Monday, April 28, 2014

Our Service on April 19, 2014

Wedding of Ron Schmitz and Ryan James
Celebrant Reverend Mark Stringer
First Unitarian Church of Des Moines
1800 Bell Avenue
Des Moine, Iowa


(Mark, we want to gather with our guests in the foyer. Then process with you in the lead, and then the two of us, followed by Martha, Daphnee, and Kim. The guests follow them and will seat themselves before your opening words.)

Heartbeat Handbell Choir will play Trumpet Voluntary after people are seated.


We are gathered here today to witness and to affirm the wedding of Ron Schmitz and Ryan James. What they have already lived and promised between themselves for more than 20 years, they bring today to make legal before you, their family and friends. Marriage is an act of will, a promise to work for a communion with another person.  It is not simply a spontaneous emotional reaction, nor the sudden grip of an irresistible feeling.  Marriage requires a commitment to care for another person, to show concern for the life and growth of those whom we love.  Marriage requires a commitment to respond to another person, to help meet their needs.  Marriage requires a commitment to respect the unique individuality of that person, to help them grow and unfold for their own sake.  Marriage requires a commitment to transcend our egos, to use reason and humility to understand another person; and by doing this, we discover ourselves.  All these commitments require that we give ourselves to another person; by this giving we experience our strength, our vitality, our power.  We experience ourselves as overflowing and alive.  Today we affirm and celebrate the wedding of Ron and Ryan.

Martha Popson will read 1 Corinthians 13.

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, [love] 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. 

Daphnee Banks will read her own poem

A heart is an energetic shape
and held strong
by allowing itself to join another
and become One.

So many moons ago
by accident
little by little we grew
with branches bare.

Searching, we went deeply
into our deepest parts.

May your roots always be strong and nourish each other.

Kim Raney plays  the recorder.


Do you, Daphnee and Martha, stand with this couple to bestow the approval of their families and friends?  (We do)

Do all of you, the families and friends of Ron and Ryan, bestow your blessings on their union?  (We do)


Do you R1, choose , R2, to be your wedded spouse, to live together in marriage, to love him, comfort him, honor and cherish him in sickness and in health, in sorrow and in joy, from this day forth?

I _______, take you _______ to be my wedded spouse in marriage; to have and to hold, from this day forward; for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer; in sickness and in health; to love and to cherish, from this day forth.


The circle is a symbol of the sun and the earth and universe.  It is a symbol of holiness and of perfection and of peace.  These rings are the symbols of the unity with which your two lives are joined in one unbroken circle, and in which, wherever you go, you will always return unto one another to your togetherness. 


I, ____, give to you, _____, this ring in marriage, as a symbol of my commitment to love, honor, and respect you. 


What has been done here has been perfect in its own moment.  Nothing can be taken from it; nothing can be added to it.  Therefore, ancient and hallowed custom has been fulfilled.

The words have been said, the symbols have been exchanged, and we have all been witnesses to it.  Therefore I, and all who are here, recognize that you, Ron, and you, Ryan are wed, and we will honor you with our embraces, our blessings, and our support.

So go now in peace to the time of being together; love justice, practice mercy, and live in the grace of simplicity all your days.  So be it.  Amen.



Daphnee Banks to read: Native American, adapted from the Apache

Now you will feel no rain, for each of you will be the shelter for the other.
Now you will feel no cold, for each of you will be the warmth for the other.
Now you are two persons, but there is only one life before you.
Go now to your dwelling place to enter into the days of your life together.
And may your days be good and long upon the earth.

Martha Popson to read:

May you live long together.
May you be faithful to the good in each other.
May you know no more suffering than you can bear.
May you be found by joy again and again.
And may love ground you and free you
All the days of your lives.  Amen.

Heartbeat Handbell Choir will play Pachelbels Canon.

RECESSIONAL after 2nd song finishes.

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