Silent Pastoral Prayer
Almighty God, cleanse my heart and my lips that I may be worthy to
bless and proclaim this Holy Sacrament for these thy servants.
Dearly Beloved, friends, relatives, and honored guests; It is out of
our affection for this Bride and Groom that we have gathered together
to witness and bless their mutual vows which will unite them in Holy
Matrimony. To this moment they bring their open hearts, willing
spirits, the dreams which bind them together, and their own
personalities and spirit. We are here to thank God for bestowing
upon them life’s greatest gift; another person to share with, care for,
grow with, change with, be joyful with and to stand firm as one when
trials and tribulations enter their lives.
To you who are present as friends and families… this is your service as
well and you are here to bestow your blessings and love upon this
couple as they seek to unite as one with the Holy Spirit. By your
thoughts, your feelings and your deeds toward them, on this day and in
the days to come, you can help strengthen the vows they are here to
Eternal God of Peace and Light, Father of Christ our Lord, we give
thanks for the great gift of love that you have bestowed upon these thy
servants. We give you thanks for _______ and ________ for their open
hearts and willing spirits, and for the example of love that they share
with us today. Be with them on this joyous occasion as they share
their love and say their vows; and be with us their witnesses that we
may support them always and be blessed by what is said and seen here
today. May the home they are creating today truly be a place of love,
harmony and thanksgiving, where your Spirit is always present. We ask
these things in the name of Christ our Lord. Amen
Love is the centerpiece to a long and healthy marriage. It is to
be shared between you, not kept apart. While love is difficult to
explain or describe, each of us recognizes it as the ingredient of life
that motivates and leads us to goals above and beyond our individual
ambitions. The following reading by Saint Paul attempts to
capture the essence of love.
“1st CORINTHIANS 13: 1-13”
If I speak in the tongues of men and angels, but have not love, I am
only a resounding gong or clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of
prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have
a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I
give all I posses to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but
have not love, I am nothing. Love is patient, love is kind.
It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not
rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no
record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices
with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes,
and always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there
are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be
stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know
in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the
imperfect disappears. Now these three remain; faith, hope and
love, but the greatest of these is love.
MARRIAGE AS A SACRAMENT
The holiness given by Christ to marriage is seen very clearly from the
fact that the union of the baptized is a sacrament. This means
that marriage itself is a sacred sign through which Christ gives us his
Holy Spirit. What does this consist of? It is the simplest
imaginable: the mutual promise and life in accordance with this
promise. This is the sacrament. Hence the form of the sacrament
is of no particular formula taken in and of itself, nor a marriage
ceremony by itself, but the will to belong to each other in love and
freely chosen loyalty, till the day of death. Hence all the love,
tenderness, compassion, concern and caring that married people offer
each other is a source of Grace, of Christ’s presence, of the Holy
Spirit. This is the nature of marriage, which Christians enter
into before God. This is the nature of the ceremony you are
present to witness and to partake of.
- Blessed are the man and the woman,
Who have grown beyond themselves,
And have seen through their separations.
- They delight in the way things are,
And keep their hearts open, day and night.
- They are like trees planted near flowing rivers,
Which bear fruit when they are ready.
- Their leaves will not fall or wither,
Everything they do will succeed!
Pastor: Matrimony symbolizes the ultimate intimacy and commitment
between a man and a woman: yet this closeness should not diminish but
strengthen the individuality of each partner. We are gathered here to
celebrate a marriage, which is a spiritual union between two
people. Your friends and family have all come to share their love
and to bless you in your new union and the creation of a brand new
family. As you enter into this union together it is important to
reflect upon what has brought you to this point in your lives. A
desire to elevate your relationship above just the ordinary and to
transcend your own limitations as you build a life and a home that is
filled with love, peace, happiness and joy with your spiritual mate.
Base your relationship on friendship, because when we are truly friends
with someone we want to spend quality time with them. We care
when they are sick, sad or in despair. We listen to their
hopes, fears, and dreams as we seek a deeper understanding of their
spirit. We show them sympathy when things go wrong. We
share laughter and lighthearted moments together. We go out of
our way to communicate with them so that we are “on the same page”,
because being so is the only true way to experience happiness,
unconditional love and joy in life. To achieve true friendship
takes commitment, communication, and hard work, and through this
process you will achieve peace in mind, body, and spirit.
Seek God’s love and blessings, praying together often. Love is
God’s greatest gift to us and should not be taken for granted.
Love is believing, sharing, caring and dreaming. Love is honesty,
friendship, companionship and selflessness. Love is the desire to
be intimate physically, psychologically, and emotionally. Love is
devotion, celebration, understanding, forgiveness and sacrifice.
Love is strong, yet can be fragile. Love is inspiration, support and
the only true way to know God. John tells us that “Whoever does
not love does not know God, because God is love.” God’s love is
called agape love and the Apostle Paul describes this kind of true love
in 1st Corinthians. This is the kind of love that God want’s
between husband and wife.
BESTOWING OF THE BRIDE
Pastor: Who present in this community bestows this woman to be united
with this man in Holy Matrimony? Parent or respondent stands and
replies “I Do!”
Pastor: Please face one another and join hands. Matron of Honor takes bouquet.
EXPRESSION OF INTENT
Do you promise to love and cherish each other; do you promise to comfort each other, during sorrow and during joy? “We Do”
Do you promise to support and to tenderly care for each other; to trust
and to encourage each others own fulfillment? “We Do”
Do you promise to protect each other, to be giving and to be honest with each other, always? “We Do”
Pastor (to groom then bride): Do you promise these things and do you take _____ to be your wife/husband? “I do”
Repeat: In the name of God, I _______ take you ______, to be my wife/husband,
To have and to hold from this day onward,
For better for worse, for richer for poorer,
In sickness and in health, To love and to cherish,
Until we are parted by death.
Pastor (to groom then bride): What pledge do you offer in token of these vows? “This Ring”
Pastor: Heavenly Father, bless things rings, and grant that they who
wear them may wear them with deep faith in their love for each
other. May they both do your will and always live together in
Peace, Love and Abiding Joy. We ask this through Christ our Lord, Amen.
Pastor: In offering this ring you mark your desire to enter into the
days of your lives together. Groom repeats then bride: This ring,