Quaker Wedding

Subscribers to my blog:  I started a draft for this blog entry yesterday and accidentally pressed “publish” before I was done with it.  Here is the complete post!

On Saturday, September 3, I was one of two officiants for Sean and Delcia’s wedding.  It was my first time  to officiate a wedding and it was such a great experience.  Sean and Delcia are a deeply spiritual and unique couple.  They planned every detail of the wedding with such great care and the wedding reflected who they are as individuals and as a couple.  I love these two so much and feel so honored to have been such an integral part of their wedding ceremony.

The day began with an early morning yoga session at Sean’s parents’ house in Capitol Hill.  Since it was such a beautiful day, we held the session outside!  Sean’s parents’ house was filled to the brim with out of town family members visiting for the wedding. I was so impressed that so many took part in the yoga session!  My work was cut out for me as we had many varying levels in the group, from beginner to well seasoned yogis.  However, the session was fun, calming, energizing, grounding, and made us all feel connected to each other and to the bride and groom!  I think having a yoga session early in the morning before the wedding was a great idea!

These words from Otis Redding’s song were written on the wedding program and I believe these words set the tone for the feel of their wedding and their love for one another:

I’ll be the moon when the sun goes down
Just to let you know that I’m still around
I’ll be the rainbow when the sun is gone
Wrap you in my colors and keep you warm
That’s how strong my love is, oh,
That’s how strong my love is

I did a Ceremony of the Elements and Blessing for them:

In all things see the hand of God and seek through him, God’s blessing on your union.  From Rocks and Earth, seek steadfastness in love! From water and all things liquid, seek the grace to flow through life in harmony without attachment, in a spirit of acceptance and cooperation.  From air and sweet fragrance, seek pure freedom from all thought of “I” and “Mine”.

And at that point, I asked Sean and Delcia’s parents to come forward and light a candle for their son/daughter.  The candle represented the spark of life the parents gave their children years ago.  I found it very powerful to have their parents light the candles.  Sean and Delcia then took their candles and lit the Unity Candle.  “This candle represents your union from this day forward.  And from it, the understanding that human love must ever aspire toward the heights of perfect, divine love.”

The Quaker part of the wedding was Holding Silence.  We began by chanting three OMS  (this part is not Quaker, but something Sean and Delcia wanted as they love their yoga and strong meditation practice).  The silence that followed the OMS gave everyone present an opportunity to envelope Sean and Delcia in love, to hold them as a couple in their hearts, and to bless their union.  When Holding Silence, a period which can be anywhere from 10-20 minutes  (ours was 25 minutes!), anyone who feels moved to speak, may do so at any time.  When that person speaks, it is not a “toast” or “congratulatory” speech, but rather it is a spontaneous reflection the person would like to share, or a blessing, or words of wisdom for the couple.  Once a person speaks, the group allows for the silence to gather again.  We did Holding Silence for 25 minutes and it was an incredibly powerful ceremony.

We ended the Quaker tradition of Holding Silence with a Bob Marley song, High Tide or Low Tide.  It was played by David and Andy Coe and Jefferson Rose.  We all had the lyrics in our programs and joined in on the chorus (in bold below)!  Wow, again, really powerful!

In high seas or in low seas
I’m gonna be your friend,
I’m gonna be your friend.
In high tide or in low tide,
I’ll be by your side,
I’ll be by your side.

(I heard her praying, praying, praying)
I said, I heard my mother,
She was praying (praying, praying, praying)
And the words that she said (the words that she said),
They still linger in my head (lingers in my head),
She said, “A child is born in this world,
He needs protection,
God, guide and protect us,
When we’re wrong, please correct us.
(when we’re wrong, correct us).
And stand by me.” yeah!

In high seas or in low seas,
I’m gonna be your friend,
He said, “I’m gonna be your friend.”
And, baby, in high tide or low tide,
I’ll be by your side,
I’ll be by your side.

I said I heard my mother,
She was crying’ (I heard her crying’), yeah! (crying’, crying’),
And the tears that she shed (the tears that she shed)
They still linger in my head (lingers in my head)

She said: “A child is born in this world,
He needs protection,
Got, guide and protect us,
When we’re wrong, (when we’re wrong), correct us.

And in high seas or low seas,
I’m gonna be your friend,
I’m gonna be your friend.
Said, high tide or low tide,
I’ll be by your side,
I’ll be by your side.

Next Sean and Delcia’s friend, Adam Halpern, took over on the wedding vow exchange.  Adam was also officiating for the first time and he did an amazing job.  At Friday’s rehearsal, Adam and I bonded and expressed how we were  both a little nervous and talked about how important it was for us to be doing this and how we really wanted to help make this an outstanding wedding for one of the most remarkable couples we both know. I am pleased to report, I think Adam and I did right by Sean and Delcia!!!!

Below is the slide show of the wedding.  I didn’t write captions.  You can see Delcia in her vintage wedding dress, the wedding dress her mother wore!  It was gorgeous and she had it altered to fit her style.  She wore red shoes to go with the dress which was super awesome!

Probably one of the most fun parts of the wedding was the dancing!  There were Brazilian drummers, singers, and an incredible dancer!  The dancer was also a teacher and taught us all the moves!  It was like a pumped up aerobics class and we were all sweating and exhausted in not time at all.  The Brazilian music was a beautiful tribute to Delcia’s cultural heritage!  Enjoy the slide show!

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2 Responses to “Quaker Wedding”

  1. Adam Says:

    I think you captured the spirit. of the wedding so well. Thank you for sharing. It was a wonderful, and I was surprised by how moved I was during the silent worship…you did such a beautiful job setting the stage for this part of the ceremony and bringing it to a close. Thanks also for your nice words about my part. I think we made a good team…And your pictures were amazing!


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