Ceremony Examples

THE WEDDING OF BILL AND SUSAN SMYTH

(The Smyth's Are A Fictional Couple Used For Example, Only)

MINISTERíS WELCOMING WORDS

(As the Bride enters, ask the audience to Stand.) Welcome everyone. Please be seated - let the ceremony begin. (Wait for seating and quiet)

Dear Bill and Susan, today you are surrounded by your friends and family, all of whom are gathered to witness your marriage and to share in the joy of this occasion which should be one of the most memorable and happy days of your life.

OPENING PRAYER BY THE MINISTER

Please bow your heads. Let us pray:

O most merciful God, we hope that you will watch over all of us today and we pray that you will this day grant Bill and Susan your special Grace.
Amen

DECLARATION OF CONSENT (ASKING VOWS)

(Minister) Bill, will you have this woman to be your wedded wife, to love and to honor, to cherish above all others, so long as you both shall live? Billís Answer: I will!

(Minister) Susan, will you have this man to be your wedded husband, to love and to honor, to cherish above all others, so long as you both shall live? Susanís Answer: I will!

PRESENTATION OF THE BRIDE AND GROOM

(Minister) Who stands with this woman to symbolize the traditions and family out of which she comes? Let the Brideís Family say We do! Answer: We Do!

(Minister) Who stands with this man to symbolize the traditions and family out of which he comes? Let the Groomís Family say We do! Answer: We Do!

LESSONS OF THE SCRIPTURES OR OTHER READINGS

Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

EXCHANGE OF VOWS (REPEATING VOWS)

(Minister) Bill, repeat after me: I, Bill, take you Susan, as my wife // to share my life, love, and friendship // my respect and my trust // through all our days together.

(Minister) Susan, repeat after me:

I, Susan, take you Bill, as my husband // to share my life, love and friendship // my respect and my trust // through all our days together.

EXCHANGE OF RINGS

(Minister) May I have the rings please? As tokens of their marriage Bill and Susan have selected rings. May these rings become symbols of the vows you have made here today and of the abiding love you hold in your hearts.

BIll, place this ring on Susanís finger and repeat after me.,p> With this ring, I Bill // take you Susan to be my lawfully wedded wife // to love and honor // to cherish above all others // so long as we both shall live.

Susan, place this ring on Billís finger and repeat after me.

With this ring, I Susan // take you Bill to be my lawfully wedded husband // to love and honor // to cherish above all others // so long as we both shall live.

PRONOUNCEMENT OF MARRIAGE

For as much as Bill and Susan have openly declared their wish to be united in marriage and have pledged their faith and love to each other before God and these witnesses, I pronounce that they are husband and wife. You may kiss the Bride.

MINISTERíS FINAL PRAYERS, BLESSINGS AND BENEDICTIONS

Now you will feel no rain for each of you will be shelter to the other. Now you will feel no cold for each of you will be warmth to the other.

Now there is no loneliness for you; for you are two persons, but there is only one life before you. Go now to enter the days of your togetherness. And may your days be good and long upon the earth.

INTRODUCTION TO THE MARRIED COUPLE

Friends and family, join us inside for food and drinks. I now have the very great pleasure of introducing you to Bill and Susan Smyth. Let the revelry begin! (Minister starts to clap)

TYPICAL MINISTERíS SERMON

It must have taken you some time to get ready today, Susan...you look lovely. It must have taken you some time too, Bill. You both look great, just like in those fairytales we learned about in school where the next line after the wedding was always, 'and they lived happily ever after.'

Nice clothes or nice things do not make for happiness, however. The apostle Paul gives a recipe for spiritual happiness in his writings. It goes like this:

"be clothed in heartfelt compassion, in generosity and humility, gentleness and patience." Then the recipe gives advice on patiently bearing with one another and forgiving each other and finally, it advises that the last, but not least, piece of clothing to put on is love.

Hereís how this recipe might be used every day: When you get up in the morning and look in your wardrobe wondering what to wear, you should don your inner clothing like this: For underwear put on compassion. As a shirt or blouse put on generosity. For a skirt or trousers put on humility, for a pullover put on gentleness. For socks or hose put on patience. When you're wondering about which pair of shoes to wear, put on the shoes of forgiveness. Lastly when you're ready for outer-wear, put on love.

Now, those are some great spiritual garments that will see you triumph over any future trials you may have to face.

RECEPTION PRAYER PRIOR TO FOOD SERVICE

Please bow your heads in prayer,

May God bless all of the family, friends and sponsors who are gathered here today.

Heavenly Father, we are grateful for the ties of love which bind us together, giving dignity, meaning, worth and joy to all our days. We thank you for the serenity accorded us this day, and for the hope of a bright future for all present here.

Now that Bill and Susan have been joined together in marriage, may their life always be a shared adventure, marked by a sense of personal freedom, as well as mutual responsibility.

May they find in each other companionship as well as love; understanding as well as compassion; challenge as well as agreement.

May the home they share be an island where the pressures of the world can be sorted out and brought into focus; where tensions can be released and understood; where personal needs do not tower over concern for others and where the warmth of humor and love puts crisis into perspective.

And above all, may they find an ever richer joy in loving and learning together.

Dear God, we are grateful for everything you have given us and for the food presented to us this day. Let it nourish and empower us as we strive to do good.

This is indeed a day which the Lord has made special. Let us rejoice in it and be glad, and let us always remember to count our many blessings.

We ask these things in Your Holy name.

Amen.

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