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.