Sunday, November 26, 2006

Our Buddhist Wedding Ceremony (reminds me of "Our Big Fat Greek Wedding" - the movie!)

Introduction

Welcome to Scott and Kim’s marriage ceremony. Today Scott and Kim celebrate with you, their closest family and dearest friends this most important occasion in their lives. They would like to thank you for being here to share the occasion with them.

This ceremony will meet the requirements of our law in Australia – it will also reflect Scott and Kim’s commitment to Buddhism.

Buddhism is a path of transformation of one’s inner potential. It is also a path dedicated to serving others, helping them awaken their potential. Marriage is the vehicle to practice serving others. It is a practice ground.

Love is wishing others happiness. Marriage involves the equal commitment to the happiness of your partner, toward their awakening. Our inner potential is developed through taking on challenges, not just through joy. We need people in order to practice compassion.

Since their marriage is dedicated toward the happiness of all living beings, those gathered here are the representatives of all living beings.

Buddhist Wedding Prayer

(Scott)

Today we promise to dedicate ourselves completely to each other,

with body, speech, and mind.

(Kim)
In this life, in every situation, in wealth or poverty,

in health or sickness, in happiness or difficulty,

we will work to help each other perfectly.

(Scott)
The purpose of our relationship will be

to attain enlightenment

by perfecting our kindness and compassion

toward all sentient beings.

Monitum from Marriage Act 1961


The Asking

Scott and Kim are happy today not only because they can share the joy of their love for each other with friends and family, but also because they have the opportunity to express their aspirations for the future.

(Celebrant to couple)

Scott and Kim, do you pledge to help each other

to develop your hearts and minds,

cultivating compassion, generosity, ethics, patience, enthusiasm, concentration and wisdom as you age

and undergo the various ups and downs of life

and to transform them into the path of love,

compassion, joy and equanimity?

(Response by couple)

We do.

(Celebrant to couple)

Recognizing that the external conditions in life

will not always be smooth

and that internally your own minds and emotions

will sometimes get stuck in negativity,

do you pledge to see all these circumstances

as a challenge to help you grow, to open your hearts,

to accept yourselves, and each other;

and to generate compassion for others who are suffering?

Do you pledge to avoid becoming narrow,

closed or opinionated,

and to help each other to see various sides of situations?

(Response by couple)

We do.


(Celebrant to couple)

Understanding that just as we are a mystery to ourselves,

each other person is also a mystery to us,

do you pledge to seek to understand yourselves, each other,

and all living beings,

to examine your own minds continually

and to regard all the mysteries of life with curiosity and joy?

(Response by couple)

We do.

(Celebrant to couple)

Do you pledge to preserve

and enrich your affection for each other,

and to share it with all beings?

To take the loving feelings you have for one another

and your vision of each other's potential

and inner beauty as an example

and rather than spiraling inwards

and becoming self absorbed,

to radiate this love outwards to all beings?

(Response by couple)

We do.


(Celebrant to couple)

When it comes time for death to separate you,

do you pledge to look back at your time together with joy--
joy that you met and shared what you have—

and acceptance

that we cannot hold on to anything forever?

(Response by couple)

We do.

(Celebrant to couple)

Do you pledge to remember

the disadvantages of ignorance, anger

and clinging attachment,

to apply antidotes when these arise in your minds,

and to remember the kindness of all other beings

and your connection to them?

Do you pledge to work for the welfare of others,

with all of your compassion, wisdom and skill?

(Response by couple)
We do.

(Celebrant to couple)
Do you pledge to work

to develop the wisdom understanding

the relative functioning nature of things

and the wisdom knowing their deeper way of existence.

that they are empty of inherent existence?

And to remember the laws of cause and effect?

(Response by couple)
We do.

(Celebrant to couple)
Do you pledge day to day,

to be patient with yourselves and others,

knowing that change comes slowly and gradually,

and to seek inspiration from your teachers

not to become discouraged?

(Response by couple)
We do.

(Celebrant to couple)
Do you pledge to continuously strive

to remember your own Buddha nature,

as well as the Buddha nature of all living beings?

To maintain the awareness that all things are temporary,

and to remain optimistic that you can achieve

your greatest potential and lasting happiness?

(Response by couple)
We do.


Exchange of Marriage Vows

(Scott to Kim)

I, Scott, take you, Kim, to be my wife.

During our life together so far, we have exchanged many promises, some spoken, some unspoken, that demonstrate our love, respect and dedication to each other.

In the presence of our family and friends gathered here with us today, I reaffirm these promises that I have made to you.


(Kim to Scott)

I, Kim, take you, Scott, to be my husband.

During our life together so far, we have exchanged many promises, some spoken, some unspoken, that demonstrate our love, respect and dedication to each other.

In the presence of our family and friends gathered here with us today, I reaffirm these promises that I have made to you.

Exchanging of Rings

The wedding ring is the outward and visible sign

of an inward and spiritual bond

which unites two loyal hearts in partnership.

Declaration of Marriage

By the power vested in me

through the wishes of Scott and Kim,

as well as the blessing of the lineage of their Spiritual Friends,

I now pronounce you to be husband and wife.

(BRIDAL KISS!)

SHANTIDEVA'S PRAYER

May all beings everywhere
Plagued by sufferings of body and mind
Obtain an ocean of happiness and joy
By virtue of my merits.

May no living creature suffer,
Commit evil or ever fall ill.
May no one be afraid or belittled,
With a mind weighed down by depression.

May the blind see forms,
And the deaf hear sounds.
May those whose bodies are worn with toil
Be restored on finding repose.

May the naked find clothing,
The hungry find food;
May the thirsty find water
And delicious drinks.

May the poor find wealth,
Those weak with sorrow find joy;
May the forlorn find hope,
Constant happiness and prosperity.

May there be timely rains
And bountiful harvests;
May all medicine be effective
And wholesome prayers bear fruit.

May all who are sick and ill
Quickly be freed from their ailments.
Whatever diseases there are in the world,
May they never occur again.

May the frightened cease to be afraid
And those bound be freed;
May the powerless find power
And may people think of benefiting each other.


Signing of Marriage Register

Presentation


Ladies and Gentlemen

I have pleasure in presenting Scott and Kim

with their official certificate of marriage,

and of presenting to you

officially for the first time as husband and wife,

Mr and Mrs M....th!