Wedding2

Revd Rex A E Hunt



LITURGY 2 FOR THE SERVICE OF MARRIAGE


Processional Music


Welcome

A very warm and heart-felt welcome to you all.

We are gathered together to celebrate

the coming together in marriage of

(N) and (N).


They have asked me to say on their behalf they are

both pleased and excited we are all here to celebrate their relationship.

And to witness and stand alongside them during this event

in acknowledgment of their decision (time frame) ago

to commit to journeying through life together.


Loving relationships are acknowledged not just in one day,

at one event, but are a cumulative and ongoing shared expression

of care, respect, trust and hope.


The purpose of today is to celebrate and acknowledge

the relationship that already exists

between (N) and (N).


And so we gather and we celebrate, knowing that

by our shared presence with them,

we are saying they, together,

are loved by many others.


We also gather to surround them with

our thoughts,

our prayers, and

our best wishes

as we share in their joy of their marriage.


OR


Opening Sentences

(i) On behalf of (N) and (N),

I would like to welcome all of you here today.


Each of you has given something of yourself into their lives,

and they want you to know they will always

treasure your love,

your encouragement,

your support.


And, because you are all so special to them,

they feel it is important that you be here with them today

as they begin this new chapter in their lives.


(ii) We gather this day as families and friends of

(N) and (N) to celebrate their marriage

surround them with our prayers and best wishes

and to share in their joy.


God is the heart of life.

All And we are the heartbeat.

May our hearts be filled

with thanks and praise and songs of joy.

All We rejoice in the miracle of life

and delight in our participation.


(N) and (N), we welcome you

and we thank you for the privilege that is ours

to share this joyful day with you.


Declaration of Purpose

Marriage is a vision of life together in which two people

live in a unity of body, mind and spirit.


It is a relationship in which

neither takes life from the other,

but in love and grace,

new life is formed between them

which is deeper and more creative

than each living alone.


The love that is born there

may lead to the creation of new life in children

and a safe place for their learning and growing.


In marriage two people dare to make the commitment

to love each other for the rest of their lives.

They do this not because they believe that this will be easy,

but as a grand hope which they share.


(N) and (N) announce their love

as a sign of the beginning of a new journey into life together,

treading into the unknown future

with freedom and grace.


They make this commitment before us

with a real sense of responsibility and care.

They invite our support

in sustaining their relationship

and our joy in celebrating this act of love.


Therefore, on this their wedding day

let us join them in this sacred moment

and surround them with our love.

For we are most human when we are most loving.


Moment of Quietness/Prayer

Let us now join together in some moments of quietness.

And in this quietness let us focus

on (N) and (N) the prayers and best wishes

we have for them today.

(Silence)


Gracious and caring Energy of Love,

you surround us,

you touch our imaginations,

you hold us in comfort in life’s circumstances.

Embrace us in all our living and lift our joy and hope this day.

Amen.


Lighting of Candles

Candles, representing the lives of both (N) and (N)

and the union of the two families

will be lit by their mothers/friends/children,

(N) and (N).


Readings

Let us listen as we reflect on the thoughts of others 

who have written about living and love and marriage.


Biblical/Religious tradition:

* Contemporary OR Non biblical (poem, etc):


Music of Celebration


Charge to Couple

True marriage is a comradeship of two 

who strive to grow together in their differences 

for their mutual happiness. 

Who work for the achievement of their common ideals.


The decision to marry,

made in the context of human uncertainty,

requires tremendous faith: 

faith in yourselves as individuals

and in the strength of your relationship;

faith that you will be able in your marriage

to deal with whatever the future holds.


Statement of Intent

Groom stands

After the Groom has declared his intent, the Bride stands


(i) (N) do you wish to be married?

I do.


Are you willing to affirm that you will receive

(N) to be your wife?


Will you love her,

sharing with her your joys and sorrows,

your needs and dreams?

Will you offer her the freedom and support

she needs to fulfil her own life? 

I am and I will (with God's help).


(N) do you wish to be married?

I do.


Are you willing to affirm that you will receive

(N) to be your husband?


Will you love him,

sharing with him your joys and sorrows,

your needs and dreams?

Will you offer him the freedom and support

he needs to fulfil his own life? 

I am and I will (with God's help).


(ii) (N), will you give yourself to (N) to be her husband,

to live together in the covenant of marriage?

