other. We said the traditional vows. You know, "I, Krista, take you Wade, to be my husband, to have and to hold ... " and so on. You know them. I know them. And yet, if Rev. Don had given me more than about 4 words at once, I probably would have stumbled!

Next, Rev. Don talked about the symbolism of rings. He talked about the circle of a ring having no end, like our commitment to each other would not end. And as we exchanged rings, we each said to each other: “Take this ring as a symbol of my love and fidelity. As a circle has no end, neither shall my love for you.” (Which at the time, I lamented picking such a long phrase, but in retrospect isn’t so long.)

We exchanged our kiss at this point. At least, that was the plan. I can’t recall if it was here or after the next prayer, entitled “Prayers of the People” followed by the Lord’s Prayer.

Then Rev. Don blessed us, and we moved to sign the marriage documents. At this time, "Ellens Dritter Gesand" (better known as "Ave Maria") by Schubert. Another beautiful song, in my opinion.

I signed, then Wade signed, followed by the best man, the maid of honour and finally Rev. Don.

We were presented and the recessional was set to "Symphonie no. 9 (Ode to Joy)" by Beethoven, which was used as the music for the Christian Hymn "Joyful, joyful we adore thee." This is definitely a triumphant, jubilant song! (All music was played on the organ by the same organist who played at my parent's wedding.)

As we left, the church bells were ringing!

The whole ceremony was about 35-40 minutes, but it did not feel that long to me!

1 comment:

The Professional Bridesmaid said...

Great summary of your ceremony. Did you feel you had to go more traditional in terms of music b/c you were married in a church? I love Ode to Joy.