Rev. F. Eric Zuckerman, ULC
In the name of her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth, and the Church of England, do I, the Archbishop of Canterbury, bid you all welcome to the wedding ceremony of His Royal Highness Charles, the Prince of Wales, and Diana, Lady Spencer.
Okay, now that we know who's paying attention...
Welcome to Julie and Ziggy's wedding. As you may have already noticed, this ceremony is going to be fairly unique, much like the bride and groom.
So, stay awake! You don't want to miss anything. And please silence your various electronic devices. Thank you.
Julie and Ziggy welcome you, as their family, their friends, their special ones. Also, they invite, in spirit, all of those who would be married, but are thwarted by statutes and restrictions. Let us all hope and work for marriage for everyone who wants it.
The meaning that we impose on our time upon this Earth is largely in our relationships to people, and that most especially in the life partners we choose. Julie and Ziggy have progressed from friends to romantic companions; from romantic companions to betrothed partners, and now stand before you ready to take the next step, to become the members of a married couple. This ceremony is for them alone, but not of them alone, and that is why they have invited you: to bear witness and share this day with them. Again, welcome.
To start out, Julie and Ziggy have chosen some passages to share, that reflect the values that they cherish together, which is in turn a foundation of their friendship, and thus their relationship.
In such togetherness, let us begin with a responsive reading. Please have your reading sheets handy, and be prepared to join in with us on the last line of each verse, in boldface on your copy.
The first reading will be:
Prayer for the Great Family
by Gary Snyder
after a Mohawk prayer
The next reading will be:
"Joy" from the Dhammapada, a Buddhist text
It will read by Charles Koehler, Julie's Best Man.
The final reading will be:
An excerpt from the speech of Chief Sealth ("Chief Seattle's Lament")
It will be read by Andrew Bowers, Ziggy's Best Man.
Before we continue, if anyone gathered here has any reason why these two people should not be wed...
You! Are! In! The wrong place!
The act of gathering here today is a commitment to support this marriage. Wait a minute, think on that. It's worth taking seriously.
I'd like to encourage everybody here to take a moment and consider what you might be able to do to support Julie and Ziggy together. Maybe it'll be big; maybe it'll be small. Perhaps it'll turn out to be something they'll ask you for; perhaps you'll surprise them with something of your own initiative. At the very least, be open to the idea of being there, in a way that you might not be able to predict at this moment.
And those of you who like to remember birthdays, add this day to your calendar.
Do those of you gathered here today commit to supporting Julie and Ziggy's marriage? Please answer, "We will."
On behalf of the bride and groom, and the wife and husband that they will so shortly be... thank you.
Our friends in the Judeo-Christian tradition describe marriage as, among other things, a sacrament. Let's all consider that for a moment.
The linguistic implication, from "sacrament", is that marriage is sacred. Sacred.
By entering into this agreement, this pact, each of you are committing to regarding each other as sacred. At its best, the bond of marriage raises one's beloved from being vitally precious, to the realm of divinity in one's own pantheon.
This magic - and make no mistake; it is nothing short of a private miracle - is accomplished through the power of ceremony, lent the strength of the celebrants' assembled families, friends, tribes.
This threshold stands before you. It will change your relationship, and your selves, subtly but deeply.
Is this your intent, your mutual will?
[JMB & ZT:] Yes.
It is now time for the two of you to make the promises to one another that are the heart of the ceremony we perform here today.
Julie, please repeat after me:
I, Julie, invite you, Ziggy, to be my soulmate,
my unending source of comfort and laughter,
my creative inspiration, my musical muse,
my partner in flesh, mind, and spirit,
my husband to have and hold and love forever.
Do you accept my invitation?
[ZT:] I do.
Ziggy, please repeat after me:
I, Ziggy, ask for you, Julie, to be my love forever,
To inspire me when I'm down, to comfort me with laughter, to guide me when I'm lost
To be my guiding spirit, my best friend, and my enduring soulmate.
I ask for your unwavering love, devotion, and perseverance.
Do you, Julie, want to be my wife, my soulmate, my muse;
My lifetime partner to hold and love forever?
[JMB:] I do.
And now... time for swag.
The custom of exchanging jewelry is an ancient rite, with documentation dating back almost 5,000 years. What does it mean to Julie and Ziggy?
These bracelets are:
Julie and Ziggy, please repeat together after me:
With these jewels we create an unbroken bond between us,
Blue and violet as the sky, unlimited as our love.
On behalf of the State of California, under the auspices of Universal Life, and — by far most importantly — by the grace of your love for each other, demonstrated here today...
I now pronounce you Julie Bernstein and Ziggy Tomcich. You've always been that, but there is one difference now...
You are married!
You may --
Waaait for iiit...
(Photographers, videographers! Look alive, people! If you capture only one moment today, make it this one!)
— Pretend we're not here, and kiss.
Abide. Close your eyes for a moment. Just breathe together, gel what you are feeling right now, and save it. Trap it in amber, to treasure forever. We'll wait for you.
Both of you, please, take my hand for a moment.
Spirit of Love, smile on this couple. May they have countless days together, and may those days, on balance, be sweet. May they resolve their conflicts - as a reasonable person would know that they must come - in a long-sighted and collaborative manner. May their values - particularly their respect for the Earth and its inhabitants - be celebrated in their home, and increasingly honored in the wider world. Perhaps most importantly, may they deepen the friendship that brought them here today.
For the people out there attending with their dear ones, make some time, very soon, to be together in the reflection of this moment.
Family, friends, and tribe, it is my sublime joy to present to you, Julie and Ziggy, the newlyweds!
Give it up for the reason we all came here today!
And now, to feast and dance and sing together!
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