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Sample Religious Ceremony Text

Welcome
Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today in the sight of God and these witnesses to join GROOM and BRIDE into the bond and contract of matrimony.  They have asked you to be here today to experience the wonder of this ceremony with them as well as to ask you to support them as they start out on their new journey together as husband and wife. 

GROOM & BRIDE, Every experience you have ever had and everything you have ever done has, in one way or another, led you to where you are right here, right now, standing beside each other ready to become husband and wife.  Whether it’s called fate or chance or the Master Plan, it truly is a miracle that out of the billions of hearts in the world today your hearts not only found each other but also realized that alone, each of you is only a fraction of the person you were meant to become – that the other person is the only one that can truly make you complete.  Only when you are together can either of you truly be happy.  Only when you are together can either of you truly know what love is.  Only when you have the strength and the support of each other beside you will you truly be able to live your lives to their fullest.  As husband and wife you will be able to enjoy life in ways that you dared not risk alone. 

In Genesis 2 tells us that the LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him."

Now the LORD God had formed out of the ground all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds of the air and all the beasts of the field. But for Adam no suitable helper was found. So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man's ribs and closed up the place with flesh. Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.

The man said, "This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called 'woman,' for she was taken out of man." For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.

Opening Prayer: 
Let us Pray: O God, you are the creator of all things. You make us and you sustain us; we depend you. Grant unto us all purity of heart and strength of purpose, so that no selfish passion may hinder us from knowing your will and no weakness from doing it. Bless GROOM & BRIDE as they come before you to join in holy matrimony and help us to rejoice with them and support them in all their endeavors.  Be with them not only today as they speak their vows but also through the rest of their lives as they live their vows.  Watch over them and be with them; give them strength, give them patience, and give them understanding.  Be with them in heart, in mind, and in soul now and forever.  We ask this in Jesus' name. Amen. 

Reading #1:

Reading #2:

Gospel:

Message to the Bride & Groom
Every time a couple comes to me and asks me to marry them I ask them one simple question: “Why do you want to get married?” Almost every couple I’ve ever asked has answered my question the same way – “because we’re in love.” I then ask “But what happens when you’re no longer in love?” More often than not, they just stare at me blankly.


I invite you to ask any couple here today if they’re still in love. Most will answer that they are. But if you ask them if they’ve been in love every minute of every day that they’ve been together, I guarantee you that they will tell you there have been days that they haven’t been in love (and most wives, including my own, will tell you that every single one of those days can be blamed on something their husbands did).


There is a difference between being IN LOVE, which the two of you are right now, and what REAL love actually is. Being IN LOVE is incredible – it’s your heart skipping a beat when you catch a glimpse of each other from across the room, it’s the anticipation you feel the moment before you kiss, it’s the longing you feel when the other isn’t around.


If you’ve ever been to a wedding, you’ve most likely heard the minister read the passage from first Corinthians chapter 13 which says that “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” The reason this passage is chosen so frequently is that many brides and grooms feel that it fits nicely in a wedding ceremony. The truth, though, is even deeper than they think.


This passage was originally written to the Greeks in the Greek language and the Greek language actually has four different and unique words for different kinds love. One is sacrificial, one is passion, one is friendship, and one is fondness. The love that this passage refers to is not the “IN LOVE” passion kind or even the “friendship” or “affection” kind; it is the sacrificial kind.


It may be hard to imagine today, but there will days when you will not be IN LOVE. Some of those days will be easy – just those gloomy, cloudy, rainy kind of days. Other days will be harder – the lightning flashing, thunder crackling, river rising kind of days. There will be days when you feel so frustrated and angry with the other that you feel like simply giving up. There will be days you feel so hurt by the other that it feels as if your heart will tear in two. There will be days you feel so guilty for something you’ve done that you don’t feel worthy of being loved by the other. During these times, it is the sacrificial kind of love that will see you through. This is what the passage really means:


Love is patient. It is choosing to endure what we do not want to endure for the good of the other. It is taking the full brunt of all the frustration and anger that has built up in the other; it is giving the other space and time when it is needed, and it is doing these things without even a single word in defense or in response.



Love is kind. It is seeing the other at their very worst and not passing judgment. It is not saying “I told you so.”


It does not envy. It is celebrating the good that comes to the other instead of begrudging them because it did not come to us.


It does not boast. It is not blowing our own horn or singing our own praise. It is being so completely enthralled by the other that we would rather listen to and learn about them and their day than share about ourselves.


It is not proud. It is not saying to the other ‘look how much I love you; I’ve done all of these things for you today. I’ve taken out the trash, I’ve mowed the lawn, I’ve vacuumed the carpet, I’ve done the dishes, I’ve folded the laundry, and I’ve cleaned the bathrooms because I love you.” It is doing those things quietly without wanting recognition because they will make the other happy. But for the record, if you do happen to do all those things, the other will be VERY happy.


