(Giving Away of the Bride)
Congratulations, (Bride and Groom), on your marriage. You have chosen one of the most beautiful places in the world. But we are celebrating a different kind of beauty today ~ your love. So joyous and deep that you have called us together to witness and celebrate your marriage.
A Hawaiian wedding often begins with the exchange of Leis. We do this for several different reasons. One is that the Lei is a circle, like the rings that will soon be exchanged, representing the eternal commitment and unbroken devotion of your hearts to each other.
Also, each individual flower that is woven into the Lei loses none of its individual beauty when it forms the circle. Its beauty is enhanced. Likewise In your marriage you do not compromise or lose any of your individual identity and unique beauty. In fact, because of the nurturing care and support of your relationship, you become even more that special individual with whom your partner fell in love.
Dard hands a Lei to Groom.
(Groom), please place this Lei around the neck of your bride, and as you do so please give her a kiss.
This makes a Hawaiian wedding special. We don't wait for the end of the ceremony to start the kissing. Throughout the ceremony feel free to hold hands, embrace and share a kiss.
And likewise, (Bride), place this Lei around the neck of your beloved with a kiss.
The Hawaiians have always had a sensitivity to the sacredness of special times and places. This is true of you as well as you have carefully planned the location of your marriage. At the end of this service I will use a lava rock and Ti leaf to perform a Hawaiian blessing that commemorates this precious moment and sacred union.
There is an additional significance as well. We see only the surface of the A'ina. It is below, unseen, where the depth of the land abides. So also, we see and respect the outer expression of your relationship together. Only the two of you know the true and unseen depth of you inner union.
This can also be compared to the beauty of the Pacific Ocean surrounding us here on the Big Island, which you have chosen as the backdrop to your ceremony. We see constant changes on the surface of the sea. It is below, and unseen, where the teaming life of the ocean resides.
I hope that you will have the chance here to explore some that abundant life - whales, dolphins, fish and Honu (Turtles).
You will face constant change in the outer circumstances of your life, while drawing from within yourself and your partner that rich and powerful inner spiritual strength that the Hawaiians call Mana. Allow your partner to be true to that inner life purpose and power.
And if we speak of A'ina and Ocean, let's include as well the beauty of the mountains that surround us; the Kohalas to the North of us, with Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea to the east and Hualalai to the South. Even Haleakala of Maui is often visible to the West. Telescopes are looking outward and upward, making new discoveries there every day. Your marriage is not only about inner depth and strength. It is also a looking outward to the accomplishment of hopes, dreams and aspirations. One of those dreams is being fulfilled at this very moment. Continue to reach out, not only for your own personal satisfaction but for the uplifting of your Ohana, that circle of family, friends and community that will be enriched by your love and care.
There is a tradition here in Hawaii that when the wind stirs at a wedding, it is the presence of absent loved ones and ancestors who surround you at this moment with their love, support and blessing.
Continue to say I love you. Make no list of the occasional disappointments and conflicts that come between you. May the exchange of Leis be a symbol to you of a healthy relationship, a giving and receiving, that mutual interchange that strengthens you both. Sometimes the simple gift of a flower speaks deeper than words about the heart's desire for your relationship to blossom, to be fragrant and to grow ever closer.
(Groom), do you take (Wife) to be your wife, to have and to hold from this day forth, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, treasuring her in your heart as the special gift that she is to you, striving to do all that you can to make her to feel happy and secure, treating her with understanding, kindness and respect for all the days before you? I do.
(Wife), do you take (Groom) to be your husband, to have and to hold from this day forth, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, treasuring him in your heart as the special gift that he is to you, striving to do all that you can to make him to feel happy and secure, treating him with understanding, kindness and respect for all the days before you? I do.
Are there rings to commemorate these vows and your love?
Dard hands a Koa bowl to (Groom).
A few moments before this service I dipped this Koa wood bowl into the Pacific Ocean in order to perform a Hawaiian blessing over these rings. Koa, which is the hardest of our Hawaiian woods, has been used over the centuries to build the outrigger canoes, tools and utensils. It has come to represent integrity and strength; foundational qualities of your relationship. Marriage is more than just the beautiful passion and tender emotion of love. It is a foundational covenant based on faith, hope and love.
The Ti leaf represents prosperity, health and blessing of body, mind and spirit.
Dard dips a Ti leaf in the bowl, sprinkles the rings three times and chants:
Ei-Ah Eha-No. Ka Malohia Oh-Na-Lani. Mea A-Ku A-Pau.
May blessings from above rest upon you and remain with you now and forever.
The water has a double significance. One is a washing back into the Pacific, as it were, symbolically, of any hindrance to relationship. In Hawaiian this is called Ho'oponopono or reconciliation. Even the best relationships is challenged at times. This principle of forgiveness, grace and release is essential to marriage. Time is to be taken whenever necessary to build understanding and to find restoration of union when conflict arises. Open and honest communication is a part of this processes but so also is music, good food and dance (Hula).
The second aspect of the water represents the brand new relationship that you start today as husband and wife.
(Groom), as you take this ring and place it upon your wife's finger, please repeat after me:
Wife), with this ring as a symbol of my eternal love and my devotion to you, , I thee wed.
And likewise (handing the ring to Wife)
(Groom), with this ring as a symbol of my eternal love and my devotion to you, I thee wed.
As I mentioned at the beginning of the service, I now take this lava rock and Ti leaf to perform the final blessing. The rock represents this moment and place of your marriage - made sacred by your love. Wrapped in the leaf it is a traditional Hawaiian offering, prayer and blessing. You are to place it anywhere you choose on the island before you leave. It remains here. Your rings are with you everywhere you go, a reminder of your marriage and love. The rock marks your entrance into a promised land, that of marriage, full of rich promise and unlimited potential. May the joy of your many years together far exceed even your greatest expectation.
Imau Aku Kaloko Mai Ka'i O Ka Haku O Iesu Cristo Me Kealoha O Keakua A Mekalauna Puana O Ka'uhane Hemolele Me Ka Ko Apa'u. May The Grace Of Our Lord Jesus Christ And The Love Of God And The Communion Of His Spirit Be With You Always. May God Bless You And Keep You, May God's Face Shine Upon You And Be Gracious Unto You; May God Lift Up His Countenance Upon You And Give You Peace. Amen
We have had a very special honor here today to witness your love and aloha; your exchange of leis, vows, and rings. And now by the authority that has been entrusted to me by the State of Hawaii, I pronounce that you are Husband and Wife. Would you like to seal your vows with a kiss?
Kiss Ho'o-na-ni ka Ma-kua mau.
Reception and signing of license