Minister: Who gives (Client A) to be married to (Client B)? . . . OR . . . Who supports (Client A) in his/her commitment to (Client B)?
The Father: Our family does…OR…I do.
Minister to the Guests: Who stands with this couple to express the good wishes of their families and friends?
Guests: “We do!”
Minister: You may be seated.
(Optional) – A nice way to honor close relatives who have passed on or others who were not able to attend your wedding.
Minister: Join with me as we bow our heads to observe a moment of silence to honor the memory of those who are not with us today, but are here in spirit. (Pause briefly) Amen.
Minister’s Welcome and Opening Remarks
Welcome, one and all. How beautiful is the day that is touched by love! May this be a moment to be remembered and cherished. Marriage is a very special spiritual connection of two people united for a common purpose, bringing love and trust together into single focus. We have come together in the presence of God (Love) to witness and bless the joining of ________ and _________ in Holy Matrimony. The union of ________ and _________ in heart, body, and mind is intended by God for their mutual joy; for the help and comfort given one another in prosperity and adversity; and their nurture in the knowledge and love of God. Therefore marriage is not to be entered into lightly, but reverently, deliberately, and in accordance with the purposes for which it was instituted by God. Into this holy union _________ and _________ now come to be joined. If any of you can show just cause why they may not lawfully be married, speak now; or forever hold your peace.
Relationship Thoughts from the Minister
Sooner or later we begin to understand that love is more than verses on valentines and romance in movies. We begin to know that love is here and now, real and true, the most important thing in our lives. For love is the creator of our favorite memories and the foundation of our fondest dreams. Without love, we merely exist. With love, we truly begin to live! For love is a promise that is always kept, a fortune that can never be spent, a seed that can flourish in even the most unlikely place. And this radiance that never fades, this mysterious and magical joy is the greatest treasure of all – one known only by those who truly love. We are together as friends, relatives and family to mark the end of one beginning and to recognize officially a new beginning which for _________ and _________ serves as a public affirmation of their friendship and their love. Someone once said: The most wonderful of all things in life, is the discovery of another human being with whom one’s relationship has a growing depth, beauty and joy as the years increase. This inner progressiveness of love between two human beings is a most marvelous thing; it cannot be found by looking for it or by passionately wishing for it. It’s a Divine destiny.” They want this day to mean something special to you as guests. Those who are married may want to silently renew and reaffirm your vows today by gently taking the hand of your partner during this ceremony. Others may want to also join hands and think about what it means to be a friend, for marriage is built first on friendship. There are no ties on earth so sweet, none so tender as those you are about to assume. There are no vows so solemn as those you are about to make. There is no institution of earth so sacred as that of the union you will form, for the true home is not only the place in which you will live, but is also the dwelling place where each lives in the heart and mind of the other.
Charge to the Couple:
_________ and _________, true marriage is the holiest of all earthly unions. It is to be entered into reverently, consciously and with full understanding of its significance. To be complete, marriage must be spiritual as well as an earthly estate. When it is Spiritual in thought, purpose, plan and action, it becomes the harmonious, peaceful and happy union for man and woman. The state of matrimony is true marriage only when it is based upon a deep, inner communion of two souls who find completion, each in the other. Today, your separate lives, each with your individual memories, desires and hopes, merge into one life – a new dimension. Happiness in marriage is not something that just happens. A good marriage must be created. In the art of marriage the little things are the big things. It is never being too old to hold hands. It is remembering to say, I love you” (out loud), at least once a day. It is never going to sleep angry. It is forming a circle of love that gathers in the whole family. It is at no time taking the other for granted. . . for what you take for granted, disappears. It is doing things for each other, not in the attitude of duty or sacrifice, but in a spirit of joy. It is speaking words of appreciation and demonstrating gratitude in thoughtful ways. It is having the capacity to forgive and not bring it up later. It is giving each other an atmosphere in which each can grow. It is a common search for the good and the beautiful in each other. It is not expecting (Client A) to wear a halo or (Client B) to have the wings of an angel. It is not looking for perfection in each other. It is cultivating flexibility, patience, understanding and a sense of humor. It is not only marrying the right partner, it is BEING the right partner. Marriage can be a great adventure when it is the outward expression of a great love; such a love is characterized by compassion, passion and courage. It allows you to see through to your partner’s essence, willing to be in total support of your partner’s well-being, goals, purpose and spirit; and unwilling for your partner to be less than all he or she can be spiritually, mentally, and physically. Such a love requires that you be totally honest with yourself and your partner, that you ask for what you want, take action even though you are afraid, share your feelings and listen but leave your partner free to be who they really are. In other words, always love your partner for who they are, not for who you think they should be. Always remember, “Relationships are something that must be worked on all the time, not only when they are broken and need to be fixed. Never stop doing the things that brought you together in the first place.” We as your friends gathered here today, accept for you a love that brings out your magnificence, a love that gives you the courage to stand apart and the willingness to stand together. When times call for you to be apart, may you always return to your togetherness in the same spirit of love that you are feeling here today. Most of all, we want that, at the end of your lives on this planet, you will look into each others eyes and be able to say: “Because you have loved me, you have given me a faith in myself, and because I have faith in myself, I have loved my fellow man. My life with you has been complete.”
