This ceremony was written with suggestions from the groom to include quotes from “The Princess Bride” and “Monty Python’s Holy Grail”
Mawage. Mawage is wot bwings us togeder tooday. Mawage, that bwessed awangment, that dweam wifin a dweam…And wuv, tru wuv, will fowow you foweva…So tweasure your wuv.
We have gathered here in the presence of God to give thanks for the gift of marriage, to witness the joining together of ____________ and ____________, to surround them with our prayers, and to ask god’s blessing upon them, so that they may be strengthened for their life together and nurtured in their love for God
God gave us marriage so that two people may help and comfort each other as they live faithfully together. Because we believe marriage is the full expression of love between two people, this ceremony contains not just promises to love each other but also a commitment to freely give all of yourselves to each other.
Marriage is also a mystery. In it, you are joined together – two become one. The mystery lies in the working out of that relationship. This way of life should not be carelessly begun, so today we begin as you hope to live – with a deep sense of prayerful responsibility toward one another and a calling forth of God’s blessing on the journey that lies ahead.
Prayer for the Couple
Let us pray: Gracious God, you are always faithful in your love for us. Look mercifully on ____________ and ____________ who have come to seek your blessing. Let your Holy Spirit rest on on them so that with steadfast love they may honor the promises they make this day, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Declaration of Intent
____________ and ____________, understanding that God has created you for each other and blessed the covenant of marriage, do you affirm your desire and intention to enter this covenant? If so say: I do.
Affirmation of Friends and Family
Friends, do you offer your blessing to ____________ and ____________ and promise to do everything in your power to uphold them in their marriage? If so say: I do.
A Reading from Scripture
Romans 12:1-6a (chosen by the couple)
I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect. 3 For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of yourself more highly than you ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. 4 For as in one body we have many members, and not all the members have the same function, 5 so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another. 6 We have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us
(Notes from which I spoke) good advice: marriage = many ways a living sacrifice = not to be so subsumed into the life of the other person, but to always look to the well-being – considering their needs, their hopes, their sorrows.
if married people look to the world’s way of handling interpersonal relationships marriage would be in jeopardy from the beginning. the discernment, the listening, the transformation and renewal that comes from seeking a common goal – seeking it together – listening and looking for the direction God would have you go
giftedness – recognizing several years of give and take already – learning about what strengths you both have – what weaknesses – where your gifts complement ____________’s and vice versa. Each gift is valid – not to be wasted, and not to be used in a way that causes the body of this relationship to be pulled apart – gifts work in concert with each other – as needed.
To live this way is hard work. A serious commitment to live in a way that transforms your relationship on a daily basis – renews your love, and embraces the diversity of gifts that rise up in both of you from time to time.
From “The Irrational Season” by Madeleine L’Engle
But ultimately there comes a moment when a decision must be made. Ultimately two people who love each other must ask themselves how much they hope for as their love grows and deepens, and how much risk they are willing to take…It is indeed a fearful gamble…Because it is the nature of love to create, a marriage itself is something which has to be created, so that, together we become a new creature.
To marry is the biggest risk in human relations that a person can take…If we commit ourselves to one person for life this is not, as many people think, a rejection of freedom; rather it demands the courage to move into all the risks of freedom, and the risk of love which is permanent; into that love which is not possession, but participation…It takes a lifetime to learn another person…When love is not possession, but participation, then it is part of that co-creation which is our human calling….
Exchange of Vows
Having expressed your desire to marry, join your right hands and with your promises, bind yourselves to each other as husband and wife.
I, ____________, take you, ____________, to be my wife and I promise before God and these witnesses to be your loving and faithful husband
in times of plenty and in times of need
in times of joy and in times of sorrow
in sickness and in health
as long as we both shall live.
Sealing Vows with the Exchange of Rings
You have chosen to exchange rings as a sign of your commitment to each other. As you look at them on your hands remember the purity of your love for each other, God’s eternal love for you and your lifelong commitment to each other. Let us pray:
By your blessing, O god, may these rings be to ____________ and ____________ symbols of unending love and faithfulness, reminding them of the covenant they have made to each other today, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
____________ and ____________ say: I give you this ring as a sign of our constant faith and abiding love
Prayer of Blessing
Eternal God, Creator and Preserver of all life, Author of Salvation, and giver of all grace: pour out your grace on ____________ and ____________. give them wisdom and devotion in their common life, that each may be to the other a strength in need, a counselor in confusion, a comfort in sorrow, and a companion in joy.
Help them focus their desires on your will, draw their spirits into you Spirit that they may grow in love and peace with you and with each other all the days of their life together.
Give them the grace when they hurt each other, to recognize and confess their fault, and to seek each other’s forgiveness and yours. Make their life together a sign of your love to this broken world: that unity may overcome estrangement, forgiveness heal guilt and joy conquer despair.
Give them such fulfillment in their mutual love that they may reach out in concern for others. Grant that all of us who have witnessed these vows today may find our own lives strengthened and our own promises renewed. Transform each one of us by your Spirit that your peace and justice may fill the earth, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Charge to ____________ and ____________
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. Give of yourself to the other, deeply and freely and generously, ever recalling the words of the poet who has said:
Love ever gives, forgives, outlives:
And ever stands with open hands.
And while it lives. It gives.
For this is love’s prerogative:
To give–and give–and give.
Pronouncement of Marriage
Before God and in the presence of all these friends, ____________ and ____________ have made their solemn vows to each other and they have confirmed their promises with symbols of their love. We have witnessed this union of two people, in this joyful bond of holy wedlock. Therefore, I proclaim that they are now husband and wife in a very real and legally binding way.