Friday, May 30, 2014

Celtic "prayer" -usable for secular purposes? easily modifyable

this is easily modifiable:

May you be poor in misfortune,
rich in blessings,
slow to make enemies,
quick to make friends.
But, rich or poor, quick or slow,
may you know nothing but happiness
from this day forward.

for example:

May you be poor in misfortune,
rich in all the good things life has to offer,
slow to make enemies,
quick to make friends.
But, rich or poor, quick or slow,
may you know nothing but happiness
from this day forward.

secular sample invocation suitable for govt meetings by Americans United for Separation of Church and State

Their response to the supreme court ruling re: Greece, NY, AU came up with a terrific sample invocation that can be modified by people to use at their own state and local meetings and government proceedings if desired:

AMERICANS UNITED: OPERATION INCLUSION – SAMPLE INVOCATION


           We come here to do the business of local government – the deliberative body that is closest to the people. As we gather, we are reminded that in our differences there is great strength. We do not all think the same way or believe the same things. Yet we are linked by our common humanity and our shared origin. When we work together to move our community forward in a spirit of mutual respect and common decency, we showcase what is best about our community, our state, and our nation.

            We embrace many traditions. We are Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, humanists, atheists, agnostics, Wiccans, Pagans, unaffiliated, uncertain, and so many other things. We are straight, gay, and transgender. We are young and old and everything in between. We represent dozens of races and nationalities. We run the gamut from liberal to conservative, and some of us are a bit of both.

            To be sure, we do not agree about everything. And we often feel fiercely protective of what we do believe. There is great passion in our beliefs—and rightly so. But there is one thing on which we all agree: We share the goal of making our community the best place it can be. We unite here today around that noble aim and common purpose.



you can download a PDF of this here:

https://au.org/files/pdf_documents/OI-SampleInvocation-1.pdf

If you have trouble with the PDF link, you can access the sample secular invocation here:

https://au.org/content/operation-inclusion-action-kit

Monday, May 5, 2014

Great source of secular invocations

Defining what is an invocation and what an invocation's purpose is can be helpful in creating one. Here is a link to the American Humanist Association's Secular Invocation resource page:

http://humanist-society.org/invocations/resouces/

You will find video and transcripts of several example invocations:

"Juan Mendez, member of the Arizona House of Representatives, delivered a humanist invocation to the Arizona House of Representatives on May 21, 2013."

"Robert Ray, president of The Humanists of the North Puget Sound and humanist celebrant, gave the first ever Humanist opening invocation at the Oak Harbor city council meeting on February 4, 2014."

This invocation given right here in Colorado, which I mentioned in another blog post:

"Joe Alaimo of the Western Colorado Atheists & Freethinkers delivered the first non-denominational invocation to the Grand Junction City Council on January 5, 2011."

and finally, a link to an article and an invocation by Herb Silverman who delivered a humanist invocation to the Charleston City Council in 2003: http://secularseasons.org/celebrations/graces.html#invocation

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Civil Union Ceremonies-Colorado Springs 1 May 2013

Colorado Civil Unions

Join us to celebrate the passage of civil unions in Colorado. Starting May 1, committed couples will be able to legally apply for civil unions licenses for the first time in state history.

Ceremonies: 6:00pm at City Hall (107 N. Nevada Ave.)
Community reception: 7:00pm at the Underground (110 N. Nevada Ave.)

To celebrate this victory in Colorado Springs, we'll be holding civil union ceremonies on the stairs of City Hall, with Rev. Nori Rost of All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church and Rev. Wes Mullins of Pikes Peak Metropolitan Community Church. Afterwards, we'll gather across the street at the Underground for a community reception, some cake, music, and a celebration of civil unions.

All are welcome at both events and encouraged to celebrate this huge victory with their friends, family, loved ones, and the LGBTQA community.

if you are interested in getting a civil union at this event please contact Jessie Pocock at jessiep@one-colorado.org.


