Wed. Mar 3rd, 2021

Sample Wedding

THE EXCHANGE OF RINGS
The rings are normally being held by the Best Man and the Maid/Matron of Honour. They may have received these rings from the ring bearer at the beginning of the service (during the processional) or have had them from the very start. In any case the minister will request the rings and receiving them, then bless them and hand them in turn to the groom and the bride.

BLESSING OF RINGS
The perfect circle of a ring symbolizes eternity, while gold is a symbol of all that is pure and holy. As you give these rings to each other, our prayer is that your love will be the same, pure and eternal. May the Lord God bless these rings, symbols of your marriage.
– Name – take this ring and place it upon – Name’s – finger and say to her/him…

STYLE ONE OF EXCHANGE (Traditional)
– Name – I give you this ring, that you may wear it, as a symbol of the vows we have made this day.

STYLE TWO OF EXCHANGE (Fletcher)
– Name – I give you this ring, as a symbol of our marriage, for today and tomorrow, and for all the days to come. Wear it as a sign of what we have promised and done this day.

STYLE THREE OF EXCHANGE (Palumbo)
Today we have moved from “I” to “We”. – Name – take this ring as a symbol of my decision to join my life with yours until death should us part. I walked to this place to meet you today; we shall walk from it together.

STYLE FOUR OF EXCHANGE
– Name – I bring this ring, shaped in the symbol of completeness and eternity, and I give it to you to wear so that we will always remember our marriage vows.

SCRIPTURE & OTHER READINGS

There will be a least two, normally three, scripture readings. Often family members, relatives, or friends and/or members of the wedding party will read one or more of the passages. These persons should be present at the rehearsal. The last reading is read by the minister.
Many couples have extra readings that are not taken from Christian Scripture. Poems, Meditations, and other kinds of “statements” (written by others or by the bride and/or groom) can be used. These readings can be shared by a guest of the couple, the couple themselves, or the presider. They are often read just prior to or just after the scripture readings. A sample of some that have been used by other folk is included here after the listing of the most common scripture readings.

I Corinthians 13 (often by a guest)
If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. {2} And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. {3} If I give away all my possessions, and if I hand over my body so that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. {4} Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant {5} or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; {6} it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. {7} It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. {8} Love never ends. But as for prophecies, they will come to an end; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will come to an end. {9} For we know only in part, and we prophesy only in part; {10} but when the complete comes, the partial will come to an end. {11} When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became an adult, I put an end to childish ways. {12} For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known. {13} And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.
John 15:9-12 (often by the Presider)

The greatest gift of God we give and receive in marriage is love. Jesus spoke about love and about the obedience to God that preserves love, with these words —— As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love. {10} If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. {11} I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete. {12} “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.
Matthew 19:4-6 (often by the Presider)

Jesus also said, “Have you not read that the one who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ {5} and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? {6} So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no person put asunder.”

Secular Reading One: When God Created Man
When God created man and placed him in the Garden of Eden he saw that it was not good for man to live alone. So God prepared a helper and a companion for man – woman. In this act of creation, God didn’t take the woman from man’s head, lest she should rule over him; nor from his feet, lest he should trample upon her- but from his side, that she should be equal with him, and from close to his heart, that he should love, cherish, and honour her. Then God presented woman to man that each might be the other’s helper and companion. Marriage is God’s gift to deliver us from our isolation and loneliness. It is our opportunity to give each other the gifts of God and to receive the gifts of God from each other.

Secular Reading Two :Marriage Is A Promise of Love (by Edmund O’Neill)
Marriage is a commitment to life – to the best that two people can find and bring out in each other. It offers opportunities for sharing and growth no other human relationship can equal, a physical and emotional joining that is promised for a lifetime.
Within the circle of its love, marriage encompasses all of life’s most important relationships. A wife and a husband are each other’s best friend, confidant, lover, teacher, listener, and critic. There may come times when one partner is heartbroken or ailing, and the love of the other may resemble the tender caring of a parent for a child.
Marriage deepens and enriches every facet of life. Happiness is fuller; memories are fresher; commitment is stronger; even anger is felt more strongly, and passes away more quickly.
Marriage understands and forgives the mistakes life is unable to avoid. It encourages and nurtures new life, new experiences, and new ways of expressing love through the seasons of life.
When two people pledge to love and care for each other in marriage, they create a spirit unique to themselves, which binds them closer than any spoken or written words. Marriage is a promise, a potential, made in the hearts of two people who love, which takes a lifetime to fulfil.

DECLARATION AND BLESSING OF MARRIAGE
The declaration of marriage takes place following the vows and exchange of rings. Generally following the declaration the bride and groom are invited to kiss – and then, while still facing each other and holding hands, a blessing is pronounced upon them – with the Presider placing his or her hands upon the hands of the couple. In some traditions the bride and groom kneel for the blessing.

DECLARATION STYLE ONE
– For in as much as – Full Name – and – Full Name – have made this solemn covenant of marriage before God and this company, I declare them to be husband and wife, in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen
– You may kiss the bride.

DECLARATION STYLE TWO
– Full Name and Full Name – in God’s presence and before this company, you have made your promises to each other to be helpful and faithful in your life together. In as much as you have pledged your love to one another in this fashion, I now declare you to be husband and wife, in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen
– You may kiss the bride.

BLESSING STYLE ONE (traditional)
May the Lord bless you and sustain you, may the Lord pour the riches of his grace upon you, that you may please him in body and spirit, and grow together in love all the days of your life. Amen

BLESSING STYLE TWO (Apache Marriage Blessing)
Now you will feel no rain, for each of you will be shelter for the other.
Now you will feel no cold, for each of you will be warmth for the other.
Now there is no more loneliness.
Now you are two persons, but there is only one life before you.
May your days together be good and long upon the earth. Amen

BLESSING STYLE THREE (Sandstrom)
May God bless you with hope enough to keep the dawn in your love,
and fear enough to keep you holding hands in the dark.
Unity enough to keep your roots entwined,
and separation enough to keep you reaching out for each other.
Harmony enough to keep romance in your song,
and discord enough to keep you tuning your love. Amen

BLESSING OF FAMILY
The blessing of the family has tended to replace the “who gives this woman to be married to this man”? The reasons for the replacement are related to the recognition that no one can “give” another. They can, however, bless them on their way.
Please note that not only parents can be asked to signify their blessing, but children of the couple can be asked, or brothers or sisters – or the closest friends. It all depends upon the family relationships that exist. In any case when the question is put, those asked to do the blessing stand up from where they have been seated and Respond (Rx) and then sit down again.
This section of the Wedding Planner also includes a Blessing of Children / Family. This can be used, if desired, where families are “blending” and the children are to be specially recognized.

STYLE ONE (traditional)
I ask now – who blesses the marriage of this woman to this man?
Rx – We do.
And who blesses the marriage of this man to this woman?
Rx – We do.

STYLE TWO
– Would the parents/family of – Name – and – Name – please stand.
I as you, as the parents/family of this man and this woman, do you promise to pray for and support them as a couple in the new relationship which they are about to enter?
Rx – We do.

STYLE THREE
– Would the parents/family of – Name – and – Name – please stand.
Will you receive – Name – and – Name into your family and uphold them with your love as they establish themselves as a family within your own?
Rx – We will

STYLE FOUR (Steve Petty)
Will the families of the – Name – and – Name – please stand
As – Name – and – Name – join their lives in marriage, they also bring you together in a new relationship, creating new bonds of trust and ties of affection. Will you give them your love, your blessing, and your support? If so will you please show them your support by saying “We will”?
Rx – We will.

Will the congregation please stand.
Friends, Bride and Groom have invited you here because you are important people in their lives. Your love and support will be important always. Will all of you, by God’s Grace, do everything in your power to preserve this marriage. Will you give them your love, your blessing, and your support? If so will you please show them your support by saying “We will”?
Rx – We will.

POSSIBLE ADDITION TO STYLES 1, 2 & 3 (as above or as below)
And I ask you all here today, as witnesses to these vows, will you also support, as well as you are able – Name – and – Name – in their new relationship?
Rx – We will.

BLESSING OF CHILDREN (Chalice Worship,1997:Chalice Press, St. Louis)
The minister addresses each child by name:
– Name -, you are entering a new family. Will you give to this new family your trust, love, and affection?
Rx – [Each child]: I will, with the help of God.
{The minister addresses the bride and groom}:
– Name – and – Name – , will you be faithful and loving parents to – Names(s)?
Rx – [The couple]: We will, with the help of God.

by Rev. Richard J. Fairchild & Rev. Brett Blair

This article may not be written by an Apostolic author, but it contains many excellent principles and concepts that can be adapted to most churches. As the old saying goes, “Eat the meat. Throw away the bones.”

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