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Standard Christian Wedding Ceremony

 

(This non-denomination Christian ceremony takes about 9-17 minutes, depending upon whether you have unity candles, Rose ceremony etc. You may make changes if you wish.)

We are gathered here today to celebrate one of life's greatest moments, to give recognition to the worth and beauty of love, and to add our best wishes to the words which shall unite _______________________ and ______________________ in marriage.

Should there be anyone who has cause why this couple should not be united in marriage, they must speak now or forever hold their peace.

(If the bride is escorted forward)

Who is it that brings this woman to this man?

(The father, children, relative etc. may give the bride away. He /they answer  "I do", "I do on behalf of her family and friends" etc. , This person then steps back and the groom takes the bride's hand.)

____________________ and _______________________ , life is given to each of us as individuals, and yet we must learn to live together. Love is given to us by our family or by our friends. We learn to love by being loved. Learning to love and living together is one of the greatest challenges of life - and is the shared goal of a married life.

 VOWS

(Vows used unless other vows are wished. See  Alternative Vows. You may change the vows as you wish or write your own vows.)

(Groom ) ___________________, do you take ________________ to he your Wife? ("I do") Do you promise to love, honor, cherish and protect her, forsaking all others and holding only unto her?  ("I do")

(Bride _____________________, do you take __________________ to be your Husband? ("I do") Do you promise to love, honor, cherish and protect him, forsaking all others and holding only unto him?  ("I do")

(If rings are exchanged each does so before repeating the following vows - unless you wish other vows or do not wish to repeat)

 

Repeated Vows & Wedding Rings

"Wedding rings are an outward and visible sign of an inward spiritual grace and the unbroken circle of love, signifying to all the union of this man and this woman in marriage."

(Groom) I _____________, take thee , ________________ to be my Wife- 7o have and to hold, in sickness and in health, for richer or for poorer, and I promise my love to you forevermore.

(Bride)  I _________________ , take thee _______________, to be my Husband. To have and to hold, in sickness and in health, for richer or for poorer, and I promise My love to you forevermore.

(If there are children of either couple, sometimes couples will give a ring or small gift such as a necklace or ring to the child and say a short statement that they also are now part of the new family. I believe it very important to mention children's names in the ceremony, If you have minor children coming into the marriage, please provide their names so I will mention them as is appropriate.)

____________________________ and ___________________________ as the two of you come into this marriage uniting you as husband and wife, and as you this day affirm your faith and love for one another, I would ask that you always remember to cherish each other as special and unique individuals, that you respect the thoughts, ideas and suggestions of one another. Be able to forgive, do not hold grudges, and live each day that you may share it together - as from this day forward you shall be each other's home, comfort and refuge, your marriage strengthened by your love and respect for each other.

 

Corinthians

"A marriage ceremony represents one of life's greatest commitments. But it also is a declaration of love. I wish to read to you what Paul wrote of love in a letter to the Corinthians. I believe it is a true model of love and it is a model of love I hope you pursue in your marriage:

"Love is very patient and kind, never jealous or envious, never boastful or proud.
Love is never haughty or selfish or rude.
Love does not demand it's own way. Love is not irritable or touchy. Love does not hold grudges and will hardly notice when others do it wrong.
Love is never glad about injustice, but rejoices whenever truth wins out.
If you love someone, you will be loyal to them no matter what the costs. You will always believe in them, always expect the best in them, and will always stand your ground in defending them."
 

PRAYER
(PRAYER if desired. You may alter this or replace it with another. Some couples will ask a family member to say a prayer.)

Dear Heavenly Father, (or "Oh Lord") our hearts are filled with great happiness on________________ and ____________________'s wedding day, as they come before You pledging their hearts and lives to one another. Grant that they may ever be true and loving, living together in such a way as to never bring shame or heartbreak into their marriage. Temper their hearts with kindness and understanding, rid them of all pretense or jealousy. Help them to remember to be each other's sweetheart, helpmate, best friend and guide, so that together they may meet the cares and problems of life more bravely. And with the passage of time, may they find great contentment in the rich joy of senior companionship. May the home they are creating today truly be a place of love and harmony, where Your Spirit is always present. Bless this marriage we pray and walk beside ____________ and ________________ throughout all of their lives together. We ask these things in Jesus name; Amen

 

UNITY CANDLES

 

____________________ and _____________________, the two separate candles symbolize your separate lives, separate families and separate sets of friends. I ask that each of you take on of the lit candles and that together you light the center candle.

