The Order of Worship for a Marriage
Unless otherwise indicated, words in normal blue type are spoken by the minister.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
And also with you.
The minister may use some words of scripture to call the people to worship
This or other prayers may be offered:
‡ DECLARATION OF PURPOSE
The following is a general statement that outlines the Church’s understanding of marriage:
Marriage is founded in God’s loving nature, and in the covenant of love made with us in Christ. Husband and wife, in giving themselves to each other in love, reflect the love of Christ for his Church.
In Christian marriage, wife and husband are called to live together faithfully, and to love each other with respect, tenderness and delight. The companionship and comfort of marriage enables the full expression of physical love between husband and wife.
They share the life of a home and may be entrusted with the gift and care of children. They help to shape a society in which human dignity and happiness may flourish and abound.
Marriage is a way of life that all people should honour; it is not to be entered into lightly or selfishly, but responsibly and in the love of God.
N and N are now to begin this way of life that God has created and Christ has blessed. Therefore, on this their wedding day, we pray that they may fulfil God’s purpose for the whole of their lives.
‡ SCRIPTURE READING
One or more passages of scripture may be read. You should discuss with the minister which passage of scripture is most appropriate for your marriage.
‡ THE PREACHING OF THE WORD
The minister delivers a sermon appropriate to the occasion.
DECLARATION OF INTENT
The minister says to the Bride and Bridegroom:
The Bride and Bridegroom each replies:
The minister shall ask the Bridegroom:
The Bridegroom replies:
The minister shall ask the Bride:
The Bride replies:
AFFIRMATION BY FAMILIES
The minister may ask a representative or representatives of the two families to give their blessing to the couple.
AFFIRMATION BY THE PEOPLE
The minister says to the people:
The people reply:
‡ THE VOWS
These or similar vows are taken by the Bride and Bridegroom. The minister will discuss the vows with you as you prepare for your wedding.
The Bridegroom takes the Bride’s hand and says to her:
This is my solemn vow.
They loose hands.
The Bride takes the Bridegroom by the hand and says to him:
This is my solemn vow.
THE GIVING OF THE RING/S
The Bride and the Bridegroom may exchange rings (or a ring). The minister receives the ring(s) and offers a prayer.
The giver of the ring says to the receiver:
When only one ring is exchanged, the receiver of the ring says to the giver:
‡ THE PROCLAMATION OF MARRIAGE
The couple join hands. The minister may place his/her hand over the couple’s hands. The minister asks the people to stand and then says:
Those whom God has joined together no one must separate.
‡ THE BLESSING OF THE MARRIAGE
The minister pronounces this or a similar blessing:
The newly-married couple may exchange a kiss.
THE SIGNING OF THE REGISTER
The newly-married couple, the two official witnesses and the minister sign the necessary documents, either at this point or at the end of the ceremony.
THE WEDDING CANDLE
The newly-married couple may light a candle together as they prepare to join with the people in prayer for their life together. The light their candle from the Easter Candle.
The minister may introduce the lighting of the candle with words such as these:
Your love is a sign of the victory of God’s love over the divisions and disputes of humankind. May this candle remind you of this day, and the light of Christ be with you always.
The couple may sit or kneel as prayers are offered for them by the minister or a friend or family member, using these or similar words:
May they be patient and gentle, ready to trust each other, and to face together the challenge of the future.
Be with them in all their happiness, and strengthen them in every time of trouble. Give N and N grace, when they hurt each other, to acknowledge their fault, to ask each other’s forgiveness, and to know your mercy and grace.
May your peace dwell in their home, and be a sign of hope for peace in the world.
May their home be a place of peace and love, warm and welcoming to others. Through loving one another in Christ, may they be strengthened to love Christ in their neighbour.
May they be creative in their daily work, and find fulfilment in the life of their community.
[May N and N enjoy the gift and heritage of children, and may they be wise and loving parents.]
[We thank you for the gift of their child(ren), N and N … ]
Grant N and N grace to share their love and faith, that they may grow together as a loving family.
Bless the parents and families of N and N, that they may be united in love and friendship.
May all who have witnessed these vows today find their lives strengthened and their relationships and commitments renewed. We ask these prayers in the name of Christ our Lord.
THE LORD’S PRAYER
The minister gives the couple this or a similar blessing: