Wedding

Revd Rex A E Hunt
eMail:  rexae@optusnet.com.au
Web site:  www.rexaehuntprogressive.com


LITURGY 1 FOR THE SERVICE OF MARRIAGE

Processional Music

Opening Sentences
We gather this day as a group of friends of (N) and (N)
to celebrate their marriage
surround them with our prayers and best wishes
and to share in their joy.

God is the heart of life.
All And we are the heartbeat.
May our hearts be filled
with thanks and praise and songs of joy.
All We rejoice in the miracle of life
and delight in our participation.  SWeinberg

(N) and (N), we welcome you
and we thank you for the privilege that is ours
to share this joyful day with you.

Declaration of Purpose
Marriage is a vision of life together
in which two people live in a unity of body, mind and spirit.

It is a relationship in which neither takes life from the other,
but in love and grace, new life is formed between them
which is deeper and more creative
than each living alone.

The love that is born there may lead to the creation of new life in children
and a safe place for their learning and growing.

In marriage two people dare to make the commitment
to love each other for the rest of their lives.
They do this not because they believe that this will be easy,
but as a grand hope which they share.

(N) and (N) announce their love as a sign of the beginning
of a new journey into life together,
treading into the unknown future with freedom and grace

They make this commitment before us with a real sense of responsibility and care.

They invite our support in sustaining their relationship
and our joy in celebrating this act of love.

Therefore, on this their wedding day
let us join them in this sacred moment
and surround them with our love.

For we are most human when we are most loving.

Moment of Quietness/Prayer
Let us now join together in some moments of quietness.
And in this quietness let us focus on (N) and (N)
the prayers and best wishes we have for them today.
(Silence)

Gracious and caring Energy of Love,
you surround us,
you touch our imaginations,
you hold us in comfort in life’s circumstances.

Embrace us in all our living and lift our joy and hope this day.
Amen.

* Hymn

* Lighting of Candles
Candles, representing the lives of both (N) and (N)
and the union of the two families will be lit by their mothers/friends/children,
(N) and (N).
Bride and Groom sit

Readings
Let us listen as we reflect on the thoughts of others
who have written about living and love and marriage.

Biblical/Religious tradition:
* Contemporary OR Non biblical (poem, etc):

* Music of Celebration

Charge to Couple
True marriage is a comradeship of two
who strive to grow together in their differences for their mutual happiness.
Who work for the achievement of their common ideals.

The decision to marry, made in the context of human uncertainty,
requires tremendous faith:
faith in yourselves as individuals
and in the strength of your relationship;
faith that you will be able in your marriage to deal with whatever the future holds.

Declaration of Intent
Groom stands
After the Groom has declared his intent, the Bride stands

* (i) (N) are you willing, in faith, to affirm that you will receive
(N) to be your wife?

Will you love her, sharing with her your joys and sorrows,
your needs and dreams?

Will you offer her the freedom and support she needs to fulfil her own life?
I am and I will (with God's help).

(N) are you willing, in faith, to affirm that you will receive
(N) to be your husband?

Will you love him, sharing with him your joys and sorrows,
your needs and dreams?

Will you offer him the freedom and support he needs to fulfil his own life?
I am and I will (with God's help).

* (ii) (N), will you give yourself to (N) to be her husband,
to live together in the covenant of marriage?

Will you love her, comfort her, honour and protect her,
and, forsaking all others, be faithful to her, as long as you both shall live?
I will.

(N), will you give yourself to (N) to be his wife,
to live together in the covenant of marriage?

Will you love him, comfort him, honour and protect him,
and, forsaking all others, be faithful to him, as long as you both shall live?
I will.

* Blessing by the Families
(N) and (N) are about to become husband and wife.
Parent/s stand

(N) and (N), (N) and (N)
as their parents, will you give your blessing to (N) and (N)
in their new relationship?

Will you support them with the freedom and love which they need?

Will you share your experiences and wisdom with them,
and seek to learn from them as well?
We do and we will (through the grace of God).
Parent/s sit

Affirmation by Friends
And to you, the friends of (N) and (N) your love and friendship have helped bring
(N) and (N) to this moment in their lives.

Will you continue to love and support them in who they are as a couple?
We will.

* The Vows
Several samples will be offered

Giving of the Ring/s
The joining of your lives into one common life did not begin
and does not end with this service of marriage.
It is a continuing process to which you have given yourselves publicly today.

Each day you must make again the decision to engage in life together.
The minister receives the rings

The metal in these rings has little value except in its use today.
Your words today are gone as you say them.
But as you say them your lives are changed forever.

We pray a blessing on these rings.
Let them be to (N) and (N) a symbol of unending love and faithfulness,
to remind them of the covenant which they have made this day.

