Buddhist Wedding Ceremony: An Alternative Approach

Buddhist wedding

Some time ago I was asked by a couple to conduct a “Buddhist” ceremony. Inverted commas because I am not a monk. So this is less a theme wedding than an alternative approach – which is the hallmark of civil celebrancy. It also demonstrates again the eclectic nature of the ceremonies that I do. As I make selections from this Buddhist Wedding Address I wonder where same-sex love fits. It’s on my mind. I suppose that when this issue is resolved, for us all, it will come down to what an individual couple will want to express as their definition of marriage – within the new guidelines.

Buddhist Wedding Address

Marriage is perhaps the most important ceremony of life, because … upon the success of this partnership depends the ability of both husband and wife to give to this world their full creative value as human beings. Through their united resolve before the Gohonzon to create a wonderfully harmonious, yet essentially progressive unit of society … they draw out from each other the Three Poisons of Anger, Greed, and Stupidity, which might otherwise afflict their family life with misery…they are able to send out waves of peace and friendship, not only to the community which immediately surrounds them, but the whole country and the whole world.

In the Gosho “Letter to the Brothers”, Nichiren Daishonin wrote: “When a husband is happy, his wife will be fulfilled. If a husband is a thief, his wife will become one too… if grass withers; orchids grieve, if pine trees flourish, oaks rejoice.”

The relationship between husband and wife is the foundation of society because not only do they have it in their power to bring fresh new lives into this world, but also their home and family should be, in the words of our Buddhist teacher, “an open fortress of faith”, which is invincible to attack from the outside, yet is open to all who approach in friendship or with seeking minds, a firm base of faith anchored in the great Middle Way of the Gohonzon  founded upon trust, from which the family can go forth daily into society, shining with the vital energy, wisdom and compassion which arises from the universal life – force flowing through their lives.

I wish you happiness and fulfilment throughout your lives together and ask you both, before the Gohonzon, never to neglect your daily practice and joyful activities for the future peace and happiness of your family, your friends, and the whole world, basing your lives always on the teachings of Nichiren Daishonin, the Buddha of the true cause.

In the words of the Gosho called “ Earthly Desires and Enlightenment”, “ … work together like the sun and the moon, a pair of eyes, or the two wings of a bird. With the sun and the moon, how can you fall into the paths of darkness? With a pair of eyes, how can you fail to behold the faces of Shakyamuni, Taho and all the other Buddhas of the universe? With a pair of wings, you will surely be able to fly in an instant to the Buddha land of eternal happiness.”

One response to “Buddhist Wedding Ceremony: An Alternative Approach”

  1. Melbourne Celebrant says:

    The ritual of Buddhist wedding is very promising. The ritual vow creates a strong bond in the relationship of husband and wife; They will be committed to each other. Yeah you are right, they work together like the sun and the moon, a pair of eyes, or the two wings of a bird. The comparison is really veritable. Keep up the good work "Susan Artup" 🙂

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