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Resources to Make Your Ceremony Unique
By Andy Langford
Abingdon PressCopyright © 2008 Abingdon Press
All rights reserved.
While the people gather, instrumental or vocal music may be offered by soloists, or recorded tracks. Traditionally, the music would have included March" from Wagner's Lohengrin or Pachelbel's Canon in of music may be used to set the tone of the celebration. For example, church steeple bells or handbells may be rung. Here and throughout the of music appropriate for Christian worship is strongly encouraged, rest in the hands of the couple, musicians, and pastor.
This is an ideal time to include solos or other special music. For example, a solo or after the seating of the bride's mother.
During the Gathering, guests and families are seated and candles lighted.
if a unity candle is used, the two side candles representing the husband and the often by the respective mothers or other members of the family, being seated at the beginning of the service. Indicate in the planning who will light which candles. In choosing candles, however, be careful. Candle produces too much wax, is scented with a fragrance to be allergic, or even has an offensive smell, such as citronella.
Some couples may also choose to light a candle or candles to remember or honor present at the wedding, such as a deceased parent or grandparent. May be added by family or friends to the worship settings in the service. These items may include an object that is special to the is unique to the couple, samples of soil or water representing which the families come, or a loaf of bread and cup for Holy Communion. Another option is that members of the entire congregation or representatives may place on the altar or table objects that may bless the marriage.
One of the most difficult of all decisions at weddings today is which family members will sit where. Traditionally, the groom's family sits on the right side facing the pastor, while the bride's family sits on the left side facing the pastor. More specifically, the groom's mother (or parents) sits on the first row. The bride's mother opposite first row until joined by the father of the bride, who sits Presentation.
But what happens when the couple's parents or grandparents and other family present for the wedding have been divorced or remarried? Where previous marriages sit? Every participant must remember that this the couple and not a day to pull rank or revive old wounds. The and their families must spend some time in prayerful consideration before the rehearsal to decide who will sit where and with whom in ways that honor everyone and prevent possible conflicts.
Before, during, or immediately after the entrance of the wedding party, there may be a hymn, a psalm, a canticle (a song from Scripture), a contemporary song, or an anthem. The congregation may be invited to stand. The following processional hymns may be found in a variety of hymnals:
"All Creatures of Our God and King"
"All Praise to Thee, for Thou, O King Divine" "Amazing Grace"
"Blest Are They"
"Christ Is Made the Sure Foundation"
"Come Down, O Love Divine"
"Come, My Way, My Truth, My Life"
"Come, Thou Almighty King"
"Come, We That Love the Lord"
"For the Beauty of the Earth"
"God of Our Life"
"Hear Us Now, Our God"
"How Can We Name a Love"
"In Thee Is Gladness"
"Jesus, Joy of Our Desiring"
"Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee"
"Let All the World in Every Corner Sing"
"Let's Sing to the Lord / Cantemos al Señor"
"Lord of All Hopefulness"
"Love Divine, All Loves Excelling"
"O God, Our Help in Ages Past"
"O Perfect Love"
"O Young and Fearless Prophet"
"Praise, My Soul, the King of Heaven"
"Praise the Lord Who Reigns Above"
"Praise to the Lord, the Almighty"
"Sing Praise to God Who Reigns Above"
"The King of Love My Shepherd Is"
"Where Charity and Love Prevail"
"Where Love Is Found"
"Ye Watchers and Ye Holy Ones"
"Your Love, O God, Has Called Us Here"
The wedding party enters at this time. Typically, the order of the entrance of the pattern: the groom's grandparents, the bride's grandparents, finally the bride's mother. The wedding party follows: pastor(groomsmen, bridesmaids, maid of honor (unmarried woman) or matron of honor (married woman), ring bearer, and flower girl(s). See Questionnaire" (appendix B) to outline the order of the procession who is escorting whom.
The way the couple enters says much about their relationship to each other and family members. Think carefully about the entrance of the bride and groom.
Traditionally, when the entire wedding party is in place, the bride and her father family enter. Alternatively, the woman and the man may Or the woman and the man may both be escorted by families (traditionally, the groom by his father or best man, or other male family member) until they have reached the of the Families, at which time their escorts are seated.CHAPTER 2
The Greeting an invitation to worship by the pastor facing the congregation that the couple and congregation to the nature of Christian marriage the congregation. This time often includes the biblical witness as Jesus' first miracle, his participation in the wedding at Cana of Galilee when Jesus turned water into wine. According to the tradition of the the man and woman place garlands of flowers on each other following the Greeting.
The first words of Greeting may be a brief scriptural preface. Choose one of the greetings or one of the additional greetings.
