Posts Tagged ‘Ceremonies’

 

Love Makes the World So Much Better

Tuesday, October 5th, 2010

They were dressed to the nines.

One was clad handsomely in white tails, decorated tastefully with silver embroidery, appearing as out of a vintage fantasy. The other wore a strapless gown sewn from endless yards of pale pastel tulle – flowing Iayers to the ground and resembling a most enticing, multi-tiered wedding cake.

That’s what I saw when I walked into the venue to perform their wedding ceremony one hour hence.

They greeted me enthusiastically, telling each other, “Yay, Lynn is there, now we can thankfully calm down.” I was touched by this observation and happy that they felt I would help to assuage their nervousness.

There was, as always, last minute work to be done. We convened in the Bride’s Room, an annex off the restaurant’s main room where dinner would later be served to 135 hungry and celebrating guests.

I had this hour to acquaint myself with two sets of parents and to corral, meet, congratulate and direct the other members of the wedding party.

This couple had opted to not have the rehearsal the night before, rather to do it just before the ceremony and prior to any guests arriving. Then there were witnesses to locate so that the marriage license could to be legally signed.

There are nearly always a glitch or two that want to dominate a joyful occasion and in this case, that rule of thumb prevailed.

The parents, who were to bring the suitcase, inside of which were packed all the last minute essentials, including the required marriage license, were teeth-grindingly delayed in traffic. And the guests were outside pouring into the courtyard.

While we waited, I offered up the mounting anxiety to a spirit of faith that all would work out fine, serving to relax the wedding twosome. I requested some moments of privacy with them so that we could have a brief meditation and the imparting of my message of beautiful imagery and perspective. As a result, another round of calm found its way into the couple’s demeanor.

Then, it was discovered their vows had been left at home on the bedroom bureau and worry returned. Having learned that an officiant, like a Girl Scout, must always be prepared, I reached into my portfolio of tricks and pulled out a copy of their vows. The room filled with an extra dose of oxygen that came from the enormous sighs of relief.

At last and as usual, everything began to fall into place: the parents and suitcase had finally arrived, the license was signed and witnessed, the wedding party participants had rehearsed and lined up correctly knowing their parts and guests were seated outside – al fresco in anticipation.

The processional music began. At the agreed cue from the DJ, one by one, we made our way down the center aisle, surrounded on both sides by the beaming smiles of those attending. Joy was in the night air.

Throughout the ceremony, this couple stood facing each other adoringly, clasping hands, their sometimes tearing eyes seeing no one else and grinning. Their ceremony spoke of welcoming friends and family, remembering the departed, inviting spirit to the altar.

The guests heard a good deal about them, how they met and how their bond and love grew over years of adventures and toil. They partook in a sharing of wine ritual and presented their heartfelt personal intentions and vows. And, as I always do at all marriage ceremonies, I blessed them and legally pronounced them, “It is now my great pleasure to present you as wife and wife.”

My professional aim is to always create a unique ceremony that speaks specifically about each couple. Yet, each ceremony requires some standard elements, regardless of religious or non-religious affiliation and regardless of gender. So often, when people hear that I am an interfaith and interspiritual minister, they ask if I perform same-gender marriages. I answer with an enthusiastic “Yes”, though I am slightly baffled by this query, as my role is to legalize love. Love has been around for eons and we have been eons overdue in recognizing that love between any two people is love that cannot be denied. Whom people love is a universal right; it is a treasure that makes our world go ‘round and makes it so much better. As it always has and always shall.  Amen.

–Rev. Lynn
Photo Above, Danna & Hillary, Married Oct. 2013
Photographer Erica Camille
Wedding Video by Christian Mortensen

Lynn’s Tips

Thursday, July 1st, 2010

TIPS FOR WEDDINGS:

Step 1 To Begin Envisioning Your Wedding Ceremony: 

During a quiet time at home, after a home-cooked meal (or ordered-in), put on some gentle and inspiring music. Turn off the phone. Get comfortable, sitting next to each other. Sit in silence. Let your minds and hearts go where they will.

After two minutes tell each other what you have experienced during the silence.

Now take some time in turn to talk about:

  • Your favorite colors
  • Your favorite flower
  • Your special song/lyrics
  • A book you love
  • A memorable quote
  • An unforgettable film
  • Your earliest shared memory

Jot down notes about what was said.