The individual candles represent your lives before today. Lighting the center candle represents that your two lives are now joined to one light, and represents the joining together of your two families and sets of friends to one.

MUSIC
(For couples who are adding music to the ceremony, it is usually placed either here or after the vows are repeated earlier.)

ROSE CEREMONY : You may add the Rose Ceremony at this point if you wish)

________________________  and _________________________, in so much as the two of you have agreed to live together in Holy Matrimony, have promised your love for each other by these vows, the joining of your hands and the giving of these rings, I now declare you to be Husband and Wife.
Whom God hath joined together, let no one put asunder.
(Some couples add the benediction: "May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious unto you. May the Lord lift up his countenance unto to you, and give you peace.")
Congratulations, you may kiss your bride.

It is my privilege to present to you Mr. & Mr. __________________________

 

 

 

Traditional Christian Ceremony

 

 

We are gathered here today in the sight of God and angels, and the presence of friends and loved ones, to celebrate one of life's greatest moments, to give recognition to the worth and beauty of love, and to add our best wishes and blessings to the words which shall unite _____________and________________ in holy matrimony

Marriage is a most honorable estate, created and Instituted by God, signifying unto us the mystical union, which also exists between Christ and the Church; so too may this marriage be adorned by true and abiding love.

Should there be anyone who has cause why this couple should not be united in marriage, they must speak now or forever hold their peace. (You may delete this if you wish)

(If bride is escorted forward)

Who is it that brings this woman to this man? (If the father, he may answer  "her mother and I", "her father on behalf of the family"or simply "I do"He will place the  bride’s hand with the groom's and steps back.

______________and____________________ life is given to each of us as individuals, and yet we must learn to live together. Love is give to us by our family and friends. We learn to love by being loved. Learning to love and living together is one of life's greatest challenges and is the shared goal of  a married life.

But a husband and wife should not confuse love of worldly measures for even if worldly success is found, only love will maintain a marriage. Mankind did not create love; love is created by God. The measure of true love is a love both freely given and freely accepted, just as God's love of us is unconditional and free.

Today truly is a glorious day the Lord hath made - as today both of you are blessed with God's greatest of all gifts - the gift of abiding love and devotion between a man and a woman. All present here today - and those here in heart - wish both of you all the joy, happiness and success and the world has to offer.

As you travel through life together, I caution you to remember that the true measure of success, the true avenue to joy and peace, is to be found within the love you hold in your hearts. I would ask that you hold the key to your heart very tightly.

Within the Bible, nothing is of more importance that love. We are told the crystalline and beautiful truth: "God is Love". We are assured that "Love conquers all".  It is love, which brings you here today, the union of two hearts and two spirits. As your lives continue to interweave as one pattern, remember that it was love that brought you here today, it is love that will make this a glorious union, and it is love which will cause this union to endure.

VOWS

(You may selection other vows, pick for our different denomination vows, or write your own)

Would you please face each other and join hands.

 

Groom ) ___________________do you take _________________to be your wife?

Do you promise to love, honor, cherish and protect her, forsaking all others and holding only to her forevermore? ("I do")

(Bride ) ________________do you take_________________ to be your Husband?

Do you promise to love, honor, cherish and protect him, forsaking all others and holding only to him forevermore? ("I do")

 

 Reading from Corinthians

A marriage ceremony represents one of life's greatest commitments, but also is a declaration of love. I wish to read to you what Paul wrote of love in a letter to the Corinthians a long time ago. I believe this is a true model of love, and it is a model of love I would hope you both would pursue in your marriage:

 

" Though I speak with the tongues of men and angels - but do not have love, I am only sounding brass or tinkling cymbals. Though I have the gift of prophecy and understanding all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith so that I could remove mountains – but do not have love, I am nothing. Though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned but do not have love, it profits me nothing.

