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A Modern Christ-honoring Wedding Ceremony
by Pastor Dan White 
06/20/13
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Processional

Greetings

Please be seated.

It is with much pleasure that [bride and groom], and their families extend a warm welcome to you on this special occasion in their lives. You are treasured family and friends and they are glad you are here. You are invited not as spectators to observe an event, but invited to be participants in the Holy Ceremony of Marriage. You are participants because [bride and groom]need for you to support their union with your care and concern and to surround their love with your love.

Friends, because you will participate as witnesses in a sacred service the family will appreciate your silencing your cell phones and refrain from any use of photography during the service except that of the professional photographer chosen by the bride and groom. Thank you for your cooperation.

Presentation of the Bride

Both [bride and groom]have been loved and nurtured through the years by their families, so it is appropriate at this time to ask: “Who gives the blessing as this man marries this woman?”

[If father gives the blessing]: “Her mother and I.”

Homily

Friends, we are gathered together in the sight of God and with family and friends to witness and bless the joining together of [bride and groom]in Christian marriage.

Marriage is a Holy Union as two of God's people become one. In true love we speak of oneness --not only that Laurajean belongs to Joshua or Joshua belongs to Laurajean, but you belong to each other. And in the mutual belonging, God created one for the other.

God did not fashion woman from man's foot that he might be over her. Nor did God fashion her from the man's head that she might rule over him. Rather, sacred scripture tells us that God created woman from man's side that she might stand equal to him from beneath his arm that he might protect and care for her and that she might uphold and sustain him, and from near his heart that they might truly love each other.

By his presence at the wedding in Cana of Galilee, Christ gave his blessing to the joining of one man and one woman in Holy Matrimony.

On this happy occasion, Jesus performed his first miracle turning the water into wine. He thus gave his approval and blessing for happiness and joy upon that couple from Cana and to all couples who are united in the holy institution of Christian marriage. The Holy Spirit of Christ is here with us giving his blessing of joy and happiness in the joining together of [bride and groom] in a life-long relationship as husband and wife.

Jesus forever gave us the example in the way a husband should love his wife and in the way a wife should love her husband through the sacrificial love which caused our Lord to willingly give up his life on the cross for our salvation.

The sacrificial love of Christ is expressed in your mutual commitment to one another with the promise from Scripture that the storms and floods of trouble cannot put out the passion of love between you.

Invocation

It is [bride and groom's] wish and our desire to come before God's divine presence to ask for God's blessings on their union. Let us pray:

O God, our Father, give to [bride and groom]your sustaining love as they come to this special moment in their lives and make binding vows one to the other. Strengthen their resolve to abide in your love and will, so that their bond might grow and endure throughout their lives. In the name of Christ our Lord, one with the Father and the Spirit, we pray. Amen.

Scripture Reading

In our Scripture readings, This is the Word of God for you, [bride and groom], and for all of us.

Colossians 3:12-17.
Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

The Bible describes the nature of love in many places. Nowhere is this expressed more beautifully than from the words of Paul found in I Corinthians 13. Here this, the Word of God:

“Love is slow to lose patience -- it looks for a way of being constructive. It is not possessive. It is neither anxious to impress nor does it cherish inflated ideas of it own importance.

“Love has good manners and does not pursue selfish advantage. It is not touchy. It does not keep account of evil or gloat over the wickedness of other people. On the contrary, it is glad with all good people when truth prevails. Love knows no limit, no fading of its hope; it can outlast anything. It still stands when all else has fallen.”

This is the Word of God for the people of God. Thanks be to God for His word.

[bride and groom], may your new home be a home where God is praised and ruled in the love and peace through our beloved Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Minister’s Charge

Of course, love is a very high standard, and the reality of love can only be made possible through living in the sacrificial love of Christ.

[bride and groom], I charge you as I would any couple embarking on life's journey together to strive with God's help to attain the goal of loving togetherness that includes all these qualities....to display to the world the type of faithful, trusting relationship that lasts, that endures through good times and difficult ones...indeed, the type of relationship that reflects God's steadfast love for each person. This is God's will for your lives and it comes with a promise -- the gift of peace and the gift of God's Holy and Powerful Presence that makes love possible.

Declaration of Intention e

{Groom], please make this declaration of your intention to your bride.

[Groom], will you have [bride] to be your lawfully wedded wife to live together in the holy estate of Christian marriage?

[Groom]: “I will.”]

[Bride], please make this declaration of your intention to your groom.

[Bride], will you have [Groom] to be your lawfully wedded husband to live together in the holy estate of Christian marriage?

[Bride: “I will.”]

Exchange of Vows

I ask you both now, in the presence of God and these, your family and friends, to declare your vows to one another to enter union with each other through the grace of Jesus Christ, who calls you into relationship with Him and with each other.

(Please face one another and join both hands)

[Groom], please make your solemn and holy vows to your bride, [bride's name].

I, [Groom], take you, [Bride], to be my wedded wife,
to have and to hold,
from this day forward,
for better or for worse,
for richer, for poorer,
in sickness and in health,
to love and to cherish,
to be your faithful and loving husband
till death do us part,
according to God’s holy ordinance.

[Bride], please make your solemn and holy vows to your groom, [Groom's name].

