Joining / Commitment
A Joining or Commitment Ceremony is for those consenting adults who wish to pledge mutual support to one another but who are unable or unwilling to join in legal matrimony. There may be many reasons for this, including protection of pension rights, same sex unions, polyamory, S&M relationships, and non-concurrence with the state regulation of marriage. No minister need conduct a ceremony in which he or she disapproves of the relationship being celebrated, however, if you have no problems, then conduct the ceremony with due dignity.
1. Ceremony of Commitment
By Nancy Robinson, Priestess in the UCTAA
Priestess: Ceremonies can serve to mark important events or passages in our lives, while at the same time providing a sense of closure and validity to the event or passage that is being observed or celebrated. X and Y are here today to seal the bond between them with a ceremony of commitment. They both have chosen each other to be their life's partner, to share together their time on this earth. It is one of the highest honors one human can bestow upon another. A ceremony of commitment, although not legally binding, is, nevertheless, morally binding. The words of the actual ceremony are short, but their implications are far reaching.
Priestess: Do you X take Y as your life's partner, to love, support, respect, and cherish, in both sickness and in health?
X responds (hopefully) affirmatively.
Priestess: Do you Y take X as your life's partner, to love, support, respect, and cherish, in both sickness and in health?
Y responds (hopefully) affirmatively.
Priestess: By these simple words, X and Y have now sealed the bond of commitment between them, and, by doing so, have become each other's partner in life.
Priestess: May this partnership flourish and grow. Amen and be it so!
2. Affirmation of Love Ceremony
By the Most Reverend Marjorie Norris
Minister: ________ and __________ is it the will of you both to come together today and declare your love?
Couple: It is.
Minister: (To first partner)_________, do you desire to spend the rest of your life with (Second Partner)__________?
Answer: I do.
Minister: Do you love this (man/woman) with all your heart and life, and will you keep (him/her) in sickness and in health, forsaking all others?
Answer: I do, and I will.
(Minister repeats questions with second partner.)
Minister: (To first partner)_________, do you take __________to be the companion of your heart and the friend of your life? To stand united in the face of adversity and smile together in the light of good fortune? With these words spoken, do you wish to share your life with ________ and live as one?
Answer: I do.
(Minister repeats question with second partner.)
(If rings are not to be exchanged, the next section should be omitted.)
Minister: The ring is a circle, unbroken and unending, a symbol of unity. Today, __________ and ________give and receive these rings as token of their vows to make their lives one and as a sign of a love that is whole and unending.
Minister: (To first partner)__________take this ring and place it on _______’s finger. Repeat after me: This ring is a sign of our love and my commitment to you.
(Minister repeats with second partner.)
Blessing by Minister to couple:
Now you will feel no rain, for you will be shelter for each other.
Now you will feel no cold, for you will be warmth for each other.
Now you will feel no loneliness, for you will be friends for each other.
Now you are two people, but there is only one road you will walk together.
May your days together be good and long upon the Earth.
Minister: In as much as you have publicly declared your love and expressed your wish to spend your future together, I declare you united as one, in love, in life and in happiness.