Service of Marriage
1. Pre-service, Mothers are escorted into the sanctuary and light the unity candle (optional)
2. Ringing of the Bells
3. Pastor and Men of the Wedding Party enter the Sanctuary from the Vestry.
4. Processional Music
5. Entrance of the Bridal Party
6. Entrance of the Crucifer (all rise)
7. Entrance of the Bride (& Escort)
P: In the Name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit.
P: We are gathered here in the sight of God and of his Church to witness and bless the joining together of this man and this woman in holy marriage. This is an honorable estate, which God himself has instituted and blessed, and by which he gives us a picture of the very communion of Christ and his bride, the Church. God has both established and sanctified marriage and has promised to bless therein all who love and trust in him and who seek to give him their faithful worship and service, for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The union of husband and wife in heart, body, and mind is intended by God for their mutual joy, for the help and comfort given one another in prosperity and adversity, and, when it is God’s will, for the procreation of children and their nurture in the knowledge and love of the Lord. Therefore marriage is not to be entered into inadvisedly or lightly, but reverently, deliberately, and in accordance with the purposes for which it was instituted by God.
P: Who gives this woman to be married to this man?
A: Her mother and I (or another answer as appropriate to the circumstances)
P: Inasmuch as you purpose to enter into the holy estate of marriage that is to be held in honor by all, it becomes you to hear the Word of God concerning it. . .
8. The congregation is seated for the reading of the Scriptures, usually one reading each from the Old Testament and Epistle.
9. Old Testament Reading
10. Epistle Reading
11. The Congregation Rises for the Reading of the Gospel
12. The Gospel Reading
13. A wedding address (sermon) may follow. A hymn may be sung
14. The Bride hands her flowers to an attendant. The Pastor asks the groom:
P: _Name_______, will you have this woman to be your wife, to live with her in holy marriage according to the Word of God? Will you love her, comfort her, honor her, and keep her in sickness and in health and, forsaking all others, be husband to her as long as you both shall live?
A: I Will
15. Pastor asks the Bride:
P: _Name_______, will you have this man to be your husband, to live with him in holy marriage according to the Word of God? Will you love him, comfort him, honor him, [obey him], and keep him in sickness and in health and, forsaking all others, be wife to him as long as you both shall live?
A: I Will
16. The Bride and Groom join hands. The groom and repeats after the Pastor:
I, _Name_______, in the presence of God and these witnesses, take you, _Name_______, 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, until death parts us, and I pledge you my faithfulness.
17. The bride and repeats after the Pastor:
I, _Name_______, in the presence of God and these witnesses, take you, _Name_______, 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, until death parts us, and I pledge you my faithfulness.
18. The bride and bridegroom exchange rings, saying:
Receive this ring as a pledge and token of wedded love and faithfulness.
19. The Pastor leads the bride and groom to the altar. He wraps his stole around the ring hands of the bride and groom, saying:
P: Grant your blessing, O Lord, to your servants _Name_______ and _Name_______ that they may be ever mindful of their solemn pledge and, trusting in your mercy, abound evermore in love all their days; through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
20. The bride and bridegroom kneel, and the Pastor says:
P: Now that _Name_______ and _Name_______ have consented together in holy marriage and have given themselves to each other by their solemn pledges, and have declared the same before God and these witnesses, I pronounce them to be husband and wife, in the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit.
What God has joined together, let man not separate.
P: The almighty and gracious God abundantly grant you his favor and sanctify and bless you with the blessing given our first parents in paradise that you may please him in both body and soul and live together in holy love until you life’s end.
21. If a unity candle is to be used it is lit now. A musical offering (solo, etc.) may be made during the lighting of the unity candle.
22. The Bride and Groom return to the front of the chancel. The attendant returns the flowers.
P: Let us pray.
Almighty, everlasting God, our heavenly Father, grant that by your blessing _Name_______ and _Name_______ may live together according to your Word and promise. Strengthen them in faithfulness and love toward each other. Sustain and defend them in all trial and temptation. Help them to live in faith toward you in the communion of your holy Church and in loving service to each other that they may ever enjoy your heavenly blessing; through Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
P: Let us join together all of the petitions of our hearts and pray for the Lord's guidance and peace as we pray the prayer He taught us:
The Lord's Prayer said together
P: The eternal God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, grant you his Holy Spirit, be with you and richly bless you now and forever.
23. Pastor invites the Groom to kiss the bride.
24. Pastor introduces the Bride and Groom to the congregation by their married name.