In The Desert Of Seth

By G. B. Marian

A Brief, Generic, Non-Religious and (Mostly) Secular Wedding Ceremony

(The following is a wedding ceremony I conducted for my sister-in-law and her husband last summer. I had a lot of trouble writing this particular ritual, since my sister-in-law and her husband aren’t particularly religious and they both wanted a very brief, generic, non-religious and purely secular wedding ceremony. However, I think it turned out pretty well, and I’m including a copy of the ceremony here so that others may use it or take inspiration from it as needed. Also, a printer-friendly version is provided here.)

[Officiant]: “Welcome everyone — family, friends, and loved ones. We are all gathered here today to witness and celebrate the wedding of [Groom] and [Bride]. We stand here in the presence of all the Powers that create and sustain this world to offer our love and support to this union, and to ensure that [Groom & Bride] shall begin their holy matrimony in the presence of those who are nearest and dearest to their hearts.”

[Officiant]: “Marriage is a legal contract between two consenting adults that establishes their rights and obligations to each other and their kin. It is just one of many ways in which we impose order upon our world. Chaos is the disordered state of things, a state in which matter stays unformed. Order creates a system in which life can thrive. By bringing order from chaos, we bring love, justice, and meaning in the universe. We come from chaos, a world without law, and for reasons we may never fully understand, we were given the power to establish law and order wherever we go. Marriage is just one of many tools that we use in this regard. When two people become married, they are making a legal commitment to be together, a decision born from love, desire and equality. By making this legal contract [Bride & Groom] are taking steps to create their very own family – and family is the basic building block of all human social order.”

[Officiant]: “It is with these truths in mind that I ask you, [Groom]: do you take this woman, [Bride’s full legal name], to be your Wife, bound by love and Law?”

[Groom]: “I do.”

[Officiant]: “And do you [Bride] take this man, [Groom’s full legal name], to be your Husband, bound by love and law?”

[Bride]: “I do.”

The officiant gives the groom the ring for the bride.

[Officiant]: “Please repeat after me.”

[Officiant & Groom]: “I give you this ring as a daily reminder of my undying commitment to you and our love. I commit myself to you as my partner in life for the rest of my days. I commit myself to treating you as my equal and my greatest friend. I commit myself to being loyal and to never committing any transgression against you. I commit myself to the responsibility we both share to uphold our lives as a family.”

The groom places the ring on the bride’s finger. Then the officiant gives the bride the ring for the groom.

[Officiant]: “Please repeat after me.”

[Officiant & Bride]: “I give you this ring as a daily reminder of my undying commitment to you and our love. I commit myself to you as my partner in life for the rest of my days. I commit myself to treating you as my equal and my greatest friend. I commit myself to being loyal and to never committing any transgression against you. I commit myself to the responsibility we both share to uphold our lives as a family.”

The bride places the ring on the groom’s finger.

[Officiant]: “By the power of your love and commitment, and the power vested in me by the state of [Your State Here] and the benign forces that rule this world, I now pronounce you [Husband and Wife’s new full legal names], husband and wife!”

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