A FORMAL HUMANIST WEDDING WITH FULL ORCHESTRA
Opening music: Processional (Early part of second movement of
Beethoven's fifth symphony)
[Bride and groom enter from opposite sides of the room, come to
the front, and face each other. The Officiant, higher up on the
dais, and behind them, faces them and the guests.]
Officiant: Linda and Mark share a love so strong and vital that
they wish to proclaim it publicly through the ceremony of
marriage. We join them in celebrating their union and
contemplate with joy their future.
Bride: [Facing guests] Mark and I welcome you all. We have both
looked upon this day with great anticipation.
Groom: [Facing guests] Thank you for allowing us the opportunity
to proclaim our mutual love in your presence.
Groom's attendant #1 [facing groom from the side]: Thank you,
Mark, for showing your friendship to us all by bringing us into
your life and giving us the privilege of knowing Linda.
Bride's attendant #1: I, too, Linda, have looked upon this day
with anticipation. The love you two share is an example for us
Groom's attendant #2: To celebrate your loving union I will fill
the air with music. [Plays "Oh Shanandoah" on flute while
Bride's attendant #2 sings the lyrics.]
Bride: Come live with me and be my Love
And we will all the pleasures prove
That hills and valleys, dales and fields,
Or woods or steepy mountain yields.
And we will sit upon the rocks,
And see the shepherds feed their flocks
By shallow rivers, to whose falls
Melodious birds sing madrigals.
Groom: And I will make the beds of roses
And a thousand fragrant posies;
A cap of flowers, and a kirtle
Embroider'd all with leaves of myrtle.
A gown made of the finest wool
Which from our pretty lambs we pull;
Fur-lined slippers for the cold,
With buckles of the purest gold.
Bride: A belt of straw and ivy-buds
With coral clasps and amber studs;
And if these pleasures may thee move,
Come live with me and be my love.
Groom: The shepherd swains shall dance and sing
For thy delight each May morning;
If these delights thy mind may move,
Then live with me and be my love.
"The Passionate Shepherd to His Love]
Officiant: Will the guests please stand. [Guests rise]
Song: [All sing, "Drink to Me Only with Thine Eyes" with quiet
Officiant: Linda and Mark, look on one another now. Linda, will
you receive Mark as your lawfully wedded husband, to share your
life with him, to hold your love firmÄÄeven if a mountain come
between, and dutifully care for him in all the varying
circumstances of your life?
Bride: I will.
Officiant: Mark, will you receive Linda as your lawfully wedded
wife, to share your life with her, to hold your love firmÄÄeven
if a mountain come between, and dutifully care for her in all the
varying circumstances of your life?
Groom: I will.
Officiant: Will the attendants bring the silver platters.
[Bride and groom attendants #1 each bring to the bride and groom
a lid-covered silver platter]
Bride: With the release of this dove, I thee wed. [Bride lifts
lid and a dove flies free up to the rafters]
Groom: With the release of this dove, I thee wed. [Groom lifts
his lid likewise]
Officient: Symbol of peace, symbol of love, two doves fly free
as two individuals who share a life in common.
As there is no one here to challenge this union, and as Mark and
Linda have here together witnessed their vows in your presence,
then, with the power vested in me by the American Humanist
Association and the great state of Missouri, I now pronounce you
husband and wife. May you remain together in happiness all the
days of your lives. [Bride and groom kiss]
Bride: [To her parents] Mom, Dad, you wondered when I would
marry and now I have. Let me share with you my husband, your new
Groom: [To his parents] Dad, Mom, my carefree bachelorhood is
over and I wish to give you a new daughter, my wife Linda.
Officiant: Go forth into the world as two who are one. Share
your love, your fears, your grief, and your laughter. Though
life may be treacherous, with individual courage and a firm bond,
you will survive and flourish!
Reader: To suffer woes which Hope thinks infinite;
To forgive wrongs darker than death or night;
To defy Power, which seems omnipotent;
To love, and bear; to hope till Hope creates
From its own wreck the thing it contemplates;
Neither to change, nor falter, nor repent;
This, like thy glory, Titan, is to be
Good, great and joyous, beautiful and free;
This is alone Life, Joy, Empire, and Victory.
[Percy Bysshe Shelly, "Prometheus Unbound"]
Music: Recessional (Handel's "Royal Fireworks Music")
[Guests throw flower petals on passing bride and groom]