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The Marriage Vessel and the Rose



The Marriage Vessel and the Rose ceremony may be used as an alternative to the Unity Candle, especially for outdoor weddings. You will need a table for the vessel and the rose. Filling the vessel with water is only necessary if you use the second version. The Officiant begins by explaining the significance of the ceremony. 

(Officiant says):

(Groom) _______________ and (Bride) _______________ have chosen to share two gifts, The Marriage Vessel and the Rose, to symbolize their ever-growing lifelong commitment to each other. The spiritual roots of The Marriage Vessel and the Rose grow out of an understanding of God as the Potter, or Creator of life (holding up the vessel), and God as the Gardener, or Sustainer of life (holding up the rose). The vessel of clay, lovingly shaped by the Potter, is a symbol of love's strength and endurance. Likewise, the rose, born of the tiniest of seeds, symbolizes the beauty and the potential of growing in love throughout life together. The miracle of the vessel is that it not only protects, but is enriched by that which it holds, the rose. Both the vessel and the rose are individually unique, yet when combined, they create an object of even greater beauty. 

(Following are two popular versions of The Marriage Vessel and the Rose)

     First Version

(The Groom presents the rose to the Bride and says):

(Bride) _______________, this rose represents the beauty I see in you. / I thank you for the person you are / and the person I am becoming / because of your love for me. 

(The Bride presents the vessel to the Groom and says):

(Groom) _______________, this vessel represents the strength I see in you. / I thank you for the love and care you have given me, / and for all we will share together in this life. 

(The Bride then places the rose in the vessel; the Bride and Groom hold it together while the Officiant says):

As your gifts bring beauty and purpose to each other, may your lives continue to enrich and strengthen one another. 

(The Officiant says): 

(Groom) _______________ and (Groom) _______________, as you share each passing day, and as your days become years, remember this tradition you have created. On each wedding anniversary, place on additional rose in the marriage vessel to symbolize your ever-growing love for one another. May The Marriage Vessel and the Rose always be a symbol of the beauty and strength you bring to each other's lives. 


     Second Version

(The Groom hands his Bride a long-stemmed rose and says):

(Bride) _______________, take this rose as a symbol of my love. / It began as a tiny bud and blossomed, / just as my love has grown for you. 

(The Bride places the rose into a vessel or vase filled with water and says): 

(Groom) _______________, I take this rose, / a symbol of your love, / and I place it into water, / a symbol of life. / For just as this rose cannot survive without water, / I cannot live without you. 

(The Groom responds by saying):

In remembrance of this day, / I will give you a rose each year on our anniversary / as a reaffirmation of my love / and the vows we have spoken here today. 

(The Bride responds by saying):

And I will refill this vessel with water each year, / ready to receive your gift / in reaffirmation of the new life you have given me / and the vows we have spoken here today. 

(The Bride and Groom join hands around the rose-filled vessel while the Officiant says):

Just as this rose and vessel of water give beauty and life to each other, so may your love blossom and grow throughout your life together. 


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