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A Wedding Sampler: Resources for the wedding service

Each denomination has one or more wedding forms that are good starting places for planning a wedding service. Many other creative resources are also available. Several samples are included here from sources briefly reviewed on p. 45.

Affirmation by Families and Congregation

Do you, the families of [name] and [name],
give your love and blessing to this new family?
We do.
or
We (I) give our (my) blessing and promise our (my) loving support.

Members of the families may share expressions of encouragement and love with the couple.

Will all of you, by God’s grace, do everything in your power to uphold and care for these two persons in their life together?

We will.

—A Christian Celebration of Marriage, p. 12

Parting from Parents

We, the parents of [name], thank God that in his providence he has brought these two together to be married. We welcome [name] into our family, and trust that God will richly bless this home that he is establishing.

—Baker’s Wedding Handbook, p. 89

Vows

I, [name], take you, [name], to be my [wife/husband],
to have and to hold from this day forward,
for better, for worse,
for richer, for poorer,
in sickness and in health,
to love and to cherish,
as long as we both shall live.
To this I pledge myself
truly with all my heart.

—Baker’s Wedding Handbook, p. 78

I, [name], take you, [name], to be my [wife/husband], to love you with all my heart, to share my life with you, and to be faithful to you in an exclusive Christian marriage.

—Baker’s Wedding Handbook, p. 90

I, [name], give myself to you, [name], to be your loving and faithful [husband/wife], and I promise before God and all who are present here that I will live with you alone in the bonds of marriage as long as our lives will last. I will serve you with tenderness and respect, honor you with my body, and encourage you to develop God’s gifts in you. So help me God.

—Bert Polman

Rings

Bless, O Lord, [the giving of] these rings;
May they who wear them
live in love and fidelity,
and continue in your service
all the days of their lives,
Through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

—A Christian Celebration of Marriage, p. 16

Charge to the Couple

As God’s 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.
(Col. 3:12-14)

—Christian Marriage, p. 22

Whatever you do, whether in word or deed,
do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus,
giving thanks to God through him.
(Col. 3:17)

—Christian Marriage, p. 22

Blessing

Go forth in joy, and as you do:
Abide in faith, that God may empower your love.
Abide in hope, that God may guide you all your days.
Abide in love, that God may shelter you from this day forward.
In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Amen.

—Sourcebook of Weddings, p. 193

The grace of Christ attend you,
the love of God surround you,
the Holy Spirit keep you,
that you may live in faith,
abound in hope,
and grow in love,
both now and forevermore.
Amen.

—Christian Marriage, p. 22

Now may our glorious God, to whom you have dedicated your marriage,
raise you up on eagle’s wings,
bear you on the breath of dawn,
make you to shine like the sun,
and hold you in the palm of his hand.

—Based on Michael Joncas’s setting of Psalm 91