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Gathering Words:

Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to celebrate the marriage of Bride and
Groom. Although this is indeed a high point, marriage is a journey not a destination. Marriage is more than any one single event or promise. It is a series of decisions that have been made, and will continue to be made over and over again, every day, that shows each of their care and concern for the one whom they each love most in the world. Marriage is a promise that is renewed daily through a couples actions and a responsibility taken on in the spirit of faith, and hope, and love, that brings comfort in times of sadness and heightens our greatest joy.

Bride and Groom, may the promises you make this day live always in your hearts and in your home so that all which you share now deepen and grow through the years, leading you through a lifetime of happiness."

Welcoming of the Guests:

Bride and Groom would like to thank you all for being here with them today, and for supporting them through everything that it has taken to make this day a reality. They know that your taking the time, and making the journey, took considerable effort for a good many of you and they wanted you all to know the deep appreciation and gratitude that they feel in their hearts for this. All of you are the most important, and have been the most influential people in their lives. All of the time, and conversations, that you have had with Bride and Groom even before they met have helped to make them who they needed to be to first find themselves and then each other. You have shared in their best and their worst days, and you are an irreplaceable part of their yesterdays, their today and all of their tomorrows. For all of you are among the greatest gifts that life has given them. All of you are those they can call Family and Friend."

Pledge of Support:

"When you accepted Bride and Groom's invitation to join them here today, you accepted also a very special responsibility and role in their lives. By asking you to bear witness to all that is in their hearts, they share with you precious memories and a knowledge of why and how all is so right for them. These insights are a tool that may later be called upon in times when good council is needed. So I must now ask you; Do you promise that you will do everything in your power to support them in their union? That you will encourage them always to seek the comfort and strength of their togetherness through the storms and stress that life will bring. And that you shall use what you have heard and seen here today, to remind them that the beauty and joy they share this day was meant to last a lifetime. If so, may all that are here today say, “We do”

Guests: "We do!"

The Giving In Marriage

Will the parents of the bride and the parents of the groom please stand. (Parents of Bride) have nurtured and cared for their daughter in a multitude of ways. Likewise (Parents of Groom) have nurtured and cared for their son. We express gratitude for the inspiration of your love that enabled you to bring forth your children for us all to know and enjoy. As you have held them close, fitting them for maturity, will you now willingly and freely release them to love and care for each other? And will you support and encourage their life together that it, too, may be a blessing for generations to come? (Response in unison: We do).

The Charge

I charge you both, as you stand here in this high moment of your lives, to remember that love and loyalty alone will stand as the foundations of a happy and enduring home. If the vows you make this day are kept, your life together will be full of joy and peace, and the home which you make shall abide through every unknown future.

In this new life together, I counsel you to recall ever anew the thrill of your early love. Cherish always the visions and hopes you have this day, and let them not be tarnished by common events or routine habit. Believe in your ideals for this marriage, and diligently pursue them, and they shall indeed become realities.

I charge you both to make your love for each other a growing part of your lives, feeding it from the very best resources of your living. You must grow to the point where each gains major satisfaction in giving happiness to the other. Give of yourself to the other, deeply and freely and Generously, ever recalling the words of the poet who has said:
                      
Love ever gives, forgives, outlives:
And ever stands with open hands.
And while it lives. It gives.
 For this is love's prerogative:
 To give--and give--and give.


Yes, it is also necessary to recognize that marriage is a relationship of two persons who are not always at their best, and even in these moments of human failing, I counsel you always to act with charity and compassion toward one another, sharing the spirit expressed in the Book of Ephesians: "Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another." I would further charge you to understand, and constantly to strengthen, the spiritual basis of your love, recognizing that it is the most precious of all God's gifts to you, and that it must be nurtured until it attains to the state of perfect love which is intended by God for all people. Keep ever before you the words of the New Testament: "Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God. If we love one another, God dwells in us, and in us shall his love be perfected." Keep your hearts and minds open to the inner working of his spirit, that you love for each other may become as his love for us, full and complete in every way.
 
And finally, I do charge and require you both to remember this day as the most sacred day in your lives--as the day in which you promised, before God and man, that in every way possible you would strive to bring each other life's greatest fulfillment.

The Hope

Bride and Groom, it is our hope that you will keep your love alive; that you will grow and change and maintain the capacity for wonder, for spontaneity, for humor; that you will remain patient, warm and sensitive.  It is our hope that you will give fully to one another, no matter what demands are made upon your day.  We hope that you will see the meaning of life through the ever-changing prism of your love; that you will nurture each other to fullness and to wholeness; and in learning to love each other more deeply, that you will learn to love the creation in which the mystery of your love has happened.

We urge you to explore your love well.  Give to one another new experiences of joy. Challenge one another so that you may grow. May the love you hold for each other continue to mature with the passing years. May you never take each other for granted, but always experience the wonder of your union. Be slow to anger, quick to forgive, leaving no tracks of resentment behind each day. May your life together be a source of strength and inspiration to yourselves, your families, your friends, and to all whose lives you touch. 

The Affirmation:

Bride and Groom, do you find within you a love that has fused your lives together?  (We do.)

Do you find within your love the courage to meet the challenges that may confront your relationship?  (We do.)

Do you then affirm your devotion to each other, and your willingness to love one another into unique fullness, taking the risks and assuming the vulnerability of love again and again?  (We do.)

