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