Samples of Opening words for consideration...
Welcome everyone! Today we witness the joining of two lives, two families from two ancient and rich traditions. And God is smiling! In honor and in celebration of their heritage, (bride and groom) have chosen rituals from each of their backgrounds for their ceremony. This couple, as an interfaith couple, embodies the meaning of respect, tolerance, and understanding. This ceremony will celebrate their oneness as well as their uniqueness. They will learn from each other and grow. Together they will expand to something greater than themselves. Theirs is a love that knows no boundaries. They stand as a beacon of light inspiring all of us to love. They give us hope.
If there is a wedding of a couple whose families are strongly opposed to their relationship, we can read excerpts form supportive letters written by request from close friends of the bride and groom.
After reading the excerpts (friends do not know they will be read but couple do… couple can receive the letters)
“It is said that when the one man loves the one woman and the one woman loves the one man, the very angel’s desert heaven and sit in that house and sing for joy.” (kama sutra) not appropriate for Jewish or Catholic Families so we can add in…
The angels are here. Just look around you. You are this couple’s angels. For you have come here with joy, with love in your hearts. You are the ones who have stood by their sides through the years, the tears, the joys and sorrows. Your very presence adds meaning and sanctity to this occasion.
If the ceremony is taking place in a natural setting that has meaning for the couple, start the opening with honoring the heritage and a traditional story.
Welcome everyone! There are moments in our lives that are ruled not so much by time but by the heart. This is such a moment for (bride and groom). These two people have fallen in love – so deeply, so completely – that today they make a bond, a sacred covenant whereby their hearts, their bodies, and their souls shall be united as one in marriage for the rest of their days.
Today, before all of you, their most cherished family and friends, they will say the most powerful, most moving words two people can say to each other. They will take their wedding vows. And it is our honor and privilege to stand witness. For this blessed act, my friends, is magnificent and so tender to behold.
I am going to ask all of you now to go to your hearts and open them as wide as you can and raise your spirits high, as we come with our full presence to honor (bride and groom) as they join together as husband and wife in the holy state of matrimony.
What greater thing is there for two human souls than to feel that they are joined together to strengthen each other in all labor, to minister to each other in all sorrow, to share with each other in all gladness, and to be one with each other in the silent, unspeakable memories? (George Eliot)
Today two people, two lovers, two best friends have come before us to join in the sacred covenant of marriage. And our hearts respond with joy and reverence to the significance of it all.
The poet John Milton once wrote: “Hail wedded love, mysterious law, and true source of all humanity!” My dear people, it begins here. (Bride) and (Groom) will join together on bended knee. Two hearts will beat as one. Two souls will comfort and support each other for the rest of their lives. Children, gifts from the divine, will come from this union. Not only is marriage the source of all humanity but it represents the best of humanity – for it is rooted in love and ordained by a force much greater than our common understanding. It is by the grace of this divine mystery that we now come together.
It is said that “there is no surprise more magical than the surprise of being loved: It is God’s finger on man’s shoulder.” (Charles Morgan) (Bride and groom) have been joined together by the mystical, magical, eternal presence that is love. God is love. Our bride and groom have gathered all of you, their beloved families and friends, to bear witness to this sacred union. Today they will join their hands and hearts for the rest of their days and, if God wills, beyond the walls of life.