My family has known Revered Rosset since we found our family church shortly after moving to Texas in 1995. It was an honor to have her travel from another state to officiate over our wedding and even more so to see how our union touched her as well.
I won't be sharing our entire ceremony word for word (because it is a little lengthly), but will intersperse certain sections among the photos.
"Friends, we are gathered before God and these people to witness and bless the joining together of Lauren and Christopher in holy marriage.
The covenant of marriage was established by God, and is his sacrificial love, Jesus gave us the example for the love of husband and wife. Lauren and Christopher come to give themselves to one another in this holy covenant."
The two guys featured in this picture were college friends of Daddy E and were groomsmen in my parents wedding 34 years ago. My parents were overjoyed that they could make it from the east coast as they have not seen them in over 16 years.
"Lauren, will you have Chris to be your husband,
To live together in holy marriage?
Will you love him, comfort him, honor and keep him
In sickness and in health,
And forsaking all others, be faithful to him
As long as you both shall live?
If so answer, "I will"
I answered I will, and Mr. E responded with the same answer when it was his turn. She then spoke to our guests.
"The success of every marriage depends partly upon the support and blessing of family and friends. You are very important to Chris and Lauren, and they ask for your blessing."
Revered Rosset asked for our families to stand.
"Do you who represent their families rejoice in their union and pray God's blessing upon them? If so, answer "we do".
Mr. E's mom was not able to stand due to her knee replacement surgery 2 weeks before our wedding
She then asked for our friends to join our family in standing.
"Will all of you, by God's grace, do everything in your power to uphold, encourage, and care for these two persons in their marriage? If so, answer "we will".
This is my one regret during our ceremony. I really wished we had taken the opportunity to turn around and look at our guests during this moment. We didn't practice this part during the rehearsal so we didn't really know that it was coming or that we should turn around. Oh well, no reason to dwell on it.
From this point we turned to listen to our readings - I Corinthians 13, 4-13 and The Art of a Good Marriage by Wilfred Arlan Peterson.
"Happiness in marriage is not something that just happens.
A good marriage must be created.
In marriage the little things are the big things.
It is never being too old to hold hands.
It is remembering to say "I love you" at least once a day.
It is never going to sleep angry.
It is at no time taking the other for granted;
the courtship should not end with the honeymoon, it should continue through the years.
It is having a mutual sense of values and common objectives.
It is standing together facing the world.
It is forming a circle of love that gathers the whole family.
It is doing things for each other, not in the attitude of duty or sacrifice, but in the spirit of joy.
It is speaking words of appreciation and demonstrating gratitude in thoughtful ways.
It is not looking for perfection in each other.
It is cultivating flexibility, patience, understanding and a sense of humor.
It is having the capacity to forgive and forget.
It is giving each other an atmosphere in which each can grow old.
It is a common search for the good and the beautiful.
It is establishing a relationship in which the independence is equal,
dependence is mutual and the obligation is reciprocal.
It is not only marrying the right partner, it is being the right partner."
As our guests followed along with their programs (I loved those things!), Revered Rosset meditated on the marriage covenant which included a touching story of a couple experiencing the ups and downs of marriage and a little marriage joke from a kids point of view.
"Do you know what Jesus said about marriage? A pastor asked a Sunday Class of 3rd graders questions about marriage. The answer provided by Pat: Lord forgive them, for they know not what they do. And on the question, how do you choose whom to marry, Kim said: You wait til you’re grown up and then you find out who you’re stuck with. Finally, on the question: What makes a good marriage? John says: If you like football, she should like it that you like football and keep the chips and dip coming."
I took a couple of quick glances at Mr. E during the meditation
"Christopher and Lauren, you have chosen each other…not stuck with each other. Over the past few years, you have become each other’s finest friends, and you have grown and matured together. Chris, being easy going and quiet, wanting to please your bride, you have chosen a woman of many words (I believe the two of you referred to yourselves as the dead sea and the babbling brook). Lauren, you are decisive, strong, and full of vim and vigor. Out of your differences, you come today, fiercely, passionately loving each other."
Up next our vows, and a nervous word mix up by Mr. E that I will probably joke about for years to come.
Are there any portions of your ceremony that you are looking forward to?
All photos from Lynn Michelle
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Portraits & Ceremony