GET ORDAINED

AMM FREE CEREMONY SCRIPTS LIBRARY

Over 112 free sample ceremony scripts to use for your ceremony. We have wedding ceremony scripts, handfasting scripts, non-religious ceremonies, and more!

Contemporary Buddhist Wedding Ceremony Script with Discourse on Love

This contemporary Buddhist wedding ceremony script includes the ringing of a mindfulness bell, the Incense Offering, Thich Nhat Hanh's translation of Discourse on Love, a reading of the Five Awarenesses as meaningful Buddhist wedding vows, and options for walking or sitting meditation, chanting, singing, and the exchange of personal written vows. Written by AMM Minister Rev. Karla Johnston and inspired by the practices of Plum Village Community of Engaged Buddhism.

This original Buddhist marriage ceremony script is written by mindfulness practitioner and AMM Minister Rev. Karla Johnston. 

 

 

For more inspiration on how to plan and officiate a Buddhist wedding ceremony: 

 

 

 

Listen to a recording of the Incense Offering included in this script: 

 

AMM Audio Articles · Wedding Incense Offering - Buddhist Chant for Wedding Ceremony

 

Considerations to open the ceremony: 15 minutes of walking meditation, 15 minutes of sitting  meditation, 3 sounds of the bell. 


Procession

Officiant to guests

 Please rise in gratitude for the (bride/ groom/ Name)


Invocation

  • At this time, the Incense Offering is spoken or sung.  

 

(BELL, BELL, BELL) 

 

Officiant to guests and the couple

In gratitude, we offer this incense 
throughout space and time 
to all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. 
May it be fragrant as Earth herself, 
reflecting careful efforts 
wholehearted awareness 
and the fruit of understanding  
slowly ripening.  
May we and all beings  
be companions of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. 
May we awaken from forgetfulness 
and realize our true home.  

 

(BELL)  

 

  • The Discourse on Love follows, read or sung in portions or in its entirety, as translated by Thiền (Zen) Buddhist Thich Nhat Hanh. 

“He or she who wants to attain peace should practice being upright, humble, and capable of using loving speech. He or she will know how to live simply and happily, with senses calmed,  without being covetous and carried away by the emotions of the majority. Let him or her not do anything that will be disapproved of by the wise ones. 

And this is what he or she contemplates:

 May everyone be happy and safe, and may all hearts be filled with joy. 

May all beings live in security and in peace – beings who are frail or strong, tall or short, big or small, invisible or visible, near or faraway, already born, or yet to be born. May all of them dwell in perfect tranquility. 

Let no one do harm to anyone. Let no one put the life of anyone in danger. Let no one, out of anger or ill will, wish anyone any harm.

Just as a mother loves and protects her only child at the risk of her own life, cultivate  boundless love to offer to all living beings in the entire cosmos. 

Let our boundless love pervade the whole universe, above, below, and across. Our love will know no obstacles. Our heart will be absolutely free from hatred and enmity. Whether standing  or walking, sitting or lying, as long as we are awake, we should maintain this mindfulness of  love in our own heart. This is the noblest way of living. 

Free from wrong views, greed, and sensual desires, living in beauty and realizing Perfect Understanding, those who practice boundless love will certainly transcend birth and death.” 

(Translated by Thich Nhat Hanh)

  • the officiant may also wish to sing:

Etena sacca vajjena sotthi te hotu sabbada. Etena sacca vajjena sotthi te hotu sabbada. 
Etena sacca vajjena sotthi te hotu sabbada. 

(This translates to "By the firm determination of this truth, may you ever be well.")

 

(BELL) 

Declaration of Intent & Vow Exchange 

  • The couple sits in lotus position with the officiant, unless they are unable to sit comfortably in this position. 

Officiant to guests

Today we have come together as a community of friends, family and beloved ones to witness the deepening commitment of (Partner 1) and (Partner 2) in marriage.

Officiant to the couple

Are you willing now to marry each other?

  • Partner A and Partner B answer together: We are.

Officiant to the guests

Please, everyone, follow your breathing in mindfulness when you hear the sound of the bell.  


(BELL, BELL, BELL) 

 

Noble community, please listen. This is the precious moment when (Partner A) and (Partner B) exchange their vows, honoring the Five Awarenesses as husband and wife (spouses / partners for life / etc).