Sunday, March 17, 2013

Non-religious wedding ceremony (created for my father's wedding) (see end for completely secular suggested changes)



Text in bold or parentheses are instructions and will not be read out loud.
text in green is easily modifyable for your completely secular service-sample recreated at the end of this post 
Prologue & welcome: (groom, best man & ring bearer ready at the stage, bride’s son walks her to the stage and stays until he gives her away)
Friends and family,
We welcome you all as we celebrate the love and life, the joining of two hearts as they unite their lives and blend their families.
Love organizes our sometimes unpredictable world, enshrining our human experience.  Love is the basis for peace of family, the greatest give bestowed on us.
Here, _____ and _____ dedicate themselves to the happiness and well-being of each other.  They have promised themselves to each other in their hearts and we are blessed to be witness to this special moment in their lives.
_____ and _____ are not beginners in life; they have each had a lifetime with experiences of pain and pleasure, joy and agony, of discovery and growth.  In marriage, two people turn to each other in search of greater fulfillment than they can achieve alone.  Marriage is a bold step taken together, toward an uncertain future.  Only in giving of ourselves fully, sharing our lives with another, can the mysterious process of growth take place.  These two come together now to declare their love and be united in marriage.
The words we say today have no magic or special powers; the power of wedding vows is merely a reflection of what exists in the hearts and spirits of these two people.  Nothing I can say, and nothing you can say will ensure a happy, satisfying and committed marriage.  Only your love for one another and your commitment can ensure a happy and satisfying marriage.
Family blessing:
What ______ and ______ do here affects the lives of others almost as profoundly as it affects their own lives.  They each have families whose lives will be entwined and with whom they will embark on this new adventure.
May the spirit of light honor and protect this union and bless these families with all that serves their highest good.  
May all that is noble and true guide these families as they move forward together, united by the love of _____ and _____.
May we always appreciate our family and friends and remember those who are alone and those who have passed on before us.
May these two families come together, and always find strength and courage in their hearts and in each other. 
Let blessings rest especially on the children for whom this is a new chapter in life.  May they soon grow within the love and security of their new relationships and in the embrace of _____ and _____’s love.
Giving of the bride:
Who gives this woman to be married to this man?
          bride’s son: “her son and daughter and grandchildren” (I don’t yet know what her son’s response will be)
(bride’s son can go sit down)
Blessing of the rings:
Please hold the rings forward: (ring bearer stands between bride and groom and holds the ring-pillow up)
These rings are simple, like your plan for your lives and happiness.  They are unbroken, like the ages they represent.  These rings are a symbol of the responsibilities you share in the bond of marriage.  They are a visible reminder that what you have promised, you will do.  May they become a living reminder of the simple, unbroken and valuable love you share.  They are a tangible symbol that you are pledged together and committed to one another for life.  We ask that nothing complicate, break, or devalue that love, that your love remains always as strong as the ring.  We ask that when _____ and _____ look on these symbols of affection, they remember this moment, this company of witnesses, family and friends who are blessing their lives, surrounding them with love, light and happiness.
(bride & groom take their rings and the ring bearer returns to original spot)
All of you who witness these vows, will you do all in your power to support and uphold these two persons in their marriage? If so, please indicate with “We will.”
Vows/ring exchange
_____ and _____, please face each other and join hands.
_____, repeat after me:
I, _____ ______, take you, ____ _____, for my lawfully wedded wife.  I promise to love you and care for you for the rest of my life.  As long as God gives me strength, I will do all in my power to make you happy and share all blessings.  I marry you because your spirit makes me whole.
_____, repeat after me:
I, _____ ________, take you, _____ ______, for my lawfully wedded husband.  I promise to love you and care for you for the rest of my life.  As long as God gives me strength, I will do all in my power to make you happy and share all blessings.  I marry you because your spirit makes me whole.
(Ring exchange)
_____, please place on _____'s finger the ring you give her as a symbol of your devotion to her, and, looking her in the eyes, repeat after me:
_____, I give you this ring as a symbol of my love.  May it always serve as a symbol of my fidelity and commitment.  I intend the love I have for you now to be only the beginning of the love I will have for you as time passes.  I promise to share my life with you, whatever the future holds.  I will comfort you, confide in you, and journey with you from this day forth.
_____, please place on _____’s finger the ring you give him as a symbol of your devotion to him, and, looking in his eyes, repeat after me:
_____, I give you this ring as a symbol of my love.  May it always serve as a symbol of my fidelity and commitment.  I intend the love I have for you now to be only the beginning of the love I will have for you as time passes.  I promise to share my life with you, whatever the future holds.  I will comfort you, confide in you, and journey with you from this day forth.
Pronouncement:
_____ and _____, you have found each other in the afternoon of your lives, but you will still teach each other to see new things in this union of your hearts and spirits.  YOU are a miracle to one another.  Nurture the miracle of your love.  May it never fade, but only blossom in the years ahead. 
I declare you husband and wife.  You may seal your marriage with a kiss.
Benedicto: by Edward Abbey
“May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds. May your rivers flow without end, meandering through pastoral valleys tinkling with bells, past temples and castles and poets' towers into a dark primeval forest where tigers belch and monkeys howl, through miasmal and mysterious swamps and down into a desert of red rock, blue mesas, domes and pinnacles and grottos of endless stone, and down again into a deep vast ancient unknown chasm where bars of sunlight blaze on profiled cliffs, where deer walk across the white sand beaches, where storms come and go as lightning clangs upon the high crags, where something strange and more beautiful and more full of wonder than your deepest dreams waits for you – beyond that next turning of the canyon walls.”
Family and friends, I am honored and humbled to present Mr. and Mrs. _____ and _____ ________. 

