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Ceremonial Reflections

Windows to the Heart

Ron and Carrie, the beauty of Sedona and the beauty of being in love is that it opens your hearts to Love itself. Your experience of this, as you had shared, is like remembering all the beautiful and magical things that you knew as children. Love is constant, but life can distract us to the point that we lose touch with it. Yet Love’s Spirit is like an inextinguishable fire that sooner or later finds a way to reset our hearts ablaze. And so it did with you.

The wonder of your relationship is that it has led you home to your true and natural selves, to that life giving energy that gives warmth and light to your eyes and smile. And the sign of this is the nurturing and relaxing comfort that you feel in each other’s presence. It’s from this source that you find the strength and generosity to share totally with each other, and the ability to believe in yourselves fully enough to allow yourselves to receive completely from each other, as well as from the world around you. To be in love is to have new eyes and open hands with which to recognize and receive the gifts the world is seeking to give you.

Real love is living from the inside out, from the heart out… to each other and to the world. It’s living from the source, the cause of all things, which is God. And when you allow yourselves to dwell here, when you make this your focus, purpose and meaning in life, you see all the beautiful manifestations that arise from your love… compassion, unconditional love, total acceptance of each other, forgiveness, openness to growth, emotional transparency, a creative and courageous letting go in the direction that God is leading you, and an abundance that is emotional, spiritual, as well as material. Like the expansive skies over Sedona, your love lifts you into the freedom of the future, making your words to each other windows to the heart.

Through the years the love that we celebrate today will only move you to fall ever more deeply in love with each other, and with the people and world around you. It will bring you to an ever richer contentment and fullness in life, making your hearts both gracious and humble before this great and wonderful gift.

Blending Hearts and Families

Nathaniel and Irene, when you look back over the course of your lives you stand in amazement at how wonderfully well things have worked out. You recognize how precisely each moment had its conception in the previous. And although some of those moments were difficult, what you see and feel now is the new life, namely the depth, wisdom and ability to love that you both have matured into. With age and experience you’ve learned to trust with an ever greater certainty the flow of life. You’ve learned to relax and ease into the future, conscious that some mysterious yet loving power is guiding and watching over you.

One of the things that you mentioned when we spoke was that your lives previous to meeting had been full of eventful surprises. But the most eventful surprise of all was when two children on the same football team, your two sons, introduced you after practice one day. From that moment on it’s been an exciting and joyful blending of two hearts and two families. And you stand here now with a profound sense of gratitude for this marvelous miracle of life.

The love that you celebrate today draws its strength form two roots, the root of happiness and fulfillment that you feel with each other and the root of sharing in the satisfying task of being loving and caring parents. The beautiful thing is that you live your lives in such a way as to make the happiness of Sofia, Jacob, Francisco and Olivia as important as your own, and this is what makes you such a great team.

As you join in marriage today you do so as a couple and as a family, and my prayer is that all of you (including the children) recognize the beautiful light that shines within your hearts. May you take care to always share your light with each other, and may you relight each other’s flame whenever it goes out. May you recognize and hold dear the purpose of this special gift of family, which is to nurture and support each other in learning to give and receive love ever more abundantly. What you learn as brothers and sisters you will take with you into the world one day. Then somewhere, at sometime, and with someone, the Spirit of God will reveal to you the special plan for your lives, just as it has been revealed to your dear parents today.

A Love Diamond

Emilio and Rebecca, your love is like a multi-faceted diamond reflecting its magnificent blue, pink, yellow and white colors to the world around you. From the moment you first met at your 21st birthday party (Rebecca’s) you haven’t been able to take your eyes off each other. And this unending focus and attention only underscores the power and attraction of your love, which grows as you look ever more deeply into the eyes, spirit and soul of each other.

Emilio, there’s the shining blue facet of your personality, your kindness and genuineness, your sincerity, your selflessness towards others, and the marvelous way that you treat Rebecca. And Rebecca, there’s the fascinating pink facet of your personality, your willingness to do all that is necessary to support and strengthen your togetherness, your honesty and transparency, your ambition to create with Emilio a life that is meaningful, work that is rewarding and a beautiful family with children.

The fact that neither of you can imagine life without the other is a sure sign that your marriage is God’s desire for your lives. And this is the beautiful yellow facet of your love, namely the peace and joy, as well as the amazing fun that you experience together, and the energy and passion that moves you beyond all limitations and shortcomings to become the best possible partner for each other.

Finally, the sparkling white facet of your love is your absolute faith and trust in each other and in God, which has allowed you to move beyond all worry, doubt and fear into the remarkable freedom to embrace wholeheartedly God’s plan for your young lives.

We thank God for this marvelous diamond of love that has been placed in your hands and which you accept today by accepting each other as husband and wife. And we thank you as well, for your very acceptance of love IS your gift to us all.

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