i would like to welcome you here to this beautiful place
surrounded by this turbulent sky
and deep forest
nature is unpredictable
with a mysterious balance
that supports us
and tests us
We've been brought here by Love
a true love that was found while not looking
as a surprise
that once acknowledged
was realized as the heart's desire of these two people
as is often the case in life
it was only found
when the search had been surrendered
when another goal had been set
providence gave a gift to help with the journey
As Friends and Family of these two Lovers
we've been able to witness the blossom of recognition in them
and the subtle shift
that has greatly changed their world
for many of us
this love is an inspiration
and a reminder
of the love we have in our lives
or the love we've yet to find
We gather today to witness a commitment to that love
an agreement to deepen that bond
and share it with the world
we agree to their bond
support them in their journey
and give our love to them in gratitude
a heart as large as all of ours
is a miraculous thing
is how we make the world a better place.
With Heather and Louis today
i would like you all to come to presence here
forget the rest of your life for this moment
and take a deep breath
give them your attention
give them your love
and with that
all of the hopes and wishes of a happy life that you can imagine.
While you are feeling that out
We will have two readings from important people in our lives
sharing wise words from other's who care for our world.
First, Heather's dear neighbor, Lisa will give a reading from Rainer Maria Rilke
from a book of letters he wrote to a struggling young poet
to help him understand the world
His simple advice:
"To Love is Good"
[ from the 7th letter: http://www.mixolydian.org/goliard/library/rilke/rilke.html ]
To love is good, too: love being difficult. For one human being to love another: that is perhaps the most difficult of all our tasks, the ultimate, the last test and proof, the work for which all other work is but preparation. For this reason young people, who are beginners in everything, cannot yet know love: they have to learn it. With their whole being, with all their forces, gathered close about their lonely, timid, upward-beating heart, they must learn to love. But learning-time is always a long, secluded time, and so loving, for a long while ahead and far on into life, is-solitude, intensified and deepened loneness for him who loves. Love is at first not anything that means merging, giving over, and uniting with another (for what would a union be of something unclarified and unfinished, still subordinate-?), It is a high inducement to the individual to ripen, to become something in himself, to become world for himself for another's sake, it is a great exacting claim upon him, something that chooses him out and calls him to vast things.
Next Louis's Friend Erin
will read a selection from Anna Quindlen's
"A Short Guide to a Happy Life"
a Normal woman who is seen as wise by her friends
was asked to give advice. .
I suppose the best piece of advice I can give anyone is pretty simple:
Get a life.
A real life,
Not a manic pursuit of the next promotion,
The bigger paycheck,
The larger house.
Do you think you would care so very much about those things
If you developed an aneurism one afternoon,
Or found a lump in your breast while in the shower?
Get a life in which you notice the smell of salt water
Pushing itself on a breeze over the dunes,
A life in which you stop and watch
How a red tailed hawk circles over a pond and a stand of pines.
Get a life in which you pay attention to the baby
As she scowls with concentration
When she tries to pick up a Cheerio with her thumb and first finger.
Turn off your cell phone.
Turn off your regular phone, for that matter.
Get a life in which you are not alone.
Find people you love, and who love you.
And remember that love is not leisure,
It is work.
Each time I look at my diploma,
I remember that I am still a student,
Still learning every day how to be a human.
Send an email.
Write a letter.
Kiss your mom.
Hug your dad.
Get a life in which you are generous.
Look around at the azaleas making fuchsia starbursts in spring;
Look at a full moon hanging silver in a black sky on a cold night.
And, realize that life is glorious,
And that you have no business taking it for granted.
Care so deeply about its goodness that you want to spread it around.
Take the money you would have spent on beers in a bar
And give it to charity.
Work in a soup kitchen.
Tutor a seventh grader.
All of us want to do well.
But if we do not good, too,
Then doing well will never be enough.
Heather and Louis
you have loved eachother for many years now
and with this ceremony today
you are vowing to love eachother for the rest of your days
You've come to the understanding that Marriage is the next step in your relationship
pledging your love to eachother
in front of the people most important to you
you understand that this partnership will not always be easy
but with attention and compassion
you'll find any struggle
worth all the effort
coming together today before your Relatives
the Earth and Sky,
Water and Wind
and the Spirit of the World
you realize that you are being watched
the two of you are being held to a promise
Greater dreams than either of you could have alone
You are choosing to bring yourself together as a focused aspect of Creation in this world
with this comes a tremendous amount of responsibility
The Love and dreams of your Parents
and theirs before them
are looking to you for continuation
are walking with you for inspiration
a standard they can check themselves against
by bringing yourself here today in front of all of US
you are sharing that which is most private in your lives
with that which is most private in each of us
By committing to being present to eachother
you will become more present to your own selves as well
by listening, supporting, and offering yourself to eachother
you will come to understand
that which has brought you together
the Tale being told of your life
and all that is helping YOU tell it
With Full awareness of the love in your hearts
Offer eachother the vows you have made for each other.
Through the love of your family
you have been taught how to love
in following their tradition
you will wear these rings as a symbol
of your union.
Heather, do you take Louis
to be your lawfully wedded husband
to love and to cherish
from this day forward?
Louis, do you take Heather
to be your lawfully wedding Wife
to love and to cherish
from this day forward?
Heather and Louis
you have declared your love and given your word
for all to hear
May these rings always remind you of the pact you have between you.
May your love grow ever deeper and ever more blissful
and nourish you through all your days
in the words of the Apaches of this land
and the Irish from where i come
we offer you these blessings:
The Blessing Of The Apaches
Now you will feel no rain,
For each of you will be shelter to the other.
Now you will feel no cold,
For each of you will be warmth to the other.
Now there is no more loneliness for you,
For each of you will be companion to the other.
Now you are two bodies,
But there is one life before you.
Go now to your Home,
To enter into the days of your togetherness.
And may your days be good and long upon the earth.
Irish Wedding Blessing
May the road rise to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and The rains fall soft upon your fields.
May the light of friendship guide your paths together.
May the laughter of children grace the halls of your home.
May the joy of living for one another trip a smile from your lips,
And A twinkle from your eye.
When eternity beckons,
at the end of a life heaped high with love,
May the world embrace you
with the arms that have nurtured you
the whole length of your joy-filled days.
May the gracious providence that walked with you through life
guide you on still.
from today onwards, may the Spirit of Love
find a Home in your hearts.
By the power vested in all of us
i now pronounce you Husband and Wife.
Mr and Mrs Sowinski
You may now kiss As Husband and Wife