Please remember, ANY ceremony can be tailored to suit your desires, beliefs, etc. We can add, we can subtract, we can rearrange, we can start over. These are a foundation to build on. Featured below: a secular wedding ceremony, a baptism/naming ceremony, and an ash-spreading ceremony.To see VIDEO of me performing the following ceremony, clickHERE"Secular Wedding Ceremony" Welcome to family and friends: We are gathered here today to celebrate one of life's greatest moments, to give recognition to the worth and beauty of love, and to cherish the words which shall unite ____________ and ____________ in marriage. Opening: ____________ and ____________, in the days ahead of you, there will be great times of joy, but also, there will be times of difficulty and conflict. When you find yourselves in these situations, I ask you to reflect on this marriage advice: Let your love be stronger than your anger. Learn the wisdom of compromise, for it is better to bend than to break . Look for the best in your beloved rather than the worst. Confide in your partner and ask for help when you need it. Remember that true friendship is the basis for any lasting relationship. Give your spouse the same courtesies and kindnesses you bestow on your friends. Say "I love you" every day.Do you both understand the commitment you are about to enter into today? (We do.) (You may wish to add a reading or song here.) Vows: ____________ and ____________, I remind you that marriage is a precious gift; a lifelong dedication to love and a daily challenge to love one another more fully and more freely. To Groom: With this understanding, do you ____________, take ____________ to be your beloved wife? Do you promise to be a tender, faithful husband? Do you promise to love and cherish her, in sickness and in health, for richer for poorer, for better for worse, and look to her as an equal partner through the rest of your life?Response: I will. To Bride: With this understanding, do you ____________, take ____________ to be your beloved husband? Do you promise to be a tender, faithful wife? Do you promise to love and cherish him, in sickness and in health, for richer for poorer, for better for worse, and look to him as an equal partner through the rest of your life?Response: I will.(You may wish to add a reading or song here.)Rings: ____________ and ____________ have chosen rings as outward symbols of the commitment they make today. From earliest times, the ring has been a symbol of wedded love. An unbroken and never-ending circle symbolizes a commitment to love that is also never ending. ____________, take the ring which you have selected, place it on ____________'s finger, and say to her these words. This ring, a gift for you, symbolizes my desire that you be my wife from this day forward. ____________, take the ring which you have selected, place it on ____________'s finger, and say to him these words. This ring, a gift for you, symbolizes my desire that you be my wife from this day forward. Let these rings serve not as locks binding you together, but as keys, unlocking the secrets of your hearts for each other to know, and thus bringing you closer together forever. Unity Candle (Optional) This candle you are about to light is a candle of Marriage. Its fire is magical because it represents the light of two people in love. This candle before you is a candle of Commitment because it takes two people working together to keep it aflame. This candle is also a candle of Unity because both must come together, giving a spark of themselves, to create the new light. Would you both now light the candle? As you light this candle today, may the brightness of the flame shine throughout your lives. May it give you courage and reassurance in darkness. Warmth and safety in the cold. And strength and joy in your bodies, minds and spirits. May your union be forever blessed.Closing: May the sun bring you new energy by day. May the moon softly restore you by night. May the rain wash away your worries. And may you live the days of your lives in peace, love, and happiness. Pronouncement: ____________ and ____________, having witnessed your vows for marriage with all who are assembled here, and by the authority vested in me, I announce with great joy that you are husband and wife. Kiss: You may kiss the bride. Presentation: Ladies and gentlemen, it is my honor to present to you, for the first time as husband and wife: ____________ and ____________ ."Baptism/Naming ceremony"Welcome to each one of you. My name is Rev. Anne Styx and on behalf of [Dad] and [Mom], I want to say how pleased they are that you are here to share in this special celebration with them.Ceremony ExplainedJust before we begin it is important to note that this [Child] is not being baptized into any specific Church Denomination, however Churches recognize the Baptism Certificate. The nice thing about this is that when a [Child] is older and decides to move closer to a faith community, he will be able to present herself as a Baptized person. Now to our ceremony.CeremonyWe are here today because [Dad] and [Mom] want to express their joy in the birth of [Child]. They want to officially welcome [Child] into their family unit, and to the wider family of relatives and friends. They would like each of you to share their joy on this happy occasion, and they also look forward to your continuing friendship, interest and involvement in the years ahead.A [Child] brings it's own unique personality and adds new dimension to the family unit. [Dad] and [Mom] will always find something new to laugh at or admire. They are also aware of the great responsibility that is now theirs. A great deal of their lives will be involved in caring for their [Child] and guiding [Child] through the many trails of life.Now I (or someone of the parents’ choosing) would like to read:May All Your Wishes Come TrueMay all your wishes come trueMay you always do for others, and let others do for youMay you build a ladder to the stars and climb on every rungAnd may you stay forever youngMay you grow to be righteousMay you grow up to be trueMay you always know the truth, and see the light that's surrounding youMay you always be courageous, stand upright and be strongAnd may you stay forever youngMay your hands always be busy, and may your feet always be swiftMay you have a strong foundation when the winds of change shiftMay your heart always be joyful, and may your song always be sungAnd may you stay forever young.NamingNames are an important part of everyone's life. They give each and everyone of us individuality.(Parents to stand) (Question) [Dad] and [Mom], what name have you chosen for your child? (Answer)(Speak to child) [Child], your name was chosen with great care. It was chosen just for you. We all hope that you will inherit the best traits of both your parents. Our wish for you this day is that you will grow into a caring person who is healthy and happy. We wish you wisdom to help guide you through life.Questions for ParentsNow, some questions for the parents. (Question) [Dad] and [Mom], will you as parents care for [Child], keep her/him clothed, sheltered and protect her/him, for as long as she needs you as best you can? (Answer) We will.(Question) Will you comfort [Child] when she/he is distressed and laugh with her/him when she's/he's happy? (Answer) We will.(Question) Will you as parents try in every way possible to raise [Child] in such a way that she/he will feel loved and secure? (Answer) We will.Question for WitnessesNow, a question for the witnesses (or godparents, etc.) (Question) Will you the witnesses do everything in your power to encourage and support [Dad] and [Mom] in their awesome role as parents? (Answer) We will.The Baptism ( Please pick one)[Child] I baptize you in the name of The Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.or:[Child] you are baptized with water as a symbol of the common life which is in you and in the world about you. We welcome you to the community of life on earth and dedicate you to everything which is beautiful and truthful and good.or: [Child] you are baptized in the name of the God and in the spirit of Jesus. We welcome you as a member of Christ's church and of the community of life on earth. May all be well with you in your journey through life.(Return Child to parents) [Child] today we officially welcome you. We wish you long life and much happiness. May you face all challenges that come to you as a person of integrity. May you bring great joy to your parents and your grandparents.To your extended family and friends, may you contribute to making this world a better and happier place for all of us, and may the Lord bless you and make your life a blessing to the world. Amen.ClosingI want now to present [Dad] and [Mom] with this certificate of Baptism. On behalf of [Dad], [Mom] and [Child], I would like to thank you all for taking part in this ceremony. Please enjoy the rest of the day."Ash-spreading ceremony"We have come here today to scatter the ashes that are all that now remains of the body of ________________. In a beautiful and ancient rite, we gave his/her body to the flames. These ashes were not ___________. They are merely what remains of the body s/he wore at the close of his/her sojourn here on this earth. The ancients taught that there are four elements in the world and of these all that is-- everything--is composed. These four are earth, water air and fire. Modern science confirms the findings of our fathers. It divides all things into four forms; solids, liquids, gases and energy. When you think about it, you see how true this is--we all have qualities like earth, like water, like air, like fire. There was much in ___________ that was like fire. Now all that was fire, fiery, the living fire that beat in the heart and ran in the veins, this the funeral fire has made one again with the fire that burns in the sun and stars and in every unseen, singing, dancing, fiery particle of being. There was much in ___________ that was like air. All that was like air--airy, light and irrepressible--the fire has carried upward into the encircling air to become the breath of life