Traditional Ceremony

Opening

Dear Family and friends of _________________ and ___________________, we are gathered here in the presence of the Lord to celebrate their union in marriage. The holy relationship of marriage was instituted by the Lord from the beginning, and being of divine appointment it is therefore honored among all peoples. It is to be entered into joyfully, thoughtfully, lovingly and reverently. With this desire these two persons come now to be united.

The Scripture

Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right. Love bears all things believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Faith,  hope, love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love. (I Corinthians 13:4-7, 13)

Or

My beloved speaks and says to me: 'Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away; for lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth, the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land.  Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away. Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm; for love is strong as death, jealousy is cruel as the grave. Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it.' (Song of Solomon 2:10-13; 8:7)

or

Put on then, as God's chosen ones, compassion, kindness, lowliness, meekness, and patience, forbearing one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. (Colossians 3:12-15)

The Vision

_______________ and ______________, your marriage offers you the highest and most intimate experience of love. A growing bond of affection, trust and mutual concern can bring you into a fuller life than either of you can achieve alone. As you share with each other your creative differences, your life together can become richer, more complete and more soul-satisfying. Marriage, in this high sense, is a uniting on all the levels of your being: body, mind, heart and spirit. The longer you live together, the more you grow and develop as individuals, the more you will have to contribute to your marriage.

As you stand here, in this high moment, remember that love, loyalty and trust are the foundations of a happy and lasting marriage. As you strive to fulfill the commitment you make here, your life together can be increasingly full of joy, of satisfaction and of peace. I pray that in all the events of life you will hold fast to the vision and the promise of this, your wedding day.

The Presentation (optional)

Minister: Who presents __________ to be married to _____________?

Answer: We (I, Her mother and I, etc.) do.

 

The Vows

Groom repeats after Minister:  I ____________________, take you, ________________,  to be my wedded 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; so long as we live; and thereto, I  pledge you my faith.

Bride repeats after Minister:  I ____________________, take you, ________________, to be my wedded 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; so long as we live; and thereto, I  pledge you my faith.

The Ring Ceremony

O Lord, our God, we ask your blessing upon these rings that they may be constant symbols of unending love and devotion. Amen.

In turn, both groom and bride repeat after the Minister:

With this ring, I thee wed, and pledge my faithful love.

Lighting of the Unity Candle or Sand Ceremony (optional)

______________________  and _____________________ will now approach the altar to light together a center candle that is taller and stronger than their individual candles, representing to all who are present, but most especially to themselves, that from this day forward they will be guided by the new light of their marriage.

The Marriage Prayer

O God, our Heavenly Creator, the fountain of all life and love in heaven and on earth, we ask your blessing upon these solemn vows of love and duty which _________________ and ___________________ have here assumed. Give them a deep and abiding sense of their dependence upon you that they may continually look to you for help and direction. Quicken in their hearts that supreme love to you, which alone can make their love for each other pure, unselfish and abiding. May the burdens and trials which they must mutually bear draw them ever nearer to you and to each other.

May they be truly grateful for the precious blessings, which are the fruits of this holy relation. Make them ever thoughtful and gentle, patient and forbearing, regardful of each other's feelings and opinions, and lenient to each other's infirmities. In all the experiences of life, give them one heart, one mind and one way. Amen.

The Pronouncement

For as much as you______________________ and you _________________________ have consented together in holy wedlock and have witnessed the same before the Lord and this company, giving and pledging your faith each to the other, I do now pronounce that you are husband and wife; in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

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