I will sing of your steadfast love, O LORD, forever; with my mouth I will proclaim your faithfulness to all generations. I declare that your steadfast love is established forever; your faithfulness is as firm as the heavens.
Praise the LORD! Praise the name of the LORD! give praise, O servants of the LORD, you that stand in the house of the LORD, in the courts of the house of our God. Praise the LORD, for the LORD is good; sing to [the Lord's] name, for [the Lord] is gracious.
God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them.
1 John 4:16
This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
O give thanks, to the LORD, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever.
Love comes from God. Everyone who truly loves is a child of God. Let us worship God.
(United Church of Christ)
Friends, we are gathered together in the sight of God to witness and bless the joining together of Groom's Name and Bride's Name in Christian marriage.
The covenant of marriage was established by God, who created us male and female for each other.
With his presence and power Jesus graced a wedding at Cana of Galilee, and in his sacrificial love gave us the example for the love of husband and wife.
Groom's Name and Bride's Name come to give themselves to one another in this holy covenant.
Dearly beloved, we are gathered together here in the sight of God, and in the presence of these witnesses, to join together this man and this woman (Groom's Name and Bride's Name) in holy matrimony, which is an honorable estate, instituted of God, and signifying unto us the mystical union that exists between Christ and his Church; which holy estate Christ adorned and beautified with his presence in Cana of Galilee.
It is therefore not to be entered into unadvisedly, but reverently, discreetly, and in the fear of God. Into this holy estate these two persons come now to be joined.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
And also with you.
Let us pray.
Eternal God, our creator and redeemer, as you gladdened the wedding at Cana in Galilee by the presence of your Son, so by his presence now bring your joy to this wedding.
Look in favor upon Groom's Name and Bride's Name and grant that they, rejoicing in all your gifts, may at length celebrate with Christ the marriage feast which has no end. Amen.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. And also with you.
Let us pray.
Gracious God, you sent your Son Jesus Christ into the world to reveal your love to all people. Enrich Groom's Name and Bride's Name with every good gift, that their life together may show forth your love; and grant that at the last we may all celebrate with Christ the marriage feast that has no end; in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
We have come together in the presence of God to witness and bless the joining together of this man and this woman in Holy Matrimony.
The bond and covenant of marriage was established by God in creation, and our Lord Jesus Christ adorned this and our Lord Jesus Christ adorned this manner of life by his presence and first miracle at a wedding in Cana of Galilee.
It signifies to us the mystery of the union between Christ and his Church, and Holy Scripture commends it to be honored among all people.
The union of husband and wife in heart, body, and mind is intended by God for their mutual joy; for the help and comfort given one another in prosperity and adversity; and when it is God's will, for the procreation of children and their nurture in the knowledge and love of the Lord.
Therefore marriage is not to be entered into unadvisedly or lightly, but reverently, deliberately, and in accordance with the purposes for which it was instituted by God.
Dearly beloved, we are gathered here as the people of God to witness the marriage of Groom's Name and Bride's Name.
We come to share in their joy and to ask God to bless them.
Marriage is a gift of God, sealed by a sacred covenant.
God gives human love.
Through that love, husband and wife come to know each other with mutual care and companionship.
God gives joy.
Through that joy, wife and husband may share their new life with others as Jesus shared new wine at the wedding in Cana.
With our love and our prayers, we support Groom's Name and Bride's Name as they now freely give themselves to each other.
(United Church of Christ)
Dear friends, we have come together in the presence of God to witness the marriage of Groom's Name and Bride's Name, to surround them with our prayers, and to share in their joy.
The scriptures teach us that the bond and covenant of marriage is a gift of God, a holy mystery in which man and woman become one flesh, an image of the union of Christ and the church.
As this woman and this man give themselves to each other today, we remember that at Cana in Galilee our Savior Jesus Christ made the wedding feast a sign of God's reign of love.
Let us enter into this celebration confident that through the Holy Spirit,
Christ is present with us now.
We pray that this couple may fulfill God's purpose for the whole of their lives.
(United Church of Christ)
We gather in the presence of God to give thanks for the gift of marriage, to witness the joining together of Groom's Name and Bride's Name, to surround them with our prayers, and to ask God's blessing upon them, so that they may be strengthened for their life together and nurtured in their love for God.
God created us male and female, and gave us marriage so that husband and wife may help and comfort each other, living faithfully together in plenty and in want, in joy and in sorrow, in sickness and in health, throughout all their days.
God gave us marriage for the full expression of the love between a man and a woman.
In marriage a woman and a man belong to each other, and with affection and tenderness freely give themselves to each other.
