(Closed) Non-religious ceremony wordings

posted 5 years ago in Ceremony
Post # 4
Member
196 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

I’m in the same situation. Try searching for “Secular Humanist Wedding Ceremony”. FI and I found TONS of helpful stuff for our ceremony wording and vows.

Post # 6
Member
348 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

I don’t really have an answer for you yet because we are paddling the same boat right now and fishing for ideas ourselves.  But I had to comment because I’m so with you about the atheist label….

Person: “So are you religious?”

Me: “No.”

Person: “So, you’re atheist then?”

Me: “I guess, if you really need to put a label on it…”

Post # 7
Member
5200 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: February 2013

Instead of “blessing” you could use the word “rejoicing”. Our allegedly non-denominational officiant snuck in an unexpected Heavenly Father right at the very end and we were a little surprised. Not offended, it just wasn’t what we had in mind when planning a civil ceremony. 

Post # 9
Member
280 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

We wrote our entire ceremony by cherry picking different things from the book “The Wedding Ceremony Planner.” I’m a devout atheist and FI is an agnostic/leaning atheist. So it was important to us to not have any religion in ours at all. Here’s what we did:

 

Party Processional to Hawaiian Wedding Song Instrumental

Bridal Processional to Marry Me

Oli Aloha chant (DJ)

Introduction

I’d like to welcome you to this very special occasion. One of the greatest joys of a wedding day is the coming together of family and friends. Amy and Matt are very grateful to all of you for the loving, caring, friendship, and support that you have given them throughout their lives. They welcome you here and thank you for sharing this important day with them. As families and friends, you form the community of support that surrounds Amy and Matt. Each of you, by your presence here today, is being called upon to uphold them in honoring and loving each other. Always stand beside them, never between them. Offer them your love and support, and encourage them with your kindness and loving hearts. So let us come together now, as family and friends, to witness, to support, and to celebrate this union of Amy and Matt.

 

For some time, Amy and Matt have known and loved each other. They have been strengthened by their love and have learned that they can depend on each other and on the power of their love, and that through each other, they are becoming better people.

 

If you ask most couples who have a strong and abiding love what they like most about their partners, usually they will say that they don’t have to pretend to be anything other than what they are. Matt and Amy have felt this way from the start. They are able to express themselves without fear of being judged or rejected. There is room in the relationship for both of them to be unique individuals. They are walking side by side in a forward momentum, each of them making choices to help maintain their balance together. While you are two separate individuals, you walk along one path together.

 

Amy and Matt have selected Robert Fulghum’s Union to be read for this ceremony. I would like to welcome NAME to do the reading.

 

Reading of Robert Fulghum’s Union

You have known each other from the first glance of acquaintance to this point of commitment. At some point, you decided to marry. From that moment of yes, to this moment of yes, indeed, you have been making commitments in an informal way. All of those conversations that were held in a car, or over a meal, or during long walks – all those conversations that began with, “When we’re married”, and continued with “I will” and “you will” and “we will” – all those late night talks that included “someday” and “somehow” and “maybe” – and all those promises that are unspoken matters of the heart. All these common things, and more, are the real process of a wedding.

 

The symbolic vows that you are about to make are a way of saying to one another, “You know all those things that we’ve promised, and hoped, and dreamed – well, I meant it all, every word.”

 

Look at one another and remember this moment in time. Before this moment you have been many things to one another – acquaintance, friend, companion, dancing partner, even teacher, for you have learned much from one another these past few years. Shortly you shall say a few words that will take you across a threshold of life, and things between you will never quite be the same.

 

For after today you shall say to the world – This is my husband. This is my wife.

 

Reading of Sooner or Later by Officiate

Sooner or later we begin to understand that love is more than verses on valentines, and romance in the movies. We begin to know that love is here and now, real and true, the most important thing in our lives. For love is the creator of our favorite memories, and the foundation of our fondest dreams. Love is a promise that is always kept, a fortune that can never be spent, a seed that can flourish in even the most unlikely of places. And this radiance that never fades, this mysterious and magical joy, is the greatest treasure of all — one known only by those who love.

 

Log Sawing

Matt and Amy have chosen to perform a German wedding tradition to prove their commitment to each other. Sawing a log half shows that the couple can work together and communicate to solve problems. Cheering is encouraged.

 

Some transition to interrogatory

Interrogatory & Vows (Groom first, followed by Bride)

Marriage is a precious gift, a lifelong commitment, and a challenge to love one another more completely each and every day.

 

Matt, do you take Amy to be your wife and equal partner in life? Do you promise to love her, laugh with her in times of joy, comfort her in times of difficulty and sorrow, and be faithfully by her side through all of life’s challenges and rewards? (I do).

 

Amy, do you take Matt to be your husband and equal partner in life? Do you promise to love him, laugh with him in times of joy, comfort him in times of difficulty and sorrow, and be faithfully by his side through all of life’s challenges and rewards? (I do).

 

Since it is your desire to take each other as husband and wife, please join hands and prepare to state your marriage vows.

 

I, Matt, choose you, Amy, to be my lifelong partner and my best friend. I will always be at your side to encourage and support you, and love you. I will respect our differences and learn from them. Wherever our path leads us, it will take us together. I choose us.

 

I, Amy, choose you, Matt, to be my lifelong partner and my best friend. I will always be at your side to encourage and support you, and love you. I will respect our differences and learn from them. Wherever our path leads us, it will take us together. I choose us.

 

Exchanging of the rings

Rings are adornments, carefully chosen for their beauty and simplicity. They quietly sit upon our fingers, reminding us of the pledge between the wearer and his or her partner, and to nurture their love so it will last a lifetime. These rings are symbolic reminders of the unbroken circle of a healthy and long-lasting love with no end. Let these rings also be a sign that love has substance as well as soul, a present as well as a past, and that, despite its occasional sorrows, love is a circle of happiness, wonder, and strength. May these rings remind you always of the vows you have taken here today.

 

Matt then Amy: I give you this ring as a symbol of my love and a knowledge that in marrying you, I am becoming much more than I am. I give you this ring with the promise that I will love you and keep my heart open to you all the days of my life.

 

Pronouncement
Amy and Matt, there is a wonderful life ahead of you. Live it fully. Love its changes and choices. At the end of your lives you will be able to look back and smile upon the life that you have shared together. Having pledged your love to each other, by virtue of the authority vested in me under the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, I pronounce you husband and wife.

Matt, you may now kiss your bride.

(May I present Matt and Amy, husband and wife.)

Post # 10
Member
39 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: June 2013

This was great to read! Very helpful in planning my own ceremony

 

Post # 11
Member
4660 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

We are hardcore atheists. We’re having readings from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and The Velveteen Rabbit. 

 

If it helps, our first draft vows are follows (we intend to say them in unison, adapted for us from buddhist vows we liked):

 

We undertake the practice of growing in happiness, and in humor each day.
We undertake the practice of receiving everything in our relationship as teachings meant to open our hearts.
We undertake the practice of revealing ourselves fully in our relationship, striving toward complete vulnerability and honesty.
We undertake the practice of listening without judgment.
We undertake the practice of always embracing learning and the joy of the world that exists around us.
We undertake the practice of feeling and releasing all obstructions to being fully present in each moment.

 

Instead of the usual benediction or whatever closing statement in a normal religious ceremony we will use a quote from Neil deGrasse Tyson:  “We are all connected; To each other, biologically. To the earth, chemically. To the rest of the universe atomically.”

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