Summary: This is the wedding ceremony I have used for many years. It is very traditional and Biblically based.
Dearly beloved, we are here in the presence of God to unite ----- and ----- in marriage.
Marriage involves mutual commitment and responsibility. You as a couple will share together in the responsibilities and commitments of building a home. You will share also in the joys and sorrows of life. But when companions share a sorrow; the sorrow is cut in half, and when you share a joy; the joy is doubled.
The Bible teaches that marriage is to be a permanent relationship of one man and one woman freely and totally committed to each other for life. Our Lord declared that a man shall leave his father and his mother and unite with his wife in the building of a home. The home is built on love which is best portrayed in Paul’s letter to the Corinthians which says:
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, 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 is always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always preservers. Love never fails. And now these three things remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.”
According to this passage of scripture, love is action rather then emotion. Act in the fullness of love and you will love one another. Show each other kindness, be patient with one another, don’t hold a grudge and seek the best for each other. Then and only then will you truly love one another.
----- and -----, you are to dedicate your home to God. You are to be part of God’s family, the church. You are to take God’s word, the Bible, for your guide. Commit yourselves to each other’s well being; remain faithful physically, emotionally, and spiritually. And may God watch over your household and bless this union.
Let us pray. (Minister says a prayer at this time.)
“Father, I ask that you would bless this couple as they have come to make these commitments. I ask that we, as family and friends, would encourage them to be committed and faithful to each other. Help us to support them as they begin to build a home.”
“Father, may they look to you for guidance and direction as they begin their life together. For this I ask in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.”
GIVING OF THE BRIDE
Who gives the bride to be married?
Person Giving Away Bride: I do. (Her mother and I do.)
LIGHTING OF THE CANDLE
The Bible declares that the two shall become one flesh. As a symbol of this oneness we will conduct the lighting of the unity candle at this time.
“Then the Lord God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.’ So the lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man and he slept; then he took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh at that place. And the lord God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man and brought her to the man. And the man said, ‘This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; She shall be called woman, because she was taken out of man.’ For this cause a man shall leave his father and his mother and shall cleave to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.”
The vows are repeated by each individual, starting with the groom.
-----, do you take ----- to be your wife; will you commit to her happiness and her self-fulfillment as a person, and to her usefulness in God’s kingdom; and do you promise to love, honor, trust and serve her in sickness and in health, in adversity and prosperity, and to true and loyal to her so long as you both shall live?
The individual responds: I do.
-----, do you take ----- to be your husband; will you commit to his happiness and his self-fulfillment as a person, and to his usefulness in God’s kingdom; and do you promise to love, honor, trust and serve him in sickness and in health, in adversity and prosperity, and to true and loyal to him so long as you both shall live?
The individual responds: I do.
GIVING AND RECEIVING OF RINGS
The wedding ring is a symbol of marriage in at least two ways: the purity of the gold symbolizes the purity of the love you have for each other and the unending circle symbolizes the unending vows you are taking today. As a token of your vows, you will give and receive the rings at this time.