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Becky and Curtis Wedding Ceremony

Becky and Curtis Wedding Ceremony

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Published by schewe

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Categories:Types, Speeches
Published by: schewe on Sep 26, 2010
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09/25/2010

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Becky and Curtis: Complete Ceremony (Jim's Copy)
3:00 PM
Sound check 
4:45 PM
Mary and Scot playing prelude
5:00 PM:
CeremonyProcessional
Beth and Jim (main aisle)Connor andShelley(main aisle)Curtis and parents, Becky and parents (side aisles)
Greeting
Jim
: “Please be seated."
Jim
: “Today we invite you to share joy with Curtis and Becky, two people who havefound joy in each other. We ask you to hear and to understand their concepts of love, of marriage, of life. You who are here are special to them, for you have helped to maketheir lives beautiful, adding meaning to each passing day. Our words today will celebratelove above all - their love for each other, their love for you, their love for humanity.Love is a tie that binds and unifies and gives strength."
(Pause a second)
:
Jim
:"We would like to take a moment to remember those who were unable to make thetrip, and those who have passed away but are here with us in spirit. (~ 10 seconds of silence)”
Parents’ Blessing
Jim
: “This occasion is a special celebration for you parents who have brought thesechildren into the world, and nurtured them into adulthood. Today you are witnessinganother stage in the lives of your son and daughter. Your continuing support andencouragement will be needed as Curtis and Becky unite in marriage.And so, I ask, doyou give your blessing and offer your continued love and support to this couple?”
Parents
: “We do.”Parents are seated
Reading1
Jim
: “And now we’ll have a reading by Karen Smith, Curtis’s aunt.”
Karen
: “
The Art Of A Good Marriage
 by Wilferd Arlan PetersonHappiness in marriage is not something that just happens.A good marriage must be created.In marriage the little things are the big things.It is never being too old to hold hands.
 
It is remembering to say "I love you" at least once a day.It is never going to sleep angry.It is at no time taking the other for granted;the courtship should not endwith thehoneymoon, it should continue through the years.It is having a mutual sense of values and common objectives.It is standing together facing the world.It is forming a circle of love that gathers the whole family.It is doing things for each other, not in the attitude of duty or sacrifice, but in thespiritof joy. It is speaking words of appreciationand demonstrating gratitude in thoughtful ways.It is not looking for perfection in each other.It is cultivating flexibility, patience,understanding and a sense of humour.It is having the capacity to forgive and forget.It is giving each other an atmosphere in which each can grow old.It is a common search for the good and thebeautiful.It is establishing a relationship in which the independence is equal,dependence is mutual and the obligation is reciprocal.It is not only marrying the right partner, it is being the right partner.”
Homily
 Now, some words from me.I'd like to start by saying that this is not my day job, and I freelyadmit I don't really know anything about marrying people.My training is not in law or theology, but in physics.And as many of you know, Becky and my wife Carol are sociologists.Sonaturally, this is where the discussion turns to quantum mechanics as a metaphor for socialstructure.Just what every wedding needs.Back in college, in my first modern physics course, there was a discussion about elementary particles, or at least particles that were thought to be elementary at the time they werediscovered.There is a pattern to the way many of them are named.The building blocks of anatom are called electr 
on
, prot
on
, neutr 
on
.My professor told us that even sociologists followedthis convention, which is why the fundamental unit of society is called a “pers
on
.”It's a corny joke, but there’s a kernel of truth to it.You could argue that an individual personreally is the smallest unit of society.But that's making it a little too simple.Let's take it one stepfurther.Just like elementary particles, people are described, not only by their inherent properties, but also by the way they interact with each other.Saying an electron has a certain electric chargeor mass is really only meaningful in that it tells you something about how it is going to interactwith something else. And describing somebody's personality is only meaningful in that it tellsyou something about how that person interacts with other people.
 
The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle states that there is a limit to how well you can knoweverything about an electron, or any other particle.You cannot know
exactly
where it is, and
exactly
where it is going, at the same time.The important thing, for purposes of this discussion,is the reason why.The reason is: in order to know those things, you have to measure them.Andin order to measure them, you have to reach out and touch that particle with another one.Whenyou do that, you change it, maybe a little, maybe a lot.You don't know exactly how much.Butyou define it, to some extent, just by looking at it.Similarly, to a large extent our interactionswith others define us.So in a very real sense, the smallest, more
meaningful 
, unit of a society isa
 group
of people, and in particular, a group of two.
(Look at them)
When I'm not moonlighting as part of the Clergy of theChurchofSpiritual Humanism, I amactually a member, hopefully still in good standing, of the First Unitarian Society of Madison.Oneof tenets of the UU church is respect for the interdependent web of life, of which we are alla part.Everything we do affects the things and people around us.You don't have to look veryhard to find examples of that.Last year, when people made investments that didn't pan out, wecould all feel it.This morning, when I turned on the lights, and I drove out here, I contributed tochanging the climate of the planet a little. Becky could tell you a lot about how the way your food is grown, shipped, and prepared affects not only your own health, but also the health of theenvironment, and the finances of farmers and their communities.Perhaps she already has toldyou a lot about those things. Like it or not, for better or for worse, we are all connected.We canignore that fact and get ourselves into a lot of trouble.But if we recognize it, embrace it, and actout of love for each other, then that interconnectedness can be a source of comfort and strengthin an uncertain world.On a more personal note: As Becky’s much older cousin, I have literally known her all her life,and as she wrote recently, her personality was pretty much fully formed by the time she was 11.I can remember when she was born, and I have a picture of us, newly framed, dancing at another wedding, when she was 9 years old.But until recently, we lived far away from each other.When first Beth, and then Becky, came toMadison, those of us who live here got to know themin a way we could not have done before.They were already a part of my family, and I alreadyloved them both.But that connection is deeper and more meaningful now than it was before.But when Becky came here, she also brought this guy along with her.Curtis has been part of thedevelopment of that deeper connection all along.Curtis has done laundry at my house.He's fedmy cat when I was out of town.He and my cousin Doug put together my kids' foosball table.We have eaten cake together to celebratecountlessbirthdays, and anything else we felt wasworth celebrating.I can use this occasion to welcome Curtis into my family, and I do, but in avery real sense Curtis has been a part of my family for some time.Similarly, the process of Becky and Curtis becoming married has really been underway for awhile now.Marriage means different things to different people.It is a civil and legal institution;it is a social construct.For some people, it is a religious sacrament.Sadly, some people whowould like to marry are not legally allowed to do so.Some people are allowed to, but never feelthe need to make that kind of official statement.There are lots of different, valid, ways that people choose to live in loving, committed relationships.Becky and Curtis have been doing thisfor a long time.But they decided to get married, and to have this wedding, with all of us as a

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