Civil Wedding

Civil Wedding

There is no need to think of a civil wedding ceremony as a dry, colorless event. Rather, it may be just as joyous a scenario as a wedding in any other religious or traditional circumstance. The essential elements may all be present: cherished friends and beloved family, a trusted officiant, intimate vows, and of course, the happy couple themselves. Some couples choose to add a blessing to the event, even if they are non-religious in practice. Some reasons to add a blessing include:

  • It may bridge a gap in traditions between differing religious backgrounds and cultures
  • It may provide a sense of spiritual acknowledgement, free from specific religious tenets or traditions
  • It may underscore a bond between the couple getting married and the witnesses to the event

What Is a Blessing?

A blessing may be considered the ribbon that wraps a wedding ceremony up, a gesture to seal the deal, as it were. It may be a short speech or proclamation that symbolizes the strength of the couple's commitment and the witnesses' hopes for their happiness and well-being. It may most often be delivered by the chosen officiant, although it may be offered by anyone. The couple may agree upon the nature of the blessing prior to the ceremony, or it may be something originated by the officiant. It may also be something taken or borrowed from an existing tradition from one or another of the participants' cultural roots. While the blessing may be entirely secular, it nods toward an acknowledgement of two spirits coming together as one.

What Does a Blessing Involve?

A blessing may take a number of forms. It may manifest in a reading from a book of scripture or from a favorite essay. The words may emanate from the Buddha, from Thoreau or from J.K. Rowling. The blessing may not take the shape of text at all, but come through as a hymn or a personally significant piece of music, which may have lyrics or not. A blessing, even in a secular ceremony, may even be a prayer. Typically, the blessing may embody themes of love, honesty, commitment and union. It may allude to the mix of experiences that lie ahead, and offer best wishes for their successful navigation.

When to Bless a Wedding

There is no set time to deliver a blessing. While it may occur most often at the time of the legal ceremony, it may well happen after the fact. This may be a special consideration in the event the couple weds at a distance from their family. An unofficial ceremony held later on may certainly incorporate a blessing that may ultimately be witnessed by a larger group. Likewise, a wedding that takes place quickly, as one that happens before one of the couple goes overseas, may be followed up with a blessing upon his or her return.

How to Choose a Blessing

While some couples may hold definite opinions on exactly what sort of blessing they wish for their ceremony, others may need a little guidance. The first step may be to speak with the officiant of your choice. Explain your feelings and desires as best you can. Share relevant anecdotes and values so that you and the officiant can come up with a blessing that best fulfills your wishes. Officiants may have multiple resources from which to draw. A blessing may be a collaboration between the three of you. It may be helpful to remember that a blessing need not be conventionally religious. Values such as commitment, loyalty, happiness, prosperity, honesty and love know no borders. You may be genuinely and deeply blessed simply by those who witness your union, and by each other.

Category: Get Ordained Perform a Wedding

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