It does not dishonor others. It is not building yourself up by tearing the other down. It is not sharing with your friends the shortcomings of the other no matter how funny they may be.


It is not self seeking. It is serving the needs of the other before serving the needs of your own self. It is remembering to say “yes, dear” instead of “but honey.”


It is not easily angered. It is understanding that what is said and what is done is not always what is meant. It is knowing that the other is human – mistakes are made.


It keeps no records of wrongs. This, of course, one only applies to the husband – wives are entitled to keep score for the duration of the marriage.


It always protects. It is creating a safe environment for the other; an environment in which each can be himself or herself openly and freely.


It always trusts. It is knowing that the other will love us no matter what.


It always perseveres. If both of you do all of these things, your love will see you through those times when you’re not IN LOVE.

  

 Betrothal
Please turn and face each other, taking the other’s hands in yours.

GROOM & BRIDE, knowing all of this, is it your intention to marry each other today and become husband and wife in the eyes of your family, your friends, and God's law? IF so answer, “it is.”

 GROOM, do you take BRIDE to be your wedded wife, and in the presence of these witnesses do you vow that you will do everything in your power to make your love for her a growing part of your life? Will you continue to strengthen it from day to day and week to week with your best resources? Will you stand by her in sickness or in health, in poverty or in wealth, and will you shun all others and keep yourself to her alone as long as you both shall live?  If so, answer “I Do.”

BRIDE, do you take GROOM to be your wedded husband, and in the presence of these witnesses do you vow that you will do everything in your power to make your love for him a growing part of your life? Will you continue to strengthen it from day to day and week to week with your best resources? Will you stand by him in sickness or in health, in poverty or in wealth, and will you shun all others and keep yourself to him alone as long as you both shall live?  If so, answer “I Do.”

 Sharing of Vows

GROOM, please repeat after me:

I, GROOM, take thee, BRIDE,
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 do us part,
according to God's holy ordinance;
and thereto pledge myself to you.

BRIDE please repeat after me:

I, BRIDE, take thee, GROOM,
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 do us part,
according to God's holy ordinance;
and thereto pledge myself to you.

Exchange of the Rings
The wedding ring is an outward and visible sign of an inward and invisible bond which unites two hearts in endless love.  It is made of precious metal which, like your love, will never tarnish or fade.  Like your love it has no beginning and no end; it simply continues on forever.  It was once believed that within the finger on which the ring is placed ran a vessel that carried blood directly to the heart, reminding the heart of the promises the bearer made on the wedding day.  It is also meant to show all the world that your heart and your mind are no longer yours to give; they now belong to the one person whom you’ve promised to love, honor, and cherish for the rest of your life.

 As a token of your love and of your deep desire to be forever united, you GROOM, may place a ring on the finger of your bride and repeat after me: 
BRIDE, I give you this ring as a symbol of my love and faithfulness to you.

By the same token BRIDE, you may place a ring on the finger of your groom and repeat after me: 
GROOM, I give you this ring as a symbol of my love and faithfulness to you.

 Unity Ceremony:

 Pronouncement
Because BRIDE and GROOM have desired each other in marriage, and have witnessed this before our gathering, affirming their acceptance of the responsibilities of such a union, and have pledged their love and faith to each other, sealing their vows in the giving and receiving of rings, I do proclaim that they are husband and wife. Let all people here and everywhere recognize and respect this union, now and forever. What God has joined together today let no man put asunder. 

 You may now kiss your bride.

 Closing Prayer:
Let us pray.  Gracious Lord, we thank you for this beautiful day. You have fulfilled the desire of these two hearts to be together in this life.  We pray that your blessing will always rest upon their home; that joy, peace and contentment will dwell within them as they live together in unity, and that all who enter their home may experience the strength of their love as it is a reflection of your love.  Father, help them to follow and serve you with an ever growing commitment because of their union. Guide them into greater love and sacrifice as they care for each other's needs, knowing you will always care for them. May they always be as aware of Your presence as they are here today as they make their vows. And may their devotion in marriage be a radiant reflection of your love for them.  In your name we pray, Amen.

 Benediction:
May the road rise to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon the fields. 
May the light of friendship guide your paths together.
May the laughter of children grace the halls of your home.
May the joy of living for one another 
trip a smile from your lips, a twinkle from your eye. 
And when eternity beckons,
at the end of a life heaped high with love,
May the good Lord embrace you
with the arms that have nurtured you
the whole length of your joy-filled days. 
May the gracious God hold you both
in the palm of His hands.
And, today, may the Spirit of Love
find a dwelling place in your hearts. 
Amen.

 Presentation of the Bride & Groom
Friends and family, it is with great pleasure that I introduce to you 
MR & MRS GROOM 

Go in peace, Serve the Lord.



 

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