Officiant to the couple

We understand that happiness is not an individual matter and that our thoughts, words, and actions ripple out to those we love. Please listen closely to each Awareness read and say, “Yes, I do,” in firm unison if you intend to receive, study and practice it as a married couple.

  • Officiant states The First Awareness, written below

We are aware that all generations of our ancestors and all future generations are present in us. This is the first of the Five Awarenesses. Do you receive, study and practice it?

Partner A and Partner B

  • In unison

Yes, I do. 


(BELL) 

 

  • Officiant states The Second Awareness, written below

Officiant to the couple

We are aware of the expectations that our ancestors, our children, and their children have of us. This is the second of the Five Awarenesses. Do you receive, study and practice it? 

Partner A and Partner B

  • In unison

Yes, I do. 


(BELL) 

 

  • Officiant states The Third Awareness, written below

Officiant to the couple

We are aware that our joy, peace, freedom, and harmony are the joy, peace, freedom, and harmony of our ancestors, our children, and their children. This is the third of the Five Awarenesses. Do you receive, study and practice it?  

Partner A and Partner B

  • In unison

Yes, I do. 


(BELL) 

 

  • Officiant states The Fourth Awareness, written below 

Officiant to the couple

We are aware that understanding is the very foundation of love. This is the fourth of the Five Awarenesses. Do you receive, study and practice it?

Partner A and Partner B

  • In unison

Yes, I do. 


(BELL) 

 

  • Officiant states The Fifth Awareness, written below

Officiant to the couple

We are aware that blaming and arguing can never help us and only creates a wider gap  between us, that only understanding, trust, and love can help us change and grow. 
This is the fifth of the Five Awarenesses. Do you receive, study and practice it?  

Partner A and Partner B

  • In unison

Yes, I do. 


(BELL) 

Officiant to the couple

You become a married couple with the support of the Three Gems: Buddha, Dharma and Sangha, your community. Your happiness will be the happiness of many others. Each full-moon day,  please consider reciting these Five Awarenesses together so your understanding of them, yourselves, and each other continues to grow.

With hands brought together at your heart, please bow deeply to one another as an inward and outward sign of your mutual respect. Your love and commitment will continue to strengthen as you practice together.

  • The couple brings hands to hearts and bow to one another while in lotus position.

 

Officiant to the couple

Now is the time to read personal vows to one another. (Partner A), you may start. 

  • Partner A reads the vows they have written.

 

(Partner B), please share your vows. 

  • Partner B reads the vows they have written.

  
Pronouncement

Officiant to the couple

Please turn toward your loved ones as we bring our palms into the position of a lotus flower, offering our support and love to you as a married couple.

As earth is our witness, it gives me great honor, along with all your loved ones to pronounce you husband and wife! (Or substitute wife and wife / partners for life / newlyweds / married/ etc)

Please kiss your (bride/ husband/ spouse)! 


Recession Blessing

Officiant to the couple

Taking your first steps as a married couple, in gratitude and reverence for this beautiful earth  that holds us -- may your happiness and peace grow each day and be a blessing to those who know you.

Enjoy your life together!

  • At this time, the officiant will begin to chant or sing if the couple wishes. A recommendation from AMM Minister Rev. Karla Johnston is to recite an excerpt from 'Chanting from the Heart: Buddhist Ceremonies and Daily Practices' by Thich Nhat Hanh and the Monks and Nuns of Plum Village

 

Original wedding script by Rev. Karla Johnston.

 

Reverend Karla Johnston is an ordained member of the Order of Interbeing Community of Engaged Buddhism and American Marriage Ministries. She is a nationally certified American Sign Language Interpreter (ASL), serving the Deaf community since 1995.

 

One of her greatest joys is performing wedding ceremonies along her home shores of Lake Tahoe for Lake Tahoe Wedding Ministries and incorporating her practice of mindfulness (as founder of Lake Tahoe Mindfulness Community) into her offerings. Her passions are writing and ceremonial singing.

 


 

Professional Wedding Officiant Certification Course

Learn from the Pros to Officiate with Confidence!

Who Will Officiate Your Wedding?

Choose Your Officiant with our "Will You Marry Us?" Gift Package.

Signature Wedding Officiant Package

Our premiere package contains everyting you need to officiate like a pro.

Subscribe To Our Newsletter!

GET ORDAINED
WITH AMM

Become a Wedding Officiant with Our Free Online Ordination!