Master Copy of Wedding Ceremony used for all weddings
AFTER THE BRIDE COMES TO THE ALTAR: (The minister speaks)
"The Lord is in His holy temple. Let all the earth keep silence before him."
My dear friends, in the presence of God and before these witnesses, we have come together to unite in marriage
____________________ and ________________________.
Marriage is a divine institution, and we are taught in the Scriptures that it is to be honored among all men. Jesus himself honored marriage by performing his first miracle at the wedding in Cana of Galilee, and God has always honored marriage.
(Then the minister, speaking to the bride and groom, will say):
I require and charge you both that the vows you take this day are sacred a over words, and that your lives hereafter shall be bound together unbreakably_ But the' security of your marriage will not rest in the ritual of any church, nor in the word of any minister. The security of your marriage will rest in the true purposes of your hearts, in your character, in the steadfastness of your devotion and in the love of God.
(Then in turn the minister will address the groom and the bride, and each in turn will answer)
Will you ______________________, have ____________________, to be your wife, will you love her, honor her, comfort and keep her, and forsaking all others remain true to her as long as you both live? If so you may answer, "I will."
(Each in turn then answers, "I will.)
(After exchange of vows the minister will pray, including personal elements, but always these words)
God our Father, upon these your children, ______________and __________, we pray for your blessings. Grant these moments to be so filled with divine and sacred meaning, that they may be able to look back on them through all the years to come, and know this was a good hour, through
Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
(The minister then addresses the father of the bride, "or that person who is to give the bride away)
Who gives (the name is used here) to be married to (the name of the groom used here)?
(The answer is given, "I do," or "her mother and I," or whatever form has been agreed upon. In case the bride is not given away, the ceremony continues following the prayer, as follows)
If a Divided Ceremony is Being Used:
(The minister, the couple, the maid of honor and best man, move from the sanctuary level, into the chancel; the minister behind the kneeling bench, and the wedding parry standing in front of it. In a small chapel wedding, or in a home, they remain in the same position, from the beginning. In some cases (where requested, even in small weddings) a kneeling bench is used, and the couple stand before it from the very beginning of the ceremony. In a church wedding where additional attendants are used, all but the four persons move into the chancel during the processional and remain there until the recessional. Only the bride and groom, maid of honor and best man, stand below the chancel for the opening part of the ceremony as suggested above.)
(When all have arrived before the kneeling bench, the minister says)
Having chosen to declare your vows in this sacred place, may I remind you that the home existed before the church, and that the first churches met in homes? Here this day you establish a home. And though you are taught that, "a man shall forsake his father and mother and cleave to his wife," yet nevertheless, each of you brings to your marriage, background and memory, and keen appreciation for those you love, and by whose loyalty and concern you were made ready for life and life's blessings. If that has been sound and wholesome, you enter into this experience twice blessed. If you would unite the purposes of your hearts as you stand before you will say after me,
"I (here the name of the groom is used) take thee (and here the name of the bride is used) to be my wife, and before God ·and these witnesses L promise to be a faithful and true husband."
(The bride then repeats a like vow.)
(Then the minister addressing the groom says)
Do you have a ring as a symbol of this marriage?
(The groom secures the ring from the best man and in turn presents it to the minister. The minister in turn says)
Bless, a Lord, this ring that he who gives it and she who wears it may dwell in thy peace.
(On some occasions the minister may give a more elaborate statement concerning the symbolism of the ring, as a circle, representing dependable and faithful love.)
(The minister then returns the ring to the groom and the groom in turn places it on the bride's finger saying)
With this ring, before God, I marry you. I will love you, I will cherish you, and I will not forsake you, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
(The same ring ceremony is used with the bride, and her answers are the same.)
(The minister then asks the bride and groom to join right hands, and he says),
Having taken your VOWS and the giving and receiving of the rings, by God's authority, I declare you to be husband and wife. What God has joined together, man cannot cut asunder.
(On some occasions the Lord's Prayer is included here.)
(Then the minister asks the bride and groom to kneel for prayer.
When they kneel the minister often says:
Love each other dearly, for there is scarcely anything else in the entire world than this.
(Then parts of I Corinthians are quoted. On some occasions the couple requests Communion, and they are served at this time while they are kneeling. Here the minister dwells on the centrality of Christ in the home and in all true love~. The usual Scriptural verses are quoted then in reference to the Communion, and the minister serves the Communion and usually partakes with them.)
(The prayer always contains personal elements, is devotional and always includes the following)
Grant your blessing Father, upon these your two children. Teach them so to live in this world according to all ~ high laws that they may find happiness and usefulness together. Teach them to live in kindness, in patience, in love, always in the willingness to forgive, that they may find true happiness. Teach them so to live together that when they are together their love may be to them an inspiration, and when they are apart their love may be to them as a light in the darkness.
Teach them so to live together that they may have the blessing of life eternal, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
A TRADITIONAL BENEDICTION:
May the Lord bless thee and keep thee, may he cause his face to shine upon thee and be gracious unto thee, and may he lift up the light of his countenance upon thee and grant thee peace. Amen.
SOLO: "The Lord's Prayer," by Brahe (Use of this solo here is optional.)
Note: Much freedom is allowed in the ceremony here presented, and the minister always prepared some original brief sections for each ceremony but within the context of the general outline here given.
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails. 1 Cor.13: 4-8a NIV
7 It (love)
always protects, (defends, guards, looks after, cares for, saves from harm, shield, shelter)
always trusts, (faith, belief, conviction, confidence, reliance, dependence)
always hopes (expect, anticipate, wish, look forward to hopefulness)
always perseveres. (persist, continue, keep at it, keep on, carry on, keep trying, and stick with it)
8 Love never fails.
And now I will show you the most excellent way.
13 If I speak in the tonguesa of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames,b but have not love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. 12 Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
a Or languages
b Some early manuscripts body that I may boast