The pleasure of celebrating anniversaries

The pleasure of celebrating anniversaries Pixabay 577208
A wedding anniversary is the celebration of many things.

For some it is a celebration of a beautiful romance. For others the marriage has been a real challenge and the feeling they experience is more one of ‘we made it’.  Whatever the journey, the couples who come to us for an anniversary ceremony want to celebrate the time they have spent together and honour each other.

I had the pleasure of conducting an anniversary ceremony for a couple I had married ten years ago.  What a delight it was to reconnect with the family and see the path they had travelled.  A couple of house moves, two children, a few challenges and lots of great stories later and … still very much in love. The small ceremony was simple yet deeply moving. It recollected their original marriage day, the birth of their children and the joy of being a family. It affirmed their strengths and the qualities that it took for them to get through the challenges they had experienced. I had kept a copy of their original vows and they adapted these for this ceremony.   They both exchanged personal vows and rings that saw tears from everyone present, including me. Ceremonies such as these are very powerful in the life of a couple and family.

My mum and dad’s fiftieth wedding anniversary was celebrated with their closest family and friends. I offered to conduct a ceremony for them and they joyfully accepted.  I gave them twenty questions to answer and after two weeks they returned to me pages and pages of heart-warming and moving stories. That in itself was a great gift and went in the book of treasures we put together. Some of their answers were recorded in an interview style on the computer presentation that was beautifully put together with lots of photos and music by one of their grandchildren. The other answers were incorporated into the ceremony itself. They chose not to renew their vows however, it was important for them both to acknowledge all that they love about one another and their family. What a precious moment it was for all those present - inspiring, affirming and uplifting.

What a special moment to honour and celebrate a couple’s love and the many qualities that it takes to be with someone through the good and challenging times that are part of all our intimate human relationships.  Trust, partnership, vulnerability, courage, tolerance and tenacity … and at times a very good sense of humour; these are the qualities that sustain a marriage.   On different days, different qualities come to the fore and this is worth celebrating!  Happy Anniversary!

Wendy Haynes ©2011

Last modified on Tuesday, 22 September 2015 20:59

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