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Marriage Ceremony - 1

Holy and happy is the sacred hour when two devoted hearts are bound by the enchanting ties of matrimony.
And these precious evidences of purity of heart and contentment of mind, for all their future,
are made more sure, when the contracting parties enter this glad time, clad in the comely robes of reference,
humility, and faith, that they may then be blessed of our Heavenly Father,
Maker of us all – the One who has ordained marriage as the cornerstone of family life
and the guarantee of honorable human society.

First and noblest of human contracts, marriage was divinely instituted when Jehovah God spoke
the nuptial words to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.
Jesus of Nazareth honored its celebration by his presence in the wedding in Cana of Galilee,
and chose its beautiful relations as the figure of that benign union between himself and his Church.
Paul, militant missionary Apostle, commends it as a worthy institution, alike essential to social order,
human efficiency, and well-being while the race inhabits the earth, and tells the husband to love his wife
as Christ loved his church and gave himself for it, and the wife to be faithful to her husband,
even as the Church is obedient to Christ in everything.

Thus the two, husband and wife, forsaking all others become one flesh, one in thought, intent, and hope,
in all the concerns of the present life.

You _______________________, and You _____________________, having come to me signifying your desire
to be formally united in marriage, and being assured that no legal, moral, or religious barriers hinder
this property union, I command you to join your right hands and give heed to the questions now ask you.

___________________________ In taking the woman whom you hold by the right hand to be your lawful
and wedded wife, do you promise to love and cherish her, to honor and sustain her, in sickness as in health,
in poverty as in wealth, in the bad that may darken your days, in the good that may light your ways,
and to be true to her in all things until death alone shall part you.

Do you so promise? (Answer - I do)

___________________________ In taking the man who holds you by the right hand to be your lawful
and wedded husband, do you promise to love and cherish him, to honor and sustain him, in sickness as in health,
in poverty as in wealth, in the bad that may darken your days, in the good that may light your ways,
and to be true to him in all things until death alone shall part you.

Do you so promise? (Answer-I do)

Then you are devoted to each other until death parts you.

(If the ring ceremony is desired, the minister will take the ring from the receptacle of the ring-bearer,
or from the groomsman, and read the following):

From time immemorial, the ring has been used to seal important covenants.
When the race was young and parliaments unknown, the great seal of State was fixed upon ring worn
by the reigning monarch, and its stamp was the sole sign of imperial authority.
Friends often exchanged the simple band of gold as enduring evidence of goodwill,
while many a hero and heroine of immortal song and thrilling tale threaded winding paths
of intrigue and adventure, safe and unhurt, bearing as a magic talisman the signet of some great benefactor.

From such impressive precedents the golden circlet, most prized of jewels, has come to its loftiest prestige
in the symbolic significance it vouches at the marriage altar.
Here untarnishable material and unique form become the precious tokens of the pure and abiding qualities
of the ideal marital state.

(The minister hands the ring to the groom, instructing him to place it up on the third finger of the bride's left hand
and to hold it while the minister gives the following questions):

Do you _________________________ give this ring to _______________________ as a token of your love for her.
(The man shall answer, I do.)

Will you ____________________________ take this ring as a token of _________________________'s for you
and will you wear it as a token of your love for him?
(The woman's shall answer, I will.)

(Where the double ring ceremony is desired, the minister will take the other ring from the receptacle
of the ring-bearer, or from the groomsman and hand it to the bride, instructing her to place it
on the third finger of the groom's left hand and to hold it in place while the minister gives the following questions):

Do you_______________________ give this ring to______________________________ as a token of your love
for him?
(The woman's shall answer, I do.)

Will you_____________________________ take this ring as a token of_____________________'s love for you,
and will you wear it as a token of your love for her?
(The man shall answer, I will.)

(The minister will now instruct the couple to rejoin their right hands, after which he will repeat the following):

Having placed your faith in, and love to, each other, and having sealed your solemn marital vows
by giving and receiving the ring (or rings), acting in the authority vested in me by the laws of this State,
and looking to Heaven for divine sanction, I pronounce you husband and wife in the presence of God
and these assembled witnesses.
Therefore, that all men take care in the sight of God and his holy covenant shall ever remain sacred.

Prayer:

Holy, Righteous, and Merciful Father, alike Creator, Preserver, and Redeemer of mankind,
fill these thy servants with a deep sense of the solemn obligations which they have just assumed.
Guide them to look to thee for grace in their efforts to discharge these obligations with honor to themselves,
in thy sight and in the sight of men.
Ordain that their love now mutually plighted, may never falter whatever course life may take with them.
Crown their lives with loving-kindness and tender mercies, and provide for their protection
while they travel the uneven way that leads from now to the end.
Give them a rich measure of material prosperity, and lead them into the fulness of spiritual understanding
and holy living, that they may have an abundant entrance into the joys everlasting.
So we pray through Jesus Christ our Lord.


(I would then say to the guests: "I present to You Mr.nd Mrs.___________________.)


(The the new couple will turn and leave, and after all the wedding party has followed them out,
the minister will thank them for coming and dismiss them.}
(There are some ministers who would use these words of blessing.) The Lord bless and keep you.
The Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you.
The Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

(This marriage ceremony was written by James Randolph Hobbs, and can be found
in The Pastor's Manual)