This order of worship celebrates God's gracious gift of marriage. The congregation shares the joy of the bride and groom as they publicly promise lifelong love and faithfulness to each other.
Call to Worship
M: In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
Our Lord Jesus Christ came as an invited guest to the wedding at Cana, and with his gracious presence, he brought joy and gladness to those who were there. Jesus is also with us who have gathered in his name to celebrate the Word of God and prayer the marriage of Name and Name. We are assured of God's gracious help and guidance in these words from the Psalms:
Minister: Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.
C: His love endures forever.
M: The LORD is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger, and rich in love;
C: He is good to all.
M: God is our refuge and strength,
C: An ever-present help in trouble.
M: He is our God forever and ever;
C: He will be our guide even to the end.
M: May God be gracious to us and bless us
C: and make his face shine on us.
M: Loving Father, we are grateful for your goodness in permitting us to gather as the family and friends of Name and Name to share their joy on this special day. Look on them with favor, strengthen their confidence in your firm promises, and assure them of your abiding love. As your Son Jesus graced the wedding at Cana with his presence, so may he be with us who pray in his name.
Congregational hymns or other music appropriate for worship may be sung here or at other places in the service.
Word of God
LESSONS (Bible readings)
M: Dear friends: When God in love created the world, he made man and woman in his own image and bonded them together in marriage. Through this blessed union of husband and wife, God established the family, provided for the physical and spiritual welfare of children, and fostered the peace and stability of society.
God intended marriage to bring loving companionship to the people of his world. But because of sin, the joy of marriage was soon overcast with sorrow, and the harmony of family life was shattered by strife. Out of love God sent his Son Jesus to die on the cross to take away the sins of all people. Everyone who believes in Jesus receives forgiveness and is enabled by the Holy Spirit to live in peace and joy.
God's love for you is boundless. He commands you, in response to his love, to love each other. Love is forgiving and enduring. Love shows itself in truth and faithfulness, in thoughtfulness and understanding, in patience and kindness. Marriage furnishes a unique opportunity to put this love into practice.
The pattern for Christian marriage is the intimate union of Christ and his church, which the apostle Paul depicts in Ephesians 5. After urging believers to "submit to one another out of reverence for Christ," he makes this application for Christian spouses: "Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. for the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church...Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself for her." It is reverence for Christ on the part of husband and wife that lays the foundation for Christian marriage.
You have come here to be united in marriage, which consists in your mutual consent, sincerely and freely given. You are now invited to declare this intent in the presence of God and these witnesses.
M: (to the groom): Name, will you take Name to be your wife? Will you be guided by the counsel and direction God has given in his Word and love your wife as Christ loved the Church? Will you be faithful to her, cherish her, support her, and help her in sickness and in health as long as you both shall live? If so, answer, "I will."
G: I will.
M: (to the bride): Name, will you take Name to be your husband? Will you be guided by the counsel and direction God has given in his Word and submit to your husband as the Church submits to Christ? Will you be faithful to him, cherish him, support him, and help him in sickness and in health as long as you both shall live? If so, answer, "I will."
B: I will.
M: Join your right hands, and make your promises to each other:
The groom and bride will say in turn:
I, Name, in the presence of God and these witnesses, take you, Name, to be my wife/husband. I promise to be faithful to you as long as we both shall live.
Exchange of Rings
M: Exchange rings as a symbol of the lifelong commitment and abiding love which you as husband and wife have promised each other.
The groom and bride will say in turn:
Name, receive this ring as a symbol of my love and faithfulness.
Declaration of Marriage
M: By their promises, Name and Name have bound themselves together in marriage before God and these witnesses. Therefore, I declare that they are husband and wife, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Those whom God has joined together, let no one separate.
M: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit preserve you in faithfulness, strengthen you in love, and guide you to life's end.
other prayers may be said
M: Let us pray:
Eternal God, source of love, help Name and Name to fulfill the promises they have made here today and to reflect your steadfast love in their love for each other. Give them kindness and patience, affection and understanding, happiness and contentment. Use their family and friends to support them in difficult days, that their love for each other may continue to grow as long as they live.
Gracious Father, in your goodness you bring people together into families and enrich their lives with abundant blessings. Renew the love of husbands and wives, parents and children, that they may strengthen and support each other on the way that leads to our heavenly home, through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
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.
Lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours,
now and forever. Amen
M: The Lord bless you and keep youThe Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you.The Lord look on you with favor and give you peace.