for Philip Fibiger and Emily Russell
Saturday, July 12, 2003
Friends, we are gathered here to witness and to celebrate the coming together of two lives, the joining of Philip Fibiger and Emily Russell in marriage. We are here to be with them and rejoice with them in the making of this important and lasting commitment. It is a decision which is not to be entered into lightly, but rather, undertaken with great consideration and respect for both the other person and for oneself.
Do you support and encourage this union?
Bill and Kathy: We do
Please join us in listening to selections from poems that friends have chosen to mark this occasion.
Kate Bledsoe reads June Jordan's "Sunflower Sonnet Number Two":
Supposing we could just go on as two voracious in the days apart as well as when we side by side (the many ways we do that) well! I would consider then perfection possible, or else worthwhile to think about. Which is to say I guess the costs of long term tend to pile up, block and complicate, erase away the accidental, temporary, near thing/pulsebeat promises one makes because the chance, the easy new, is there in front of you. But still, perfection takes some sacrifice of falling stars for rare. And there are stars, but none of you, to spare.
Samantha Pinto reads Wallace Steven's "Le Monocle de Mon Oncle"
VIII. Like a dull scholar, I behold, in love, An ancient aspect touching a new mind. It comes, it blooms, it bears its fruit and dies. This trivial trope reveals a way of truth. Our bloom is gone. We are the fruit thereof. Two golden gourds distended on our vines, Into the autumn weather, splashed with frost, Distorted by hale fatness, turned grotesque. We hang like warty squashes, streaked and rayed, The laughing sky will see the two of us Washed into rinds by rotting winter winds. XI. If sex were all, then every trembling hand Could make us squeak, like dolls, the wished-for words. But note the unconscionable treachery of fate, That makes us weep, laugh, grunt and groan, and shout Doleful heroics, pinching gestures forth From madness or delight, without regard To that first, foremost law. Anguishing hour! Last night, we sat beside a pool of pink, Clippered with lilies scudding the bright chromes, Keen to the point of starlight, while a frog Boomed from his very belly odious chords. XII. A blue pigeon it is, that circles the blue sky, On sidelong wing, around and round and round. A white pigeon it is, that flutters to the ground, Grown tired of flight. Like a dark rabbi, I Observed, when young, the nature of mankind, In lordly study. Every day, I found Man proved a gobbet in my mincing world. Like a rose rabbi, later, I pursued, And still pursue, the origin and course Of love, but until now I never knew That fluttering things have so distinct a shade.
Among us today we have four generations of family. Like Philip and Emily, Ariel and Joana Rudiakov are among the newest generation to be married. In celebrating family nuptials with performance, Ariel continues in the long-standing tradition of his late father, Michael.
Marriage symbolizes the intimate sharing of two lives. It must not diminish; rather, it should enhance the individuality of each partner. Deep knowledge of another is not something that can be achieved in a short time, and real understanding of the other's feelings can only fully develop with years of intimacy. This wonderful knowledge of another person grows out of caring for the other so much that one wants to understand as completely as possible what the other is feeling. Thus, it is possible to share not only joy and success, but also the burden of sorrows and failures.
Through marriage we give ourselves in love, but we do not give ourselves away. A good and balanced relationship is one in which neither person is overpowered nor absorbed by the other. Thus, by the tension between separateness and union, love, whose incredible strength is matched only by its incredible delicacy, is born and reborn.
We are here today, then, to celebrate the love which Philip and Emily have for each other, and to recognize-to witness-their decision to commit to each other totally and permanently.
I, Philip, take you, Emily, to be no other than yourself loving what I know of you trusting what I do not yet know with respect for your integrity and faith in your love for me through all our years and in all that life may bring us. I, Emily, take you, Philip, to be no other than yourself loving what I know of you trusting what I do not yet know with respect for your integrity and faith in your love for me through all our years and in all that life may bring us.
Philip and Emily have asked you to be here this afternoon to share this celebration, because each of you has given something of yourselves into their lives. Your friendship, guidance, support, encouragement and love will forever be appreciated and will continue to be an important part of their lives.
Please join me in asking the couple to commit to one another in marriage.
Assembled: Philip, do you take Emily to be your wife, And in doing so commit your life to her, Encompassing all sorrows and joys, All hardships and triumphs, and All the experiences of life? Philip: I do. Assembled: Emily, do you take Philip to be your husband, And in doing so commit your life to him, Encompassing all sorrows and joys, All hardships and triumphs, and All the experiences of life? Emily: I do.
(Could we have the rings, please?)
(While putting the ring on your partner) With this ring I marry you and join my life with yours.
As Philip and Emily have solemnly declared to each other and to these witnesses their intention to take each other as husband and wife, by the power vested in me by the State of New York, I now declare that they are married.
You may kiss one another.