I, [Bride], take you, [
Groom's name], to be my wedded husband,
to have and to hold,
from this day forward,
for better or for worse,
for richer, for poorer,
in sickness and in health,
to love and to cherish,
to be your faithful and loving wife
till death do us part,
according to God’s holy ordinance.

RING CEREMONY

(Officiate takes both rings)

The wedding ring is the outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual reality signifying to all that [Bride] and [Groom] are in Christian marriage through the church of Jesus Christ, our Lord.

A circle has no end. As circles, these rings are symbols of your never ending love, commitment, and affection for one another.

As precious metals, the ring is a most precious, enduring, and valued metal, and it is formed into your wedding rings. The rings symbolize the precious, enduring and valued promises of faithfulness and love that you have made to each other. Wear them to demonstrate your precious and valued promises to one another and your promise of faithfulness in forsaking all others.

Blessing of the Rings

(Hold rings up toward heaven as symbolic for the blessing)

Bless O Lord these rings which signify to all that Joshua and Laurajean are husband and wife united in Christian matrimony.

Exchange of Rings

[Groom], you will give this ring to [Bride] and repeat after me.

[Bride], with this ring I give you my sacred promise,..
of my constant faith in you,
and my abiding love for you.
With all that I am and all that I have,
With this ring, I thee wed.
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

[Bride], you will give this ring to [Groom] and repeat after me.

[Groom], with this ring I give you my sacred promise,..
of my constant faith in you,
and my abiding love for you.
With all that I am and all that I have,
With this ring, I thee wed.
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

[Join both hands and face one another]

[Groom] repeat these vows to [Bride].

Your God is my God. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people.

[Bride] repeat these vows to [Groom].

Your God is my God. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people.

Declaration of Marriage

(Officiate places his/her hand on their hands)

Forasmuch as [Groom] and [Bride] have publicly declared their sacred vows and consented together in holy wedlock before God and this congregation and by the joining of hands and the giving and receiving of rings, by the authority vested in me from God and by the laws of the State of [state where ceremony takes place], I now pronounce that[bride and groom]are husband and wife together in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Response of Families and Friends

[Couple turns and faces congregation.]

[bride and groom]ask for the blessing of you, their family and friends.

Please repeat after me as we all join in this blessing of their union.

Congregation: We rejoice in your union, and pray God’s blessings upon you.

Blessing (spoken by officiate)
May your life together be forever blessed by our Lord and blessed by your uniqueness in coming together as family.

Prayer of Dedication

(Couple returns to the center and faces the minister. Officiate places hand on [Groom's shoulder. Then officiate places hand on [Bride's] shoulder for the blessing.)

Let us pray.

Gracious and loving God, put forth your arm of love and hold these two close to you and close to each other. Bless their walk together through life and protect them with your shield of hope and faith from the fiery darts of the devil who seeks to ruin and destroy them and their marriage. May they practice mutual respect for each other as individuals and as a family. Let family and friends enhance their lives in encouragement and support of their home.

Let them experience the strength and power of love that is found only in following Christ, the Way, the Truth, and the Life. May they seek the fellowship of God's people in the church to help them toward growth in their relationship with Thee and with one another.

All-knowing God, grant them love, wisdom, understanding, kindness, patience, forgiveness and mercy with each other.

Provide for their physical needs of housing, clothes, and food.

Keep them in good health. Guard and protect them from those evil forces who would destroy their love, their home, and ruin their life together.

O Holy Spirit, feed their souls with the Bread of Life. Pour out peace, joy, great faith, and hope upon them.

Lord Jesus, lavish them richly with Thy love and grace that their life together may be lived to the fullest and that Your love and grace shine from them to all. May their love grow from strength to strength as they faithfully serve one another and serve Thee.

As loving Father, bless this new family, O God, with the joys and riches of your kindness, grace, love, and peace in their work and in their leisure, in their time alone and in their time together, in their sleeping and in their waking, in their joys and in their sorrows, in their living and in their dying.

O Lord God, to whom all honor, glory, and praise belong, we pray and bless this union in the name of Jesus. Amen.



Presentation

[bride and groom], you are no longer two independent persons but one. Those whom God has joined together, let no one break apart.

[Officiate says to groom, "You may now kiss the bride."]
[Couple turns and faces congregation.]
[Officiate says to congregation, "Please stand."]
Ladies and gentlemen, family and friends, I am honored to now present to you Mr. and Mrs. -------.

Couple pauses briefly before recessing.

Recessional

Dismissal

On behalf of [bride and groom]and their families, thank you again for sharing in this happy occasion with your presence.

After a brief picture taking session, they will join you at the reception for the cake cutting. Meanwhile, please enjoy the beautiful surroundings here and help yourself to the food provided by the couple for your enjoyment.

Again, thank you for coming. May God bless you all. You are dismissed.


Note: I approve all music for wedding ceremonies. I do allow secular romantic songs like Paul Stookey's "Wedding Song' (1971)and other such songs. But, I also urge the use of Christian classics especially for the processional. I do not allow, "Here Comes the Bride" which was written as a parody of marriage.

If this ceremony has been helpful to you, please leave a message below or reach me by email: danwhite5868@yahoo.com

If you died today, are you absolutely certain that you would go to heaven? You can be! TRUST JESUS NOW

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