Traditional Christian Ceremony

Address to the assembled guests:

We are gathered here today on this most happy occasion to join together this man and this woman in holy matrimony.

Giving the bride:

Who gives this woman to be married to this man?

Address to the guests & charge to the couple:

Marriage is an institution of God. All our thinking on the subject has its basis in God’s Word, the Holy Bible. God Himself was the originator of it when He said, “For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife and they two shall be one flesh.” It is apparent that our Maker instituted this as an experience of love, to provide His own idea of a proper social order and to provide that through well-ordered families truth and holiness might be transmitted from one age to another.

We learn from the Scriptures that Jesus honored a marriage festival with His presence and that the Apostle Paul selected the symbol of a husband and wife as a perfect emblem of the union that binds together Christ Himself and his own blood-bought, ransomed Church.

A relationship that is thus consecrated should not be formed thoughtlessly and irreverently, but advisedly and in the fear of God, knowing that He as the divine Author ordained and blessed matrimony. And now as in His sight and as you will answer in the day when we see Him face to face, I charge you both that if there be any cause that should prevent your lawful union, you shall now speak.

Husband repeats these words:

________________, will you have this woman to your wedded wife, to live together after God’s ordinance, in the holy estate of matrimony? Will you love her, comfort her, honor her and keep her in sickness and in health, and forsaking all others, keep yourself only unto her as long as you both shall live?

Wife repeats these words:

________________, will you have this man to your wedded husband, to live together after God’s ordinance, in the holy estate of matrimony? Will you love him, comfort him, honor him and keep him in sickness and in health, and forsaking all others, keep yourself only unto him as long as you both shall live?

The couple’s vows:

I, ________________, take you, _______________, to my wedded wife, 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 until death do us part.

I, ________________, take you, _______________, to my wedded 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 until death do us part.

Exchange of wedding rings:

The circle is an emblem of eternity, & gold is the type of that which is least tarnished and most enduring – it is to show how lasting and imperishable is the faith you all pledge to one another today.

As the union now formed is to be separated only by death, it becomes you both to consider the duties you solemnly assume. If these be remembered and faithfully discharged, they will add to the happiness of your life; lightening by dividing those inevitable sorrows, and heightening by doubling all its blessedness. However, if these obligations be neglected and violated, you cannot escape the keenest misery as well as the darkest guilt.

It is the responsibility of the husband to provide for the support & shelter of his wife, to be consistently affectionate and aware of her needs, it being the command of God’s Word that husbands love their wives even as Christ loved the Church and gave His own life for her.

It is the responsibility of the wife to love her husband, and to put on the ornament of a meek spirit, which in God’s sight is a jewel of great price, His Word commanding that wives look to their own husbands even as the Church looks to Christ.

And it is the privilege of both to delight in the company of the other, to remember that in interest and in affection they are to be from this day on undivided. It is their solemn duty to preserve always the fidelity of this union.

Husband, then wife repeat these words:

With this ring I thee wed, and with all my worldly goods I thee endow, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

Unity Candle

By joining of the two candles into one this symbolizes the strength and unity of two joining together to become one, depicting their belief that together they can become greater than each other could be alone.

Prayer of Blessing

Pronouncement:

Those whom God has joined together let no man separate. Forasmuch as _________________ & _________________ have consented together in holy wedlock and witnessed the same before God, and have given and pledged their faith to each other, I now pronounce that they are husband and wife in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.