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Address to the People

At the beginning of a wedding, the address to the people is a short statement to your wedding guests about marriage.


What {Name 1} and {Name 2} mean to each other is obvious in their lives, but not easily expressed in the language of a ceremony.
Marriage, and the union it symbolizes, can be the most intriguing of human experiences,
for love in its many forms is what life is all about.
To share their lives, to encourage creativity and inspire each other to reach beyond the limits of the ordinary -
not at the expense of each partner's individuality, but rather, by the strength of the common bond -
that is the hope in which {Name 1} and {Name 2} come to be married.
For the Christian, this occasion is not a spectacle, but worship;
it is not a mere formal observance, but a participation in the will of God for life.
A wedding is the celebration of the highest we know in human love,
the pledging of the deepest human fidelity, the expression of the highest human aspiration.
A relationship so sacred must not be entered into casually, but thoughtfully, deliberately and freely.


 For thousands of years,
people have gathered under a grove of trees
or an expanse of sky,
beside an altar of marble or beneath a cloth of blessing
to bear witness to such a beautifully simple act of intention and promise. 

For thousands of years,
people have looked on as those they love
make known their choice, this choosing of love and life and future.

For thousands of years,
people have risked the catch in their throats,
the quickening heart,
the dampening eyes –
to sense the pivot of a moment
where all that has come before yields to the possibilities ahead. 

For thousands of years,
this moment has been real.
And so it is today. 



Let us remember that marriage has been established and sanctified
for the welfare and happiness of people individually and of society as a whole.
It is a commitment of two people to each other;
a commitment that sees the establishment of a new home.
But because our whole future as a society depends on the quality of home life,
this is not just a notable event in the lives of these two individuals,
but also in the larger life of humanity.
It is a private commitment, to be sure,
but it is one celebrated before witnesses and before God.
Because we believe this, we continue this service with reverence, joy and praise,
believing that the great heights of sharing and fulfillment
can be experienced by these two loving persons
and by all of us as a caring community.


Marriage is a gift;
entered into with responsibility, sustained through open sharing and mutual encouragement.
Marriage is a gift;
a mark of commitment, a pledge of faithfulness, and a symbol of enduring friendship.
Marriage is a gift;
within the context of family, which has sustained each partner in the past,
the families whose love they will share in the days ahead.
Marriage is a gift;
a treasure to be received joyfully and with never-ending wonder
even as it changes, grows, and ages with time.
Marriage is now, and will be, a gift.


In marriage,  two individuals enter into a spiritual and physical union,
cherishing a mutual esteem and love,
bearing with each other, comforting each other,
providing in honesty and industry for each other and their household,
and living together the length of their days as living reflections of the love of God.

Marriage, therefore, is not a state to be entered into lightly or unadvisedly,
but reverently, and with due contemplation of the deep commitments
and tender emotions which help keep love alive.

This brief and outward ceremony is a symbol of that which is already inner and real -
a sacred union of hearts and lives.  

Into this sacred relationship these two persons come now to be joined.
{Name 1} and {Name 2}, such a union will be created by your loving purpose,
sustained by your abiding will,
and renewed by your faith in one another day by day.


Marriage is a commitment to life, the best that two people can find and bring out in each other.
It offers opportunities for sharing and growth that no other relationship can equal.
It is a physical and an emotional joining that is promised for a lifetime.

Within the circle of its love, marriage encompasses all of life's most important relationships.
A married couple are each other's best friend, confidant, lover, teacher, listener, and critic.
And there may come times when one partner is heartbroken or ailing,
and the love of the other may resemble the tender caring of a parent or child.

Marriage deepens and enriches every facet of life.
Happiness is fuller, memories are fresher, commitment is stronger,
even anger is felt more strongly, and passes away more quickly.

Marriage understands and forgives the mistakes life is unable to avoid.
It encourages and nurtures new life, new experiences,
new ways of expressing a love that is deeper than life.

When two people pledge their love and care for each other in marriage,
they create a spirit unique unto themselves which binds them closer than any spoken or written words.

Marriage is a promise, a potential made in the hearts of two people who love each other and takes a lifetime to fulfill.

(Edmund O'Neill)


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