Tuesday, October 9, 2007

An ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America) service wedding order

Entrance

The assembly stands as the ministers and the wedding group enter.

Music—hymn, song, psalm, instrumental music—may accompany the entrance.

Greeting

The presiding minister and the assembly greet each other.
M:The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God,
and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
C:And also with you.

INTRODUCTION

The minister may introduce the rite with these or similar words:

A
M: Dear friends: We have come together in the presence of God to witness the marriage of name and name, to surround them with our prayers, and to share in their joy.

The scriptures teach us that the bond and covenant of marriage is a gift of God, a holy mystery in which two become one flesh, an image of the union of Christ and the church. As name and name give themselves to each other today, we remember that at Cana in Galilee our Lord Jesus Christ made the wedding feast a sign of God’s reign of love.

Let us enter into this celebration confident that, through the Holy Spirit, Christ is present with us now also; we pray that this couple may fulfill God’s purpose for the whole of their lives.

B
M: Name and Name have come to make their marriage vows in the presence of God and of this congregation. Let us now witness their promise to each other and surround them with our prayers, giving thanks to God for the gift of marriage and asking God’s blessing upon them, so that they may be strengthened for their life together and nurtured in their love for God.

We rejoice that marriage is given by God, blessed by our Lord Jesus Christ, and sustained by the Holy Spirit. Therefore, let marriage be held in honor by all.

C
M: The Lord God in goodness created us male and female, and by the gift of marriage founded human community in a joy that begins now and is brought to perfection in the life to come.

Because of sin, our age-old rebellion, the gladness of marriage can be overcast and the gift of the family can become a burden. But because God, who established marriage, continues still to bless it with abundant and ever-present support, we can be sustained in our weariness and have our joy restored.


D
M: Beloved people of God, we have come together in the presence of God to witness and bless the covenant of love and fidelity name and name are to make with each other.

The union of two persons in heart, body, and mind is intended by God for their mutual, for the help and comfort given one another in prosperity and adversity; and that their love may be a blessing to all whom they encounter. This solemn covenant is not to be entered into unadvisedly or lightly, but reverently, deliberately, and with commitment to seek God’s will for their lives.




Declaration of Intention

The minister addresses the couple in these or similar words, asking each person in turn:

A
M: Name, will you have name to be your wife/husband, to live together in the covenant of marriage? Will you love her/him, comfort her/him, honor and keep her/him, in sickness and in health, and, forsaking all others, be faithful to her/him as long as you both shall live?
Response:
B/G: I will.

The minister may address the assembly in these or similar words.
M: Will you, the families of name and name, give your love and blessing to this new family?
C: We will.

The minister says to the assembly:
M: Will all of you, by God’s grace, do everything in your power to uphold and care for these two persons in their life together?
C: We will.


B
M: Name, will you receive name as your wife/husband and bind yourself to her/him in the covenant of marriage? Will you promise to love and honor her/him in true devotion, to rejoice with her/him in times of gladness, to grieve with her/him as long as you both shall live?
Response: I will, with the help of God.

C
M: Name, living in the promise of God, joined in Christ in your baptism; will you give yourself to name in love and faithfulness? Will you share your life with her/him in joy and in sorrow, in health and in sickness, for richer, for poorer, for better, for worse, and will you be faithful to her/him as long as you both shall live?
Response: I will, with the help of God.

Assembly

B
The minister says to the assembly:
M: Families, friends, and all those gathered here with name and name, will you promise to support and care for them in their life together, to sustain and pray for them in times of trouble, to give thanks with them in times of joy, to honor the bonds of their covenant, and to affirm the love of god reflected in their lives?
C: We will, with the help of God.


C

When pastorally appropriate, one or both of these questions may be used when children are brought into the family of those to be married.

The minister may ask the couple:
Name and name, will you be faithful and loving parents to name/s?
Response: We will, with the help of God.

The minister may ask the children:
Name/s, will you help name and name in their marriage?
Response: We will with the help of God.


Prayer of the Day

The presiding minister leads the following or another prayer of the day.
Let us pray.

A
Eternal God, our creator and redeemer, as you gladdened the wedding at Cana in Galilee by the presence of your Son, so bring your joy to this wedding by his presence now. Look in favor upon name and name and grant that they, rejoicing in all your gifts, may at length celebrate the unending marriage feast with Christ our Lord, who lives, and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
C: Amen.

B
Let us pray. Eternal God, our creator and redeemer, as you gladdened the wedding at Cana in Galilee by the presence of your Son, so bring your joy to this wedding by his presence now. Look in favor upon name and name and grant that they, rejoicing in all your gifts, may at length celebrate the unending marriage feast with Christ our Lord, one God, now and forever.
C: Amen.

