Friday, March 26, 2010

Wedding Script

The following is the script for the wedding last Sunday. Some quick background... Jericha and I lost our officiant to personal matters a few weeks before the wedding, which meant we had to re-conceptualize the entire ceremony. While we of course still had someone to sign our official papers, we decided to essentially run the wedding ourselves, along with our four-person wedding party (my brother, my college roommate, his girlfriend, and one of Jericha's friends from work). For good measure, and to make sure we were "pono" (the Hawaiian word for doing things the right way) we added in my friend and teacher, Kumu Keahi Renaud. The result was something a little different, which hopefully I can convey at least in part by posting the script.

Underlines indicate people's instructions, bold indicates things that were read. Italics represent non-verbal instructions. I have not attempted to recapture the stories that were told or the extemporaneous speeches here. You'll just have to imagine.


Guests enter and mingle. At as near 12:30 as is reasonable,
Jericha enters as Keahi chants, letting everyone know that the ceremony is about to start.

and Monika; then James and Sagen, walk down aisle and set up.

chants, leading in Paul and Jericha.

Keahi gives brief introduction and describes his chant.

Paul does brief introduction of ceremony.


From 'Song of Myself,' by Walt Whitman

All truths wait in all things.

They neither hasten their own delivery nor resist it,

They do not need the obstetric forceps of the surgeon,

The insignificant is as big to me as any,

(What is less or more than a touch?)

Logic and sermons never convince,

The damp of the night drives deeper into my soul.

(Only what proves itself to every man and woman is so,

Only what nobody denies is so.)

A minute and a drop of me settle my brain,

I believe the soggy clods shall become lovers and lamps,

And a compend of compends is the meat of a man or woman,

And a summit and a flower there is the feeling they have for each other,

And they are to branch boundlessly out of that lesson until it becomes omnific,

And until one and all shall delight us, and we them.

introduces the prayer she will read.

Prayer from Abdu'l-Baha


O God! Refresh and gladden my spirit. Purify my heart. Illumine my powers. I lay all my affairs in Thy hand. Thou art my Guide and my Refuge. I will no longer be sorrowful and grieved; I will be a happy and joyful being. O God! I will no longer be full of anxiety, nor will I let trouble harass me. I will not dwell on the unpleasant things of life.

O God! Thou art more friend to me than I am to myself. I dedicate myself to Thee, O Lord.


introduces the passage.

From “The Restaurant at the End of the Universe,” by Douglas Adams


There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another theory which states that this has already happened.”

introduces Joe's passage and story.

Jean Paulhan on Love; and Joe will tell a story.


"For today we hear seemingly normal people, even those with a level head on their shoulders, blithely speaking of love as though it were some frothy feeling of no real consequence. They say it offers many pleasures, and that this contact of two epidermises is not completely devoid of charm. They go on to say that charm or pleasure is most rewarding for the person who is capable of keeping love imaginative, capricious, and above all natural and free. Far be it from me to object, and if it's all that simple for two people of the opposite sex (or even of the same sex) to give each other a good time, then indeed they should, they would be crazy not to. There are only one or two words in all this which disturb me: the word
love, and the word free. Needless to say, it is quite the opposite. Love implies dependence - not only in its pleasure but by its very existence and in what precedes its existence: in our very desire to exist - dependence on half a hundred odd little things: on two lips (and the smile or grimace they make), on a shoulder (and the special way it has of rising or falling), on two eyes (and their expression, a little more flirtatious or forbidding), or, when you come down to it, on the whole foreign body, with the mind and soul enclosed therein - a body which is capable at any moment of becoming more dazzling than the sun, more freezing than a tract of snowy waste. To undergo the experience is no fun, you make me laugh with your entreaties. When this body stoops down to fasten the buckle of her dainty shoe, you tremble, and you have the feeling the whole world is watching you."

tells story


introduces her passage.

From Baha'u'llah


The hearts that yearn after Thee, O my God, are burnt up with the fire of their longing for Thee, and the eyes of them that love Thee weep sore by reason of their crushing separation from Thy court, and the voice of the lamentation of such as have set their hopes on Thee hath gone forth throughout Thy dominions.

Thou hast Thyself, O my God, protected them, by Thy sovereign might, from both extremities. But for the burning of their souls and the sighing of their hearts, they would be drowned in the midst of their tears, and but for the flood of their tears they would be burnt up by the fire of their hearts and the heat of their souls. Methinks, they are like the angels which Thou hast created of snow and of fire.

introduces Monika's poem.

A “Rima” from Gustavo Aldofo Becquer; and Monika will tell a story


Qué es poesía?, dices mientras clavas
en mi pupila tu pupila azul;
Qué es poesía! ¿Y tú me lo preguntas?

Poesía... eres tú.

tells story


introduces his quotation.

From “Beyond Good and Evil, ” F. Nietszche


Supposing truth is a woman - what then? Are there not grounds for the suspicion that all philosophers, insofar as they were dogmatists, have been very inexpert about women? That the gruesome seriousness, the clumsy obtrusiveness with which they have usually approached truth so far have been awkward and very improper methods for winning a woman’s heart?

introduces Sagen's poem

I Have Five Things to Say – by Rumi; and Sagen will tell a story


The wakened lover speaks directly to the beloved,

You are the sky my spirit circles in,
the love inside love, the resurrection-place.