* (i) (N) as a symbol of my decision to share our life together,
and of our faith and love,
I give you this ring

(N) as a symbol of my decision to share our life together,
and of our faith and love,
I give you this ring.

* (ii) (N), I give you this ring as a sign of our marriage
and of the vows which we have made today.

(N), I give you this ring as a sign of our marriage
and of the vows which we have made today.

Proclamation of the Marriage
Before God, and in the presence of us all,
(N) and (N) have made their solemn vows.

They have confirmed their marriage by the joining of hands
and the giving and receiving of rings.

In the name of God, Source of Life and Being,
I proclaim them husband and wife.

Acclamation

Wedding Embrace

The Blessing
Bride and Groom kneel

May God the starmaker cradle and circle you.
May God the storyteller beckon and encourage you.
May God the life changer challenge you and cherish you.
May you walk in the light of God’s love and laughter
all the moments of your nights and days.
Bride/Groom stand

* Family greeting

* Hymn

Announcements

Signing of Marriage Register/Certificate

Music of Celebration  (During signing of register)

Presentation of Marriage Certificate
(N) and (N) on behalf of all present I offer you my congratulations
and best wishes for the future.

And it is with pleasure I present you with your marriage certificate.

Lighting of the Marriage Candle
(N) and (N) will now light the Unity Candle,
symbolizing the merging of their two lives.

* Presentation of flowers or special gift

Contemporary word
The minister to share some thoughts

(Celebrating community: Sacrament of Holy Communion)

Prayers
Gracious God, we bless you
for your tender love toward us day by day.

• Bless (N) and (N).
May they live lives of love and peace together
and always remember their joy on this day.

May they be honest in their relationship, ready to trust each other,
so their love may grow in maturity and depth.

May they be there for each other in times of grief or struggle,
holding each other close in comfort,
drawing strength and courage from each other
and from those around them.
Amen.

• May their lives be full of laughter.

May their home be filled with joy, as it is joined with the life of others,
and as they grow closer to each other
in the shared journey of life.
Amen.

• Bless the families [and the children]  of both (N) and (N),
that they may be united in love and friendship.

And may each of us here this day
be given new hope in the commitment to love
and be affirmed in our own love for others.
Amen.

Closing Sentences
* (i) May (N) and (N) find happiness in their marriage.

May they live faithfully together,
performing the vow and covenant between them made.

And may they ever remain in sympathy and understanding
that their years may be rich in the joys of life,
and their days good, and long upon the earth.

* (ii) On this special day, we would assure (N) and (N) of our care and support
as they plan new experiences and reach out to new achievements and satisfactions.

Carry our love with you as you go and call upon us when you will.
Go into your new life together in grace and peace.

Blessing
May the Spirit of Life and Love be evident in all our living.
May the Spirit of Creativity bless us richly in all our living.
May a Spirit of gratitude, wonder and peace be our gift in all our living.

Every one of us. Every part of us.
May we be blessed.
This day. And ever more.
All Amen.

Farewell
(N) and (N) celebrate your life!

Recessional Music


Some of the resources used in shaping this liturgy:
Burgess, R. 2001. A Book of Blessings. GtB: Glasgow. Wild Goose Publications.
Falla, T. C. (ed). 1994. Be Our Freedom Lord. Responsive prayers and readings for contemporary worship. Revised edition. SA: Adelaide. Open Books Publications.
Fulghum, R. 1995. From Beginning to End. The rituals of our lives. NY: New York. Bantam Books.
Gordon, K. 1998. A Practical Guide to Alternative Weddings. GtB: London. Constable.
Hass, R.; S. Mitchell. 1993. Into the Garden. A wedding anthology. NY: New York. HarperPerennial.
McRae-McMahon, D. 2003. Rituals for Life, Love and Loss. NSW: Paddington. Jane Curry Publishing.
Seaburg, C. (ed). 1968. Great Occasions. Readings for the celebration of birth, coming-of-age, marriage, and death. MA: Boston. Beacon Press.
Silliman, V. B. (ed). 1972. The Celebration of Marriage. MN: Norway. Oxford Hills Press.
Uniting in Worship. Leader’s Book. 1988. VIC: Melbourne. Uniting Church Press.
Ward, H.; J. Wild, J Morley. (ed). 1995. Celebrating Women. New edition. GtB: London. SPCK.

Web sites:
UUA Worship Web. MA: Boston. <www.uua.org/spirituallife/worshipweb/>
Sherri Weinberg. 2005. St Paul's Presbyterian Church. NZ: Devonport.
Michael Morwood. Marriage ceremony. www.greatnewstory.com

rexae@optusnet.com.au