Readings
The assembly is seated. Two or three scripture readings are proclaimed. When the service includes communion, the last is a reading from the gospels. Responses may include a psalm in response to a reading from the Old Testament, a sung acclamation preceding the reading of the gospel, or other appropriate hymns, songs, and psalms.

Sermon
Silence for reflection follows.

Hymn of the Day
A hymn of the day may be sung.


Vows
The couple may join hands. Each promises faithfulness to the other in these or similar words.
OPTION A: I take you, name, to be my
I take you; name, to be my wife/husband from this day forward,
to join with you and share all that is to come,
and I promise to be faithful to you until death parts us.

OPTION B: In the presence of God
In the presence of God and this community,
I, name, take you, name, to be my wife/husband;
to have and to hold from this day forward,
in joy and in sorrow, in plenty and in want, in sickness and in health,
to love and to cherish, as long as we both shall live.
This is my solemn vow.


C
I take you; name, to be my wife/husband from this day forward, to join with you and share all that is come, and I promise to be faithful to you until death parts us

D
I, name, give myself to you, name. By the grace of god, I promise to support and care for you. In the love of Christ, I promise to love and cherish you. With the Spirit’s help, I promise to be faithful to you, as long as we both shall live.

E
I take you; name, to be my wife/husband, and these things I promise you: I will respect, trust, help, and care for you; I will forgive you as we have been forgiven; and I will share my life with you, through the best and worst of all that is to come, until death parts us.


Giving of Rings
When rings are to be exchanged, they may be placed on the service book of the minister or held by an assisting minister.

The presiding minister may say:
A
Bless these rings, O God; may they who wear them live in love and fidelity, and continue in your service all the days of their lives, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

B
Gracious God, by your blessing let these rings be to name and name a symbol of their unending love and faithfulness, to remind them of the vows and covenant they have made this day, through Jesus Christ. Amen.


C
We give thanks, O God of grace, for your love and faithful to your people. Bless these rings, that they may be symbols of the enduring commitment name and name have made to each other; through Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen
.

The couple may exchange rings with these or similar words.
OPTION A: This ring as a sign
Name, I give you this ring as a sign of my love and faithfulness.

OPTION B: This ring as a symbol
Name, I give you this ring as a symbol of my vow.
With all that I am, and all that I have, I honor you,
in the name of the Father,
and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.


Acclamation
The presiding minister addresses the assembly.
M: Name and name, by their promises before God and in the presence of this assembly, have joined themselves to one another as husband and wife.
Those whom God has joined together let no one separate.
C: Amen. Thanks be to God.

The assembly may offer acclamation with applause. A sung acclamation, hymn, or other music may follow.

Other symbols of marriage may be given or used at this time.

Marriage Blessing
The couple may kneel. The presiding minister may extend a hand over the couple while praying for God's blessing in the following or similar words.
A
Most gracious God, we give you thanks for your tender love in sending Jesus Christ to come among us, to be born of a human mother, and to endure the cross for our sake, that we may have abundance of life.
By the power of your Holy Spirit pour out the abundance of your blessing on name and name. Defend them from every enemy. Lead them into all peace. Let your love be a seal upon their hearts, a mantle about their shoulders, and a crown upon their foreheads.
Bless them so that their lives together may bear witness to your love. 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 where your saints feast forever in your heavenly home, through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives, and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
Amen.

B
We give you thanks, most gracious God, for in your great love you created us male and female and made the union of husband and wife an image of the covenant between you and your people. You sent Jesus Christ to come among us, making your love visible in him, to bring new life to the world.
Send you Holy Spirit to pour out the abundance of your blessing on name and name, who have this day given themselves to each other in marriage.
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. 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 so that all may see in their lives together within the community of your people a vision of your kingdom on earth. And finally, in the fullness of time, welcome them into the glory of your presence.
Through your Son Jesus Christ with the Holy Spirit in your holy church all honor and glory is yours, almighty Father, now and forever. Amen.

B
When a prayer for children is desired, the following words may be included in the blessing immediately before “Let their love for each other be a seal upon their hearts”: Give them the gift and heritage of children in accordance with your will, and make their home a haven of peace.


C
When children are brought into the family of the newly married couple, the following words may be included in the blessing immediately before “Let their love for each other be a seal upon their hearts”: You have given them a gift and heritage of children; make their home a haven of peace.


D
Most gracious God, we give you thanks for your tender love in sending Jesus Christ to come among us, to be born of a human mother, and to make the way of the cross to be the way of life.
By the power of your Holy Spirit, pour out your abundant blessing upon name and name. Defend them from every enemy. Lead 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 the 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 where your saints feast forever in your banquet; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, now and forever. Amen.


E
The Lord God, who created our first parents and established them in marriage, establish and sustain you, that you may find delight in each other and grow in holy love until your life’s end. Amen
.

Parents or others may speak additional words of blessing and encouragement at this time.

