Last Saturday, I had the great pleasure to officiate the wedding of Lauren and Cliff, a joyous and loving couple who have known each other for 20 years. The ceremony took place at a beautiful lodge overlooking Lake Placid in New York State. It was a cozy and heartfelt experience with the couple’s friends and family gathered.
In the minister’s address I said “Marriage is the union, anchored in love, that embraces ALL of who you are”– embracing not just the wonderful loving and fun times, but also the challenging and conflictual times as well. And staying connected, not matter what. In Lauren and Cliff’s words, “We enjoy our ups, and get through our downs together.”
There were a couple of very nice touches to the wedding that were somewhat unique. One was
the “ring warming” ritual, where, prior to the exchange of rings, a wooden carved box with the couple’s rings inside were passed around to each of the guests to share silent blessings for the rings and the marriage about to begin. The other was the owl blessing, which took place just after the formal ceremony concluded with the pronouncing them husband and wife. The couple stood with a great horned owl that a local man has been caring for. Owls are revered in many cultures, including Native American and Hawaiian, and are considered to be symbols of the wisdom of the soul, as well as symbols of mystery, magic, power, and fertility. Lauren and Cliff, may your marriage be illuminated and sacred through these qualities of the owl. And may your lives together be blessed with an ocean of love. Congratulations!