"Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee" /Beethoven
Minister -- We are gathered today in the presence of God to give thanks for the gift of marriage, and to witness the joining together of _MF and ________. In various traditions, marriage is a sign of our Creator's intention for wholeness in all creation. Out of the chaos, God brought order. That creative purpose is still at work. The joining together of two persons into one unique, intimate, and creative unity in marriage is therefore not only a symbol but also a demomstration of the well-being, the purpose of human society. And so marriage is truly a celebration of God's good work in creation
The uniting of two individuals from two separate families and backgrounds to establish a new family is an important and memorable event. For us, attached as we are to ________ and to ________ by special bonds of love and affection,the uniting of these two people in heart and body and mind, is an occasion of great significance which we can all celebrate.
Marriage is not a casual event, nor is it simply a private affair between two individuals. Marriage is to be entered into responsibly and prayerfully. This marriage brings together this day two individuals, two families, and two communities of faith. It is then, in the midst of a troubled and broken society, a sign of hope. It deserves and needs the support of a wider community. Today is a time for family and friends to share in their commitment to each other by offering ________ and ________ our continued support, love and best wishes in their lives together.
In their love together, which they publicly express in this ceremony, ________ and ________ demonstrate not only their joy in the present but their commitment to share the future together. We share their joy, and promise to do all we can to help bring to fulfillment a future of peace and justice for them and for all humanity.
Prayer: Let us pray: O Lord our God, source of all blessing, in happiness and joy we thank you for the gift of marriage, which we celebrate today. May you give ________ and ________ the ability to rejoice always in their love. May you fulfill every worthy wish of their hearts. May you open their eyes to the beauty and the mystery of the love they hold for each other, every day as today. And may their life together embrace and nurture the promise of this moment, so that all who know them will call them truly blessed. Amen.
"Sunrise, Sunset" / J.Bock and S.Harnick
Minister -- ________ and ________ please state your intent to enter into this union by expressing your vows to one another.
________, repeat after me: "I, ________ promise before family and friends to commit my love to you; to respect your individuality; to be with you through life's changes; and to nurture and strengthen the love between us, as long as we both shall live".
(Bride repeats vow, then same for the groom)
Minister -- (To the congregation) "Will all of you witnessing these vows do everything in your power to uphold ________ and ________ in their marriage? Congregation: "We Will."
Minister -- The wedding ring is a symbol of unity, a circle unbroken, without beginning or end. And today ________ and ________ give and receive these rings as demonstrations of their vows to make their life one, to work at all times to create a love that is whole and unbroken, and to love each other without end.
Groom, take this ring, and place it on your Bride's finger and state your pledge to her, repeating after me: "This ring I give you as a sign of our constant faith and abiding love."
Groom repeats and then bride.
Minister -- Eternal God, without your grace no promise is sure. Strengthen ________ and ________ with patience, kindness, gentleness, and all the other gifts you so abundantly impart, that they may fulfill the vows they have made this day. Keep them faithful to each other and to You. Fill them with such love and joy that they may build a home of peace and welcome. And guide them by your word to serve you all their days. Amen.
Pronouncement of Marriage
Minister -- Before God and in your presence as witnesses, ________ and ________ have made their solemn vows to each other. They have confirmed their promises by joining of hands and the giving and receiving of rings. Therefore I proclaim that ________ and ________ are husband and wife.
Minister -- At the end of some ceremonies, we hear bells ringing, and of others, the breaking of the glass. Among the many interpertations of these two customs, one is that the loud noise of both the bells and the breaking of the glass scares away evil spirits wishing harm to the newly married couple.
Breaking a glass summons the notion that sweetness can only exist alongside bitterness---breaking the glass reminds us that although this wedding has provided joy, the world is still in turmoil, and requires our care and love. Its breaking is not only a reminder of sorrow, but also an expression of hope for a future free from all violence.
Frailty of the glass also suggests the frailty of human relationships. The glass, then, is broken to protect the marriage with an implied prayer, "As this glass shatters, so may your marriage never break".
The tradition of the breaking of the glass is a symbolic prayer and hope that your love for one another will remain until the pieces of this glass come together again. It is also a reminder that in the midst of all our rejoicing we should be mindful of all the want, pain and suffering that exist elsewhere in the world.
Let us, with this symbol, be particularly mindful of the needless barriers that people erect between one another, and try to think with the breaking of the glass, of breaking down those barriers and helping to build a world of respect, unity and peace.
And now may the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make His countenance to shine upon you, and be gracious unto you. May the ,Lord lift up His countenace upon you and give you peace this day and all your days. Amen.
Breaking of the Glass
Groom breaks the glass.
You may kiss your bride.