The Gathering of the Community

The people stand. The bride and groom stand before the celebrant.

Celebrant The grace and peace of God be with you all.

People And also with you.

Celebrant Dear friends, we have come together in the presence of God to witness the marriage of N and N, and to rejoice with them.

Marriage is a gift of God and a means of grace, in which man and woman become one flesh. It is God’s purpose that, as husband and wife give themselves to each other in love, they shall grow together and be united in that love.

The union of man and woman in heart, body, and mind is intended for their mutual comfort and help,that they may know each other with delight and tenderness in acts of love [and that they may be blessed in the procreation, care, and upbringing of children].

In marriage, husband and wife give themselves to each other, to care for each other in good times and in bad. They are linked to each other’s families, and they begin a new life together in the community.

It is a way of life that all should reverence, and none should lightly undertake.

If anyone present knows a reason why N and N may not lawfully marry, they must declare it now.

N and N, if either of you knows a reason why you may not lawfully marry, you must declare it now.

N and N have come to enter this holy state. They have complied with Civil and Canon Law and have been duly prepared to enter into marriage. They will each give their consent to the other; they will exchange solemn vows, and in token of this, they will (each) give and receive a ring.

We pray with them that by grace they may fulfil God’s purpose for the whole of their earthly life together.

Let us pray.

Holy God, you have taught us that those who love abide in the light of your presence. Grant to these your servants that loving one another they may grow in your grace and continue in your care until their lives’ end.

People Amen.

The Proclamation of the Word

One or more readings, including a Gospel reading, shall normally be read.

Suitable readings from another faith tradition may be read. Members of the family and friends of the bride and groom may read lessons. Suggested readings may be found on p. 549 in The Book of Alternative Services. The readings shall be selected in consultation with the bride and groom.After each reading silence may be kept. A psalm, canticle, hymn, or anthem may follow.

The Wedding

The people stand. The celebrant says to the bridegroom,

N will you give yourself to N to be her husband:
to love her, comfort her, honour and protect her;
and forsaking all others, to be faithful to her
so long as you both shall live?

Bridegroom I will.

The celebrant says to the bride,

N will you give yourself to N to be his wife:
to love him, comfort him, honour and protect him;
and forsaking all others, to be faithful to him
so long as you both shall live?

Bride I will.

The celebrant may address the following question to the families of the bride and bridegroom.

Do you, members of the families of N and N, give your blessing to this marriage?

Answer We do.

The celebrant addresses the following to all present.

You are the witnesses to these vows now being made.
Will you do all in your power to support and uphold this marriage?

Answer We will.

The bride and bridegroom face each other and join hands.

Bridegroom 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
for the rest of our lives,
(according to God’s holy law).
This is my solemn vow.

Bride 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
for the rest of our lives,
(according to God’s holy law).
This is my solemn vow.

They loose hands. The celebrant receives the ring(s) and addresses the congregation in these or similar words.

Dear friends,
let us ask God to bless this ring, that it may be a symbol of the vow and covenant N and N have made this day.

The community may pray silently. The celebrant then says,

Blessed are you,
God of steadfast love,
source of our joy and end of our hope.
Bless this ring given and received
that it may be a symbol
of the vow and covenant
N and N have made this day.
Blessed are you for ever.

People Amen.

The bridegroom (and the bride in her turn) places the ring on the ring-finger of the other’s hand and says,

N, I give you this ring
as a symbol of my vow.
With all that I am and all that I have
I honour you in the name of God.

The bride and bridegroom join right hands.

Celebrant N and N have joined themselves to each other by solemn vows, signified by the joining of hands and the giving and receiving of a ring. I declare, in the name of God, that they are husband and wife.

Those whom God has joined together let no one put asunder.

People Amen.

The register may be signed at this time or at the end of the service.

The Prayers of the People

The Prayers of the People may be led by a friend or member of the family or faith community of the bride or groom, or by the celebrant. The following form may be amended or replaced. Appropriate prayers from other traditions may be used.

Leader Let us pray.

Almighty God, in whom we live and move and have our being, look graciously upon the world which you have made, and especially on all whom you make to be one flesh in holy marriage.

May their lives together be a sign of your love to this broken world, so that unity may overcome estrangement, forgiveness heal guilt, and joy overcome despair.

Lord, in your mercy,

People Hear our prayer.

Leader May N and N so live together that the strength of their love may enrich our common life and become a sign of your faithfulness.

Lord, in your mercy,

People Hear our prayer.

[Leader May they receive the gift and heritage of children and the grace to bring them up to know and love you.

Lord, in your mercy,

People Hear our prayer.]

Leader May their home be a place of truth, security, and love; and their lives an example of concern for others.

Lord, in your mercy,

People Hear our prayer.

Other suitable prayers may be used.

The Lord’s Prayer

Celebrant Gathering our prayers and praises into one, let us offer our prayer to God,

All Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial,
and deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours,
now and for ever. Amen.

Or

Celebrant And now, as Jesus Christ has taught us, we are bold to say,

All 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.

Lord, in your mercy,

People Hear our prayer.

Leader May those who have witnessed these vows find their lives strengthened and their loyalties confirmed.

The Blessing of the Marriage

The people remain standing. The husband and wife kneel, and the celebrant says the following prayer.

Blessed are you, gracious God, creator of heaven and earth; we give you thanks and praise in the assembly of your people. You made us in your image : male and female you created us. You give us the gift of marriage and consecrate the union of man and woman. You call us to reflect your faithfulness as we serve one another in the bond of covenant love. By the power of your Holy Spirit, pour out the abundance of your blessing upon this man and this woman. Defend them from every enemy. Lead them into all peace. Let their love for each other be a seal upon their hearts, a mantle about their shoulders, and a crown upon their foreheads. Bless them in their work and in their companionship; in their sleeping and in their waking; in their joys and in their sorrows; in their life and in their death. Finally, in your mercy, bring them to that table of your holy mountain where you prepare the eternal feast for all peoples of the earth. Blessed are you for ever.

People Amen.

The husband and wife still kneeling, the celebrant adds this blessing.

The Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord’s face shine upon you. The Lord look upon you with favour and give you peace, now and for ever.

People Amen.

The Peace

Celebrant The peace of the Lord be always with you.

People And also with you.

The newly married couple may greet each other.

The husband and wife stand.

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