Tuesday, June 15, 2010

10 year beach wedding vow renewal


Some days you get to do really cool stuff as a minister. This last weekend I got to go to the beach in Emerald Isle, North Carolina and renew the wedding vows of two of my best friends in the world while their friends, kids and mothers watched. This was my first barefoot ceremony, my first vow renewal and my first ceremony where my notes where on my ipod- so cool!

Opening: Good evening God’s beloved! How wonderful it is for us to be on the beach tonight with our dear friends Eric and Jessa. In fact, there is no place else on earth we would possibly be then here with our toes in the sand and our eyes on the sunset.

We are far from figuring God out. God is a mystery- in fact such a mystery that Eric has been studying theology for most of his adult life. Although I can say very little about God with absolute certainly- one thing I know for sure and that is that God is love.

One of the ways I have seen the love of God expressed in my own life is through other people and I think you might join me in acknowledging that through Eric and Jessa we have seen the kind of love that comes from God. Many strive for and do not find the kind of love that Eric and Jessa have found in one another. They haven’t selfishly hidden this love, but they have shared it with us- and their relationship has enriched our own understanding of what it means to love.

So tonight, it is fitting that we gather together on this lovely beach- this place of renewal, rest, laughter, puzzles and fun and surround them with our love as we celebrate 10 amazing years, and we witness them recommit and renew their love to one another.

Prayer: Would you pray with me? Loving God, Eric and Jessa stepped into the circle of your love and grace as husband and wife 10 years ago. In the following years, they have experienced the deep meaning of love that is possible between two loving partners. They know the thrill of love, but they also understand the responsibilities of love. Today, they more fully understand the meaning and the depth of the covenant they now renew. Grant to them the heights of joy, the depths of peace, and the breadth of love in the coming years of their married life. Give them gladness as they recall the memories of the past; give them vision and courage as they look to the promise of the future. Continue to be for us all the source of everlasting love. Amen.*

Words of Memory and Celebration:
A lot has changed since the year of your original wedding. Gas was $1.26 a gallon, a postage stamp was 33 cents and there was no Amos and Eli in the world. On that beautiful day in May you gathered with dear friends and family (Sadly I wasn’t there because we hadn’t met yet). You excitedly exchanged vows and rings- you laughed together as a frog jumped into the fountain you made your promises in front of. There were friends and family all around but it still seemed like you two were the only ones in the world.

The journey together really began that night- after all the celebrating was over and you realized you didn’t get any food and you to vegetarians shared fries and peanuts at a steakhouse which was the only thing open.

Jessa 10 years ago you were crafty- we can count on that today. In three to six months you will picking up some new craft that amazes us all. You are full of wonder, love and nurture just as you were ten years ago- but you’re different as well. Eric says you are more confident and self actualized now. Also you cook on occasion which is pretty sweet.

Eric you are still the emotionally steady- solid rock you were 10 years ago. You have more school under your belt and your scholarly nerdiness is a constant. Today however, you are a dad and Jessa has marveled about how this has brought out a silly, loving and sentimental side in you.

Time continues to move us along our life’s journey. In the words of Ferris Bueller, “life moves pretty fast- if you don’t stop and look around once an awhile, you might miss something.” It is fitting that we pause tonight to celebrate this milestone. To remember the good ways that we are the same and different than we all were 10 years ago.

Tonight we lift you up in celebration because we love you. We admit that you inspire us with your relationship. We celebrate with exceeding joy the presence of Amos and Eli and the wonder and whimsy they bring to your family.


Renewal of Original Vows:
10 years ago you made some outstanding promises to each other. There is no way you could have known fully what you were getting into when you looked in to each other’s eyes and vowed these things. The past 10 years have held mostly joy, and a few challenges along the way. These vows have served you well as you have walked down the road together.

Today you are a little older, and a lot wiser- however you still cannot know what the next 10 years will bring. These vows are the promises of love and commitment that you will strive toward as you continue to make a life together with Eli and Amos. Will you renew these promises to each other this day by repeating after me?

Eric: Jessa, You are my dearest friend and deepest love,
and I am so happy that on this day I continue to l call you my wife.

From this moment on I promise to love you.
I promise to treat you with honor and respect.
I promise to embrace you each day with kindness.
I vow to be devoted to our love with honesty and vigor.

I will take great joy in you.
You are my greatest bliss, a source of my strength,
and an instrument of my growth and happiness.

I thank our God eternally for you and with God’s grace,
give myself completely unto you , from this day forward.

Jessa: Eric, You are my dearest friend and deepest love,
and I am so happy that on this day I continue to l call you my husband.

From this moment on I promise to love you.
I promise to treat you with honor and respect.
I promise to embrace you each day with kindness.
I vow to be devoted to our love with honesty and vigor.

I will take great joy in you.
You are my greatest bliss, a source of my strength,
and an instrument of my growth and happiness.

I thank our God eternally for you and with God’s grace,
give myself completely unto you , from this day forward.



Affirmation of Marriage: Jessa and Eric, you have expressed a desire to renew the covenant of marriage made between the two of you on May 27th, 2000. Because you have reaffirmed your commitment to each other as wife and husband through your vows, We likewise reaffirm the covenant of your marriage, and affirm both of you husband and wife in a marriage marked by love, companionship, respect and honesty.* Jessa, you may now kiss your groom!

Words of Affirmation and Blessing by Friends: Let’s face it- we are here today because we are Eric and Jessa’s favorite and most beloved friends and family! I want to give each of you and opportunity to share a memory with them or to say anything you want to say during this sacred time.

Words of Blessing to the Children and Community of Friends: Anything the couple wants to say?


* These bits of the ceremony were taken from a book on Weddings

2 comments:

Jessa said...

Thank you so much beautiful Sunny. It was perfection. Even more perfect than gum.

msrevolution said...

love it!