Love endures and is kind. Love is not envious or jealous. Love wants not itself, is not puffed up, does not behave itself unseemly, seeks not its own, it is not easily provoked, and thinks no evil. Love does not rejoice in unrighteousness - but in the truth.

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things. Love never fails.

Where there are prophecies, they shall fail, where there be tongues, they shall cease, where there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when that which is perfect is come, that which is part shall be done away with.

When I was a child I used to talk as a child, think as a child, reason as a child. When I became an adult, I put aside childish things. At present we see indistinctly - as in a mirror - but then we shall see face to face. At present I know partially, then I shall know fully, as I am fully known. So faith, hope, love remain- these three- but the greatest of these is love.

 

 

(Vows to be repeated)

(you may change these vows or write your own)

 

[Groom] I,________________ take thee _________________, to be my wife. To have and to hold, in sickness and in health, for richer or for poorer, and I promise my love to you forevermore.

[Bride ] I,___________________ take thee ________________ to be my Husband. To have and to hold, in sickness and in health, for richer or for poorer, and I promise my love to you forevermore.

 

Exchange of Rings

(rings are not required for a marriage ceremony)

Wedding rings are an outward and visible sign of an inward spiritual grace, signifying to all the uniting of this man and this woman in marriage.

(Bride and Groom will repeat these vows as they place the ring on the other’s finger:)

"With this ring, I thee wed. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen."

 

            
 

Reading from Ephesians 

In Ephesians, the relationship between husband and wife is compared to between Christ and the church:

" Submit yourselves one to another as the fear of God. Wives, show reverence for your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church and He is the savior of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own Husbands in everything.

Husbands, love your wife, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it; that He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word; that He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkles or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own body; He that loves his wife loves himself.
For no man ever yet hateth his own flesh; but nourishes and cherishes it, even as the Lord the church. For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.
For this cause shall man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. This mystery is a profound one and I am saying this as it refers to Christ and the Church; however, let husband love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respect her husband."

Charge to the Couple

______________________ and ___________________ as the two of you come into this marriage uniting you as husband and wife, and as you this day affirm your faith and love for one another, I would ask that you always remember to cherish each other as special and unique individuals, that you respect the thoughts, ideas and suggestions of one another. Be able to forgive, do not hold grudges, and live each day that you may share it together - as from this day forward you shall be each other's home, comfort and refuge, your marriage strengthened by your love and respect."

PRAYER

Dear heavenly Father (or "Oh Lord"), our hearts are filled with great happiness on _____________ and _________________’s wedding day, as they come before You pledging their hearts and lives to one another. Grant that they may be ever true and loving, living together is such a way as to never bring shame or heartbreak into their marriage. Temper their hearts with kindness and understanding, rid them of all pretense of jealousy. Help them to remember to be each other's sweetheart, helpmate, friend and guide, so that together they may meet the cares and problems of life more bravely. And with the passage of time, may the home they are creating today, truly be a place of love and harmony, where your spirit is ever present.
Bless this union we pray, and walk beside _________________ and ________________ throughout all their lives together. We ask these things in Jesus name; AMEN

(Some couples will have the minister ask guests to join in the Lord’s Prayer or it may be sung or played in tape – CD. Other couples will ask someone else to read the prayer above or say their own prayer.)

UNITY CANDLES
(If unity candles are used – optional – it will be at this point in the ceremony)

"___________________ and ________________ the two lighted candies symbolize your separate lives, your separate families and your separate sets of friends. I ask that you each take one candle and that together you light the center candle.

The individual candies represent your individual lives before today. Lighting the center candle represents that your two lives are now joined to one light, and represents the joining together of your two families and sets of friends to one."

Rose Ceremony may be added at this point
(The Rose Ceremony is a special addition found on in these materials. If it is used, it is added at this point in the ceremony.)

