Sunday, May 3, 2009

Dearly Beloved

Wedding days are special and memorable days. Brides plan their extraordinary day in the finest detail. There are so many things to do and consider for this day: the venue, dcor designers, dress, choice of flowers, guest list, photographer ... right through to the smallest and seemingly least important thing (if there is something that can be considered trivial when planning a wedding).

There are so many weddings every month ... year ... that each wedding planned needs to be something different. Instead of throwing rice or releasing white doves, some may release butterflies. Others may go to great lengths (or heights ... or depths) by getting married in the air, or below the sea.

And surely at some point every bride- and groom-to-be wonder about the gifts they will receive.

And then there's the honeymoon! Where to go? Where to go?

Unfortunately, even though everything is very overwhelming and expensive, many people marry with the wrong attitude: if it doesn't work out, they will get a divorce. Not forgetting about those who elope or rush into a marriage.

Divorce! Who counts the costs involved? And these costs involve more than just money.

What if a divorce was planned like a wedding? The divorcee has to organize and run the whole shebang of having a divorce day.

What if?

Dearly Beloved

We are gathered together here in the sign of God - and in the face of this company - to separate from each other this man and this woman from holy matrimony, which is no longer commended to be honorable among them; and therefore is to be ended reverently, discreetly, advisedly and solemnly. Out of this holy estate these two persons present now come to be separated. If any person can show just cause why they may not be divorced - let them speak now or forever hold their peace.

Marriage is no longer a union of this man and woman: not in heart, body or mind. It is no longer intended for their mutual joy. There is no prosperity, just adversity. Importantly - it is no longer a means through which a stable and loving environment can be attained.

Through divorce, HUSBAND'S NAME and WIFE'S NAME make a commitment together to face their future - embrace their dreams - realize their hopes - without each other. HUSBAND'S NAME and WIFE'S NAME will promise one another to avoid each other throughout the rest of their lives - with absolutely no understanding - openness - or sensitivity to each other.

We are here today - before God - not because divorce is one of His most sacred wishes - but to witness the dissolution of a marriage of HUSBAND'S NAME and WIFE'S NAME. This occasion marks the celebration of freedom from further commitment with which this man and this woman begin their life anew and independent from each other. And now - through me - He allows - but does not approve of - the breaking of a holy bond.
Who relieves this woman in divorce from this man?

This is a beginning and a continuation of their lives as separated individuals. With care, respect, responsibility and knowledge comes the affirmation of separation, which ultimately leads to happiness, growth and freedom. With respect for individual boundaries comes the freedom to live without each other. Out of the emotional turmoil of a devastating relationship - the knowledge of living for oneself becomes the fertile soil for individual growth. With care and responsibility towards self - only - comes the potential for full and happy lives.

By gathering together all the wishes of happiness and our fondest hopes for HUSBAND'S NAME and WIFE'S NAME from all present here, we assure them that our hearts are in tune with theirs. These moments are so meaningful to all of us, for "what greater thing is there for two human souls than to feel that they are - at last - legally separated from each other - to strengthen only themselves in their own labor - to minister to themselves in all sorrow - to share with themselves in all gladness.

This relationship no longer stands for love, loyalty, honesty and trust, or for that matter, friendship. Before they knew love, they were friends, and it was from this seed of friendship that they were destined to marry. But it was a mistake. They could not direct the course of love - and love, did not find them worthy enough to direct them.

Divorce is an act of faith and a personal commitment as well as a moral and physical dissolution of a union between two people. Divorce has been described as the best and most important solution that can end what existed between them. It is the denouncement of their love and trust into a dying energy of spiritual life. It is no longer a moral commitment that needs daily attention. Divorce ends a life long consecration of the ideal of loving kindness - and backs the will to be single again.

Exchange of Vows

Do you HUSBAND'S NAME forsake WIFE'S NAME as your wife - to live separately - against God's ordinance - and no longer be bound in the holy estate of matrimony? Will you refuse to love, comfort, honor and keep her, in sickness and in health, for richer, for poorer, for better, for worse, in sadness and in joy, neither cherishing nor continually bestowing upon her your heart's deepest devotion; accepting other women, keeping yourself available for other women as long as you shall live?

Do you WIFE'S NAME forsake HUSBAND'S NAME as your husband - to live separately - against God's ordinance - and no longer be bound in the holy estate of matrimony? Will you refuse to love, comfort, honor and keep him, in sickness and in health, for richer, for poorer, for better, for worse, in sadness and in joy, neither cherishing nor continually bestowing upon him your heart's deepest devotion; accepting other men, keeping yourself available for other men as long as you shall live?

Removal of Wedding Rings

Take off the token of your apathy.

May the removal of these rings be the symbol of your apathy. These two lives are now separated in a broken circle. Wherever they go - may they soon forget about each other. May these two find another love, for which all men and women yearn. May they grow in a new relationship of understanding and compassion. May the home which they establish on their own be such a place that many will find there a lover. May these rings, which are now removed from their fingers, symbolize the end of love in their hearts.

Will you both look at each other and repeat after me:

You are now nothing to me from this day forward and I take from you this ring as the pledge and symbol of my apathy; and by no longer wearing this ring, I thee divorce.


May you always enjoy your singleness as a gift of love - be separated in heart and in mind - may you always create a home for yourself that puts in your heart - love - generosity and kindness for only yourself.

In as much as MAN'S NAME and WOMAN'S NAME have consented together to being legally separated, before this company of friends and family, and pledged their apathy - and declared their singleness by giving back and receiving a ring - I now declare that they are free.

You have pronounced yourselves DIVORCED, so remember to stay as far as possible from each other.
What - therefore - God has joined together - man has separated.

And so, by the power vested in me and by the State and Almighty God, I now pronounce you DIVORCED - and may your days be good and long upon the earth.

You may now say goodbye to each other.

The moral of the story is: how many people will opt for a divorce if they have to go through all of this, in church, in the company of family and friends, with a reception, gifts and a holiday (honeymoon) away by themselves - or with their lovers - as long as they do not go away together?

Would one go as far as putting together a divorce album?

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