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The Heart of the Wedding (Our National Conversation) Paperback – August 1, 2012
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From the Back Cover
Gerry Fierst has not written yet another wedding book. He has drawn a new roadmap, drawn fresh routes to old oases, and opened up vistas. In this in-depth, but very practical book, Gerry Fierst is forging new and honest territory in Western civilisation. --Dally Mesenger, Civil Celebrant and Founder of the International College of Celebrance, Melbourne, Australia A wise and fine book by a writer who understands that stories are a connecting tissue which binds each relationship. Shared lovingly in these ceremonies, story also binds the couple to their community. --Margaret Read MacDonald, Folkorist and Author, Seattle, Washington
Gerald Fierst brings to mind this metaphor: The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree (Psalm 92:14). The branches of a palm tree grow from its heart, not like other trees. Like the palm, Gerald reaches out to his listeners/readers from his heart so they hear the message of the story, not only with their ears but with their hearts. Like the palm, Fierst is also very creative and imaginative. He has the vision and playful love of language that allow him to shape the preparations, the process and the ceremony of a wedding with new dimensions. This book truly illuminates the celebration of marriage through cross-cultural history, folktale, people stories, ritual, all infused with practical advice and wisdom. It's a book for all seasons!
--Peninnah Schram, storyteller, author, professor of speech & drama,
Stern College of Yeshiva University, New York, NY
This is a fresh, fascinating look into the hearts of couples and their unique commitment ceremonies. In it, Fierst--a master storyteller and busy celebrantoffers his very personal, timeless and touching tales of love and devotion pertaining to the institution of marriage. It's a must read for all couples who are thinking about tying the knot!
- Walter Newkirk, author, "memoraBEALEia: A Private Scrapbook "
" About Edie Beale of Grey Gardens"
"I've been married twice: neither time in a church and both with scant resources available on how to be both creative and meaningful. If I'd had Gerald Fierst's thoughtful guide, one of my loves might have lasted. If I ever pledge my heart again, this book will be mandatory reading for all parties.
-- Loren Niemi
Storyteller and author, Minneapolis, MN
Creating rituals, as I recognize in my own work, is the deepest way we can come into relationship with the Something bigger than ourselves. It asks us to take our place in the larger pageant of life, to touch and be touched by what has come before us, and to awaken to what our own intentions are in carrying the story forward. I am grateful for Gerry s contribution in this area. As a psychotherapist, I will use this book as a companion and guide when working with my own clients around creating rituals that are relevant to their own healing and unfolding.
--Anne-Marie Benjamin, MSW, Portland, Oregon"
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Top Customer Reviews
this book breathed new life into my ceremonies, it has given me many ideas for ceremonies, and a look at the structure of them
The mailcarrier brought it to my door. I wandered over to the couch and began reading. Dinner that night was catch as catch can, because this mom was completely given over to the book. Pretty quickly, I realized that the best way I could help with the wedding was by sending the book to Casey and his fiancé. But I couldn't let it go without reading every single tasty word.
I pulled my first all nighter since the Reagan years when my babies were tiny. Fierst's book caught me up in thoughtful and compassionate examination of what marriage means each in his/her own unique context. It includes interviews with couples, inspiring and practical advice for creating an authentic sweet celebration, and the loveliest of folktales reminding us of long human desire to ritualize and story this most interesting, challenging and rewarding of relationships.
I mailed my copy to the young adults. But I know that I'm buying a second copy just for me any time I can get one at an author signing. That way I'll make sure to give a big thank you hug to Mr. Fierst for writing this lovely book. Maybe I'll even convince my husband to use the book to create a renewal of vows ceremony for our 30th anniversary
His discussion of the origins and history of traditional wedding rituals will provide understanding that will help couples decide which ones they might want to use or not use; and which ones might need updating to today's social thinking.
Gerald offers many detailed samples of ceremonies he has created for a variety of couples. His examples are guaranteed to trigger ideas for readers, especially those who are willing to look "outside of the box" for ways to make their ceremony personally meaningful.
His creativity and his story-telling ability are truly inspiring. I, for one, am truly grateful that he has gifted us with this rich resource.
Peggy M. Lewis, Miami, FL.
Much more than the resources easily found online (which I found sappy, trite and conventional) The Heart of the Wedding helps you find and share your authentic voice, and gives you the confidence to write a wedding that is truly a reflection of your relationship and circumstances.