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Friday, February 8, 2013

A wedding story about a FIRST ULC wedding

I must share with you about my first wedding ceremony performed in Dripping Springs, TX on Sept. 29th. 2012. 

Everything went so well (even though there was a downpour and we had to rush indoors) and I enjoyed my very first attempt at this so much.  I wrote the whole thing myself, taking words from your book and others. The outline you provided was so helpful.  The only thing I forgot to do was tell the guest that they can be seated.  I didn't even realize I forgot that and I heard they stood for a short while then sat down in spurts.  Ugh!

 It was so crowded all around me, from having to move indoors, that I couldn't see the guests that were blocked by the bride and groom. 

A lesson learned and one I will never forget.  Thanks, Amy for wonderful directions and information.  I enjoyed the whole experience so much.

Rev. Kilpatrick

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Feedback on my first wedding veremony


Amy,

I wanted to write and let you know about my first ceremony experience.

First of all, thank you for ULC for the extra assistance in getting proper documents for Clark County, Nevada. I think, since weddings are a major part of Las vegas's income, they make it especially hard on out of state ministers, but your "kit" was perfect and quickly accepted.

This was my first wedding ever and, to add extra emotions to it, my own daughter. The materials you have on the ULC website as well as my own internet searches were invaluable. The kids are now particularly religious and so I designed a more secular ceremony, taking into account the area of the country. I used a blend of traditions, from Scotland < using a Scottish Quaich but with a beer they had both brewed > for a Unity piece and a Apache life blessing.

My eyes did tear up when I got to the "I now pronounce you….." section, but I got through it all with a father's love and hopes for his kids.

Thank you again for all the support you furnish for us fledgling ministers.


John





Thursday, May 3, 2012

Bubble Blessing

Dear Amy,
 
Thank you so much for you work, the website and your wonderful books. I purchased several but yours are the only ones I actually use along with the copy on disk which makes it all so easy! Here is a nice Blessing some couples choose for the end of their ceremony instead of or in addition to a Unity candle. It works very nicely in ceremonies where there are young children as it is a good way to get them involved with something they will enjoy participating in too, I mention their names with the Bride and Groom's to include them. I usually follow it with the "Love Has Given You Wings"  part after this and before the Pronouncement. Anyway here it is, I hope you like it and want to include it in your book.
 
Bubble Blessing
 
______ and _______ would like you all to open up your bottle of bubbles now and ask everyone gathered here today to join in extending to them your love and support by taking a moment to believe in magic.  Please focus on  your wish for their relationship to flourish and grow throughout a long and happy life together. So join me now in taking a moment to blow your bubbles out to the Universe and ask that this marriage be blessed and sacred throughout their lives. Please take a deep breath now and send your wishes, blessings and prayers  out for _______ and ________as you send your bubbles out into this beautiful summer day.
 
--Rev. Susan Selene
 
 
Thanks again Amy, you have really helped me so much.
 
Good luck to you and Blessings,
 
Susan Selene

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The Universal Life Church is a comprehensive online seminary where we have classes in ChristianityPaganism, two courses in Metaphysics and much more.

The Universal Life Church offers handfasting ceremonies, funeral ceremonies and free minister training.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Butterfly Release

Dear Amy,
Recently I officiated a wedding where the couple had a butterfly release at the end of the ceremony. The words I read during the release were taken from someone else and found online. However, just prior to the moment that the guests were told to release their butterflies, I spoke a few words that I'd been inspired to share with them. If you want to include them in your wedding ceremony book, I would be honored.

for use just prior to a Butterfly Release, while the guests and bridal party are still attentive to the Officiant's voice:
 
"You may not remember the words spoken here today; you may not remember the colors of the flowers; you may not remember the music you dance to this evening…
 
None of us may remember how long the butterflies linger. But, in addition to the joy on the faces of these two beloved people, there is one thing I will remember…
 
If a butterfly lands on the palm of my hand… I can not hold onto that butterfly. If I try to hold it, it will be crushed. If I keep my hand open, it will be safe… Just like our relationships… the butterfly needs to be free…"
[Rev. Frieda N. Hughes]

Then I instructed them to release the butterflies as they listened to a poem about the symbology of the butterflies, and also told the author's name. i.e. "As we listen to these words written by poet _______ ________, please release your butterflies."

