I have been honored to work with many gay couples since the passage of New York’s Marriage Equality Law this past summer. Most of these couples have been partnered for many years–decades, actually. So the wedding ceremony has a unique feel. We are celebrating a long shared history together, the great political change of New York’s progressive law, and hopes for the future. In December, I was blessed to work with Kurt and Billy, a lovely couple from Seattle. They have been together for several decades, and the ceremony was sweet, intimate and moving. A beloved aunt selected a reading for the wedding, “Blessing for a Marriage.” The work was written by James Dillet Freeman, a favorite author of the grooms:
May your marriage bring you all the exquisite excitements a marriage should bring,
and may life grant you also patience, tolerance, and understanding.
May you always need one another-
not so much to fill your emptiness as to help you to know your fullness.
A mountain needs a valley to be complete;
the valley does not make the mountains less, but more;
and the valley is more a valley because it has a mountain towering over it.
So let it be with you and you.
May you need one another, but not out of weakness.
May you want one another, but not out of lack.
May you entice one another; but not compel on another.
May you embrace one another, but not out encircle one another.
May you succeed in all important ways with one another, and not fall in the little graces.
May you look for things to praise, often say “I love you!” and take no notice of small faults.
If you have quarrels that push you apart,
may both of you hope to have good sense enough to take the first step back.
May you enter into the mystery which is the awareness of one another’s presence –
no more physical than spiritual, warm and near when you are side by side,
and war and near when you are in separate rooms or even distance cities.
May you have happiness, and may you find it making one another happy.
May you have love, and may you find it loving one another.