The Wedding of Deepak and Kelly
We have just witnessed a beautiful Indian ceremony rich with symbolism and traditions dating back nearly 4000 years. The remainder of the ceremony is based on purely humanist values to which Deepak and Kelley subscribe.
I am a Secular Humanist Officiate and a friend of this lovely couple. It is truly an honor to be involved in today’s events which reaffirms the legal wedding of Deepak and Kelly through a ritualistic and secular humanist framework.
For Deepak and Kelly, this marriage is both a pledge of enduring love, and an expression of their commitment to each other grounded in law. For the rest of us, this marriage is an occasion which reminds us of the bonds we have with our own families and friends. As we witness the love shared between Deepak and Kelly we realize how important and wonderful these bonds are to us.
Marriage is comprised of complete dedication. Deepak and Kelly, give unselfishly of yourselves. Place your life and love into the hands of the one you love. Knowing the deep love you have for each other, you can do this easily and trustingly. This trust in each other is a gift - the gift of love.
Remember, too, that the gift of love originates from the parents who brought you into the world. It is strengthened by your friends and family who are gathered here today. Their presence expresses their faith in your marriage.
It is very fitting therefore, that your family, friends and colleagues are here to witness the exchange of your wedding vows and to celebrate your happiness. The ideals, the understanding, and the mutual respect, which Deepak and Kelly bring to their marriage, have roots in the love, friendship, and guidance, that all of us provide to them.
As a humanist couple Kelly and Deepak realize that there is only one life. Life choices, therefore, must be weighed carefully and much consideration should be given to any decisions that may alter one's path and have serious impact, both negatively and positively.
We all have freedom of choice and that is what makes their union so very special. Kelly and Deepak have already begun their journey together. This ceremony connotes the end of that beginning and marks a new beginning - the beginning of a committed lifetime journey. For in the words of Al Carmine, “True love is a prism through which one loves the whole world.”
Deepak and Kelly would now like to reaffirm their vows to each other and their commitment to humanism.
Mark Twain said, "A marriage makes two fractional lives a whole. It gives to two questioning natures a renewed 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.”
Please take a handful of rose petals and as you toss the rose petals outward, declare yourselves better able to embrace the world as partners.
[Kelly and Deepak take petals from a bowl]
Enjoy not only the perfume of one another, but the sweetness of nature and humanity.
With the tossing of the rose petals you have demonstrated your enthusiasm for nature and your acknowledgment that humanists seek renewal from nature. Humanists use reason and common sense as their guide. When emotion and intellect combine they provide the foundation of profound love.
Deepak and Kelly, you each have special qualities, talents, and passions. Appreciate these things and never attempt to extinguish each other's inner glow. Just as a candle will extinguish itself without air so shall your marriage if you do not give each other breathing room. Be close, yet allow each other to breathe. Be free in the giving of warmth, comfort, and guidance.
Marriage is a cooperative venture in every sense. It is a relationship based on love, respect, and a determination on the part of both wife and husband to adjust to each others temperaments and moods in health or sickness -- joy or sadness -- ease or hardship.
The reality is that everyone's life is limited to only a certain amount of time. As Robert G. Ingersoll said, "The time to be happy is now. The place to be happy is here."
Words are powerful but fleeting. The family necklace or mangalsutra that Deepak tied around Kelly’s neck becomes an enduring symbol of their commitment to each other. You have both formalized in our presence the existence of the bond of love between you -- vowing to be loyal and loving toward each other.
By exchanging your affirmations of love and commitment, you have pronounced yourself husband and wife. Please embrace each other and seal this event with a kiss while you start this new journey together.