Paul Michael Reagan, Minister
Barry Paul Chaiken and Angela Rebecca Sfikas
Grand Central Station, New York, NY
January 20, 2018
We stand here today in the iconic Grand Central Station, a place that has brought travelers together for more than 100 years. Under these same constellations above, people have passed through on the way to work, to meet family, to get their first glimpse of one they will grow to love, and yes, even to get married.
Before us today are two travelers, passionate in their quest to explore the world and learn about all its beauty and wonder. They have individually travelled all over the globe making friends in many far-off continents and serving those in need through medical missions and charity work.
Today is the day that this solo travel ends. Beka and Barry have chosen to join efforts in their travels through life, where the future will be one of a pair, a team, traveling together forever. Their marriage is the exclamation point on the love, friendship, and union they created and nourished in their previous years together.
Before I continue with this ceremony, I want to thank both Beka and Barry for bringing us all here today. It is said that those who bring people together and unite divided should be blessed. In happiness we have all come together to witness the marriage of these two individuals, as well as the marriage of many cultures who are here as witnesses. It is said that everyone gets married at a wedding.
Take another glance at those stars above. It is where Estelle and Raymond joyfully look down upon us all, happy for this day. Mama loved Beka very much.
In Port St. Lucie FL, Reverend Daniel and Helen, although sad they cannot join us, are swelling with happiness today and offer their blessing.
While nothing will change after today, everything will change after today. Relationships, and marriage, require much more than love. It demands trust, to know in your hearts that you both want what is best for each other.
It demands dedication, to turn to one another even when it is more comfortable to look elsewhere.
It demands understanding, to stay open to one another’s views and to embrace the inevitable changes as you both grow separately and together.
Lastly, marriage requires a leap into the unknown, to join not knowing what challenges the future may hold for the both of you.
Marriage requires several promises to be witnessed by their community. I will now read a promise and ask each of you to express your commitment to it.
1. Do you vow to always be on the same team and to stand by one another when facing life’s challenges?
2. Do you vow never to take the other for granted and to work constantly to make your relationship better than it was the day before?
3. Do you vow to try every day to make each other happy and to make each other’s lives just a little easier?
4. Do you vow to always share your joy and sorrow with one another?
5. Do you vow to embrace change in your relationship, all the while never doubting your deep love for one another?
Beka and Barry – you have chosen to exchange rings as a visible and tangible symbol of the promises you have just made and the partnership you have created.
Please exchange your rings.
(Reading while you exchange) – Every day for the rest of your lives, every time you wash your hands or reach out to touch each other, these rings will be there to remind you of the great love that you share and of your commitment to the person standing in front of you who loves you just as much as you love them. And, they will be by your side during both sunny and stormy days as you travel together through life.
Before I make this wedding official, I would like to read a Greek wedding blessing.
Gracious God, spirit of life and love, we ask all blessings upon Groom and Bride in their life together.
May they be blessed with patience, to see them through times of tensions or conflict.
May they be blessed with kindness, to enable them to nurture and care for one another in times of pain or sorrow.
May they be blessed with a spirit of play and joyfulness, that they may participate fully in the beauties and pleasures of creation.
May they be blessed, finally, with a knowledge of the ever-flowing presence of love in the world, that they may be channels of this love to one another and to all whom they meet in their life’s journey.
Now, by the power vested in me by the State of New York and City of New York, I hereby pronounce you married.