Declaration of Intent:

"A wedding is more than a celebration of the Love which lives in our Bride and Groom's hearts today. It reaches into the future and proclaims their intentions for that which tomorrow shall hold. A couple who wed are joined not only by the mutual affection and love they share, but also by their hopes, dreams and by their promises of what will be... The promises and vows they make this day shall guide them into their common future. I will ask you now if you are prepared to make these promises.

Bride, Have you come here today of your own free will to take Groom to be your
husband, that you may live together as equal partners sharing all that life has to offer?"

Bride: "I have."

"Will you love him, comfort him, honor and keep him all the days of your life?"

Bride: "I will."

"Groom, Have you come here today of your own free will to take Bride to be your wife,
that you may live together as equal partners sharing all that life has to offer?"

Groom: "I have."

"Will you love her comfort her, honor and keep her all the days of your life?"

Groom: "I will."

Reading:

The Key to Love
by Anon, 1st century China

"Tonight's reading was written in China by an anonymous writer in the first century. It is amazing how love transcends differences of time and culture to speak to the soul of we human beings."

"The key to love is understanding ...
The ability to comprehend not only the spoken word,
but those unspoken gestures,
the little things that say so much by themselves.

The key to love is forgiveness ....
to accept each other’s faults and pardon mistakes,
without forgetting, but with remembering
what you learn from them.

The key to love is sharing ...
Facing your good fortunes as well as the bad, together;
both conquering problems, forever searching for ways
to intensify your happiness.

The key to love is giving ...
without thought of return,
but with the hope of just a simple smile,
and by giving in but never giving up.

The key to love is respect ...
realizing that you are two separate people,
with different ideas;
that you don't belong to each other,
that you belong with each other, and share a mutual bond.

The key to love is inside us all ...
It takes time and patience to unlock all the ingredients
that will take you to its threshold;
it is the continual learning process
that demands a lot of work ...

but the rewards are more than worth the effort ...
and that is the key to love."


A Word from the Officiant:

"Today is the public affirmation and acknowledgment of all that you are to each other.
Seemingly your relationship will be as it has always been, yet there is a power in the spoken word. May that power bring you all the warmth and closeness, security and comfort, joy and happiness that this world has to offer."

Vow Exchange:

"Groom, do you take Bride
to be your lawfully wedded wife?
Do you vow to love her and care for her
For as long as you both shall live?
Do you accept her, with all of her faults and strengths,
And offer yourself to her
with all of your own faults and strengths?
Do you promise to help her when she needs help,
and to turn to her when you need help?
Do you promise to be a faithful and loving companion
and to always put the promises you make this day
above all else?"

Groom: "I do."

"Will you now place the ring on your beloved's finger and repeat after me?"

Groom places the ring half way on to Bride's finger

"I Groom take you Bride to be my wife
I will love you, and honor you,
respect and cherish you
All the days of my life."

Groom places the ring the rest of the way on to Bride's finger

"Bride, do you take Groom
to be your lawfully wedded husband?
Do you vow to love him and care for him
For as long as you both shall live?
Do you accept him, with all of his faults and strengths,
And offer yourself to him
with all of your own faults and strengths?
Do you promise to help him when he needs help,
and to turn to him when you need help?
Do you promise to be a faithful and loving companion
and to always put the promises you make this day
above all else?"

Bride: "I do."

"Will you now place the ring on your beloved's finger and repeat after me?"

Bride places the ring half way onto Groom's finger

"I Bride take you Groom to be my husband
I will love you, and honor you,
respect and cherish you
All the days of my life."

Bride places the ring the rest of the way onto Groom's finger

Ring Exchange:

"May I have the rings please?"

Officiant is given the rings

"The ring finger of the left hand, the side of the body that holds the heart, has been used for
the wedding band because for centuries people believed that there was a vein that ran directly
from that finger to the heart. They also believed that the words spoken during the placing of
the wedding band - symbol of perfection, completion and eternity - would resonate over and
over again, like the circumference of the band itself, through to the heart and soul of both
giver and the receiver of that most monumental of all promises: the promise of a lifetime as husband and wife."

Closing Words:

"The vows you have just taken, pledging love,
mean far more than mere words ever can.
May their gentle spirit move in you.
May your years fulfill the beauty
of the feelings expressed today.
And may you always put these vows
above the things that make life smaller.

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 to the other.
Now there will be no loneliness, for
each of you will be companion to the other.
Now you are two persons, but
there is only one life before you.
May beauty surround you both in the
journey ahead and through all the years.
May happiness be your companion and
your days together be good and long upon the earth.

Final Blessing:

Officiant:
O thou who art the Spirit of Love for the human race, send thy blessing upon these thy servants, whom we bless in the name of love. Enable them faithfully to perform this covenant that they have made in our presence. May their hearts be united in the bonds of each other's joys, consoled of each other's sorrows, helpers to each other in all the variations of life. Grant that they may faithfully discharge the duties that belong to the condition into which they have entered, and that, as good companions, they may walk the road together from this day forward. Amen.

Pronouncement:

You are now as your hearts have always known you to be,
Husband and Wife. You may kiss your beautiful Bride!"

Introduction:

Ladies and Gentlemen, it is my pleasure to introduce to you for the first time. Mr. and Mrs. _________________

 

 

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