What a fabulous weekend for me and the couples that I was privileged to serve!
For starters, I was hired by a man looking to celebrate his 5th Wedding Anniversary with a surprise Vow Renewal ceremony for his wife. After careful consideration of what to call the ceremony, he changed the “title” to a Re-dedication Ceremony, He wanted a private ritual for just he and his wife and was hoping to not offend any relatives that were not going to be invited in the process. He was hoping that the new term would ease any reaction when word got out what had transpired. During the closing days of the week before the ritual, he disclosed his plan to his wife because they are not in the habit of keeping secrets from each other… How Sweet!
I researched a park that I had been in about four years ago for a photo shoot and found several “perfect” spots in Wellness Park in Palm Springs. Several areas in the small desert-scaped park located near Desert Regional Hospital are quite beautiful including rock formations, plantings, a labyrinth and a small fountain. We choose the fountain and gathered there Friday at dusk. Heartfelt exchanges by husband and wife I their own words and acknowledgement by me for the many things that grace their lives together. I included a poem by Rabindranath Tagore, a prose poem reading from The Prophet about marriage and closed with a John Lennon song, “Grow Old Along with Me”.
And then, on Saturday morning, under a splendid blue sky and at the same park, I meet a male couple that were celebrating their 32nd Anniversary together that day and joined them in marriage. We met at the entrance to the park and proceeded to the same fountain area. The men were joined by six friends and relatives. The two grooms promised “to continue” to honor and love one another. They exchanged rings as well. They had a Breaking of Glasses Jewish Ritual at the end of the short ceremony. “Breaking the glasses” signifies, among other things, that life is fragile and requires a great amount of care if a relationship is to succeed. Family, friends and I concluded the ritual with a traditional “Mazel Tov” ! [“Congratulations And Good Luck!”]
I concluded the ceremony by addressing the power of the agreement they had just made, their love for each other, and the seriousness with which they made this continued commitment. I pronounced them husband and husband which, of course, was followed by kisses!
Rev. Ron King
Palm Springs, CA
BY REV RON KING
Last evening at the Brookhaven Country Club in Palm Desert, I officiated for the first time a wedding ceremony that incorporated both The 13 Gold Coins Ceremony and the Lasso Ritual. The symbolism of the 13 gold coins in the ceremony was that the groom recognized his responsibility as a provider, and pledged his ability to support and care for his wife. Acceptance by the bride meant taking that trust and confidence unconditionally with total dedication and prudence.
Thirteen gold coins were counted out by the bride’s mother into the groom’s hands. I explained that they represent different values(13 of them) that the couple desires to share between themselves: love, harmony. Co-operation, commitment, peace, happiness, trust, respect, caring, wisdom, joy, wholeness and nurturing. These coins are a symbol of this couple’s mutual love, fidelity and trust.
The Lasso is a wedding ritual in which the couple are bound together with a ceremonial rosary. Lassoing is a declaration of intent, where the bride and groom clearly state that they are marrying of their own free will. Mothers of the bride and groom draped the Lasso in the form of an “8” around the shoulders of the Bride and Groom. Within this Lasso the couple declared their intent to be bound together before their friends and family, and they speak that intent also to God.
By Reverend Ron King
I have been preparing a wedding script for my niece and her fiance’ and just recently emailed them a first draft as to read and modify or approve it. At their initial request, I called the groom-to-be “William”. After reading through the ceremony the groom-to-be decided that he really should be called “Billy” as almost everyone calls him by that name.
I discussed this with Rev. Lucinda and she offered a third choice to think about: refer to the groom as “Billy” during the ceremony and use “William” for the formal parts of the wedding, the “I do’s” and the wedding vows. I really liked this idea and presented it to the couple and they are both very happy with this creative alternative.
Now I move on to scripting the wine ceremony which will be my first ritual of this type. I’ll let you know how that goes…
An Article By Lucinda Martin of Vows & Kisses Interfaith Wedding Minister
The beautiful thing about an Association of Interfaith Wedding Ministers is the many wonderful ways we support each other. Today, I received a very encouraging email from Rev Ron King, the Vows & Kisses Wedding Officiant serving Palm Springs and Coachella Valley. It makes my heart sing to be witness to Rev Ron’s first couple choosing to include the Coin and Lasso ceremony. And, for him to receive such positive feedback brings joy:
I finalized a wedding ceremony for the third couple that I will officiate for at the Brookhaven Country Club in Palm Desert, CA. Their ceremony includes two “new-to-me” rituals: Thirteen Gold Coins and the Lasso rituals. I worked with information from the Vows & Kisses e-manual, put together these rituals within the context of the wedding ceremony and emailed a draft of the whole service to the couple. Here is what they had to say:
“We have read the first draft of our ceremony and we would like to thank you so much! We are both very pleased with the entire thing…”
Rev. Ron King
The “Arras Coin Ceremony” and “Lasso Ceremony, are both traditional for Catholic Weddings, primarily used in Spain, Latin American counties and the Philippines. Since many couples are choosing outdoor weddings or “non-religious weddings” still wanting to maintain cultural traditions, I have modified these ceremonies to be a bit more “contemporary” while still honoring the sacredness of them.
Some couples (including folks of multi- cultural or non-religious backgrounds) are including the Unity Coin Ceremony to symbolize how they will manage finances as a “team” – an important component of a healthy marriage. Thirteen coins have two symbols; for Christians they represent Jesus and the 12 Apostles and for couples desiring a non-religious ceremony number 13 is the number for a baker’s dozen, symbolizing prosperity.
The Lasso Ceremony is selected by couples wanting to speak their vows within the sacredness of a circle – of a lasso, similar to the “Unity Candle Ceremony” in meaning of a couple being united in marriage, the blending of two families, now becoming one. Couples having a country-wedding theme use a rope, and Catholic interfaith couples select a Rosario, (large rosary made of beads or flowers).
In both rituals, typically the parents, or Best Man/Maid of Honor, or Padrinos have the honor of holding these items and bringing them to the minister when called upon. Some couples have a young person, bring them, similar to a ring bearer. These rituals bring great meaning to a ceremony and in addition to creating golden memories they provide an opportunity for expressive and creative photos.
If you would like more information about these two ceremonies, or other symbolic rituals, visit the “Rituals Page” on the Vows and Kisses website or contact us for more information. We love bringing fresh ideas for couples wanting a custom ceremony, embracing diversity and meaningful rituals.
AN ARTICLE BY REV RON KING VOWS & KISSES INTERFAITH WEDDING MINISTER
Yesterday was an exciting day for me as I listened to the news flowing from the steps of SOCTUS (Supreme Court of the United Sates). The reports included quotes from the justices as they questioned both the proponents and opponents of California’s Prop 8.
By the end of the day the newscasters had their flowcharts with possible outcomes and it became fairly clear to me that Prop 8 is headed for the dustbin for any of several reasons that I choose not to bother to explain here.
I write the above because Vows & Kisses has supported same-gendered unions where legal marriage is available, and commitment ceremonies and civil unions where applicable.
I encourage all of my Vows & Kisses fellow ministers to ready yourselves for the overturn of Prop 8 and the re-establishment of marriage rights for same-gendered couples in California by mid to late June. Start thinking about how you will get the word out that you are supportive of gay couples and ready to serve them by officiating at their nuptials.
Rev. Ron King