Sample Secular Ceremony

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You may feel free to provide a ceremony of your own or use the following as a suggestion. If you would like additional ideas, I offer several reading and ceremony options.

Welcome to family and friends:

We have come here today to celebrate love. We see it in the faces of [Groom] and [Bride] who stand before us, and we experience it in our own hearts as well. It is a love which is spoken of in all religions, and is our true home, our true meeting place. It kindles our souls with hope. We are grateful to them for inviting us to witness and share in this precious moment. To this day they bring their love as a treasure to share with one another.
If anyone present can show just and legal cause why they may not be joined, let them speak now or forever hold their peace.


Marriage is dedication. You give yourself, your life and love, into the hands of the one you love. You do so trustingly and generously. By the same token, each of you receives a gift -- the life and love of the other. You receive this gift not only from the one you love, but also from the parents who brought you into the world and reared you and from the personal world of friends and family who are joined in friendship and faith in your marriage.

Mark Twain once said that "a marriage makes two fractional lives a whole. It gives to two questioning natures a reason for living. It brings a new gladness to the sunshine, and a new fragrance to the flowers, and new beauty to the earth, a new mystery to life."


What greater joy is there for two souls than to join together to strengthen each other in all their endeavors, to support each other through all sorrow, and to share with each other in all gladness? We hope, too, that the meaning of the vows that [Groom] and [Bride] are about to share with one another will deepen as they discover the possibilities of their life together. This is a love which is not to be tarnished by common events, but which will flower both in deepest adversity and greatest joy. Everything in your marriage can manifest your love for one another as you let it grow with you. We ask that the radiant power which first brought you together be with you always. Love is stronger than your conflicts, bigger than life's changes, always inviting you to learn, to bloom, to expand, and grow.



Officiant to Groom -- [Groom] , have you a token of your love for [Bride] ?

Officiant to Bride -- [Bride] , have you a token of your love for [Groom] ?

Traditionally, the marking of the passage to the status of husband and wife is marked by the exchange of rings. These rings are a symbol of the unbroken circle of love. Love freely given has no beginning and no end. Love freely given has no giver and no receiver - for each is the giver and each is the receiver. May these rings remind you always of the vows you have taken here today.

[Groom], place this ring on [Bride's] finger and repeat after me:

This ring, a gift for you, symbolizes my desire that you be my wife from this day forward.

[Bride], place this ring on [Groom's] finger and repeat after me:

This ring, a gift for you, symbolizes my desire that you be my husband from this day forward.

Let these rings serve not as locks binding you together, but as keys, unlocking the secrets of your hearts for each other to know, and thus bringing you closer together forever.


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


[Groom] and [Bride], having witnessed your vows for marriage with all who are assembled here, and by the authority vested in me by the State of Ohio, I announce with great joy that from this time on, you are husband and wife.


You may now seal your vows with a kiss.


Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. and Mrs. [Groom's full name].


Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you [Groom] and [Bride], husband and wife.
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