zen wedding components

zen wedding components

Bev Forsman is a Dharma transmitted, Soto Zen priest, authorized to officiate Zen Buddhist weddings. If you are a practitioner of Zen, feel free to inquire.

This order of service is a beautifully expressed Zen Buddhist wedding ceremony. The gray components are additional Buddhist expressions. Mixed in are a few traditional Western traditions.

The order of events can change, and all portions are optional except the two highlighted in bold. These are the only portions required to make the marriage legal and binding.

Be mindful of the length of your wedding ceremony: 20–25 minutes is ideal for your guests. More than 30 minutes and your guests may begin squirming.

  • Music / Prelude
  • Processional
  • Incense Offering by Officiant
  • Invocation
  • Recitation of The Heart Sutra
  • Incense Offering by the Engaged Couple
  • Lighting of Candle by the Engaged Couple
  • Opening Statement
  • Water Purification
  • Recitation of The Formless Admission
  • Recitation of The Pure Precepts
    In the presence of all beings…
    I vow to live in enlightenment,
    I vow to practice non-injury,
    I vow to live for the benefit of all.
  • Recitation of the Ten Grave Precepts
  • Readings
  • Exchange of Vows
    Vows the you make to each other expressing your love. These are NOT legally binding, but are promises (witnessed by family/friends) that help to enrich your relationship
  • Declaration of Intent (Vows)
    The “I do” portion
  • Exchange of Rings
  • Sand Ceremony, Candle Ceremony, Knot Ceremony, Flower Ceremony, etc.
  • Pronouncement of Marriage
  • Officiant’s Remarks
  • Kiss
  • Closing Words / Final Dedication
    In this world of Emptiness,
    Nothing surpasses the boundless mind,
    Thus we bow to Buddha.
  • Presentation
  • Recessional

Additional requirements: signed* and dated documents mailed to the county where the license was issued.
*signed by the married couple, their witnesses, and the officiant.