Respectfully submitted,
Rev. Frieda New Hughes

*******************************

As a long time member of ULC, Rev. Long created the seminary site to help train our ministers. We also have a huge selection of Universal Life Church  minister supplies. Since being ordained with the Universal Life Church for so many years and it's Seminary since the beginning, I've watch the huge change and growth that has continued to happen.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Funny Wedding Vows

If you're getting married and you want to share your humorous side, you might consider using some funny wedding vows. For example, perhaps you could use the traditional vows, but include a line such as "I promise to always make your "favorite banana milkshake," or "I vow to split the difference on the thermostat," as Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston did when they married. Or, if you really want to make your guests laugh, consider writing a complete set of funny wedding vows, such as these inspired by Dr. Seuss.

Marty Blase, the author of these vows, writes: "My fiancee and I agreed a long time ago that we wanted to write our own wedding vows, and as a spur-of-the-moment idea, I suggested the following. To my disappointment, she didn't quite go for it..."

Pastor: Will you answer me right now
These questions, as your wedding vow?

Groom: Yes, I will answer right now
Your questions as my wedding vow.

Pastor: Will you take her as your wife?
Will you love her all your life?

Groom: Yes, I take her as my wife,
Yes, I'll love her all my life.

Pastor: Will you have, and also hold
Just as you have at this time told?

Groom: Yes, I will have, and I will hold,
Just as I have at this time told,
Yes, I will love her all my life
As I now take her as my wife.

Pastor: Will you love through good and bad?
Whether you're happy or sad?

Groom: Yes, I'll love through good and bad,
Whether we're happy or sad,
Yes, I will have and I will hold
Just as I have already told,
Yes, I will love her all my life,
Yes, I will take her as my wife!

Pastor: Will you love her if you're rich?
Or if you're poor, and in a ditch?

Groom: Yes, I'll love her if we're rich,
And I will love her in a ditch,
I'll love her through good times and bad,
Whether we are happy or sad,
Yes, I will have, and I will hold
(I could have sworn this has been told!)
I promise to love all my life
This woman, as my lawful wife!

Pastor: Will you love her when you're fit,
And also when you're feeling sick?

Groom: Yes, I'll love her when we're fit,
And when we're hurt, and when we're sick,
And I will love her when we're rich
And I will love her in a ditch
And I will love through good and bad,
And I will love when glad or sad,
And I will have, and I will hold
Ten years from now a thousandfold,
Yes, I will love for my whole life
This lovely woman as my wife!

Pastor: Will you love with all your heart?
Will you love till death you part?

Groom: Yes, I'll love with all my heart
From now until death do us part,
And I will love her when we're rich,
And when we're broke and in a ditch,
And when we're fit, and when we're sick,
(Oh, CAN'T we get this finished quick?)
And I will love through good and bad,
And I will love when glad or sad,
And I will have, and I will hold,
And if I might now be so bold,
I'll love her my entire life,
Yes, I WILL take her as my wife!

Pastor: Then if you'll take her as your wife,
And if you'll love her all your life,
And if you'll have, and if you'll hold,
From now until the stars grow cold,
And if you'll love through good and bad,
And whether you're happy or sad,
And love in sickness, and in health,
And when you're poor, and when in wealth,
And if you'll love with all your heart,
From now until death do you part,
Yes, if you'll love her through and through,
Please answer with these words:

Pastor and Groom: I DO!

Pastor: You're married now! So kiss the bride,
But please, do keep it dignified.

********************

The Universal Life Church offers handfasting ceremonies, funeral ceremonies and free minister training.

As a long time member of ULC, Rev. Long created the seminary site to help train our ministers. We also have a huge catalog of Universal Life Church materials.  I've been ordained with the Universal Life Church for many years and it's Seminary since the beginning and have loved watching the continual growth of the seminary.
Try our new free toolbar at: ULC Toolbar

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Seven Blessings Wedding Ceremony

Seven Blessings

We would like to credit and thank the Swedenborgian Church of San Francisco for this collection of readings. It is a beautiful place to be married, and welcomes all faith traditions.


