VOWS OF LOVING UNITY OR MARRIAGE

Throughout the world and throughout history, the committed union of individuals has been recognized in a variety of forms, by a variety of cultures. The most common of such unions involves the joining of one man and one woman, but unions of members of the same sex have also been recognized, as have unions involving more than two individuals. Additionally, while most such unions are considered, at least nominally, to be unions for life, there are other trial or temporary unions which are entered into for a specific time period; for example, the Handfasting ritual, traditional to Whales, Ireland and Scotland, is usually entered into for a year and a day, after which the participants may choose to end the union or to enter a union for life.

An Ordained Clergy Person in the Church of Scio-Buddhism must follow the laws of the locality where the ceremony is performed in order for it to be legally recognized; however, the One Sacred Law of Scio-Buddhism is: "LIVE AND LET LIVE!" The Church recognizes and affirms the right of all consenting adults to voluntarily enter into a committed union, and to formally declare, ceremonialize and celebrate their union. Thus, in addition to performing legally recognized matrimonial ceremonies, as an Ordained Clergy Person in the Church of Scio-Buddhism you may also perform non-legally recognized religious ceremonies that celebrate the committed union of individuals, regardless of their gender or number.

Officiant: Welcome to the [Loving Unity/Marriage] Ceremony of [names of participants]. They are here today because of their sincere love for one another, a love so strong that they wish to declare and celebrate their commitment to one another before all of us here today. We recognize that we do not have the power to bond them to one another, for they are already bonded by their love and commitment. What we do here instead is to act as joyful witnesses to the love and commitment that already exists between them, and to mark this day as the special day that they have chosen to formally declare and celebrate their love and commitment before their family and friends, that we may recognize that the separate life-journeys of [names of participants] have become united as they walk the path of life together.

The primary purpose of any [Loving Unity/Marriage] is to increase the pleasure, happiness, and fulfillment of each partner in the relationship. [Names of partners] have determined that this purpose will be served by entering into such a relationship together; furthermore, they each recognize that, for this purpose to be achieved, each partner must maintain a loyal commitment to honesty, and to the growth and well being of each partner and the relationship.

Now I ask [names of Participants] to join hands, as a symbol of your union.

Participants join hands. Officiant then asks each Participant in turn to respond with “I do,” to the following Vows of Loving Unity:

Officiant: Do you [name of one Participant] take [name(s) of other Participant(s)] in the bond of [Loving Unity/Marriage]?

Participant: I do.

Officiant: Do you vow to maintain a loyal commitment to honesty in all your dealings with [name(s) of other Participant(s)]?

Participant: I do.

Officiant: Do you vow to strive for your mutual growth, well-being, and happiness?

Participant: I do.

Officiant repeats the vows with each Participant.

Officiant: The ring is used in many cultures to signify the loving bond of commitment and unity. It serves as a physical symbol to all who see it of the love and commitment which you have for one another. [Names of Participants] will now give rings and recieve rings as tokens of their love.

Officiant: [Name of one participant], as you place a ring upon [name of different Participant]'s finger, please say: "In token of my love and commitment I give you this ring."

Participant: In token of my love and commitment, I give you this ring.

Officiant repeats the ring-giving process as necessary.

Officiant: [Names of Participants] have pledged their love and commitment before us all here today. They have pledged to maintain a loyal commitment to honesty, to their mutual growth, well-being and happiness. By the powers granted to me by the Church of Scio-Buddhism (in the case of a legal ceremony: and by the [State/Province/etc] of [name of State/Province/etc.]) I hereby recognize and sanctify the declaration of their [Loving Unity/Marriage] (optionally as appropriate: and now pronounce them Husband and Wife).

(Optional) Officiant: You may kiss one another.

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