Giving Away of Bride
Pastor -- "Who gives this woman to be wedded to this man?"
Parents -- "We do"
The Word of God has declared marriage to be honorable in all. It is an institution of God, ordained in the time of man's innocence, before he had sinned against his Maker, and been banished from the Garden of Eden. It was given in wisdom and in kindness, to repress irregular affection, to support social order, and to provide that, through well ordered families, truth and holiness might be transmitted from one age to another. Above all, how-ever, marriage was given that; through the love, faithfulness, and building up of the husband and wife by one an-other; God may be served more completely and effectively. Earlier than all laws of merely human origin, it lies at the basis of all human legislation and civil government, and the peace and well being of the community and country.
We learn from the history of our Savior, that He honored a marriage festival with his presence, and per-formed there the beginning of his miracles. And by his Holy Spirit, speaking through his apostles, He has selected this union of a man and a woman as a fitting example of the union that binds together Himself and us, His ran-somed church. A relationship that is consecrated in this manner, should not be formed thoughtlessly and irrever-ently; but advisedly, in the fear of God, and for the purposes for which He, its Divine Author, has ordained and blessed matrimony.
1. A Commitment (Gen. 2.18-20)
Marriage is a lifetime commitment made before God and man. It was ordained by God before the fall. From this point on you do not stay married because you love. You choose to love because you have made the com-mitment to be married.
2. An Illustration (Eph. 5.21-33)
Marriage is a living illustration of the kind of intimacy God desires to have with us through faith in Christ.
3. Work (Rom. 3.10; Gen. 3.6)
Marriage involves two fallen and sinful people coming from two separate backgrounds and living in a fallen and sinful world. Therefore good marriages don't just happen. They take work.
Pastor -- "Is this the commitment you have come here to make?"
Bride and Groom -- "It is."
Pastor -- "Please join hands and repeat after me"
Groom -- "I, ________, take thee, ________, to be my wedded 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 cherish, till death us do part, accord-ing to God's holy ordinance; and thereto I pledge you my faithfulness."
Bride -- "I, ________, take thee, ________, to be my wedded 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 cherish, till death us do part, ac-cording to God's holy ordinance; and thereto I pledge you my faithfulness."
Pastor -- "May I have the rings? The circle, the emblem of eternity; and gold, the emblem of that which is least tarnished and most enduring. It is to show how lasting and imperishable is the faith and love now mutually pledged."
Please repeat after me -- "I give you this ring as a sign of my love and faithfulness."
As the union now formed is to be ended only by death, it becomes you to consider the duties you now sol-emnly assume. If these be remembered and faithfully discharged they will add to the happiness of this life, light-ening by dividing its inevitable sorrows, and heightening by doubling all its blessedness. But if these obligations be neglected and violated, you cannot escape the keenest misery as well as the darkest guilt.
It is the duty of the husband to provide for the support of his wife, to shelter her from danger, and to cherish for her a manly and unchanging affection, it being the command of God's Word that husbands love their wives even as Christ loved the church and gave his own life for her.
It is the duty of the wife to reverence and obey her husband, and to put on the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is, in God's sight, an ornament of great price, His Word commanding that wives be subject unto their own husbands, even as the church is subject unto Christ.
It is the duty of both to delight each in the society of the other, to remember that in interest and in reputa-tion, as in affection, they are to be henceforth one and undivided; to preserve an inviolable fidelity, and to see to it that what God has joined together man never tears apart.
Unity Candle (optional)
"By the authority committed unto me by the state, and inasmuch as you, ________ and ________, have committed yourselves to one another before God and in the presence of these witnesses, I pronounce you husband and wife."
"You may kiss the Bride."
I am honored to be the first to present Mr. & Mrs. ________.