We have come together at the invitation of ________ and ________ to celebrate the uniting in Christian love, their hearts and lives. This is possible because of the love God has created in them, through Jesus Christ.
Jesus said, "I am come that they might have life and that they might have it more abundantly." This abundant life, for many people, is an impossible dream, yet God wants us all to have this abundant life and proved His love for us by giving His Son, that we might have this life.
Another way that God provides for this "full" life is creating those who will love us. ________ has found such a one in ________. Their hearts and spirits were drawn together before today by the Lord of all creation. Two lives are not united by ceremony, but only in the power, love, and grace of God.
________ and ________ are here to publicly declare that because of Jesus Christ's love, they too can truly love one another. As God demonstrated His love in Jesus, our Lord, ________ and ________ will demonstrate this God given love by giving themselves to one another and one for the other.
They have not reached this place alone, each has been given life by their parents. These, who gave to them life love, provision, are and will be, a vital part in their continued lives. Their love has borne fruit in ________ and ________. Love and respect for these will continue as they grow in their own love made possible by their parents.
Giving Away of Bride
Who then has prepared this woman for marriage to this man?
Father replies -- "Her Mother and I."
(Bride, Groom, Best Man, Matron of Honor, Pastor, all move up the stairs, front of pulpit area.)
Pastor to Bride and Groom -- ________ and ________, no other human ties are more tender, no other vows are more sacred than these you are about to assume. You are entering into that holy estate which is the deepest mystery of experience, and which is the very sacrament of divine love.
Pastor to Groom: ________, will you have ________, to be your wedded wife, to live together af-ter God's ordinance in the holy estate of matrimony; will you love her, comfort her, honor and keep her, in sickness and in health, and forsaking all others, keep yourself only for her so long as you both shall live?
Groom -- "I will."
Pastor to Bride -- ________, will you have ________ to be your wedded husband, to live together after God's ordinance in the holy estate of matrimony; will you love him, comfort him, honor and keep him, in sickness and in health, and forsaking all others, keep yourself only for him so long as you both shall live?
Bride -- "I will."
(Pastor can say a few words before vows.)
Pastor asks groom to repeat his vows to his bride.
Pastor asks bride to repeat her vows to her husband.
Pastor to Groom -- ________, what symbol do you bring as a pledge of that sincerity of your vows?
Groom -- "A ring."
Pastor to Bride -- Please remember, a ring is more than a symbol of your marriage. It is a seal of the vow you have made to one another. The circle of the ring is, as far as human eye can see, a perfect circle--with no be-ginning or end--so God too, has perfect love for you and wants you to love one another in His grace--never, never ending. This ring is made of precious metal. You also are precious in God's sight and now in the life of ________. When you are absent one from another, the presence of the ring reminds you to be faithful and to fulfill your vows to ________.
Rings have historically been the sign of authority -- used to seal documents and proclamations, you now accept this authority in your life.
Pastor to Groom -- You may now place your ring on your Bride's finger.
Pastor to Bride -- ________, what symbol do you bring as a pledge of that sincerity of your vows?
Bride -- "A ring."
Pastor to Groom -- ________, this ring is a seal of ________'s vow to you. She presents this to you as a token of her submission to you in Jesus Christ. This is a symbol of leadership and privilege. God has placed you as head of the family. You must lead in worship, works and fellowship. As the weaker vessel she de-pends upon you for strength.
Pastor to Bride -- You may now place your ring on your Bride's finger.
For as much as ________ and ________ have consented in holy wedlock, and have thereto confirmed the same by giving and receiving each one a ring; by the authority committed unto me as a minister of the Church of Jesus Christ, I now declare you husband and wife, according to the ordinance of God, and the laws of the state of (state); in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Amen.
(Optional) Candle Lighting Ceremony
Groom helps Bride up and goes to top of altar.
Pastor -- The two outside candles have been lighted by the parents to represent ________ and ________'s lives to this moment. They are two distinct lights, each capable of going their separate ways. To bring bliss and happiness to ________ and ________'s home, there must be a merging of these two lights into one light. This is what the Lord meant when He said, "On this account, a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife and the two shall be one flesh." From now on their thoughts shall be for each other rather than for their individual selves. Their plans shall be mutual, their joys and sorrows shall be shared alike. As they take a candle and together light the center one, they will extinguish their own candles, thus letting the center candle represent the union of their lives into one flesh. As this one light can-not be divided, neither shall their lies be divided but a united testimony in a Christian home. May ;the radiance of this one light be a testimony of their unity in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Ladies and Gentlemen, may I present to you Mr. & Mrs. ________.