Geraldine profile version-1

interfaith ministers registered solemniser ireland weddings Rev Geraldine Bown

My email: geraldine@interfaithministers.ie
My mobile: +353 86 832 4277

Based in Connemara, County Galway

 


Weddings | Commitment Ceremonies | Renewal of Vows
Baby Blessings
Worship Services
Funerals
Spiritual Guidance
Workshops on Various Aspects of Spirituality

Hi – I’m Geraldine and I’m delighted to be connecting with you on this page.

I want to share with you here three principles which are of great importance to me in my work as a One Spirit Interfaith Minister and Spiritual Counsellor:

1) The Importance of the Spiritual Self in our Everyday Functioning >>

The first principle is the importance of the spiritual self in our everyday functioning as a human being. Spirituality is not something that exists with no connection to our physical, mental and emotional selves. Our spiritual self is the doorway to our authenticity. Our spirituality gives us our foundation for the great meaning in our lives and enables us to stay in balance and peace even while we are busy with the practicalities of life. It’s really hard to write anything using the word spiritual which doesn’t sound either fake or patronising. In cosmic terms we are specks of dust in a hurricane but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t engage with everyone, on every level, as much of the time as we can. Spirituality is not something to dress up in – we need to live from the inside out and if we can do that then we need not use the word spiritual at all actually!

2) The Distinction between Spirituality and Religion >>

The second principle is the importance of the distinction between spirituality and religion. Religion is very meaningful to some people who like the dogma and fixed boundaries. People who attend services and ceremonies as part of their religious tradition experience a sense of community and connectedness with those who are following the same path. However, those who have left a particular religion often miss that aspect of joining together with others to celebrate events, give praise to their deity, and sing and pray together. Still others, who have no wish to join an organised religion, would like to mark particular occasions in their lives with a sacred celebration. Or would like to be with others who have come together to read or meditate around themes like reconciliation or forgiveness or healing. Spirituality is about the search for, and connection with the deepest part and the highest part of ourselves. It is a personal journey to the Divine. I have been on my own personal journey for many years and it is my honour and delight to accompany others on their journeys as their Spiritual Director.

3) The Importance of Ceremony >>

Whatever people’s beliefs, ceremony can be a very powerful way of integrating and honouring new experiences, life changes and personal commitments. Although I conduct Baby Blessings and Funerals as a Minister, my passion and joy comes from conducting Wedding Ceremonies. Until recently, people’s choices were limited. They could have a religious ceremony or a civil ceremony. There didn’t seem to be anything in between. However, now that One Spirit Interfaith Ministers are all registered solemnises of marriage, I can create for you a legal wedding ceremony that is spiritual but not religious, a ceremony that will take into account the bride’s and groom’s personal beliefs; a ceremony where you can write your own vows; a ceremony where you can have the readings and music you wish; a ceremony which you can have on any day of the week; a ceremony which you can have in a place of your choice. I will work with you to create a personal and meaningful ceremony which will express your love and commitment and unite all those present as they bear witness to your marriage. And if you do not want to be, or cannot be legally married but want to mark your commitment to each other in a sacred way, I can create a wedding blessing ceremony for you which you will never forget. This applies whether you are heterosexual or gay or lesbian. You can read more below about how I would create, with you, your wedding ceremony.

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Wedding Ceremonies

My role as your Wedding Celebrant is to help you both to reflect deeply about your relationship, the purpose of your relationship, your intention and expectations of marriage, the vision for your lives together and how you would like to express the answers to these things in a ceremony.

The ceremony will be an authentic reflection of who you are and where
you are heading together. In the development of a ceremony, your job is to focus on how you want to express your commitment to one another and my job is to put that together into a meaningful form.

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Feel free to call me at no obligation
to decide if you would like me to be your wedding Celebrant.

Once you have confirmed you definitely want me as your Celebrant I will send you copies of some wedding ceremonies I have conducted, plus a document with questions for you to think about as you plan your day. Most important will be the questions relating to your relationship which will help you to create your vows and help me to write the Address.

Apart from the legal requirements, the ceremony will be put together to include exactly what you both want. Typically a ceremony would be 30 minutes – 1 hour. Most ceremonies are about 40 minutes.

You will be invited to look up readings, music, poetry or prayers which have special meaning for you and which you might want to include.

Together we will create a wonderful celebration you will always remember.

 Your ceremony can be held on any day of the week and at a venue of your choice, including outdoors as long as it is at an identifiable address and open to the general public.

I have conducted weddings in hotels, at Irish castles, at Brigit’s Garden in County Galway, in churches, on Inishbofin and on the Cliffs of Moher. I can help you to bring a sense of the sacred to your special day in a place of your choice.

 

 

 


Once you have confirmed you definitely want me as your Celebrant I will send you copies of some wedding ceremonies I have conducted, plus a document with questions for you to think about as you plan your day. Most important will be the questions relating to your relationship which will help you to create your vows and help me to write the Address.

