Note: Traditional vows were simplified and rearranged so both bride and groom only had to say I do, rather than speak, which was difficult due to illness.
Welcome & Intent
We are here to celebrate the union of ________(Bride) and________(Groom) in the presence of their family and in the eyes of the one GOD–God who reveals himself as God the Father, God the Son and, God the Holy Spirit.
Bride said when I asked her about this ceremony, that she was “Doing things backwards…but I wanted to be sure he was a keeper…”
This is not the beginning of Bride and Groom's love, nor is it the end of their love. We are here to witness and celebrate their sacred union. As I think about a ceremony like this, after 40 years of loving, as the cherry on top of those four decades of love - or perhaps the whipped cream.
Life happens that way. It happens the way it will…No one can escape difficulties and challenges and unhappiness in this life. We do the best we can with the Lord’s help…
We know that we are all just one phone call away from our knees.
But when we are on our knees, when we kneel in prayer, we surrender to God’s guidance, and his protection. He is supporting us when we seek to understand and do HIS will – not our will.
When we hold the LORD in our hearts, HE looks out through our eyes…We see better with his sight.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight; in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails….
When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face.. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
Dearly Beloved: We have come together in the presence of God to witness and bless the joining together of this man and this woman in Holy Matrimony. The bond and covenant of marriage was established by God in creation, and our Lord Jesus Christ adorned this manner of life by his presence and first miracle at a wedding in Cana of Galilee. It signifies to us the mystery of the union between Christ and his Church, and Holy Scripture commends it to be honored among all people.
The union of husband and wife in heart, body, and mind is intended by God for their mutual joy; for the help and comfort given each other in prosperity and adversity; and when it is God’s will, for the procreation of children and their nurture in the knowledge and love of the Lord. Therefore, marriage is not to be entered into unadvisedly or lightly, but reverently, deliberately and in accordance with the purposes for which it was instituted by God.
Into this union Bride and Groom now come to be joined. If any of you can show just cause why they
I require and charge you both, her in the presence of God, that if either of you; know any reason why you may not be united in marriage lawfully, and in accordance with God’s word, you do not confess it.
These words I speak today, thought beautiful and wise, cannot sanctify–cannot make any more sacred–than the 40 years of loving that Bride and Groom have already lived – together.
They are indeed – doing things backwards- but let’s celebrate even that
Community answers – we will
Bride and Groom
In the name of God, do you, Bride, and you, Groom, take each other to be husband and wife?…to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, until death to you part?
Couple answers – we do.
Blessing of the Rings
Rings are a symbol of the endless, boundless love of God – which never ends.Bless O Lord these rings to be a sign of the vows by which this man and this woman have bound themselves to each other- through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Couple answers – we do.
Bride and Groom do you affirm that these rings are a symbol of your vow and that all that you are and all that you have to honor them and your love, in the name of God?
Couple answers – we do.
Now that Bride and Groom have given themselves to each other by solemn vows, with the joining of hands and the giving and receiving of rings, I pronounce that they are husband and wife, in the name of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.
Those whom God has joined together let no one put asunder. AMEN.
Let us pray as our Savior taught us: all say the “Lords Prayer”
O God, you have so consecrated the covenant of marriage that in it is represented the spiritual unity between Christ and his Church: send therefore your blessing upon these your servants, that they may so love, honor and cherish each other in faithfulness and patience, in wisdom and true godliness, that their home may be a haven of blessing and peace through God the father, God the Son; and God the Holy Spirit…now and forever more. Amen.
Italics indicate text from Robert Hass & Stephen Mitchell’s Into the Garden A Wedding Anthology, a Protestant Ceremony.