~thank you to those sources I used to to create this ceremony:

-quote from Edward Abbey (author)

Books:
-The Wedding Professional, Universal Ministries, Milford, IL.
-A Humanist Wedding Service, Corliss Lamont
-Baker's Wedding Handbook, Resources for Pastors, Paul Engle (Editor) 
-A Contemporary Handbook for Weddings & Funerals and other occasions, Aubrey Malphurs & Keith Willhite (editors) 
-Wedding Sermons and Marriage Ceremonies, Derl Keefer and Cheryl Rohret 
website: 
http://beautifulweddings4u.com/ceremonies.html#BLENDING_OF_FAMILIES


Modified version for completely secular ceremony with "nonsecular" words removed and suggested changes highlighted in green:



Friends and family,

We welcome you all as we celebrate the love and life, the joining of two hearts as they unite their lives and blend their families.

Love organizes our sometimes unpredictable world, enshrining our human experience.  Love is the basis for peace of family, the greatest give bestowed on us.

Here, _____ and _____ dedicate themselves to the happiness and well-being of each other.  They have promised themselves to each other in their hearts and we are proud/honored to be witness to this special moment in their lives.

_____ and _____ are not beginners in life; they have each had a lifetime with experiences of pain and pleasure, joy and agony, of discovery and growth.  In marriage, two people turn to each other in search of greater fulfillment than they can achieve alone.  Marriage is a bold step taken together, toward an uncertain future.  Only in giving of ourselves fully, sharing our lives with another, can the mysterious process of growth take place.  These two come together now to declare their love and be united in marriage.

The words we say today have no magic or special powers; the power of wedding vows is merely a reflection of what exists in the hearts and spirits of these two people.  Nothing I can say, and nothing you can say will ensure a happy, satisfying and committed marriage.  Only your love for one another and your commitment can ensure a happy and satisfying marriage.

Family commitment/devotion/celebration/dedication:

What ______ and ______ do here affects the lives of others almost as profoundly as it affects their own lives.  They each have families whose lives will be entwined and with whom they will embark on this new adventure.

May strength, courage and determination protect this union and favor, comfort and bring joy to these families with all that serves their highest good. 

May all that is noble and true guide these families as they move forward together, united by the love of _____ and _____.

May we always appreciate our family and friends and remember those who are alone and those who have passed on before us.

May these two families come together, and always find strength and courage in their hearts and in each other. 

We hope for happiness for the children for whom this is a new chapter in life.  May they soon grow within the love and security of their new relationships and in the embrace of _____ and _____’s love.

Giving of the bride:

Who gives this woman to be married to this man?

          bride’s son: “her son and daughter and grandchildren” (I don’t yet know what her son’s response will be)

(bride’s son can go sit down)

commitment/devotion/dedication of the rings:

Please hold the rings forward: (ring bearer stands between bride and groom and holds the ring-pillow up)

These rings are simple, like your plan for your lives and happiness.  They are unbroken, like the ages they represent.  These rings are a symbol of the responsibilities you share in the bond of marriage.  They are a visible reminder that what you have promised, you will do.  May they become a living reminder of the simple, unbroken and valuable love you share.  They are a tangible symbol that you are pledged together and committed to one another for life.  We ask that nothing complicate, break, or devalue that love, that your love remains always as strong as the ring.  We ask that when _____ and _____ look on these symbols of affection, they remember this moment, this company of witnesses, family and friends who are blessing their lives, surrounding them with love, light and happiness.

(bride& groom take their rings and the ring bearer returns to original spot)

All of you who witness these vows, will you do all in your power to support and uphold these two persons in their marriage? If so, please indicate with “We will.”

Vows/ring exchange

_____ and _____, please face each other and join hands.

_____, repeat after me:

I, _____ ______, take you, ____ _____, for my lawfully wedded wife.  I promise to love you and care for you for the rest of my life.  As long as I have strength, I will do all in my power to make you happy and share all good things.  I marry you because your spirit makes me whole.

