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    Officiant Extraordinaire

    Last year, Khol Tightuss and Roxanne Cochard bestowed an amazing honor upon me by asking me to officate their American wedding.  I did, and here's a transcript what was said on Tuesday:

    Thank you to everyone for gathering here today on this momentous occasion.  We’re here to celebrate the union of two extraordinary human beings: Roxanne Astird Cochard and Cole Anthony Titus.

    Our presence in this beautiful valley is the result of these two souls crossing paths three years ago, at which point their formerly separate paths converged and merged into one large, superpath. 

    From the moment they meet on the porch of Cole’s childhood home, beneath towering redwoods and a blue summer sky, Cole and Roxanne clicked. I remember the first day they meet: they talked late into the night, laughing and giggling like little school girls.  I know this because at the time I was living in the sunroom adjacent to the porch, and I was secretly listening to everything they were saying. 

    The spark of love that ignited that day soon expanded into an raging inferno that could not be extinguished by the all water in the Atlantic Ocean, nor suppressed by the six-thousand mile – or if you prefer, 9,600 kilometer – airplane journey that they’ve repeatedly made between Paris and Sebastopol over the course of their long-distance relationship.

    Throughout this period of time, Cole and Roxanne have experienced their share of marvelous adventures which have served to solidify their friendship, trust, and love.  The seeds of their relationship were sown in the fertile soil of West Sonoma County, and the experiences that they have shared together have branched-out across the globe. 

    It didn’t take long for them to realize the joy that came about from being with one another.  Their enthusiasm for traveling together was realized in Northern California: through day trips to bask along the Russian River and Secret Beaches.  They now stand before us today having stepped foot together in four continents.  From snowboarding in Lake Tahoe to the French Alps, from driving to Baja California to hiking across sand dunes in the Sahara Desert – their combined spirit of exploration has proven to be a strong and exceptional force in their relationship.  They’ve crawled through catacombs filled with skulls and bones beneath the world’s most romantic city; they’ve experience a magical trip in Normandy, and they even were in Vietnam together.

    Additionally, Cole and Roxanne have found common ground in the deep appreciation they share for high culture and the performing arts, as demonstrated by attending the Book of Mormon musical in London, as well as seeing world-class bands perform live, such as Iron Maiden in Prague and Bruce Springsteen in Paris. 

    More important than their shared interest in exciting activities is the joint commitment they’ve invested in their relationship; they’ve sacrificed and they’ve taken risks, and they have prevailed. They are living, breathing testaments to power of love.  Roxanne has stood by Cole’s side as he arm-wrestled a midget in Bruges for some reason; courageously, she’s withstood a relentless bout of his horrific flatulence in Morocco, and she’s stayed with him even after she accidentally sipped from a wine bottle containing his tobacco-chew spit.  Ladies and Gentlemen, this is true love. And the marriage of Cole and Roxanne is the best deal America has arranged with the French since the Louisiana Purchase.

    Their future is bright.  It’s filled with countless sunrises and sunsets, full moons and meteor showers, road trips and voyages.  The Maldives is but one of many exotic destinations that they’ll visit as husband and wife to make us jealous of them.  Inevitably, there will also be times of uncertainty and sorrow, but just as they each have helped others overcome adversity, they will find strength in their mutual love and they too shall overcome. 

    And like their parents, if and when the time comes, they will produce wonderful and ingenious offspring that will add value to the world as they have.  They’ve already proven that there is nothing that can stand in their way if they put their hearts and mind into it, for, as the say in France: voulior c’est pouvior – to want is to be able.  Cole and Roxanne will go down in history alongside some the greatest duos to have ever existed, such as Calvin and Hobbes, Frodo and Sam, and Mrs. Piggy and Kermit the Frog. 

    From the bottom of my heart, I thank you for sharing your lives with us; and each person here is blessed to have you as a part of our lives.  Thank God you two have found each other.  Thanks also to your moms and dads and step-parents who have made you and raised you to be some of the finest people we have ever known.  Thanks to your brothers and sisters and friends who have all helped to shape you into the amazing people you have become.  No words can express how proud we are of you. 

    Of those friends of yours here that I know, I’d like to give a shout out to Dawson, Canyon, Stephanie, Marley, Marty, Evan, Adam, Drew, Ryan, Jordon, Migo, Renae, Victoria, Marine, and myself.  To those of you who feel inspired to get married, I am officially ordained, and would be happy to take care of you next; and to Cole’s single male friends, remember: gay marriage is now legal in the state of California.

    That being said, it’s time to bring this home. 

    Do you, Roxanne Astrid Cochard, take Cole Anthony Titus, AKA your “Yankee/Hubbie Wan Kenobie,” to be your lawful wedded husband?

    Do you promise to love and cherish him in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer, for better or worse, drunk or sober, straight or gay? 

    Do you promise to stick together with him in the event of a drone strike, meteor strike, or if the Empire Strikes Back; all for one, one for all, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all?

    Do you, Cole Anthony Titus, take Roxanne Astrid Cochard, AKA your “French French Fry,” to be your lawful wedded wife?

    Do you promise to love and cherish her in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer, for better or worse, if you had a boat, and if you had a pony, you upon your pony on your boat? 

    Do you promise to protect her in the event of a natural disaster, cyber attack, robot uprising, alien invasion, alien-robot invasion, Nazi-zombie apocalypse, or if the Republicans win the national elections in 2016?

    Okay, now that that’s agreed upon, you may exchange rings -- and make it good, because this is going to be last time you’re ever going to get married. 

    I, Cole/Roxanne, give you, Roxanne/Cole, this ring as a symbol of my eternal love and commitment to you.

    In concluding this ceremony, I’m going to read an excerpt from a poem, as well as a quote.  The excerpt is from a poem called “The Old Astronomer,” by Sarah Williams:

    Though my soul may set in darkness
    It will rise in perfect light
    We have loved the stars too fondly
    To be fearful of the night

    And what follows is a quote by Carl Sagan:

     “You’re an interesting species.  An interesting mix.  You’re capable of such beautiful dreams, and such horrible nightmares. You feel so lost, so cut off, so alone, only you’re not.  See, in all our searching, the only thing we’ve found that makes the emptiness bearable, is each other.”
    “For small creatures, such as we, the vastness is bearable on through love.” 

    Now, by the power vested in me, which feels like a hell of a lot right now, I now declare Primae Noctis! 

    I mean, I now pronounce you MAN AND WIFE! You may now kiss the groom – after me!

    Ladies and Gentleman, I present to you, Cole and Roxanne!



    Reader Comments (4)

    I have been asked to officiate a friend of mine's wedding, and I plan on stealing all of this. I have a little over a year to write it, but I've been slightly preparing it anyway. This was wonderful. Great Job!

    August 28, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNick

    Best ceremony ever (As reported by 80% of the guests, the other 20% percent said it was 'awesome.) Thanks so much, Priestly Von Damesington! Expected amazing and you delivered stellar!

    September 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCole

    Thanks man! I love you guys and can't wait to see you next year!

    October 25, 2013 | Registered CommenterAaron

    It brings me endless tears of joy everytime i read it ! Bazillion thanks to our incredibly talented and loving priest ! I hope many future married couples will have the tremendous pleasure, honor, and luck to have you as their priest also.

    "You rock, rock ! "

    July 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRoxanne

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