February 2, 2010

A Harborside Wedding - The Meaning of It All (or a Ceremony Begins), Part I

So let me set the scene for you:

We had beautiful, sunny morning in Battery Park.
We had FINALLY made it down the aisle.

It was time to start what I like to think of as the crux of the wedding, 'cause if there ain't no vows, there ain't no party. Word.

We had a very simple, relatively traditional ceremony, and I liked it that way. The simple theme seems to be a constant throughout my wedding story, I guess.

After the invocation, we opened with two Bible passages that were read by my goddaughter. She's such a sweetie and really the first person in my life that I have watched grow up. I remember when she was born, holding her as a baby, tickling her as a little girl, and now she'll turn 14 the end of this month. I'm getting old.... :)

She read the now 'bee popular passage from Ruth (Ruth 1:16) that Mrs. Lamb wrote about as well as Mrs. Cheese. I love it because of the picture it paints of a committed married life (even though Ruth didn't say this to her future husband, Boaz). We were asked to pick a second passage from the New Testament, which I have to admit was a bit harder. We chose Romans: 9-13:

"Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality." (New International Version)

I liked this passage because of the suggestions it had for living your life in general and not just being married. I hope that I can be patient, hospitable and sincere not just to Mr. Swan but to my friends, family and to others I meet through life.

Rev. Dease asked us the following question:
"Mr. Swan, will you have Miss Swan to be your wife, to live with her, respect her, and love her as God intends with the promise of faithfulness, tenderness, and helpfulness, as long as you both shall live?"

Don't worry he said yes! :) Then it was my turn to promise the same thing:

"Miss Swan, will you have Mr. Swan to be your husband, to live with him, respect him, and love him as God intends with the promise of faithfulness, tenderness, and helpfulness, as long as you both shall live?"

Rev. Dease then asked our families and guests to get involved by asking them for their love and support to us throughout our marriage. She delivered a brief message about marriage and provided some words of encouragement to me and Mr. Swan.

Finally we were ready for our vows!! But that's for another post.

Swan Tip #10 - For me, the ceremony is really the meaning of it all. Without the bond between you and your partner, there really is no wedding. Pick readings that fit well with the tone of your ceremony and what you want your marriage (and maybe your life) to embody. For some of you it may be a religious text. For others of you it may be cool passages like Mrs. Mouse's Alice Walker poem or Mrs. Star's excerpt from Madeleine L'Engel's work. Words have meaning and power. I hope your ceremony will reflect your future hopes for your marriage.

What kinds of readings are you including or did you include in your ceremony?

All Images by Dante Williams

Did you miss anything?!

1 comment:

Camille Acey said...

that's Romans 12: 9-13 in case any one wants to look it up. good passage!

i'd made all these new testament choices a few months back, but am glad i gave myself enough time to mull them over. i think we are are gonna go with luke 10:21-24

At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, "I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure.All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows who the Son is except the Father, and no one knows who the Father is except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. Then he turned to His disciples and said privately, Blessed are the eyes that see what you see. For I tell you that many prophets and kings wanted to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.