Person One: May the power of your love bring you health and well-being throughout your lives. (Amen)

Person Two: May you have wisdom in the ordering of your common life that you may each be to the other a strength in need, a counselor in perplexity, and a companion in joy. (Amen)

Person Three: May you have the grace, when you hurt each other, to recognize your faults, and to seek each other's forgiveness. (Amen)

Person Four: May your life together be a vessel of divine love and a symbol of peace to our struggling world, that unity may overcome estrangement, forgiveness heal guild, and joy conquer despair. (Amen)

Person Five: May you be ever thoughtful and gentle, patient and forbearing, regardful of each other's feelings and opinions, and lenient to each other's infirmities. (Amen)

Person Six: Despite whatever challenges and struggles lie upon your relationship's path, may you always find life good and worth celebrating. (Amen)

Person Seven: May you discover such deep fulfillment of your mutual affection that you may always be inspired to reach out in love and concern for others. (Amen)

*******************************
The Universal Life Church is a comprehensive online seminary where we have classes in Christianity, Wicca, Paganism, two courses in Metaphysics and much more. I have been a proud member of the ULC for many years and the Seminary since its inception.
The Universal Life Church offers handfasting ceremonies, funeral ceremonies and free minister training.
As a long time member of ULC, Rev. Long created the seminary site to help train our ministers. We also have a huge selection of Universal Life Church  minister supplies. Since being ordained with the Universal Life Church for so many years and it's Seminary since the beginning, I've watch the huge change and growth that has continued to happen.
Try our new free toolbar at: ULC Toolbar

Friday, March 25, 2011

Commitment Ceremony

Welcome and Call to the Celebration
Welcome, you have all come today to witness and celebrate the drawing together of two separate lives. This may be the first ceremony of this type you have participated in or witnessed, or it may not, but its purpose and its heart is quite simple even as it is profound. We have come to that ________ and ________ may celebrate and consecrate their spiritual union. It is by their love and that of their Higher Power that they will be united here today. And they wish to celebrate this passage in the presence of your love and support and to share their joy in each other with you, their family and their friends.

The Vision
Love is perhaps the most profound experience that we can have. The sensual part of love is one of life's greatest joys, and when this is combined with real friendship, both are infinitely enhanced. The day-to-day companionship, the pleasure in doing things together, or in doing separate things but delighting to exchange experiences, is a continuous and central joy that those in love share together.

Deep knowledge of another is not something that can be achieved in a short time, and real understanding of the other's feelings can develop fully only with years of intimacy. This wonderful knowledge of another person grows out of truly 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 joys and successes, but also the burden of sorrows and failures. To be known in this way is a priceless thing, because such understanding and acceptance makes it easier to live with profound intimacy, it can and must also enhance the individual strength of each of the partners. We must give ourselves in love, but we must not give ourselves away.

_____________________ and ___________________, your union offers you the highest and most intimate experience of love that we know. A growing bond of affection, trust and mutual concern can bring you into a fuller life than either of you could achieve alone. As you share with each other your individual differences, your life together can become richer, more complete, and more spiritually satisfying. A union in such a sense will entail a uniting on all the levels of your being: body and mind, heart and spirit. Then, the longer that your are together, the more you grow and develop together, the deeper will be your lives together in union.
Even now, love is calling for the best qualities deep within each of you, seeking to break down barriers of fear, selfishness, or anything that would keep you apart. This love opens a way of understanding and sensitivity and courage, enabling you to be more responsive to the desires and the needs of one another.

Remember always that love, loyalty, and trust are the foundations of a lasting and happy union. As you strive to fulfill the commitment that you declare to one another here, you life together can be increasingly full of joy, satisfaction, and peace. I pray that you will hold fast to the vision and the promise of this special day.

