Opening Words and Prayer
“Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today in the presence of God, Family and Friends, to celebrate the marriage of Marie and Anthony. Marriage is often compared to the relationship of Christ to his Church for many reasons. Marriage is a sacred trust to be embraced fully and openly, by both people, mirroring God’s love for us and the interpersonal relationship that we all have with the divine. Yet marriage in the larger sense has always been about family and community. Marie and Anthony, sharing in your joy is food to the soul of this community, just as it is the love and support of everyone here that has nurtured the soul of your relationship. That Jesus’ first miracle, the changing of water to wine, happened at a wedding is no coincidence. Recognizing one person, out of all seven and a half billion of us here on this earth, as having been sent to you by God, to make your life sweeter and brighter… to be warmth in the cold and love you for the parts of self that no one else will ever see… it is indeed miraculous! From that beautiful beginning, you have continued, putting in the work of establishing a relationship worthy of the promise of marriage. You’ve talked and listened, learned and grown, cared about all the silly and serious things that your days have brought and put one another’s needs above your own. You have treated one another as the most important person in your lives… and from today on all that work will be recognized and celebrated every time you speak the words “my husband” and “my wife“.
So, I will ask you now if you are prepared to make this promise.
Marie, have you come here today of your own free will to take Anthony to be your husband, that you may live together as equal partners sharing all that life has to offer?”
Marie: “I have.”
“Will you love him, comfort him, honor and keep him all the days of your life?”
Marie: “I will.”
“Anthony, have you come here today of your own free will to take Marie to be your wife, that you may live together as equal partners sharing all that life has to offer?”
Anthony: “I have.”
“Will you love her comfort her, honor and keep her all the days of your life?”
Anthony: “I will.”
“Marie and Anthony, may God Bless and keep you. May you have many joys and be the light of each others days.”
Welcome of the Guests
“Marie and Anthony 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 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 Marie and Anthony, 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 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.
In the Catholic Church we share “a sign of peace”. Marie and Anthony have chosen to include this in their ceremony as a way for all of you to witness their last kiss… or one of the last kisses that they will share, as single people and for them to be able to watch as all of you embrace for the first time as one family. And so I say to you now, Marie and Anthony, may the peace of the Lord be with you… and will you offer one another a sign of Christ’s peace.
Bride and groom kiss
Family and friends, may the peace of the Lord be with all of you, and will you now offer one another a sign of peace?“
Guests shake hands and embrace
“Marie and Anthony, 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.
In the 1st Letter of Paul to the Corinthians, it is written that:
“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.”
These words are so often spoken at wedding ceremonies because even after 2000 years, they are still good advice. They remind the Bride and Groom that when they are addressing one another. they are speaking to the most important person in their lives; the person with whom they seek compromise and understanding over ideas of being right or wrong. So, time, tender tones and the nurturing of a generous and joyful spirit are always advised to keep your connection strong. Theses words teach that real love is the one thing in this world that we can hang on to, and know that it is meant by God to be without end, and while holding love above all else…
St. Paul also talks about faith… When we think the word celebration, it means a group of people all together in the same place, happy about the same thing. The people who love you most are happy because of their faith in you and the love that you share… Everyone here believes in you, and that yours is the kind of love that will lead future generations to say… “I wanna be like them some day.” “I want some of what they have.“
Your marriage and this gathering all beautifully celebrate faith in the goodness of future ahead, hope for the beautiful miracles – both great and small – that you will know in the years to come… But most of all, it celebrates your love for one another, the love everyone here has for you, and the love of God, who has sowed these seeds and rejoices as they blossom this day… Upon which we all really do abide in Faith, Hope and Love.”
“A Marriage Prayer”
by Bud Henry Bowen
“Bless our marriage, oh God, as we begin our journey down the road of life together. We don’t know what lies ahead for the road turns and bends. But help us to make the best of whatever comes our way. Help us to hug each other often… laugh a lot, talk more, and argue less. Help us to continue to enjoy each other as we did when we first met. Help us to realize that nothing nor no one is perfect and to look for the good in all things, and in all people, including ourselves. Help us to respect each other’s likes and dislikes, opinions and beliefs, hopes and dreams and fears even though we may not always understand them. Help us to learn from each other and to help each other to grow mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Help us to realize that there is design and purpose in our lives as in the world and no matter what happens to us we will hold on to each other and know that things have a way of working out for the good. Help us to create for our children a peaceful, stable home of love as a foundation on which they can build their lives. But most of all, dear God, help us to keep lit the torch of love that we now share in our hearts so that by our loving example we may pass on the light of love to our children and to their children and to their children’s children forever. Amen.”
Mother’s Blessing of the Rings
“It is said that we learn how to give and receive love through the act of being loved. The first and strongest love we feel is that of our parents as the love and nurture us into adulthood and beyond. Throughout this ceremony bx and gx’s parents have been holding their rings for them as a sign of their blessing upon this marriage and a promise of their continued love and support. Will the Mothers of the Bride and Groom please bring the rings forward?”
Mothers bring the rings forward and hold them out in the palm of their hand for the blessing
“Let your hands below serve as a reminder of how Marie and Anthony and their marriage are supported upon the earth by the love of family and friends well as blessed from above.”
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, Amen.
Mothers kiss their child and return to their seat
It is a beautiful and appropriate tribute that their last kiss as single people should come from the two women who gave them their first kiss and breath into this life, their mothers.”
~ Ring Vows ~
“Anthony, do you take Marie 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?”
Anthony: “I do.”
“Please place the ring on Marie’s finger and repeat after me…”
Anthony places the ring half way onto Marie’s finger
“I Anthony take you Marie, 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.”
Anthony places the ring fully onto Marie’s finger
“Marie, do you take Anthony 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?”
Marie: “I do.”
“Please place the ring on Anthony’s finger and repeat after me…”
Marie places the ring half way onto Anthony’s finger
“I Marie, take you Anthony, 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.”
Marie places the ring fully onto Anthony’s finger
Closing Prayer and Pronouncement of Marriage
“In The Prayer of St Francis it is written:
Lord, make us instruments of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let us sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is discord, union;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy;
O Divine Master, Grant that we may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console,
To be understood as to understand,
To be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
And it is in letting go that we are born to eternal life.
Beautiful advice for harmony in the world and in a marriage.
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 and exit to greet their guests!