Pronouncement as Husband & Wife


____________________ and ___________________in so much as the two of you have agreed to live together in Matrimony, have promised your love for each other by these vows, the giving of these rings and the joining of your hands, I now declare you to be husband and wife.

BENEDICTION (may be deleted if you wish:)


May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make his face shine upon you, and be gracious unto you. May the Lord lift up his countenance unto you, and give you peace.

Congratulations, you may kiss your bride.

I present to you Mr. and Mrs. ____________________________.

 

 


Brief Elopement Ceremony
(This it a brief elopement ceremony - shortest non religious ceremony - only about 5 minutes - but still more meaningful than an courthouse wedding.

 

You may add a PRAYER and/or Bible verse however if you wish a brief Christian elopement ceremony- pick your own or from this material. Or the Apache or Cherokee Blessing... or any other changed. You are welcome to make any changes, deletions or additions to this ceremony.)
 

___________ & __________, today you celebrate one of life's greatest moments and give recognition to the worth and beauty of love, as you join together in vows of marriage.

(Vows used unless other vows are wished. You may change the vows as you wish)

(Groom ___________________, do you take ________________ to he your Wife? ("I do") Do you promise to love, honor, cherish and protect her, forsaking all others and holding only unto her? ("I do")

(Bride _____________________ , do you take __________________ to be your Husband? ("I do") Do you promise to love, honor, cherish and protect him, forsaking all others and holding only unto him?  ("I do")
 

(If rings are exchanged each does so before repeating the following vows - unless you wish other vows or do not wish to repeat vows. It is not required to repeat vows.) Rings are NOT required)

(Groom) ,I _____________, take thee, ________________ to be my Wife- To have and to hold, in sickness and in health, for richer or for poorer, and I promise my love to you. (With this ring, I thee wed.)

(Bride),  I _________________ , take thee _______________, to be my husband. To have and to hold, in sickness and in health, for richer or for poorer, and I promise My love to you. (With this ring, I thee wed.)

____________________________ and ___________________________, just as two very different threads woven in opposite directions can form a beautiful tapestry, so can your two lives merge together to form a very beautiful marriage. To make your marriage work will take love. Love should be the core of your marriage, love is the reason you are here. But it also will take trust - to know in your hearts you want the best for each other. It will take dedication - to stay open to one another; to learn and to grow together even when this is not always so easy to do. It will take faith - to always be willing to go forward to tomorrow, never really knowing what tomorrow will bring. And it will take commitment - to hold true to the journey you both now pledge to share together.

(Some couples will add the "Standard Christian Ceremony Prayer" to make this a Christian ceremony. This adds about 2 minutes. Others add their favorite song, reading or poem at this point. Others will add Unity Candles or the Rose Ceremony. )

________________________  and _________________________, in so much as the two of you have agreed to live together in Matrimony, have promised your love for each other by these vows, I now declare you to be Husband and Wife.

Congratulations, you may kiss your


Marriage Ceremony

We are assembled here in the presence of God and these witnesses to celebrate the joining of this man and this woman in the unity of marriage. There are no obligations on earth more sweet or tender than those you are about to assume. There are no vows more solemn than those you are about to make. There is no human institution more sacred than that of the home you are about to form. True marriage is the holiest of all earthly relationships. It should be entered into reverently, thoughtfully, and with full understanding of it’s sacred nature. Marriage to be complete must first be spiritual. From this inner state of conscious unity in FAITH, LOVE, THOUGHT, PURPOSE, PLAN AND ACTION, there comes the outer state corresponding to it, making the outer, like the inner, peaceful and harmonious. The state of matrimony is true marriage only when based on this deep, invisible union of two souls who seek to find completion in one another. Do you understand this?

Today your separate lives with their individual memories, desires, and hopes merge into one. Will you bring to this new life each for the sake of the other, the best that you have in you, seeking to express your life together, each at the highest level of his own understanding?

