Today you are surrounded by your family, all of whom are gathered to witness your marriage and to share in the joy of this occasion, which should be one of the most memorable and happy days of your life.
You each bring to this marriage your own personality and spirit which is uniquely your own to form a union created by friendship, respect and love.
Although marriage symbolizes the intimate sharing of two lives, it should not diminish but enhance each individuals spirit. A lasting marriage should continually grow in understanding and respect. Consideration of each other's feelings and needs grows out of truly caring for the other. Because of this caring, it is possible to share the joys and successes as well as the sorrows and failures.
You must give of each other in love but not give yourself away. A good and balanced relationship is one in which neither person is overpowered or absorbed by the other. It is a union that is equal in strength and fragility which is born and reborn over the years.
As is the custom on this occasion to give and receive gifts, David and Elizabeth wish these gifts for each other:
~ steadily deepening love which grows in mutual respect and unselfishness
~ a measure of patience as they learn about each other
~the ability to communicate that they may be saved from hurtful words spoken in anger or grudges nurtured in silence
~a sense of humor that they may laugh at themselves and with others
~the strength and courage as they face life's sorrows
~a sense of values to care more for people than possessions, for honor more than honors, and for a home rather than a house
~ and a good memory that they may remember the path that led them to each other
As you know no minister, priest, rabbi or public official can marry you. Only you can marry each other by making a mutual commitment to each other. The vows you are about to exchange represent your pledge to each other. For it is not the words that bind you together as one, but it is the love and commitment each of you feel within your soul.
David, do you take Elizabeth to be your wedded wife? Will you love, comfort, honor and respect her? Will you share all life has to offer, your hopes and dreams, your achievements and disappointments with her from this day forward?
Elizabeth, do you take David to be your wedded husband? Will you love, comfort, honor, and respect him? Will you share all life has to offer, your hopes and dreams, your achievements and disappointments with him from this day forward?
The vows which have been exchanged are but words that are fleeting and the sound of them is soon gone. The wedding rings become an enduring symbol of the promises which have been made. David, will you repeat after me: With this ring I thee wed, as a symbol of my commitment to you. Elizabeth, will you repeat after me: With this ring I thee wed, as a symbol of my commitment to you.
I now pronounce you husband and wife.
Live long and prosper!