Marriage

    The Marriage Service within a
Celebration of Holy Communion
     
   
Structure
 
     
  The Gathering
    The Welcome
    Prayers of Penitence
    Preface
    The Declarations
    The Collect
     
  The Liturgy of the Word
    Readings
    Gospel Reading
    Sermon
     
  The Marriage
    The Vows
    The Giving of Rings
    The Proclamation
    † The Blessing of the Marriage
    Registration of the Marriage
    Prayers
     
  The Liturgy of the Sacrament
    The Peace
    Preparation of the Table
    Taking of the Bread and Wine
    The Eucharistic Prayer
    The Lord's Prayer
          † The Blessing of the Marriage
    Breaking of the Bread
    Giving of Communion
    Prayer after Communion
  The Dismissal
     
     
    † indicates alternative position allowed and shown indented in italics
     
     
     
    The Marriage Service within a
Celebration of Holy Communion
     
  The Gathering
     
   
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.
     
   
Prayers of Penitence
 
     
   
Invitation to Confession
 
     
    A minister may use these or other suitable words
     
    As we prepare to hear God's word
and to celebrate the marriage of  N and N,
we remember our human frailty
and our need for God's help in all that we do.
     
    (or)
     
    Gathered together as God's family,
let us ask forgiveness from our heavenly Father,
for he is full of gentleness and compassion.
     
    (or)
     
    We come to God as one from whom no secrets are hidden,
to ask for his forgiveness and peace.
     
   
Confession and Absolution
 
     
    Either
     
All
  Lord our God,
in our sin we have avoided your call.
Our love for you is like a morning cloud,
like the dew that goes away early.
Have mercy on us;
deliver us from judgement;
bind up our wounds
and revive us;
in Jesus Christ our Lord. 
Amen.
     
    The president says
     
    The Lord forgive you your sin,
unite you in the love which took Christ to the cross,
and bring you in the Spirit to his wedding feast in heaven.
All
  Amen.
     
    (or)
     
    Lord, in our weakness you are our strength.
Lord, have mercy.
All
  Lord, have mercy.
     
    Lord, when we stumble, you raise us up.
Christ, have mercy.
All
  Christ, have mercy.
     
    Lord, when we fail, you give us new life.
Lord, have mercy.
All
  Lord, have mercy.
     
    The president says
     
    May God in his goodness forgive us our sins,
grant us strength in our weakness, 
and bring us to eternal life,
through Jesus Christ our Lord. 
All
  Amen.
     
   
Preface
 
     
    These words or those 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.
     
     
  The Liturgy of the Word
     
   
Readings
 
     
    Either one or two readings from Scripture precede the Gospel reading.
     
    At the end of each the reader may say
     
    This is the word of the Lord.
All
  Thanks be to God.
     
    The psalm or canticle follows the first reading; other hymns and songs may be used between the readings.
     
   
Gospel Reading
 
     
    An acclamation may herald the Gospel reading. One of the following may be used
     
    Alleluia, alleluia.
God made them male and female
and the two will become one.
All
  Alleluia.     
   
cf Mark 10.8
    (or)
     
    Alleluia, alleluia.
God is love;
let us love one another
as God has loved us.
All
  Alleluia.     
   
cf 1 John 4.8-11
     
    When the Gospel is announced the reader says
     
    Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to N.
All
  Glory to you, O Lord.
     
    At the end
     
    This is the Gospel of the Lord.
All
  Praise to you, O Christ.
     
   
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 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 provided 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 Blessing of the Marriage may be used here or after the Lord's Prayer.
     
    The husband and wife kneel. The minister may use the following blessing or one of those 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.
     
   
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.
     
    Father of all,
in Jesus Christ you open to us
the treasures of your kingdom;
guide us by your Holy Spirit
that we may receive your redeeming grace
and reflect the perfect unity of your love,
for you live and reign,
one God, now and for ever. 
All
  Amen.
     
    A hymn may be sung.
     
     
  The Liturgy of the Sacrament      
     
   
The Peace
 
     
    The president may introduce the Peace with a suitable sentence. The following may be used
     
    To crown all things there must be love.
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts.
The peace of the Lord be always with you
All
  and also with you.
     
    (or)
     
    We have celebrated the love of N and N
We now celebrate God's love for all of us.
Peace, in Christ, to all of you  
   
cf 1 Peter 5.14
All
  and also with you.
     
    These words may be added
     
    Let us offer one another a sign of peace.
     
    All may exchange a sign of peace.
     
    The service continues with the Preparation of the Table. Presidential texts for the rest of the service are to be found here.
     
   
Preparation of the Table
 
     
   
Taking of the Bread and Wine
 
     
    The following prayer may be used
     
    In your goodness, Lord,
accept the gift of our love,
and with a father's affection watch over this couple
you have joined in the covenant of marriage;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. 
All
  Amen.
     
   
The Eucharistic Prayer
 
     
    An authorized Eucharistic Prayer is used.
     
    One of these Proper Prefaces may be used
     
   
Short Proper Preface
 
     
    And now we give you thanks
because you have made the union between Christ and his Church
a pattern for the marriage between husband and wife. 
Therefore with angels . . .
     
   
Extended Proper Preface
 
     
    All glory, honour, thanks and praise
be given to you, creator of heaven and earth.
When you made us in your image,
creating us male and female,
you gave us the gift of marriage.
When sin marred that image
you healed our brokenness,
giving your Son to die for us.
Therefore we raise our voices,
with all who have served you in every age,
to proclaim the glory of your name:
     
   
The Lord's Prayer
 
     
   
The Blessing of the Marriage
 
   
(if not used earlier)
 
     
   
Breaking of the Bread
 
     
   
Giving of Communion
 
     
   
Prayer after Communion
 
     
    The following Post Communion may be used
     
    Gracious God,
may N and N , who have been bound together
in these holy mysteries,
become one in body and soul.
May they live in faithfulness and peace
and obtain those eternal joys
prepared for all who love you;
through your Son Jesus Christ our Lord. 
All
  Amen.
     
     
 
  The Dismissal
     
    The minister says
     
    The Lord bless you and keep you:
All
  Amen.
    The Lord make his face to shine upon you,
and be gracious to you:
All
  Amen.
    The Lord lift up his countenance upon you
and give you peace:     
   
Numbers 6.24-26
All
  Amen.
    The Lord God almighty, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
the holy and undivided Trinity,
guard you, save you,
and bring you to that heavenly city,
where he lives and reigns for ever and ever.
All
  Amen.