Declaration of Intention
Minister to the couple individually:_______, do you take _____ as your partner in life, promising to tenderly care for him/her, to respect his/her individuality, to cherish him/her as he/she is, to love him/her with fidelity? (I do)

Commitment Vows
(Each repeating)  I, ______, take you, ______, to be my beloved partner in life, to stand behind, beside and with you always, in times of celebration and in times of sorrow, in times of joy and in times of pain, in times of sickness and in times of health. I will live with you, love and cherish you as long as we both shall live.

Exchange of Rings
(Each repeating) In giving you this ring, I join my life with yours, and pledge my everlasting love.

Lighting of the Unity Candle
______ and ________, these two candles now lit before you symbolize each of you in your individual uniqueness. The larger candle, still unlit, is to symbolize the power and the vision of your union together. Each of you has brought to this moment a wealth of personality, of background, of experience and of strengths and weaknesses. And you each bring all of these to your union. You will be lighting a new light together, using the fire that each of you brings to this place and this decision. But do not extinguish your individual lights, lest there be less light and warmth. May these flames burn brightly and the warmth of your love for each other and for others be all the greater.

Prayer and the Seven Blessings
O God, may the miracle of your love bless ___________'s and _________'s union. Give them the willingness and patience to fulfill their commitments to one another and fill them with freedom and happiness. Grant them the serenity to accept the things that they cannot change, courage to change the things they can, and the wisdom to know the difference. Amen.

All of you will be an important part of _____________'s and ____________'s life together and for that reason representative friends and family members have been asked to offer them a blessing. A blessing is created from the heart, comes with our love and support, and is given over to our Higher Power as a sacred gesture. The seven will now each offer a blessing, and our part will be to say Amen after each blessing:

Person One: May the power of your love bring you health and wellbeing throughout your lives. (Amen)

Person Two: May have wisdom in the ordering of your common life that you may each be to the other a strength in need, a counselor in perplexity, and a companion in joy. (Amen)

Person Three: May you have the grace, when you hurt each other, to recognize your faults, and to seek each other's forgiveness. (Amen)

Person Four: May your life together be a vessel of divine love and a symbol of peace to our struggling world, that unity may overcome estrangement, forgiveness heal guild, and joy conquer despair (Amen)

Person Five: May you be ever thoughtful and gentle, patient and forbearing, regardful of each other's feelings and opinions, and lenient to each other's infirmities. (Amen)

Person Six: Despite whatever challenges and struggles lie upon yourrelationship's path, may you always find life good and worth celebrating. (Amen)

Person Seven: May you discover such deep fulfillment of your mutual affection that you may always be inspired to reach out in love and concern for others. (Amen)

Presentation to Guests
_______ and ______ will turn to each of you for support, love and guidance in the years to come. Will each of you do all that is in your power to encourage _______ and ________ in their commitment and to support them in the promises that they make here today ---- if so, please indicate by saying, "We will." (We will)

Pronouncement
With the promises they have made to one another, and by the power of their love which comes through their Higher Power, ______ and _______ have been joined in a spiritual union. They are now partners sharing one life from this day forward.

Final Blessing
I will leave you now with a blessing from the Apache tribal tradition, which says:
Now you will feel no rain,
For each of you will be shelter to the other.
Now you will feel no cold,
for each of you will be warmth to the other.
Now you will feel no loneliness,
for each of you will be companionship to the other.
Now you are two persons, but there is one life between you.
So go now to your dwelling place
to enter into the days of your life together.
And may your days be good and long upon the earth. Amen
*******************************
The Universal Life Church is a comprehensive online seminary where we have classes in Christianity, Wicca, Paganism, two courses in Metaphysics and much more. I have been a proud member of the ULC for many years and the Seminary since its inception.
The Universal Life Church offers handfasting ceremonies, funeral ceremonies and free minister training.
As a long time member of ULC, Rev. Long created the seminary site to help train our ministers. We also have a huge selection of Universal Life Church  minister supplies. Since being ordained with the Universal Life Church for so many years and it's Seminary since the beginning, I've watch the huge change and growth that has continued to happen.
Try our new free toolbar at: ULC Toolbar

