The Ceremony

(This is the post for the vow renewal ceremony — see the outline post for a list of all the day’s events. The post itself covers the actions of the celebrant/minister, bride, groom, and pre-scripted actions of the rest of the wedding party. Members of the wedding party should feel free to add anything else they wish in the comment section.)

Continued from Pre-Ceremony Prep

~ ~ ~ Prelude ~ ~ ~

Outside the chapel, a small table holds a basket of programs and the guest book. Ushers also offer programs as they escort guests to their seats. As people arrive, Patrick McKinnion plays a selection of songs on the harp. While we don’t have any sound files of him playing, there is a YouTube playlist of the prelude music. We were unable to find harp versions for some of these, so we’ve substituted other instrumentals. Just imagine them being played on the harp instead :-).

(Please note that, on this playlist and the others in the ceremony and reception, we tried to choose official versions of the music wherever possible. The down side of that choice is that many of the official channels include commercials. We regret if any of the ads are jarring.)

quaich_wiki In addition to the candles, there is a quaich of water on the altar. For images of the chapel, see the Wayfarers Chapel wedding gallery, including a video showing the chapel and grounds.

A few minutes before the scheduled time, Patrick begins playing Noel Paul Stookey’s “Wedding Song (There Is Love),” which is on the prelude playlist as a piano piece — a short sample of the song on the harp is available at the link on the title. Roland’s mother is escorted to her seat, and Morgan’s mother is escorted to hers. The minister enters and stands at the front of the chapel. The carillon chimes the half-hour.

~ ~ ~ Processional ~ ~ ~

The harpist begins playing “All I Ask of You.” The honor attendants — Best Men and Ladies of Honor — process into the chapel, each one starting about a phrase behind the one before them. The men are in black tuxes with blue vests, the ladies in blue gowns with lace jackets, wearing white fur muffs accented with blue flowers. (See previous posts for gowns, tuxes, and flowers.)

Jim, Blake, Joseph, Susan, Keith and Shelli process down the aisle and take their places to either side of the altar. As the second verse starts, Roland begins walking down the aisle. As he reaches about halfway, Morgan follows. (Roland’s attire is in the post on tuxes, Morgan’s in the bride’s gown and accessories posts.) Morgan reaches the altar and hands her bouquet to Shelli, the music ends, and the minister begins the ceremony.

~ ~ ~ Greeting ~ ~ ~

The Celebrant speaks to all assembled:

Dearly beloved, we are gathered together here in the sight of the Divine, and in the face of this company, to renew the sacred bond between this Man and this Woman; which is an honorable estate, signifying unto us a mystical union and therefore is not by any to be entered into unadvisedly or lightly; but reverently, discreetly, advisedly, and soberly. Into this sacred estate these two persons present come now to be joined once more.

Victor Hugo said, “When two souls, which have sought each other for however long in the throng, have found each other, when they have seen that they are matched, are in sympathy and compatible, in a word, that they are alike; there is then established forever between them a union, fiery and pure as they themselves are, a union which begins on earth and continues and continues forever in eternity. This union is love, true love, such as in truth very few men can conceive of, that love which is as a religion, which defines the loved one, whose life comes from devotion and passion, and for which the greatest sacrifices are the sweetest delights.”

~ ~ ~ Declaration of Consent ~ ~ ~

The Celebrant addresses Morgan:

Morgan, wilt thou keep this Man as thy wedded husband, to live together in the sacred estate of matrimony? Wilt thou love him, comfort him, honor, and keep faith with him, so long as ye both shall live?


I will.

The Celebrant addresses Roland:

Roland, wilt thou keep this Woman as thy wedded wife, to live together in the sacred estate of matrimony? Wilt thou love her, comfort her, honor, and keep faith with her, so long as ye both shall live?


I will.

~ ~ ~ Reading: “An Irish Wedding Blessing” ~ ~ ~


You are the star of each night,
You are the brightness of every morning,


You are the story of each guest,
You are the report of every land.


No evil shall befall you, on hill nor bank,
In field or valley, on mountain or in glen.


Neither above, nor below, neither in sea,
Nor on shore, in skies above, nor in the depths.


You are the kernel of my heart,
You are the face of my sun,


You are the harp of my music,
You are the crown of my company

~ ~ ~ Renewal of Vows ~ ~ ~

Roland takes Morgan’s right hand in his, and speaks:

In the Name of the Divine, I, Roland, once again take you, Morgan, to be my wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, from this life to the next, as the Presence has ordained; and thereto I pledge thee my troth.

