Opening Words and Prayer

“Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today in the presence of God, Family and Friends, to celebrate the marriage of Kate and James. It is such a wonderful feeling to be here with them to witness the beginnings of what we know will be an extraordinary marriage. Today is the day that they will formally and publicly make their promises to one another. Although this is indeed a high point, marriage is a journey not a destination. Marriage is more than any one single event or promise. It is a way of life and a series of decisions that have been made, and will continue to be made over and over again, every day, that shows tow peoples care and concern for the one whom they love most in the world. Yet I will ask you now if you are prepared to make this promise.

Kate, Have you come here today of your own free will to take James to be your husband, that you may live together as equal partners sharing all that life has to offer?”

Kate: “I have.”

“Will you love him, comfort him, honor and keep him all the days of your life?”

Kate:“I will.”

“James, Have you come here today of your own free will to take Kate to be your wife, that you may live together as equal partners sharing all that life has to offer?”

James: “I have.”

“Will you love her comfort her, honor and keep her all the days of your life?”

James: “I will.”

“What better way to begin such a miraculous event than with a prayer for their happiness.”

Heavenly Father, In the beginning there was the word, and the word was with you. When you spoke those words they held in them the power of creation, and all life began. Kate and James come before us today to speak important words of their own that through your grace, shall be a precious a new beginning in their lives. Bless them today and always, that they will forever see you, and know you, in their hearts and in their home. And bless us all who are here that through Kate and James our own promises and connection to you, and to one another, shall be strengthened. This we ask through our Lord Jesus Christ who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit one God for ever and ever. Amen.”

Welcoming of the Guests

“Kate and James would like to thank you all for being here with them today, and for supporting them through everything that it has taken to make this day a reality. They know that your taking the time, and making the journey, took considerable effort for a good many of you and they wanted you all to know the deep appreciation and gratitude that they feel in their hearts for this. All of you are the most important, and have been the most influential people in their lives. All of the time, and conversations, that you have had with Kate and James even before they met have helped to make them who they needed to be to first find themselves and then each other. You have shared in their best and their worst days, and you are an irreplaceable part of their yesterdays, their today and all of their tomorrows. For all of you are among the greatest gifts that life has given them. All of you are those they can call family and friend.”

Address

“Kate and James, today as you take this next step, I ask you to remember that marriage is a covenant, not a contract. Contracts have terms and conditions, and limits that must be met. But a covenant is a lifetime commitment made between two people and God. It is a promise to do more than just stay together, but to thrive… to live a life that is rich and full… not by accident, by choice. This will require hard work at times, and the presence of mind to stop and appreciate the fact that through all life’s moments, both great and small… you have someone by your side who loves and cares for you above all others.

To choose marriage is to accept a challenge, the challenge that Love itself provides when it wants to grow. This means that things won’t always be easy. But you share a commitment to putting your best selves forward in both difficult and wonderful times, emerging stronger with each experience you share. It means that although neither of you will always be perfect, you will never lose sight of the fact that you are perfect for one another.

Marriage means that you have achieved a certain level of success, that deserves new levels of recognition and commitment. Although you have felt yourselves married in your hearts for sometime now, marriage in the larger sense has always been about family and community. When everyone entered, they took a seat on one side or the other. After your vows, those words have done something that fundamentally changes the relationship of everyone here. As they join together and follow you out of this ceremony, those sides go away, and they all belong to one family from that moment on.

There is something very important about publicly making your promises to one another, in front of everyone here, who have a lifetime of emotional investment in the two of you and in your happiness. Marriage is a promise to all the people who love you, that the person they love will always be well cared for.”

Unity Candle

“For centuries fire has symbolized life, spirit, strength, initiation, and rites of passage. When two souls destined for each other, find one another, their streams of light flow together and a single brighter light goes forth from the united being. By the joining of two candles into one, this symbolizes the strength and the unity of two joining together to become one, depicting Kate and James’s belief that together they can become greater than each could be alone. The Unity Candle that Kate and James will light together stands as a bright and beautiful symbol of their commitment to the spirit of their union and the joining of their lives and families as one.”

Music begins
Bride and Groom step behind the altar and light their taper
They then take their taper in hand and light the center candle
Bride and Groom place the tapers back in their holders, snuff their flames, and return to the front of the altar
Music concludes

Invocation

Minister: “The Lord be with you.”
All: “And also with you.”
Minister: “Let us pray…

Gracious Father and Ever Living God, our hearts are filled with great happiness on this the wedding day of Kate and James. They have come before you, pledging their lives and their hearts to one another. Grant that they may be ever true and loving, living together in a way that shall ever nurture the soul of their marriage. Temper their hearts with kindness and help them to be sweethearts, helpmates, friend and guide, so that together, may they meet the cares and problems of life more bravely. May their home truly be a place of love and harmony where your Spirit is ever present. Bless their wedding day, we pray, and walk beside them, through all their life together. This we ask through our Lord Jesus Christ, Who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the holy spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.”

The Lord’s Prayer

“Will you now join with me in reciting the Lord’s Prayer?”

All: “Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be 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, amen.”

Blessing of the Rings

“May I have the rings please?

Celebrant is given the rings

Holy Spirit, guardian of all that is seen and unseen, Bless these rings and this couple who shall wear them. Keep them safe through adversity forever supported by your eternal blessing”

Ring Vows

“James, do you take Kate to be your lawfully wedded wife, to have and to hold from this day forward? For better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish until death do you part?”

James: “I do.”

“James will you now place the ring on Kate’s finger and repeat after me?”

James places the ring half way onto Kate’s finger

“I James take you Kate, to be my wife. Before God, Family and Friends. I promise to love you, and honor you, respect and cherish you for all the days of my life.”

James places the ring fully onto Kate’s finger

“Kate, do you take James to be your lawfully wedded husband, to have and to hold from this day forward? For better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish until death do you part?”

Kate: “I do.”

“Kate will you now place the ring on James’s finger and repeat after me?”

Kate places the ring half way onto James’ finger

“I Kate, take you James, to be my husband. Before God, Family and Friends. I promise to love you, and honor you, respect and cherish you for all the days of my life.”

Kate places the ring fully onto James’ finger

A Reading From the Gospel of Paul

“Kate and James have chosen to close their ceremony with a reading from the 1st Letter of Paul to the Corinthians.”

“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. Love never ends; So in faith, hope, and love, abide these three; but know the greatest of these is love.”

“This is perhaps the most popular passage of all time for a wedding, because what these words are really saying is that no matter what else is going on in this crazy world of ours… You two truly Love one another… and today you have pledged that your Love will always be the most important part of your lives.”

Pronouncement and Presentation

“And now that you’ve made your vows and promises of love and faithfulness before these witnesses, and exchanged rings of commitment as a testimony to that love, it is my honor and privilege to pronounce you husband and wife. You may kiss your beautiful Bride!”

Bride and Groom kiss

Ladies and Gentlemen, may I present Mr. and Mrs. James and Kate Connor!”

Couple kiss again and exit to greet their guests!