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Funny Wedding Vows

"I promise to make your favorite fruit smoothies on Sundays."
~~~~~~
As Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston promised each other, "I vow to split the difference on the thermostat."
~~~~~~
Groom: I, (Name), choose you, (Name), to be my wife. In front of our friends and family gathered here I promise to love and cherish you throughout the good times and bad times. I promise to try to remember to put put my dirty clothes in the hamper and to replace the toilet paper roll when it's empty. I promise to remember this day with love and roses. I will love you always.
Bride: I, (Name), choose you, (Name), to by my husband. In front of our friends and family, I promise to love and cherish you through every obstacle that may come into our path. I promise to learn how to check the oil in my car and how to roll up a garden hose. I will comfort you when your team loses and drink beer with you when they win. I will love you always.
~~~~~~

*******************************
The Universal Life Church is a comprehensive online seminary where we have classes in Christianity, Wicca, Paganism, two courses in Metaphysics and much more. I have been a proud member of the ULC for many years and the Seminary since its inception.
The Universal Life Church offers handfasting ceremonies, funeral ceremonies and free minister training
 
As a long time member of ULC, Rev. Long created the seminary site to help train our ministers. We also have a huge selection of Universal Life Church  minister supplies. Since being ordained with the Universal Life Church for so many years and it's Seminary since the beginning, I've watch the huge change and growth that has continued to happen.
 
Try our new free toolbar at: ULC Toolbar

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Universal LIfe Church - What's the real ULC?

The Universal Life Church was founded during 1959, in Modesto, CA by Kirby Hensley. In order for the freedom of religion to stay protected, Kirby felt it must be asserted. Kirby promised to ordain all who asked, free of charge, no questions asked.

There have always been those of much more traditional Big Dog churches, who complained incessantly that to become a reverend, 1 must have years of training, be approved by a committee as well as comply with strict doctrinal standards. Naturally, those same people had no response after it was brought to their attention that Peter and Paul and the rest of the disciples received no seminary training. What is conveniently ignored by the same group are the increasing headlines regarding approved and trained priests who've been caught in acts of unbelievable abuse to children under their pastoral care. Due to such roadblocks, many good people have stayed away from their ministry.
Many other churches still bar women from preaching, even in the 21st century!

Becoming ordained ought to be a personal decision, between you and The Supreme Being (or just you and yourself), so Kirby established the Universal Life Church to make that happen. Fairly quickly, the Universal Life Church, as it was known worldwide, has evolved and expanded in popularity and size. The church has become well-known and established over the years, enough that many well-known proudly proclaim their membership, as well as having the ULC be used as part of the plot on numerous television shows. When people talk about the Universal Life Church, it is the original Modesto headquarters that people are talking about.

Sadly, but not surprisingly, that level of notoriety continues to attract multiple con artists who make use of the good name of the ULC to try and line their own pockets. 
Like the scammers who sell fake Rolex watches calling them "Romex", these charlatans created spin-offs using similar- sounding names, some of them even utilizing the name from the original church, but attaching other words like "network" or "monastery".  It never occurred to Kirby that people would do such dishonest things or how easily it could be done over the internet so he never trademarked the name Universal Life Church and even suggested the use of the name by new congregations, expecting them to use it honestly. If he'd have foreseen how vulnerable that would leave the ULC and how frequently the dishonesty would continue to happen on the internet, Im certain he wouldve taken steps to head this off.

Using UPS maildrops or operating out of trailer parks (which can be confirmed using google maps), these fakers not only are claiming they belong to the ULC, but that they ARE the original Universal Life Church. Using all types of tricks and word games to garner some Google-love, some have even managed to climb well up in the search engine listings, which have resulted in tons of ministers who assume they've been ordained by the Universal Life Church of Modesto, but who had been really dealing with 1 of these unscrupulous groups.

Making matters worse, the truth seems to have taken on a different meaning for these radical groups. They tell ministers that they must buy credentials in order to be legal. That, naturally, is only a partial truth. Only a small number of states require you to show a credential and thats ONLY should you want to perform a wedding. The majority of states require nothing. It's certainly not required for anything except for conducting a wedding. Authentic ULC sites know this and wouldnt dream of pressuring you to order anything. In fact, authentic ULC sites give a great deal of stuff away at no cost.

