Same-Sex Ceremony

The Wedding of Carlos and Christopher

Good evening. We are gathered here – as the sun goes down on the day – to witness and celebrate the dawn of much more than a day – of a whole new life together for Carlos and Christopher.

“Marriage is a vital social institution. The exclusive commitment of two individuals to each other nurtures love and mutual support; it brings stability to our society. Marriage is at once a deeply personal commitment to another human being and a highly public celebration of the ideals of mutuality, companionship, intimacy, fidelity, and family.

“It is an association that promotes a way of life, not causes; a harmony in living, not political faiths; a bilateral loyalty, not commercial or social projects.

“Because it fulfills yearnings for security, safe haven, and connection that express our common humanity, marriage is an esteemed institution, and the decision whether and whom to marry is among life’s momentous acts of self-definition.”*

Through marriage, we give freely of ourselves, our lives and love, into the hands of the one we love. We do so trustingly and generously. And so, each of us receives a gift: the life and love of the other. We receive this gift, not only from the one we love, but also from our friends and families as well.

STATEMENT OF INTENTION

Christopher, are you willing to be joined in marriage with Carlos?

CHRISTOPHER: I AM.

Carlos, are you willing to be joined in marriage with Christopher?

CARLOS: I AM.

VOWS

Carlos and Christopher, please join hands.

Look for a moment at the hands that you are holding, the hands of your dearest friend, strong and full of love for you – holding yours on your wedding day as you promise to love each other. These are the hands that will work alongside yours to build your future.

As you continue to build for your future, I will ask each of you to pledge your vow of marriage:

Christopher, no matter what life brings, do you promise to respect and care for Carlos, to grow with him, in both laughter and in tears, to keep him as your dearest love and best friend, pledging to be faithful always, and to give your best to fulfill your lives together?

CHRISTOPHER: I DO.

Carlos, no matter what life brings, do you promise to respect and care for Christopher, to grow with him, in both laughter and in tears, to keep him as your dearest love, and best friend, pledging to be faithful always, and to give your best to fulfill your lives together?

CARLOS: I DO

The rings, please.

RINGS

The circle has no beginning or end, and so has long been the symbol of everlasting love. May these rings be the symbol of your everlasting love for each other. They represent your uniqueness, yet celebrate the fact that you have chosen to bond together, to allow the presence of another human being to enhance who you are.

As you wear them throughout your life together, they will reflect not only who you are, but also the loving union you are creating together.

Christopher, please repeat after me:

CARLOS, PLEASE ACCEPT THIS RING AS A TOKEN OF MY LOVE AND MY LIFELONG DEVOTION TO YOU. … WITH THIS RING, AND WITH ALL MY HEART, I THEE WED.

Carlos, please repeat after me:

CHRISTOPHER, PLEASE ACCEPT THIS RING AS A TOKEN OF MY LOVE AND MY LIFELONG DEVOTION TO YOU. … WITH THIS RING, AND WITH ALL MY HEART, I THEE WED.

DECLARATION

Christopher and Carlos, you have spoken your promises, have joined hands and exchanged the signs of your commitment each to each in the presence of this company. Now by the authority given to me by the City and State of New York, I know pronounce you truly married.

Please seal this ceremony with your first married kiss.

 

 

*The opening paragraphs are from the ruling by Massachusetts Supreme Court Chief Justice Margaret H. Marshall in Goodridge v. Dept. of Public Health, the landmark case that legalized same-sex marriages in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.