Summary: A simple, personal wedding Service based on marriage being a lifelong process of getting to know each other.
The Covenant of Marriage
Greeting: The miracle of love is like the miracle of the flower; it thrives upon the sunshine of a smile...it entwines itself around the heart. Its roots are secured in the memories of yesterday and its petals breathe the promise of joy-filled tomorrows . To be loved is to know happiness and contentment. To give love is to know the joy of sharing oneself. It is through the miracle of love that we discover the fullness of life. ( Unitarian Marriage Ceremony)
Ladies and Gentlemen... it is a joy and a privilege to welcome you and to share in this service of marriage. We come at the invitation of our friends, ________ and ________ and their families. We also come in response to the greater invitation of our Heavenly Father, who we recognize as the creator and sustainer of all life. The one whose nature is that of the perfect parent desiring that his children be gathered about Him in our moments of significance and One who desires to make his presence felt within our being today and all our lives.
Question of Impediment:
If there is anyone who has any cause why this couple should not be united in marriage, they must speak now.
________and ______, have you come here freely, and without reservation, to join together in marriage?
All are Seated
WORDS OF LOVE AND FAITH
Scripture Reading: 1 Corinthians 13: 1-8
Reflection on Marriage:
________and ______...today is one of the most significant and defining moments of your lives. There have been other defining moments including your birth(which you probably don’t remember) but there was your first day of school...your first date...your first kiss...your graduation...your first real job and so on. And there will be other defining moments for each of you to experience as you journey together in this life. But you will always remember this day, for it is a day of beginnings for both of you. You are no longer to be single, you are now to be married. You’ve been preparing for this day for several years, actually, during your entire life time. Everything you have ever experienced, every blessing, every heartache, every gift and talent that has been developed, every hope and desire expressed or unexpressed; all of these you are now giving to each other, and will continue to receive from each other during the rest of your lives. Of course, in the package, there also will be some not so desirable gifts: dirty socks, toilet seats left in the wrong position, and at times, a strong need to be right. In marriage you get it all. You are publicly stating your love for each other, and a determination to faithfully honor your life-long commitment to each other. But I must tell you that the full measure of the love you pledge is something that you have yet to learn.
__________to adequately care for ______, you must get to know her. Do not think that you know her yet. And ______, to adequately care for _______you must get to know him. Do not think that you know him yet. Intimate knowledge is a lifelong quest, matched only by the challenge of being faithful in your acceptance of this other person, in spite of the knowledge you will acquire. Believe me, you will need all of the virtues which God has provided, and many more yet to be developed. Virtues like, patience, sincerity, forgiveness, empathy, quietude, joyfulness, simplicity, creative expression, industriousness, thoughtfulness, and many more. And you will find that your being together will create the context for these characteristics to grow. Your home will be like a garden, or perhaps like an orchard; you will enjoy the fruit, but if your devotion is pure and faithful, there will be such an abundance and overflowing of love that others too will feast.
Success in life can be measured in many ways, but in the end it lies in our ability to rid ourselves of all selfishness and pride through service to each other and to all people. Marriage is not a 50-50 split. I would suggest that each of you should give at least 90 percent while taking only 10 percent if it is to be the kind of relationship that God would approve and others would look up to with respect.
Each of you represents an investment of care, concern, cost and above all, love of your families. And while it is true that your parents have prepared you for this day, be assured that their concern for you is still very great.
But the time has come for the two of you to establish your own family unit as you now come together in marriage.
Declaration of Intent:
______ and _____, will you be married partners? Will you stand by your chosen one no matter what happens; will you respect the other, seeking to understand, welcoming their love all the days of your lives?