"It's easy to look at marriage as the culmination of love —the end point of the journey that begins with 'falling in love.'  . . . marriage is not the culmination of love, but only the beginning.

"Love remains and deepens, but its form changes. Or, more accurately, it renews itself in a different way. Less and less does it draw its water from the old springs of romance, and you should not worry if over time these dimensions fade or are seen less frequently. More and more, love draws its replenishment from love itself: from the practice of conscious love, expressed in your mutual servanthood of one another.

"In making these vows of marriage, you become disciples on the oath of love. It is a powerful spiritual path and if you live it and practice it well, it will transform your lives and through its power in your own lives will reach out to touch the world. What you really do today is to put your lives in the service of love itself: to let the material of your own selves — your hopes and fears, irritations and shadows, your intimate jostling up against each other — become the friction that polishes you both to pure diamonds."