Love is in the Air: A Ceremony and A Reading

Our ceremony continued, led by Pastor Mark:

It’s a beautiful day to see your children celebrate a wedding to one whom they deeply love and cherish. Troy and Maria are glad to know that their parents will do all in their power to support and encourage their marriage now and in the years ahead.

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Will you who have come to celebrate this wedding ceremony today promise before God and this couple to do all that you can to support this marriage and to encourage this couple to live together joyfully as husband and wife? Will you?

Congregation: We will.

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Pastor Mark: Troy, do you take Maria to be your wife, to live together in the holy bond of married life? Do you promise to honor and uphold her, and to join with her in making a home that shall endure in love and purity and peace? Do you pledge to her your complete faithfulness through all the changing experiences of life? And, of your own free volition, do you now give yourself to her completely–body, mind and soul–that from this day forth you shall be hers alone so long as you both shall live? Do you?

Mr. Airplane: I do.

Pastor Mark: Maria, do you take Troy to be your husband, to live together in the holy bond of married life? Do you promise to honor and uphold him, and to join with him in making a home that shall endure in love and purity and peace? Do you pledge to him your complete faithfulness through all the changing experiences of life?  And, of your own free volition, do you now give yourself to him completely–body, mind and soul–that from this day forth you shall be his alone so long as you both shall live? Do you?

Mrs. Airplane: I do.

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Pastor Mark: [From Ecclesiastes 4:9-12] A wisdom saying from the great King Solomon, about 3000 years old!

9 Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: 10 If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! 11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? 12 Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

There are dozens, if not hundreds, of places in the Bible they give us help in learning to love and to live together as a married couple. In this verse that you chose to have read at your wedding is one of the best! It imagines life as one, as two, and as three. It’s fine and good being single, and lots of people have lived fulfilling lives without ever getting married. But the writer says, two has some real advantages. When you’re married, you have a life partner who’s got your back when you fall. You’ve got a partner to sleep with and share life with. Whereas somebody alone can be easily overpowered, two can defend themselves.

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So it’s interesting that the passage pushes just a bit further. It says “a cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”

The symbolism, as it has been understood down through the ages, is that the third strand is God. There are three strands. The first strand represents Troy’s life and his commitment to love and serve his wife, and the 2nd strand represents Maria’s life and her promise to love and serve her husband. The third strand represents God, as a relationship with Him will help Troy and Maria create a strong marriage.

The secret to success in marriage the way God has designed life for us is for us first to voluntarily enter into a vibrant and alive relationship with God by each individually placing your faith in Jesus Christ. Then, as each of you humbly follows Jesus, together you invite him to be the glue of your marriage – the third strand that is always there bringing strength and support to your relationship. I know from talking with you that both of you have done this, and you want to have Jesus change your lives, transform your behavior and shape your marriage.

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We asked our friend, R, to do a reading for us during the ceremony. I wanted to give our ceremony a bit of a literary touch, so we chose “Union” by Robert Fulghum.

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Reader R: You have known each other from the first glance of acquaintance to this point of commitment. At some point, you decided to marry. From that moment of yes, to this moment of yes, indeed, you have been making commitments in an informal way. All of those conversations that were held in a car, or over a meal, or during long walks – all those conversations that began with, “When we’re married”, and continued with “I will” and “you will” and “we will” – all those late night talks that included “someday” and “somehow” and “maybe” – and all those promises that are unspoken matters of the heart. All these common things, and more, are the real process of a wedding.

The symbolic vows that you are about to make are a way of saying to one another, “You know all those things that we’ve promised, and hoped, and dreamed – well, I meant it all, every word.”

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Look at one another and remember this moment in time. Before this moment you have been many things to one another – acquaintance, friend, companion, lover, dancing partner, even teacher, for you have learned much from one another these past few years. Shortly you shall say a few words that will take you across a threshold of life, and things between you will never quite be the same.

For after today you shall say to the world –

This is my husband. This is my wife.

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With that passage becoming truer by the minute, it was time for us to recite our vows.

All photos courtesy of studiOsnap unless otherwise noted. 

recaps_the airplanes

Previously, on the Airplane Wedding…

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