Buddhist Wedding
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  • ~12 minute ceremony

A Buddhist wedding ceremony centers on a couple binding themselves together in soul, mind, and lastly, the body. A marriage ceremony is an intensely spiritual experience and in keeping with the Buddhist tradition, it aligns the principles of lasting compassion towards each other and the world, peace, harmony, and an empathetic, kind heart. The couple, in getting married, aim to reach a higher level of collective enlightenment while shining their light on all living beings that surround them.

Introduction/Welcome/Wedding Sermon

Officiant (to guests/the gathering):

My dear friends and everyone gathered here today, we have come together to witness the spiritual and worldly union of two very special souls. Marriage is one of the most exceptional and elevating undertakings in life and I am so glad to see these two individuals have found themselves in this beautiful, lasting commitment. The Buddha taught us about Dharma and Sangha which encompasses both embracing the truth and living a righteous life and marriage is a beautiful way to embrace those teachings in this life.

Officiant (to couple):

_______________ and _______________, we are all deeply appreciative of the decision you have taken in coming here today and we celebrate your love and wholeheartedly offer our support and affection.

Reading

Officiant (to guests):

Do not deceive,

do not despise each other anywhere.

Do not be angry

nor bear secret resentments;

for as a mother will risk her life

and watches over her child,

so boundless be your love to all,

so tender, kind and mild.

Cherish good will right and left,

early and late,

and without hindrance,

without stint,

be free of hate and envy,

while standing and walking and sitting down,

whatever you have in mind,

the rule of life that is always best

Is to be loving-kind.

(A Reading from The Buddha’s Sermon at Rajagaha, Verses 19-22)

Declaration of Intent

Officiant (to couple):

_______________ and _______________, please join hands. Please make a declaration of intent in front of this gathering of loved ones, are you _______________ and _______________, ready to marry one another and enter this commitment?

Couple:

We are.

Officiant (to couple):

_______________ and _______________, please share your marital vows at this time, your devotion to each other, and your aspiration for the years ahead. Do you both pledge to help each other to grow your hearts and your minds while staying true to the teachings and wisdom of Buddha? Do you both aim to live a life of equanimity, patience, tolerance, as well as compassion?

_______________, you may go first.

Couple reads vows to one another

Officiant (to couple):

The path of life is never static and comes with its own ups and downs. As a couple, you must weather the storms and always persevere with each other in a spirit of tolerance and patience. Do you promise to look at the many aspects of each situation and never give in to negative thinking and assumption with regards to each other?

Couple Response: We do!

Officiant (to couple):

Do you pledge to let your love grow and radiate to all those around you including loved ones and those that cross your path on this journey of life? Being self-absorbed and not sharing love and kindness is against the Buddhist way of life, do you promise to uphold the practice of compassion in your married life?

Couple: we do!

Officiant (to couple):

every individual is but a mystery to himself or herself. We are all living beings shrouded in this mystery and unknowability. Do you pledge to walk this path together, discovering each other and the meaning of life while maintaining a sense of curiosity and wonderment?

Couple: we do!

Officiant (to couple):

do you promise to remember that all is transient and temporary and that you must refrain from attachment to material gains and instead hold true to each other as is the Buddha nature?

Couple: we do!

Exchanging of Rings

Officiant (to couple):

The wedding ring is a symbolic representation of both an internal and external bond and commitment, which serves as a reminder of the union you have solidified here today. Let these rings serve as a remembrance of your loyal and loving hearts forevermore.

Officiant (to Partner 1):

_______________, place your ring on _______________’s finger and repeat after me. “This wedding ring is the outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual bond which unites our two loyal hearts in partnership.”

Partner 1:

With this ring, I promise my love and commitment.

Officiant (to Partner 2):

_______________, place your ring on _______________’s finger and repeat after me. “This wedding ring is the outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual bond which unites our two loyal hearts in partnership.”

Partner 2:

With this ring, I promise my love and commitment.

Pronouncement

Officiant (to couple):

_______________ and _______________, you have come here today of your own free will and, in the presence of all, have declared your love for one another.

By the power vested in me through the wishes of this beautiful couple, the blessed lineage of our spiritual superiors, and the Universal Life Church Ministries, I now pronounce you married! If you wish, you may now share a kiss!

Ladies and gentlemen, please congratulate Mr./Mrs./Mx. and Mr./Mrs./Mx. _______________!