|Charge to the Bride & Groom|
The minister takes a moment to remind the bride and groom what it means to be married and reminds them of each of their roles in marriage. It is meant to lay down the ground rules for marriage and to ensure both the bride and groom are fully aware of not only the seriousness of the contract they are about to enter with each other but also to ensure they both are aware of their duties within that contract.
Let me charge you both to remember, that your future happiness is to be found in mutual consideration, patience, kindness, confidence, and affection. ____(Groom), it is your duty to love ____(Bride) as yourself, provide tender leadership, and protect her from danger. ____(Bride), it is your duty to treat ____(Groom) with respect, support him, and create a healthy, happy home. It is the duty of each of you to find the greatest joy in the company of the other; to remember that in both interest and affection, you are to be one and undivided.
I charge you both, as you stand in God's presence, to remember that love and loyalty alone will serve as the foundations of a happy and enduring home. If the solemn vows which you are about to make are kept permanently, and if you steadfastly seek to do the will of your Heavenly Father, your life will be full of peace and joy, and the home which you are establishing will abide through every change.
____ and ____, the covenant which you are about to make with each other is meant to be a beautiful and sacred expression of your love for each other. As you pledge your vows to each other, and as you commit your lives to each other, we ask that you do so in all seriousness, and yet with a deep sense of joy; with the deep conviction that you are committing yourselves to a dynamic growing relationship of trust, mutual support, and caring love.
Hand in Hand you enter marriage, hand in hand you step out in faith. The hand you freely give to each other, is both the strongest and the most tender part of your body. In the years ahead you will need both strength and tenderness. Be firm in your commitment. Don't let your grip become weak. And yet, be flexible as you go through change. Don't let your hold become intolerable. Strength and tenderness, firm commitment and flexibility, of such is a marriage made, hand in hand:
Also remember that you don't walk this path alone. Don't be afraid to reach out to others when together you face difficulty. Other hands are there: friends, family, and the church. To accept an outreached hand is not an admission of failure, but an act of faith. For behind us, underneath us, around us all, are the outstretched arms of the Lord. It is into his hand, the hands of God in Jesus Christ, that, above all else, we commit this union of husband and wife. Amen.