The Ceremony

We are gathered here today with different yet similar memories, expectations and hopes, but with only one purpose, to witness and celebrate the marriage of Jim Swetnam and Nancy Lopez, who are about to promise to one another their love, their friendship, their trust and their loyalty from this day on. We are privileged to be with them and to share their happiness in making this profound commitment, the taking of each other as lover, companion and friend. It is a union into which they do not enter carelessly, but rather a union they will forge with love, mutual respect, and a sense of humor.

Love is the noblest of emotions. It lessens our selfishness and makes our lives more meaningful. Love is day-to-day companionship and the pleasures of doing things together. Love is also the pleasure of doing things separately, and delighting to exchange and share adventures. Marriage is an honored status. It symbolizes the intimate sharing of two lives. This union, however, must not diminish the individuality of either partner. A good and lasting relationship is one in which the other overpowers neither person.

Still, in marriage the task falls to each of you to ensure that your once separate efforts are united in the common effort to bring joy to one another's lives. Each of you must strive to ensure that the other neither longs for the support to risk disapproval in the pursuit of what is right nor lacks strength to face life's disappointment.

In making this commitment to each other, Jim and Nancy undertake to compose a harmony of self and union, to create what they desire, a close, loving and lasting relationship as husband and wife. We are here then, to celebrate the love which Jim and Nancy have for each other and to give social recognition and official sanction to their decision to form that hallowed and mystical bond of husband and wife.

Nancy, are you prepared to make this promise in marriage to Jim? Jim, Are you prepared to make this promise in marriage to Nancy?

And now, as covenant and pledge of your mutual desire to enter into marriage to each other, please face on another, and join hands. Nancy and Jim will now say their own vows. (Nancy says her own personal vows) (Jim says his own personal vows)

By these acts and words, you have taken upon yourselves the scared alliance of husband and wife. What will sustain you is the measure of kindness you bestow upon one another, the patience and cheerfulness you display, and your ability to be tolerant of each other's differences. May you always love each other as you do today, and may your love guide you through your life together and give you the strength and hope necessary to make your marriage a success. May you create a home together that is not a place of wood and stone, but a harbor that has within it simplicity, laughter, silence and color. May your life together include poetry, film, books and music as well as the mundane elements of existence. May you be able to say as your lives draw to a close, because of you have loved me, you have given me greater faith in myself, and because I have loved you, I have had a greater faith in others. May you always treasure this marriage you have made and may you always attend to it as well as to each other with respect and dignity.

Now by the virtue of the authority vested in me by the state of New Mexico, but more importantly, through the power of your love, I pronounce you husband and wife.

You may kiss one another.
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