We got married for the ‘second’ time, ten days after our first ceremony in Florence, on June 21st 1998. My parents were keen to celebrate Simon and I getting married back at home in the UK with family and friends. We were reluctant at first, neither of us wanted a religious ceremony as it seemed hypocritical. However, we came across the Humanist service which much more suited our needs and beliefs. We designed the day ourselves, read poems and lit three candles which represented us both as individuals and thirdly as one. We had a marquee erected on the lawn at The Barnhouse where my parents lived and filled it with lots of good food, fine wine and our dearest family and friends. Back then, this service wasn’t a lawful method of marriage, but just recently I read that a couple had fought for their Humanist marriage to be legal and binding just like any other marriage ceremony which is wonderful and a real option for those who don’t really sign up to the more traditional format of marriage. For me, it was more magical than the first (if that was possible).
Since then I’ve been to a Humanist naming ceremony which replicates a christening and two Humanist funerals where loving family members were remembered by those left behind in a positive and upbeat way. Humanists believe in the here and now and that we are shaped by the world around us.
Here is a poem Simon read to me on our very special day.
A DEDICATION TO MY WIFE
by T.S. Eliot
To whom I owe the leaping delight
That quickens my senses in our wakingtime
And the rhythm that governs the repose of our sleepingtime,
the breathing in unison.
Of lovers whose bodies smell of each other
Who think the same thoughts without need of speech,
And babble the same speech without need of meaning…
No peevish winter wind shall chill
No sullen tropic sun shall wither
The roses in the rose-garden which is ours and ours only
But this dedication is for others to read: These are private words addressed to you in public.