You're getting married! Now, which ceremony is right for you?
There are so many kinds of nuptial rites to choose from. Do you want traditional? Multi-cultural? Or short and sweet?
BY: Rob Kerby
A LONGER CHRISTIAN CEREMONY
Most clergy in churches that don’t have formal liturgies that have to be followed to the letter will be flexible to a point. Even so, don’t expect most pastors to agree to include anything Muslim or Buddhist unless all references to non-Christian gods are removed.
In this ceremony, the preacher says:
Dearly beloved: We have come together in the presence of God to witness and bless the joining together of this man and this woman in Holy Matrimony. The bond and covenant of marriage was established by God in creation and our Lord Jesus Christ adorned this manner of life by his presence and first miracle at a wedding in Cana of Galilee. It signifies to us the mystery of the union between Christ and his Church and Holy Scripture commends it to be honored among all people.
The union of husband and wife in heart, body and mind is intended by God for their mutual joy; for the help and comfort given one another in prosperity and adversity; and, when it is God’s will, for the procreation of children and their nurture in the knowledge and love of the Lord. Therefore marriage is not to be entered into unadvisedly or lightly, but reverently, deliberately and in accordance with the purposes for which it was instituted by God.”
Into this holy union Bride and Groom now come to be joined. If any of you can show just cause why they may not lawfully be married, speak now, or else for ever hold your peace.”
I require and charge you both, here in the presence of God, that if either of you know any reason why you may not be united in marriage lawfully and in accordance with God’s Word, you do now confess it.
Bride, will you have this man to be your husband; to live together in the covenant of marriage? Will you love him, comfort him, honor and keep him, in sickness and in health; and, forsaking all others, be faithful to him as long as you both shall live? (Bride answers “I will.”)
Groom, will you have this Woman to be your wife; to live together in the covenant of marriage? Will you love her, comfort her, honor and keep her, in sickness and in health; and, forsaking all others, be faithful to her as long as you both shall live?” (Groom answers “I will.”)
The Pastor then addresses the congregation:
Will all of you witnessing these promises do all in your power to uphold these two persons in their marriage? (The People answer “We will.”)
Who presents this woman to be married to this man? (Father of the Bride answers: “I do.”)
Let us pray. O gracious and ever-living God, you have created us male and female in your image: Look mercifully upon this man and this woman who come to you seeking your blessing and assist them with your grace, that with true fidelity and steadfast love they may honor and keep the promises and vows they make; through Jesus Christ our Savior, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.”
Groom, facing Bride, takes her right hand in his and says:
In the Name of God, I, Groom, take you, Bride, to be my wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, until we are parted by death. This is my solemn vow.
Then Bride, still facing Groom, takes his right hand in hers and says:
In the Name of God, I, Bride, take you, Groom, to be my husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, until we are parted by death. This is my solemn vow.
The Pastor asks God’s blessing on the rings as follows:
Bless, O Lord, these rings to be a sign of the vows by which this Man and this Woman have bound themselves to each other; through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (People: Amen)
Bride places the ring on the ring finger of Groom‘s hand and says: (using Groom’s name)
Groom, I give you this ring as a symbol of my vows and with all that I am and all that I have, I honor you, in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
Groom places the ring on the ring-finger of Bride‘s hand and says: (using Bride’s name)
Bride, I give you this ring as a symbol of my vows and with all that I am and all that I have, I honor you, in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”
Pastor joins the right hands of husband and wife and says:
Now that Bride and Groom have given themselves to each other by solemn vows, with the joining of hands and the giving and receiving of rings, I pronounce that they are husband and wife, in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
Those whom God has joined together let no one put asunder.
Eternal God, creator and preserver of all life, author of salvation and giver of all grace: Look with favor upon the world you have made and for which your Son gave his life and especially upon this man and this woman whom you make one flesh in Holy Matrimony.” (People: Amen)
Give them wisdom and devotion in the ordering of their common life, that each may be to the other a strength in need, a counselor in perplexity, a comfort in sorrow and a companion in joy. People: Amen
Grant that their wills may be so knit together in your will and their spirits in your Spirit, that they may grow in love and peace with you and one another all the days of their life. (People: Amen)
Give them grace, when they hurt each other, to recognize and acknowledge their fault and to see each other’s forgiveness and yours. (People: Amen)
Make their life together a sign of Christ’s love to this sinful and broken world, that unity may overcome estrangement, forgiveness heal guilt and joy conquer despair. People: Amen
Bestow on them, if it is your will, the gift and heritage of children and the grace to bring them up to know you, to love you and to serve you. (People: Amen)
Give them such fulfillment of their mutual affection that they may reach out in love and concern for others. People: Amen
Grant that all married persons who have witnessed these vows may find their lives strengthened and their loyalties confirmed. (People: Amen)
Grant that the bonds of our common humanity, by which all your children are united one to another and the living to the dead, may be so transformed by your grace, that your will may be done on earth as it is in heaven; where, O Father, with your Son and the Holy Spirit, you live and reign in perfect unity, now and for ever. (People: Amen)
Most gracious God, we give you thanks for your tender love in sending Jesus Christ to come among us, to be born of a human mother and to make the way of the cross to be the way of life. We thank you, also, for consecrating the union of man and woman in his name. By the power of your Holy Spirit, pour out the abundance of your blessing upon this man and this woman. Defend them from every enemy. Lead them into all peace. Let their love for each other be a seal upon their hearts, a mantel about their shoulders and a crown upon their foreheads. Bless them in their work and in their joys and in their sorrows; in their life and in their death. Finally, in your mercy, bring them to that table where your saints feast for ever in your heavenly home; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever.” (People: Amen)
I now present Mr. and Mrs. ____________. You may kiss the bride.
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