Friday, February 15, 2013

One Treasured Day: I Do

The ceremony was the part of the day I was most looking forward to. We spent so much time picking out all the readings and music, and I was so excited to take our vows and become husband and wife. When I got to the end of the aisle, it was crazy realizing that it was all about to begin.

We started things off with our opening hymn, "We Are Called."

We are called to act with justice, we are called to love tenderly, we are called to serve one another, to walk humbly with God.

Adam's aunt and godmother read our first reading, Ecclesiastes 4:9-12.

Two are better than one,
    because they have a good return for their labor:

If either of them falls down,
    one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls
    and has no one to help them up. 

Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
    But how can one keep warm alone? 

Though one may be overpowered,
    two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

We chose this reading because it was incredibly important for our ceremony to be as gender-neutral as possible. We loved the focus on teamwork and companionship in this reading.

Our second reading was 1 Corinthians 12:31-13:8a, a traditional favorite. It's such a beautiful reflection of the meaning of love that we couldn't resist. Adam's cousin read it for us.

Brothers and sisters: Strive eagerly or the greatest spiritual gifts.  But I shall show you a still more excellent way. If I speak in human and angelic tongues but do not have love, I am a resounding gong or a clashing cymbal.  And if I have the gift of prophecy and comprehend all mysteries and all knowledge; if I have all faith so as to move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.  If I give away everything I own, and if I hand my body over so that I may boast but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.

 For our gospel reading, we chose Matthew 22:35-40.

One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

My uncle, our priest, a beautiful, personal homily about the importance of placing God at the center of our marriage.

After the homily came the main event! It was time to get married! My uncle asked us to declare our intentions.

Have you come here freely and without reservation to give yourselves to each other in marriage?
Us: We have.
Will you love and honor each other as husband and wife for the rest of your lives?
Us: We will.
Will you accept children lovingly from God, and bring them up according to the law of Christ and his Church?
Us: We will.

Then it was time to recite our vows. I know a lot of people nowadays write their own vows. I think that's great, but there was something so special about taking the same vows as my parents and grandparents.

Adam went first.
I, Adam, take you, Molly, to be my wife. I promise to be true to you in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. I will love you and honor you all the days of my life.

As I recited mine, I couldn't hold back my tears. The weight of the words really struck me and I meant them so much.
I, Molly, take you, Adam, to be my husband. I promise to be true to you in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. I will love you and honor you all the days of my life.

Next came the blessing and exchanging of the rings.

Molly, take this ring as a sign of my love and fidelity, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

When it was my turn, I recited the same blessing. I had a little trouble with the ring, though, and had to shove it onto Adam's finger. It's always good to bring a little humor to the situation, right?

And with that, we were married!

My godparents read the Prayers of the Faithful.

It was wonderful to pray for the people and things that were important to us, like members of our professions, deceased and absent family members, family members serving in the military, and married couples everywhere (including us!).

Next up was the Liturgy of the Eucharist. My cousin and her husband brought up the gifts while we sang "The Servant Song," a beautiful hymn that serves as a wonderful metaphor for marriage.

Will you let me be your servant. Let me be as Christ to you.
Pray that I may have the faith to let you be my servant, too.

My uncle consecrated the gifts...

...and then it was time for The Lord's Prayer. During college, we sang a version of The Lord's Prayer at Mass that moves me every time I hear it. I was overcome with so much emotion while we held hands with our loved ones and sang.

We received the Eucharist, and then our friends and family followed suit as we sang "One Bread, One Body."

We visited the Virgin Mary...

...and then my sister and our friend/cantor A sang a beautiful Irish Blessing, which was the highlight of the ceremony.

May the road rise up 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 field.
Until we meet again, my friend, until we meet again,
may God hold you in the palm of his hand.

My uncle recited the final blessing, and then it was finally time for our first kiss of the rest of our lives.

We walked back down the aisle to The Prince of Denmark's March (aka Trumpet Voluntary) and couldn't wipe the smiles off our faces. We were married!

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