OUR WEDDING CEREMONY

The MarriageBOCP p329



THE INTRODUCTION

All stand

The bride and bridegroom stand before the priest.

One or more of the following sentences may be 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. Genesis 2:24; Mark 10:7-9

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. 1 Corinthians 13:7-8a

Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. Ephesians 5:1-2

God is love, and those who live in love live in God: and God lives in them. 1 John 4:16

A hymn may be sung

The bride and bridegroom stand before the priest and the priest says:

We have come together in the presence of God, to witness the marriage of N- and N-,to ask God's blessing on them, and to share in their joy. Our Lord Jesus Christ is with us now as He was at the wedding in Cana of Galilee.

The Scriptures teach us that marriage is a gift of God in creation and a means of God's grace, a holy mystery in which man and woman become one flesh in Christ It is God's purpose that, as husband and wife give themselves to each other in love, they shall be united in that love by which Christ is united with His Church.

The union of husband and wife in body, mind and spirit, is intended by God for their mutual joy and fulfilment; for the help and comfort given one another in prosperity and adversity; and, when it is God's will, for the procreation of children and their nurture in the knowledge and love of the Lord.

In marriage, husband and wife give themselves to one another, and they begin a new life together in the community. It is a way of life that all should reverence; and therefore it must not be entered into carelessly, selfishly, or wantonly, but responsibly, honestly, and after serious thought and prayer.

Into this holy union N- and N- come now to be joined. On this their wedding day we pray with them, that, strengthened and guided by God's Holy Spirit, they may grow in mutual fulfilment and bear faithful witness to the sanctity of marriage and family life.

The priest says to the congregation:


If anyone present knows any reason why these persons may not lawfully marry, declare it now or forever be silent.

The priest says to the couple:

N- and N-, if either of you know a reason why you may not lawfully be united in matrimony you must now declare it; for the vows you are about to take are made in the presence of God who is judge of all and who knows all the secrets of our hearts.

Where required, the appropriate legal Declaration shall be made.

If there is to be a presentation or giving in marriage the priest shall say:

Who gives N- to be married to N-?.

THE DECLARATION OF CONSENT

The priest says to the bridegroom:

N-, will you take N- to be your wife? 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?

He answers: I will.

The priest says to the bride:

N-, will you take N- to be your husband? 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?

She answers: I will.

V. The Lord be with you.
R. And also with you.

V. Let us pray:
O gracious and everliving God, you have created us male and female in your image: Look mercifully upon this man and this woman who come to you seeking your blessing, and assist them with your grace, that with true fidelity and steadfast love they may honour and keep the promises and vows they make; through Jesus Christ our Saviour, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Then one or more of the following passages from Holy Scripture is read.

If there is to be a Eucharist a passage from the Gospel must be read.


OLD TESTAMENT   
Genesis 1:26-31 Song of Solomon 2:10-13
Genesis 2:15-24 Tobit 8: 5b 8 (N.E.B)
     
NEW TESTAMENT   
1 Corinthians 13:1-13 1 John 4:7-12
Colossians 3:12-17 Ephesians 5:21-33
Ephesians 3:14-19 Romans 12:1,2 & 9-13
     
GOSPEL   
Matthew 5:1-10 Mark 10:6-9
Matthew 7:21 & 24:29 John 15:9-12
John 2:1-11   


If there is more than one reading, between readings a psalm or hymn or anthem may be sung or said. Appropriate psalms are.

PSALMS
45, 67, 121, 127, 128

When the Gospel is read all stand and the minister says:

READER: The Lord be with you.
ALL: And also with you.

READER:
A reading from the Holy Gospel according to _______________
ALL: Glory to Christ our Saviour.

At the end of the reading

READER: The Gospel of Christ.
ALL: Praise to Christ our Lord.

A sermon may be preached

THE MARRIAGE

The bride and bridegroom face each other. The bridegroom takes the bride's right hand in his and says:

I, N-, take you, N-
to be my wife,
to have and to hold
from this day forward;
for better, for worse,
for richer, for poorer,
in sickness and in health,
to love and to cherish,
for the rest of our lives,
according to God's holy law.
This is my solemn vow.

They loose hands.

The bride takes the bridegroom's right hand in hers and says.

I, N-, take you, N-
to be my husband,
to have and to hold
from this day forward,
for better, for worse,
for richer, for poorer,
in sickness and in health,
to love and to cherish,
for the rest of our lives,
according to God's holy law.
This is my solemn vow.

They loose hands.

The priest then addresses the congregation, saying:

Will all of you who have witnessed these vows do all in your power to uphold these two persons in their marriage?

PEOPLE: We will.

BLESSING OF RING(S)

The priest may ask God's blessing on the ring or rings as follows, or in some other appropriate manner.

Bless, 0 Lord, this ring (these rings) that it (they) may be a symbol to N- and N- of unending love and faithfulness, to remind them of the vows and covenant which they have made this day through Jesus Christ our Lord.

The bridegroom places the ring on the fourth finger of the bride's left hand, and holding it there, says:

I give you this ring
as a sign of our marriage.
All that I am I give to you,
and all that I have I share with you,
within the love of God,
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

If only one ring is used, before they loose hands the bride may say:

I receive this ring
as a sign of our marriage.
All that I am I give to you,
and all that I have I share with you,
within the love of God,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

If rings are exchanged, they loose hands and the bride places a ring on the fourth finger of the bridegroom 's left hand, and holding it there, says:

I give you this ring
as a sign of our marriage.
All that I am I give to you,
and all that I have I share with you,
within the love of God,
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Where required, the appropriate legal Declaration shall be made.

