A WEDDING SERVICE BY REV. JEREMIAH HOAEAE
We are gathered here today for a sacred, joyous, and momentous occasion. We are here to rejoice in and to share the love that springs forth from the hearts of ______________ and _____________ and to witness the uniting of these two beloved souls into the greater radiance of oneness and togetherness.
The exchanging of leis at a wedding ceremony is a time honored tradition here in Hawaii. The significance is somewhat similar to the exchange of rings which is to follow; it’s a token of love that you give to each other. But when we exchange leis at a wedding ceremony, it is also a token of respect. And I can’t think of a better way to start a wedding (or to start a marriage) than with each of you pledging your mutual love and respect.
O IEHOWA, E HA’AWI MAI KE KE ALOHA, E HO’OPOMAIKA’IMAI, EMALAMA, EA OUKOU A PAU
(May the Good Lord keep and bless you all)
Getting married as you are in Hawaii.. I think it is natural that we think of certain concepts that have been important to the people of these islands for centuries. I think especially of the concepts of “Aloha”, “ohana”, and “ho’oponopono”.
Aloha is the most common term and is known by persons of many language groups all over the world. It is a special term that expresses the bonds of love and affection between persons. It is a caring term for compassion and mercy, for kindness and charity. It is a feeling that other persons have value and worth.
The concept of “ohana” comes from the word “oha” meaning “taro”.. Members of the ohana, like taro shoots, are from the same root. Ohana means family, family group, and we come from individual families and as we get married we begin another family and extend the family of which we are already a part. Ohana is a sense of unity, shared involvement and shared responsibility. It is mutual independence and mutual help. It is emotional support, given and received. It is solidarity and cohesiveness. It is love and loyalty.
Finally, there is the concept of “ho’oponopono”. “Pono” means righteousness or goodness. Ho’oponopono means to make things right. In ancient Hawaii, when disagreements occurred between persons, they would gather in the “ohana” for service of reconciliation. When the two of you come to have disagreements in your married life, you no doubt will not have a service of ho’oponopono to resolve those differences, but I hope you will find loving ways of listening to one anothers feelings and concerns and that you will be able to readily forgive one another. Beyond that, I hope that the two of you will be able to be most truly yourselves in your married life.
An so, Groom and Bride, you two come to this moment and to this place, to express your love for one another, and to commit yourselves to building a relationship of caring and understanding in which genuine “aloha” will exist. May you also feel a sense of “ohana”, a sense of unity, shared involvement, and shared responsibility. May you give one another emotional support and trust and may you always keep the lines of communication open.
ROSE EXCHANGE: (Optional)
At those times when disagreement occur, may you find caring ways of listening to real feelings and concerns of one another, and when one or the other of you fails to provide the loving support needed, may you find ways of forgiving one another.
One such way is with the symbol of Love, for years, humanity has turned to the rose as a symbol of love.
Today, you have stood before God and your family and friends to announce your love for each other. You have given one another the token of your gift of love. When you reach home, I invite you to place a vase in a special place appointed for roses, there to serve a two-fold purpose.
1. On the occasion of your wedding anniversary, each of you bring to the appointed place a rose as a re- statement of your love for each other and as a re-commitment to the vows you made this day before God and those present.
2. In marriage, issues sometimes arise that leave a feeling of hurt or a tendency to separate. At such times it is not always easy to find words such as I’m sorry, or forgive me or I forgive you or even I love you. When those times occur, if either of you remember to bring a rose to the appointed place, the other will see it and understand it as a statement of love.
EXCHANGING OF VOWS:
Before the very sacred exchanging of the vows, I would like to share with you a very special blessing for your marriage. May your marriage bring to you all of the exquisite excitements a marriage should bring. And may life grant you also patience, tolerance, and understanding. A mountain needs a valley to be complete. The valley does not make the mountain less, but more! And the valley is more a valley because it has a mountain towering over it. So let it be with you and you.
I believe that the most important realization that you can make, is that God is the central reality in your marriage and in your life. Trust in him! Always look to His will of absolute good with receptivity and gladness, for He acknowledges your every thought and feeling. Therefore, let us give thanks... for the eternal presence of God.
Groom, do you give yourself totally to loving Bride, striving to do whatever you can to help her to feel happy and secure, treating her with kindness, understanding and respect throughout your lives?
And Bride, do you give yourself totally to loving Groom, striving to do whatever you can to help him to feel happy and secure, treating him with kindness, understanding and respect throughout your lives?
---May I have the rings please?---
This ring by its shape, is a symbol of the undying love that exists between you. The substance of which it’s composed is a symbol of purity, which shall ever characterize your mind and hearts in all your relations with each other.
(Minister returns the bride’s ring to the groom with the request that he place the ring on the third finger of the bride’s left hand)
And as you do, will you repeat after me: With this ring, I thee wed, and with it, I bestow upon thee, all of the treasures, of my mind, heart and hands. (Done for both Bride and Groom if double ring ceremony)
---Now join ring hands ---
These two lives are now joined in one unbroken circle. Where ever they go, may they always return to one another in their togetherness. May these two find in each other, the love for which all men and women long. May they grow in understanding and in compassion. May the home that they establish together be such a place of sanctuary that many will find there a friend. And may these two rings.. symbolize that spirit of undying love in the heart of both of them.
_____________________and___________________ Under the authority of the law of the State of Hawaii vested in me and in the name of the Holy Spirit, I now pronounce you Husband and Wife. You may now kiss the bride.