Most of my ceremonies I am asked to officiate are the wedding ceremony, but commitments are made in a lot of situations. As a non-denominational minister, justice of the peace, and wedding officiant, the other space I often get asked to operate in is the vow renewal space. This weekend I had the honor of officiating a vow renewal ceremony for a couple who blended families 25 years ago, and have worked hard to stay together. After working with them for a couple weeks to get the vows together, they invited me into their home, with their kids watching, to deliver a recommitment exercise. Here are some of the comments I prepared based on their direction, just to make sure the ceremony was exactly what they wanted:
"We’re invited today because of the strength of love and promises to kept, to celebrate with Lisa and Wayne as we not only remember where they started but look ahead to where they’re going, to honor their lives together. This ceremony and vow renewal is an opportunity for us to acknowledge their relationship and appreciate their dedication, to recognize their shared devotion and witness new declarations, and to celebrate 30 years of commitment, laughter, friendship, loyalty, and love. Today is a day when two lives agree to remain one, when two souls acknowledge in front of family and friends that their lives would not be the lives they know today if they hadn’t chosen each other decades earlier, when two best friends reaffirm that the vows they originally made still have value, they still hold truth, and they still represent the guiding principles of their partnership even today. "
That was really a beautiful ceremony. I've got a couple more on the calendar in the next few months, and see a growing place for exactly this type of service in the future, crossing my fingers to stay involved as I have been.