Have a hug and enjoy the rest of your day.


TIPS FOR CHILD BLESSINGS:

Get comfortable with photographs of your child spread out on a table. Look closely at each one. For each make a written note of a single word that describes what you are noticing or feeling. Study the words. Now try to write a letter or poem to your child. Keep what you have created to give to your child when he/she can read.


TIPS FOR CELEBRATIONS & RITUALS:

Ask yourself:

  • What am I celebrating/ritualizing?
  • Why am I celebrating/ritualizing this?
  • With whom do I want to share this ceremony?
  • What place of meaning would I want to celebrate at?
  • Is there a significant date or season in which I want to celebrate?
  • What type of music might accompany this event?
  • Are there any rituals I specifically want to incorporate?
  • Are there readings that I want included?
  • Do I want certain meaningful objects around me?
  • What am I seeking by having this ceremony?

Smile at yourself in the mirror and jot down your answers.


TIPS FOR COUNSELING:

First thing to do: Congratulate yourself!!! You have recognized that something(s) in your life is going off course. You have made a deliberate decision to seek professional help and that is truly to be applauded. Life in the modern age is so darn complex and fast that sometimes it’s hard to catch your emotional breath all by yourself. Fortunately, there are many caring and talented therapists ready to hear your story, your woes and help you find your way to what you want for yourself.

When seeking a therapist it is most desirable to get a recommendation from a trusted friend, family member, mentor or medical professional. Try to get a few names and spend the time and money interviewing two or three therapists. I guarantee that your intuition, your gut will tell you which one to choose. If none of them appeal, try out more and remember that you are in charge of this choice.

Deciding to go into therapy and the therapeutic relationship may seem a bit daunting at the start. That is a normal feeling. It also may be, for you, a welcome relief. I recommend giving your therapy at least a month of sessions before you think about walking out the door.

Be patient with yourself. Subtle, slow and steady growth is the one that sticks. If you take one step forward and then two steps backwards, do not fret. As you do the work, make the commitment and live out what you are learning new about yourself, you will find progress. It is the surest investment out there. I wish you the best!

–Rev. Lynn

There are Many Ways to Bake a Wedding Cake

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2008

Hi there. I’m very excited to start this, my first blog and I welcome you to join me. After all, should we decide to work together in designing your ceremony, I am going to want to know who you are and what matters to you. So it’s only fair that I invite you to get to know more about me and how I’ve come to think about the work I do.

And perhaps the best way to do both is to begin with my own weddings, or how I learned that there are many ways to ‘bake a wedding cake,’ whatever stage you are in your life, and that all of them are delicious.

Let’s flash back to 1979. I got married in a silver designer dress in an elegant loft with a stunning, starlit view of the Empire State Building in New York City. We hired a wedding consultant and caterer, a ten piece 1920’s band, invited 150 guests, were married by a rabbi with the witness of my mother, brother and two stepdaughters–and we had a grand time.

We went on in our life together to have our own two children and worked very hard at melding the two families. This is generally a challenging endeavor, but I believe we invested our full determination to make it work. It required having all of us together facing both the importance and the stickiness of such a situation and not being discouraged by it that made us successful as a unified, supportive family.

You may hear me say often, in varying ways, that the secret ingredients to handling any difficulty among people are love and the kindness of understanding. Sometimes it’s really hard to get that perspective, yet it is one well worth aiming for because it makes managing life and relationships so much easier.

So, our marriage carried on and we shared great joys and managed to resolve our tribulations. I cherish those many years of my life even though the marriage came to an end.

Years later I was deeply fortunate to have met the man in the photo above. I believe if we allow our hearts to remain open, even after painful disappointment, we hold onto the possibility of a second time around at sincere love.

In 2012 we decided to have a commitment ceremony. This time I wore a mint green dress purchased in a thrift shop, the ceremony took place on my small, simple deck facing the Pacific Ocean at sunset, music came from iTunes on our computer, the seven guests were our four children and their partners and our friend, an interfaith minister performed the rites. Dinner was an organic meal; warmth and intimacy abounded.

It was all good. There was a great deal of joy in both and each ritual-celebration reflected where I was at the time. Whenever it occurs, we each deserve to have the ceremony of our current imagination that reflects our love and commitment to one another. And that is the kind of experience that I want to create with you.

–Rev. Lynn