(Optional) – Wedding Readings (Scriptural or Otherwise)/Music/Poetry by friends or family – Note: You may want to have a friend read the lyrics to your special song.
Declaration of Consent
Minister: _________ and _________, will you release the past, bringing only those memories, desires and hopes which will belong to each other, into your future life together? Both: We will.
Minister: Please face each other.
(Optional) – Client A and Client B Read Vows to Each Other – (NOTE: This can be a very special part of your wedding ceremony. Always write what you are going to say on an index card. It is a good idea not to tell your partner what you will be saying. Let it be a nice surprise. They can be humorous or humorous mixed with some serious promises. Your choice.
Minister: At this time _________ and _________ would like to make some personal promises to each other.
Minister to Client A: _________ do you reach out in love to receive _________ and choose to share your life with him/her? Will you promise always to give to him/her your expression of your ever growing love, will you comfort him/her, be sensitive to his/her needs, express your feelings with him/her, listen to him/her, put your trust in him/her, and forsaking all others, be his/her intimate friend and honor him/her as your equal partner?
Client A: “I do” or “I will”
Minister to Client B: _________ do you reach out in love to receive _________ and choose to share your life with him/her? Will you promise always to give to him/her your expression of your ever growing love, will you comfort him/her, be sensitive to his/her needs, express your feelings with him/her, listen to him/her, put your trust in him/her, and forsaking all others, be his/her intimate friend and honor him/her as your equal partner?
Client B: “I do” or “I will”
Exchange of Vows
Minister to Client A: _________, please repeat after me. In the name of God (or Love), I _________, choose you, _________, to be my partner for life, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, to honor and respect, to love and to cherish. I say these words because I love you, and choose to live the rest of my life with you. This is my solemn vow.
Minister to Client B: _________, please repeat after me. In the name of God (or Love), I _________, choose you, _________, to be my partner for life, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, to honor and respect, to love and to cherish. I say these words because I love you, and choose to live the rest of my life with you. This is my solemn vow.
Minister: These spoken commitments to each other are the alignment of your words, which speaks boldly of your intentions. . . and your actions, which speak louder than your words.
Exchange of Rings
(Ring bearer(s) gives rings to the Minister) Your rings are circles and a circle is the symbol of the sun, the earth, the universe, of wholeness, perfection, peace and unity. Like circles, your rings have no beginning and no end and in the sacred tradition of marriage rings have come to symbolize eternal love and the endless union of body, of mind, and spirit. These rings will be worn by _________ and _________ to show to the world their love and commitment to one another. May the presence of these rings always remind you of the eternal love you have pledged and devotion you willingly share with one another from this moment on. Let each of us in his own way, may it be prayer, may it be by a thought, whatever you and I would wish for this couple, let’s pray or have our own thoughts as a blessing upon these rings. Let us pause at this time for these silent blessings. (pause) These rings, now blessed are a symbol of love and faithfulness. They seal the vows of marriage and represent a promise of forever love.
Minister to Client A: _________, please repeat after me. I give you this ring as a symbol of my vow, and with all that I am, and all that I have, I honor you, in the Name of the Father, and the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. You may now place the ring on her finger.
Minister to Client B: _________, please repeat after me. I give you this ring as a symbol of my vow, and with all that I am, and all that I have, I honor you, in the Name of the Father, and the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. You may now place the ring on his finger.
Pronouncement of Marriage
Now that _________ and _________ have given themselves to each other by solemn vows, with the joining of hands and the giving and receiving of a ring, I now pronounce you _______________, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Those whom God (Love) has joined together, let no one put asunder.
Minister: You may now seal your promises with a kiss.
Introduction of Couple
Minister: Ladies and Gentlemen: It is my pleasure to introduce to you, _________ _________.
NOTE: If there will be no receiving line immediately after the ceremony and the wedding party will be busy taking pictures, the couple may ask the officiant to make the following announcement:
(Optional) Minister: Ladies and Gentlemen, the happy couple request that you offer your congratulations at the reception so that pictures of the wedding party can stay on schedule.