Nathaniel KelloggView Ordination Certificate
Minister ID: 756363-492999
Minister ID: 756363-492999
Officiated by Nathaniel Kellogg in California on June 30th, 2018.
Welcome friends and family. Today we are gathered here under the trees, the sun, the moon, and the stars, to witness and celebrate the joining of the hearts of Sarah and John. Your presence here today is special, and they are beyond grateful that you have traveled from near and far to share in their joy during this wonderful moment in their lives. We would also like to acknowledge those joining us in spirit today, especially Sarah’s mother, Carol, and the grandparents of both the bride and groom.
Indeed this day is a day of hope. A day in which Sarah and John demonstrate their commitment, devotion, and mutual respect, as well as their faith and love in one another.
May we please at this time ask the parents of the Bride & Groom to stand and join us.
Blessing of the Father of the Bride:
Bruce, your daughter, Sarah, is getting married today. You have escorted her through her childhood, into adulthood, and now, finally, down the aisle to her chosen lifemate. This is a threshold for you both. Do you, with all your heart’s blessing, give Sarah to the care of her own decisions, and into the love of her betrothed, John?
Blessing of the Parents of the Groom:
Susan, Randy, & Rich, your son, John, is getting married today. You have escorted him through his childhood, into adulthood, and now, finally, down the aisle to his chosen lifemate. This is a threshold for you all. Do you, with all your heart’s blessing, give John to the care of his own decisions, and into the love of his betrothed, Sarah?
Thank you, you may all be seated.
Address to the couple:
Sarah and John, today is a celebration of your love and a celebration of your commitment.
Marriage is the most important of all earthly relationships. It should be entered into thoughtfully and with full understanding of its sacred nature. It’s fragile because it requires exactly the right mix of freedom, care, consideration, empathy, and respect. As with any aspect of life, it has its cycles, its ups and downs, its trials and triumphs. It will take faith to go forward together without knowing exactly what the future brings. It will take commitment to hold true to the journey you both promise today to share together. Remember that this marriage ceremony is only a symbol, a celebration, a public recognition of what already exists in the silent places of your hearts. This is your marriage to define, yours to make it real, yours to live.
Now, we invite Sarah’s great-aunt Jean Mattson to join us for a reading from J.R.R. Tolkien’s ‘Lay of Leithien’: the story of the lovers ‘Beren and Luthien’.
Among the tales of sorrow and of ruin that come down to us from the darkness, there are yet some in which there is joy, and light endures. And of these histories, most fair still is the tale of Beren and Luthien.
It is told that Beren came stumbling into the realm, grey and bowed as with many years of woe, so great had been his journey. But wandering in the summer in the woods, he came upon Luthien at a time of evening under moonrise, as she danced upon the unfading grass in the glades. Then all memory of his pain departed from him, and he fell into an enchantment; for Luthien was the most beautiful of all beings. Blue was her raiment as the unclouded heaven, but her eyes were grey as the starlit evening; her mantle was sewn with golden flowers, and her hair was as the rays of twilight. As the light upon the leaves of trees, as the voice of clear waters, as the stars above the mists of the world, such was her presence; and in her face was a shining light.
But she fled and vanished from his sight; and he became struck, as one that is bound under a spell, and he strayed long in the woods seeking for her. In his heart he called her Tinuviel, daughter of twilight, for he knew no other name for her. And he saw her from afar for a time as leaves in the winds of autumn, and in winter as a star upon a hill, but a chain was upon his limbs and he could not reach her.
Then the spell of silence fell from Beren, and he called to her. She halted in wonder, and fled no more, and Beren came to her. As she looked upon him, fate fell upon her, and she loved him. She laid her hand in his and thereafter she came to him in the woods from spring to summer. And no others of the children of the Earth have had joy so great, though the time had yet been brief.
Handfasting ceremony: (Nathaniel picks up sash)
We will now perform the handfasting ceremony, a Celtic matrimony rite of ancient origins.
Sarah and John, please join hands and look into each other’s eyes.
These are the hands of your best friend; young and strong and full of love.
These are the hands that will work alongside yours as you build your future together.
These are the hands that will passionately love you and care for you throughout the years.
These are the hands that will hold you when fear or grief torments your mind, and with the slightest touch, will comfort you like no other.
These are the hands that will give you strength when you struggle, and encourage and support you to chase down your dreams.
These are the hands that will tenderly hold your children, embracing them in love-purest.
These are the hands that will countless times wipe the tears from your eyes; tears of sorrow, and tears of joy.
These are the hands that even when wrinkled with age, will still be reaching for yours, still giving you the same unspoken tenderness with just a touch.
This sash is a symbol, a physical representation of the ties that bind your lives together.
Sarah and John, with these hands, will you honour and respect one another?
(First wrapping around hands is made.)
With these hands will you share each other’s pain and seek to ease it?
(Sash is draped over the hands again.)
With these hands will you share the burdens of each other so that your spirits may grow in this union?
(Sash is wrapped again over hands.)