God gave us marriage for the well-being of human society, for the ordering of family life, and for the birth and nurture of children.
God gave us marriage as a holy mystery in which a man and a woman are joined together, and become one, just as Christ is one with the church.
In marriage, husband and wife are called to a new way of life, created and ordered, and blessed by God.
This way of life must not be entered into carelessly, or from selfish motives, but responsibly, and prayerfully.
We rejoice that marriage is given by God, blessed by our Lord Jesus Christ, and sustained by the Holy Spirit.
Therefore, let marriage be held in honor by all.
Marriage is appointed by God.
The church believes that marriage is a gift of God in creation and a means of grace in which man and woman become one in heart, mind, and body.
Marriage is the sacred and lifelong union of a man and a woman who give themselves to each other in love and trust.
It signifies the mystery of the union between Christ and the church.
Marriage is given that husband and wife may enrich and encourage each other in every part of their life together.
Marriage is given that with delight and tenderness they may know each other in love, and through their physical union may strengthen the union of their lives.
Marriage is given that children may be born and brought up in security and love, that home and family life may be strengthened, and that society may stand upon firm foundations.
Marriage is a way of life which all people should honor; it is not to be entered into lightly or selfishly, but responsibly and in the love of God.
Groom's Name and Bride's Name are now to begin this way of life which God has created and Christ has blessed.
Therefore, on this their wedding day, we pray for them, asking that they may fulfill God's purpose for the whole of their lives.
Dearly beloved, we are gathered together here in the sight of God and these witnesses, to join together this man and this woman in the holy estate of matrimony.
The Bible teaches that marriage was created by God. God made a helpmate for Adam and called her woman, for she was taken from the man.
In the Old Testament, Moses, the lawgiver, gave divine sanction to marriage as a legal institution.
In the New Testament, the Book of Hebrews says that marriage is honorable among all.
Therefore, because God has put God's blessing upon this union, and this is a service of Christian worship celebrating the work of God, let us pause to ask for God's blessing and presence in this service.
Dear friends, we have come together in the presence of God to witness the marriage of Groom's Name and Bride's Name, and to rejoice with them.
Marriage is a gift of God and a means of his grace, in which man and woman become one flesh.
It is God's purpose that as husband and wife give themselves to each other in love, they shall grow together and be united in that love, as Christ is united with his Church.
The union of man and woman in heart, body, and mind is intended for their mutual comfort and help, that they may know each other with delight and tenderness in acts of love (and that they may be blessed in the procreation, care, and upbringing of children).
In marriage, husband and wife give themselves to each other, to care for each other in good times and in bad.
They are linked to each other's families, and they begin a new life together in the community.
It is a way of life that all should reverence, and none should lightly undertake.
Christian marriage is a joyful covenanting between a man and a woman in which they proclaim, before God and human witnesses, their commitment to live together in spiritual, physical, and material in spiritual, physical, and material unity.
In this covenant they acknowledge that the great love God has shown for each of them enables them to love each other.
They affirm that God's gracious presence and abiding power are needed for them to keep their vows, to continue to live in love, and to be faithful servants of Christ in this world.
For human commitment is fragile and human love imperfect, but the promise of God is eternal and the love of God can bring our love to perfection.
Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders will have toiled in vain.
Our help is in the Name of the Lord, Maker of heaven and earth.
Beloved, we have come together in the house of God to celebrate the marriage of this man and this woman, in the assurance that the Lord Jesus Christ, whose power was revealed at the wedding in Cana of Galilee, is present with us here in all his power and his love.
Marriage is provided by God as part of God's loving purpose for humanity since the beginning of creation.
Jesus said, "The Creator made them from the beginning male and female.
For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother, and be made one with his wife: and the two shall become one flesh."
Marriage is enriched by God for all who have faith in the Gospel, for through the saving grace of Christ and the renewal of the Holy Spirit husband and wife can love one another as Christ loves them.
Marriage is thus a gift and calling of God and is not to be undertaken lightly or from selfish motives but with reverence and dedication, with faith in the enabling power of Christ, and with due awareness of the purpose for which it is appointed by God.
Marriage is appointed that there may be lifelong companionship, comfort and joy between husband and wife.
It is appointed as the right and proper setting for the full expression of physical love between man and woman.
It is appointed for the ordering of family life, where children—who are also God's gifts to us— may enjoy the security of love and the heritage of faith.
It is appointed for the well-being of human society, which can be stable and happy only where the marriage bond is honored and upheld.
(Church of Scotland)
Excerpted from Christian Weddings by Andy Langford. Copyright © 2008 Abingdon Press. Excerpted by permission of Abingdon Press.
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