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Gathering Words:

There is no greater gift than the love that makes two people one. To behold this love blossoming between two hearts is always a joy; and to behold the vows of lovers as they take each to the other, throughout all the changes of life, is a glorious moment of the soul. It speaks of the great conviction by which people mutually rely upon and believe in one another. In a world where faith often falls short of our expectation, it is a wonderful tribute to two people to see them joining hands and hearts in perfect faith.

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."

The Giving in Marriage:

That couple is richly blessed who comes to the marriage altar with the blessing of family and friends. Will the parents of the bride and the groom please stand? (Parents of Bride), it was your joy to give birth to Bride and to nurture her in her years of childhood and growing maturity. You have invested your love and joy in her. Do you now give your blessing to her marriage?  (Parents of Groom) it was your joy to give birth to Groom and to nurture him through his childhood and into maturity. You have invested your love your joy in him. Do you now give your blessing to his marriage?

Opening Reading:

"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."

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 forever gives, forgives, outlives:
And forever 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:

Officiant to Groom:

Do you Groom, knowing this woman's love for you and returning it, realizing her strengths and learning from them, recognizing her weaknesses and helping her to overcome them, take Bride to be your lawfully wedded wife?

Groom:
I will.

Officiant to Bride:
Do you Bride, knowing this man's love for you and returning it, realizing her strengths and learning from them, recognizing her weaknesses and helping her to overcome them, take Bride to be your lawfully wedded wife?
Bride:
I will.

Vow Exchange:

Groom:
I, Groom, take you, Bride, to be my wedded wife, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part, and thereto I give you my love.

Bride:
I, Bride, take you, Groom, to be my wedded husband, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part, and thereto I give you my love.

Ring Exchange Prelude

You have chosen to seal you vows by the giving and receiving of rings. The ring forms a perfect circle, without a beginning or an end, and is thereby a symbol of eternity and signifies the duration of the commitment you are making. The gold of which the rings are made signifies the purity and value of the relationship into which you enter.

 

Ring Exchange:

Officiant:
Who has these rings?

(Best man presents rings.)

Officiant:
Bless this act, that the intentions of this moment, symbolized by this visible act, shall be fulfilled through the days of their lives. Amen.

Groom:
With this ring, I thee wed, and pledge my faithful love.

Bride:
With this ring, I thee wed, and pledge my faithful love.

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.

The Pronouncement:

For inasmuch as Bride and Groom have consented together in wedlock, and have witnessed the same before this company, and thereto have engaged and pledged themselves to each other, and have declared the same by giving and receiving a ring and joining hands, I pronounce that they are husband and wife.

The Benediction:

May your love be as beautiful on each day you share, as is on this day of your wedding.
May the love of God be above you to over-shadow you
Beneath you to uphold you
Before you to guide you
Behind you to protect you
Close beside you and within you to make you able for all things:
And to reward your faithfulness with the joy and peace which the world cannot give--neither can it take away.

You may seal your vows with a kiss.

The Introduction

 

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

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