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 Category:  Marriage & Weddings

Gerald Fierst is a civil celebrant and professional storyteller who performs more than 100 wedding ceremonies and scores of storytelling concerts each year. He lives with his family in New Jersey, just outside New York City.
Original Trade Paperback - $19.95
ISBN: 978-1-935166-22-1
176 pages - Size: 7 x 10

 

The Heart of the Wedding
Gerald Fierst

“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 civilization.”
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!"
Margaret Read MacDonald, Folkorist and Author, Seattle, Washington

This is a fresh, fascinating look into the hearts of couples and their unique commitment  ceremonies.  In it, Fierst--a master storyteller and busy celebrant—offers 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

“The Heart of Wedding reconnects the marriage ritual to our twenty-first century lives.  Gerald Fierst, celebrant, poet, and storyteller, fills chapter after chapter with examples of ceremonies showing that weddings need not be Victorian relics, but can be filled with a sense of fun and adventure, as well as common sense.  Acknowledging our multi-cultural nation where people of every race, Faith, and heritage meet and marry, this book celebrates the new America, respecting tradition while finding a contemporary voice to say ‘I do.’  Gerry brings to this book the same care, precision and artistry I have seen him bring to all of his projects. By connecting life’s passages with a larger vision of humanity – past, present and future – Gerry shows us a way to celebrate our families and ourselves.”
Susan O’Halloran, Director, RaceBridges, Chicago Illinois

“Since the beginning of time stories have been told, enjoyed and handed down from generation to generation.  I first understood the art of storytelling after hearing and watching Gerald Fierst on stage making the personal into performance and still connecting with every member of the audience.  I have been privileged to watch him officiate at two civil ceremonies which turned me from cynical to emotional without even knowing the families involved.  Choice is important for life-cycle events, for weddings should they be religious, civil, registry or otherwise.  The stories and information herein offer readers diverse possibilities while entertaining and informing.  I am privileged to be able to commend it highly.” 
Judith Trotter, Education Manager, Ivy House, London, UK