The Marriage Service for inclusion in Service Booklets

Words in italics may be changed. Add your names where indicated. It is usual to use the full names for the Declarations, and just the first or usually used name for the Vows.

Please check the final booklet with the person taking your service.

Entrance Music

Welcome and introduction
God is love, and those who live in love live in God and God lives in them.

Opening prayer  (This will be different if either of you has been married before.)
God of wonder and of joy: grace comes from you,
and you alone are the source of life and love.
Send your Holy Spirit,
and pour into our hearts that most excellent gift of love,
that we may worship you now with thankful hearts
and live out your love in our lives,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Hymn

Preface – the meaning of marriage
In the presence of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, we have come together to witness the marriage of N and N, to pray for God’s blessing on them, to share their joy and to celebrate their love.

Marriage is a gift of God in creation through which husband and wife may know the grace of God.
It is given that as man and woman grow together in love and trust, they shall be united with one another
in heart, body and mind, as Christ is united with his bride, the Church.

The gift of marriage brings husband and wife together in the delight and tenderness of sexual union and joyful commitment to the end of their lives. It is given as the foundation of family life in which children are [born and] nurtured and in which each member of the family, in good times and in bad, may find strength, companionship and comfort, and grow to maturity in love.

Marriage is a way of life made holy by God, and blessed by the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ with those celebrating a wedding at Cana in Galilee.

Marriage is a sign of unity and loyalty which all should uphold and honour. It enriches society and strengthens community. No one should enter into it lightly or selfishly but reverently and responsibly in the sight of almighty God.

N and N are now to enter this way of life. They will each give their consent to the other and make solemn vows, and in token of this they will [each] give and receive a ring. We pray with them that the Holy Spirit will guide and strengthen them, that they may fulfil God’s purposes for the whole of their earthly life together.

The Declarations
The minister says to the congregation
First, I am required to ask anyone present who knows a reason why these persons may not lawfully marry, to declare it now.

The minister says to the couple
The vows you are about to take are to be made in the presence of God, who is judge of all and knows all the secrets of our hearts; therefore if either of you knows a reason why you may not lawfully marry, you must declare it now.

The minister says to the bridegroom
N, will you take N to be your wife? Will you love her, comfort her, honour and protect her, and, forsaking all others, be faithful to her as long as you both shall live?

He answers.  I will.

The minister says to the bride
N, will you take N to be your husband?
Will you love him, comfort him, honour and protect him,
and, forsaking all others,
be faithful to him as long as you both shall live?

 She answers.  I will.

The minister says to the congregation
Will you, the families and friends of N and N,
support and uphold them in their marriage
now and in the years to come?   We will.

God our Father, from the beginning you have blessed creation with abundant life.
Pour out your blessings upon N and N, that they may be joined in mutual love and companionship,
in holiness and commitment to each other. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ your Son. Amen.

Reading(s)  (including a reading from the Bible – you may like to give details)

Address

The Vows
The minister may invite the bride to be presented, and then says:
N and N,  I invite you to make your vows,
in the presence of God and his people.
The bridegroom takes the bride’s right hand in his.
I, N, take you, N, to be my 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 to cherish,
till death us do part;
according to God’s holy law.
In the presence of God I make this vow.

The bride takes the bridegroom’s right hand in hers, and says
I, N, take you, N, to be my 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 to cherish,
till death us do part;
according to God’s holy law.
In the presence of God I make this vow.

The Giving of Rings
The minister receives the rings, and says this prayer

Heavenly Father, by your blessing
let these rings be to N and N
a symbol of unending love and faithfulness,
to remind them of the vow and covenant
which they have made this day
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
 
The bridegroom places the ring on  bride’s left hand and says
N, I give you this ring
as a sign of our marriage.
With my body I honour you,
all that I am I give to you,
and all that I have I share with you,
within the love of God,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
The bride places a ring on the  bridegroom’s left hand and says
N, I give you this ring
as a sign of our marriage.
With my body I honour you,
all that I am I give to you,
and all that I have I share with you,
within the love of God,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

The Proclamation
The minister addresses the people
In the presence of God, and before this congregation,
N and N have given their consent
and made their marriage vows to each other.
They have declared their marriage by the joining of hands
and by the giving and receiving of rings.
I therefore proclaim that they are husband and wife.

The minister joins their right hands together and says
Those whom God has joined together let no one put asunder.

The Blessing of the Marriage
The husband and wife kneel.
Blessed are you, O Lord our God,
for you have created joy and gladness,
pleasure and delight, love and peace.
Pour out the abundance of your blessing
upon N and N in their new life together.
Let their love for each other be a seal upon their hearts,
and a crown upon their heads.
and may they come at last to your eternal kingdom,
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

God the Father,
God the Son,
God the Holy Spirit,
bless, preserve and keep you;
the Lord mercifully grant you the riches of his grace,
that you may please him both in body and soul,
and, living together in faith and love,
may receive the blessings of eternal life. Amen.

Hymn

Signing of the Registers

Prayers  these may be used, or may be adapted – consult the person taking the service if unsure – you can also just include the response, which is:
Lord of life and love
hear our prayer.

Faithful God,
holy and eternal,
source of life and spring of love,
we thank and praise you for bringing N and N to this day,
and we pray for them.

Lord of life and love:
hear our prayer.

May their marriage be life-giving and life-long,
enriched by your presence and strengthened by your grace;
may they bring comfort and confidence to each other
in faithfulness and trust.

Lord of life and love:
hear our prayer.

May the hospitality of their home
bring refreshment and joy to all around them;
may their love reach out to others
and overflow to those in need.

Lord of life and love:
hear our prayer.

May they be guided by you to discern
order and purpose for their lives;
and may the power of your Holy Spirit
lead them in truth and defend them in adversity.

Lord of life and love:
hear our prayer.

May they nurture their family with devotion,
see their children grow in body, mind and spirit
and come at last to the end of their lives
with hearts content and in joyful anticipation of heaven.

Lord of life and love:
hear our prayer.

The Lord’s Prayer:
Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory,
for ever and ever. Amen.

Hymn during which a collection is taken for the work of the church.

The Blessing
God the Holy Trinity make you strong in faith and love,
defend you on every side,
and guide you in truth and peace;
and the blessing of God almighty,
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
be with you now and remain with you always. Amen.

 Exit Music

Becoming rooted in God, growing together in faith, reaching out with love.