The husband and wife may kneel.

The priest joins their right hands together and says.

Those whom God has joined
Let no one separate.

The priest addresses the people:

In the presence of God, and before this congregation, N- and N, have given their consent and made their marriage vows to each other. They have declared their marriage by joining of hands and by the giving and receiving of a ring (rings). I therefore pronounce that they are husband and wife, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

The husband and wife kneeling, the priest blesses them:

God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit, bless, preserve, and keep you; the Lord mercifully with His favour look upon you, and fill you with all spiritual benediction and grace; that you may so faithfully live together in this life, that in the age to come you may have life everlasting. Amen.

When Communion is not to follow the Peace shall be exchanged here. (see page 340)
A hymn or psalm may be sung.

THE PRAYERS

The priest shall say:

PRIEST:
Blessed are you, heavenly Father:
ALL: You give joy to bridegroom and bride.

PRIEST:
Blessed are you, Lord Jesus Christ:
ALL: You have brought new life to mankind.

PRIEST:
Blessed are you, Holy Spirit of God:
ALL: You bring us together in love.

PRIEST:
Blessed be Father, son and Holy Spirit:
ALL: One God, to be praised for ever. Amen.

PRIEST: The Lord be with you.
ALL: And also with you.

PRIEST:

As our Saviour has taught us, so we pray:

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your Name;
your kingdom come;
your will be done
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial
and deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours now and forever. Amen.


If Communion is to follow, the Lord 's Prayer may be omitted here.

The husband and wife kneel before the holy table and the priest says one or more of the following prayers:

PRIEST:
O God of love, look mercifully upon N- and N- in the new life which they begin together this day. Unite them evermore in your love. Keep them faithful to the vows they have made one to the other. Strengthen themwith every good gift, and let your peace be with them; now and always;for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord.
ALL: Amen.

PRIEST:
Almighty God, you send your Holy Spirit to be the life and light of all your people: Open the hearts of these your children to the riches of His grace that they may bring forth the fruit of the Spirit in love .and joy and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
ALL: Amen.

PRIEST:
Heavenly Father, maker of all things, you enable us to share in your work of creation: Bless this couple in the gift and care of children, that their home may be a place of love, security, and truth, and their children grow up to know and love you in your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
ALL: Amen.

PRIEST:
Our God, you have consecrated the covenant of marriage thatin it is represented the Spiritual unity between Christ and His Church:
Send therefore your blessing upon these your servants, that they may so love, honour, and cherish each other in faithfulness and patience, in wisdom and true godliness, that their home may be a haven of blessing and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.
ALL: Amen.

PRIEST:
Grant that all married persons who have witnessed these vows may find their lives strengthened and their loyaltjes confirmed; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
ALL: Amen.

PRIEST:
Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who shared at Nazareth the life of an earthly home: Reign in the home of these your servants as Lord and King; give them grace to minister to others as you have ministered; and grant that by deed and word they may be witnesses of your saving love to those amongst whom they live; for the sake of your Holy Name.
ALL: Amen.

PRIEST:
We praise you Father, that you have made all things and hold all things in being. In the beginning you created the universe, and made mankind in your own likeness: Because it was not good for them to be alone, you created them male and female; and in marriage you join man and woman as one flesh, teaching us that what you have united may never be divided.

We praise you that you have made this holy mystery a symbol of the marriage of Christ with His Church, and an image of your eternal covenant with your people.

And as we pray for your blessing on this man and this woman, who come before you as partners and heirs together of your promises, grant that this man may love his wife as Christ loves his bride the Church, giving Himself for it and cherishing it as his own flesh; and grant that this woman may love her husband and follow the example of those holy women whose praises are sung in the Scriptures. Strengthen them with your grace that they be witnesses of Christ to others; let them live to see their children's children, and bring them at the last to fullness of life with your saints in the kingdom of heaven; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

When Communion is not to follow the priest blesses the couple and the congregation.

THE PEACE

The President may say to the people:
Beloved, let us love one another because love is from God.
ALL: We love because He first loved us.

PRESIDENT:
The peace of the Lord be always with you.
ALL: And also with you.

The newly married couple then greet each other, after which greetings may be exchanged throughout the congregation.

AT THE EUCHARIST
The Liturgy continues with the Offertory, at which the newly married couple may present the offerings of bread and wine.

PREFACE OF MARRIAGE

At the Communion, it is appropriate that the newly married couple receive Communion first, after the ministers.

In place of the usual Post-Communion Prayer, the following is said:

O God, the giver of all that is true and lovely and gracious: We give you thanks for binding us together in these holy mysteries of the Body and Blood of your Son Jesus Christ. Grant that by your Holy Spirit, N- and N-, now joined in Holy Matrimony, may become one in heart and soul, live in fidelity and peace, and obtain those eternal joys prepared for all those who love you; for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.



THE BLESSING

The priest blesses the couple and the congregation saying:

God the Holy Trinity make you strong in faith and love, defend you on every side, and guide you in truth and peace; and the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be among you and remain with you always.

ALL: Amen.

As the wedding party leaves the church, a hymn, psalm or anthem may be sung.



B a c k