R. Joseph Owles
A Sheep Among Wolves
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Wedding Service: Generic Christian


        As the people gather, music approprate to the praise of God may be offered. At the appointed time the bride, groom, and other members of the wedding party enter and cme and stand before the minister. The families of the bride and groom may stand with the couple.

        During the entrance of the wedding party, the people may stand and sing a psalm, hymn, or spiritual, or an anthem may be sung, or instrumental music played.

Sentences of Scripture

        The minister calls the people to worship, either before or after the entrance, using one of the following, or another appropriate verse from Scripture.

    God is love,
    and those who abide in love,
    abide in God,
    and God abides in them (1 John 4:16).

    This is the day that the lord has made;
    let us rejoice and be glad in it (Ps. 118:24).

Statement on the Gift of Marriage

        The minister says:

    We gather in the presence of God
    to give thanks for the gift for marriage,
    to witness the joining together of _________ and __________
    to surround them with our prayers,
    and to ask Godís blessing upon them,
    so that they may be strengthened for their life together
    and nurtured in their love for God.

    God created us male and female,
    and gave us marriage
    so that husband and wife may help and comfort each other,
    living faithfully together in plenty and in want,
    in joy and in sorrow,
    in sickness and in health,
    throughout all their days.

    God gave us marriage
    for the full expression of the love between a man and a woman.
    In marriage a woman and a man belong to each other,
    and with affection and tenderness
    freely give themselves to each other.

    God gave us marriage
    for the well-being of human society,
    for the ordering of family life,
    and for the birth and nurture of children.

    God gave us marriage as a holy mystery
    in which a man and a woman are joined together,
    and become one,
    just as Christ is one with the church.

    In marriage, husband and wife are called to a new way of life,
    created, ordered, and blessed by God.
    This way of life must not be entered into carelessly,
    or from selfish motives,
    but responsibly, and prayerfully.

    We rejoice that marriage is given by God,
    blessed by our Lord Jesus Christ,
    and sustained by the Holy Spirit.
    Therefore, let marriage be held in honor by all.


    Let us pray;

    Gracious God,
    you are always faithful in your love for us.
    Look mercifully upon ____________ and ___________,
    who have come seeking your blessing.
    Let your Holy Spirit rest upon them
    so that with steadfast love
    they may honor the promises they make this day,
    through Jesus Christ our Savior.


        The congregation may be seated.

Declaration of Intent

        The minister addressed the groom:

    ___________, understanding that God has created, ordered, and blessed the covenant of marriage, do you affirm your desire and intention to enter this covenant?


    I do.

        The minister addressed the bride:

    ___________, understanding that God has created, ordered, and blessed the covenant of marriage, do you affirm your desire and intention to enter this covenant?


    I do.

Affirmations of the Families

        The minister may address the families of the bride and groom:

    Will the families of the bride and groom please respond:

            Do you give your blessing to __________ and __________, and promise to do everything in your power to uphold them in their marriage?

        The families of the bride and groom answer:

    We (I) do.

        The families of the bride and groom may be seated.

Affirmation of the Congregation

        The minister may address the congregation, saying:

    Will all of you witnessing these vows do everything in your power to uphold ____________ and ___________ in their marriage?


    We Will.


Reading from Scripture

    Let us pray:

    God of mercy,
    your faithfulness to your covenant
    frees us to live together
    in the security of your powerful love.

    Amid all the changing words of your generation,
    speak your eternal Word that does not change.
    Then may we respond to your gracious promises
    by living in faith and obedience;
    through our Lord Jesus Christ.


    First Reading: A Reading from ___________

    The Word of the Lord

    Thanks be to God.

    Second Reading: A Reading from ___________

    The Word of the Lord

    Thanks be to God.        

    The Gospel Reading:

    A Reading from the Gospel of  ___________

    Hear the Word of our Lord, Jesus Christ!

    The Gospel of the Lord

    Praise to your, Lord Jesus Christ.