_____, repeat after me:

I, _____ ________, take you, _____ ______, for my lawfully wedded husband.  I promise to love you and care for you for the rest of my life.  As long as God gives me strength, I will do all in my power to make you happy and share all blessings.  I marry you because your spirit makes me whole.

(Ring exchange)

_____, please place on _____'s finger the ring you give her as a symbol of your devotion to her, and, looking her in the eyes, repeat after me:

_____, I give you this ring as a symbol of my love.  May it always serve as a symbol of my fidelity and commitment.  I intend the love I have for you now to be only the beginning of the love I will have for you as time passes.  I promise to share my life with you, whatever the future holds.  I will comfort you, confide in you, and journey with you from this day forth.

_____, please place on _____’s finger the ring you give him as a symbol of your devotion to him, and, looking in his eyes, repeat after me:

_____, I give you this ring as a symbol of my love.  May it always serve as a symbol of my fidelity and commitment.  I intend the love I have for you now to be only the beginning of the love I will have for you as time passes.  I promise to share my life with you, whatever the future holds.  I will comfort you, confide in you, and journey with you from this day forth.

Pronouncement:

_____ and _____, you have found each other in the afternoon of your lives, but you will still teach each other to see new things in this union of your hearts and minds.  YOU are a miracle to one another.  Nurture the miracle of your love.  May it never fade, but only blossom in the years ahead. 

I declare you husband and wife.  You may seal your marriage with a kiss.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Sample Non-Denominational Wedding Ceremony-easily modifyable


Sample Wedding Ceremony
Let us begin...
Convocation
(example for outdoor wedding)
With the horizon our only walls, the sky our only ceiling, and the earth our floor we meet here in nature to affirm our love.
(example for indoor wedding)
May the promises you make to one another be lived out to the end of your lives in an atmosphere of profoundest joy.
Invocation
_____ and _____ welcome you, their family and friends. Each of you has given something of yourself into their lives. It is fitting then that you share in this celebration of their commitment to each other and to their lives joined in marriage.
Readings
_____ and _____ parents and members of the wedding party will now say a few words.
Optional)
Groom's Parents Speak
Brides's Parents Speak
Grandparents, Siblings, etc.

Expression of Intent
Do you _____, choose to marry _____? To speak the words that will join you with her as your wife for the rest of the days of your life?
Answer: I do.
Do you _____, choose to marry _____? To speak the words that will join you with him as your husband for the rest of the days of your life?
Answer: I do.
 
Consecration
PEACE I ASK OF THEE, O RIVER
Peace I ask of Thee, O River,
Peace, Peace, Peace.
When I learn to live serenely
Cares will cease.

From the hills I gather courage,
Visions of the day to be.
Strength to lead and strength to follow
All are give unto me.

Peace I ask of Thee, O River,
Peace, Peace, Peace.

Vows
_____ take _____ 's right hand and repeat after me.
_____, I choose you to be my wife.
I promise freely from this day forward
To be worthy of your trust and deserving of your confidence;
To be generous with my time, my energy and my love;
To be patient with you and with myself,
To return love, tolerance, and generosity to your family.
To trust you;
To be devoted to you and our life together.
These things I pledge before you, myself, our friends, and our family.

_____ take _____ 's right hand and repeat after me.
_____, I choose you to be my husband.
I promise freely from this day forward
To be worthy of your trust and deserving of your confidence;
To be generous with my time, my energy and my love;
To be patient with you and with myself,
To return love, tolerance, and generosity to your family.
To trust you;
To be devoted to you and our life together.
These things I pledge before you, myself, our friends, and our family.


Ring Vows
What pledge do you offer in symbol of these vows?
Answer: "These rings"

Minister takes the rings and gives them to _____ and _____, then minister places hand over the rings, the hands of _____ and _____, and gives a blessing:
"May these rings remind us well of our vows to each other."
_____, I give you this ring to wear upon your hand as a symbol of our unity, love, respect and trust.
_____, I give you this ring to wear upon your hand as a symbol of our unity, love, respect and trust.

Pronouncement
_____ and _____, you have exchanged vows and rings, and consented to marry in the presence of your family and friends. By the power vested in me by the State of Texas, I pronounce you husband and wife.
"Let all others honor their decision and the threshold of their home."

The Kiss
You may now kiss the bride.
I now present _____ and _____.



http://www.nondenominationalweddings.com/sampleweddingceremony.html