Creating a god-Free Wedding

As an atheist, I’m trying to keep all gothic hocus pocus out of my wedding day.  I have requested (and been sent) the text of the entire wedding ceremony from the Officiate and will going over it with a big red pen, cutting out any hint of the religious or spiritual that may have sneaked its way in.

“Blessing” – CUT!

“Human spirit” – CUT!

“Rite of passage” –  hmmmmmm… your humble blogger will have to think about that one.

Our Officiate has assured me that she won’t say anything that I haven’t approved in the wedding text.

“I’m not going to surprise you up there,” she said.

But to tell the truth, there hasn’t been all that much to cut from her ceremony thus far, likely because our Officiate is a secular humanist from the Humanist Society of Toronto.

“I wont be referring to a deity during the ceremony,” she said.

Thank heavens, I thought.

Instead of the usual many mind-numbing references to an invisible magical being living in the sky, our ceremony will emphasize the relationship between the Partner and me.  Our wedding will reflect our own personal philosophy of life and marriage.

For the Gay Groom and the Partner, marriage is a partnership of two equals who respect each other and their individuality.  It is a relationship of love and trust and communicating openly and honestly in that relationship.  It is about two people building a home and life together – being Partners in Life.

When we first contacted our Secular Humanist Officiate, to ask her about her humanist nonreligious weddings, she wrote back:

“A marriage ceremony is an art form and should be choreographed like a dance.  Everything is important – the setting, the music, the clothes, as well as the exits and entrances of the participants.  While a ballet’s artistic expression lies in the dancers’ movements, the words spoken during a wedding cerebration should convey the joy, warmth and the sincerity of the occasion.”

Joy, warmth and sincerity – but no god.  Sounds right to me, my Secular Humanist Officiate!

She has also encouraged us to put a bit of ourselves into the wedding ceremony.  For example, I would like to incorporate some part of my Native Canadian background (perhaps a few lines in Ojibwa)  and I also need to choose some readings (as that hysteric Paul’s letters to the Corinthians are obviously out) which are meaningful to your humble blogger and his Partner for the ceremony at some point.  Maybe some lines from our favourite books or poems?

Though this may be a problem as my favourite book is Ulysses.

66 days to go.

Jeffrey, The Gay Groom

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6 Comments

Filed under gay, gay atheist, gay canada, gay groom, gay men, gay wedding, gaygroom, same-sex marriage, wedding

6 responses to “Creating a god-Free Wedding

  1. Cat Zen Space

    I am loving this blog! All the best to the two of you!

  2. It’s like you’re my long-lost Canadian brother. I’m also atheist, and Jeff and I don’t intend to have any religious language in the ceremony.

    In California, anyone can be deputized for a given marriage on a given day to solemnize the wedding on behalf of the state. When a couple elects to do that, one requirement is that the ceremony may not be religious in form, as the officiant — officially a Deputy Marriage Commissioner for the State of California — is performing a governmental role. Two years ago I officiated, in this capacity, at the wedding of two of our straight friends.

    Since the passage of Prop. 8, of course, the ceremony Jeff and I are having is not a civil marriage recognized by the state, so we can have our officiant do and say whatever we want, regardless. And we’re having my closest friend — straight, but the son of a lesbian couple — take that role. We’ll be writing the ceremony together with him — that’s something we need to start working on, probably next week — so we know we’ll be very comfortable with the content.

    One reading I’m contemplating including is (a probably condensed version of) the conversation about taming between the fox and the little prince, from one of my favorite books, Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s Le Petit Prince.

  3. Oh, and another lovely poem Jeff and I may include is one we’ve had attached by magnets to our kitchen cabinets since we first came across it several years ago, “On the Right to Marry,” by gay poet Rafael Campo. I bet you and the Partner would love it too:

    On the Right to Marry
    — Rafael Campo

    Will you remember me the way I am
    today? This long engagement—twenty years—
    has taken something of a toll. I came
    to bed last night, and thought that we were far

    from being done with dreams. You turned to me,
    and I was young, and still afraid; June’s moon
    peered in, parental with concern. My knee.
    ached, punishment for worshipping the loam

    in our small garden. Irises in bloom,
    their wizened, bearded faces beautiful
    old men’s, dispensed their blessings and their blame.
    You painted furniture, and said “I will,

    of course I will.” I planted savory,
    not hardy through the winter months, beside
    the mint you hate for its invasiveness.
    A breeze intruded, always the bright bride

    the whole world wants to marry. A life’s work,
    as yet only half done, ubiquitous—
    I felt tired, and it would soon be dark,but none can refuse love, not even us.

  4. Pingback: Same-sex couples mark 10th anniversary in Toronto | The Gay Groom

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