***** OPTIONAL Who gives this woman in marriage?

Will you please face each other and join hands? G______, will you take this woman, whose hands you hold, choosing her alone to be your wedded wife? Will you live with her in the state of true matrimony? Will you love her, comfort her, honor her at all times, and be faithful to her? B______, will you take this man, whose hands you hold, to be your wedded husband? Will you live with him, comfort him, honor him at all times, and be faithful to him?

As you take these preliminary vows, G______ and B______, I would have you remember: To love is to enter a whole New World, a world of togetherness, a world of sharing.... All that is dearest and deepest within your hearts.

To love is to remember and keep alive forever all those unique qualities that drew you to one another in the beginning.... Those first halting phrase...the thrill of discovery.... That wonderful feeling of oneness when your eyes met.

To love is to constantly search for new ways to bring each other to happiness, to make the most of every moment you share together, and marvel at how your feelings for one another keep rising to new dimensions.

To love is to create an oasis of tranquility for one another and a quiet place, apart from others, where you need not pretend...where you can be yourselves.... And know within your hearts, you will be accepted by one another. To love is to greet each day with anticipation...Always eager for another opportunity to share new adventures...And gather up new memories TOGETHER!

To love is to follow the rainbow through the rain, to be able to laugh at yourselves and be willing to say...."I was wrong, I'm sorry"...To forgive, and more importantly, to FORGET, and to always believe and trust in one another.

To love is to watch with wonder all the miracles of creation, to find beauty in all the simple things of life, and to find, within ourselves, a deeper appreciation and a new awareness of how wonderful it is to be alive...To be happy...To be…TOGETHER.

To love is to come together from the pathways of our past and then move forward...Hand in hand, along the uncharted roads of our future, ready to risk, to dream, and to dare.... And always believe that all things are possible with faith and love.

***** OPTIONAL: THE PROPHET (SEE BELOW)

Will you repeat after me: .I G______, take you B______ to be my wife, to love and cherish, from this day forward, and thereto pledge you my faith, I, B______, take you G______, to be my husband, to love and to cherish, from this day forward, and thereto pledge you my faith.

I understand you have brought rings as a token of your sincerity?

***** OPTIONAL (Ask guests to join in the blessing – each in his own way)

Bless O God, this ring, that he who gives it and she who wears it may ever abide in thy peace, living together in unity, in love, and in happiness, and with good purpose do thy will. Amen.

This ring is a symbol of the unbroken unity of truth now to be symbolized in your married life.

G______, will you repeat after me: With this ring, I thee wed. Let it ever be to us a symbol of our love. 1.

Bless O God, this ring, that she who gives it and he who wears it may ever abide in thy peace, LIVING together in unity, in love and happiness, and with good purpose do thy will. Amen.

This ring again is a symbol of the unbroken unity of truth now to be symbolized in your married life.

B_______, will you repeat after me: With this ring, I thee wed. Let it ever be to us a symbol of our love.

.***** OPTIONAL The lighting of the Unity Candle is symbolic of the two separate Souls coming together as One and of the two families supporting this new couple. (This is a good place for a SPECIAL SONG to be played)

***** CHILDREN’S VOWS (SEE BELOW)

And now I'll share these closing thoughts: That you love each other with an encompassing spectrum of love...That there be expressions of love in words and actions as well as in comforting silence...That there be interest in nurturing concern for each other's happiness and well being…. That your love be broad enough to accept the family and friends of each other and that they accept your love... That you be mindful of each other's needs with honest effort of fulfillment...to TALK when the other needs to hear...to LISTEN when the other needs to be heard...to TOUCH when the other needs touching...to HOLD when the other needs to be held. To understand solitude when the other needs to be alone. And that you may make living space for each other's humanness, with both its strengths and frailties...That you have tenderness in your strength and yet find strength in tenderness itself...That you open yourselves to that Divine Love which has woven the tapestry of your union, and that you honor the Infinite Weaver with FAITH, HOPE, AND LOVE, these three, knowing that the greatest of these is LOVE. Will you accept this challenge?

