Friday, April 17, 2009

I Do

In recent posts, I have made many mentions of my parents' marriage. I have also mentioned that I use the vows Grandpa Hawley wrote for my folks' wedding in Nashville, Arkansas when I perform weddings. Yesterday, Dr. Robert Farrar, our WCS chaplain, asked if I might reproduce those vows on this page. I am honored he asked me. Grandpa included the following poem in the ceremony; it is referenced in the vows. His language was very flowery and in King James English. I updated words ending with eth (doeth to do, etc) but that is the only change I have made. I hope you enjoy the ceremony!

"How far will you go with me, my Love?
To the stile or the bridge or the great oak tree?
The lane is a lonely and fearsome place
And there's no one journeying there but me.
She smiled at the stile with a sweet disdain,
She scoffed at the bridge and the great oak tree
And looked me full in the eyes and said,
'I will go to the end of the way with thee.'
Then I loved her anew, with a strange fierce love,
As high as the stars and as deep as the sea.
She would share my heaven and share my woe;
She would go to the end of the Lane with me."

Dearly Beloved, we are gathered here in the presence of God and these assembled friends to join in holy matrimony Nelda Chesshir and Roger Hawley. In the midst of the flowers and beauties of the Garden, God ordained marriage and said: “For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother and shall cleave unto his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” Marriage, thus instituted by Almighty God, was made beautiful by our Savior through His presence at a marriage in Cana of Galilee, and was commended by the Apostle Paul to be honorable for all. It is, therefore, not to be entered into lightly or inadvisedly, but reverently, soberly, and in the fear of God.

God gives to each man a desire to seek a life companion, a soul like his own soul, and yet, unlike: one to bring loveliness and grace, sympathy and understanding. And God gives to each woman an inborn desire to be wanted as a life companion to a man, to one who can bring strength for toil, courage to dare, and a will to conquer. This eternal quest has brought these two together in courtship.

So, Roger and Nelda, you have come to be united in holy matrimony. This will mean living together in the closest, the most sacred, the most trusting of all human relationships. It will mean sharing with each other all the fortunes of life: sharing your labors, your sorrows, your heartaches, your joys, your rewards, your home. But in this relationship you will find that unbounded joy which comes from enriching the lives of each other.

In the vows that you are to give and receive today, you are pledging to each other an unending loyalty and trust. You assume a sacred obligation that will call for the unselfish consecration of each of you to the other, but in this consecration you will find your deepest joy.

Roger, do you take Nelda to be your wedded wife, to live together after God’s holy ordinance? “I do.”

Will you love, honor, cherish and protect her in sickness and in health, in adversity and prosperity, in joy and in sorrow, and forsaking all others, will you keep yourself to her only, so long as you both shall live? “I will.”

Nelda, do you take Roger to be your wedded husband, to live together after God’s holy ordinance? “I do.”
Will you love, honor, cherish and care for him in sickness and in health, in adversity and prosperity, in joy and in sorrow, and forsaking all others, will you keep yourself to him only, so long as you both shall live? “I will.”
May this ring, made of the purest of metals, typify the purity of that love which shall bind your hearts together and grow sweeter with every trial of life. Roger, will you place the ring on Nelda’s finger? Repeat after me, “With this ring I thee wed, and with all that I am and have I thee endow, even to the end of the way.”
This untarnished gold band is a fitting symbol of that love which by God’s grace shall unite your hearts in perfect trust forever. Nelda, will you place the ring on Roger’s finger? Repeat after me, “With this ring I give myself and all my love, and I will go to the end of the way with thee.”

And now abide Faith, Hope, Love, these three: Faith in each other that will cause you to have perfect trust; Hope which looks joyfully into the future to the anticipated years together; and Love, the greatest of all – Love that thinks no evil, that bears all things. Love that is the bond of perfection and never fails.

Since, therefore, you have pledged your faith, each to the other, and have sealed it with the giving and receiving of these rings, I, by the authority of this State and by the grace of God, pronounce Roger Wayne Hawley and Sarah Nelda Chesshir to be husband and wife. What God has joined together, let no man put asunder.

And now Roger and Nelda, you are entering upon a new life. Search God’s word for the duties that you owe to Him and to each other. Take Christ into your home. Be faithful to Him and to your own selves be true. This do, and the richest blessings of God will attend you now and forever. You may now kiss the bride.


Warren Baldwin said...

Great mesage.

Volleyballs said...

I didn't get to tell you, that the wedding we watched today in class was wonderful! I love the vows! Hopefully, I will have vows as pretty as those in my wedding one day.

Family fun said...

Thanks for posting this! I sent it to Tom's brother to read to his mom - your grandfather performed his parents wedding and I thought she would love to hear those vows again!

Sherry Ann said...

I hope to hear the news someday (or in the near future) that you'll utter the words "I DO"... to your 'Rebekah'.

Bless you.