Let this window be your ear.
I have lost consciousness many times
with longing for your listening silence,

and your life-quickening smile.

You give attention to the smallest matters,

my suspicious doubts, and to the greatest.

You know my coins are counterfeit,

but you accept them anyway,

my impudence and my pretending!

I have five things to say,

five fingers to give

into your grace.

First, when I was apart from you,

this world did not exist,

nor any other.

Second, whatever I was looking for

was always you.

Third, why did I ever learn to count to three?

Fourth, my cornfield is burning!

Fifth, this finger stands for Rabia,

and this is for someone else.

Is there a difference?

Are these words or tears?

Is weeping speech?

What shall I do, my love?”

So he speaks, and everyone around

begins to cry with him, laughing crazily,

moaning in the spreading union

of lover and beloved.

This is the true religion. All others

are thrown-away bandages beside it.

This is the sema of slavery and mastery

dancing together. This is not-being.

Neither words, nor any natural fact

can express this.

I know these dancers.

Day and night I sing their songs

in this phenomenal cage.

My soul, don't try to answer now!

Find a friend, and hide.

But what can stay hidden?

Love's secret is always lifting its head

out from under the covers,

Here I am!”

tells story


introduces her passage.

From Baha’u’llah

Jericha reads:

In this journey the seeker reacheth a stage wherein he seeth all created things wandering distracted in search of the Friend. How many a Jacob will he see, hunting after his Joseph; he will behold many a lover, hasting to seek the Beloved, he will witness a world of desiring ones searching after the One Desired. At every moment he findeth a weighty matter, in every hour he becometh aware of a mystery; for he hath taken his heart away from both worlds, and set out for the Ka'bih of the Beloved. At every step, aid from the Invisible Realm will attend him and the heat of his search will grow.

One must judge of search by the standard of the Majnun of Love. It is related that one day they came upon Majnun sifting the dust, and his tears flowing down. They said, "What doest thou?" He said, "I seek for Layli." They cried, "Alas for thee! Layli is of pure spirit, and thou seekest her in the dust!" He said, "I seek her everywhere; haply somewhere I shall find her."

Jericha introduces James

James will tell a story and then lead us in a song.

James tells last story

James instructs audience to stand, leads everyone in singing “Simple Gifts / Lord of the Dance / Ode to Joy:”

'Tis a gift to be simple, 'tis a gift to be free,

'Tis a gift to come down where we ought to be,
And when we find ourselves in the place just right,

It will be in the valley of love and delight.

When true simplicity is gain'd,

To bow and to bend we will not be asham'd,

To turn and turn will be our delight

'Till by turning, turning we come round right.

The moon in her phases and the tides of the sea

The movement of the Earth and the seasons that will be

Are the rhythm of the dancing and a promise through the year

That the dance goes on through our joy and tears

Dance, then, whoever you may be

I am the Lord of the Dance, said he!

And I'll lead you all, wherever you may be

I will lead you all in the Dance with me.

I danced in the morning when the world was begun

I danced in the moon and the stars and the sun

They buried my body and they thought that I had gone

But I am the Dance and I still go on!

Dance, dance, whoever you may be

I am the Lord of the Dance, said he!

And I'll lead you all, wherever you may be

I will lead you all in the Dance with me.

A moment of joy is a spark divine

When you drink it in your soul begins to shine,

And you'll find yourself full of peace and light,

At last in the valley of love and delight!

Love, peace, and joy will bring

The world's men and women under their wing

And together we will dance and together we will sing

And all through the valley our joy will ring!

Audience cheers,
James signals them to sit down. James introduces vows.

and Jericha turn towards each other.

reads to Jericha:

O me! O life! Of the questions of these recurring,

Of the endless trains of the faithless, of cities fill'd with the foolish,

Of myself forever reproaching myself, (for who more foolish than I, and who more faithless?)

Of eyes that vainly crave the light, of the objects mean, of the struggle ever renew'd,

Of the poor results of all, of the plodding and sordid crowds I see around me,

Of the empty and useless years of the rest, with the rest me intertwined,

The question, O me! So sad, recurring – What good amid these, O me, O life?


That you are here – that life exists and identity,

That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse.

reads to Paul:

Our union is like this:

You feel cold
So I reach for a blanket to cover
Our shivering feet.

A hunger comes into your body
So I run to my garden
And start digging potatoes.

You ask for a few words of comfort and guidance,
I quickly kneel at your side offering you
A whole book--
As a gift.

You ache with loneliness one night
So much you weep

And I say,

Here's a rope,
Tie it around me,

Will be your companion
For life.

Paul and Jericha pass books to Joe and Monika.

James and Sagen present rings and leis.

Paul takes Jericha's ring and lei.

Paul says final line:

We will all, verily, abide by the will of God.

Places ring on her finger, and lei around neck.

Jericha takes Paul's ring and lei, turns and says:

We will all, verily, abide by the will of God.

Places ring on his finger, and lei around neck.

Paul and Jericha kiss.

Keahi closes ceremony with brief statement, then chants leading Paul and Jericha off, followed by James and Sagen, then Monika and Joe.

1 comment:

  1. This was the most amazing wedding that I have ever experienced! I wish you and Jericha, a life time of love, happiness, and peace! mom