Summary: A shorter, but Christ-centered, wedding ceremony that I perform for most couples I unite in marriage.
NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR:
Many ministers prefer to take the opportunity of performing a wedding, and give a full blown sermon. I personally feel that is uncalled for in this situation.
I believe that this is the bride and groom’s day, not the preacher’s - so with that in mind, I keep it simple and right to the point, trying to cover all the necessities and still keep our Lord right in the middle of it.
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Jane Doe and John Smith, you have come together today to give thanks for, and to participate in, God’s wonderful gift of marriage.
Marriage was meant to endure all things, and is not to be taken lightly. We are commanded to keep the marriage unity in high honor at all times.
In EPHESIANS 5:22, it tells the woman to submit unto her husband as unto the Lord. Some who have a problem with that verse do not understand its Godly meaning.
By going further and reading VERSE 25, it tells the husband to love his wife just as Christ loved the church, and even give himself up for her.
That means that you are to love one another with a humble heart that is submissive to Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.
God has ordained the husband as the head of the household, and it is he who is responsible for the direction in which the marriage is headed. The wife must let him be that responsible person. She must be willing to be his equal helpmate and to encourage him as he lifts the marriage toward the Lord.
The husband must also love the wife so much that he would be willing to give his life for her, just as Christ gave His life for the church.
God made man, and soon decided that man should have a mate; a woman whom he could love and depend upon. So God took a bone from Adam to make Eve. Please notice that He did not take a bone from the head of Adam so that Adam could rule over Eve, nor did He take a bone from Adam’s foot so that Adam could walk over Eve.
No, God took a bone from Adam’s side so that the two of them could be equals, friends, helpmates, and could walk side by side as equal halves of the whole relationship.
Jane and John, as you both begin your life’s journey here today, I remind you to always keep in step with each other and to always be respectful of the other. Please understand that you will only be able to do this by keeping Jesus Christ at the center of your marriage.
You have chosen the traditional lighting of the unity candle. You may light it now.
(The pastor backs a few steps out of the way and lets the bride & groom light the candles. When they are done, everyone takes their original place again, and the pastor continues.)
As each smaller flame is united to make the larger flame, you will notice how the united flame burns brighter and stronger than the two did before. And, as your separate lives come together in the unity of marriage, you will also burn brighter and stronger than ever before.
JOHN - will you have Jane to be your wife, to live together in the Holy Covenant of marriage; to love her, comfort her, and keep her in sickness and in health - forsaking all others and being faithful to her as long as you both shall live? If so, please say, "I will."
JANE - will you have John to be your husband, to live together in the Holy Covenant of marriage; to love him, comfort him, and keep him in sickness and in health - forsaking all others and being faithful to him as long as you both shall live? If so, please say, "I will."
You are exchanging rings as a symbol of your never ending love for one another. Please take and hold each other’s hand, looking into their eyes.
JOHN - put the ring on Jane’s finger and repeat after me.
"I John take you Jane - - to be my wedded wife - - and I give you this ring - - as a sign of the promise - - I make to you and God today."
JANE - put the ring on John’s finger and repeat after me.
"I Jane take you John - - to be my wedded husband - - and I give you this ring - - as a sign of the promise - - I make to you and God today."
By the authority vested in me by God and the State of Oklahoma, I pronounce you husband and wife. John, you may now kiss your new bride.