Our Wedding Ceremony

[seating]

{Nori plays Bach}
(parents and honored guests in front rows)
(remaining guests seat themselves)

[Dirk and Leo enter]


{Nori plays crumb}
(Dirk stands in front with Leo)

[Bruno and lori enter]


{Nori plays something traditional, but upbeat}
(Bruno walks lori to the front, then seats himself)

[convocation]

Leo:
Welcome to all of you, family and friends of Lori and Dirk. I am Leo Kalcic, a longtime friend of Lori's family.

We are gathered here today to witness, and to celebrate, the marriage of Lori and Dirk. They have asked you to be here today to help solemnize their union, because that union will be not only a compact between themselves, but also a contract between the couple and their community. They ask that you, the most important members of that community, continue to support them in the many coming years of their marriage, just as you support them today.


[first reading]

Leo:
Lori and Dirk have chosen two readings that capture some of their feelings. Lynn Bonner, Dirk's mother, will now read William Shakespeare's Sonnet 116:

Lynn Bonner:
Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove.
O no, it is an ever-fixd mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wand'ring bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come.
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out ev'n to the edge of doom.
    If this be error and upon me proved,
    I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

[address]

Leo:
Much has been written about marriage, from "ball and chain" cynicism to "happily ever after" fairy tales. Reality, however, lies somewhere in between -- fairy tales rarely speak the whole truth, but, thankfully, neither do the cynics. We are here to wish you a joyful marriage; but we know that it will not be unremittingly, blandly, and unchangingly joyful. Marriage is a part of life, and as such partakes in the changeable, challenging, and ultimately rewarding nature of life.

Therefore, as you step into marriage you must remember first of all that marriage is a process of transformation. Because of it, inside of it, and in response to it, you will change most remarkably. And not necessarily or exclusively in the ways you had hoped for or imagined. For marriage will cause you to become not only who you wanted to be, but also the person whom you have no choice but to be. In marriage you will be re-formed, for in choosing this particular person to love and make your whole life with, you are choosing to be affected, but in turn you feel protected. Thus you are safe in marriage; you can risk because you have been promised a future. In marriage, you are encouraged to challenge your limits. Knowing you are loved, you can make mistakes, feeling confident someone will be there to catch you. And because taking chances is the essence of change, in marriage you can expand to your fullest potential.

It is important to remember that you are drawn to precisely that person who possesses the attributes you need to be affected by in order to change. These are the very qualities which, because of their capacity to irritate and inspire you, will encourage in you the very dimensions you lack, the qualities which, as you acquire them, will represent an enlargement of your self. What this means, simply, is that in spite of yourself, you will be drawn into a process of personal evolution. Whatever is missing in your character will gradually be developed, and what's remarkable about this transformation is that in the end, rather than feeling bitter, resentful, or unwilling, you will come to see the acquisition of these attributes as an exquisite refinement of your self.

This process deals not only with the superficial aspects of your personality -- how you dress and what you eat, although changes in these areas may also be part of the process -- but with the deepest essence of your being, and ultimately, with your capacity to love. You will learn to be kinder, or more gently critical, to be empathetic, or more trusting. For wherever we are bound by our own emotional limitations, wherever we have judgments or cannot come into the presence of our own generosity or compassion because of our woundedness, there, certainly, we will be met in marriage. We will be met in the character of our beloved, with an invitation to transcend our own limitations -- our judgments, our stinginess, our lack of trust, our fear of intimacy, our pride, our self-focus, our self-righteousness -- and strive for their beautiful opposites, to reach, in short, for our capacity to love.

For it is love, after all and before all, that has brought the two of you to this place. Love is the inspiration, the magic, and the healing balm of any marriage. Love is what brought you together; love is what will keep you whole. And so, as you tend to the endless requirements of what your individual destinies will demand, return in your hearts again and again to the love between you. Love will give you joy and will give meaning to the pursuit of your dreams. For love is life's highest destiny, its greatest purpose, and its finest work.


[second reading]

Leo:
Niel Fowers will now read "Re-statement of Romance", by Wallace Stevens.

Niel:
The night knows nothing of the chants of night.
It is what it is as I am what I am:
And in perceiving this I best perceive myself

And you. Only we two may interchange
Each in the other what each has to give.
Only we two are one, not you and night,

Nor night and I, but you and I, alone,
So much alone, so deeply by ourselves,
So far beyond the casual solitudes,

That night is only the background of our selves,
Supremely true each to its separate self,
In the pale light that each upon the other throws.

Leo:
In honor and in celebration of this very special day, I invite each of you to join in a moment of silence. And I invite each of you in your own personal way to meditate on the love and joy and the present and the future journeys of Lori and Dirk

(approx. 30 seconds of silence)

[vows]

Leo:
Join hands and repeat after me:

I Dirk take you Lori 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
all the days of my life.

I Lori take you Dirk 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
all the days of my life.


[exchange of rings]

Leo cues Niel to bring up the rings.

Lori, I give you this ring
as a symbol of our vows,
and with all that I am and all that I have
I honor you.

With this ring I thee wed.

Dirk, I give you this ring
as a symbol of our vows,
and with all that I am and all that I have
I honor you.

With this ring I thee wed.


[pronouncement of mawwiage]

Leo:
Now that you Dirk and you Lori have promised to give yourselves to one another and to love each other through your vows and through the giving and receiving of these rings I now pronounce you husband and wife.

Those whom love has joined together let no one put asunder.

You may kiss the bride.


[they kiss]

I now present Lori and Dirk Bergstrom.

[recessional]

{Nori plays something modern}

[guests get up, and go drink wine]

{Nori plays Bach}