One much-complained-about scammer pushes people to purchase credentials and letters of good standing as requirements both for ordination through his Exclusive Christian-only site, and because he claims it is legally needed to conduct ceremonies in all states. The number of states that require the letter is very small and Modesto will send the letters free of cost. The only exceptions are for the few states that require a notarized letter there is then a fee for the notary.

Currently, the ULC has two official websites. Established during 1997, ulc.net is the oldest active authorized website for the church. It provides an online application for ordination, an active forum, a directory of ministers and congregations (listing with the directory is optional), a reading library, support desk, prayer request page and an online bookstore in which ministers are able to find ceremony books and additional items to help them with their ministry. There's even an online confessional. The other official site is that of the administrative headquarters office, which is still located in Modesto, California. It may be found at ulchq.com. The ULC Seminary is another respected site and also offers various items of interest to ULC ministers, and is affiliated with the true church in Modesto Its a well-established and respected site. With both the Bookstore and the Seminary, the advice is free and they are there to answer their phones and offer support.

Be cautious of any othe sites. There are some additional honest sites, created by ULC ministers, but any other site that claims to really BE the Universal Life Church is attempting to lead you astray. If it did happen that you inadvertently went to 1 of the other sites, be kind to yourself about it. Youre far from the first theyve deceived and they make it their business to do it.

You are able to easily verify the truth for yourself. Corporate records are available to the public so you can verify any which claim to BE the Universal Life Church. Find the state out of which they operate then look at the Secretary of States records. If you look at the records in CA, youll find the original Universal Life Church was incorporated during 1962 as being a non-profit. (While the ULC did begin operations in 1959, Kirby didnt incorporate until 1962.) Youll find that the spin-offs only started up a few years ago, if the others can be found at all. If anyone tells you that you must buy merchandise in order

The Universal Life Church has opened the way for many to become ordained and to follow their dreams and are pleased that so many others have taken up the torch to assure that same freedom. Hundreds of churches today began to model their ordination processes after the ULC, which has been great to see. Real ULC Churches support the ideal of doing that which is right, and will clearly and honestly state their intentions and mission as well as doing what they can to distinguish themselves. But there will remain people who find it easier to simply lift a well-known name, knowing that many individuals will never bother to check into it --At least not until it's too late, and they have been separated from their money!

Please do your homework. Seek ordination from a reputable source and find the site which make you feel good to visit it.

Kevin Andrews invites individuals to become a minister through his authorized ULC site. Amy Long also runs a legitimate Universal Life Church site, which is affiliated with ULC Headquarters in Modesto, CA.


 
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The Universal Life Church is a comprehensive online seminary where we have classes in Christianity, Wicca, Paganism, two courses in Metaphysics and much more. I have been a proud member of the ULC for many years and the Seminary since its inception.

The Universal Life Church offers handfasting ceremonies, funeral ceremonies and free minister training.
As a long time member of ULC, Rev. Long created the seminary site to help train our ministers. We also have a huge selection of Universal Life Church  minister supplies. Since being ordained with the Universal Life Church for so many years and it's Seminary since the beginning, I've watch the huge change and growth that has continued to happen.
Try our new free toolbar at: ULC Toolbar

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Coin Ceremony


The Coin Ceremony
The groom gives the bride 13 coins, or arrhae, blessed by the Minister, as a sign of his dedication to his wife's well being and the welfare of their future children. Either an attendant or an especially designated extra member of the wedding party carries the coins. After the ring exchange, the Groom is given the coins, which he then gives to the Bride. The Bride gives them in turn to her Maid of Honor. The symbolism, which may be explained by the wedding celebrant, is that the Groom recognizes his responsibility as a provider.

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The Universal Life Church offers handfasting ceremonies, funeral ceremonies and free minister training  As a long time member of ULC, Rev. Long created the seminary site to help train our ministers. We also have a huge catalog of Universal Life Church materials.  I've been ordained with the Universal Life Church for many years and it's Seminary since the beginning and have loved watching the continual growth of the seminary. Try our new free toolbar at: ULC Toolbar.