Jodo Shinshu Philosophy of Marriage

It is the Buddhist Teaching that a vow is a sacred obligation, made in firmness of faith and dedication to a noble and unselfish purpose. The vow of a man and a woman to love and sustain one another throughout their years springs from the faith in the goodness of human life and is dedicated to transmitting to future generations the precious gifts of Life and Truth, which you have inherited from your parents.

Today the workings of cause and circumstances through many ages have brought the thread of life to the gates of your vows.

Remember, dear friends, that marriage is sacred only when people make it sacred. The law of the country can make you legally husband and wife but only your love and faith can consummate a true and sacred union.

Remember, dear friends, that bodily union is a noble thing when accompanied by the union of hearts. May you find enduring joy in the oneness of body and oneness of heart which you are about to solemnize.

Remember, dear friends, that no life is without suffering. As surely as the sun sets in the evening, misfortune will sometimes visit you. Therefore, prepare your defences of courage and steadfast love and place your wholehearted trust in Amida Buddha, so that adversity will not overcome you.

Remember, dear friends, that you will grow and die, that in due time worldly desires will wither like the leaves in autumn but kindness, patience, truthfulness and wisdom will never die. Your good qualities will live in your children and your children’s children, as long as humanity exists.

Remember, dear friends, that the seeds of enlightenment are present in every person born. Therefore, guide the growth of each child so that they may realize their inborn powers of wisdom and compassion.