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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Wedding Day

This evening my wife Kathy remains in the intensive care unit of Saint Anthony's hospital.  This is the 13th day that she has been in an induced coma and administered air through an oscillating respirator.  She also requires daily dialysis and regular procedures to clear her lungs.

The following Covenant Service joined Kathy and me in September 2008.  The service was performed by my brother Bob and his wife Linda--both Methodist ministers.  It was held on North Beach at Fort De Soto with friends and relatives in attendance.  The text of the service was the joint creation of Bob and Linda with some reliance upon the traditional Methodist wedding service.

September 9, 2008

Few things in human life are more difficult to face than solitude.  Alone we come into this world; alone we shall depart.  Yet, while we live, we may hope to find another with whom to share our life, our hopes and fears, our joys and sorrows, our beliefs and dreams.  We hope to find someone with whom we may “live happily ever after.”

This day, from different homes and backgrounds, from lives lived separately, Wayne and Kathy come together desiring to be made one.  It is our hope that their life together will be long and rich.

May the love and trust that have brought them together this day remain through all the days and years ahead.  And may all their shared experiences cause them to grow more and more completely at one with each other in love and understanding.

We intend, through this service today, to recognize the covenant which, in one form or another, has taken place countless times before, in all the places of the earth, through the long history of human relationships. Even in a world grown deficient in understanding, a world of uncertainty and change, a covenant remains a bridge across the barriers that separate races and nations.  It transcends boundaries and customs, and speaks to the hearts of all people everywhere.
God established a relationship with all humanity saying, “ I will be your God and you will be my people.”  This covenant cannot be broken.  God’s love is forever. This is the type of relationship we celebrate today; a covenant relationship between a man and woman, vowing to love each other, no matter what, forever.

A covenant may be honored by others.  But, a covenant can only be made truly honorable through the love and faith of the man and woman who undertake it.  Without that love and faith, what we do here today is an empty show.  Therefore, a covenant relationship must not be entered lightly.  It requires serious minds, loving hearts and generous lives.

Wayne and Kathy, I ask you, is it in this spirit that you have come today to be joined in covenant?

With God’s help, it is.


If I could save Time in a bottle
The first thing that I'd like to do
Is to save every day
'til Eternity passes away
Just to spend them with you

If I could make days last forever
If words could make wishes come true
I'd save every day like a treasure and then,
Again, I would spend them with you

If I had a box just for wishes
And dreams that had never come true
The box would be empty
Except for the memory
Of how they were answered by you

But there never seems to be enough time
To do the things you want to do
Once you find them
I've looked around enough to know
That you're the one I want to go
Through time with


Wayne, will you receive Kathy into this covenant?  Will you live and work with her in building a Christian life?  Will you share with her your joys and sorrows, your needs and dreams?  Will you offer her the freedom and support she needs to fulfill her own life?

I will.

Kathy, will you receive Wayne into this covenant?  Will you live and work with him in building a Christian life?  Will you share with him your joys and sorrows, your needs and dreams?  Will you offer him the freedom and support he needs to fulfill his own life?

I will.

Scripture:  1 Corinthians 13: 1-8

If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.  And, if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away all my possessions, and if I hand over my   body so that I may boast, but have not love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude.  It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth.  It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never ends.


Kathy and Wayne, these rings serve as the symbol of your covenant relationship.  They are the outward and visible sign of an inward and invisible love, which binds your hearts together.  As they are of the finest of earth’s materials, so your love is of the richest of spiritual values.  As rings are without edge or seam, having no beginning and no end, they symbolize the perfection of a love that cannot end.


Let us pray.  Bless these rings, O God, to be the visible sign of the covenant made here today, that the giving, receiving and wearing of the rings may ever be a reminder of the promises made here today, and that they also remind Wayne and Kathy of your love for them as they grow more in love with each other and with you.  AMEN


I Wayne, join with you Kathy in living a covenant relationship according to God’s purposes.  I promise to love and trust you; to speak the truth to you and to listen to you; to sustain and nurture you; and with you to receive each day as a gift from God.  As a symbol of our precious and eternal love, I give you this ring.

I Kathy, join with you Wayne in living a covenant relationship according to God’s purposes.  I promise to love and trust you; to speak the truth to you and to listen to you; to sustain and nurture you; and with you to receive each day as a gift from God.  As a symbol of our precious and eternal love, I give you this ring.


Wayne and Kathy, you are now joined together in a covenant.  Become one in love.  Fulfill the promises you have made.  Love and serve God and one another.  Because God has joined you together, no one can separate you.


"Wayne and Kathy, today you join your separate lives together. The two separate bottles of sand symbolize your separate lives, separate families and separate sets of friends. They represent all that you are and all that you'll ever be as an individual. They also represent your lives before today. As these two containers of sand are poured into the third container, the individual containers of sand will no longer exist, but will be joined together as one. Just as these grains of sand can never be separated and poured again into the individual containers, so will your covenant be."

(We will use sand from the beach and fill a clear glass heart.)


I love you not only for what you are, but what I am when I am with you.  I love you not only for what you have made of yourself, but for what you are making of me.  I love you for the part of me that you bring out.

I love you for putting your hand into my heaped-up heart, and passing over all the foolish and frivolous and weak things which you cannot help dimly seeing there, and for drawing out into the light all the beautiful, radiant belongings, that no one else had looked quite far enough to find.

I love you for ignoring the possibilities of the fool and weakling in me, and for laying firm hold on the possibilities of good in me.  I love you for closing your eyes to the discords in me, and for adding to the music in my worshipful listening.

I love you because you are helping me to make of the lumber of my life not a tavern but a temple, and of the words of my every day not a reproach but a song.

I love you because you have done more than any creed could have done to make me good, and more than any fate could have done to make me happy.  You have done it just by being yourself.  Perhaps that is what being a friend means, after all.


Let us pray.  O God, who gives life to all people and meaning to every moment; we pray that Wayne and Kathy may remain faithful to the covenant they have made.  May their relationship always be one of peace and love in which all may share.  May your grace and love be their constant companion as they fulfill their life together.  In their relationship, give them the understanding, patience and skills to fulfill your purpose in their lives.  We ask your continued presence with them that they may perfect the art of lasting love, through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who taught us to pray:

Our Father, who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name.  Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.  Give us this day our daily bread.  And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.  For thine is the kingdom and the power and glory forever.  AMEN

Now, go into the world and fulfill your lives.  Hold fast to your ideals.  Give one another new experiences in joy.  Challenge one another that you may grow together.  May your love now sealed with covenant mature and enrich your experiences.  May you live happy lives.  And may the Lord bless you and keep you.  The Lord make his face to shine upon you.  The Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.  AMEN

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