(Please be certain what the legal requirements are in your state.)
Christian Wedding Ceremony
(music can be added as desired)
Priest: I welcome you all, in the Name of + the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, to this place and this time! It is our joy to witness and to celebrate the wedding of _______________ and _____________.
Presentation of the Bride and Groom
Priest: Who is it that escorts this woman to this man? (adapt as required)
Father/Mother, etc.: “I do.” (and then steps back)
(The bride and groom take each other’s hands.)
Priest: _________ and ________ come to us to become one--not to lose themselves, but to promise a new life of unity. God IS Love, and it is this Godly Love, shared by humans, which brings unity! Marriage is a sacred covenant between two people where they commit to live in that love, and come to know each other with mutual care and companionship. God is LOVE, and Love brings joy! Through that joy, husband and wife may share their new life with others--family, friends and ultimately with the world. We gather here to support them today and witness their public proclamation of this union.
As we enter into this celebration we can be confident that through the Holy Spirit, Christ is present with us now, for where there is Love, there is God.
+ CALL TO PRAYER +
O God we gather to celebrate Your gift of Love and its presence among us here. We rejoice that two people have chosen to commit themselves to a life of loving faithfulness to one another. We thank You that we have experienced Your love through the life-giving love of Jesus, and through the care and affection of other people. At the same time we remember and confess to You that we often have failed to be loving. Forgive us, O God. Renew within us an affectionate spirit. Enrich our lives with the gracious gift of Your love so that we may embrace others with the same love You give us. May our participation in this celebration of love and commitment give to us a new joy and responsiveness to the relationships we cherish through Jesus Christ, we pray.
Gracious God, always faithful in Your love for us, we rejoice in Your presence. You create love.
You unite us in one human family. You offer Your Word and lead us in light. You open Your loving arms and embrace us with strength. May the presence of Christ fill our hearts with new joy and make new the lives of Your servants whose marriage we celebrate. Bless all creation through this sign of Your love shown in the love of ______ and ________ for each other. May the power of Your Holy Spirit sustain them and all of us in love that knows no end. Amen.
Let us join together now in the words our Savior Himself taught us:
Our Father Who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy Name. Thy kingdom come. Thy Will be done on Earth, as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil (for Thine is the Kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever and ever). Amen. Alleluia!
READING FROM HOLY SCRIPTURE
Couple may choose any scripture reading they want. These are only suggestions
You can choose another reading which is not religious. Anyone can read them.
1 Corinthians 13:1-8, 13
If I speak in the tongues o mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3. If I gie away all my possessions, and if I hand over my body so that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
4. Love is patient, love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful 6. It does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. 7. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8. Love never ends… 13. And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.
The Word of God.
1 John 4:7-16.
4:7 Dear friends, let us love one another, because love is from God, and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 4:8 The person who does not love does not know God, because God is Love. 4:9 By this the love of God is revealed in us: that God has sent his one and only Son into the world so that we may live through him. 4:10 In this is love: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the sacrifice for our sins.
4:11 Dear friends, if God so loved us, then we also ought to love one another. 4:12 No one ever has seen God. If we love one another, God lives in us, and his love is perfected in us. 4:13 By this we know that we live in God and God in us: in that he has given us of his Spirit. 4:14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world.
4:15 Who ever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God resides in him and he in God.
4:16 And we have come to know and to believe the love that God has in us. God is Love, and the one who abides in Love abides in God, and God abides in him.
This is the Word of God!
Priest: The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 7:21-29
All: Glory be to You, O Lord!
Declaration of Intention by Couple
(this is required by law)
Priest: _________ and ________ before God, (and in the presence of those here with you,) I ask you both to affirm your willingness to enter this holy covenant of marriage, and to share all the joys and sorrows of the new relationship, whatever the future may hold.
Priest to Groom: ________, do you come here freely, without reservation, to give yourself in marriage?
Groom: "I do"
Priest: _____________, will you have _________ to be your wife, and will you love her faithfully as long as you both shall live?
Groom: “I will”
Priest to Bride: _______, do you come here freely, and without reservation, to give yourself in marriage?
Bride: "I do"
Priest to Bride: ___________, will you have __________ to be your husband, and will you love him faithfully as long as you both shall live?
Bride: “I will.”
Pledge of support by loved ones present
(optional: This is included in lieu of the old question “Is there anyone hear who objects to this man and this woman being united in marriage? Speak now or forever hold your peace.” That is no longer asked!!!)
Priest (addressing relatives and friends): Do you, as the families and friends of ________ and ________pledge your support and encouragement to them as they make this covenant commitment together?
People: “We do.”
Priest: God of our mothers and fathers, hear our pledges encouraging and supporting this union of ________ and ________. Bless us as we offer our prayerful and loving support to their marriage. Bless them as they pledge their lives to each other. With faith in You, and in each other, may this couple always bear witness to the reality of the love we witness this day. May their love continue to grow, and may it be a true reflection of Your love for us all, through Jesus Christ.