Will you love her, comfort her,

honour and protect her,

and, forsaking all others,

be faithful to her,

as long as you both shall live?

I will.


(N), will you give yourself to (N) to be his wife,

to live together in the covenant of marriage?

Will you love him, comfort him,

honour and protect him,

and, forsaking all others,

be faithful to him,

as long as you both shall live?

I will.


OR


Statement of Intent

(Depending on above…)


Marriage is a vision of life together by two individual people.

It is a relationship in which neither takes life from the other,

but in love and grace,

new life is formed between them

which grows even deeper and more creative over time

and with shared experiences.


(N) and (N) have invited our support

in sustaining their relationship,

and our joy in celebrating this act of love.

For we are most human when we are most loving.


So (NNN) and (NNN),

you are to marry each other, and you’ve invited us all

to gather here to witness this important occasion…

I invite you now to declare your intent publicly.


(N): Nearly (time frame) (N) and I decided to get married.


Today, in this public ceremony and celebration of marriage,

I honour the commitment I made then, to (N).


I do this because I want to communicate and share

the happiness I experience from our love.

I do this because I want to share my life

with you in marriage, in the full knowledge

there will be both joys and sorrows in the days ahead.


(N): I remember, when we decided to be married, how we

talked about our future, feeling both scared and excited.


So today I too publicly honour the commitment I made

to you, (N) that day in (location, city).


And I make this declaration that I want to share my life

with you in marriage, in the full knowledge

there will be both joys and sorrows in the days ahead.


Blessing by the Families

(N) and (N) are about to become husband and wife.

 

(N) and (N), (N) and (N) on behalf of the two families,

will you give your blessing to (N) and (N)

in their new relationship?


Will you support them with the freedom and love

which they need?


Will you share your experiences and wisdom with them,

and seek to learn from them as well?

We do and we will (through the grace of God).


Affirmation by Friends

And to you, the friends of (N) and (N)

your love and friendship have helped bring

(N) and (N) to this moment in their lives.


Will you continue to love and support them

in who they are as a couple?

We will.


* The Vows

Several samples will be offered


Exchange of Symbols/Rings

(i) What symbol do you give in this marriage?

Rings.


Who holds the rings?

I do.

The rings are presented to the celebrant


Your rings are circles and a circle is the symbol of

the sun, the earth, the universe, of wholeness, peace and unity.


Like circles, your rings have no beginning and no end

and in the sacred tradition of marriage,

rings have come to symbolise

love and the endless union of body, of mind and spirit.


These rings will be worn by (N) and (N)

to show to the world their love and commitment to one another.

May the presence of these rings always remind you

of the love you have pledged and the life you willingly share

with one another from this moment on.


Let us take a moment to send our prayers, our thoughts and our love

to these rings, so that as (N) and (N) wear them,

they will carry our love with them, as well.

Silent prayer


These rings, now blessed, are a symbol of love and faithfulness.

They seal the vows of marriage and represent

a promise of forever love.


I, (N), give you (N) this ring as a token of my love

and commitment to you.

As a ring has no end, neither shall my love for you.

I choose you to be my wife this day and forevermore.


I, (N), give you(N) this ring as a token of my love

and commitment to you.

As a ring has no end, neither shall my love for you.

I choose you to be my husband this day and forevermore.


OR


(ii) The joining of your lives into one common life

did not begin and does not end

with this service of marriage.

It is a continuing process

to which you have given yourselves publicly today.


Each day you must make again the decision

to engage in life together.

The celebrant eceives the rings


The metal in these rings has little value

except in its use today.

Your words today are gone as you say them.

But as you say them

your lives are changed forever.


We pray a blessing on these rings.

Let them be to (N) and (N)

a symbol of unending love and faithfulness,

to remind them of the covenant

which they have made this day.


(a) (N) as a symbol of my decision to share our life together,

and of our faith and love,

I give you this ring.


(N) as a symbol of my decision to share our life together,

and of our faith and love,

I give you this ring.


(b) (N), I give you this ring as a sign of our marriage

and of the vows which we have made today.


(N), I give you this ring as a sign of our marriage

and of the vows which we have made today.


Proclamation of the Marriage

Now that (N) and (N) have given themselves to each other

by solemn vows, with the joining of hands

and the giving and receiving of a ring,

I pronounce you husband and wife.


