Objectivist Wedding

OBJECTIVIST WEDDING CEREMONY
Ceremony created cooperatively by, Brenton Williams, Tiffany Curry and Margaret Downey

The Virtue of Selfishness:

"One gains a profoundly personal, selfish joy from the mere existence of the person one loves".

Officiant:

Welcome to the Objectivist Wedding Ceremony of ______ and ______.

The style of this wedding conveys the way in which ______ and ______ view love, life and marriage.

What exactly is love—we all wonder?

Many great minds have deemed love as a "matter of the heart," maintaining that such a feeling is impervious to reason.

This idea has been preserved in the familiar quote that "love is blind." The essential idea that is advocated in this statement is that love is causeless—that it is beyond reason.

To quote John Galt in Atlas Shrugged, "When a man feels fear without reason, you call him to the attention of a psychiatrist."

To claim that love is blind, one is not being careful to protect the meaning, the nature and the dignity of love.

There are, however, those of us who know better than to let ourselves become prey to such a philosophy.

Love—especially romantic love—that most powerful and inclusive of all love—is the response to our highest irreplaceable values.

John Galt also said, "Love is the expression of one's values, the greatest reward we can earn for the moral qualities we have achieved in our character and person—the emotional price paid by one man for the joy he receives from the virtues of another."

Ayn Rand tells us, in The Romantic Manifesto, that:

"Love is the expression of philosophy—of a subconscious philosophical sum—and, perhaps, no other aspect of human existence needs the conscious power of philosophy quite so desperately. When that power is called upon to verify and support an emotional appraisal, when love is a conscious integration of reason and emotion, of mind and values, then – and only then – it is the greatest reward of man's life".

Here today, ______ and ______ have come to publicly acknowledge their highest value. For these two people, the culmination of their minds and life's work can only be found, celebrated and lived out in the presence of the other.

[Officiate gestures the bride and groom to face the Unity Candle.]

Fire has held great importance throughout all of human history. Fire is an intense, powerful and potentially dangerous force that only man has learned to tame. In Objectivist thought, fire symbolizes the power of the human mind, the creativity, the rationality, the productiveness and the endless potential of the human being.

The strongest illustrations of those qualities are those instances when we are in control of fire, when we are able to manipulate it with our own hands, when we hold it at our fingertips.

[Officiant hands the couple one taper each and uncovers the Unity Candle]

______ and ______, these tapers represent your lives past, present and future.

[Officiant lights each taper]

The flames atop your tapers, symbolizes your inner glow.

With your individual flame, I ask that you exchange vows while you light the Unity Candle together.

[After each person recites their vows, they light the Unity Candle. When their vow is completed, they place their candle back on the holder next to the Unity Candle. When both have completed, they turn to face the officiate.]

In the Ayn Rand book, The Fountainhead, Howard Roark reminds us that, "To say 'I love you' one must first know how to say the 'I'."

Your lives so far, ______ and ______, have been lived as individuals, maturing in mind and body in preparation for the time in which you find and earn the love of that person without whom nothing would be the same.

For ______ and _____, that time is now. By using their individual tapers to light the Unity Candle, ______ and ______ are conveying to all of us—and to each other—that they are commitment to their relationship.

______ and ______ acknowledge the part that rationality and their minds will play in this endeavor.

RING AND CONCLUSION OPTION #1:

Do you ______, take ______, to be your life partner and pledge to her your respect and faithful love from this day forward?

(______ says, "I do.")

Please place ______ ring on her finger.

Do you ______, take ______, to be your life partner and pledge to him your respect and faithful love from this day forward?

(______ says, "I do.")

Please place ______ ring on his finger.

You will be reminded each day of your commitment to this marriage with the wearing of your wedding ring.

Words are powerful but fleeting. The wedding ring, therefore, becomes the enduring symbol of the promise we have just heard.

______ and ______, you have formalized in our presence the existence of the bond of love between you - vowing to be loyal and loving toward one another. In expressing your affirmations, you have pronounced yourself husband and wife.

Please embrace and kiss for the first time as husband and wife.

RING AND CONCLUSION OPTION #2:

______, what token do you offer ______ as a symbol of your commitment to her?

(Ring is handed to ______.)

______:

This ring.

Do you ______ take ______ to be your wife and pledge to her your respect and faithful love from this day forward?

(______ affirms saying, "I do.")

Please place ______ ring on her finger.

______, what token do you offer ______ as a symbol of your commitment to her?

(Ring is handed to ______.)

______:

This ring.

Do you ______, take ______ to be your husband and pledge to him your respect and faithful love from this day forward?

(______ affirms saying, "I do.")

Please place ______ ring on his finger.

______ and ______, you will be reminded each day of your commitment to this marriage by the wearing of these rings. Just as the circle is without end, your love for each other is eternal.

Just as your rings are constant, your commitment to each other will never fail. With the exchange of these rings and the lighting of the Unity Candle, you have taken each other as partners for life.

As your Secular Humanist Celebrant, I join you together, man to woman, husband to wife, _____ to ______.

I now pronounce ______ and ______ united in marriage and life. Please embrace and seal your commitment with a kiss of love.