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Note: this is not a typical Buddhist wedding as there is no such thing as a typical Buddhist wedding. This was design for a couple who are not Buddhist but who have Buddha Nature, after all.
and Groom take each other’s hands and face the nun
gathered here today to celebrate the Handfasting vows between name
and name of
both of whom wish to unite their bodies and spirits in Perfect Love and Perfect
gives address. “A successful Marriage is when the ‘you’ and
the ‘I’ become the ‘us’, not two but one; an equal partnership, a single
entity. A Marriage is a shared responsibility. A good marriage is plain old hard
work. You each have strengths and weaknesses. Play to your strengths. The Buddha
taught that a husband has certain duties to his wife and the wife to her
husband. Among them are respect, courtesy and fidelity. Compassion and
consideration for each other will go a long way in smoothing out the rough edges
of life. To keep your love growing to its full glory, reject the poison of anger
and grudges. Sometimes you may
disagree, but fight fair - avoid using the words ‘always’ and ‘never’
and just be as polite to each other, as you would be to a stranger.
Treat your in-laws as you would want your own parents
treated. May I suggest that every year you thank your mother-in-law on your
spouse’s birthday with a gift or a call. Without her, you wouldn’t be
standing here. And family and friends, don’t take sides. Name
and name of
groom are adults and are taking on adult responsibilities.
They will workout the rough spots if they are allowed to do it themselves.
It is important, too, to be careful with the money
you earn. There is nothing that can poison a marriage faster. Some saved, some
given away; being neither tightfisted nor a spendthrift and making major
financial decisions together will go a long way in keeping your marriage on an
With love and trust comes respect. You are uniting in love and trust. Trust each other because, after all, your spouse had enough sense to choose you, and to love you. Be trust worthy in keeping your private life private, this way you know that you can confide your greatest fears and dreams, triumphs and failures. Communicate your love both verbally and physically.
Depending on mind reading is unreliable and leads to
a break down of communication and in the end, the fabric of the marriage itself.
So say when something really bothers you or you really like or dislike
something. My great aunt Edith was stuck in Hawaii during World War II. Meat was
scarce so her friend made a rather horrid soybean casserole and my aunt gagged
down two big helpings, not wanting to hurt her friend’s feelings. Years later,
they met and my aunt was invited to dinner. Her hostess proudly carried in a
soybean casserole, saying, “I remember how much you enjoyed it last time.” I
don’t believe she ever told another fib. Be honest with one another but
refrain from using truth as a cruel weapon.
Feed your love with warmth and affection, with
sharing and with unbirthday gifts.”
addresses Bride and Groom saying: “Now
as you acknowledge your undying love today, remember that above all you are
Spirit, equal in all things, neither one better than the other, each the support
of the other.”
you ready to proceed with this marriage?”
and Groom answer: “Yes.”
will you please tell, in your own words, why you wish to be joined with name
takes Bride’s ring (Earth) from the altar: “With
this ring, I give to you a reminder of our love and our vision for the future, a
symbol of our union. Will you join with me?”
Groom places the ring on Bride’s finger.
will you please tell, in your own words, why you wish to be joined with Name
takes Groom’s ring from the altar: “With this ring, I give to you a reminder of our love and our vision
for the future, a symbol of our union. Will you join with me?”
places the ring on Groom’s finger.
lights 3 sticks of incense and recites an incense offering prayer:
to our teacher, Sakyamuni Budda, the Fully Enlightened One.
(3x) strike bell 3 times.
incense, Samadhi incense, Wisdom incense,
incense, Liberation from views incense.
of lighted incense pouring into the Dharma Realms,
to all Buddhas of the ten directions.
respectfully bow to the Incense Cloud Canopy Bodhisattva.”
(3x) strike bell 3 times.
and Bride turn toward the altar and each pick up a stick of incense (Air). They light the incense using a small candle and then light
the unity candle together (Fire). The
incense is placed in a bowl of salt on the altar.
(blesses the water) and holding the chalice (Water) says,
“Drink of this cup and be like the water inside,
forming and changing together in
accordance with external circumstances. When
you encounter obstacles in your lives together that seem insurmountable,
remember to follow your heart and always be flexible.
A wise man once said ‘be formless, shapeless
-- like water. Now you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup, you put
water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle, you put it in a teapot, and it
becomes the teapot. Now water can
flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.’ ”
hands the chalice to Groom, who drinks and then hands it to Bride who drinks. Bride places the chalice on the altar and turns to face Groom.
and Bride take each other’s right hands.
Nun takes the Handfasting cord (a braided cord that symbolizes the two
being bound to one another) from the altar and wraps it around Groom and
Bride’s wrists and hands three times, letting the ends dangle.
cord, that you have braided together as a couple, is a symbol of your union
within this Circle.
sprinkles water on the cord from the bottom of the chalice with a flower)
When the ceremony is over, your loved ones are
encouraged to tie a knot in the cord to seal their good wishes for your future
together. If those standing with
you today wish to tie a knot to symbolize their good wishes, they may do so
of Honor and Best Men tie knots while cord still binds Groom and Bride.
you are now husband and wife. (kiss,
then turn to face your friends)
Friends and family, let me present Mr. and Mrs. Last
name of groom. (applause,
turn back to Nun)
sprinkles water on Bride and Groom)
May you be happy and well, may no harm come to you, may you practice compassion with each other. (bell)
sprinkles water toward friends and families) May we, who have shared this day with you, be happy and well, may no
harm come to us, may we learn compassion. (bell)
sprinkles water around the area)
all living beings be happy and well, may no harm come to them, may they learn
(Bride and Groom
turn and face their friends and family)
offer prayers or kind thoughts tonight for them as they begin this journey into
a new phase in their lives together.”
the word ‘journey’ Bride and Groom walks out of the circle)
(this wedding performed April 19, 2003 at Samuel P. Taylor State Park in Marin County California by Sư Cô Thích Nữ Chơn Đức)