***** OPTIONAL (I have some advice for you to remember. The way to have a long happy marriage: When you're wrong promptly admit it! When you're right, Please God, JUST forget it!)

Let us all join together in prayer. Eternal Spirit, Life, Truth, and Substance of All, with whom to be in conscious union is joy, and from whom to feel separated is darkness, (OPTIONAL start here - Heavenly Father) may this man and this woman, who have entered into this spiritual union, always be conscious of Thy indwelling presence. May they be one with each other as they are even now with thee? May they rejoice in perfect love and peace together, and live always in accord with the true law of their Divine Being. Amen.

*****(Optional benediction) APACHE PRAYER OF BENEDICTION

Now you will feel no rain, for each of you will be shelter to the other. Now you will feel no cold, for each of you will be warmth to the other. Now there is no loneliness for you now you are two persons, but there is only one life before you. Go now to your dwelling place, to enter into the days of your togetherness, and may your days be good and long together. Amen.

In as much as you, G_____, and you B______, have consented together in the union of matrimony and you have pledged your faith each to the other in the presence of God and this company, now by the authority vested in me as a minister, I now pronounce you HUSBAND AND WIFE!

YOU MAY KISS THE BRIDE!

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, I NOW PRESENT TO YOU

MR. & MRS. ______________

THIS COMPLETE SERVICE TAKES NO MORE THAN 15 MINUTES and can be shortened depending on how many attendants and how much music you have. The shortened version would be about 10 minutes.

Short Ceremony

Dearly beloved, we are assembled here in the presence of God and these witnesses to celebrate the joining of this man and this woman in the unity of marriage. There are no obligations on earth sweeter or tender than those you are about to assume. There are no vows more solemn than those you are about to make. There is no human institution more sacred than that of the home you are about to form. True marriage is the holiest of all earthly relationships. The state of matrimony is based this deep, invisible union of two souls who seek to find completion in one another. Do you understand this? (Respond by yes, nodding, etc.)

***** OPTIONAL Who gives this woman in marriage?

Will you please face each other and join hands?

G______, will you take this woman, whose hands you hold, choosing her alone to be your wedded wife? Will you live with her in the state of true matrimony? Will you love her, comfort her, through good times and bad, in sickness and in health, honor her at all times, and be faithful to her?

B______, will you take this man, whose hands you hold, choosing him alone to be your wedded husband? Will you live with him in the state of true matrimony? Will you love him, comfort him, through good times and bad, in sickness and in health, honor him at all times, and be faithful to him?

As you take these preliminary vows, G______ and B______, I would have you remember:

To love is to come together from the pathways of our past and then move forward...Hand in hand, along the uncharted roads of our future, ready to risk, to dream, and to dare.... And always believe that all things are possible with faith and love in God, and in each other.

*****OPTIONAL (Continuation, if you wish to recite to each other, otherwise leave out)

Will you repeat after me?

I G______, take you B______ to be my wife, to love and cherish, from this day forward, and thereto pledge you my faith,

I, B______, take you G______, to be my husband, to love and to cherish, from this day forward, and thereto pledge you my faith.

I understand you have brought rings as a token of your sincerity?

*****OPTIONAL Blessing of rings:( May be omitted if desired)

Bless O God these rings, that each gives, receives, and wears as a token of the covenant between them and God, and may they ever abide in thy peace, living together in unity, in love, and in happiness, and with good purpose do thy will. Amen.

G______, will you repeat after me: With this ring, I thee wed. Let it ever be to us a symbol of our love.

B_______, will you repeat after me: With this ring, I thee wed. Let it ever be to us a symbol of our love.

In as much as you, G_____, and you B______, have consented together in the union of matrimony and you have pledged your faith each to the other in the presence of God and this company, now by the authority vested in me as a minister, I now pronounce you HUSBAND AND WIFE!

YOU MAY KISS THE BRIDE!

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, I NOW PRESENT TO YOU MR. & MRS. ____________

 

                                                                                                                                           

               

           

               

 

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Last modified: May 08, 2010