THE MARRIAGE VESSEL AND THE
DAY A WANDERER FOUND
VESSEL OF CLAY
ENVELOPED WITH PERFUME
FRAGRANCE SCENTED ALL THE ROOM.
“WHAT ART THOU?” WAS THE QUICK DEMAND.
MAGICAL VESSEL OF ANCIENT SAND,
GEMSTONE RARE IN RICH DISGUISE
OTHER COSTLY MERCHANDISE?”
I HAVE BEEN DWELLING WITH THE ROSE.”
from an ancient fable.
One, comes two, comes one, comes new.”
The vessel and the rose are contemporary symbols for celebrating marriage and the beauty of human relationships.
Traditionally, the rose
represents joy, even love itself. At the same time, there is a temporal
quality to the rose’s beauty. The vessel represents greater permanence. It
is utilitarian- created to hold something. The miracle of the vessel is that
it not only protects but it is also enriched by that which it holds.
the vessel and the rose are individually unique. Yet, when combined, they
create an even greater potential. This mixture of beauty and strength, of
individuality and togetherness, offers a significant symbol for celebrating
Marriage Vessel and the Rose
ceremony is usually included in the wedding service after the pronouncement of
the couple as husband and wife. This sharing of gifts between the bride and
the groom provides an opportunity to talk about the future by presenting
marriage as a “growing in love” rather than a “falling in love.”
Marriage is recognized as a life-long relationship “always in the making.”
major contribution of The Vessel and the
Rose ceremony is that it creates a tradition that can be continued by the
couple to reinforce their marriage vows. By placing an additional rose in the
vessel on each anniversary, couples can establish their own unique renewal
spiritual roots of The Marriage Vessel
and the Rose grow out of an understanding of God as creator and sustainer
of life. God is that life-giving, life-sustaining force that calls us to seek
and to find fulfillment through just and loving relationships.
– Roger Coleman
MARRIAGE VESSEL AND THE ROSE CEREMONY
Ceremony for Celebrating Marriages, Anniversaries and Renewals of Vows
be spoken by the officiant, if used during the wedding service, following the
pronouncement of the couple as husband and wife.)
Marriage is a commitment to
learning to care for one another. It
is not a one time promise but a promise to be continually reaffirmed and
repeated. Marriage is a relationship always in the making.
marriage vessel and the rose may be placed on the altar or table near the
officiant prior to the ceremony. It may also be brought forward by friends,
mothers or other family members. A natural rose, of any color, may be
substituted for the silk rose if preferred.)
THE MEANING OF THE GIFTS
(The officiant holds the marriage vessel and the rose and repeats the following:)
The vessel and the rose are
symbols for God as Creator and Sustainer of Life the One who invites us
to overcome separateness and to find fulfillment in the sharing of one life
"The Lord formed the human from the clay of the ground..." (Genesis 2:7). This vessel of clay, lovingly shaped, is a symbol of love's strength and endurance. The miracle of the vessel is that it not only protects but is also enriched by that which it holds.
rose, born of the tiniest of seeds, is a symbol of the potential and beauty
contained in love's promises. In the words of the prophet, where relationships
create love and compassion, even “the desert shall ... bloom, like the
rose” (Isaiah 35: 1).
With the merging of the
marriage vessel and the rose we proclaim a new relationship ‑ one that
love has unfolded and is unfolding before our very eyes. May we ever respect
the sanctity of this gift.
(Officiant hands the rose to the groom who then
repeats after the officiant:)
GROOM: __________, may this
rose represent my gratitude
for the person you are
and the person I am becoming.
(Bride takes the rose.)
__________, take this rose, as a symbol of the beauty you bring into my life.)
(Officiant hands the marriage vessel to the bride
who then repeats after the officiant:)
__________, may this
vessel represent my gratitude
for all you have given me
and all we will share together. (Groom
takes the marriage vessel.)
(Alternative: __________, take this
vessel, as a symbol of the strength you give to me.)
and groom may also write their own words of commitment.)
places her rose in the marriage vessel which the bride and groom then hold
together. The officiant then says the following:)
your gifts bring beauty and life to each other, may your love continue
to blossom, enriching and strengthening one another.
include “The Rose,” "Evergreen" and "Household of
Faith." A more classical selection is "A Rose Has Blossomed"
(Brahms). “The Lord’s Prayer” or “Ave Maria” may also be used along
with any instrumental music.)
__________ and __________, as you share each passing day and as your days become years, may you remember this tradition you have created.
Let the mariage vessel and rose
continue to be a symbol of the beauty and strength you give to each other.
And, on your wedding anniversary, may you add an additional rose in this
affirmation of your
ever-growing love for one another.
(Couple hands marriage vessel and rose to the officiant:)
(Optional readings of scripture or poetry by
friends, family members or the officiant may be included. Below is one
and I have so much love
it burns like a fire
which we bake a lump of clay
into a figure of you
a figure of me.
we take both of them
break them into pieces
mix the pieces with water
mold again a figure of you,
a figure of me.
am in your clay.
are in my clay...
Kaun Tao Sheng, 13th Century A.D.
RECOGNITION OF FAMILY (OPTIONAL)
(Couple may choose to present roses to family
members or other significant persons to acknowledge their importance. If so,
the officiant may say:)
and __________ would like to present these roses to (their family, their
mothers, etc.) in appreciation for the love and support that has brought them
to this day.
go forth joined together by the love of God. Go forth with hope and joy and a
heart full of dreams; for the old things have passed away and a new heaven and
a new earth are now your dwelling place. Go in peace. Amen.
“The Marriage Vessel and the Rose” ceremony was developed by Roger Coleman, a clergyman and founder of Clergy Services, Inc. Dr. Coleman also developed The Family Medallion®, a resource for including children in the wedding service when parents marry.
Other wedding ceremonies available from Clergy Services include “Our Wedding Celebration,” a complete wedding service for couples writing their own wedding ceremony and “The Blessing of Light,” ceremonies for lighting a unity candle.
Clergy Services, Inc.
P.O. Box 32333
Kansas City, MO 64171