Home A SERVICE OF CHRISTIAN MARRIAGE II

A SERVICE OF CHRISTIAN MARRIAGE II

This service is a traditional text from the rituals of the former Methodist and former Evangelical United Brethren churches.

The decision to perform the ceremony is the right and responsibility of the pastor, in accordance with the laws of the state and The United Methodist Church. All plans should be approved by the pastor. The pastor's "due counsel with the parties involved" prior to marriage, mandated by The United Methodist Book of Discipline, should include, in addition to premarital counseling, discussing and planning the service with them and informing them of policies or guidelines established by the congregation on such matters as decorations, photography, and audio or video recording. Any leadership roles taken by other clergy should be at the invitation of the pastor of the church where the service is held. The organist or person in charge of the music should be consulted and work with the couple in all decisions on music selection. See the wedding hymns in UMH and others suggested in A Service of Christian Marriage 1.

Ethnic and cultural traditions are encouraged and may be incorporated into the service at the discretion of the pastor.

Any children of the man or the woman, other family, and friends may take a variety of roles in the service, depending on their ages and abilities. They may be members of the wedding party, sing or play instrumental music, or make a witness in their own words. See suggestions for including children in A Service of Christian Marriage 1.

In the case of couples who are not church members or are not prepared to make the Christian commitment expressed in our services, adaptations may be made at the discretion of the pastor.

ENTRANCE

GATHERING

While the people gather, instrumental or vocal music may be offered.

Throughout the service, use of specifically Christian music is strongly encouraged.

During the entrance of the wedding party, there may be instrumental music, or a hymn, a psalm, a canticle, or an anthem. The congregation may be invited to stand. See the listing of suggested processional hymns.

The woman and the man may be escorted by representatives of their families until they have reached the front of the church or until they present the woman and the man, at which time their escorts are seated.

GREETING

Pastor to people:

Dearly beloved,
we are gathered together here in the sight of God,
and in the presence of these witnesses,
to join together this man and this woman (Name and Name)
in holy matrimony,
which is an honorable estate, instituted of God,
and signifying unto us
the mystical union that exists between Christ and his Church;
which holy estate Christ adorned and beautified
with his presence in Cana of Galilee.
It is therefore not to be entered into unadvisedly,
but reverently, discreetly, and in the fear of God.
Into this holy estate these two persons come now to be joined.

DECLARATION OF INTENTION

DECLARATION BY THE MAN AND THE WOMAN

The pastor gives one of the following charges to the persons who are to marry:

I require and charge you both, as you stand in the presence of God,
before whom the secrets of all hearts are disclosed,
that, having duly considered the holy covenant you are about to make,
you do now declare before this company your pledge of faith,
each to the other.
Be well assured that if these solemn vows are kept inviolate,
as God's Word demands,
and if steadfastly you endeavor to do the will of your heavenly Father,
God will bless your marriage,
will grant you fulfillment in it,
and will establish your home in peace.
(THE BOOK OF WORSHIP, 1965)

Pastor to the man:

Name, will you have this woman to be your wedded wife,
to live together in the holy estate of matrimony?
Will you love her, comfort her, honor and keep her,
in sickness and in health;
and forsaking all others keep only to her
so long as you both shall live?

Man: I will.

Pastor to the woman:

Name, will you have this man to be your wedded husband,
to live together in the holy estate of matrimony?
Will you love him, comfort him, honor and keep him,
in sickness and in health;
and forsaking all others keep only to him
so long as you both shall live?

Woman: I will.

PRESENTATION

If the woman is presented in marriage, the pastor asks the presenter(s):

Who presents this woman to be married to this man?

Presenter(s): I (We) do.

If the man is presented in marriage, the pastor asks the presenter(s):

Who presents this man to be married to this woman?

Presenter(s): I (We) do.

The presenter(s) may then be seated.

THE MARRIAGE

EXCHANGE OF VOWS

The woman and man face each other, joining hands. The pastor may prompt them, line by line.

Man to woman:
I, Name, take you, Name,
to be my wedded 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,
till death us do part,
according to God's holy ordinance;
and thereto I pledge you my faith.

Woman to man:
I, Name, take you, Name,
to be my wedded 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,
till death us do part,
according to God's holy ordinance;
and thereto I pledge you my faith.

BLESSING AND EXCHANGE OF RINGS

The exchange of rings is optional. Other tangible symbols may be given in addition to, or instead of, rings.

The pastor, taking the rings, may say:

The wedding ring is the outward and visible sign
of an inward and spiritual grace,
signifying to all the uniting of this man and woman in holy matrimony,
through the Church of Jesus Christ our Lord.

The pastor may bless the giving of rings or other symbols of the marriage:

Bless, O Lord, the giving of these rings,
that they who wear them may abide in thy peace,
and continue in thy favor;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The common custom is for the husband to give the wife her ring before the wife gives the husband his ring. While placing the ring on the third finger of the recipient's left hand, the giver may say (prompted, line by line, by the pastor):

In token and pledge
of our constant faith and abiding love,
with this ring I thee wed,
in the name of the Father,
and of the Son,
and of the Holy Spirit. 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 couple may turn and face the congregation.

Pastor to people:

Forasmuch as Name and Name have consented together in holy wedlock,
and have witnessed the same before God and this company,
and thereto have pledged their faith each to the other,
and have declared the same
by joining hands and by giving and receiving rings;
I pronounce that they are husband and wife together,
in the name of the Father,
and of the Son,
and of the Holy Spirit.
Those whom God hath joined together, let no one put asunder. Amen.

If a unity candle is used, the two side candles representing the husband and wife are lighted first, and the center candle representing the marriage is lighted at this or some later point in the service. The side candles are not extinguished because both husband and wife retain their personal identities.

The congregation may be invited to stand, and a doxology or other hymn may be sung.

BLESSING OF THE MARRIAGE

The husband and wife may kneel, as the pastor prays:

O eternal God,
creator and preserver of us all,
giver of all spiritual grace,
the author of everlasting life:
Send thy blessing upon Name and Name,
whom we bless in thy name;
that they may surely perform and keep
the vow and covenant between them made,
and may ever remain in perfect love and peace together
and live according to thy laws.
Look graciously upon them,
that they may love, honor, and cherish each other,
and so live together in faithfulness and patience,
in wisdom and true godliness,
that their home may be a haven of blessing
and a place of peace;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

If Holy Communion is not to be celebrated, the service continues as indicated below.

If Holy Communion is to be celebrated, the congregation turns to A Service of Word and Table III in UMH or one of the musical settings (UMH), and the pastor follows the text above, beginning with Taking the Bread and Cup and concluding with the Dismissal with Blessing.

THE LORD'S PRAYER *

The husband and wife may continue to kneel, as all pray the Lord's Prayer.

SENDING FORTH

DISMISSAL WITH BLESSING *

God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit
bless, preserve, and keep you;
the Lord graciously with his favor look upon you,
and so fill you with all spiritual benediction and love
that you may so live together in this life
that in the world to come you may have life everlasting. Amen.

The couple may greet each other with a kiss and be greeted by the pastor, after which greetings may be exchanged through the congregation.

GOING FORTH *

A hymn may be sung or instrumental music played as the couple, the wedding party, and the people leave. See the listing of suggested recessional hymns.

Download the Word Document of this file

Copyright: “A Service of Christian Marriage 2, Copyright © 1964, 1965 Board of Publication of The Methodist Church, Inc.; Copyright © 1992 UMPH; renewal Copyright © 1992 UMPH. Used by permission.”

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