Profession of Vows
(Traditional or may be composed by couple)
Priest: ____________ and __________ , you have declared your intent before God and before all those assembled here with you. Share your vows with each other.
Hold each other’s hands and repeat after priest:
Bride: ________, I give myself to you to be your wife. I promise to love, honor, and support you in our covenant of marriage, in sickness and in health, for richer or for poorer, in joy and in sorrow, as long as we both shall live.
Groom: ________, I give myself to you to be your husband. I promise to love, honor, and support you in our covenant of marriage, in sickness and in health, for richer or for poorer, in joy and in sorrow, as long as we both shall live.
Priest: ______ and ________, you have declared your intent before God and this community here with you. Share now your vows with each other.
Repeating after the priest:
Groom/Bride: ___/____, I solemnly promise to love and to trust, to honor and to cherish you each day from this day forward. I invite you to share my life and I hope to share yours. I dedicate myself to your happiness and fulfillment as a person, I devote myself to your salvation in Christ. I will do everything in my power to preserve and encourage our sacred marital union. I accept you _____ / ______ as my loyal and loving (wife/husband) and I promise to love you and no other.
Blessing of the Rings
Priest: May these rings be a sign of your sacred love, and may you think of one another each time you look upon them. May the circle of these rings symbolize the unending love of God reflected in your holy union, +.
Exchange of Rings
(Repeating after the priest)
Groom: ______, with this ring, I take you as my wife, for as long as we both shall live. I shall have you, and no other, in the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Bride: _______, with this ring, I take you as my husband, for as long as we both shall live. I shall have you and no other, in the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
"The Weaving of Love"
Copyright 1998, Rev. Cait Finnegan
This knotwork of love that you weave today
Will guide you through life as you go your way
Should the road become difficult just stop and say:
"I do take you, Love, again today."
And these vows, before God, that you proclaim here,
Shall strengthen the bond that you build through the years.
So we witness with joy, as family or friends,
And rejoice in these words: real love never ends.
With your hands clasped together, God's blessing be yours!
With your hearts weaved together, God's blessing be yours!
With your circle around you, God's blessing be yours!
We pray that forever, God's blessing be yours!
And, should the road become rocky just stop and say:
"I do take you, Love, again today."
Priest: __________ & _______, until now you have lived as individuals with your unique circles of family and friends. The two lighted candles symbolize your separate lives, your separate families, and your separate sets of friends. Now, each of you, take one candle and together light the center candle.
(The couples take their candles and the priest continues)
Priest: The individual candles represented your individual lives before today. Lighting the center candle symbolizes the joining together of your two lives to form a married couple, and the joining together of your two families and sets of friends.
May the light of divine love shine more brightly throughout your life, be a beacon of love to all who see you, and give warmth and welcome to family, friend, and stranger. Holy Love shine brightly on your days.
Priest (Putting his/her hands on their joined hands.)
May you be blessed with unbreakable bonds of Love to one another! May you be bound with unbreakable bonds of commitment to this Love. May all your thoughts, words, and actions toward one another reflect only this Love.
In the presence of God, before us here, you have made your solemn vows to each other. You have confirmed your promises by the joining of hands and by the giving and receiving of rings. Therefore, by the power given to me, and authority invested in me, by Church and state, I now pronounce you husband and wife.
Priest: You may exchange your holy kiss.
+ Final Blessing +
Priest: ________and _______, may the grace of Christ attend you, the love of God surround you, and the Holy Spirit keep you that you may grow in holy love, find delight in each other always, and remain faithful until your life's end. Go now in great joy, + in the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Other Optional Wedding Blessings
May your mornings bring joy and your evenings bring peace.
May your troubles grow few as your blessings increase.
Be no worse than the happiest day of your past.
May your hands forever in friendship be clasped
And your hearts joined forever in love.
Your lives are very special,
God has touched you in many ways.
May his blessings rest upon you
And fill all your coming days.
Or any of these options…
May you be poor in misfortune,
Rich in blessings,
Slow to make enemies,
quick to make friends,
But rich or poor, quick or slow,
May you know nothing but happiness
From this day forward.
May the road rise to meet you
May the wind be always at your back
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon your fields
And until we meet again
May God hold you in the hollow of His hand.
One or more of these promises may be recited by the couple together before or after the ring ceremony. They may memorize it, read it, or recite it phrase by phrase after the priest.
"We swear by peace and love to stand, heart to heart and hand in hand. Mark, O Spirit, and hear us now, confirming this, our Sacred Vow."
"By the power that Christ brought from heaven, may you love me. As the sun follows its course, may you follow me. As light to the eye, as bread to the hungry, as joy to the heart, may your presence be with me, Oh one that I love, 'til death do us part."
Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow. Don't walk behind me, I may not lead. Walk beside me and just be my friend.