Wedding Service (portion):
In everything, amidst the chaos, the big wide ocean that is marriage, it’s always the two of you, in your own boat, working harder some days than others, harder some years than other, trying to just keep your boat afloat let alone moving forward in any specific direction. Rowing a boat together may feel like putting together Ikea furniture, a real struggle. There will be plenty of struggles – things you fight about today, you’ll still fight about decades from now it just won’t be as much or as often. When you do fight, don’t say or do things you can’t take back, say “I’m sorry”, FIRST, and mean it. When money is tight and one of you buys something you shouldn’t, when you forget to do what you said you’d do or you’re late for something and the other person is still in the bathroom….or any number of other grievances or annoyances occur, take a breath, a moment, and remember today, look around you, look at all the people who love you, look at each other and the glimmer of love in your eyes. Remember how much you cherish each other, right now, today, then BE KIND to each other, or at least don’t be mean.
Don’t pile up all the wrongs of the past and put them in your boat because you’ll sink if you do. Forgive each other and keep rowing. Remember you are two individuals in one relationship. It takes two people to row your boat, so encourage, support, help each other. You’ll make sacrifices, lots of sacrifices, do it because you want to, not because you have to, because you love each other, because it’s worth it, because they’d do the same for you.
Laugh…a lot! Have fun, play around, don’t be so serious. Buy flowers for each other for no reason, no occasion, just because. Keep rowing through it all, no matter what, you’re in this boat called marriage together and that ocean can produce some pretty rough stuff. Keep rowing and while you are- be kind to each other, no matter what, because she’s the one, he’s the one you cherish the most in this world, today. And in the blink of an eye, decades will go by, and you’ll realize your life, your marriage, is all you’d hoped for – all you’d worked for and all you dreamed of’ – it’s pretty smooth sailing if you just keep rowing – together.
Service for a Cemetery Inurnment prior to Celebration of Life:
A death has occurred and everything is changed by the event.
We are painfully aware that life can never be the same again,
That yesterday is over,
that relationships once rich have ended.
But there is another way to look upon this truth.
If life went on the same without the presence of the our beloved,
We could only conclude that the life we remember
Made no contribution, filled no space, meant nothing.
The fact that Barb left behind a place
That cannot be filled
is a high tribute to her.
Life can be the same after a trinket has been lost,
But never after the loss of a treasure
Welcome. My name is Coral Popowitz, I am honored to be the funeral celebrant today as we gather together to celebrate and remember a lovely woman. A treasure … as a mother, grandmother, sister, niece, aunt, co-worker and friend.
We meet here under these bright blue skies to place the body of Barb in this hallowed ground and to dedicate this space to every beautiful and precious memory associated with her. It is an age-old ritual we perform here, yet a singular experience, for Barb meant so much to each of us who have gathered here. Although Barb’s body may no longer be with us, Barb’s spirit lives on in us so long as memory lasts.
(Pall bearers place urn in ground) In committing her body to this hallowed ground, we do so with deep reverence for that body as the temple, during life, of a unique and beloved personality. We place her in that gentle earth which has been our chief support ever since human beings walked beneath the sun. To all human beings, to all living forms, the soil has ever provided the sustenance that is the stuff of life. To that good earth we now give back the remains of our loved one. Here she will rest in peace.
As we leave this place today, we leave in thanksgiving, not regret, for Barb’s life was full while she was among us. Touched though we have been with sadness, as we consider Barb’s life we are also filled with memories, happy and sad. That she has lived, what she has experienced can never be taken from her or from us. For this we are grateful.
May we go once again into the busyness of our days with renewed faith. May Barb’s memory remain in us and bless our going out and coming in from this day forth.
As we conclude this service and move to gather at the community center for songs and stories of remembrance and love, let us pray…
Dear God of broken hearts. We gather together as a people filled with hurt and questions. Barb is gone too soon, gone before she could complete her journey in this world and we are left with reflections of what was and what we wish could have been. We ask your comforting presence, your guiding hand and your quiet whisper of assurance that Barb has now found peace. That in her heavenly place of rest she has become the traveling nurse she wanted to be, traveled to continue to nurse and care for those she loves, her mom and dad, her sister, her grandson and all those she nursed her on earth. She is reunited with them now. Wrap these wonderful people gathered here today in your loving arms and be with them during our time together here and in the coming hours, days, weeks and months as they turn tears into memories, and memories into gratitude for the life and the treasure of Barb. Amen