TRAVEL THERE: MY DREAM COMES TRUE
In life, some things are worth it and this was. Did it cost more than it should have? Certainly! Had it been more trouble than we imagined? Absolutely? I could criticize all the ooops and frustrations for days, but in the end, we had a perfect vow renewal ceremony.
Our Vow Renewal Ceremony
There was no spot on that ship that could have been more perfect for our ceremony than the balcony of Eden. Bill and I entered the space through a set of double door and were greeted by a most beautiful sight. The weather was perfect, the ocean was royal blue, the sky was turquoise and in a beautiful sunny spot, our friends waited for us. Joy radiated off every person there, but none more so than the bride and groom.
We hugged, giggled, took photos with our phones, had photos made by the professional photographer, gave everyone their cue cards and in no time at all, the officiant was there. Ranee, the event coordinator, lined the others up for the ceremony and Bill and I were placed at the edge of the balcony space. Pachelbel’s Canon in D rang out, just as it did on our wedding day and the ceremony began.
The officiant was Eddy, the cruise director. He was a jolly sort of fellow, always rousing up the crowds and to tell the truth, I was a little afraid he would jolly up my ceremony. I had taken the original Episcopal wedding ceremony script and altered it to fit a vow renewal. I wanted solid commitment, not silly jokes. I also worried that he was not clergy and hoped he’d pull off the prayers in a way that would be relate-able, whether he believed them or not.
Once again, I worried for nothing. The ceremony was lovely. Eddie did an admirable job working his way through the fairly lengthy ceremony I’d pulled together, with true solemnity. He even had tears in his eyes at a few points and at the end, he said it was probably the most heart-felt ceremony he had done. He also said he could tell a lot of intent and devotion went into it.
Since this is my blog and most of my readers are my friends, I am going to indulge myself and share our declarations of intent with you, because they tell the whole story.
Eddie: Jane, 25 years ago, at the Episcopal Church of the Transfiguration in Dallas. TX, the Reverend William R. Bryant asked you, “Will you have this man to be your husband; to live together in the covenant of marriage? Will you love him, comfort him, honor him and keep him, in sickness and in health; and forsaking all others, be faithful to him as long as you both shall live?” On that day you said, “I will.” Have you, in fact, done these things?
Jane: Yes, I have done these things. We have lived together after God’s ordinance in the Holy Estate of Matrimony in Texas, in the cities of Garland, Dallas, Plano Wylie and Heath, and in the state of California in the cities of Los Osos and Pismo Beach. Together we have traveled much of the world. At other times he traveled from away from me, but even then my heart was his. I have loved him deeply, every day, though some days were difficult. I have comforted him through sorrows, sickness and loss. I have honored him at every opportunity in private and public. In sickness and in health, I have stood by him. I have gladly forsaken all others, for no one could be as dear to me as he is. After all these years, he is still the handsomest man I have ever seen. Twenty-five years ago I was in love with him and dared to commit my life to him. Today I can say, through it all, that affection has grown into an evergreen love which cannot be extinguished.
Eddie: And Jane, all these years later do you willingly and joyfully renew this commitment.
Jane: Yes, willingly and with joy I renew this commitment to my beloved.
Eddie: Nabil, after being married for 25 years, what would you like to tell your bride?
Bill: When we first met your beauty caught my eye. Your intelligence and intellect intrigued me. I admired your generosity towards your friends and family. I witnessed your high morals and boundless love for God. I waited all my life for that one special woman, and God told me it was you – and I listened. Since we tied the knot 25 years ago we’ve been through many joys and tribulations. We made the most out of the good times, but that was the easy part. We’ve been through many storms together and with God’s grace we managed to hang in until the storm blew over, however long it took; kudos to you for hanging in. Thank you for doing your best to please me, thank you for being my friend and thank you for loving me. As for me, I love you and always will!
We went on to make the traditional vows Eddie had quoted in his question to me.
My dear friends also participated, but I will tell you about that next week.