Ring exchange ceremony written by Kirk P.
" Marriage, at its core, connects two people in a steadfast, lasting way. An easy analogy is that of a rope, connecting the two things at its ends. After all, “tying the knot” is a well-known metaphor for marriage.
In the making of a rope, as in a relationship, many small, relatively weak connecting fibers are combed and spun into slightly stronger yarns. Multiple yarns are twisted together into even stronger strands, and finally, strands are twisted together, creating a strong, flexible rope.
The strength of a rope comes from its arduous construction, but in the traditional world of square-rigged sailing ships, where rope is made with natural plant fibers, its longevity comes from the care it receives while in service as a “line.”
An old, nautical rhyme goes “Worm and Parcel with the Lay, Turn and Serve the Other Way.” A large, important line, like a main-stay, would be “wormed, parceled and served”: smaller pieces of rope would be used to fill in water-trapping gaps between the strands, then it would be covered with water-shedding canvas and tar, and finally wrapped tightly with smaller cord (in the reverse direction) to create a strong, waterproof and chafe-proof cable that could last the lifetime of the ship.
So, too, in a loving relationship, the connection symbolized with a rope requires care and protection to remain strong. The gaps, not required for strength but if left empty can allow decay to begin, need to be filled with “small-stuff”, the brief, day-to-day expressions of affection that often go unnoticed. The outer covering of trust protects against environmental intrusions that can cause disruption, uncertainty, and doubt. And finally the wrapping, or “service”, which in a happy accident of homonyms, represents the need for each person to serve the other, putting the other’s needs above their own.
These rings, made in the form of nautical line, symbolize your commitment to each other and the lasting strength of your connection.
Groom/Bride, as you place the ring on bride/groom's finger, please repeat after me:
Give you, groom/bride,
this ring as a symbol of my commitment to you,
as powerful and endless as the sea."