Service for Christian Marriage

©The Book of Common Worship

 

This is the customary liturgy for marriage at First Presbyterian Church. 

The final form of the service is worked out in consultation with the pastor.  

 

Sentences from Scripture

 

1) 1 John 4:16

God is love, and those who abide in love, abide in God, and God abides in them.

2) Psalm 118:24

This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.

3) Psalm 106:1

O give thanks, for the Lord is good.  God's love endures forever.

Statement on the Gift of Marriage

"We gather in the presence of God
to give thanks for the gift of marriage,
to witness the joining together of (Bride), and (Groom),
to surround them with our prayers,
and to ask God's blessing upon them,
so that they may be strengthened for their life together
and nurtured in their love for God."

"God created us male and female,
and gave us marriage
so that husband and wife may help and comfort each other,
living faithfully together in plenty and in want
in joy and in sorrow,
in sickness and in health,
throughout all their days."

"God gave us marriage
for the full expression of the love between a man and a woman.
In marriage a woman and a man belong to each other,
and with affection and tenderness
freely give themselves to each other.
God gave us marriage
for the well-being of human society,
for the ordering of family life,
and for the birth and nurture of children."


"God gave us marriage as a holy mystery
in which a man and a woman are joined together,
and become one,
just as Christ is one with the church."

"In marriage, husband and wife are called to a new way of life,
created, ordered, and blessed by God.
This way of life must not be entered into carelessly,
or from selfish motives,
but responsibly, and prayerfully."

"We rejoice that marriage is given by God,
blessed by our Lord Jesus Christ,
and sustained by the Holy Spirit.
Therefore, let marriage be held in honor by all."

Prayer
"Gracious God,
You are always faithful in Your love for us.
Look mercifully upon (Bride) and (Groom),
who have come seeking your blessing.
Let your Holy Spirit rest upon them
so that with steadfast love
they may honor the promises they make this day,
through Jesus Christ our Savior.
Amen."

Declarations of Intent
The minister addresses the bride and groom individually:

 

"(Name), understanding that God has created, ordered, and blessed the covenant of marriage, do you affirm your desire and intention to enter this covenant?"

Answer: "I do."

Affirmations of the Families
The minister may address the families of the bride and groom:

"(Bride), (Groom) [Names of family members],
do you give your blessing to (Bride) and (Groom),
and promise to do everything in your power to uphold them in their marriage?"

The families of the bride and groom answer:

"We (I) do."

Affirmation of the Congregation
The minister may address the congregation, saying:

"Will all of you witnessing these vows
do everything in your power
to uphold (Bride) and (Groom) in their marriage?"

Answer: "We will."

A psalm, hymn, spiritual, or anthem may be sung.

Reading from Scripture
    [Suggested scripture readings]

Sermon
A psalm, hymn, spiritual, or other music may follow.

Vows
The minister addresses the couple:

"(Bride) and (Groom)
since it is your intention to marry,
join your right hands,
and with your promises
bind yourselves to each other as husband and wife."

The bride and groom face each other and join right hands. They in turn then make their vows to each other:

 

The man says:

"I, (Name), take you, (Name), to be my wife;
and I promise,
before God and these witnesses,
to be your loving and faithful husband;
in plenty and in want;
in joy and in sorrow;
in sickness and in health;
as long as we both shall live."

The woman says:

"I, (Name), take you, (Name), to be my husband;
and I promise,
before God and these witnesses,
to be your loving and faithful wife;
in plenty and in want;
in joy and in sorrow;
in sickness and in health;
as long as we both shall live."

Exchange of Rings (or Other Symbols)
        When the rings are presented, the minister may say the following prayer.

"By your blessing, O God,
may these rings be to (Bride) and (Groom) symbols of unending love and faithfulness,
reminding them of the covenant they have made this day,
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen."

As each ring is given, the one giving the ring says:

"This ring I give you,
as a sign of our constant faith
and abiding love,
in the name of the Father,
and of the Son,
and of the Holy Spirit."

Prayer

Lord's Prayer


Announcement of Marriage
"Before God and in the presence of this congregation,
(Bride) and (Groom) have made their solemn vows to each other."

"They have confirmed their promises by the joining of hands
and by the giving and receiving of rings.
Therefore, I proclaim that they are now husband and wife."

"Blessed be the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit now and forever."

The minister joins the couple's right hands.

The congregation may join the minister saying:

"Those whom God has joined together let no one separate."

Charge to the Couple

1) "As God's own, clothe yourselves with compassion,
kindness, and patience,
forgiving each other
as the Lord has forgiven you,
and crown all these things with love,
which binds everything together in perfect harmony."

2) Colossians 3:17

"Whatever you do, in word or deed,
do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus,
giving thanks to God through him."

Blessing
1) "The Lord bless you and keep you.
The Lord be kind and gracious to you.
The Lord look upon you with favor
and give you peace."

2) "The grace of Christ attend you,
the love of God surround you,
the Holy Spirit keep you,
that you may live in faith,
abound in hope,
and grow in love,
both now and forevermore."



 

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November 21, 2017

 

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