Prayers of Intercession

The assembly stands. Prayers of intercession for the world and its needs may be prayed.

Each petition may end:
M: Gracious and faithful God,
C: hear our prayer.

A
M: Seeing how gently God has loved us, let us pray for the whole world.
For the Christian community everywhere; for the life and ministry of the baptized, and for pastors, leaders, and servant of the Gospel, that the church may be the risen body of Christ in the world. O God, source of all life,
C: hear our prayers.
M: For all communities everywhere; for our nation, for all those who govern and for all in authority, and for justice and peace throughout the world. O God, source of all life,
C: hear our prayers.
M: For those we love easily, and for those with whom we struggle, for those different from us and for those familiar to us, that we might be instruments of God’s peace. O god, source of all life,
C: hear our prayers.
M: For those who suffer in any way, and those who are lonely, for the sick, the dying, and those who are bereaved, for those who are poor, hungry, homeless, or unemployed, for the victims of violence, hatred, and intolerance. O God, source of all life,
C: hear our prayers.
M: For all those who are bound to us in love; for our families, friends, and neighbors, remembering also all who have gone before us (especially name/s). O God, source of all life,
C: hear our prayers.
M: Creator of all, you make us in your image and likeness and fill us with everlasting life. Hear the prayers of your people and grant to name and name grace to live in unity and joy all the days of their lives. We ask this through Jesus Christ, in the Holy Spirit, to whom, with you, one God, be praise forever and ever.
C: Amen.

The presiding minister concludes the prayers, and the assembly responds
Amen.


A service with communion continues with the peace. After the presiding minister greets the assembly, the couple may greet each other with the kiss of peace, and the assembly may greet one another in peace.

PRAYER AFTER COMMUNION
M: Loving God, we thank you that you have fed us in this holy meal, united us with Christ, and given us a foretaste of the marriage feast of the Lamb. So strengthen us in your service that our daily lives may show our thanks, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
C: Amen.


Lord's Prayer

A service without communion continues as follows.
OPTION A: Our Father in heaven
C: 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 forever. Amen

OPTION B: Our Father, who art in heaven
C: 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,
and the power, and the glory,
forever and ever. Amen


Peace
If it has not been included earlier in the service, the greeting of peace may be shared.
M: The peace of Christ be with you always.
C: And also with you.

The couple may greet one another with the kiss of peace. All present may greet one another with a gesture of peace, and may say, "Peace be with you," or similar words.

Blessing

The presiding minister proclaims God's blessing in these or similar words.
OPTION A: The blessed and holy Trinity
M: The blessed and holy Trinity
make you strong in faith and love,
defend you on every side,
and guide you in truth and peace,
now and forever.
C: Amen.

OPTION B: God almighty send you light and truth
M: God Almighty send you light and truth
to keep you all the days of your life.
The hand of God protect you;
the holy angels accompany you;
and the blessing of almighty God,
the Father, the + Son, and the Holy Spirit,
be with you now and forever.
C: Amen.

C
M: The blessed and holy Trinity make you strong in faith and love, defend you on every side, and guide you in truth and peace, now and forever.

C: Amen.

Dismissal
An assisting minister may send the assembly forth in these or similar words.
M: Go in peace. Serve the Lord.
C: Thanks be to God.

A hymn may be sung or instrumental music played as the wedding group and the ministers depart.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this and for the detailed nature of it. I will be using this at my wedding! Thanks again, and God Bless!
SB

Anonymous said...

Thanks soo much - I'm German and desperatly needed a translation for my upcoming German American wedding!

Karen Sloan said...

My daughter will be married soon and I wanted to review in my head the order of service--Thank you!!

Udayakumar said...

My daughter is getting married. This wedding order of service is very useful. Thanks a lot. Udayakumar, Chennai, India

Anonymous said...

I am grateful for this liturgy - as I cannot attend a wedding ceremony of two lovely young people today. I am not Lutheran - but am familiar with liturgical services. But I can follow along at this hour - and be with them in heart and prayer. God has blessed us richly with the creative genius of the internet and computers to aid in building up the body of Christ. Alleluia

Crissy said...

This has been incredibly interesting. Now that I have something to reference and reflect on, I am sure I have made the right decision to have a Lutheran ceremony.

Crissy said...

Thank you for posting this. I have always been interested in the proceedings of a traditional Lutheran wedding ceremony. I know I have made the correct choice for my wedding. Thank you!

Wonder said...

Thank you for posting this, I am planning to get married in an ELCA church next year, and it helps to know what to expect

rings said...

Many thanks for the detailed information.

Em in SF said...

Thank you for posting this. I will be having an ELCA wedding and am glad to know that the service is beautiful just as it is!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for making the liturgy available in English. At our German/Hungarian wedding we will be able to hand out English texts and thus have all our guest actively involved during the ceremony. TC