With these hands will you share in each other’s laughter, and look for the brightness in life?
(Cord is tied around the sash tied together.)
Sarah and John, as your hands are bound together, so your lives and spirits are joined in a union of love and trust.
The exchange of Vows:
With their hands joined, Sarah and John will now commit themselves to each other. With their marriage vows, they have spent time reflecting on what is important to promise to one another in their relationship and through their sacred bond of marriage. They will each present words that they have prepared for each other, and then will conclude their vows as one. Sarah, when you’re ready...
Sarah reads her message.
… and John...
John reads his message.
(Nathaniel) - Now you will share your lifelong promises out loud to each other in front of the most important people in your lives, both in person and spirit. Sarah, you may begin.
(Sarah) - From this day forward, we promise to love one another and continue to choose each other every day for companionship and adventures- real or virtual. =D
(John) - We promise to put our friendship and our marriage first.
(Sarah) - We promise to always respect one another and cherish our shared honesty and trust.
(John) - We promise to always appreciate and be grateful for one another and never take each other for granted.
(Sarah) - We promise to always have each other’s backs and help and support each other no matter the circumstance.
(John) - We promise to always search for common ground and find balance in who we are together and as individuals.
(Sarah) - We promise to be there for one another as best friends and partners through anything life brings our way.
(John) - In times of growth and times of change
(Sarah) - In times of prosperity and times of challenge
(John) - In times of health and times of sickness
(Sarah) - In times of celebration and times of sorrow.
(John) - We promise to help each other find the positivity and lessons in the best and worst of times and continue our daily practice of gratitude and appreciation.
(Sarah) - With these vows I, Sarah, ask you, John, to accept me as your wife. I give you my strength, with which to defend yourself, our family name, our home, and our children. I promise to hold our marriage and these vows to you as my husband in the highest regard for life. Do you accept my word and promise? (John answers)
(John) - With these vows I, John, ask you, Sarah to accept me as your husband. I give you my strength, with which to defend yourself, our family name, our home, and our children. I promise to hold our marriage and these vows to you as my wife in the highest regard for life. Do you accept my word and promise? (Sarah answers)
(The handfasting cloth is removed)
John, do you have a ring for Sarah? (John receives ring from Jim, & answers)
Sarah, do you have a ring for John? (Sarah receives ring from Julie, & answers)
A ring is without beginning and without end (Sarah places the ring on John’s finger), thus should an oath pledged on a ring be eternal. Though your hands are no longer physically bound together (John places the ring on Sarah’s finger), these rings shall endure as a symbol of your vows and the binding of your lives and love. Even if you are apart, you will always be one.
We will now hold the Sumbel, an ancient Scandinavian drinking rite binding the closest of friends and family to a single purpose.
Sarah and John, your marriage depends on the solace you give each other in times of need. As token of your love for one another, take this drink and offer it to each other.
(Nathaniel pours wine into the flask, filling it, and offers it to Sarah. Sarah holds it for John to drink, and then John holds it for Sarah to drink. They return the flask to Nathaniel.)
Your marriage depends also upon the support and love of those closest to you. Let now, these, your friends and family, speak on your behalf over this wine, and drink in token of their support.
(Nathaniel passes the flask to the wedding party. Each in turn may say something, then drinks from the flask, then passes it on until all have had a chance to speak and drink. He pours the last bit of mead in the flask into the bowl on the altar.)
Affirmation of friends and family:
Now, I ask that all guests stand, and that you, Sarah and John, turn and acknowledge everyone, as they acknowledge you.
As family and friends, you form the community of support that surrounds Sarah and John. Each of you, by your presence here today, is being called upon to uphold them in loving each other. Always stand beside them, never between them. Offer them your love and your support, never your judgment. Encourage them when encouragement is needed and listen to them when they ask for advice. In these ways, you can honour this marriage into which they have come to be joined today. Do you offer your love and support to strengthen their marriage and bless this family created by their union?
Please answer by saying: WE DO.
(Guests) WE DO.
Thank you. You may be seated.
Blessing of marriage:
Sarah and John, may the love which has brought you together continue to grow and enrich your lives.
May you meet with courage the problems which arise to challenge you and may your relationship always be one of love, support, and trust.
May the happiness you share today be with you always as it follows the sun, the moon, and stars down the paths of your lives together, hand in hand.
Declaration of marriage:
Sarah and John, we have heard your promises, we have seen the sincerity in your eyes, and we have felt your love on this joyous evening. We recognize and respect the covenant of marriage you have made this day before each of us.
Therefore, in the honesty and sincerity of what you have said and done today, it is my honour and delight to declare you henceforth to be husband and wife.
You may seal your vows with a kiss.
Introduction of the couple:
Sarah and John are going to exit first to grab some photos for a few minutes and be back in time to jump right into this evening’s festivities. While you wait you can enjoy a drink and some of the amazing appetizers that are waiting over in the Bella Pavillion down the path.
And so now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for…
It is my personal privilege and great joy to be the first one to introduce Mr. and Mrs. John and Sarah Nickels!