for living things. There was much in ___________ that was like water. All that was like water, watery, the fire has diffused into the skies, to be one with the watery vapors of the air, with clouds and rain--a renewing source of life for all living things. Finally, there was that in ___________ that was like earth. Now that which was of the earth, earthy, lies here in these few ashes. These we now return to the earth, into the cradle endlessly rocking, the womb of the world from which we were all brought forth. (SCATTER THE ASHES ............................ASK THOSE PRESENT TO PRAY SILENTLY FOR ___________ AS YOU SCATTER THE ASHES..) Life is a process in which we are all linked. We merge and reemerge. That which was earth returns to earth. That which was air returns to air. That which was water returns to water. That which was fire returns to fire. But we are more than earth and water, air and fire. We are Spirit. In us is the Spirit of God and that which was Spirit returns to God who gave it.Please join me by responding, we will remember her/him.One: At the rising of the sun and at its going down. . .All: We will remember her.One: At the blowing of the wind and in the chill of winter. . .All: We will remember her.One: At the opening of the buds and in the rebirth of spring. . .All: We will remember her.One: At the blueness of the skies and in the warmth of summer. . .All: We will remember her.One: At the rustling of the leaves and in the beauty of autumn. . .All: We will remember her.One: At the beginning of the year and when it ends. . .All: We will remember her.One: When we are weary and in need of strength. . .All: We will remember her.One: When we are lost and sick at heart. . .All: We will remember her.One: When we have joy and wish to share it. . .All: We will remember her.One: When we have decisions that are difficult to make. . .All: We will remember her.One: When we have achievements that are based on hers. . .All: We will remember her.All: For as long as we live, she too will live. . .For she is now a part of us as we remember her.A Committal PrayerEternal God, you have shared with us the life of ______________. Before she was ours, she was yours. For all that ________________ has given us to make us what we are, for that of her which lives and grows in each of us, and for her life that in your love will never end, we give you thanks.As now we offer _________________back into your arms, comfort us in our loneliness, strengthen us in our weakness, and give us courage to face the future unafraid. Draw those of us who remain in this life closer to one another, make us faithful to serve one another, and give us to know that peace and joy which is eternal life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.Spiritual CommittalIn placing the ashes of ___________________ in this hollowed ground, we think again of all that our dear son/daughter, brother/sister, companion and friend meant and means to us. We dedicate this simple plot, amid these natural surroundings, to every beautiful and precious memory. We lay these ashes in that gentle earth, which has been the chief support of humankind, since first they walked beneath the sun. To all human beings, to all living forms, the soil has ever provided the sustenance that is the staff of life. To that good earth we now commit the ashes of our friend.A BenedictionNow the work is left to us, the living, to carry forth the beauty and joy of that life which has been taken from us. Where we weep, _____would have us laugh. Where we mourn, ______ would have us rejoice. But we know that he/she will forgive us our grief, for to grieve is to love, to love is to cherish, and to cherish is to give praise and thanksgiving for the life which has blessed us all.To that life we pray courage and strength, that our frailty be forgiven, our sorrows redeemed, the wounds of our loss healed, in the sure knowledge that life moves forward and does not tarry with yesterday, and that the life before us beckons to greater glory as the only memorial that is fitting and just. Let us depart in peace and look to the morning, assured that tomorrow the sun will rise again. Life gives and life takes away: Blessed be life, above all, forever.May the truth that makes us free, the hope that never dies and the love that casts out fear lead us forward together until the dayspring breaks, and the shadows flee away. Amen.
Not a member of a church?Involved in an interfaith relationship?Want to have your ceremony in a meaningful or unusual place?Want to have the "one-stop" wedding experience, and have your ceremony and reception at the same venue?Want to tailor your ceremony so that it is as unique as you are?Tired of all the wedding hype and just want to keep it simple?YOU'VE COME TO THERIGHT SITE!
Reverend Anne Styx
"Faith is a whole lot less about the good things you say, and a whole lot more about the good things you do."Include your culture.Include your children.Include your sense of humor.Include your personality.Include your pets!Everything you want it to be is what it should be.