“Wilt Thou?”


Charlie and I married June 18, 1988 in a Friends (Quaker) Church. The ceremony was very simple with Scripture readings, a period of silence, and our vows. We had been through nearly a year of once weekly meetings with our minister in marriage preparation. Since each of us had a failed marriage behind us, the preparation for this one was intensive. No stone was left unturned as we discussed finances, children, childhood experiences and previous marriages. The theory was that when a conflict arose in our marriage we would have already talked about the topic with another person. This proved true and I credit that time with the success of our marriage. Although we had yet to live together, we had anticipated much of the adjustment to come.

Our vows were set, alleviating us of the responsibility of coming up with some. The first portion was a question directed by the minister to each of us in turn:”___wilt thou have this woman/man to be thy wife/husband, and wilt thou pledge thy faith to him/her, in all love and honor, in all duty and service, in all faith and tenderness, to live with her/him, and cherish her/him, according to the ordinance of God, in the holy bond of marriage?” To which we each replied “I will.” The second we addressed to each other, a phrase at a time: ” I___take you, ___, to be my wedded wife/husband, and I do promise and covenant, before God and these witnesses, to be your loving and faithful husband/wife, in plenty and want, in joy and in sorrow, in sickness and in health, as long as we both shall live.”

A daunting litany of promises spoken before one hundred friends and family. In the Quaker tradition the community actually affirms the marriage with a certificate signed by all in attendance. So a large paper was signed by us and many others and we went downstairs for cake and punch.

What would all those commitments look like over the next 31 years? I will be writing about it in the next posts.


16 thoughts on ““Wilt Thou?”

  1. My husband and I were married by an 84-year-old minister who had been married to his own wife for 60 years. As he discussed wedding details with us in their living room, he would keep emphasizing the importance of compromise. Whereupon he would turn to his wife and say, “Isn’t that right, dear?” They were a delightful couple.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My husband and I looked at each other before our ceremony and agreed that if we did not intend to do this for life, then why bother? Looking forward to reading about your journey.


  3. I wish I could turn back time and go through a year long preparation before marriage myself. My husband and I had to just weather the storms as they came, while realising that we sometimes had completely opposing views despite an initial appearance of agreement. For instance, we might agree on a problem, but differ on the solution. And, being two stubborn people, that never ends well. 😂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s