Vow Renewal May 25, 2013

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1 1 Vow Renewal May 25, 2013 Introductory statement of intent We gather together today to celebrate the 10 years of marriage [Spouse 1] and [Spouse 2] have journeyed through together. In reflecting back upon how they felt on their wedding day, [Spouse 1] and [Spouse 2] both said they felt they were the luckiest person in the world to have found the other. From first meeting one another at work as [Spouse 1] set up [Spouse 2] s computer and phone, to standing here today, they have experienced both happy and sad times. They have grown in their love and in their respect for one another. And, their family has grown with the births of [Child 1] and [Child 2]. In joyful celebration of these years together, [Spouse 2] and [Spouse 1] seek to renew their vows to one another promising to continue on this journey together as husband and wife. Reading Of course, there have been many, many words written and sung about love and marriage. Today, I want to share with you both an excerpt of a poem by Wendell Berry. In the poem, Berry describes the world as a great circle of dancing couples. "The Dance" (Wendell Berry) I would have each couple turn, join and unjoin, be lost in the greater turning of other couples, woven in the circle of a dance, the song of long time flowing over them, so they may return, turn again in to themselves out of desire greater than their own, belonging to all, to each, to the dance, and to the song that moves them through the night...

2 2 And I love you as I love the dance that brings you out of the multitude in which you come and go. Love changes, and in change is true. Address to the couple When writing to me about your marriage, both of you used language of journey. Sometimes the image of a journey can suggest a straight line from point A to point B that has been pre- planned, and then simply executed. But, as today s weather reminds us, there is much in life s journey that cannot be pre- planned and often the journey takes us places we did not envision, nor would even have chosen. Life is like that full of surprises some good, some challenging. Whether to be able to share one s joy about the good things or to find some comfort and encouragement to face the challenges, it is a gift to share life s journey with someone you love and trust. In listening to you speak about one another, the delight that you take in each other s company is evident. Importantly, you each used language of friendship, support, and trust to describe your relationship.having a supportive partner whom you trust is crucial for being able to weather the unexpected in life. Having a best friend who is fun, makes you laugh, and with whom you can talk can make the journey not only more bearable, but even enjoyable. As Berry s poem describes, life is a great circle of dance that can both join and unjoin you as you move through the world. You each have lives beyond one another, beyond your marriage and your roles as parents. It could be easy to become distracted from your commitment to one another and to your family. And so, I consider it a small miracle a grace that you come back to one another again and again and again. Berry also writes, Love changes, and in change is true. You have seen a number of changes over the years including the change of becoming parents together. Through these changes, you have helped one another to grow and to become better persons.

3 3 For [Spouse 1], [Spouse 2] helps show him how to better love, nurture, and shape your children. For [Spouse 2], [Spouse 1] reminds her to take time for others and to appreciate how blessed you are to have each other. None of us here today know what the next 10, 20, 30 or more years may bring into our lives. Nor did you know 10 years ago what would come to pass over the decade that has led you here. But, 10 years ago you promised to become husband and wife, supportive partners to one another in the dance of life. As you prepare to renew your vows to one another, I encourage you to continue to be friends to each other, to continue nurturing your awareness that marriage requires ongoing support and respect of one another as individual persons, as parents, and as partners. You will face more challenges and more changes as you continue to journey together. May your love for one another continue to bring you back together as you dance through life as individuals, as parents, and as partners. Let us pray Sacred Spirit of Life, today on this happy occasion. We pray that [Spouse 2] and [Spouse 1] may continue to be filled With an abiding love For one another And for their children as they continue to journey together as husband and wife, mother and father. May they be filled With courage and strength To face life s challenges And changes. And May they be filled with joy and delight as they celebrate life s gifts especially the gift of one another. May it be so. Amen.

4 4 Exchange of vows [Spouse 2] and [Spouse 1], I would like to now invite you to renew the vows that you made to each other at your wedding. To the bridegroom: ([Spouse 1]), do you renew your vow to take ([Spouse 2]) to be your wife? Do you promise to be true to her in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health, to love her and honor her all the days of your life? Then, to the bride: The bridegroom: I do. ([Spouse 2]), do you renew your vow to take ([Spouse 1]) to be your husband? Do you promise to be true to him in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health, to love him and honor him all the days of your life? Pledges The bride: I do. I invite you now to share the pledges that you have written to each other [Spouse 2]: I pledge to you to always be there for you, a strong partner in this lifetime, during this crazy journey we are on together. To love and cherish you, forever, and of course always have fun along the way. [Spouse 1]: I pledge to enjoy and appreciate this gift we have been blessed with (our marriage, family) every day as we have in the last 10 years. You are in my bones, in my heart, and in the stars that I look at in the sky. There has not been one day in our life together that I have not thanked God for allowing you to come into my life! As I said to our family and friends 10 years ago today The sun rises and sets for me because of [Spouse 2]. Exchange of rings [Child 1] and [Child 2], can you please bring out your parent s rings?

5 5 The circle of the ring speaks of love freely given: it has no beginning and it has no end. The circle of the ring declares the unity and the oneness of your two lives, which shall symbolize your shared journey, that you may always return again to your togetherness. ([Spouse 1]), please place the ring(s) on ([Spouse 2]) 's finger and repeat after me: I give you this ring as a symbol of our love and togetherness. ([Spouse 2]), please place the ring on ([Spouse 1]) 's finger and repeat after me: I give you this ring as a symbol of our love and togetherness. Music (wedding song) Vow to be loving and caring parents One of the great blessings of marriage is the joy and responsibility of raising a family. [Spouse 1] and [Spouse 2], you have truly been blessed to be the parents of [Child 1] and [Child 2]. [Spouse 1] and [Spouse 2], as you renew your vows of marriage today, do you also renew your commitment to be loving and caring parents to [Child 1] and [Child 2], to recognize with gratefulness, the happiness, and fulfillment that [Child 1] and [Child 2] have brought to your marriage and family life? Sand Ceremony The parents: We do. [Spouse 1], [Spouse 2], [Child 1], and [Child 2] as individuals, each of you have your own lives, interests, likes, dislikes, hopes and dreams. But, as a family, you also live a shared life, blending together into a single unit of love and companionship.

6 6 To symbolize this blending of individual lives into a shared life together as a family, I invite each of you to pour some sand into the one jar. ***sand pouring*** When you see this jar of sand at home, may you remember not only the joy of this day but also the love that binds you together as a family. Pronouncement/Final Blessing Inasmuch as [Spouse 1] and [Spouse 2] have grown in knowledge and love of one another over these 10 years, because they have agreed in their desire to continue going forward in life together, seeking an ever richer, deepening relationship, and because they have pledged themselves to meet sorrow and joy as one family, we rejoice to recognize them as re- joined together in marriage. [Spouse 1], you may kiss your wife. And then, [Child 1] and [Child 2], you may hug your parents!

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