Home A SERVICE FOR THE RECOGNITION OR THE BLESSING OF A CIVIL MARRIAGE

A SERVICE FOR THE RECOGNITION OR THE BLESSING OF A CIVIL MARRIAGE

If this is a separate service of worship at a time other than the regular services of the congregation, the full service below is used.

If this is a Response to the Word in the Sunday service, the usual order may be followed through the sermon. The pastor may then give the Greeting below, or extemporaneous introductory words, followed by the Intercessory Prayer and the remainder of the service.

GATHERING

GREETING

Pastor to people:

Name and Name have been married by the law of the state,
and they have made a solemn contract with each other.
Now, in faith, they come before the witness of the Church
to declare their marriage covenant
and to acknowledge God's good news for their lives.

SCRIPTURE LESSON(S)

A hymn, psalm, canticle, anthem, or other music may be offered before or after the readings. See the hymn and psalm suggestions in A Service of Christian Marriage I.

SERMON OR OTHER WITNESS TO CHRISTIAN MARRIAGE

INTERCESSORY PRAYER *

An extemporaneous prayer may be offered, or the following may be prayed by the pastor or by all:

Let us pray.

Eternal God, creator and preserver of all life,
author of salvation, giver of all grace:
Bless and sanctify with your Holy Spirit Name and Name,
who come now asking for your blessing upon their marriage.
Grant that they may reaffirm their vows to each other
in the strength of your steadfast love.
Enable them to grow in love and peace
with you and each other all their days,
that they may reach out
in concern and service to the world;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

DECLARATION BY THE HUSBAND AND WIFE

Pastor to the husband and wife:

Name and Name, you have come here today
to seek the blessing of God and of the Church upon your marriage.

To the wife:

Name, you have taken Name to be your lawful husband.
Now you wish to declare, before God and this congregation,
your desire that your married life should be according to God's will.

I ask you, therefore,
will you love him, comfort him, honor and keep him,
in sickness and in health,
and forsaking all others, be faithful to him
as long as you both shall live?

Wife: I will.

To the husband:

Name, you have taken Name to be your lawful wife.
Now you wish to declare, before God and this congregation,
your desire that your married life should be according to God's will.

I ask you, therefore,
will you love her, comfort her, honor and keep her,
in sickness and in health,
and forsaking all others, be faithful to her
as long as you both shall live?

Husband: I will.

BLESSING OF RINGS

The husband and wife may extend their left hands, and the pastor may place a hand upon the rings and say:

These rings are the outward and visible sign
of an inward and spiritual grace,
signifying to us the union
between Jesus Christ and his Church.

The pastor may bless the wearing of rings:

Bless, O Lord, the wearing of these rings
that they who wear them may live in your peace
and continue in your favor
all the days of their lives;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

DECLARATION OF MARRIAGE

The wife and husband join hands. The pastor may place a hand on or wrap a stole around their joined hands. The pastor says to the wife and husband:

Name and Name, you are husband and wife
according to the witness of Christ's universal Church,
in the name of the Father,
and of the Son,
and of the Holy Spirit.
Those whom God has joined together,
let no one put asunder. Amen.

The service continues with the Blessing of the Marriage and all that follows, with or without Holy Communion, in A Service of Christian Marriage I.

Download the Word Document of this file

Copyright: “A Service for the Recognition and Blessing of a Civil Marriage,” Copyright © 1979 by Abingdon Press. Copyright © 1992 UMPH. “Blessing of Rings” Copyright © 1964, 1965 Board of Publications of The Methodist Church, Inc. Copyright © 1992 UMPH. Renewal © 1992 UMPH.

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