I put myself out there a little bit in sharing the group blessing I wrote for our ceremony, so thanks so much for everyone’s enthusiastic reception. And, as promised, here’s the chocolate and wine ritual.
Premise: we’re having a secular ceremony, but I love the idea of performing a personally meaningful ritual - something to add an element of the sacred to our wedding, but that will still resonate specifically with both of us.
When we explained this to our officiant, she told us about a couple who built a ritual around the blending of chocolate and peanut butter. Seriously. We were incredulous, too, but she explained that it was a way for that particular couple to express the bond they were forming. She said something like that won’t work for people who find it silly and are only half-heartedly into it - but a couple with sincere intentions can inject meaning and gravity into any ritual they design. It’s a matter of being genuine about it.
Well, we were sold. And while it isn’t for everyone, I love the idea of bringing a slightly sensual element into the ceremony. Our officiant suggested another version - the chocolate and wine ritual. Chocolate would represent the sweetness of life, and wine, the bitter. An expression of a couple’s acceptance of the good and bad of marriage.
We loved it. Only, we switched it around, making it bitter, dark chocolate and a sweet red wine (both things we love). Enough background. Here’s the goods:
There will come in your life days of great sweetness, and days of bitter sorrow. There will be celebrations, and there will be tears. There will be triumphs, and there will be tragedies.Life holds indescribable happiness in store for you both - and unavoidable pain, as well.And so to symbolize your acceptance of this reality, today you will share the bitter and the sweet, just as you will share them in the years to come.Both of you, take and eat this bitter, dark chocolate. Taste in it the dark days which will rock your marriage and test its strength. It represents disappointment, illness, grief. Know that these hard times will come, and with them, the opportunity to deepen your bond as husband and wife.
Now, take and drink this sweet red wine.
Taste in it the sweetness and light that will fill your marriage with joy. Savor the fruits of this wine, just as you will savor every happiness that your beloved brings you. It represents shared laughter, your child’s first steps, your golden anniversary. Delight in it, as you will delight in your husband, your wife.
I know there are strong echos of the sacrament in there - it’s kind of unavoidable, when you’re taking and eating something while its symbolism is being described. But I really don’t think it’s in a bad way, like it’s some pagan perversion of … whatever.
Anyway, that’s how I managed to get candy and alcohol into our wedding ceremony. I also managed to get the phrase “lustral fire” into it…but that’s another story altogether.
Anyone else inventing a ritual for their ceremony?