A Wedding Speech

Katherine Phelps

Life comes from life. The universe is a living thing made by love and of love. The earth too as part of the universe is a living thing made of love. We experience her love in the abundance of support she provides us such as the air we breathe, the water we drink and the food we eat. And we recognise the divinity of her unconditional love and so call her mother earth or some of us refer to her as goddess. We must recognise as well that we too spring from universal love and as such carry a spark of the divine within each and everyone of us.

We are here today to witness and celebrate a passage of life, a passage of love, which Arielle and Martin have chosen to enter upon. They have decided to become more than just lovers, but a family. Moving from one stage of life to another. You have been invited to be physical representatives of the divine and give your support to their union, so as to help make their new path a joyous one, one that is walked upon with wonder and ease. For truly, whether we recognise it or not, we are all family all of the time. Therefore we deeply thank you for your presence as we thank the goddess herself for being with us always.

As part of our rituals today I would like to pass on to you, Martin and Arielle, a few of the lessons I have learned through experience about what makes a successful marriage, in the belief that these words may be a blessing to your new way of life.

First of all I would like to say that despite the thrill in pledging your love to one another before friends and family, the truest love need not be pledged or promised, it just is. It is not an act, but a state of being that inspires sublime acts. Amongst those sublime acts is a love that is given freely and not required. A relationship that continues because with every moment a choice is made to continue it and not because you believe you have no choice or maybe believe that with this ceremony you have waived your right to freedom. With time I have come to appreciate the immense value in these distinctions in my relationship with my husband. It is my wish and blessing that you learn to appreciate the same. With a single ceremony you cannot ensure that your feelings for one another will not change. Nevertheless, you can agree to allow for change and growth, letting it enrich your relationship so that it deepens and gains the beauty of wisdom through experience.

Next, accept one another as human and individual. I think we all have grand visions of the perfect mate and not so grand attitudes about the opposite sex. Arielle, I want you to look at your partner and see not just another man, but Martin, someone in whom you can explore the beauty and mystery of his humanity. Martin, I want you to look at your partner and see not just another woman, but Arielle, someone in whom you can explore the beauty and mystery of her humanity. You can fulfill your visions of the perfect relationship when first you love and honour yourself, all of yourself, unconditionally, such that you can recognise the divinity you hold within your very own being, and then unconditionally love and recognise the humanity and divinity in others. It is divine if you can't change a car tyre. It is divine that you might be grumpy in the mornings before you've had breakfast. It is even divine that you look and feel a fright after a long hard day. Find ways to lovingly allow these sorts of things in your relationship.

Next, learn the sweetness of vulnerability where you can be totally yourself expressing with honesty your hopes, your fears, your feelings with one another. You may not feel at first that you have the perfect marriage by being this honest, acknowledging that sometimes you are angry with one another, sometimes you don't even like one another. But in time you learn the joy of knowing that these things are temporary and that even in moments when you feel your ugliest with one another, it doesn't really matter because the moment will end and your love is more enduring. You also know that when tenderness is expressed, it is real, and not a ruse to cover up other emotions. I cannot stress enough how important this quality is between people. Without a committment to being real with one another, you will spend your days building towers around yourselves, bricking yourselves in to keep from getting hurt by one another, and you will find it a very lonely and painful relationship. It is my wish and my belief, however, that you two will learn to be good teachers to one another in the ways of vulnerability, finding that it is truly a safe place to be.

Finally, this celebration is not an end, but a beginning, the start of a new process. From my experience it is not the marriage ceremony nor the marriage that is important, but the love and friendship that you share. Those will ensure a longer lasting relationship than any ritual.

With all my heart I bless you and trust that all will go well in your new life together. My love goes with you, as I am sure everyone else's love in this place goes with you as well. Goddess be with you. Blessed be.