    After the Scriptures are read, a brief sermon may be given.


    The people may stand.
    The minister addresses the couple:

__________ and ___________
since it is your intention to marry,
join your right hands,
and with your promises
bind yourselves to each other as husband and wife.

    The bride and groom face each other and join right hands. They in turn then make their vows to each other:

    The man says:

    I, ____________, take you, ____________, to be my wife;
    and I promise,
    before God and these witnesses,
    to be your loving and faithful husband;
    in plenty and in want;
    in joy and in sorrow;
    in sickness and in health;
    as long as we both shall live.

    The woman says:

    I, ____________, take you, ____________, to be my husband;
    and I promise,
    before God and these witnesses,
    to be your loving and faithful wife;
    in plenty and in want;
    in joy and in sorrow;
    in sickness and in health;
    as long as we both shall live.

Exchange of Rings

    What do you bring as the sign of your promise?

        When the rings are presented, the minister may say the following prayer.

    By your blessing, O God,
    + may these rings be to ___________ and ____________
    symbols of unending love and faithfulness,
    reminding them of the covenant they have made this day,
    through Jesus Christ our Lord.


        The bride and groom exchange rings using the following or other appropriate words. The traditional Trinitarian formula should be omitted for both the bride and groom if one of the marriage partners is not a professing Christian.

        As each ring is given, the one giving the ring says:

    This ring I give you,
    as a sign of our constant faith
    and abiding love,
    in the name of the Father,
    and of the Son,
    and of the Holy Spirit.


        The couple may kneel.

    Let us pray:

    Eternal God,
    Creator and preserver f all life,
    author of salvation, and giver f all grace:
    look with favor upon the world you have made and redeemed,
    and especially upon __________ and _________

    Give them wisdom and devotion
    in their common life,
    that each may be to the other
    a strength in need,
    a counselor in perplexity,
    a comfort in sorrow,
    and a companion in joy.

    Give them the grace,
    when they hurt each other
    to recognize and confess their fault,
    and to seek each otherís forgiveness
    and yours.

    Give them such fulfillment of their mutual love
    that they may reach out in concern for others.

    Grant that all who have witnessed these vows today
    may find their lives strengthened,
    and that all who are married
    may depart with their own promises renewed.

    Enrich with your grace
    all husbands and wives, parents and children,
    that, loving and supporting one another,
    they may serve those in need
    and be a sign of your kingdom.

    Grant that the bonds by which all your children
    are united to one another
    may be so transformed by your Spirit
    that your peace and justice may fill the earth,
    through Jesus Christ our Lord.


Lordís Prayer

    As our Savior Christ has taught us, we are bold to say:

    Our Father, who art in heaven,
    hallowed by thy name,
    thy kingdom come,
    thy will be done,
    on earth as it is in heaven.
    Give us this day our daily bread;
    and forgive us our trespasses,
    as we forgive those who trespass against us;
    and lead us not into temptation,
    but deliver us from evil.
    For thine is the Kingdom,
    and the power, and the glory,
    forever. Amen.


    As Godís own,
    clothe yourselves with compassion,
    kindness, and patience,
    forgiving each other
    as the Lord has forgiven you,
    and crown all these things with love,
    which binds everything together in perfect harmony.


    + The Lord bless you and keep you.
    + The Lord be kind and gracious to you.
    + The Lord look upon you with favor
        and give you peace.
    That you may live in faith,
    abound in hope,
    and grow in love,
    both now and forevermore.

Announcement of Marriage

        The minister addresses the congregation:

    Before God
    and in the presence of this assembly,
    _________ and _________
    have made their solemn vows to each other.
    They have confirmed their promises by the joining of hands
    [and by the giving and receiving of rings].

    Therefore, I proclaim that __________ and __________
    are now husband and wife.

    Blessed be + the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, now and forever.


    You may kiss the bride

    Those whom God has joined together
    let no one separate.




     Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.





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