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Summary: A Wedding Sermon based on a Nautical Allegory to illustrate marriage.

A Wedding Message

Delivered by Rev. David Quackenbush

At the Wedding of

Angela Mancini & William Quackenbush

October 16, 2004


Well, Angela….. William… this day as finally arrived. And I am deeply honored to be the one to bring the message today. You see normally when we preachers preach it is to the entire congregation and only one or two listen. But today I get to preach to just the two of you so maybe everyone else will listen in. I want to address the two of you as you prepare to set out on this voyage of life together.

I brought something with me today to help me illustrate what marriage will be like. (A large wooden sailing ship is brought out and displayed) It is a ship that I have christened… “The Good Ship Matrimony.” Now before you let your imaginations run wild, we will not be speaking about marriage being like “White Squall” or “The Perfect Storm,” nor are you setting out for a three hour cruise on the S.S. Minnow. I do however want to illustrate some principles of God’s Word about marriage using the symbolism of the ship.

Keep in mind that today you will make your vows before this congregation of family and friends and the presence of God and when you leave this house of God together you will be married. But marriage is not the destination. You will not have arrived. This wedding today is only a port of departure from which you two shall set sail upon the Good Ship Matrimony and begin life’s voyage together.

Allow me for the next few moments to speak about this journey, the vessel and those aboard, granting me the poetic liscence to couch my words in a nautical manner.


Master William & Mistress Angela … from the day you were born until this day you have sailed through life aboard a ship that has been commanded by someone else.

Master William – I as your Father have been your captain, with your mother as my first mate. Mistress Angela – you likewise have served aboard a ship piloted by your Father and Mother. You have both been trained, disciplined, and become sea worthy hands – loved and welcomed members of our crews.

But, today you declare it is your intention to no longer serve under the captaincy of our vessels. Rather together, you wish to assume the total responsibility of Piloting a vessel all your own.

The scripture says, “For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and they two shall become one flesh.” Gen 2:24

You cannot be aboard two different ships at one time. If you intend to set sail upon The Good Ship Matrimony, then you must first disembark our vessels – establish your own command – and set your own course. As Captains of our vessels, Angela’s father and I have both discussed this and today we officially give you leave from our crews. Don’t worry, we’re still in the same navy and from time to time our course will cross. At times we may even sail the same direction or take shore leave in the same ports. But what is important and what we must all understand is you are now no longer part of our crews or under our command. You will have your own ship with your own responsibilities. So today you will disembark our ship but it is to walk together to the helm of your own ship. It has been for this purpose and to this end that we have trained and disciplined you aboard our vessels.

You must both remember at all times who is your Commander in Chief.. He is the Lord God Almighty whom you serve and under whose flag you sail. It is under His supreme authority that you will be commissioned, not just the laws of the land. Follow at all times the commands and directives of His dispatches even if at times they don’t seem to make sense to you, knowing this; that He cares more for you then you can ever fathom, and it is His clearly expressed intent to bring you safely home. “For God is not willing that any should perish…”

“Trust in the Lord (your Commander in Chief) with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he will direct your course”

As you prepare to assume command of your vessel I bring you the dispatches from our Commander in Chief. (A New Bible Is Presented) In here he has provided everything you need to know to navigate saftely through the open waters of life. He has regulations for the safe operation and maintaining of your vessel as well as the duties and responsibilities you are to fulfill while serving your commission

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