How to Conduct a Marriage Ceremony

How to Conduct a Marriage Ceremony

Date Posted:
October 2005

Two of Rinpoche’s students were getting married and holding their exchange of vows at a Dharma center in California. Rinpoche wrote these suggestions for how to conduct the marriage ceremony.

People getting married should make offerings to all the Sangha. You can invite all the Sangha members and people from the Dharma center together to recite prayers. These are the suggested prayers for the Sangha and everyone to do.

  1. *Calling the Lama from Afar
  2. *Heart Sutra—This can be chanted by the geshe if he is present, or recited in English, Chinese, or other languages.
  3. Eight Verses of Thought Transformation
  4. *Tara puja or Praises to the 21 Taras [listen on the LYWA online audio page.]
  5. *Medicine Buddha puja. Visualize Medicine Buddha above your head, and make offerings and requests to each of the Medicine Buddhas.

Any of the following dedication prayers can be recited, or all of them:

  1. *King of Prayers
  2. Prayer to follow bodhisattva’s conduct, which comes at the end of chöd prayers
  3. Prayer to be reborn in the blissful realm of Sukhavati (Amitabha’s pure land)
  4. Any prayers that reflect on past actions and lives of the Buddha and bodhisattvas

Depending on how much time you have, you can recite all of these or just some. The ones marked with a star (*) are the main ones. The key thing is to live your married life in order to serve others, to make life meaningful, and also to remind you of the meaning of life.

The marriage ceremony should remind people who have been Buddhist for a long time of the meaning of life, and educate new students in the real purpose of life, that the purpose is not to use other people, or use them for your ego.