One of my favorite elements of their interfaith ceremony was the incredible chuppah. Here's an excerpt from the ceremony:
"Today we formalize your union under this beautiful chuppah, made by Meghan’s father. The wedding canopy, made by Meghan’s mother from pieces of fabric contributed by both families, represents your marriage home, a place of shelter and haven of peace. The chuppah is the house of promises, held up by the strength of your dedication and love. It is the home of hope, surrounded with the support of your community."
Adapted from “The Chuppah,” by Marge Piercy
The chuppah stands on four poles.
The sacred promises you make to one another form an unbreakable bond. As you hold the hands of your beloved, I would offer your marriage this traditional Irish blessing:
May green be the grass you walk on,
May blue be the skies above you,
May pure be the joys that surround you,
May true be the hearts that love you.
May God be with you and bless you;
May you see your children's children.
May you be poor in misfortune,
Rich in blessings,
May you know nothing but happiness
From this day forward.
I had the honor of officiating Persis & Ryan's wedding last July at the Hancock Shaker Village in the Berkshires region of Western Massachusetts. With its verdant lawns and iconic round stone barn, this historic location makes an incredible wedding venue!
"Hannah was a wonderful officiant – she crafted a beautiful ceremony that was reflective of our values and relationship. The ceremony was our favorite part of our wedding, thanks to her guidance and honest writing. She was very responsive to our needs throughout this process and really took the time to get to know us as a couple, which made our ceremony that much more meaningful. I highly recommend working with her!"
In honor of the bride's mother, the couple decided to incorporate a yugal or wedding garland used in the Filipino Catholic tradition. Wrapped around the couple’s shoulders as a symbol of unity, the figure of eight shape signifies their everlasting love and fidelity for one another.
The bride's grandmother recited a brief excerpt from the Lavaan, the four hymns of the Sikh wedding ceremony from the holy scripture of the Guru Granth Sahib, and also sang a portion of a shabad, or Sikh devotional song.
“A Blessing for the Journey”
by Wendy Egyoku Nakao
Let us vow to bear witness
to the wholeness of life,
realizing the completeness
of each and everything.
Embracing our differences,
I shall know myself as you,
and you as myself.
May we serve each other
for all our days,
here, there, and everywhere.
Let us vow to open ourselves
to the abundance of life.
Freely giving and receiving,
I shall care for you,
for the trees and stars,
as treasures of my very own.
Let us vow to forgive all hurt,
caused by ourselves and others,
and to never condone hurtful ways.
Being responsible for my actions,
I shall free myself and you.
Will you free me, too?
Let us vow to remember that
all that appears will disappear.
In the midst of our uncertainty,
We shall sow love.
May we be grateful for all our days,
here, there, and everywhere.
"The Art of Marriage"
by Wilferd A. Peterson
Happiness in marriage is not something that just happens. A good marriage must be created. In the art of marriage the little things are the big things...
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 in 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 humor. It is having the capacity to forgive and forget.
The art of marriage 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.
It is discovering what marriage can be, at its best.
Poetry and Musings of an Interfaith Minister on the Journey of a Lifetime.