Marriage

    The Marriage Service
     
   
Structure
 
     
  Introduction
     
    The Welcome
     
    Preface
     
    The Declarations
     
    The Collect
     
    Readings
     
    Sermon
     
     
  The Marriage
     
    The Vows
     
    The Giving of Rings
     
    The Proclamation
     
    The Blessing of the Marriage
     
    Registration of the Marriage
     
    Prayers
     
    The Dismissal
     
    For Notes, see here.
     
     
     
    The Marriage Service
     
  Introduction
     
   
The Welcome
 
     
    The minister welcomes the people using these or other appropriate words
     
    The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,
the love of God,
and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit
be with you
All
  and also with you. 
     
    This sentence may be used
     
    God is love, and those who live in love live in God
and God lives in them.
   
1 John 4.16
     
    This prayer may be said
     
All
  God of wonder and of joy:
grace comes from you,
and you alone are the source of life and love.
Without you, we cannot please you;
without your love, our deeds are worth nothing.
Send your Holy Spirit,
and pour into our hearts
      that most excellent gift of love,
that we may worship you now
with thankful hearts
and serve you always with willing minds;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. 
Amen.
     
    A hymn may be sung.
     
   
Preface
 
     
    These words or those provided here are used
     
    In the presence of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
we have come together
to witness the marriage of N and N,
to pray for God's blessing on them,
to share their joy
and to celebrate their love.

Marriage is a gift of God in creation
through which husband and wife may know the grace of God.
It is given
that as man and woman grow together in love and trust,
they shall be united with one another in heart, body and mind,
as Christ is united with his bride, the Church.

The gift of marriage brings husband and wife together
in the delight and tenderness of sexual union
and joyful commitment to the end of their lives.
It is given as the foundation of family life
in which children are [born and] nurtured
and in which each member of the family,in good times and in bad,
may find strength, companionship and comfort,
and grow to maturity in love.

Marriage is a way of life made holy by God,
and blessed by the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ
with those celebrating a wedding at Cana in Galilee.
Marriage is a sign of unity and loyalty
which all should uphold and honour.
It enriches society and strengthens community.
No one should enter into it lightly or selfishly
but reverently and responsibly in the sight of almighty God.

N and N are now to enter this way of life.
They will each give their consent to the other
and make solemn vows,
and in token of this they will [each] give and receive a ring.
We pray with them that the Holy Spirit will guide
      and strengthen them,
that they may fulfil God's purposes
for the whole of their earthly life together.
     
   
The Declarations
 
     
    The minister says to the congregation
     
    First, I am required to ask anyone present who knows a reason why these persons may not lawfully marry, to declare it now.
     
    The minister says to the couple
     
    The vows you are about to take are to be made in the presence
      of God,
who is judge of all and knows all the secrets of our hearts;
therefore if either of you knows a reason why you may not
      lawfully marry,
you must declare it now.
     
    The minister 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 minister 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.
     
    The minister says to the congregation
     
    Will you, the families and friends of N and N,
support and uphold them in their marriage
now and in the years to come?
All
  We will.
     
   
The Collect
 
     
    The minister invites the people to pray, silence is kept
and the minister says the Collect
     
    God our Father,
from the beginning
you have blessed creation with abundant life.
Pour out your blessings upon N and N,
that they may be joined in mutual love and companionship,
in holiness and commitment to each other.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ your Son,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. 
All
  Amen.
     
   
Readings
 
     
    At least one reading from the Bible is used. A selection of readings is found here.
     
   
Sermon
 
     
  The Marriage 
     
    A hymn may be sung.
     
    The couple stand before the minister.
     
   
The Vows
 
     
    The minister introduces the vows in these or similar words
     
    N and N, I now invite you to join hands and make your vows,
in the presence of God and his people.
     
    The bride and bridegroom face each other. 
    The bridegroom takes the bride's right hand in his.
     
    These words, or those provided here, are used
     
    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,
till death us do part;
according to God's holy law.
In the presence of God I make this 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,
till death us do part;
according to God's holy law.
In the presence of God I make this vow.
     
    They loose hands.
   
   
The Giving of Rings
 
     
    The minister receives the ring(s), and says this prayer or the prayer here
     
    Heavenly Father, by your blessing
let these rings be to N and N
a symbol of unending love and faithfulness,
to remind them of the vow and covenant
which they have made this day
through Jesus Christ our Lord. 
All
  Amen.
     
    The bridegroom places the ring on the fourth finger of the bride's left hand and, holding it there, says
     
    N, I give you this ring
as a sign of our marriage.
With my body I honour you,
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
     
    N, I give you this ring
as a sign of our marriage.
With my body I honour you,
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 says
     
    N, I receive this ring
as a sign of our marriage.
With my body I honour you,
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.
     
   
The Proclamation
 
     
    The minister 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 the joining of hands
and by the giving and receiving of rings.
I therefore proclaim that they are husband and wife.
     
    The minister joins their right hands together and says
     
    Those whom God has joined together let no one put asunder.
     
   
The Blessing of the Marriage
 
     
    The husband and wife kneel. The minister may use the following blessing or one of those provided here.
     
    Blessed are you, O Lord our God,
for you have created joy and gladness,
pleasure and delight, love, peace and fellowship.
Pour out the abundance of your blessing
upon N and N in their new life together.
Let their love for each other be a seal upon their hearts
and a crown upon their heads.
Bless them in their work and in their companionship;
awake and asleep,
in joy and in sorrow,
in life and in death.
Finally, in your mercy, bring them to that banquet
where your saints feast for ever in your heavenly home.
We ask this through Jesus Christ your Son, our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. 
All
  Amen.
     
    The minister says to the couple
     
    God the Father,
God the Son,
God the Holy Spirit,
bless, preserve and keep you;
the Lord mercifully grant you the riches of his grace,
that you may please him both in body and soul,
and, living together in faith and love,
may receive the blessings of eternal life. 
All
  Amen.
     
   
Registration of the Marriage
 
     
    See Note 10.
     
    A hymn or psalm may be used (see here).
     
   
Prayers
 
     
    These or other suitable prayers are used (see Note 9 and here). The prayers usually include these concerns and may follow this sequence:
     
  Thanksgiving
     
  Spiritual growth
     
  Faithfulness, joy, love, forgiveness and healing
     
  Children, other family members and friends
     
    Faithful God,
holy and eternal,
source of life and spring of love,
we thank and praise you for bringing N and N to this day,
and we pray for them.
Lord of life and love:
All
  hear our prayer.
     
    May their marriage be life-giving and life-long,
enriched by your presence and strengthened by your grace;
may they bring comfort and confidence to each other
in faithfulness and trust.
Lord of life and love:
All
  hear our prayer.
     
    May the hospitality of their home
bring refreshment and joy to all around them;
may their love overflow to neighbours in need
and embrace those in distress.
Lord of life and love:
All
  hear our prayer.
     
    May they discern in your word
order and purpose for their lives;
and may the power of your Holy Spirit
lead them in truth and defend them in adversity.
Lord of life and love:
All
  hear our prayer.
     
    May they nurture their family with devotion,
see their children grow in body, mind and spirit
and come at last to the end of their lives
with hearts content and in joyful anticipation of heaven.
Lord of life and love:
All
  hear our prayer.
     
    The prayers conclude with the Lord's Prayer.
     
    As our Saviour taught us, so we pray
     
All
  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.
Lead us not into temptation
but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours
now and for ever. 
Amen.
     
    (or)
     
    Let us pray with confidence as our Saviour has taught us
     
All
  Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever.  
Amen.
     
    A hymn may be sung.
     
   
The Dismissal
 
     
    The minister says
     
    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.