How we design your ceremony together ...READ MORE >>

• You read through all info I send and start to make decisions about all areas of the planning for the day
• You reflect individually on questions I will send you about your relationship and send back the answers to me individually
• We arrange a meeting or a Skype call to go through your answers to the relationship questions so you can start to think about your vows
• You start to think about the language you want to use – God, Divine, Spirit, Wholeness, Oneness, Universe, Light, Love
• You go through the sample ceremonies and mark which bits you like and which you don’t, and email back together with any additional elements you want to include (I’ll give you suggestions for rituals you might want to include)
• I put together a first draft of a ceremony and send to you
• We email back and forth (and speak on the phone as many times as you like) until we have a ceremony you are delighted with

 


Apart from the legal requirements, the ceremony will be put together to include exactly what you both want. Typically a ceremony would be 45 minutes – 1 hour

The most important part of the ceremony will be the creation of your vows. These will form the spiritual platform for how you intend to be as a couple.

You will be invited to look up readings, music, poetry or prayers which have special meaning for you and which you might want to include.

Together we will create a wonderful celebration you will always remember.

Your ceremony can be held on any day of the week and at a venue of your choice, including outdoors as long as it is at an identifiable address and open to the general public.

I have conducted weddings in hotels, at Irish castles, at Brigit’s Garden in County Galway, in churches, on Inishbofin and on the Cliffs of Moher. I can help you to bring a sense of the sacred to your special day in a place of your choice.


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About Me

I was raised Catholic and wanted to be a Priest when I was a little girl! Sadly, way back then, I couldn’t even be an Altar Girl. The reason why I wanted to be a Priest was so that I could conduct ceremonies. Finally, as a One Spirit Interfaith Minister, I have realised my dream!

My Catholic background introduced me to God (albeit a God ‘out there’) and to the teachings of Christ. For this I will always be thankful. However, as the years went on I found myself confined by the rigidity of the organisation of the Catholic Church and I came to know God as being in me and through me not separate from me. But when I finally left the church, it was the ceremony I missed and the connection in the community and the music and the candles.

So I jumped at the chance to take part in the first Seminary training in the UK in 1996 to become an Interfaith Minister. I was ordained in 1998. There is no set dogma to be followed, no allegiance to any particular tradition and no fixed Ministerial role. Each One Spirit Interfaith Minister serves in their own way in their own communities. Some Ministers will choose to offer Services of worship and celebration; some Ministers will concentrate on spiritual guidance; some will want to focus on a specific area such as working with the dying or the bereaved ……. and some might want to bring a spiritual perspective to the workplace.

My chosen focus for my ministry and spiritual work is on conducting sacred ceremonies for special occasions – especially weddings, and working with individuals and groups on their own spiritual awakening and exploration.

In my own spiritual journey, I have been a student of A Course in Miracles and of esoteric philosophy as well as reading and learning from great spiritual teachers past and present. I completed a Postgraduate Certificate in Spiritual Development and Facilitation at the University of Surrey UK in 2007.

You can find more information about me at www.dominoperspectives.co.uk

Whatever your beliefs – any or none – I would be honoured and delighted to be your Wedding Celebrant. Call me and let’s talk about it.

Testimonials

Roy and Lisa
For our wedding celebrations we felt we wanted more for our ‘special day’ than a traditional marriage service would offer. An Interfaith Service provided the perfect answer as it was more spiritual for us and had a deeper meaning than a religious ceremony. Guided by Geraldine’s experience we had the freedom to include what was important to us, such as our own choice of readings, music, songs and prayers. We also wrote our own vows to share our own personal commitment to one another. Sharing these words to each other, closely surrounded by our friends and family made the day incredibly unique and beautiful. Everybody was fully involved with our celebration of life, love, happiness and friendship that touched not only our hearts, but those of all our guests. It was, unanimously, the best wedding they had ever been to!
Pete and Diane
It was important to us to have our marriage blessed and we knew that Geraldine would conduct the ceremony with warmth and sincerity. She has been a huge influence in Diane’s life (her positive attitude, assertiveness, understanding, courage and kindness) and so having her carry out the blessing for us made the wedding extra special.

The time she took preparing the ceremony by helping us to select readings and prayers and including words which held meaning to us gave it a personal touch. The joy and love that surrounded us as we were united will stay with us always…

Dawn and Michael
As we prepared for our commitment ceremony, Geraldine was our guide, our friend and our spiritual companion. Her loving and wise presence was felt consistently throughout our preparation, from the vows we created to the logistics on the day. What stays with us when we remember our time, was that Geraldine was a symbol of doing something very consciously, very personal and very precious. We feel completely blessed and grateful to have walked that road with Geraldine and will treasure that journey always.
John and Neasa

We had such a fabulous day, it really couldn’t have gone any better, it was a bit of a dream really. A lot of people were talking to us about the ceremony afterwards, and asking about you also, they thought you were great! (as did we).

We were really happy with the ceremony. It was really personal and meaningful to us, and it turned out to be very emotional. I’m not sure there was a dry eye in the house! It helped a lot that we’d gotten to know you a little bit beforehand too, you weren’t just a stranger showing up on the day, you were quite a calming influence! Along with that, the fact that we were so involved in creating the ceremony with you really helped us to be very comfortable on the day. It felt very relaxed and not too formal, but at the same time very intimate and meaningful. Definitely something we’ll never forget.

Thanks so much for helping us to have such a memorable day.