Open Buddha

Open Source Buddhism, Technology, and Geekery
Bay Area, California

A Marriage Ceremony for Three Persons

This is the marriage ceremony that I performed last Sunday. I am the “Celebrant” in this though I was copied down as “Buddhist Priest” on the marriage certificate by Rubylou. Rubylou and J are women. Drake is a man. Drake and J have been acquaintances and then friends of mine for about five years or so. Rubylou is one of my oldest friends at this point. She and I worked together in a bookstore in 1993 and 1994 and dated for a while about five or so years after that. She’s a Christian of a more gnostic sort and attends a variety of places for services (between Catholicism and more open churches) along with retreats. Drake identifies as Catholic but has been involved in a Zendo off and on. I’m not sure about Jeliza’s spiritual beliefs.

The ritual was put together by Rubylou and had no input from me beyond some suggestions concerning the joining of the three through the bit with the wine at the end. Doing a ceremony involving a triad instead of a dyad is somewhat unusual in my experience (leaving aside the unusual nature of marrying three people in a same sex group marriage).

A Marriage Ceremony for Three Persons

Celebrant:

If life has any meaning to us at all, it possesses it because of love. Love enriches our human experience. It is the reason for the peace in the family and the peace of the peoples of the Earth. A meeting between those who are made for each other is a beautiful miracle. We are united to witness the marriage of three such people. Jeliza, Drake, and Rubylou's understanding of the true meaning of marriage has resulted from many influences; their families, their friends, and their own personal beliefs and experiences. What defines their love today will change and grow to new depth in the future. It takes three seconds to say: “I love you”, but it can take a lifetime to show it. This ceremony is the celebration of a single stage in a much larger process that is the love between life partners. The promises made today and the ties that are bound here greatly strengthen your union. They will cross the years of each soul's growth. Do you seek to begin this ceremony?

All: Yes, we do.

Celebrant:

The human soul shares characteristics with all things divine. It is this belief that assigns virtues to the cardinal directions: North, South, East and West. Let us offer a blessing in support of this ceremony. Blessed be this union with the gifts of the East: communication of the heart, mind, and body, fresh beginnings with the rising of each sun, and the knowledge of growth found in the sharing of silence. Blessed be this union with the gifts of the South: warmth of hearth and home, the heat of the heart's passion and the light created by all to lighten the darkest of times. Blessed be this union with the gifts of the West: the deep commitments of the lake, the swift excitement of the river, the refreshing cleansing of the rain and the all-encompassing passion of the sea. Blessed be this union with the gifts of the North: firm foundation on which to build, fertility of the fields to enrich your lives, and a stable home to which you may always return. Now I ask you to join hands and state your intentions.

Celebrant to Jeliza: Will you cause them pain?

Jeliza: I may.

Celebrant to Jeliza: Is that your intention?

Jeliza: No.

Celebrant to Drake: Will you cause them pain?

Drake: I may.

Celebrant to Drake: Is that your intention?

Drake: No.

Celebrant to Rubylou: Will you cause them pain?

Rubylou: I may.

Celebrant to Rubylou: Is that your intention?

Rubylou: No.

Celebrant to All: Will you share each other’s pain and seek to ease it?

All: We will.


Celebrant to Jeliza: Will you share their laughter?

Jeliza: Yes.

Celebrant to Drake: Will you share their laughter?

Drake: Yes.

Celebrant to Rubylou: Will you share their laughter?

Rubylou: Yes.

Celebrant to All: Will all of you look for the brightness in life and the positive in each other?

All: We will.


Celebrant to Jeliza:Will you burden them?

Jeliza: I may.

Celebrant to Jeliza: Is that your intention?

Jeliza: No.

Celebrant to Drake: Will you burden them?

Drake: I may.

Celebrant to Drake: Is that your intention?

Drake: No.

Celebrant to Rubylou: Will you burden them?

Rubylou: I may.

Celebrant to Rubylou: Is that your intention?

Rubylou: No.

Celebrant to All: Will you share the burdens of each so that your spirits may grow in this union?

All: We will.


Celebrant to Jeliza: Will you share their dreams?

Jeliza: Yes.

Celebrant to Drake: Will you share their dreams?

Drake: Yes.

Celebrant to Rubylou: Will you share their dreams?

Rubylou: Yes.

Celebrant to All: Will you dream together to create new shared realities?

All: We will.


Celebrant to Jeliza: Will you cause them anger?Jeliza: I may.

Celebrant to Jeliza: Is that your intention?

Jeliza: No.

Celebrant to Drake: Will you cause them anger?

Drake: I may.

Celebrant to Drake: Is that your intention?

Drake: No.

Celebrant to Rubylou: Will you cause them anger?

Rubylou: I may.

Celebrant to Rubylou: Is that your intention?

Rubylou: No.

Celebrant to All: Will you take the heat of anger and use it to temper the strength of this union?

All: We will.


Celebrant to Jeliza: Will you honor them?

Jeliza: I will.

Celebrant to Drake: Will you honor them?

Drake: I will.

Celebrant to Rubylou: Will you honor them?

Rubylou: I will.

Celebrant to All: Will you seek to never give cause to break that honor?

All: We shall never do so.


Celebrant: And so your vows are made.

<The Mixing of Wine from Three Chalices into One Chalice and then Back to the Three is done here. All three drink>

Celebrant:

Spirit of Love, may Jeliza, Drake, and Rubylou know great love together, and may they live in the desire to always support each other in positive and uplifting ways. May they strengthen one another in sorrow, share with one another in gladness, and be companions to each other in times of silence. May their home be a haven for themselves, their children, their family and friends, and wherever they are plagued by changing fortune, may they be united not in word and outward form alone, but by the presence in the hearts of each, of the deepening love they share. You are now wife, husband, and wife.

<The Three celebrate with a kiss>