Morgan then takes Roland’s right hand in hers, and speaks:

In the Name of the Divine, I, Morgan, once again take you, Roland, to be my husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, from this life to the next, as the Presence has ordained; and thereto I pledge thee my troth.

~ ~ ~ Re-exchange of Rings ~ ~ ~

The two release each others’ hands, and the Celebrant addresses them:

Roland and Morgan, your original wedding rings are outward symbols of your commitment to each other. The never-ending circle of your rings and the knotwork thereon symbolize your never-ending love for each other.

Roland takes the ring from Keith, and places it on Morgan’s finger:

Once more, with this Ring I thee wed, with my Body I thee worship, and with all my worldly Goods I thee endow: In the Name of the Divine. So be it.

Morgan takes the ring from Shelli, and places it on Roland’s finger:

Once more, with this Ring I thee wed, with my Body I thee worship, and with all my worldly Goods I thee endow: In the Name of the Divine. So be it.

~ ~ ~ Water Sharing ~ ~ ~

The Celebrant picks up the quaich from the altar:

This water is symbolic of the pledges you have made to one another to share together the fullness of life. As you drink from this cup, you acknowledge to each other that your lives, while separate, are also one.

He hands the quaich to Morgan, who offers it to Roland and says:

I give you the water of life. May you never thirst.

Roland places his hands over hers and drinks. He then takes the quaich and offers it to her and says:

I give you the water of life. May you always drink deep.

She places her hands over his and drinks. He then hands the quaich back to the Celebrant, who addresses the couple:

As you have shared the water from this quaich, so may you share your lives. May you explore the mysteries of growing closer and share in the reflection of love in one another’s soul. From love all things proceed and unto love they must return.

He returns the quaich to the altar.

~ ~ ~ Blessing of the Marriage ~ ~ ~

Morgan and Roland join hands, and the Celebrant gives a blessing (“The Elements of Love”):

May your Love be like the earth
Rich, natural, and deeply rooted
Strong as rock yet soft as sand
Always growing and always patient

May your love be like fire
Passionate, intense and energetic
A flame that never dies
As radiant as the morning sun
And as warm as an evening embrace

May your love be like water
Moving, constantly changing
Never still, never stagnant
As vast as the ocean
And as fresh as a spring’s rain

May your love be like air
The sharing of dreams, thoughts and emotions
Always fragrant, always carefree
Found in the breeze of a whisper
Or in the breath of a kiss

May your love be like all four elements
Physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually intertwined
To create the perfect balance
And to craft the perfect ribbon
For to bind these two hearts into one

He places his hands on those of the couple and continues:

May the Gods shower Their blessings upon thee throughout thy life, may Brigid smile upon thee and make thy life fruitful, and may Lugh light thy path through brightest day and darkest night and shine on thee always.

Addressing those assembled, he declares:

Those whom the Gods hath joined together let none put asunder.

~ ~ ~ Pronouncement of Marriage ~ ~ ~

The Celebrant releases the couple’s hands. They do not release each others.

Forasmuch as Morgan and Roland have consented together in holy wedlock, and have witnessed the same before the Divine and this company, and thereto have given and pledged their troth, each to the other, and have declared the same by giving and receiving a Ring, and by joining hands; I pronounce that they are Husband and Wife, In the Name of all that is sacred. Amen.

He addresses the couple:

You may celebrate your union with a kiss.

They oblige :-).

~ ~ ~ Recessional ~ ~ ~

After a suitable pause, Patrick begins “Mairi’s Wedding.” Morgan and Roland walk out arm-in-arm, followed by their attendants — Shelli with Keith, Susan with Joseph, and Blake with Jim.

Continued in Interlude…

2 thoughts on “The Ceremony

  1. Roland X

    We actually re-exchanged rings RL here at home, by the by. (Having mine off for a few weeks while I lost weight…has reminded me that I need to lose more now that I have it back on. *g*) It was fun going through the ceremony.

  2. Morgan Post author

    True story: We were wandering the grounds of Wayfarer's Chapel last Saturday, being lovey while listening to the carillon ring after a wedding, and a guy we're pretty sure was staff smiled at us and commented something like "If you're not careful you'll be next. (pause) If you're not already." I think he was a bit surprised when we told him our 14th was in a few days :-).


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