OR


Before God, and in the presence of us all,

(N) and (N) have made their solemn vows.

They have confirmed their marriage by the joining of hands

and the giving and receiving of rings.


In the name of God, Source of Life and Being,

I proclaim them husband and wife.


Acclamation


Wedding Embrace


The Blessing

Bride and Groom kneel 


May God the starmaker cradle and circle you.

May God the storyteller beckon and encourage you.

May God the life changer challenge you and cherish you.

May you walk in the light of God’s love and laughter

all the moments of your nights and days.

Bride/Groom stand


* Family Greeting


* Hymn


Announcements


Signing of Register/Papers


Music of Celebration  (During signing of register)


Presentation of Marriage Certificate

(N) and (N)

on behalf of all present I too offer you my congratulations

and best wishes for the future.

And it is with pleasure I present you with your marriage certificate.


Lighting of the Marriage Candle

(N) and (N) will now light the Unity Candle,

symbolizing the merging of their two lives.


* Presentation of Flowers or Special Gifts


Prayers

God of this (summer) day, present within

and around and among us,

we celebrate your creative

and energising presence in our lives.


• May (N) and (N) be blessed.

May they live lives of love and peace together

and always remember their joy on this day.

May they be honest in their relationship,

ready to trust each other,

so their love may grow in maturity and depth.


May they be there for each other

in times of grief or struggle,

holding each other close in comfort,

drawing strength and courage from each other

and from those around them.

Amen.


• May their lives be full of laughter.

May their home be filled with joy,

as it is joined with the life of others,

and as they grow closer to each other

in the shared journey of life.

Amen.


• May the families of both (N) and (N) be blessed,

that they may be united in friendship and respect.


And may each of us here this day

be given new hope in the commitment to love

and be affirmed in our own love for others.

For we are most human when we are most loving.

Amen.


Closing Sentences

May (N) and (N) find happiness in their marriage.

May they live faithfully together, 

performing the vow and covenant between them made.

 

And may they ever remain in sympathy and understanding

that their years may be rich in the joys of life,

and their days good,

and long upon the earth.


OR


On this special day, we would assure (N) and (N)

of our care and support

as they plan new experiences

and reach out to new achievements and satisfactions.


Carry our love with you as you go

and call upon us when you will.


Go into your new life together in grace and peace.


Blessing

May the Spirit of Life and Love be evident in all our living.

May the Spirit of Creativity bless us richly in all our living.

May a Spirit of gratitude, wonder and peace

be our gift in all our living.


Every one of us. Every part of us.


May we be blessed.

This day.  And ever more.

All Amen.


Farewell

(N) and (N) celebrate your life!


Recessional Music





Some of the resources used in shaping this liturgy:

Burgess, R. 2001. A Book of Blessings. GtB: Glasgow. Wild Goose Publications.

Falla, T. C. (ed). 1994. Be Our Freedom Lord. Responsive prayers and readings for contemporary worship. Revised edition. SA: Adelaide. Open Books Publications.

Fulghum, R. 1995. From Beginning To End. The rituals of our lives. NY: New York. Bantam Books.

Gordon, K. 1998. A practical guide to alternative weddings. GtB: London. Constable.

Hass, R.; S. Mitchell. 1993. Into The Garden. A wedding anthology. NY: New York. HarperPerennial.

Liebelt, P; N. Nicholls. (ed). 1996. Gentle Rain on Parched Earth. Worship resources for rural situations. VIC: Melbourne. JBCE.

McRae-McMahon, D. 2003. Rituals For Life, Love and Loss. NSW: Paddington. Jane Curry Publishing.

Seaburg, C. (ed). 1968. Great Occasions. Readings for the celebration of Birth, Coming-of-age, Marriage, and Death. MA: Boston. Beacon Press. 

Silliman, V. B. (ed). 1972. The Celebration of Marriage. Me: Norway. Oxford Hills Press.

Uniting in Worship. Leader’s Book. 1988. VIC: Melbourne. Uniting Church Press.

Ward, H.; J. Wild, J Morley. (ed). 1995. Celebrating Women. New edition. GtB: London. SPCK.


Web sites:

UUA Worship Web. MA: Boston. UUA.

Sherri Weinberg. 2005. St Paul's Presbyterian Church. NZ: Devonport.

Michael Morwood. Marriage ceremony. www.greatnewstory.com

rexae74@gmail.com